Letters to Life

Letters to Life (60)

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”Dolly Parton

 


Dear Life,

I once read that after 30 days of trying something new, it will become normal.

Today is day 49 of the Dutch quarantine.

Last Thursday, Life, you found me on a bench outside the local supermarket, waiting for my mother to return from a small errand. Sure, I could have gone in with her, but we’re only allowed into the store with a cart. And two carts for one bottle of milk seemed a bit too much. So I remained outside, in the sun, sitting on a bench more than the specified 1.5 metres away from the rest of the human world.

Meanwhile, a line of people started forming, all patiently waiting for a disinfected shopping cart to take into the supermarket. One girl was burdened with the task of cleaning the carts, one at a time, and handing them to the customers, one at a time. Even if it was taking a lot of time, nobody complained. People laughed. People talked. People were understanding.

I simply stared at the scene in front of me, Life, and felt sad. Despite people’s merriness in times like this, I couldn’t help but wonder what the world will look like post-corona. Maybe I am moving too fast in my thinking, but I know that nothing lasts forever, Life, and this too shall pass. Eventually.

Never one to like the ordinary, the first two weeks of quarantine I surprisingly found myself longing for “normal”. Now, with Quarantine Week 8 lurking around the corner, normal has changed. I’ve actually gotten used to the current state of affairs.

I hope that whatever you have in store for us, Life, us humans will carry it with pride like we do now. And that we’ll keep our merry spirits indefinitely.

Until the new normal will have, once again, been redefined.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you are all in good health and spirits. Let’s all hope our current normal will quickly be followed by a better version ❤
Letters to Life

Letters to Life (60)

“Sometimes it is better to lose something than to never have had it at all”Random Paper Wisdom

Dear Life Corona Virus,

What IS your problem, exactly? What have I, or any other living creature, ever done to you to be treated this way?

I know it’s not your doing that caused a dear client of mine to die. No, that was cancer (and I’ve tried pleading with cancer many times, but always in vain). I was grateful I got to say goodbye to her in person, albeit illegally regarding the strict rules you‘ve forced our country to employ, but hearing of her inevitable passing actually happening still made me sad.

I know it’s not your doing either, COVID-19, that forced me to say goodbye to my dear pet Darwin, for that was a seizure. But it was painful all the more so since I wasn’t even allowed to hold him when the vet ended his suffering. Because of you.

And I know it’s also not your doing that caused my aunt to die, either. That was cancer striking again with its ever so terrible timing.

I know none of these happenings are your fault, Corona Virus, but you do make it worse. Because funerals and cremations are now a big no-go, as you might spread swiftly among the mourning people, causing more damage than their grief alone ever could.

You force invisible barriers between us and make it more painful to deal with Life’s already unfavourable events. You layer the hurt with more hurt.

What we have done to deserve you, I will never know. But I do know that you will not get me down! Because all the people I’ve lost this week, all the souls I’ll have to miss from now on, live on in my heart ❤

And there’s no place for you there, COVID-19! Instead of the fear you’ve unleashed upon this world, my heart is filled with hope, gratitude and love.

Forever ❤

 

 

For J., Darwin and G. ❤ ❤ ❤
Goals

GOAL POST (4) – Step 2: Be Realistic

  • CURRENTLY WORKING ON: Goal 1 – Feel Better


Step 2 – Be Realistic

As I pick up the phone my heart picks up its pace. I really don’t want to do this. Every fibre in my being is telling me to hang up while I still can, retreat NOW.

Well, every fibre but one: my common sense.

I know it takes more than a few people implying I am going crazy to actually go crazy, yet I can’t help but fear today’s attempted visit to the doctor’s office will result in just another let-down. Toss it onto the pile of disappointment: you will never feel better, we won’t help you.

Why was I doing this again? Why did I get my hopes up despite knowing better?

Oof, no time to answer that as the fake chirpy voice of the doctor’s assistant pulls me back into reality (I know it’s fake chirpy because last time I called she refused me an appointment and we got caught in an argument – remember?).

So last blog post I felt better and made a new blogging schedule. Then I started feeling worse and failed to follow that schedule. What else is new?

I’ll tell you what is: I relented. I promised myself no more doctor visits yet there I was, with my phone representing my last resort as I pressed the call-button, hoping nobody would be in, while at the same time crossing my fingers for the opposite.


“Bamboo is flexible, bending with the wind but never breaking, capable of adapting to any circumstance”Ping Fu


Here is the joke: even if everyone is telling you that you are imagining things, that you need to stop acting as if you’ve got the lead in a drama: listen to yourself.

If things do not feel okay, you have every right to find out what’s causing your issues, no matter who’s screaming louder than you that you’re feigning it.

And if you’re like me: relentless, maybe a little too headstrong for your own good, it’s the same voice you need to listen to. If in reality you’re fighting a battle you can’t possibly win without some help: get help. There’s no need to keep your guard up so high: it’s you who’s talking to you. Listening alone won’t harm you.

