My mum recently gave me a silver tea set. Which is kind of funny because I've never drunk a cup of tea or coffee in my whole life! Even so, I really rather like it, from the sugar bowl and tea strainer to the teeny tiny spoons. It kind of reminds me of days gone by, when people did things 'proper'. Of course the silver tea set (or in my grandmother's case the china tea set with the ivy pattern and gold trim) only came out on special occasions. Why do we do that, do you think? Save all the good things for special occasions? Why can't we feel special every day? Why do we keep the good stuff locked away, out of sight, out of mind? What exactly are we waiting for?
I don't really know where today's post is going, it's just something that was in my head that I had to get out. I think it's to do with mortality. Over the past two weeks, five people I know have passed away and another is just hanging in there. Only one of them did not have cancer. The youngest was just 35. To hear of his passing was a huge jolt and as the sun beamed in through my window that Saturday morning when I read the news, all I could think of was that he would never get to enjoy a beautiful day like this again. All the many, many things he would never get to do that I still could. And I realised that for a long time I hadn't been making the most of my life.
So I jumped out of bed, got dressed and went for a walk in the sunshine. I walked and walked for hours. I had a great long chat on the roadside with one of my favourite people, picked up a random toddler called George having a tantrum on the pavement and delivered him back to his family, saw a lady with rainbow hair, breathed in the salty sea air, saw starfish of every shape and size - so many little things which made me happy. Then that afternoon I got out in the garden for the first time in months and months and had fun sprucing up the deck and yard, moving things around and potting up plants. By the time I'd finished I was exhausted! That night I slept better than in longer than I can remember.
I realise all these things will seem like absolutely nothing, but you see for the longest time I hadn't done anything. Not really. I'd just been living on auto pilot, going through the motions, getting through each day. And if I'm honest, most days I couldn't wait for them to end. Every single part of my energy was so focused on where the next dollar was coming from and how I was going to survive that in the end that was all I did. Survive, but not live. I didn't want to see anyone, talk to anyone, I shut everyone out. You probably wouldn't think that was the case with me being such a Facebook addict but Facebook is different; you don't have to deal with 'people'. You can do and say all the right things without anyone ever knowing that you didn't have the physical or mental energy to get out of bed and join the human race today.
That weekend I got my mojo back. I also realised it was the first true weekend off I'd had since probably the start of the year. Every other weekend I was either working or writing my arse off trying to make money when I didn't have work. It felt so wonderful to finally have some free time and do something productive, something fun, something for ME that I made a rule never to do that again. From now on, weekends will not be spent slogging my guts out unless it's in the garden, or bush walking. Talking of walking, ever since that day I have been leaving my car at home and walking everywhere whenever possible. I used to love walking, it's good for the soul but I'd stopped doing that a long time ago too. In just two weeks I've lost weight, got my fitness back and am so much happier in myself. And why wouldn't I be? Today I actually counted how many people waved and said hello to me as I walked from one end of town to the other - it was 42! Not a bad effort for a hermit!
And another thing, I've started wearing my armour around the place too. You wouldn't guess it to look at me but I am! I'm not talking about a medieval suit or a bullet proof vest though - I'm talking about my hair! Years ago I met a very gifted psychic who told me that wearing red is like putting on a suit of armour; it brightens you up and makes you feel strong. Unfortunately I don't own anything red but I adapted his way of thinking into something which works for me - I wear pigtails! The best thing about having happy hair is that it doesn't just make me happy, it makes other people smile too. Seriously, try it sometime - everyone is always super nice to you when you have pigtails!
The other day Ali's dad took him and a friend hunting. His friend had never been hunting before and as they reached the top of a big hill and took in the view both the boys were amazed at the view before them. 'Woah, this is awesome!' Ali's mate said, seriously impressed. 'What's stopping you boys from doing this every day? Nothing!' said Ali's dad. The boys looked at each other and shrugged, knowing he spoke the truth. The only thing which stops most of us from making the most of each day is ourselves. I might not drink tea and I most likely never will but following the loss of so many dear friends I have made a vow to myself to be a Silver Tea Set Girl. To my mind, this is someone who makes every day a special occasion, who takes delight in the small and simple things and doesn't have to wait for something or someone special to come along but finds something beautiful in every day just as it is. There is so much more to life than work or money. Sure it's important - but it should never be everything. There are people to wave to, friends to hug, bright colours to wear, flowers to pick, miles to walk, starfish to count, hills to climb and so much more. To my five friends who are no longer living, thank you for reminding me our time on this earth is not to be wasted. RIP x