Graciousness

graciousness2

I want to talk about graciousness. The above quote from Charles Dickens is an illustration to me of graciousness. To be gracious is a characteristic I admire and appreciate in others but one that is so undervalued by the current ‘me’ generation.

It’s also a word that is not well understood. So what does it mean:

gracious

I love the way graciousness is linked to other virtues I also value: kindness, patience, mercy. To be gracious is to be kind and courteous, accepting, showing sympathy, having a generosity of spirit and a helpful nature; the ability to put another’s desire before your own. It is opposed to pride and the need for recognition. A gracious person can hold their tongue, not express their opinion, and doesn’t need to justify their words or actions.

 

 

It’s not a characteristic which I believe I’ve mastered but it is certainly a characteristic I admire, appreciate and am aiming for. I leave you with the following which are are further examples of my take on graciousness:

graciousness1

Day #912:Why Ships Sink

Thank you Abraham for your inspirational words – so good I felt I had to re-blog them. Enjoy!

1000 Days of Inspiration

Ships don’t sink because of the water around them.They sink because of the water that gets in them.We’re all surrounded by problems.

There are lots of things to be afraid of.Your circumstances may not be ideal.And life may seem stormy.

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the unknown

sad

It’s yet another reason to be compassionate – we don’t know what’s going on in someone else’s life – and sometimes we are quick to judge without knowing the full story (and we may never know the full story)… so let’s take a moment to be compassionate to that annoyingly bitter co-worker; to the angry man I just passed on the stairs or the smelly girl who’s begging in the street; to the odd lady across the road or that chap at the supermarket who never makes eye contact let alone conversation…

Everyone has a story – and it’s their story to share or not share. And if I knew their story, I might show more kindness, be more understanding, allow myself to feel compassion.

So maybe it’s time to give others the benefit of the doubt, time to choose compassion – because everyone has their secrets; everyone has a story -the depths of which, the hurts and pains, the secret sorrows, we’ll probably never know.

 

Something new

never too late

I can start something new today; attempt something new. And I might fail – but I might not. I won’t know if I don’t try. Whether it’s learning a new style of painting, a new language, a new recipe or trying a new attitude, a different outlook or focus, to be that person, today could be the beginning of something new – if I just take a step, if I simply try…

And in a year’s time I might look back at today and want to celebrate THIS day – because I chose to do something new; because I chose to do or to be; because I chose to make a start…

Pain

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My husband is having a ‘bad’ day. He suffers from an auto-immune disease and takes a variety of medication. On bad days, he takes even more. On good days his symptoms are manageable and a mere annoyance. Today he feels weak, fatigued, hasn’t slept well and is in continuous pain. Thankfully it’s a Saturday and he has fewer commitments and can fall asleep in front of the television and sleep off and on all day if he chooses.

Life isn’t always like this. Life hasn’t always been like this. We’ve been married for almost four years. We’d been married for a little over a year when he first got sick. His symptoms seemed to increase every few days and ended up incorporating his feet, ankles, knees, back, neck, head, shoulders, wrists and hands. He was in a huge amount of pain, had no energy and over a matter of days, he seemed to lose all his strength. It got to the point where he couldn’t dress or feed himself, couldn’t get to the bathroom and couldn’t even get himself out of bed – he didn’t have enough strength in his hands or arms to propel himself up off the bed to be able to sit instead of lying down, let alone actually get out of bed.

It was a horrible period, and took a some time to get an accurate diagnosis. As soon as he began a course of steroids, he started improving rapidly and the change was immense. After a week or so, any time the doctor reduced the steroids, the pain and weakness would return with avengence. As you can imagine, it was horrendous watching the man I love go through such a debilitating illness and to see him in so much pain.

Early one morning on my way to work I stopped to get petrol and as I waited for the petrol tank to fill, I started crying and couldn’t stop. I rang my boss who could tell I was obviously in significant distress. Then I drove to my husband’s doctor and spoke to the receptionists there. With tears streaming down my face I told them I called an ambulance during the night because my husband was in so much pain. Because it wasn’t life threatening or a significant enough emergency, the ambulance service wouldn’t come. “I’ve come here because I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to stop his pain.”  The receptionists were both nurses, and they were very kind. They booked me in to see my husband’s doctor and I would be his first appointment. They brought me a cup of tea and gave me tissues and a newspaper to read while I waited the forty-five minutes for the doctor to arrive. The doctor was lovely, he saw me as soon as he arrived. He was surprised my husband had gone downhill so quickly as he had seen him only a few days earlier. He rang the specialist my husband was due to see in a few weeks, explained the situation and was able to arrange an earlier referral and to alter my husband’s medication. I took the prescription directly to our local pharmacist, and within a matter of maybe an hour, my husband’s pain had decreased and he was resting more comfortably.

