It’s barely afternoon, and the Universe has brought love, hope and loss. The late Susan Jeffers, author of Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, encourages readers to ‘Say Yes To Your Universe.’ Sometimes that’s easier than other times.
There’s a new doctor at my GP surgery, and I had an appointment with him first thing. yes, he’s young, handsome, and he was also very good at listening to hsi patient. No preconceptions, no barriers, direct and approachable. We talked of reducing medication and came up with a plan. We talked about side-effects of some of the medication and came up with another plan to help monitor them. When i said I didn’t drink, but would quite like to have a gin and tonic, he didn’t blink (or,indeed, offer me one – although, to be fair, it was 9am!) He dismissed a previous doctor’s suggestion that I had PTSD, saying that it sounded like an understandable response to my surgery and cancer diagnosis. And, for the first time in 3 years, he’s going to check my cholesterol levels. He even reminded me about upcoming flu jabs. Nothing special, but it’s a pleasant change to be heard, understood, and build some trust with a doctor. Proper ‘bedside manner’. Ooh Matron.
Which inspired me to go the gym. Usual changing room banter. But there’s a huge muscular guy sat just coming out of the shower, still dripping. He’s chatting to his mate, and his posture is slumped, almost defeated. He speaks slowly, deliberately and my attentions is drawn because it’s unusual to hear such a faltering tone from any of the guys. He’s telling his mate about catching up with n old friend last September – gym regular, ‘beautiful looking blond bloke known by everyone, really nice’ and how he’d noticed he lost weight. They arranged to meet because they hadn’t seen each other fr so long. The guy had really, really lost weight, and Gym Buddy persuaded his wife to call an ambulance and take him to hospital. He was diagnosed with an inoperable tumour, and recently died, just a year after. Gym Buddy was planning to go to the funeral.
He was still in the changing room after I finished my workout an hour later. Still mourning, missing a friend who he admired, respected – loved. He was also in shock, wondering how such a thing can happen. It seemed incongruous, a changing room full of muscular bods (mine included – ha!) and for there to be such a sense of sadness and mourning. We barely acknowledged each other as I returned and he left. I spent a while cooling down, thinking about his story. About the ups and downs of life. Saying yes to your universe, and embracing the sadness and joy it brings.
I left the gym and went to the supermarket. I bought a lot of chocolate. The gin will have to wait – for now.
I got home and looked out the window, where a couple of magpies were chattering noisily. Two Magpies. One for sorrow, two for joy.
Two for joy. Hello, Captain.