Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Get back into life

I’ve been dealing with emotions and thoughts around death lately. Last week, a friend committed suicide; a couple of weeks ago, a friend’s father died; and a couple of weeks before that, a friend’s daughter died. Last year, two suicides and a death from cancer.

Naturally, such events make me sad, but they also make me re-evaluate my life. I find myself feeling guilty when someone dies prematurely, as though I should be living life more fully. And I should. Not because someone else never had the chance, but because when my final day comes, I want to look back at a full life.

I find life often turns into a daily grind: work, chores, rest, sleep, work chores, rest, sleep. I get so wrapped up in it and so tired from it that I cease doing the little things that give me joy. These things include writing, bike riding, sitting on the beach, reading, meeting with friends, going out with my husband, as well as others. I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about.

Well, enough feeling sorry for myself. It’s time to get back into life. For starters, my DH and I are planning the Canada Day weekend up in Ottawa, where he’s from. He’s already booked a hotel. We’re going to socialize with old friends, sit in outdoor pubs, and dance late into the nights. We’ll explore some of the lovely sites Ottawa has to offer by day. I’m really looking forward to it.

What are some of the things you’ve let slide that really bring you joy?


Rene said...

Wow, Nienke, that is some heavy stuff and you are right, it does make you feel guilty because you haven't lived life to the fullest. I'm constantly feeling that way.

I'm not writing as much as I like. I don't sew like I used to. I don't read like I used to. I've started cooking again. But necessity had a part there. I don't enjoy my children like I should and I'm going to work on that this summer.

Anonymous said...

I try to not let things slide, other than cleaning the house that is, meaning that for me chores are lower on the priority list. Sorry, don't mean to sound preachy, and if you'd seen my place you'd understand it's not all good to let chores slide :)
Anyway, I try to make sure I spend enough time with hubby and family, travel often and do 'things for the soul', like writing fiction and reading good books.

Deanna said...

I dont paint enough.. not that I ever painted a lot, but I have images that float through my head, that I believe I could create on canvas, or not. In the meantime, I manage the colour portion of my life through the characters that surround me. I do believe that there will come a time when I will let the magic unfold, but now is not the time, and besides the piant brushes are buried beneath the crayons and craft scissors.

Melissa Amateis said...

You've been through quite a lot lately, Nienke. So sorry you had to go through all that.

I try to remember to do the little things, but don't always succeed. When my daughter and I take a walk, we will often stop and literally "smell the flowers."

I've let my housework slide lately and have indulged in reading, writing, and even taking a nap. I get tired of the daily grind, too, and I wish there was a way out of it. But that all important "money" thing gets in the way.

Anonymous said...

The thing I usually let slide the most is exercise. I try to keep going on the exercise because it helps me to keep my energy level and mood up. It also keeps me on track with my writing, so it's not a good thing to let slide. :-( I enjoy it, too. I don't really let other enjoyable things slide. I know I need them to maintain my sanity. :-)

I hope things are better for you soon.

Anonymous said...

Rene: sometimes necessity brings about joy. You're right, heavy stuff, and I just found out another close friend just lost her father-in-law today. I wish people would stop dying!
Deanna: YOU can also use crayons and craft scissors to espress your creativity!
Melissa: Thanks. You are so wise to spend moments like that with your daughter. Boo to money.
Bren: Thanks. I just hired a personal trainer - start tomorrow. I hope getting in shape will help my energy level too.

Anonymous said...

Melly: family and your soul are definitely good priorities. With me, the housework and chores just slide along with the rest of it. Working on it tho.

Sandy J said...

Sorry for all that you have been through. {{{Hugs}}}

Reading in a hot bubble bath.
Going to a bookstore.
Going to a scrapbooking store.
Girls night out at dinner.

Jean said...

That's a lot to deal with Nienke. Hugs to you.

What have I let slide?

I don't participate in life very well. At this point, I really don't know what brings me joy. On the bright side, my watercolor books arrived today and the rest of my "beginner yoga" stuff came in, so I'm looking forward to doing more in that area.

On the downside, I really am disappointed in myself for letting my health slip this much. I'm only 45, and I expected to be in better health, so I, too, am trying to figure out how to reclaim some of the vitality I remember so well.