In the weeks and months that followed, he saw the specialist and while it took time, his health improved and he was able to return to work. That was two and a half years ago and since then there have been ups and downs, good days and bad. In general there are many more good days than there are bad days – and for that we are grateful. We are also both aware that many other people experience greater ongoing pain than we have known, and that life could be a whole lot worse than it is.

My husband’s illness highlighted to me something I hadn’t known and hadn’t needed to learn until that point: that I was prepared to fight for the man that I loved when he wasn’t able to fight for himself. And as his wife, that seemed to be my role at the time, to intercede on his behalf. Because if I hadn’t, who would have?

I have a degree of understanding of how wives and mothers can morph into warriors and/or avenging angels to protect their loved ones when the need arises. What was amazing to me was the strength and determination that I possessed, that until that time, I hadn’t known was there.

That I had strength and determination: this is what I learnt from my husband’s pain.

 

The Pohutukawa

In the lead up to Christmas I want to introduce you to the Pohutukawa – the New Zealand Christmas tree. Pohutukawa is a Maori word which means “drenched in mist”. As one of the best known and most visible native trees, pohutukawa are found growing around the coastline of the upper North Island of New Zealand. They are comfortable in rugged windswept beaches, in sand and seaspray, and have a remarkable ability to cling to steep cliffs and hillsides, often seen growing in seemingly impossible locations.

The first Europeans to New Zealand named the pohutukawa ‘the New Zealand Christmas tree’ due to their brilliant bright red flowers that bloom from November to January. For generations of kiwis, the flowering pohutukawa has become one of the great icons of summer and the Christmas holiday season. The tree often features in art and literature, in poetry and songs, on photos and greeting cards and has become an important symbol for New Zealanders both at home and overseas.

Bright and colourful, the pohutukawa is cheerful and instantly recognised (by kiwis at least!)  It is also a wonderful example rugged determination – the ability to grow in harsh situations where others would struggle. But not only does it survive in places of adversity, it thrives!

A picture of both beauty and determination in one (Christmas) package.

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Love is a choice

Love is a feeling, a behaviour, a choice.

Love is a feeling. It might also be an attitude, a smile, a behaviour. It took me a long time to realise that love is also a choice.

Sometimes in relationships we have to make a choice to continue to love someone. Relationships have ups and downs, good times and not so good. And sometimes it is great to be together, and sometimes it is great to be apart! Sometimes it is easier to walk away than to stay and keep loving. Sometimes the behaviour, words or actions of the other person can make loving them difficult. But we have a choice – to love or not. And in loving another person, we may need to make that choice to love them and to continue to love them again, and again, and again, and again.

At the end of the day, and at the beginning of the day, and throughout the day – love is a choice.

In marriage we make a commitment to love and to continue to love. And sometimes that means overlooking the infringements we perceive, and choosing instead to love; choosing to focus on the good things, choosing to believe the best. Love is a choice.

As someone who has struggled with depression and self-esteem issues, I often battle to love myself.  It makes sense that I might need to keep reminding myself that loving me is also a choice. An ongoing choice. My choices determine my behaviour. In choosing to love and accept myself, I make decisions to care for my body and mind. So when I sabotage myself I am not choosing to love, and my behaviour reflects that.  Love for self is also a choice.

Right now, I choose to love and accept myself, imperfections and all… because love is a feeling, a behaviour, a choice.

Love is an ongoing choice

keep going

Regardless of how life seems – whether life is good or great or unbearably hard; whether you are taking great strides forward, stumbling along, or barely managing a feeble shuffle; whether the sun is shining on your path or you are crawling in absolute darkness; where ever you are and whatever space you are in –

keep going

Compassion

Compassion is the wish to see others free from suffering                                                                                                                                        – Dalai Lama

Compassion really matters to me. It’s one of the basic characteristics that I value so greatly. I think of it as being intrinsic to the foundation of one’s character.  I admire it in others and I want to see proof if it exhibited in my own life, through my actions and in my behaviour.

