in the end there’s only love

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The UK is experiencing some deliciously hot weather at the moment and we are trying to make the most of it. So, Nic and I took the day off work and went to the beach yesterday.

Three people we know have died in the past 6 months – all from various forms of aggressive cancer: On Monday, we attended the funeral of one of them.

She was younger than me and had recently met her soulmate… they never made it to their wedding day.
The goodbyes during the service from her friends and family were beautiful – funny, moving, full of love for her.

I sat there during the service thinking about how life distills down to a final goodbye: A few funny anecdotes, some photographs, a facebook profile, the memories that live on in the people that knew them. I was thinking about how, perhaps too often, we leave it too late to tell people how we feel about them… so late that perhaps we only ever speak of how we feel when they’re gone.

This death of my colleague, someone who was funny, and smart, and curious, and messy, and delighted by everything, has given me a reality check. It’s got me really thinking about what matters.

We took the day off work and went to the beach yesterday; and (instead of worrying about how big my ass looked in my swimsuit, or what anyone might think of my white legs or my wobbly arms) I delighted in being alive, and able to share these moments with my husband.

Some of the things from yesterday that I will always remember:

  • how the warm sun felt on my face,
  • the intoxicating smells of warm grass and salt water,
  • how beautiful the ocean water felt on my skin,
  • how Nic made me laugh,
  • how delicious a glass of water tastes on a hot day,
  • how grateful I am for my friends, my family, my husband.

I won’t remember feeling like I’m ‘not good enough’, or my ass was too big to be wearing a swimsuit in public. I didn’t get stuck in my head thinking about something someone did years ago that hurt me. Because, to me, those things didn’t matter.

The way I see it, there really are only two moments: There is now and there is later.

And, because there may not be a later for me, or for anyone, it’s important that I make every one of my nows the most incredible and precious moment.

+ There really isn’t any time for fear, or anger, or worrying about the shape of my body (after all I chose it, so it must have been for a bloody good reason).
+ There’s no time for dwelling on the past, or worrying about things that might never happen.
+ There’s no time for someday, or maybe, or “if only I’d tried”.
+ There’s no time for blaming anyone for the stories I create about my life and what has happened in my past.
+ There’s no time for hating my commute, or my job, or the place where I live.

There is time for love,
for laughter,
for giving everything I want to try a go, even if it doesn’t work out.

There is time for wonder,
and curiosity,
and exploration.

There is time for my family and friends,
for listening,
for paying attention,
for skipping if I feel like it (even though I’m 40 years old and someone watching might think I’m silly).

There is time for making this now, and this now, and this now full of magic.
There is time for feeling all of it.
For living the length, breadth and depth of life. For seizing it all with wide open arms and a loving heart, even the bits that were previously full of hurt.

What are you waiting for to really live your now?
(It’s okay, you can do this)

Me?
I’m not waiting any more.