The first hint of sunshine in a small eternity and a trip outdoors - it sure does lend itself to a healthy dose of perspective.
Today is Stu's Dad's anniversary. A day of contemplation, of nostalgia, of a million different emotions.
Rod was a hell of a human. Gentle, generous and driven; life was something he squeezed every last bit of joy out of, day after day, cancer or no cancer. Remembering his relentless optimism today as we took a walk around Festival Gardens in the year's first bit of proper sunshine made me think a great deal.
Lately, life has kind of just felt like it was happening to me. There's just been so much ... stuff. Good and bad. Somewhere along the way I tuned out. I realised the loss of control had made me flounder somewhat - disconnect and regress into unhealthy thought patterns. I'm not good enough. I'm not well enough. I will always be bested by someone or something.
I also realised the loss of control was something that I had subconsciously chosen.
Don't get me wrong, nothing we can ever do will stop life poking us around. Shit happens, right? But how we handle it, how we react to it, even how we feel about it is entirely our choosing. Every problem was a challenge to Rod. There was no such thing as a disaster. That was a mindset he actively worked to maintain every single day. I want to be more like that.
So, I made a different choice. I was taking back hold of this shit.
I'd already given up sugar for lent, which I knew was a healthy decision for my health and my body. But, hot damn, was I bitching about missing cake. I cut that out, immediately. Complaining is toxic, most especially to our own minds. It's amazing how quickly I recovered my energy after that.
I also stopped providing myself with excuses for not going to the gym, even though I always ended up going anyway. I want to be the fittest and healthiest version of myself possible, so getting my arse on that treadmill is a must. Black and white. No point quivering about it for an hour before hand.
I got my focus back, I started writing things down again, giving myself purpose, setting targets. This is what I know, this is how I move forward. I started to appreciate what I feel is exactly right in my life - my home, my relationship - and what I want to change about the stuff that feels a bit wonky.
After all, our lives are not creations of fate, or chance, or even circumstance. Our lives are blank canvases, just waiting for our best work. So decide. Choose. What are you going to do with yours?
I promise, it's entirely up to you.