Well, it's been three full months since 24th January and here is what I have actually managed to achieve in that time:
- I have successfully committed to doing 10,000 steps a day.
- I have completed 10-15 minutes of brain training a day on Elevate.
- I have completed at least one French lesson everyday on Duolingo.
- I have managed to consume at least a litre of water a day.
- I have cut back my alcohol consumption by more than half.
- I have lost 5 kilos of weight.
- I have journaled every day.
- I have meditated for 20 minutes daily and performed 20 minutes of yoga at least 5 days a week.
- I have menu planned and made shopping lists every week and saved more money in the last 3 months than I have ever saved in my life.
- I have been out for dinner nine times, went to the cinema three times, went on two weekend trips, attended two art classes (one for ceramics and one for canvas painting), shopped at three weekend craft markets and also attended an open air concert.
- I've watched 23 TV series and 39 movies.
- I've laughed more, shared more, loved harder and been more generous and grateful than I have ever been before.
This was the first time that I have nursed a pet and provided what can really only be described as palliative care for an animal as they left the world and I have to say that it is so hard to watch something that you love so dearly waste away and pass on in front of you. Although losing Sam was heart-wrenchingly tough, I learnt a lot about letting things go and the natural order of the world from this experience.
All living things must die, it is inevitable and unavoidable. We try to shield ourselves from this as best we can, but eventually we all have to face it square on, one way or another. Nursing my cat through her final days and eventually her final hours was an ordeal but also a gift that I was able to share with her.
She was old; very, very old and frail and over the last month she had gotten more and more weary of the world and less and less able to care for herself. She left this world in the way that we would all hope to go eventually, surrounded by loved ones, calmly and without any pain. She spent her final evening getting lots of hugs and pats and gentle kisses on her head, she was sung to and her paw was held. She was given pain killers to ease her weary body and her lips were regularly moistened as she lost the ability to drink even a sip of water in her final moments. She looked just like a peaceful little angel when she passed, asleep in her favourite chair and curled up comfortably like she always was when she was having her deepest sleeps.
At dawn we laid her to rest under the pines and said our final farewells and in the days that have followed I have gone through all five degrees of grief separation. Everything from denial and anger to bargaining and depression and then finally I arrived at acceptance about a day ago.
It's impossible to know how the death of a long term pet is going to affect you, but after 22 years of having Samhain in my life, I felt like I had lost one of my best friends and I was just shattered. So I mourned her in the way that we need to mourn the loss of a big love and that takes time and patience and a bit of self kindness as well.
So, in the last three months I not only did a lot of good things for my health and wellbeing, but I also learned what it feels like to let things die naturally and return to the earth. This was a lesson the will stay with me for the rest of my life and has given me a great respect for people that work in palliative care and for anyone that has nursed a loved one that was terminally ill or dying of old age in their final days.
Letting go is hard, but it is also a way of making room for new beginnings. It is in rhythm with the natural order of the world and now I have 22 years of beautiful and precious memories to reflect on whenever I feel sad about Samhain - my wonderful cat, my faithful companion and one of my very best friends.
I will see you again on the other side my sweet, feline darling xx
Release Dates: 2010 and 2014
Running Time: 200 mins total
The How to Train Your Dragon series is easily one of my favourite kids movie offerings because it is so consistently good and the story line is exciting and meaningful. A lot of kids movies really don't have much of a point, but these films seem to have a moral conundrum at play and I like that children are being challenged to think whilst they are watching.
The first instalment introduces us to the city of Berk and all of its wonderful Viking characters. Eventually our main hero Hiccup happens upon a rare and most feared Night Fury dragon that he befriends and names Toothless, and the wheels are set into motion for Berk to be changed forever.
The second instalment sees Hiccup all grown up and falling in love. Berk has become a different and dragon loving place, but now the threat of dragon hunters is the biggest problem.
DreamWorks has done a wonderful job of presenting all of the magic and fantasy of a dragon filled world into a breathtakingly beautiful animation that will enchant children and adults alike for many years to come.
FINAL SAY: I want a Night Fury dragon too!
4 Chilli Peppers