We have exercise circuits twice a week for people on their cancer journey, (contact us for more details). We have lots of fun and its as hard or as easy as we want it to be. We have one rule that is specific to the exercise group – it’s a tough one – but we have agreed to be honest about illness and death. So if one of the group becomes less well or dies then we acknowledge that that is what is happening / has happened and we talk about it.
This can be really hard. We all get to know each other well and if someone dies we feel the loss and feel a bit vulnerable. ‘If it can happen to them then it can happen to us’.
We had to think hard about what we do with bad news this week. There were lots of lovely thoughts. Lots of memories and sadness. The overriding feeling was that we all need to make the most of everything that we have. Build lots of memories, have lots of fun, enjoy everything we can.
This doesn’t mean a life of hedonistic debauchery; it means going out for that meal, taking that weekend break, grabbing that special experience. You will notice that I am including myself in this. As far as I am aware I don’t have cancer but that could easily change. And like everyone, my life has an end point, I don’t know when that is but I am going to have a good time getting there. So what do we do with what we have? ‘Living in the moment’ has become a bit of a platitude. Its one of those sayings that if it is said often enough becomes meaningless. When I think of living in the moment I try hard not to dwell on the ‘if onlys’ of my life. If only I hadn’t said …..if only I hadn’t gone on that date………turned down that invitation……….messed up that relationship. There is absolutely nothing I can do about what has gone. Its gone, its finished, I can’t get that moment back so I have to let it go. If I need to say sorry to someone then I will say it but that’s the limit.
Similarly, there is no point worrying about what might happen. Worry achieves nothing – its what we do but it doesn’t alter the outcome. There are some things that we can do that will make a difference but worrying isn’t one of them. All that worry does is to mess up today with the concerns of tomorrow. Tackle things when they happen, change what you can but sitting and fretting won’t help.
So that’s what we did in group – we didn’t look back, we planned fun and decided to enjoy everything that we can. We said goodbye and then we lifted a few weights and shifted our bodies about and felt a bit better. And someone said something funny and we laughed; life goes on.