“Let’s be careful out there”
Feeling nostalgic. Grey outside – what day is it? Sunday? Monday? Takes a minute or two to work out if it is still the weekend or the start of the working week – for some. For others it is just another day in lockdown. So, it’s important that I get up, get dressed and take the dog out. In the park I see a mum with her two toddlers, and not only can I remember this time clearly, I can actually feel it. It’s a good feeling – warm and fuzzy and makes me smile. And it got me thinking about those days which in a way were easier because I knew what were my roles. I was the mother of 3 boys, I was a daughter, I was a sister, I was a wife and I was a journalist. I am still a mother but a different kind of mother. My parents, my brother and my husband are all dead. So now I have to find a new role, a new purpose. A recent survey of almost 7000 adults between the ages of 51 and 61 showed that having a purpose decreases your chance of premature death. And those without a sense of purpose were almost twice as likely to die in the four years of the study. If COVID doesn’t get me than I would hate it to be my lack of purpose that does the deed. Izzy was bored with my musing and sat patiently with the ball in her mouth waiting to play. She looked very grey round the mouth, her jowls drooped, she was panting and she looked old. Actually, we have a lot in common! “How would you like a little puppy to play with,” I asked. She cocked her head to one side, and I am sure I heard her say, “Really another small thing in the house, a cat is not enough. Stop prevaricating find your purpose?” Izzi is a very intelligent dog – a cross between a Belgium Shepherd and a Collie. Actually she would hate another interloper – it was bad enough when the kitten arrived. Before lockdown I was busy. I was arranging a wedding which of course didn’t happen. I was already starting to organise the annual Stand Up for London’s Air Ambulance Comedy Night and the second Tod Talk charity event. I was working with companies to organise regular donations for the Asylum Drop In that I volunteered with, did my training with The Felix Food Bank Project and I had a number of exciting travel trips arranged. Plus, I had my Gym and Bridge. Now I need to find a purpose that works with my current lockdown status until they find a vaccine which will allow me to get back into the world. I know I am exceedingly fortunate, and I am mindful of those who have to cope with very difficult circumstances. And I am remembering a book a friend gave me a few years ago – Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. Not an easy read. But an important book. Frankl describes his daily experiences and observations of his life inside the concentration camp in Nazi Germany. It is where he developed his beliefs about how one can sustain a desire to live even under the most inhumane and desperate circumstances. The inmates who had a sense of purpose were more likely to survive the degrading conditions of the camp. Obviously, my search for a sense of purpose in no way compares with the life these people had in Frankl’s concentration camp, but it does show the importance of finding meaningful goals when life get rough. So, people I am up for suggestions. Open to all ideas. Message me.