Whether you believe in God, a Higher Power, or karma – I figure it pays to practice compassion because there may come a time when we will need it more than we can currently imagine.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring – all of which have the potential to turn a life around                                                                                                                                                             – Leo Bascaglia

Everyone has a story, the depths of which we might never know – and that small act of compassion might be just what someone else needs. I really believe that those small acts of kindness, the traces of compassion we show others, have the potential to have a much greater impact than we will ever know.

Compassion is a characteristic that I think of in terms of how we see and treat others; it’s focus is someone else.

Not so.

A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day.  A string of such moments can change the course of your life                                                                                                                                – Christopher K. Germer

Wow!  Self-compassion!  I already think in terms of self-acceptance, but self-compassion… that’s a new concept for me – and it feels as if it has the power to be like a beautiful scented oil that you place in a bath – that might soften the skin, and leave a gentle perfume, as well as having a soothing medicinal effect, and is therefore good for both body and soul.

Imagine how different the world might be if we were to practice compassion towards ourselves and others every day.

I want to finish as I began – with some words of wisdom from the Dalai Lama:

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.                                                     If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

 

frustration and confusion

It’s a beautiful day outside and I feel so grumpy, so frustrated, like something is building up inside me and I don’t know what it is. I DO know that this is about me – something to do with how I see myself. I could argue with my husband about things he hasn’t yet done that I’ve asked him to… but deep inside I know this is not about him being the source of my frustration – it’s about me – and I don’t know what I’m so annoyed and frustrated about.

I have found that in order to make sure that my issues with depression stay in their place (ie, making sure they don’t rear their ugly heads) there are some simple steps I can follow:

  • take my medication regularly
  • do some form of physical exercise
  • limit my caffeine and more importantly my alcohol intake
  • eat sensibly but don’t overeat (this can lead to self loathing)
  • do some housework – it’s something about the cleaning and tidying that gives me a sense of being in control over my environment. Housework (vacuuming particularly) feels like physical exercise to me so that’s a win/win – clean house and exercise rolled into one!
  • I need to include tidiness here as well as cleaning. Tidiness is one of the keys to things being in order in my world and my sense of control of my world. [Why is that?]
  • some form of creativity is also good -for me that might mean painting, or sewing or cooking; making chicken stock for the freezer, or chicken pies, or a fruitcake for my husband (not because fruit cakes excite me, they don’t, but he adores them) – also sort of a win/win because this is linked to getting his approval.

Hello. Here’s something important: I link doing nice things for him with getting his approval. This (I know) relates to my father – feeling like I had to be good, or good enough to get his approval. Feeling like I always struggled not just to get his approval but to be recognised. I was the last of six children and the only girl – so before you make comments about being spoiled, I always felt -when it came to my father- that I was never quite good enough. Never really acknowledged by him. And that his love was conditional, and the condition was that I had to be good.

Coming back to being acknowledged, I remember sitting on his knee in church as a 2 or 3 year old (a positive memory) and before I went to sleep he would read to me, and sometimes we would sing together. But as I got older I felt like I just blended into this family because I had to and had to learn to do what I was told. I didn’t feel recognised. As a teenager he never really talked to me one-on-one. Never sat me down to impart any wise words – isn’t that what parents do? Or am I just being romantic rather than realistic? I guess he struggled relating to me – a daughter after five sons. But did I not matter? Was he too tired? Did he not know what to say? Perhaps he didn’t know how – how to approach subjects relating to thoughts and feelings, ideas, views or opinions. Perhaps he thought I didn’t value his views? Did I value his views? I don’t know, he never shared them.

When I left home and went travelling I used to write to my parents and while they wrote back all they ever wrote about was what they had done, were doing or were going to do – they seldom expressed their feelings or thoughts, concerns or opinions; nothing other than general day to day life.

Am I wanting too much? Did I want too much? Did he not know what my psychological needs were and how to meet them? – probably not.  I haven’t been a parent so it’s hard to know if my own expectations of my parents are realistic. They certainly tried to make sure our physical and spiritual needs were taken care of. I’m not sure they knew any of us had any other needs, let alone how to meet them.

