A week or so into my illness, I did that thing we all do – watch TV, more TV and then more TV. I still felt too unwell to read, but TV in small bouts with the sound low I could handle. Before I knew it, small bouts turned into mammoth viewings, and I was fully Netflix’d and Sky’d out. Really, how much trash content can you watch in 2 weeks? (Answer: well over 200 hours let me tell you). Anyway, there is a point to this. One of my preferred morning viewings (alongside House, don’t get me onto my favourite narcissistic doctor who I’m slightly in love with!), was a half hour or so of cheery sitcom Frasier; and in one episode the hilarious psychiatrist found himself fully alive, yet reading his own obituary in the newspaper. Far from what he hoped it would be, he decided to re-write it, and go get the things he suddenly realised he simply hadn’t done with his life.
Well this got me thinking: what did I really want from my life? Was I living each day as I should, or as best I could? What would I write in my obituary and could I say I was going in the right direction? For Frasier, he had a whole load of places he wanted to see, things he wanted to do, but as I sat down to write my obituary (it sounds morbid, it was actually fascinatingly fun!), suffice to say I decided it was time to make plans. “Love” entered my ‘obituary’ and ‘happy life’ lots, and in many ways I’m glad to report I was well on track. However, in others, there were gaping holes.
What I realised was that each day I make the choice to be the person I want to be (sometimes resulting in greater success than others). Each week I focus on how to be as happy as possible under given circumstances. But in my quest for inner happiness, I had potentially lost sight of things I would perhaps love for my life – and had almost forgotten that I could in some way actively pursue them. It wasn’t that I had given up on my dreams; it was more that I think my heart had given up that they would ever come true.
And then I realised I hadn’t done any visualising for a while. Results have shown that participants who underwent exercises including visualising your ‘Best Possible Self’ experienced a stronger positive mood. Now for me, it’s something I used to do regularly – at least once a week. Close my eyes, quieten my mind, and then visualise myself a year into the future, as my best possible self, living my best possible life. Perhaps this could help me now?
So I did just that. 6 months from now; a year from now; 2 years and 5 years. What came up? Nothing I hadn’t expected. But so much I didn’t currently have or was doing, or importantly feeling. Even just six months from now, in my visualisation things were so very different.
I then I remembered a quote I had once read from my sadly not to be future husband, Gregory House (aka Hugh Laurie):
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you are ready…There’s almost no such thing as ready. There’s only now.”
What does this tell me? It’s time to go pursue those things as best I can. Whether happy or sad, that is how I see my life as my best possible self, so why not focus on trying to go get those things? Right now. In this moment. If only in creating time for them, prioritising them, building spaces in my life for them to enter.
So, in the words of a quote that recently caught my eye…
“The trouble is you think you have time”.
Go follow your dreams and fly Hubbers. The time is now!