What is it that keeps the human spirit alive?
What is it that’s keeps us going, especially when the going gets tough?
We marvel at individuals and admire their grit, their sheer determination to keep pushing on, regardless of what life throws at them. How do they do that?
These are the questions, the issues going around in my mind this morning. I’m sat here, if truth be told, desperately trying to stay strong and not to fall into old negative thought patterns.
Whilst I and my own little family are well, there are lots of serious illnesses and personal tragedies playing out around me in the rest of my huge family. Bereavement (it’s such a tough time of year for those missing loved ones), moderate heart failure, severe short-term memory loss, fibromyalgia, kidney disease complicated by cancer treatment and a brain tumour to name but a few.
I spent yesterday with my 85-year-old Dad. He has Alzheimer’s. Looking after him for a few hours allowed my amazing mum, who is his main carer, some breathing space. He wasn’t having a good day and really had no idea who I was, so it was challenging. But I’m also aware that mum does this day in day out. 24/7.
I also received a double whammy of bad news yesterday. A car accident on top of long-term severe illness means a loved one is now back in hospital. And yet another has just been diagnosed with cancer (operable).
I’ve not listed these to gain sympathy. I’m well aware that similar scenarios are playing out for many people. And at this time of year it can be especially difficult.
So why have I listed them?
I suppose what I’m asking is, how do people find the emotional resilience to keep going?
Driving home last night I spotted my elderly neighbour, walking into town alone. She has no children of her own but she’s been like a grandparent to my kids. I try so hard to look out for her. She one of those stoic individuals who rarely asks for help, even when she deserves and needs it. I felt bad that she was walking alone, in the cold, when it was getting dark. She walked so carefully, head down, watching the pavement for any trip hazards.
And life is like that isn’t it? It’s full of trip hazards. Life events that can pull us down, that make us forget just how amazing it is that we are even alive?
Yes life can be hard. Crap even. It throws everything it can at us. And still we get up and carry on.
So today I will try to avoid dwelling on life’s trip hazards. I will keep reminding myself of how very lucky I am to be alive. How amazing it is that I get to walk my precious little dog in the fresh air and countryside. How lucky I am to have the time to go and say hello to my elderly neighbour to brighten up her day. To go and fetch some milk for my mum. And I will send my love and heartfelt well wishes to all my loved ones. I long to help them to find a way to make the most of each and every precious day they have. Even when life throws everything it can at them.
And that’s what keeps us going isn’t it? Love. And a passion for simply living.
I intend to make the most of mine.
Enjoy yours xx