It’s been a funny few months: Ever since I suffered a cardiac arrest, life has been a little different, to say the least. I’ve done my very best to dust self down, recover and actually just be normal and ordinary. In this post, I thought I’d share with you of what I learnt from being critically ill. They are probably little snippets that we could all incorporate into our lives.
Life is Precious
This is a huge cliche, I realise, but with good reason, because it is true! I’ve tried to rationalise my illness in every which way: I didn’t nearly die (I did); I’m just going to carry on as normal (I do) and not seize the day (unless it involves a holiday); It changed my relationship with my children and husband (it didn’t – I knew I was much better when the kids were playing up again and the husband and I were arguing about the bins) but ultimately if things had been different that night I wouldn’t be here and my husband and children would be living very different lives. Imagine if the husband and I had been arguing that night and not made up? One minute we can be here, and without any prior warning, we can not be here. We all think we’re invincible, but we are not. Your life really is precious.
An old friend of mine recently commented on Facebook that don’t wish your life away: waiting until you get that pay rise, move house, pay off that debt to think you will start living. You are living now, your life is what it is, try to find the pleasure (however small that is).
Carpe Diem, or not as the case may be …
This is a funny one – I haven’t felt the overwhelming urge to be jumping out of planes or making grand plans, but similarly I don’t dwell too much on things I want to do. I make an extra special effort to make those coffee / wine dates and not keep delaying them for no good reason. I also do occasionally treat myself when I wouldn’t have (hello new Charlotte Tilbury Eye palette) but I am certainly not emptying my bank account on those lovely Prada boots I saw on Net A Porter (but if my husband is reading this and as Christmas is around the corner …)
Love every day
I was showered in love and the most amazing gifts when I was ill. We didn’t have to cook for a whole month as friends made sure we had dinner every night. We still have pots of spag bol in the freezer, the love goes on! My recovery was greatly aided by all the love and care that surrounded me. Every day I make sure I show some love back, from kissing the kids and telling they’re beautiful to complimenting a friend or just smiling and being nice. Do it, and as another cliche goes, you are never too important to be kind.
This is the most important thing you can do to help recover from a critical illness. Before my cardiac arrest, I had been doing The Shred, swimming in our fantastic lido and doing Pilates: I was fit and strong. My body didn’t quite ‘bounce back’ but it certainly lurched back in the right direction. Similarly, now I am feeling better I am slowly resuming my exercise routine, and it’s proving to be a sure-fire way to just feel normal and ordinary. Also, running for me, is therapy. Those endorphins really do improve my state of mind.
I have to admit, I’ve decided to upgrade my active wear. The hole-ridden leggings (some leftover from my uni days!) needed to go, as did my dog-chewed trainers. I’ve been browsing on Lyst and saving a few items from their active wear section.
Other People’s Opinions and Thoughts
I’ve almost drowned in these! I will always say, that these thoughts and opinions 100% come from a good place, but sometimes they are a little maladjusted or just the wrong choice of words. It’s easy to get upset, and to moan that people are almost telling you how you should feel, but increasingly, the best thing to do is just smile, and move on. It’s because they care, really.
Celebrating The Ordinary and Normal
Remember, although sometimes it feels boring to be ordinary and normal (however that is defined for you), it really isn’t. I get immense joy from sipping tea whilst shouting at the kids to get ready for school (I realise this might be a temporary thing!)