And let’s be honest, the world is a totally different place now to the world I grew up in in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Parenting is different. The world is different. Everything has changed. And that’s what happens in life. Things change. We grow up. And as we age, our perspectives continue to develop and alter as we encounter more of life and have more life experience. Fair enough… but where does that leave me right now?

Two other tools I use to keep depression at bay:

  • if I feel emotional or overwhelmed I can always go and have a (nana) nap. If I do this, and manage to go to sleep, I always wake up feeling better than I did before I went to sleep. I don’t know why this works, I just know that it does!
  • go and do something different – go out into the garden and pull some weeds, take the dog for a walk, clean the hand basin, fold some washing, do some baking -doesn’t matter much what it is  – just DO SOMETHING. There’s a sense of reward in being active and achieving something, regardless of how small the activity is. And a change of activity can lead to a change in perspective. Time for me to go and put this into practice – hoping I’ll feel less angst soon…

Bloggers Unite for Peace

This was re-blogged by my lovely friend Cate and I too want to reblog this. Peace is important and we can choose to do something, even if it’s just something small. Have always loved that quote from Edmund Burke.

Infinite Sadness... or hope?

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Regular readers will remember that peace is something I feel strongly about, although I admit that it has been a while since I wrote on this subject.

I feel so strongly that today I am posting twice. Unheard of! But I want to be a part of this movement (Bloggers Unite for Peace), and I encourage you to be a part of it too (details below on how you can do this).

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do nothing.”
Edmund Burke

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“We are normal, everyday hard-working people with a common hobby, blogging. We hail from far and wide. We reside in different lands, on different…

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Movin’ on

You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.”               – Chinese proverb

or in other words:

“Don’t forget that you’re human. It’s okay to have a meltdown. Just don’t unpack and live there. Cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed.”            ~ Anon

I forget, sometimes, that it’s ok to screw up. I’m often compassionate or empathetic when a colleague or friend has a bad day or is emotional, irrational or angry but I’m often not as kind or understanding if it’s me who has messed up. I used to be pretty good at (psychologically) beating myself up for my mistakes. While I wouldn’t say I’m reformed, I am more aware of that tendency, so I’m trying to be more understanding and accepting of my own mistakes.

Once the mistake has been made, I recognise the value in acknowledging it and moving on. But what if I can’t move on? What if I need some time to get over whatever ‘it’ is?  Actually – that’s ok. Stuff takes time for us to process. In most cases I can see that my processing of stuff takes less time than it has in the past – so that denotes progress, and I’ll take all the positives I can get.

I make a mistake. Acknowledge the error and admit to the poor judgement, ill discipline, inappropriate behaviour/emotion, or whatever. Feel the feelings (guilt, shame, embarrassment, sorrow… – the list is endless and the choice is yours). Then MOVE. ON. I like the quote above “just don’t unpack and live there” – because you don’t need to. Don’t linger. I’ll say it again: MOVE ON.

To me that’s the key. Let it go and walk away. Build a bridge and get over it. Do whatever you need to do to be free of the thing that’s holding you back from moving on. Imagine that mistake is a broken toy – maybe you’ve spent hours with this toy and now it’s broken. Destroyed. Irreparable. When the time is right (and only you can decide when that is) you pick up the toy, take it outside and put it in the rubbish bin. You close the lid and walk away. And you don’t look back. Instead you refocus on the next step.

Look ahead. Take a step. Move forward.

That’s enough.

in pursuit of peace

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Take a moment

No, really

just take a moment –

a moment to sit

to relax

to rest

to be

be calm

breathe

exhale the stuff of life

inhale peace

sit with it

enjoy the moment

relax

rest

be

breathe

And even if only for this one moment

enjoy peace

 

it’s a gift

 

“Seek peace and pursue it”                               – Psalm 34: 14

 

 

1 Way to Help You Meet New Readers: Meet and Greet

…this is me, trying something new…

Dream Big, Dream Often

imagesWhat day is it??!!  HUMP DAY!!  No, that is completely wrong…it’s Meet and Greet Day!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags (i.e. reblogging, reblog, meet n greet, link party, etc.), it helps, trust me on this one.
  4. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new bloggers to follow.  This helps also, trust me.
  5. And if you leave a link and don’t follow me, how about ya show ole Danny some love?

