Grab It Whilst You Can!

Way back in the 1960′s, when I was a teenager, I read a book about two lads having a great time with life and I believe that paperback was called “Grab It While You Can”.  The book has long since been lost or given away and the author’s name a mystery to me now.  Still the title stuck with me as a way of living your life.  Life seems to get shorter with age so I am firmly of the belief that you need to get on living your dreams or whatever life you want to create for yourself.

A couple of weeks ago I was traumatised when I went to see an elderly Aunt only to discover that she had fallen upstairs in her house and could not summon help.  I had to get the police to break a window and a lovely ambulance man dove through and let us in.  I had expected to find her dead, yet what we found was a crumpled heap -  cold but alive.  She had been in her very cold bedroom, on the floor in a nightie, for about 4 hours.  Still she was lucky and is now in hospital and recovering.  She looked so frail when I found her.

The trauma for me was that it re-created when I found my Mother dead.  In both instances my body’s reaction, as I called the emergency services, was to shake uncontrollably.  It has taken me all this time to be able to feel normal again.  My reactions are probably worse because I struggle with Post Traumatic Stress as a result of abuse in childhood. 

Nevertheless, it has been a good reminder that we all need to grab life NOW!  I have so much I want to do and time seems to be shortening.  When young you feel as if you have forever to accomplish your dreams.  Not so…get on with it.

Bereavement and ill health are forms of loss.  You can also experience loss and need to grieve when you lose a job, a pet, a friend, a relationship.  Learn to understand that the process of grief is, in simplistic terms: feelings of unreality (shock), sadness, anger (yes even if unreasonably at the person who has died and abandoned you) and acceptance. 

This is not a linear progression.  You can be sad one minute and angry the next.  The feelings can come at inappropriate times like whilst shopping.  The first year is the hardest and the second is slightly easier to bear when there is a serious loss.  If you feel stuck in grief do get some counselling to help you move on.  Whatever you have lost cannot be returned into your life by holding on to the pain of the loss.

Luckily in my thirties I experienced ten family deaths in six years.  A lot for any person.  I now consider it fortunate as I was forced to learn to cope through those losses.  My e-book Loss is Part of Life is available in this website’s book store or via Amazon worldwide.  It was written with the intention to help provide support and understanding.

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Olympics 2012 and The Lives of Women

Even I have succumbed to the Olympic fever and watched the women’s judo.  So inspiring.  It is truly a sign of social change that there are so many female athletes at the Olympics now.

I was brought up by an English Mother who expected me to be a ‘lady’ as that was the way she had been raised.  The reality is that I am a mixture as my Father was an American army sergent, from the outback of New Hampshire, and he tried to teach me to do carpentry and car mechanics (and, yes, there have been many times I wish I had listened).

Now you have to take into account that the world was very different for women especially in the 1950′s when I was born.  Flowery summer dresses below the knee, and in winter my Mum wore tweed skirts, twinsets and pearls…even just in the house.

The sexual revolution of the 1960′s did not really impact on my life as I was too young to experiment with that kind of freedom, but it did change the lives of women as The Pill gave them freedom of choice.  Still it did not go as far as women ‘fighting’ as in judo and boxing like today.  Ladies being that physical would have been unthinkable.

Ballet, acrobatics, and tap dancing was the extent of my physical exercise except in the winter we did go ice skating.  When I left school I went to work – shocking as I was expected to stay at home with my parents until I got married and had children.  Not me – I got a job and a bed sit so that was another move away from being a lady.

In my thirties I did jog and I went cross country skiing.  More for losing weight than for the activity itself.  Would I have been an Olympic competitor if I had a different childhood?  I doubt it.  I have always preferred to curl up with a book -  do you think that is why I have ended up as an Author?

Congratulations to all the women, from all over the world, who are Olympians.  It is a great sporting achievement to be there and also the hallmark of a change in the social history of women.

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