Thursday, October 6, 2011

Motherly Advice....Living a fulfilled life...


In the interests of this post, I'll share that I have a family history of Ovarian Cancer. 

My mother and maternal Aunt and Grandmother all succumbed to this insidious disease at around the age of 60 years. Therefore, at the age of 51, I find myself taking stock of where I am and what I have achieved in my life.

Okay, I'm never going to be a political leader, a Princess, a film star or a celebrity chef.

But a wise person once said to me, 'just do the things that fulfill you, and then if the time comes to face Death, you can do so with peace in your heart'.

That time comes for all of us.

So how do you make sure that that peace is in your heart when it arrives?

I don't believe in a Bucket List as such. This term of course, made famous by the movie of the same name, (as far as I am aware) where two men work their way through a list of 'must do or see' tasks before dying. The term arising as they wanted these things seen or done before they 'kicked the bucket'.

I had one when I was young, although it was a list of goals back then, not a Bucket List. Dying was far from my mind and my Mother was young and healthy. Being the driven young woman that I was, I actually achieved quite a lot of the ambitions on my list before I turned 30. Then I had my third son 11 weeks prematurely, he was subsequently diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and I was told he would never walk or participate fully in life (well, they were wrong there!), and suddenly those things on my list were no longer important.

My list went from 'Become Lord Mayor' and 'Be a famous writer', to 'make sure Mr A has the life to which he is entitled', 'put affairs in order in case something happens to me and Mr A has to survive without me' and so on.

At this stage, I achieved all I set out to for Mr A. He is a fine young man, successfully living independently, playing a sport, doing his own shopping, studying and participating in life to the fullest of his abilities.

My other sons are happy and successful, and my daughter is able to follow her theatrical and dance passions. Importantly, I also have a loving husband, who means the world to me.

I've travelled a little, been treated to some pretty gems, have a beautiful home and garden of my dreams, and a life that I can, overall, look back upon with pride.

Thankfully though, I am hard pressed to imagine what else I need to do to find peace.

I am at peace with my life, my experiences, my mistakes and my own personal failings. I don't seek a better life, a better job, a better husband or a better house. I have loved, been loved, been disappointed, heartbroken, sad, and lonely. I have grieved for a parent, a friend, a grandparent, a baby. I have driven an old car and a new car, and they were both just a means of transportation. I have made a difference in the life of disabled people and been blessed with a longed for girl child after having three wonderful sons. I have travelled a little and seen the parts of the world that make my heart sing. I've viewed the Mona Lisa, The Thinker and Monets Garden. I've met movie stars and rock stars. I've escaped tragedy on more occasions than I like to explore.

In my dreams, I can fly (and I do so often), I can converse with my Mother, speak my mind to lost loves, mend friendships, say the thing I meant to say, respond with witty repartee, and sail and ski and run fast. I don't need to do those things in my waking life.

My bucket runneth over.

What's on your Tray of Bliss today?

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