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and meet n greet your butts…

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Connectedness

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You know how some days you just wake up happy – there’s this underlying sense of joy? I want to explore that today.

Initially, I’d just like to say thank you for reading this! I have been blogging for about 2 months and the purpose is ‘self discovery’ – finding out about myself and recording those observations so that I’d have some written record to refer back to. As I read over some of my previous posts, I feel a ‘connection’ to what I’ve written – as if with some posts I’ve uncovered a sense of my own truth, and so I have a greater sense of who I am, what matters to me, and how I see the world; possibly even some of my core beliefs.

And what I’ve found really encouraging (and didn’t expect) was that others of you felt a similar way about some of the things I’ve shared. That positive sense of connection with others has really blown me away and provided not just more impetus to keep going but more importantly, that feeling that I’m not alone, and that others understand where I’m coming from, that maybe some aspects of what matters to me and how I see my world, is shared by others – that has been SO encouraging. So I want to say thank you. To each one of you who has read or liked or commented on a post – thanks!

I’ve said it before:

“Change always comes bearing gifts”

and the unexpected but very welcome gift I’ve received through blogging is a new sense of ‘connectedness‘. That connectedness has lead me to joy.  For that – I am SO grateful  😀

Self esteem… and Gratitude

 

My self esteem is fragile. Again. Still.

I’m aware of a lack of self confidence; a lack of belief in myself. I’m aware of the internal voice, the criticism, the negative self talk.  This past week I have been particularly aware of this lack of confidence and a negative internal dialogue. More aware than I usually am. Why is that?

Sometimes it feels like I’m a child in an adult’s body. I’m surrounded by lots of other adults simply being adults, while I appear to be an adult but feel very much like a child.

OK, so my self esteem is low. I’m aware of it. It sort of feels like I’ve been carrying this with me these past few days.

Sometimes I wonder if this awareness and self-observation is a first world luxury that I probably wouldn’t have if I had lived in a different era, or had chosen a different path. If my life was more busy, more crazy, more packed full of activities, would I have less opportunity for self reflection? (Partly because I might end up too tired to think, and would therefore lack the energy for self reflection.)

Having spent several days thinking about my self esteem…. I now feel like I’m a bit over it. I’m tired of thinking about myself in  a certain way and wonder if it’s time for a new focus and a new attitude. Time to think about something else, to pursue a new train of thought – and it can be anything I choose.  Given that in certain parts of the world this is a time to be thankful for what you have, I might try focusing on being grateful and see where that leads…

Here’s to gratitude!!  🙂

the open hand of forgiveness

Why is it that I’m better at forgiving other people than I am at forgiving myself?  Is that about having greater expectations of myself and my behaviour than I do of others?

When I forgive, I am letting go of something that I’d otherwise hold on to – when holding on is to my own detriment. When I let go of whatever it is, my hands are no longer fists, closed fingers whose job is to clasp. Letting go means opening my hands. To release the hold is to free my hands of a task and there is freedom in release. Freedom to go on and do something different. The closed fist becomes an open hand.

“Forgiving does not erase the past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.”                                                                                      – Louis B. Smedes

Forgiveness alters the memory. I like that phrase: forgiveness ‘creates a new way to remember’.

Forgiveness leads to Freedom, and Freedom leads to Hope. Hope carries with it a positive expectation.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”                                                                                                             – Martin Luther King

The next step then is to be mindful of forgiveness, to carry it with me through out the day. To be aware of my ‘infringements’ and to forgive straight away rather than holding on. Holding on is wasting time. Give up, let go, move on. It’s not rocket science!

Forgiveness. Freedom. Hope.

 

 

 

 

 

Be Calm

When I anticipate a stressful situation, I have this sense of internal panic that occurs. As the time draws closer to the situation, my stress levels rise and my perception of the event (whatever it is) morphs from being like a quiet walk up a gentle slope into an impassable mountain range. At times like this my perception gets ‘out of whack’ with the reality of the situation as I anticipate what can only become a difficult event.

