From as early as I can remember, I’ve been compelled to grab life by the goolies. It’s horrendously cliched but I try to live life to the max while keeping one eye on the future.
I think about death a lot… Morbid, huh?! I don’t like watching the news because it propels me into that sort of headspace and mentally it’s not a great place to go. Having said that, working in communications is not conducive to ignoring the news so I try to find the happy medium (dreadful pun).
I guess thinking about death can be a good thing. I don’t take anything for granted. I often wonder whether people consider their own mortality. Is it normal to think so much about death? Do we think about it more as we get older? Probably.
In 20 years of working in health, I’ve nursed elderly people on their death bed, witnessed babies being born by caesarean, and watched open heart surgery, brain surgery, kidney transplants and autopsies.
Our bodies are weird and wonderful, fragile yet incredibly resilient. They can be physically weak and mentally strong, or the other way round.
I’ve heard ‘I wish I had…’ from an elderly person or a patient a few too many times.
My biggest goal in life is to get to the end and not have any regrets. I can’t think of anything worse than wishing I had done or said something and left it too late. I gravitate towards people who share that view. Negativity and a careless attitude to life doesn’t bode well with me. But I do enjoy living life on the edge.
That has pretty much guided me through life but I don’t always get it right. In fact, I often get it wrong. And I’m OK with that.
The scientist in me loves staring into a Petri dish or peering down a microscope to understand what happens to us and why. The writer in me just wants to run away and write about it.
By the end of the year I would love to have my health and science writing business in a place where I only need to take on work that is meaningful and that I’m truly passionate about. Right now it’s more about survival which is frustrating and annoying.
And this week has been annoying as hell. A week where I kicked my little toe twice and called the bed every evil name under the sun. Where my computer is so slow that I’m tempted to just fling it out the window in a huff. And one where the anxious woodpecker in my brain is noisier than normal. It is fed by the stress of trying to do too much and, if I’m honest, by fear of failure.
It will pass. I’ll take things a little slower, retreat to my archaic (and ridiculously slow) laptop and write. Where it’s safe, quiet and familiar.
I went skydiving for my 30th birthday and, as I sat with my legs dangling out the door of the plane, eyes as wide as saucers, the (rather hot) instructor looked me straight in the eye and yelled “if you’re too scared, you won’t enjoy the ride. So you may as well just lose the fear”.
And so I jumped…
Thanks to Nicole who left this in my comments: “Remember to enjoy the little things in life, because some day you’ll realise they were the actually the big things.”