At peace with myself

I've discovered that to live comfortably with dementia you must first be at peace with yourself and this goes for both the person with dementia and those of us once removed.  Before I learnt this I would race through life being busy, searching for things to do, places to visit and people to be with.  There was no time to 'just be', no room for contentment and no space for watching the world go by.  I was always looking for a new experience, planning the next holiday, waiting for the next social event. 

There is a poem by W H Davies which says it all I think:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

This life we are now experiencing is much better, I have realised, if I make time to stand and stare, if I take things slowly, if I go with the flow, if I appreciate what we have, if I accept invitations when they come but settle for life at home if they don't.  As I have slowed down so has life around us and this makes things so much easier for Ash which in turn makes life better for both of us.  The thing is that Ash always knew this.  He was the reason I wasn't quite as frantic as I could have been and sometimes I wish I had taken note sooner but then I think that there is a time for everything and my time for taking life one day at a time is now.

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Lesley said…
You are describing, more or less, what is now dubbed 'Mindfulness' and it really enriches life. The joy I got from taking time to enjoy the colour of the leaves today and watching a robin enjoying foraging where I had just dug is absolutely equal to the pleasure I got from our trip to London last week - just different and cheaper!
Jane said…
I just wish I hadn't taken quite so long to get the hang of it all.
Lesley said…
I think when you are working full-time it is so much harder. You almost need to be forced to slow down before you can learn the value of the here and now - Ash has done that for you. Much better, by far, than constant multi-tasking and a day booked minute by minute but, as you say, to everything its season.
Sarah H said…
One of my favourite poems and good advice for all of us . . .