Shifting Gears

This is a somewhat appropriate title for this blog post as we just purchased a new car. A new used car. I loved our zippy little Mazda 3. Unfortunately it will not take a double pram in the boot, nor will it happily house two car seats in the back (without a driver who has knees up to their elbows). So it was off to trawl Parramatta rd for a suitable alternative.
However this post isn’t about cars. Not at all. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we adapt, change, grow, delete, stretch and add as our life shifts. And it shifts often and always.
The way we live our lives depends on the tools we have to wade through the world, the vessels we have to carry us through it (our bodies), and the inclination and will we have to make it a happy ride.
In my mind there are two kinds of metaphorical tools we gather in life. The kind we gain with money – house, car, food, disposable income etc… and the cerebral abstract kind that build up in our toolbox as we travel: knowledge, understanding, compassion, friendship etc. Both are essential to survival and both will constantly change over time. Life can be a little easier if our toolbox is well stocked.
Our vessels (or our bodies), are essential for our life’s journey. So it’s important to be good to them. I’m not going to preach, carb free, sugar free, no caffeine, no alcohol blah blah blah. But as someone with a chronic illness who has seen the inside of far too many doctor’s offices, hospitals and has a good grasp on mortality, I am going to preach this: be kind to your body. Rest, relax and recharge when it tells you to. It will in turn to be good to your for longer. You never know when you will need to call on it for that extra smidge of energy stored in its deep dark depths. That’s it.
As life predictably ebbs and flows with complete unpredictability, it’s up to us to live in the moment, enjoy it and keep stress to a minimum. We never know what’s around the corner, or what we will need to pull out of our toolbox to cope with it. Relationships, babies, property, career, wellness…. These all have ups and downs, with varying extremity. Having the foresight to and understanding that you will need to shift gears often in life, may make it easier to move forwards, backwards, sideways or take great leaps when you need to. The knowledge that it’s normal and the comfort that the gears will shift again may soften the sound of the gears grinding. Having that tool box handy, full and ready to access will make each shift that little bit smoother.
Amidst the extended car and tool metaphors which are not usually something I’d throw into my writing, I guess all I am trying to say is, life can throw us curve balls. And it will. If we are self-aware and prepared, both physically and emotionally, we can meet them head on..or at least not get floored by them. And when life is rosy, we can sip tea, sit pretty and share the love. The gears are always shifting somewhere.

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