As we approach the end of the year I’ve been reflecting on the many surprising and unexpected events that have taken place this year. The world has experienced major political and environmental events that have left many of us reeling. What was once a pretty predictable landscape has been shattered, perhaps never to be repaired. What was taken for granted may be gone for ever.
These events have made me think deeply about what I value and what I’d struggle to live without. These things, I realised are my treasure.
My treasure, at this time in my life consists of three things, my family, my health and my time alone.
For me, 2016 started with an unexpected death in the family, followed by numerous other unexpected events and accidents some of which were quite unpleasant. However, squirming aside, these things have reminded me that my family should not and must not be taken for granted, especially because we have been blessed with strong loving relationships. This year has reminded me above all that none of us are here forever.
My family is my treasure because as a unit and an idea it’s constantly evolving and changing as generations are born, grow up and grow old. I’ve not looked at my family in this way much as my role as a daughter and then more recently, a mother has been constant over the years. Until this year, the previous structure and dynamics were recognisable but is now less so.
Although I’ve always been extremely appreciative of my immediate and extended family, I realise that I’ve been guilty of taking its structure and relationships for granted. I’ve been abruptly reminded of this at the beginning and again at the end of this year. Seeing these changes have reminded me just how precious my family is.
This year has also reminded me how fragile good health is. I learned this lesson the hard way last year after my father’s stroke, but it seems as though I started to forget the lesson until as it appeared like a slap in the face again this year. With health I’ve learned that if you snooze you lose. Or should I say, if you don’t look after your it, like a partner and relationship, things will deteriorate and it will leave you.
This year has been a rude awakening for me and a few of my friends due to our health. We’ve faced mysterious and sometimes serious health challenges often with no warning. This has left us in shock feeling fragile. Perhaps it’s been a such a surprise because I may be in denial that I’m getting older as the 4-0 milestone quickly approaches. Or maybe its been a shock because most of us have kept fit and looked after ourselves as we’ve been told to over the years. Thankfully, I’ve made a full recovery but this isn’t the case for some of my friends. Whatever the reason, I’m ending this year more appreciative of my body and all that it does for me.
Finally, my time alone is one of my treasures because it’s something that I don’t always have and certainly haven’t protected as I should because of family demands on my time. I’ve found that a moment of peace and quiet does wonders for me as I feel recharged and re-energised. I’ve also noticed that I feel even better if I’m able to read, think or just relax and do nothing. This is something that I’ve not been able to do much this year until recently but each time that I do, I see an immediate improvement in how I feel and approach everything afterwards. I’ve finally realised that Me Time isn’t just about me, it’s about those around me as everyone around me benefits in the long-term as I’m less stressed and dare I say, calmer at home.
I look around at my friends and family and realise that I’m not alone with not having time for myself. Everyone is constantly on the go, especially mothers who are always working to satisfy the needs of their children and partners, as well as often giving their all at work. As a result, time alone has become a luxury. I really believe it should become part of everyone’s day, week and month and used, or not used as desired. As result, I’ve decided that my time alone is something that I’ll protect going forwards. I’ve committed to looking after myself by putting aside at least half a day every month. So let’s see how I go.
My treasure consists of three things that I value and try to look after carefully, my family, my health and my time alone. The best way to explain how these are connected for me is through the concept of Me, Myself and I. My family is me (my mind), my health is myself (my body) and my alone time is I (my soul).
Without one, I am weaker, with all three I am complete. This is my treasure. What’s yours?