I spent weeks being exhausted, dizzy (to the extent of not being able to stand or walk), light-headed and in the company of constant headaches. Not to mention my practically sub-zero blood pressure.

I imagined it was my iron running low (it’s happened before) and that I’d be able to fix it myself with extra supplements.

I was wrong.

Unwilling to be realistic about this, I kept struggling for a few weeks more until I had to face the truth: I need help to get through this.

Tomorrow I’m going to have some blood taken. In the end, my doctor decided not only to check for low iron, but for a hormone marker as well.

Which just goes to show: if I had denied myself this doctor visit, I’d never have gotten any wiser as to what’s really bothering me.

Choosing yourself doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. Stay realistic about your situation and ask for help if you need it.

Are you stubborn, too, or do you easily ask for help? Let me know in the comments! ↓↓↓

Letters to Life

Letters to Life (59)

“What comes up, must come down. But you and me, we’re floating above the ground”Mika (from: Stay High)


Dear Life,

After months of looking forward to it, February 13th was finally there: Mika’s concert in the Netherlands!

I can’t say I am a huge fan, Life, because you and me both know I am too lazy practical to spend a whole lot of time figuring this man’s life out (nor do I really care that much), but I do very much appreciate his music and live shows.

His latest album had been living inside my CD player for months, which was my most active attempt at getting his new songs down in time before the gig.

It’s just a little disappointing that I lost my voice a day before. But I reckon squealing along is better than sitting at home crying.

Mika’s show ended up teaching me a valuable lesson (or two) as well:

First, Life, I did not know it was humanly possible to have so much fun. Or maybe I forgot. People from all ages, cultural backgrounds and social statuses came together to have a blast – which we did. For one night, for a few hours, none of it mattered. We were all alike. Problem-, worry-, and hate-free.

Second, after searching the web for pictures of the show afterwards (I am always too lazy busy singing and dancing to take any myself), I accidentally found out Mika’s mother is ill. Very ill. Not-sure-she’s-going-to-make-it-ill.

If I was amazed at his performances before, I’m even more so now. For I can slightly imagine the horrors he must be facing, since my mother’s been there, too.

Which is exactly why I closed off my internet immediately, ran to my mum and held her.

She’s here still. I have her. I’ll lose her one day, but not today.

Enjoy yourself, but never take anything for granted ❤

Or, in Mika’s words: “Love today.”

 

 

 

 

Goals

GOAL POST (2) – Step 1: Choose Yourself

  • Currently working on: Goal 1 – Feel Better

First, a quick recap of last week:

1. My father is doing much better – thank goodness! He’s got all sorts of tests planned and meetings with a new doctor, which gives me and my mother some relief and hope.

2. I am doing slightly better. My blood pressure went up, albeit a little. I’ve been boosting my iron by paying extra attention to my food and snack consumption and that seems to work. I feel better than I did a week ago as well.

3. This pains me to say but… Waldo didn’t make it 😦 He was too weak to try more medication, which was likely to not have helped him anyway, and he was only getting worse. So last Friday, together with the vet, I decided to let him go.


Step 1 – Choose Yourself

It’s funny how seemingly small things sometimes harbour the most important life lessons.

As I started my 2020 Goals, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could come up with a list of things to do or steps to take to get better. You know, much like climbing a ladder.

I would use my own path to figure the steps out and then share them with anyone who might need them, too. But as I decided this was a fun adventure (and a great way to find a positive note in my current low state) a problem arose: where to start?

If you want to climb a ladder, you have to be careful where to plant your feet as every step counts. As for trying to get better, it’s no use starting halfway. You need to start right at the bottom and work your way up, one step at a time. You need to be patient, sometimes maybe even lower yourself down a sport, but never skip a step.

That, I knew. Begin at the beginning.


“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water”Rabindranath Tagore


But what is the first step to take then?

The seemingly small thing that happened last week was a simple text message I received. It was short. It was curt. It was rude. It was even a little disrespectful in my opinion, if not completely disdainful.

What happened then was new to me: nothing. I didn’t bite back. I didn’t up my defences. I didn’t even feel attacked! Nothing. The message might as well have never been sent, because I literally couldn’t care less about it.

That night, as I was in bed, falling asleep, I realised that in the past, a silly thing such as this message would have kept me up for nights on end. So what had changed? Had I suddenly stopped caring?

No. What changed is what I choose to care about. And somewhere in the past four months, I chose myself.

I want to get better. And for that, I need myself. My own full attention. My own devotion. Knowing I’ll have my own back.

Right before I dozed off and had the best night of sleep in months, I knew. The first step is always to choose yourself. Before you can climb that ladder, you have to know what you’re climbing it for. And if you’re not doing it for you, there’s no use in trying.

What steps are you taking to become a healthier, happier person? Let me know in the comments and let’s help each other get on the way 🙂