WHY I LIVE FOR TODAY (AND OFTEN MAKE MISTAKES)

THROUGHOUT my life, I’ve been known to be pretty reckless at times.

I’m a ‘jump in, head first’ kind of woman. I’m a leaper. I’m a ‘go for it’ shouter.

When I was much younger I was attracted to danger.

To excitement. And of course, to the bad boys.

And as a result of this, many of my teenage years were challenging and by all accounts pretty damn awful.

Because that’s the thing, when you’re a bit reckless and adventurous. Often your little adventures don’t quite work out as you planned.

Mishaps turn into major mistakes.

And slip ups become major life lessons.

I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember and I’d always just presumed that this was ‘who I am’. As part of me, as the hairs on my head.

But now I’ve got older, I’m not so sure about that.

Because a few weeks ago I had a moment of clarity about my behaviour that was quite profound, really. And it made me realise that the way I am, maybe isn’t just down to my characteristics or written in the stars after all.

When I was seven years old, on my Holy Communion Day (a Catholic thing) my Mum found out that she had cancer. Thyroid cancer.

And soon she was in hospital for treatment.

I don’t remember much from this time, just mere snippets of memories.

I remember playing with toys in the hospital. I remember a nurse giving me a real nurse’s paper hat (this was back in the day when they used to wear them).

I remember my mum coming home, exhausted and with a row of unmissable black criss-cross stitches across her neck.

Life returned to normal for a while.

But then it came back. The cancer returned.

My Mum went to Christie’s Hospital in Manchester for two weeks and had to have radiation treatment. My only memory, waving to her through a tiny window in her door because that was the nearest I could get to her.

And it’s funny you know, because I never really thought much about it at the time, bar that my Mum was poorly.

But these things, stay with you. They impact you.

And ultimately, I guess, they change you. Whether you realise it or not.

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Thankfully my mum has been well since. The doctors worked their miracles and she is still here, and *touches wood* fighting fit.

But the cancer didn’t just leave a scar on my mum, it also left a scar on all of us. And on me.

Because it left me aware of the vulnerability of life.

That I could be taken away from my loved ones in a heartbeat. Or even worse, that they could be taken away from me.

And it is why, I have a fear about people not knowing how much I love them.

It is why I hate nine to five jobs and routine.

It is why I cannot bear to go to sleep on an argument.

It is why I insist on kissing Elsie and telling her I love her, before she leaves me to go anywhere.

It is why I’ve never played ‘dating games’ with men.

It is why I have forgiven people too many times.

It is why I tell people that I love them, sometimes too soon and sometimes too often.

It is why I’m passionate about making my life as exciting and as meaningful as it can be.

And it’s why, given any choice, I would always rather ‘jump in’ head first to something and give things a shot.

Because I cannot bear it you see.

The thought of missing out. The thought of not living a full life. The thought of not experiencing great love.

Regrets. Wishful thinking. The what ‘ifs’.

Sure I’ve made umpteen huge mistakes and sure I’ve experienced pain, when perhaps I needn’t have.

But realising how fragile life is, of how fragile love is, has without doubt made me more appreciative. And fearless. And vulnerable.

And yes, probably a little bonkers too.

But if living for today, taking risks and loving people too much, makes life tricker and more difficult, than so be it.

Because life is not about order nor is it safe.

There are no guarantees, no easy routes, no way to escape pain.

Sure we can try to ignore the bumps in the road, but make no mistake, we will still feel them.

Life is messy. Life is full of mistakes and mishaps.

And there really is only one way to live it.

You have to learn to jump with both feet.

 

With love,

Kate

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24 Discussions on
“WHY I LIVE FOR TODAY (AND OFTEN MAKE MISTAKES)”
  • I relate so much to.this post. So much.
    It’s Beautifully written. I too have watched as my mum has fought cancer for the past 4 years. It has affected us all deeply and has also made us stronger. I’ve always been reckless and abit all over. Action first, think afterwards. I embarrass people telling them how much I love them and you know what I’m not changing for anybody because like you said life is for living and your a long time dead… Thand for sharing, Tracey xx

    • Ah Tracey, thank you so much. I’ve been following your Mum’s journey (and your own) and have always been so impressed with the courage and dignity you have both shown. Please don’t ever change! I tell you something, it’s much better to be open, honest and vulnerable than spend your life playing things safe and looking back at a dull life full of regrets. You’re wonderful. xxx

  • Completely relate Katie, our lives are so similar you know? I lost my Dad when I was 18 but he was very poorly for a very long time before then. It has left me with a fear that history will repeat itself but that it will be me-or like you said, worse, someone else close to me. I think and worry about it most days actually.

