Press the pause button (or someone else will)

I haven’t blogged about it until now because it was difficult to know exactly what was going on, but I’ve been ill on and off for a reasonably long time, and more seriously so since the start of 2012. Resulting in, at the end of April, the removal of my gallbladder. As a ‘fun’ added complication I also had a kidney stone – a sign that my body really was saying “enough!”.

Things in my life have been non-stop since the middle of 2011. Some fun things, some not so fun – but all ultimately stressful and eventful. There’s a tendency to wish for excitement and for something to happen when you feel life is too plain or you’re in a bit of a creative dip. I’m not blameless there. Sometimes I felt like I was missing out on opportunities and things that might pass me by and never come round again. And then I got busy. And I got some of the things I wanted, and other things I didn’t, and they all had to be dealt with. And I got ill. But I kept putting off dealing with it. And then I got more ill and suddenly there was no way of avoiding it. I was waiting for surgery. Everything else just had to stop.

And you know what? Things went on without me, money got tight because I couldn’t work as much as usual, and meetings were Skyped rather than face-to-face. Some things had to be cancelled or postponed, and some things were missed, never to come round again. And that was ok. Because in fact, some things were gained – both seemingly insignificant and important.

* I may have spent an extra day and sleepless night in hospital, hopped up on morphine in a near-empty ward with 2 complete strangers from Bonnyrigg, but I survived and I knew I’d get out. It quite unintentionally turned into inspiration for a new project. It wasn’t fun but it was eventful, occasionally hilarious and one of the more bizarre experiences in my life so far.

* I’ve been introduced to the musical wonders, and they truly are wonders, of Ludovico Einaudi, thanks to a very thoughtful friend. And reintroduced to the wonders of Jeff Buckley, by another good soul.

* I’ve been able to spend wonderfully creative time with my niece and family, rather than always feeling like I should be working. I really do appreciate the chance to sit and share a crossword with my Mum.

* Now my wounds are healing, I can have a hot shower (bliss!), and eat something other than clear soup which was basically my diet for 2 months.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware I haven’t exactly had open-heart surgery, so I don’t mean to dramatise the event itself. But for me, at this point in my life, it’s been a bit of a wake-up call as to whether my priorities are lying in the correct place. I’ve got a few more weeks of healing to do, then things are going to change around here. For the better.

I know I’ll be back busy before I know it, but I’m going to try to keep appreciating the ‘small stuff’, because it’s that small stuff that is the glue that holds all our grand schemes and plans in place.


2 thoughts on “Press the pause button (or someone else will)

  1. Sorry you've gone through this Mandy, but very glad you're feeling better. And hooray for actually looking after oneself – something I need to get better at. Looking forward to hearing about your new projects 🙂

    Clare x


  2. Thanks Clare, I think we all need to reconsider our priorities sometimes. Hope you and your creative endeavours are doing well. Mx


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