Thursday, May 23, 2019

Climbing Everest - or just surviving life

So this morning on the way to work I was listening to CBC Radio about a Manitoba Teacher that just returned from climbing mount Everest. (News Story Here) and something about this story hit me profoundly and it has been something I have been frankly struggling with lately. I would expect the feeling of finally reaching the top of Everest to bring this immense sense of achievement and to be standing literally on top of the world that you would want to take time and savour the experience (as much as you can at some of the coldest temperatures and in a low oxygen situation) but when asked what it was like to be at the top Dalip Shekhawat said:

"I didn't see what was around — just to reach the top and when I get back, I'll see what was there," he said.
"Not enjoying, actually; just to reach the top, to make sure that I'm safe and secure."
As I have said before my husband has been struggling with mental health and has been off work since early October. From October to even the end of April life has consisted of putting my head down and getting through it. Life hasn't been about going out and doing things or enjoying things with family. It has been worrying about bills being paid, insurance claims, doctors appointments, specialist visits, dealing with work, family and all the other commitments in life. If you know me at all you know that cooking and exploring food is a passion of mine but cooking for last while has been about surviving rather than anything else.

At the family gathering after my grandmother's funeral my cousins (love you guys!) asked if I was happy and how I was doing and if I was happy. Frankly in the last couple of months overall have there been happy moments - yes - but have I been happy? No, I have been personally struggling and depressed. Living with someone who has a mental illness is hard and I am going to say especially when they have finally hit their rock bottom it takes a lot and there have been times where I just didn't want to do it anymore not because I didn't love my husband - but because I didn't have anymore of me to give. I pushed myself because in times where the love is hard to see I hoped it was still there. I also thought about the times where I have struggled and didn't have support.  I wouldn't want someone to leave me or give up on me just because I was at my bottom and needed help.  Now I can say that I am starting to see my the man I married, my husband again and it's like I can start to breath again.

This and the journey that auditioning for MasterChef Canada has sent me on has made me start to think about me - who I am, where I have been, the life I have lead to this point and has lead me that I need a constant reminder that I need to remember who I am - so much so I got a new tattoo on my arm. I am starting down the path *again* of remember who I am, where I have come from and where I am going. One of the things I need to remember is that I don't want to just come back from the top and see what was there after - I want to look at the view as I am climbing and take some time when I get to my top and be happy to reflect on the path and journey I have taken.

- Life has to be more than just running a marathon.