Monday, 15 August 2011

Giving hope a chance....

In Pretoria we are starting to feel the stirrings of spring.  The sun is rising earlier and setting later and there seems to be more warmth to the sun than in recent months.

Spring is often seen as the time of new beginnings.  Blossoms on trees, baby green leaves and the hope of things to come. I am probably rushing things but today is a day of new beginning for me.  I don’t want to wait a single moment longer because it is time, time to take back the reigns, time to seized control and time to start living my best life.

Standing on the brink of a new adventure, especially a life changing one always makes me think of the Henry David Thoreau poem made famous by Dead Poets Society:

I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

None of us wants to reach the end of our lives with regrets, no one wants to wake up one day and realize that time has passed us by and that we are now to old, to frail or to broke to fill full our bucket list. How sad it must be to know your end is near and to have regrets. To be dying and to have a thousand “I wish…..” sentences going through our minds (if the mind is still functioning at that point).  But here’s the root of the root: not one of us knows when our time will be up.  We don’t know when the banshee will sing her song for us and that scares the hell out of me. Harold Camping predicted that Judgment day would be 21 May 2011 and in so doing caused a stir the likes of which have not been seen in years. I joined thousands around the world who were wrapped in fear by this possibility. Was I scared about standing in front of my Creator, the answer is no.  Was I scared about the consequences well in all honesty a little.  But what lay at the very core of my fear was a list of regrets, a “to do”  list as long as my arm and the trepidation that coursed through my soul was that I may never have the opportunity to shorten my list of regrets and to never tick off the items on my “to do” list.

So I took a moment, a moment to reflect on where things went wrong, where I became the person I now see staring back at me in the mirror and when did I start existing instead of living.  Oh, how I wish I could say that I could give a specific date and time, a precise event or an exact situation  which forced me to this place.  But the truth is I have been travelling in this direction for a while and did not notice or if I did I chose to ignore it.  Did I get so busy with my day that I stopped appreciating life? The simple answer is yes.  I stopped paying attention to my life and focused on the task of existing.  No more smelling of the roses, no listening to the laughter of children and certainly no more time for myself.

Not knowing when my hour will be is not a new concept to me.  I am a firm believer that “your time is your time”.  When your name is called the game is up, so believing this you would think that I would be a little more careful with the time I have.  But alas, I am not.  I have wasted so much of it and now as I start to circle the big 4 0 I find myself already living with regrets, with “I wish I had’s” and “if only’s”.  This cannot continue because it can in a very real way all be over in the blink of an eye

There is no "undo" button for our lives, so just as the changing of the season has begun so to the time for a change in my life has come.

These new beginnings are the reason for this blog.  I am not sure how much I have to say (although heaven help me I am not known for my quite and gentle spirit) and if what I do have to say would be of any interest to the world BUT I feel a profound need to document this journey and who knows perhaps sharing each step will help someone out there to take their first step to living a better life. I by no stretch of the imagination have all the answers in fact I intend to rely heavily on experts in the field.  Wading through all the reading material is a challenge in of its self let alone applying the lessons learnt.

So the new beginning is about taking the past 37 years 4 months and 1 day and throwing it out the window.  It’s time to starting getting my house in order and I am starting in the basement with the goal to end in the attic. 

I am not sure how I got to this point…..a workaholic, single, overweight, unhealthy and unhappy person. Oh give me a minute and I am sure I can find someone in my life to blame for my present state of being but that would be just shifting the pile of blame from one shoulder to another.  I am to blame!!!!  I am the one who chooses to put in the hours I do at the office, I am the one who does not go out and meet people, I am the one who puts the food in my mouth, I am the one who buys the food in the first place and I am the one and only person responsible for my happiness. 

So following Oprah’s best life model, I am going to clean out the following areas of my life:

My Health
My Wealth
My spiritual well being
My love life

Shoooo writing it down makes it sound like a mammoth task.  Well, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Perhaps Elizabeth Gilbert had the right idea:  EAT, PRAY, LOVE!!!

Here’s what I know for sure…change is the hardest at the beginning, messiest in the middle and the best at the end!!! Or in the immortal words of Birdee in the movie Hope Floats: “Beginnings are scary. Endings are usually sad, but it's what's in the middle that counts. So, when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.”

So hold onto your skirts….here we go!!

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