In my 32 years of life – I have always loved January as a month, not only because my birthday falls within the first 31/365, but also because it STINKS of new opportunity! New hope! New beginnings! Out with the old and in with the new. Become a better you.
We talk about the impending New Year like it’s a god given right that we’ll get to experience / use the 365 days which lay before us but the reality is very different. I bet if you haven’t been in a life threatening situation – you’d never appreciate how close we ALL teeter to the edge ALL.THE.TIME.
Up to 2018, I fell into the camp of entitlement and the camp of it’ll-never-happen-to-me. Because why wouldn’t I be? Nothing bad has ever happened to me, I’ve experienced very little loss (touch wood), good health, strong relationships, love, nourishment and nurturing – all the good stuff.
2018 rolled in just like any other year. The sense of entitlement washed over me as I confidently made new resolutions – to learn how to do a side plait, quit social smoking for good and spend more time travelling because obviously I’d be given the chance to do that because I’m good person and I make good decisions.
7th January – The day after my sister’s wedding. We all woke up on a high from an incredible wedding and spent the Sunday re-hashing the Loynes Nuptials. That evening, I climbed into bed, went to sleep and literally woke up in the middle of the night and could.not.breathe – not even shallow breathing. It feels like you are drowning but there is no water.
I’d been battling with some pain around my torso and flank since Christmas and had gone to see some Dr’s, a surgeon and paid the A&E a visit but with clear xrays and ultrasounds + strange symptoms, there was zero diagnosis so I just carried on.
To cut a long story short – After many viles of blood, xrays and ultrasounds, I was diagnosed with pulmonary embolus which is an innocent little blood clot that rocks up in your lungs from somewhere else in your body and causes havoc with not only your breathing and general ability to live but also how you perceive life. It was only in that moment that I realised how delicate life really is, which is a far cry from how I have lived my life up to this point.
In my ‘old’ life, I was extreme, said yes to everything, pushed and pushed and pushed and didn’t appreciate that I also needed a rest. I made decisions for others that didn’t necessarily make me happy, I did things that harmed me and I didn’t have enough confidence in my ability or myself and instead waited for others to validate my work and existence.
When you think you are going to die, you go into this weird space where in that moment you wish for a time or a chance that you can redo all the wrongs you have made. Then when you actually get the opportunity to right those wrongs, like now, you feel totally overwhelmed by the enormity of another chance.
My colleague Sarah always tells me that she can spot my articles a mile away because I always use bullet points to get my point across. I’m not letting her down this time.
What have I learnt the most since 7th January?
- Love those that are close to you insanely hard and make sure there is never a doubt in their minds about how you feel about them.
- DON’T WASTE TIME – If you have it, use it.
- Smoking is a waste of time. You don’t even look cool! And even more so if you are on the pill and over the age of 30 and have genetic mutations!
What have I known for 32 years but needed a reminder of?
- Choose the people you surround yourself with, very wisely. They should fulfil you as much as you want to fulfil them.
- Don’t take for granted this incredible machine you have which is your body. Nourish it, love it and care for it.
- Say please, thank you and I’m sorry when the circumstance calls for it.
- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. You are not smarter then your body.
- Spend your money on travel, experiences, loved ones and investment.
- Prioritise rest, breaks and holidays.
- Stop complaining about trivial stuff – someone always has it worse then you.
- Make sure your affairs are up to date.
- Be proud of who you are and always try your best – as long as you aren’t being rude / offending or hurting people, you should be good.
- Always be honest about how you feel and what you want.
- Put yourself in the others person shoe when you are delivering difficult messages, how would you feel?
- I hope that for the remainder of my life, however long or short it may be, I never forget how I felt on 7th January 2018 and I never forget what is important in my life.
Written by: Nicole Stone (firstname.lastname@example.org)
12th January 2018