How the events we encounter shape our perceptions of life

27th October 2014: Sydney Australia

How often do certain phrases attempt to corrupt your mindset into believing the world we live in is static rather than dynamic. “What’s been happening, oh not much” is a modern aged typical use of language exchanged to deny the existence of an ever changing process of life. Are both examples a true reflection of the beliefs held by people or does it result from an inherent laziness that is seemingly developing stronger over time within the population of the modern world?

Ultimately change is subjective, and the meaning we as a population place on change is also subjective. Take for instance the blooming of flowers on a plant discussed yesterday. It would be absurd to assume that everyone walking past the flower on a daily basis would notice the slow growth throughout the weeks. In contrast, others would have observed the change, and some even would have made the slightest observations in more detail. Such observations could include the increase in visibility of varying insects or the morning calling of certain birds being heard earlier than previous weeks. Another variant to consider would be whether the concept of time needs to be factored into the discussion. Instead of walking past a plant on a daily basis, take for example the likelihood of someone noticing the change who walked past the empty flower prior to his/her departure from the airport during a month in winter and returning in summer to see the flower showing all it’s grandeur and beauty.

The point of the entry relates to how we both notice and measure change? An experience this morning resulted in thoughts about whether I have changed over the course of the year, or should I say whether I have changed because of having had Cancer. It may appear to be fairly straight forward, and I’m curious as to the perception of those around me if they were to read this. Admittedly, adjustments have been made in my lifestyle and the ways I spend my time, the most striking difference is the inclusion of yoga within my daily routine, and the fact I am currently incapable of working. In regards to the external perception of me, I imagine a look at my medical records alone would be sufficient for many to think change is inevitable. In addition, lifestyle changes may be a noticeable indicator for labelling a change has occurred. For me, a difference in lifestyle choices in no way equates to what I deem real change. Instead, as noted previously, I feel my thinking and outlook on life has grown, possibly at an accelerated pace due to the circumstances encountered. Therefore, I agree some changes may have resulted from the experience of Cancer, however, I wish to highlight the fact of changes were made in a linear fashion, stemming from a pre-existing plan for how to approach life, consistent with the stage I am within my lifecycle.

The topic came to the forefront of my thinking whilst sitting alone in the ocean on a very small day with little to no opportunity for waves to be caught. Regardless of what the ocean was offering, I felt like time in the water was needed, even if it was briefly, and it would be a bonus should the occasion present itself for a wave to be caught. The events unfolded with me taking to the water directly in front of two girls sunbaking on the beach and a fisherman casting his line in the water. Twenty minutes had passed when I realised the pulse of waves on offer at the beginning of the session were no longer available. When looking to the shore, I noticed the girls and the fisherman had both seemed to move about 50 meters down the beach. Now, anyone with a knowledge of the water would know that they didn’t move, and the change in my position was due to the inconspicuous movement of the water drifting me down the beach.

The circumstances made me reflect on the nature of change, and how it is observed, especially when one is experiencing Cancer. Now, externally a perception of the experience of Cancer may consist wholly of a correlation with sorrow, tragedy and a completely unjust predicament, however, personally, the words associated with Cancer would be life, opportunity and happiness. The purpose of the entry is to outline the importance of recognising how circumstances are viewed, and how greatly they can vary between people. I must note, I am extremely aware that my views would not be shared be all people who have experienced Cancer, again, this is an example of a situation of varying people viewing a situation through a different lens. In conclusion, I agreed a sudden event caused a great deal of stress and worry, however, it set me upon this direction in life, and internally it almost feels like an excuse to actually implement the intended changes planned for many years.

I say I don’t use drugs… Is that because the Sun is my dealer?

26th October 2014: Sydney Australia

Summer is coming! The difference on my mind and body between a hot balmy summers day opposed to one miserable, cold and wet is not comparable. The sun has become a drug like substance causing a euphoria to flow through my body during it’s peak and then drops me into a flat state of longing and despair when the feeling has faded. I have pondered the reasoning behind the mite of that narcissistic sun being able to draw my utter attention, and am yet to form a solid conclusion. Could my addiction stem from the four years of suffering a Vitamin D deficiency over the course of my stay in London, the loss of body weight I am still lacking, the influence from readings highlighting the healing properties of the sun or just my senses detecting the imminent Australian summer ready to soar into action? For arguments sake, lets take the latter theory, a position whereby one sees the environment as a flowing interconnected system with me intrinsically connected to the open circular process slowly transforming on a daily basis. A system transforming at a pace where the unobservant eye would fail to detect the flowers beginning to bloom after an annual hiatus or the changing of the winds that start blowing on a daily basis from the north rather than the dominating southerly winds common within the Winter months of Sydney.

On a more human level, there does seem to be a degree of accuracy in theories posed about our bodies undergoing changes in preparation for Summer. Mind you, the ever self-promoting sun confuses our bodies by pushing a hot period of weather followed by an onslaught of rain and misery! If we were to get back to the point of whether it is true that our bodies are connected to our changing environment, then does it not seem plausible to think that the capacity of my body to combat the Cancer at the beginning of the year was weakened? Particularly considering the lengthy stay I had in London! The seeds of this chain of thought were first planted in my mind in London when the tumour was first detected. The team of treating doctors asked me to really consider returning to Sydney for the operation, partly due to the level support to be required, however, also to quote, ‘as my body was accustomed to a certain climate for 26 of my almost 30 years, and therefore, was more likely to heal in such circumstances’. I am extremely happy that the idea was suggested, otherwise I would have stayed in London, enduring everything without my family and friends from Australia whilst also suffering in the cold winter. A little off track I know, so, if I am to heal better in the climate my body is accustomed to does that not also indicate that as a preventative measure I should remain in a similar climate to pro-long my chance of survival? The question entails some possible factors or could just derive from that addiction first mentioned in the opening sentence justifying my future thinking to not only stay in Australia, but to chase the sun throughout the winter months to ensure I continuously get my fix!