Monday, 6 May 2013

How much for one day of your life?

I recently received my reports back from this years practical placements. My passion for my hospital placement shone through in what I wrote of them and they wrote of me. I feel profoundly changed by the whole experience. Most of all, my greatest revelation, was how intensely ungrateful I am. Sitting by someone's bedside who is fighting valiantly for just one more day of their life is enough to make you reconsider your whole world. I walked out of there desperate to breath in the fresh air and feel the sun on my face. To just live and be grateful.

Living life!
I'm now reading another Lynda Field book (man, I love her!) and one of the scenarios she poses is this: If someone offered to buy one day of your life for a limitless price would you sell and for how much? This question seriously stopped me short. Suddenly massive figures were flying around my brain. In the millions surely, for one of my precious days? I couldn't give one up for any less than that.

My brain whirred with all those things I would be missing. Days like today where I sat in the garden in the sunshine eating feta and tomato sandwiches and laughing with my husband. Feeling the strain in my legs as I cycled up the hill to college (yes, I can do it now!). The light bulb moment as I understand a new idea while studying. The grumpiness too, the fuzzed up feeling of waking. The simple feelings of being alive and well. All of it, so utterly priceless.

The scariest thing about the question is how little I live with this awareness and the hours by the hospital beds showed me much the same thing. If one single day is worth a million pounds to me then why do I treat it like any old thing to be rushed through and on to the next? I have had the great blessing of knowing and being friends with many heroic people who have overcome serious illness in their life. They often have a zest for life that is the envy of everyone around them. The question I have often asked myself is, is that what it will take for me to really enjoy my life? To make the most of every million pound day?

I wonder if the real enjoyment is in the small things. If a well lived life is simply an appreciative one. For the sunshine, for damn good cheese, for a friend's happy face, for a job well done. Perhaps the whole things is not such a mystery after all. Perhaps it really is just slowing down and smelling the roses. If I learn nothing more from this year then let it be that, let me learn to be an expert in living million pound days.


  1. A super post. Appreciation and awareness are, I think, the key to a well-lived life. Nicola - what has been called the sacrament of the present moment.