I used to think that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy anything, until I had completely recovered from the illness that completely characterised my life. How can I do anything while I’m barely able to mop up a spillage without having to go back to bed? How can I achieve anything when I’ve had to drop out of university? How could anyone love me when it’s clear that I’m mad? No – none of these things can possibly happen until I get better.
I lost hope in ever achieving anything and resigned myself to a future of simply managing the symptoms of my illness without moving forward. Time rolled past and life continued without me. But I remember having a chat with someone and they encouraged me to enjoy the journey. At the time nobody could have guessed how much impact this would have on my life. I suppose it’s linked somehow with the mindfulness stuff I’ve written about before, basically enjoying the moment, but it goes deeper than that too and I wanted you guys to know about it.
It is easy to believe that our life will re-start once we have recovered, and not before. This is a lie. If we allow life to roll on by without us playing a part, we will inevitably miss things – potentially things which could bring us great enjoyment and healing. When you’re walking up a mountain you could ignore the views with an aim to reaching the ultimate view at the top, but in doing so you’re bound to miss countless beautiful sights on the way up. The same is true of life, if we’re waiting for our enjoyment to come when we’re better we miss enjoying time spent with loved ones, reading a good book or listening to a new band. We miss the adrenaline of rides at a theme park or the feeling of accomplishment and health after a hefty bit of exercise.
Take notice of the little things, pause to look at the view as you climb the mountain, it’ll make the journey a lot more enjoyable.