Have fun.

I had a really nice week.

I went to the theatre, took myself on a coupla coffee dates, went on a lovely run, spent time with pals, ate peanut butter ice box cake (WHAT a time to be alive), read a good book, work was chill and I made the most bangin' sweet potato and lentil dhal. 

But the best thing about this week was a wee revelation that I had. 

I said in my post last week that I wish there were a way of seeing the quantifiable amount of time I spend every day worrying about weight/diet/fitness/my body. Even though I know I'm getting better all the time, I'm sure if I could actually get a handle on the seconds, minutes and hours I spend weighing up cals in versus cals out and 'active minutes' and my expanding waistline, I would be brought to tears.

And that was my (energy saving, low emission, obvs) lightbulb moment this week: I will so regret the time and energy spent worrying about all that stuff that in the long run, doesn't effin' matter. I think it is incredibly, highly, extremely unlikely that when I'm old, I'll look back on my life and say:

‘God, I wish I’d gone to the gym more’

or

‘Yeah, all the parties were cool and stuff but WHY didn’t I spend more time worrying about the calories in a Katsu curry?’

or

‘I am so happy that amongst cultivating lasting friendships, having the privilege of an education and getting to travel the world, I also rarely ate refined carbohydrates’

Call me reckless, but one is probs much more likely to say 'I wish I'd had MORE FUN and worried LESS'.

And all this reminded me of something I wrote in June, hidden in the depths of my Drafts folder, all about havin' fun. Convenient, eh? Here it is:

Something happened recently. Something that I should preface with these three things:

  • She is fine. The scar is gruesome, but she is on track for a full recovery.
  • She is as positive, joyful and enthusiastic as ever.
  • She categorically would not let me do the washing-up when I stayed with her last week.

My grandmother had a heart attack last month. Until last month, although she is nearing 86, my Nan seemed infallible- active, independent, visiting friends, writing letters, taking me for lunches, making lino cuts in her spare room studio, tackling the crossword on the daily. And then suddenly, after one phone call on a dreary Tuesday afternoon later, she is not.

She is so small.

Tiny.

Frail.

Yellow from blood loss.

My Nan.

Those are my thoughts as I hold back my tears and walk towards a hospital bed that seems gargantuan against the slightness of her frame. Propped up by pillows and hooked up to an IV drip, she is smiling. 

Doctor George, someone my Nan has taken a particular shine to, informs me as to what has happened. Aortic stenosis, he explains, is a narrowing of the heart's aortic valve, obstructing the heart's blood flow. My Nan will undergo four hours of surgery; words like incision, electric shocks, valves, pumps and scars whiz around as I nod along, wide-eyed, my mind selectively absorbing the phrases which sound most alarming. The operation will take place at St. Bart's, where they specialise in these types of procedure. 

Naturally, I am left petrified; my grandmother is ecstatic at the prospect of a trip to the capital, her excitement dampened only by the fact that she hasn't had the chance to shave her legs. With my Mum momentarily absent from the room, I express to my grandmother that I am scared, nay terrified by the current situation. What are the risks? Should she go ahead with the operation? Are there other, less intrusive options? And mainly, what will I do without you? She is the one with angina, and yet it feels like my heart is the broken one.

She takes my hand in hers, careful not to jostle the needle in her arm as she does, and says

"Caitie, we have to look at it like this:
if it works, it works, and if it doesn't,
well, hasn't this all been fun?"

My Nan, who eats white bread without donning a hazmat suit beforehand, my Nan, who has never set foot in a gym, my Nan, who likes nothing more than a little stroll and fish and chips on a Friday from the ASDA café, my Nan, whose life, for a myriad of reasons, has not been easy, when faced with the very real and tangible issue of her own mortality, could only recall how much fun life had been.

Pretty beautiful, no?

So have a nice weekend. Stop worrying about stuff that doesn't matter. Have fun.

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