The BBC Film Marvellous, a true story about the truly inspiring Neil Baldwin, gave me a much needed boot of positive up the backside the other day.
“I’ve always wanted to be happy, so I decided to be.”
I watched Neil speak this line, then scrolled back and watched it again, and again…perhaps 5 or 6 times. Read it again. It is THAT simple.
I may risk sounding somewhat trite, or platitudinous here, but I think it is worth it. Life is simply what you make it.
Ok, I hear you, voice of doom in my head. I cannot “make” my MS go away, my legs stop being tired, my brain stop forming nasty little lesions…But, and it is a hugely significant BUT – a HOWEVER, no less – I can choose how that changes my life.
This is not stopping me in my tracks, it is redrawing the course. And it may well be – no it WILL be – that I choose to make that course far more exciting and significant as a result. Without MS I would simply have plodded on, not entirely unsatisfactorily, but with less of a sense of urgency and purpose.
So, urgency and purpose newly installed, I have decided to follow Neil’s example. I have always wanted to be happy, and I have been, for a large proportion of my life thus far. So I have decided to continue to be happy. To be happier. To look back on this time of uncertainty and seismic shifts in my life as the time that life began to get even better, richer, more meaningful…
So I am working on a plan. It is multi-faceted – not one huge life change, but lots of small choices that will, I hope, add up to a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. My list of “things I have always wanted to do” is under constant review, and I have begun the process of mapping out how I can start to tick them off, as well as discovering new things to add to this list along the way. Some items have had to be rejigged – running a marathon may need to become a different but equally exciting trial. But I am relishing the challenge of a more creative approach.
Another heart- stopping line from Neil Baldwin is urging me on; when a friend asked in amazement how he managed to end up as a regular on the launch at the Oxford-Cambridge boat race, his reply was stunningly, beautifully straightforward.
“I just asked.”
It really is that simple.