A moment of calm in the chaos

This afternoon, I sit in the office by myself, listening to the birds singing and the cows lowing. It's very beautiful here, away from the world.

My colleagues aren't in this afternoon-  it's always been the privilege of Monday afternoons to get a little time to myself before the real work week begins. It's time for a waffle.

Today I've been lucky enough to be assessing some exciting new products that the team have developed and enjoying a bit of wordsmithing and thinking about packaging design- some of my favourite things. 

I've had the pleasure today of making simple plans for the future and by keeping busy, I have managed to keep my own anxieties at bay. 

As a huge over-thinker, I often get caught in the chaos of my own thinking- any kind of crisis, international, national or local is just grist for the mill. In the last few years, I have trained myself away from watching the news. This makes me quite a bad 'small talk' conversationalist but it does help me sleep at night.

The news at the moment is hard to avoid and as I try to be a responsible citizen taking appropriate action, it's easy to get caught in the anxiety cycle.

Sometimes though, sitting in the little wing of the Hospice, even in a moment of calm, it's easy to forget why I am here- it's thinking about this meaningful thing, that really gets my head straight.

Profits from Ubiety's product sales support end of life patients, their family members and carers in a seven hundred mile square radius. This care provision is there to help vulnerable people with terminal illnesses live and die well.

It's easy, even when working for an amazing charity, to forget that every day, people in our community are struggling on and trying to live their best lives while they can.

We can learn from these people and their incredible attitudes. We can learn from their carers and the professionals in the NHS who make it their life's work to protect them.

'Kindness' has become a meme in the last few years but the fact remains, acts of kindness, thoughtfulness towards those around you and unselfish decisions are what glue our society together. 

Our charity Dorothy House, was founded by Prue Dufour, a woman who gave up her home to care for others and who lived by those values every day. It really feels that in these moments of crisis, we need to look to role models like her and try and refocus on what's right, instead of sweating the small stuff.

 We need to live our best lives possible and not suffer from the regret of not having done the right thing, at the right time. On Tuesday I met an amazing woman who is doing just that. Ellie Talbot (@intheloungealkweek) is a beautiful and creative dresser, her choices in colour and fabrics show she has real zest for life and Art, a playful attitude which pushes cynicism to one side. Upcycling jewellery to make one-off, colourful pieces, she embellishes her world in a materially and psychologically positive way.  Despite suffering from chronic illness, Her every decision is something that enriches hers, or someone else's life meaningfully, while she still can.  She finds something lovely to say to everyone she meets, she appreciates beauty in everything and on her internet radio show, she promotes local and international charitable causes. Her energy is off the scale but she knows she may only have a few years left. How do people like Prue and the lady above succeed on their chosen paths, gain such life satisfaction?  Do our choices have to be as significant like Prue’s, or creative like Ellie’s, or can it be just little decisions every day, that make the lives of others smoother or richer?

Maybe if we try to 'pay it forward' and smile 'hello' to a stranger, or challenge ourselves by offering to get someone's shopping. It could be baking a cake, or doing someone's tax return for them, cleaning out a car, or cutting a hedge. That little act, can introduce  'calm into to the chaos'- by thinking about someone else and their needs, you can naturally and unselfishly reflect on your own- making sure you take the time for self-care too.

Perhaps every action creates meaning as it becomes part of a larger value system with future plans and goals- these values and plans build a strong structure to keep the chaos away, a meaningful existence you can think about proudly in difficult times!

Thinking about the lady I met up with on Tuesday and the legacy of Prue Dufour, I'm really hoping I can focus on the positives in life and keep finding meaning every day!

What do you do to put the 'zest' into your life? Do you have big over-arching goals like McDonald's 'Ms', what gets you through the chaos? Be sure to post something on Instagram and tag us @findubiety.



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