19 October 2010: 4 years 1 month on …
This past week has been the most difficult for me, physically, since I became ill.
My left arm and my left leg have become decidedly weaker. My leg wants to give way under me and it takes a very concerted and concentrated effort to raise my arm.
Every movement is more difficult and taking more energy. It feels like standing under water and trying to walk and lift my arms. There is an ever-increasing resistance to moving my limbs. However, my right leg still remains unaffected.
This all tires me and I have very little energy. It is taking longer in the mornings to get going and most mornings I feel like I have a massive hangover! Even that is taking longer to clear.
One would think that lying down would assist in rejuvenating one’s vigour, but, strangely enough, lying down is the most uncomfortable position to be in, especially if I lie on my back or left side. The best way to lie down is to lie on my right side.
Mentally, I am not doing all that well either and it is so important now for me to take heed of all the things that I have been talking about. I have to take control of my mind and get the better of this creeping alien that is taking hold of my body.
Last Monday, I was asked to speak at Collegiate Junior School for Girls about Living Positively.
I had never spoken to young girls between ten and thirteen years’ old before, so I was a bit unsure of how to handle the subject with all 500 of them.
I thought that they would know more about sport than Life, and so I asked them to imagine that I was an alien from Mars and had never been exposed to sport before. I asked them to explain to me what attributes were required to be successful at sport.
They played right into my hands and mentioned a whole long list, including fun, enjoyment, fitness, rules, goals, plans, fairness, integrity, drive, honesty, modesty, humbleness, giving your best, being the best, giving your all, teamwork , etc.
I told them that Living Life was somewhat like playing sport, and in order to be successful at Life, it was important to live Life positively and to display the attributes that they had mentioned.
What did it mean to live a positive Life? They answered a positive Life was one that was constructive, helpful and beneficial.
So we unpacked some of the things we needed to live POSITIVELY. I tied them in with each letter of the word POSITIVELY.
P: Plan and prepare. Know where you are going and what has to be done. Don’t be a cork that is blown around on the ocean by the winds. Rather be a sailing ship that sets its direction and uses the wind to go where it wants to go.
O: Occupy yourself. Take Ownership of your life. Be in charge of your life and stay busy. Don’t just hang around doing nothing, and waiting for life to take charge of you.
S: Surround yourself with Supportive people. Stay away from negative and destructive people. Mix with people who will Support you and build you up – constructive people. I asked what happens in quicksand, and a little girl gave us a graphic display of how the quicksand sucks one in! That’s what negative people do to you – they just suck you into the depths.
I: Involve yourself in your Interests and your community. Get Involved in Clubs, groups, sport, church, help others. Do something that Interests you.
T: Take Time out for yourself; spoil yourself, rest, listen to the music, smell the roses, be mindful of the little things in Life and make Time for yourself. Be a Team Player.
I: Inspire yourself and others. Look at new Ideas, read books and the Bible, use the Internet, talk to others, look around you for good luck stories, think of new Ideas
V: Verbal reinforcement – Voice positive things. Talk positive talk. Encourage yourself and others. Watch what you say. Word and Deed is so important.
E: Be Enthusiastic and Enjoy all you do in Every moment. Don’t wait for disaster (eg illness, death, disability etc) to strike before you do that. Enjoy Every moment from the present one!
L: My personal mantra: Be an ACE – Live and Leave A bundantly
Laugh C ontinuously
Love E ndlessly
Y: Why? What is the purpose of Life?
This is the most difficult question of all. But it is the most important. It’s the cement that keeps everything else together.
If you are on the sports field and don’t know what you are playing, it becomes difficult to play.
If you don’t know Y you are here, then it becomes difficult to do what you need to do.
Some believe they are here to prepare for heaven, some believe they come back again, some say it’s just a one-way trip to death, others don’t even think about Y!
Often teachers don’t know the answers to a question and then give their pupils the question to sort out for homework. So I suggested that the young ladies should take this question home for homework: they needed to think about Y they were here in the first place!
If they put all of the above together, I suggested that they could Live Positively!
On Wednesday evening, we were eating out in a restaurant when a young girl came over to our table. She asked me if I was Mr Lunnon, and then thanked me for talking to them about Life. I was truly humbled. I forgot to ask her name, but she looks the splitting image of her Mom, whom I know, and so I was able to trace her later.
Thank you so much, Miss Scheepers, for teaching me yet another thing about positive living – the inestimable value of that small thing of saying Thank You!
I need to practice what I preach from this moment. I, too, need to Live Positively!
(Today, I spoke to the matriculants at Grey High on their second last day at school. I spoke to them about “Fasten your Seat Belts!” – which you may read in an earlier blog).