    I really love that you are spontaneous and that you live your life with a vigour that some don’t posses. Yes it will leave you in hot water sometimes but I like the motto of jumping in with both feat and think it will mostly work out perfectly xxx

    • Oh Amy…I had no idea about your Dad, I’m so so sorry to hear that. We really do have so many similarities don’t we, in our lives?! (I’m taking that as a REALLY good sign of our friendship btw :) )

      I think when you’ve lost a loved one or come incredibly close to losing a loved one, someone who is so pivotal in your life, it does just change you so much. Mostly for the better, however I have to say I’m glad I’ve switched from being totally reckless to focusing that fearlessness in a more positive direction ;-) Much love xxx

  • Absolutely gorgeous post lovely lady. As you know I also live by the jump in head first rule of life, the thought of looking back full of regrets is too much for me to even consider.

    So pleased that your mum beat cancer and is fighting fit xxx

  • i was just saying to Mr G today that so many of us, our friends and family, are caught up in keeping up with the Jones’. We often think about the what ifs in practical terms, losing jobs etc but rarely give thanks to having the most important thing, our good health. This post just cements those thoughts. Thank you for sharing x MMT #sundaystars

    • Yes, so true, sadly. We all think we’re controlling our lives, but it takes a second for our lives to change or for us to lose someone we love. However, at the same time, sometimes it also takes just a second to fall in love or to change our lives for the better. It’s just about appreciating the fortune in life that really matters – good health, love and loved ones. x

  • I so wish I could jump in head first! Sadly we are in a position in our life where such a thing cannot happen. That is not to say that I won’t do my damndest to change things though, no matter how long it takes. Thanks for sharing this and I’m so pleased that your mum beat cancer is fighting fit :) #sundaystars

    • Thanks Lisa. I think the thing to remember is that you jump when you are ready :) The time, your time, will come – in the meantime, just keep practising! :) x

  • Yep. I’m this kind of girl too. And although I’m lucky enough for my family to be blessed with good health (touch wood) I’ve always lived this way. We never go anyway without saying goodbye. Ever. And if I get a bee in my bonnet about something, I will move hell or high water to try and make it happen. Even if it seems impossible or ridiculous. Because you never know when your life may change, so there’s no point waiting for a better *more appropriate* day. Today is always a good day to start. #SundayStars

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

  • A fantastic post Katie, I completely agree! I felt the same way after my mum had cancer when I was at uni, all clear now thankfully. But now one of my friends has cervical cancer, but it’s been found early and so she doesn’t need to radio or chemo like my mum did, but it’s all to easy to realise that lives can be cut short.. Great. To hear that your mum is doing well now. Keep living for the day! :) xx

    • Thanks so much Jenny. I didn’t realise the impact my Mum’s cancer and experience, has had on me, until very recently. So delighted to hear that your Mum has now got the all clear and fingers crossed, that your friend will get that too, as soon as possible. x

  • A wonderful read, thank you. I’m definitely a very similar person to you. Although still with us now my mother has had health issues for many years. I’ve never really thought that my teenage rebellion could be linked but who knows?

    I do know that I definitely live for today, I’ve had my own health scares in the last few years and today is the only day we know we have. We can’t put things off indefinitely we have to live now.

    Maybe that’s one of the reasons I became an expat? The only regrets I have are things I didn’t do!

    Thanks for sharing on #SundayStars

    • Exactly that Amanda! Life is about living. These kind of health scares definitely change us and leave their mark. xxx

  • This is such an inspiring post. My family was touched with cancer when my mum was pregnant with me. My four year old brother had a wilm’s tumour and was treated at Christie’s. It was touch and go but he received pioneering treatment and survived. He is now a head master at an academy, a husband and a father of two. Yet, his cancer affected everyone in my family. It affected our childhood. But interestingly it affected my mum in the opposit way from you. She is now overly cautious. She never wants to tempt fate. Even saying you are happy can jinx your happiness.
    It is terrible that cancer affects so many people. And not just the people who actually have the disease. It is why I worked at Cancer Research UK for 6 years. And thankfully, whilst working there, I met so many people who had been changed by cancer in the same way that you have. They now take the bull by the horns and say “yes” to everything. so what if they make mistakes. We only have one life to live. Let’s make it a bloody good one. Thanks for linking up to #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • Wow my darling, thank you for sharing your family’s story. Cancer touches so many people and as you say, it’s not just the people who are diagnosed with cancer. I’m sorry that it affected your mum in the opposite way, but I can totally understand it. I think when cancer comes and leaves its mark, life is never the same again for any of us. Here’s to making our lives as brilliant as they can be. xxx

  • This is a wonderful, life-affirming post Katie. It can be damn scary at times jumping in with both feet, but when you do, it can feel amazing! I try to grab life by the wotsits when I can but I’m 50% go-getter, 50% worry-wart so I sometimes find myself in a tangle!

    I agree that it’s so important to appreciate your loved ones because life is so fragile. I’m so pleased your mum is back to full health. Keep on going for it in life, lady! xx

    • Thanks so much Jen. You’re right, jumping in with both feet is always scary but the rewards are worth it. Keep grabbling life by the wotsits! ;-) x

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