Grateful for every minute (because they’re not guaranteed)

It doesn’t really seem right to be grateful for anything on the day after yet another horrific terrorist attack in the UK; the third in three months. I’m not even going to try and write about what happened because I can’t even begin to find the words. 

The planned theme for this post was about how every day I am reminded that life is too short, and that still seems, sadly, rather fitting.

The world that we’re living in can seem like such a monstrous place at times. I completely understand how people can become crippled with fear, terrified to leave their own homes. Living in London, I have definitely felt like that, wondered whether I’m putting myself in unnecessary danger, whether running away to a cottage in the middle of nowhere would be the best plan. 

I don’t subscribe to the belief that our destinies are planned from the second we’re born, that someone up there has already decided whether I’m going to get mown down by a terrorist one day, because that way of thinking brings me absolutely no comfort whatsoever. If you do, and it helps you deal with the world, then that’s great. Whatever gets you through. 

For me, it’s a daily struggle to find the right balance between ‘don’t worry about what you can’t control’ and news reports detailing what to do in a terrorist attack, how best to save your own life. I definitely fall into the worrying camp; I worry about everything, all the time – and I’m sure if I could just believe that there was a bigger plan, that one day this would all make sense, somehow, then it would be easier to deal with. But how can this possibly ever make sense?! 

Trying to find something positive on this day is hard; feeling grateful to be alive when last night seven innocent people lost their lives, and many more were left with life threatening injuries, is about as much as I can muster. Grateful for what though? For it being them, not me?! Of course not. 

But I am grateful for every moment I’m given on this earth – for every smile, every hug, every moment of laughter, happiness, friendship and love – because none of them are guaranteed. A quote I see a lot is that fear doesn’t prevent death, it prevents life; and it’s completely true – but it’s also completely ridiculous to think that fear is something that can simply be turned on or off. The world we live in is an increasingly scary place.

Every time something awful happens, we have to hold on to the outpouring of kindness that follows; it’s not much, it doesn’t negate the devastation and the grief, but it’s what will keep us sane and it’s what will keep us strong. The lines of people wanting to donate blood, those offering a bed for the night or a lift home, those fundraising for the families of victims: its vital that we pay attention to the good. Throwing accusations and generalisations helps nobody; it’s very easy to be a politician from behind the safety of your touch screen – but it will only cause more anger and hatred. Unless it’s your job (and if it is, thank you), don’t give them the dignity of a place in your brain. 

Today I’ll be going on holiday with my Dad, and I’ll try to treasure every moment. I’ll try my best to put the fear to the back of my mind and to be grateful for the here and now.

Sending love to all. 

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