Today I’m going to talk about keeping things simple. For all you smart arses out there, when I use the word simple I’m not describing myself! I’m actually referring to the way we live our every day lives. Time moves quickly and that’s why its important not to waste a single moment. All the small day to day experiences are much more significant than you think. The majority of us rush from one task to the next and sadly the simple pleasures end up passing us by.
A friend asked me a good question the other day. He asked ‘If someone told you that you only had a week to live, what would you want to do in terms of enjoyment? Here’s what I came up with :
- Obviously I’d want to spend quality time with my family and friends
- Maybe a countryside walk with my brother
- A milkshake with my friend in our favorite café
- A couple of ice cold beers in my best mates garden
- A picnic with my mum at our favorite lake
- One last game of table tennis with my team mates
- One last round of golf at my favorite course
- Watching a classic film, like Goodfellas, whilst indulging in some Ben and Jerrys ice cream
Hang on a minute, I did all this last week and I’m still here! You might question why I haven’t got anything more elaborate on my list, but would you really want to cram as much things in as you can, or like me, would you prefer to keep it simple and stick to what makes you happy?
Rather than just a week,when I planned to kill myself I gave myself a full month to savor my last moments. Once I’d sorted all the practical stuff, making sure my debts were paid and I left my family enough money aside for the funeral. Once I’d sorted all this, all that was left to do, was to keep things simple and enjoy the time I had left. This was not a solemn time, it actually turned out to be a great time and a very honest one, I no longer had to pretend to be something I’m not. I found I was able to reflect on all the positive and completely live in the moment. No more worries about the future, what future Ha!
More than just a feeling of relief, all my senses were suddenly heightened. I remember thinking, this might be the last time I see this, So I’m going to make sure I really see it! This could be the last time I feel this and so I’m going to make sure I truly feel it! I was noticing and appreciating more than I ever had before.
Have you ever quit a job which you really hated? you hand your resignation letter in and straight away it feels like a huge weight has been lifted. Whilst your working your notice period, all of a sudden things don’t seem so bad, you might even start to wonder whether you’ve made the right decision to leave. I’d decided to make the ultimate quit, quitting on life, and all though I still thought I’d made the right decision I was far from certain.
I’m not going to go into details again about the day I almost went through with my suicide plan. If your interested in reading about this, its in my ‘There’s Always Hope‘ post. But this day was again about my senses being heightened, and arguably about a stronger spiritual connection. In the build up to the day and after it my whole outlook and approach to life changed. Now I’m satisfied with just being me and not having to prove myself to anyone. Still being here, alive and well should be, and is more than enough. I’m not going to pretend the journeys been an easy one, living with depression is extremely difficult. On my bad days I still hurt, and I still feel lost, like there’s no way out. But by learning to live in the here and now and keep things simple, I’m putting much less pressure on myself and I no longer want to die (which has got to be a good thing!) I’m now able to enjoy some of the simple pleasures of life, like a beautiful sunrise or a clear starry night. Things that in the past have somehow passed me by. I feel lucky to be able to witness these things and thank god everyday for giving me the strength to carry on.
I don’t have to go far to feel close to nature. This is what I can see whilst sat on my garden swing