Everything has changed

Yesterday, I sat in the waiting rooms of (the now retired) Doctor Stoner. It was in February 2012 that I was last there, sitting in that exact chair, waiting for my ENG 1 yachting medical. The waiting room became a memory jogger and it took me right back to how I felt and where I was in my life, some two years ago.

The point of this post is this: we are one decision away from changing our lives for good.

The blonde-and-greying receptionist who barked-out the name of sailors — one-by-one. She was still there. The smell of the apartheid-style chamber where they did the hearing test — that was still there. The hideous palm tree in the back of the doctor’s office was still there. So too was the office-blue carpeting and the colour-blindness book… in tatters. I remembered it as if it was all yesterday.

So on the physical side, the doctor reports, not much has changed. I’ve become a little fat but still have my sight, hearing and a healthy chest — all requirements for professional yachtsmen and women.

But on the emotional side everything has changed. Everything.

This time, at the doctors’ rooms of (the now retired) Doctor Stoner, I am no longer a smoker. Or a desk-worker. I am learning a new language. I have fallen in love. With a Swede. And it is my first faithful relationship. I have energy. I have worked for a Swiss captain in France who changed my outlook on life. I have worked on a boat in Tanzania. And been fired. I have spent three months travelling South America.

In broader strokes, it takes simpler things to impress me nowadays: like sunsets, or dappled shade, or a well-made coffee; not cars or titles or money. I don’t care about keeping up with the Joneses or that so-and-so is engaged and so-and-so is married. I give every minute my everything. I am a nicer person and I try not to hurt people but I say how I feel and fight when I need to. I care less about what people think. I keep ugly words about myself, from myself and always remember to see myself from the inside out. I take feedback, not criticism, from those I love. I let toxic people go — old friends who’ve soured and negative people who make me tired. I prefer solution-finders to problem-makers. I stress less and exercise more. I stick to the idea of KISS: keep it simple stupid. I don’t worry about money. I know it will work out the way it’s supposed to.

The point of this post is this: we are one decision away from changing our lives for good.

I’ve also become an active participant in my life and my choices; and not a victim of circumstance

And that’s not to preach that my life is better or that my happiness is greater than yours. Or that I’m wealthier or more successful. Or that I do more than you or adapt to change more readily. Or that I’m doing it the right way.

It’s just to say that a lot can change in your life if you want it to.

And yes, the cards have landed in my favour more often than not. And God has been good.

But I’ve also become an active participant in my life and my choices; and not a victim of circumstance.

To sum it all up, a video from one of our favourite philosophers, Alan Watts. We love, love, love his work!

Go out and be the change you want to see in the world.