OK, so some of the above sounds a bit melodramatic looking on from the outside but when I’m actually in the thick of the situation, my perception is my reality. And if my perception is skewed, then that becomes my warped and chaotic view of reality. And from the inside, all I can see is a blizzard of feelings and a sense of panic taking flight, feeling trapped and scared, fearful that I’m going to lose it all, and fall down in a pathetic heap and emotionally crash and burn.

So what I’m trying to say is that the view from within this turmoil is a TOTALLY, TOTALLY different landscape from what one sees from outside it. This is probably a fairly accurate picture of how I see my own issues with anxiety and depression. It’s probably also how I would describe mental health issues to someone who hasn’t experienced them but wants to try and understand where someone else is coming from.

The reason I’m writing this is that this coming weekend I have invited some friends from out of town to come and stay. I’m not sure how many nights they will be staying. I’m not good at having other people in my space so this has the potential to be a challenge. Add to that, that my friend is bringing her new husband who I have met but my husband hasn’t. We have a family birthday this weekend and some of my husband’s family coming to town for a few days. On top of this I had invited my nephew and his girlfriend for dinner over the weekend (forgetting I had invited my other friends to stay). At the time it all seemed manageable, but as this weekend approaches I sense the stirring inside me of little fingers of panic. I want to clean and tidy the house in a manic and obsessive manner in an attempt to keep control over my world -which at any point might spin off course and totally out of control.

So in an attempt to keep sanity in both my house and my mind, I have chosen to stop. To be calm. To take stock of the situation and see it for what it really is.

  1. I don’t need to race around the house like a mad woman and clean and tidy everything in an attempt to control my world.
  2. I have called my friend from out of town and they are coming Friday night only and heading off to do other things on Saturday morning. We agreed that we were getting together to catch up on our friendship so there is no need for me to race around and clean the house to within an inch of it’s life. This is about friendship, and I am not being judged on my housekeeping.
  3. I have a call in to my nephew to see when they can come over for dinner – if necessary I can always postpone this for a few days.
  4. That just leaves the family birthday which will predominantly take place on Sunday at a restaurant (not at my house for which I am thankful). Even if this takes most of the day, that still leaves me some time to myself on Saturday afternoon.

OK, so life is now in order and there is space to breathe. The trick was to BE CALM, and to take a step back in order to evaluate the situation, and then to alter/manage my expectations of accordingly. I explained to my friend about my sense of panic/anxiety and emphasized that I want her to come and stay, I just need to be mindful of the internal stuff that may be going on and try to manage those feelings and the associated self-talk. So far, so good.

I want to leave you with this delightful quote:

“You can’t calm the storm so stop trying. What you CAN do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.”                                     –   Timber Hawkeye

 

Life is Fragile

I’ve been thinking about this today: life is fragile.

We are here, and a moment later, we can be gone. Situations change and life changes. Life can change forever in the blink of an eye. The occurrences in Paris this week are reminders that life changes. And the changes made can’t be unchanged. And then, rude though it is, life goes on.

I heard yesterday that a friend is losing her job. It’s not life and death but it’s one of those sudden unplanned changes that have the potential to turn your world upside down. I think of another friend whose world hasn’t been the same since his partner suicided, or an work colleague who didn’t come into work one morning – she’d had a brain aneurysm at the age of 39. We never know what’s just around the corner. I often think of that saying, “there but for the grace of God, go I” when I see a homeless person or a stumbling drunk, or hear of a gambling addict or someone in a car accident – that could have been me.

Life Is Fragile. And in acknowledging the fragility, we also acknowledge that what we have is precious.

I imagine an egg with a tiny hole in the top and bottom of the egg where the white and yolk have been blown out, leaving the hollowed out shell in tact. The shell is all that’s left.. and it is beautiful but fragile – easily broken by one stray move, one unintentional trip on the footpath that is life.

I’m not coming at this from an pessimistic angle – it’s more along the lines of ‘stuff happens’ – life happens, whether we’re ready for it or not. Your life and mine, and what we have or don’t have, will not stay the way it is right now.

We. Are. Fragile.

I am fragile. Life is fragile. Life is precious.

Take time – to think about what you have; to appreciate what you have; to appreciate who you have in your life right now.

Take time to remember the ‘you’ that you are today. Be gentle with you- treasure and nurture you. Because life is fragile and you are precious. And who knows what tomorrow holds?