I’ve been wanting to write this story for a long time. I turned 40 2 days’ ago and it seemed like the right time to do it. If you’re having a bad day, I hope it raises your spirits. If you’re having a bad time generally, I hope it helps you to put things into perspective. If you’re having a good time, I hope it helps you be thankful for what you have.
I go back every six months currently – to the Royal Marsden hospital for a blood test. I get nervous before, but have been skipping out of the hospital for 8 years. It’s the most sobering experience sitting in the waiting room and explains why I get so cross when I see the ‘yoof of today’ smashing the place up on the news with no regards for themselves or society.
It’s not a rehearsal I say.
And I like to think most days that I live that ethos. When I remember back to these times, when I see sad stories on the news, when I watch the Great North Run and hear the stories behind the runners, when I see a Leukaemia Research collection box, it hurts me more than most – however it’s one of the few scars I have from the experiences.
Has the experience changed me?
Ask those around me. Especially Suzanne.
Not really I don’t think. I’ve always tried to live a very full life and took great solace from that fact. I’m incredibly driven, I take on too much, I get frustrated when those around me don’t move as fast, I rarely sit and relax, I run with the ball too much, when I should pass (metaphorically speaking) and I can’t watch the sad films on Comic Relief or Children in Need. All said and done, I don’t think that’s so bad, considering.
So what to the future? I was 40 two days ago. What will I take forward with me for the next few years, 13 years after the spectre of Leukaemia reared its very ugly head? In no particular order – I will use these statements as a guide… I’d love to know whether you agree.
- Change is inevitable – go with it, embrace it or fall behind the pack.
- Having children changes you. For the better. Enjoy them while they’re young – and don’t pay lipservice to that statement, or you’ll regret it.
- The pause button once in a while isn’t such a bad thing.
- Running your own business is a privelige. It’s tough out there, but having a process and following your vision is key to success.
- It is OK to say no once in a while. In fact, it’s quite good.
- If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
- You are the luckiest person alive if work is a hobby.
- Don’t be afraid to tell people the truth, even if it hurts.
- Time is the most previous thing we have – use it wisely.
- Life is all about choices – you can actively choose how to live every day. Every decision, every reaction is down to you. Don’t blame others for your choices – just make better ones.
- And the biggest learning point of all from this whole experience – which will be enscribed on my tombstone – “It’s not a rehearsal”. I genuinely subscribe to this. Grab chances while you can. It maybe too late tomorrow.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series – it’s been therapeutic writing it. Thanks to everyone for their emails and comments etc – the private response has been overwhelming. I hope you take whatever you can from it and use it.
[box type=”note” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Have you seen what I’m doing for our charity challenge later in 2012?
CLICK HERE to find out and please DONATE something small if you can.