Tuesday, October 02, 2018

44


Getting older is a gift.

Some people don't like to talk about their age, or complain about getting wrinkles or grey hair but I see it differently.

Last month I turned 44.

Turning 44 had a significance to it for me because it is the age that my Mum died suddenly of a heart attack.

I posted the photo above on Instagram with these words:

"I'm 44 today on top of the world here at Cape Byron Lighthouse with Sol and River and I'm using my 44th birthday as a bit of a 'community service announcement'. 

44 was the age that my dear mum had a sudden heart attack and died. 

Yes that completely sucked and now that I am that age and have some dear friends confronting their mortality much earlier than I would like them to be, my message is to look after your health as it really is your most precious asset (go and get the checks you've been putting off!), don't sweat the small stuff and love your family and friends with a big heart. 

And now for the rest of the celebrating. Lighthouse walk, early swim, good coffee, birthday cake!"


The day after my birthday I was sitting in a cafe in Mullumbimby enjoying the morning sun and coffee while Sol and River were around the corner browsing in the bookshop.

My look-after-your-health-and-you'll-be-ok bubble burst that morning when I received news that a perfectly fit and health conscious friend had suffered cardiac arrest. What?? No! This can't be true.

Sol and River came back to find me in tears, I was crying that my friend and his family were in this situation with him fighting for his life in intensive care and crying at the shock and unpredictability of life. That there really are no guarantees and assurances.

Not many people want to spend too much time thinking about mortality and the fragility of life but I think it is important to talk about it and think about it, it can shape the life you live and give perspective to what matters.

Maybe you'll choose to quit that job you hate or stop hanging out with people who drain you, change your diet so you feel more energised, cut back or quit boozing, the list goes on but I encourage you to take some time to reflect on what's working or not working in your life and seek to appreciate it more.

Folding the washing can wait, there are memories to be made.

Practice self-love and kindness everyday.

Nourish and nurture: yourself first.

Hypnotist and neuro-linguist practitioner Jim Fortin says, "Putting the oxygen mask on EVERYONE ELSE FIRST is a BROKEN STRATEGY. It does not work."

This was a big lesson I learned from my mum who soldiered on despite her inner turmoil, perhaps not knowing how to ask for help or who or never wanting to appear like she didn't have it all together. When, inside that was the truth.

If you want to read about the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest you can do that here.

And from a really practical point of view if you don't have a will or life insurance, make a will and look into life insurance. 

Sorry to be all a bit morbid and preachy but I feel so strongly about all this stuff having been up close to it.

Life and growing old are gifts to treasure, don't waste the days away.  Forgive yourself, forgive others and live life large.
Whatever that means to you xo


1 comment:

Thanks for your comments. I read every one!

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