Right Here Right Now
May 7, 2014
I've just come back from a long weekend in the Lake District. It wasn't a holiday or a relaxing break. It was to help mum and dad.
After nearly fifty years they are moving out of the beautiful over-four-hundred-years-old house that was “home” for me and twin for many years, into a modern two-bed bungalow right by the sea. The new place is perfect for them. It is easy to maintain, doesn't rely on a coal fire to heat the water, has the luxury of mains gas and cable television and doesn't require extensive maintenance.
What it does require is serious downsizing and discarding of goods and chattels. There is no way the contents of a big house in the country will fit into a small bungalow by the sea… (which is a great analogy for my WLR journey - right now there is no way my more-ample frame will fit into the size ten red rose dress which is my favourite item of clothing) Action needs to be taken - lots of wrapping, packing and stacking; making sensible decisions to achieve the desired result; deciding what is essential and what needs to be discarded. It isn't easy because living in the bungalow is completely different from the Big House. Some things will be the same, but lots of things will be very different. It will take time to adapt. It will mean making changes to the daily routine.
The more I think about it, the more the house move mirrors my weight loss journey.
When packing up the boxes there were endless conversations about the future. “What if we throw it away and discover we need it”; “We haven't used it for years but it might be useful at the bungalow”; “should we keep it, just in case?”.
And, again, I thought about the weight loss journey. The past few days with my parents have been all about taking things step by step; not looking into the future or worrying about what is round the next corner or over the horizon but about dealing with the here and now. Having an idea of what lies ahead but not really knowing. Having to make sensible decisions in order to achieve an aim.
It isn't easy. As a species we can't help but try to see what lies ahead. To factor in everything from best-case to worst-case scenarios and make plans and preparations to deal with absolutely EVERY eventuality. But that just isn't possible. All that is possible is to see where we are now and know where we want to be in the future and to do the best we can to get there. We don't have the benefit of hindsight. All we have is a sense of purpose, an idea of what we want to achieve and the determination to make it happen.
Of course we have hindsight. We can factor in everything from the past and we can look back and learn lessons; but we can't predict the future and legislate for it…well, not to any great degree.
My parents are on a journey. They are planning and preparing. They are making choices that they believe will make the journey easier and get them to where they need to be. The road they are on is strikingly similar to my weight loss journey. And helping them downsize made me bring my own “mission” back into focus.
I know what I have to do.
Yes - I need to lose weight; Yes - I have to make changes; Yes - I have to plan and prepare; Yes - I have to make some difficult choices.
But I've also been reminded of what I don't have to do…
I don't have to know the future and cover every possible angle and aspect. I don't have to factor in every eventuality; I don't need to focus on next week; next month or next year (the reality is I could spend the whole of today worrying about tomorrow… and get hit by a bus or struck by lightning).
My final visit to my childhood home was very emotional but also brought things into sharp focus. It made me realise that my most important point of reference is “right here, right now”. Not my usual state of mind… I'm usually peering down the road feverishly trying to see what's coming my way and desperately trying to head it off at the pass. It's exhausting, time-consuming and, when you think about it, a pointless waste of energy.
So as I continue on my own journey I've resolved that I'm going to try and take it in bite sized pieces… Day by day. If the day is a tough one… then hour-by-hour. Iif that doesn't make it “do-able” then minute-by-minute.
I can't change the past; I can't predict the future; all I have is what is with me at this point in time. I can plan and prepare on a short-term basis (menus for the week; timetabling my chores, my exercise, my writing obligations) but I can't prepare for “forever”…. simply because none of us know how long our “forever” is going to be.
So that's it.
Right Here Right Now ….
Have a fabulous WLR day.
With a Hug
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