The life sandwich

Goodbyes. A happy thing, a sad thing, a difficult thing. A permanent thing but sometimes the beginning of a new thing.

I finish work this week after being with my colleagues for 6 years and 2 months! Over the days this week and next I have and will say goodbye to them all. There have been some tears of sadness, reminiscing, glasses (or bottles?) of wine, cards and gifts to exchange and promises to keep in touch. A difficult goodbye but with effort not a total goodbye and a goodbye for me that brings wih it a new beginning.

On Saturday we said goodbye to my oldest friends dad, a goodbye that is most definitely a sad occasion. A final goodbye. I read also of a friend who I met on a course some time ago…that she sadly lost her dad but also became a grandmother in the same week, as she said, a week of two halves indeed.

I’ve had discussions with friends who face their children leaving ‘their nest’ who cannot imagine life without their kids in the house but also have immense joy filling their heart at their childs new start in life. I have spoken to friends who have lost young friends this week seemingly way to soon and a woman who knows soon she will have to say goodbye to her mum. A friend is leaving her home for a new city. New starts and new goodbyes.

These endings and new beginnings have made me reflect on things, as I do!

What’s most important I think as I get older is this ‘one life thing’, this ‘life is not a rehearsal’ thing. Because it’s so very true and yet for some reason we forget, over and over and over. We worry about weight and money and who said what. We worry about our kids, the weather, our clothes, health, what we eat and drink. We bother about what people think of us and whether we’re good enough, where we are and where we want to be. When you drill down your worries, I bet most of them are made of imaginary scenarios and things that may or may not happen.

Endings make me feel grateful for the people I have around me and make me feel more enthusiastic and passionate about making the most of those people around me. Beginnings make me feel excited and nervous at the same time about what I’ll face tomorrow, next week, next year.

Life. It’s a beginning and an end. All we have to do is to fill that middle bit. Create our own filling for the ‘life sandwich’. One we can feel proud of, one that has few regrets, one of love and laughs, one of being there, one of support, one of friendship, and definitely one where we remember we’re human and we make mistakes so we definitely have to fill that middle bit in with forgiveness too. It might sound cliché but it is only us that can sort that creates the life sandwich filling , it’s only us that can put the music on and dance in the kitchen or laugh at your own jokes until your belly hurts.

I had a pre-mothers day wobble last week as I looked through a photo album made for me after I lost Tes. My heart felt broke again for a while as I looked at her. When I calmed after speaking to a good friend I was able to look at her life in those pictures and feel so happy for… how she filled her part of the life sandwich. Her passion, honesty, diligence and humour all meant she packed in so much to that ‘middle bit’. For that I feel inspired by her. I found an email from Tes to a magazine in London. She was 14. Can I please come to London and work at your magazine in the Summer to get some work experience, she wrote. This grabbing at life has left a legacy within me to do the same. I love that she has done that.

So that sandwich filling, that middle bit between the beginning and end, fill it to the brim with your favourite ingredients and add a big dollop of mayonnaise too!

Lots of love this Sunday x

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