Monday, 13 January 2014

1st newspaper column on Wellbeing.

Just before Christmas 2013, I was asked by the York Press, if I would write a monthly column on Wellbeing for a relaunched Health, Beauty and Wellbeing.

It was published today, Monday January 13th. 2014. It was written using my real name, as the paper is a local paper and my practice was in York.

Newspapers and magazines are full of quizzes in January. Here’s another one about my life:

What have the following in common?

Managing the events after my husband became suddenly unwell in October.
Mislaying credit cards on Christmas Eve.
Seeing the damage done to peoples’ property in the recent storms.
Finding a diary from 1978, in a January declutter.

The answers are in reverse order. 

No: 4: Looking at old diaries can be a bittersweet activity. There’s a possibility of disturbing memories which are best left in the past. An entry for Wednesday, December 28th, 1978 read, ‘The shops are still shut.” Wow!, How did we manage with such deprivation? How did we do without all that stuff we needed? Except, for the majority of items, they weren’t needed at all. Just wanted and we went without them, because there wasn’t an alternative.

No: 3. On Christmas Eve, somewhere between a bank in town and getting off a bus at home, I mislaid my purse or perhaps it was stolen.  Cancelling credit and debit cards is easy. Frustration arises from receiving new ones through the post over a long holiday period. Even online banking is useless without a card by your side. Result? For over a week, I managed well on what was already in the house. I could have borrowed in an emergency, but I had everything I needed and only went without things that I wanted. 

No: 2. Conversations turned to how traumatic it must be to have your home damaged by extreme weather and what would we save, if given little warning. Laptops, photos, some books and records. While it would be upsetting to lose the furniture and furnishings, I know from previous experiences, that materially, what seems upsetting to lose, is nothing compared with life itself. Life is the most precious acquisition we have.

Which brings me to No:1. For a week in October, my husband’s life was all that mattered. The important plans didn’t matter. The vital appointments and meetings didn’t matter. My surroundings, clothing, bills, wrinkles, didn’t really matter. Life is what mattered. Medical staff, family and friends were precious too.


Do you need something or just want it? The following may be helpful: 

I asked for strength and I was given difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom and I was given problems to learn to solve.
I asked for prosperity and I was given brain and brawn to work.
I asked for courage and I was given dangers to overcome.a I asked for love and I was given troubled people to help.
I asked for favours and I was given opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted.
I received everything I needed.
Adapted from a prayer by Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

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