So, I have once again committed the cardinal sin of the aspiring author. Neglecting my platform building yadda, yadda, yadda. But now, as the crazy months of summer begin to fade, I thought it would be a good time to return. Because this week has been about reflecting on life, acknowledging death and celebrating achieving goals.
It is important, for this first time in my life, I am seeing these things and being grateful for them in a context where it’s not all about me. Yes, the past few months have been crazy, but that is because I have spent so much time helping other people do what they can to live out the best life they can offer themselves. My own dreams and aspirations certainly haven’t been on the back burner, as I’ve actually continued to be consistent about getting up at 6am each morning and doing my 1500 words. I’ve even taken the plunge and started submitting again. But I am also starting to appreciate the joy that comes from building a close network of strong relationships where everyone is invested in giving each other a hand up when they can.
And this celebration of living a good life was brought to a poignant reminder this week when I attended the funeral of a friend who had finally lost a long battle with a brain tumour. It was my first humanist service and it was quite beautiful. The clear emphasis on celebrating life rather than mourning and resenting death seemed so appropriate. Never ever had I seen her complain about her lot in life or do anything other than live each day to the very best of her capabilities. People always imagine they will be tirelessly strong and positive in these kinds of life-altering scenarios, but few actually are when the chips are down. It was an inspiration to see; even though it took death to make me really aware of it.
Finally, in the spirit of appreciation, my sister has achieved a goal she has been working towards and I am so proud of her. Not just for the success, but for the completion of such an immense task in the face of odds which would make a normal person throw their hands up and walk away. The outcome is fantastic, but for me the privilege has been watching her take the journey and letting me walk with her some of the way. When she cracks open a bottle of champagne tonight, I will also raise a glass here, no doubt in the direction of the old man’s urn on the windowsill there, because I know he would have loved the chance to be as proud of her as I am.