Every year I think of how to make myself a better person. Last year it was the focus on achieving professionally, and sorting out my need for approval from others, the year before it was kicking the depression demon into touch….and on those two fronts I did well, innit.

This year, though, I don’t want to do anything. This year is not about sorting myself out; it’s about living without looking inwards. I don’t need to look inwards any more: some things are just more important – and besides, I’m happy.

It’s funny how perspective on life can change, like a fine wine carried up a mountain changing with the air quality; and mine has changed so quickly (so quickly) within the past two months as the lump in my dad’s neck was possibly cancerous, then definitely cancerous but curable, then perhaps not curable, and had most likely spread to the bone marrow in his back. When we got the call today which said that the abnormal cells found on scans were almost certainly not linked to the cancer in his neck, the relief – no, joy – was so palpable that I let out all the stress I’d been holding in my chest…arms…shoulders…and I breathed. My mother did too – and collapsed with exhaustion.

Two months ago, my father having possibly long-term glandular fever was the worst thing we could imagine – a restriction on his freedom, aged 60 – and now, cancer not having spread further than the lymph nodes, with options of radio- and chemotherapy, is so good. The love in our family which binds us together seems greater, somehow, in crisis, as if it was there all along but we just didn’t notice it.

It’s odd what lessons life throws and what they can teach us. I now want to seize the moment; live; have fun and stop taking control. I dream now of a life of words, friends, family, laughs, love and happiness, with the occasional irresponsible moment – like a blot on a near-perfect landscape…just to liven things up a bit, as long as it hurts nobody else, and it’s already brilliant. It’s already meaning that I can chill; feel the beauty in little things and surrender to myself rather than others.

Guess this is, pour moi, the pinnacle of New Year’s Resolutions: one which isn’t really a resolution, but, somehow, an anti-resolution…a thought which is half-formed and intangible but achievable too. I’m ready to receive, not chase any more. I’m sick of chasing…it inevitably feels more like rabbit-in-headlights than rabbit-leading-car (as in this viral video from a couple of months ago

Ironic, really.


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