Instead of turning over and snuggling under the duvet (that has been my usual habit of late) I had decided the day before I was going to get up and do ‘something’. This blog of late has been full of lament and emotional pain but scarce in the physical pain of training that is oft best known to tackle the former. It was time to redress the balance.
A short while later, I was sat on the spin bike at the shop. Often, when we are exercising, our thoughts are free to wander. So it was now. It occurred to me that getting up had been ridiculously easy because I had already made the decision to do so. That at this point in time (pushing the pedals around with nothing to think about than the next revolution) life was easy and because I had opted to put down the burdens that so often weight us down, I felt as light as a feather. Happy, euphoric, gleeful. And oh my it felt fabulous.
I wondered why it couldn’t always be the case. And then it dawned on me, that whether we are happy or miserable, we must CHOOSE to be so.
I am a self confessed martyr and love telling people how many hours I work, and how busy I am, how stressful life is but I soldier on regardless. And I am not the only one. Countless times I’ve listened in to groups of people bemoan how busy they are. How they HAVE to do x, y and z. And at the time I wondered why why we’re doing those things if it made them so stressed.
In the last year I have had to reevaluate what is really important to me. What my priorities are. What I discovered didn’t really surprise me, but it did remind me of the values I hold dear. Love, friendship, laughter, support, health.
I suppose that list would look relevant to everyone. But when you take away the surplus of life; mortgage, company car, designer shoes, books and other possessions and pare back life to its absolutes, you find ‘stuff’ doesn’t matter very much at all.
Although this year has been the most stressful of my life, in some ways it’s also been the least stressful too. I’ve learned who to invest my time in, who I really need to work hard for, and that the pursuit of ‘things’ really doesn’t make any blooming difference to the quality of life.
In the last year, one of our happiest moments was when we were officially homeless and sleeping temporarily in the shop on a mattress. Although at that time the outlook looked bleak, we were warm, fed and had a roof over our heads. (And grateful for it as we could have just as easily been sleeping on a park bench). But most importantly, we had each other and that is what really counts.
Most of the decisions we make in life can feel really big at the time. Monumentally life changing decisions that can cause us a lot of stress. But the reality is that they are only so because we make then so.
When the Met posted me to Croydon (where I met Alan) was one of the biggest influences on my life. But at the time, that decision was out of my control and I could only relish the challenge of seeing where it took me.
Life sometimes will throw us a curve ball. We can choose either to accept it or change it.
Choose to be happy, and if you are not, choose to do something about it.