Sometimes you think you’ll be fine on your own, and sometimes you aren’t. At 61 years of age I should know.
And the tricky thing about it is that (with hindsight) sometimes even when you aren’t fine on your own, you probably really are.
It boils down to mental attitude, and a belief in yourself.
Of course your health plays a part in this, and at those times when you may feel you are having to make it on your own it would be wise to check your uptake of certain vital nutrients. If you are going to be fine on your own you MUST commit to taking care to eat well.
Over the many years of my life I have hooked into some digestibles that have been the reason I maintained a fairly ok constitution despite the odds.
A couple of these are: Vitamin B12 (optimises mood and mental performance as well as red blood cell production for higher energy) Magnesium (helps to calm the nervous system and combat fatigue) and Zinc (improves mood and cognitive function as well as supporting the immune system). Very recently, I came across a little known ancient medicinal herb, Ashwagandha, which can provide adrenal support and help balance hormonal levels once used sensibly.
Counting nutrients, not calories, has always been a super part of my own life as I have Sickle Cell Anaemia ( I ignore it as it ignores me) which sent me as a teenager to find out what were the things I should consume other than water.
Did I tell you that Barbados’ water is sweet? I remember drinking it by the bucketfuls daily from the tap in the backyard in between bouts of much running, jumping, climbing and yelling in the glorious safety of the outdoors.
One of the edibles that was supposed to be good for me was Spinach because of the Folic Acid and Zinc and just about every good nutrient that I could need.. Luckily we had Spinach trailing all over the pailing so I just had to pick some leaves at cooking time. I have memories even now of the shiny deep green leaves glinting in the sun as the vine ran rampant all over the galvanize, cascading in parts like a waterfall of foliage. In my memory I again compare its majestic abundance to the not so impressive and somehow amusing sight of the pumpkin vine with its pale budding flowers, winding in and out of the cracks in the ground, asking to be seen.
As I remember those buds now, I think that back then I might have subconsciously considered them anaemic like me. Inspite of the thickness of the stem, its hardiness, and the eventual size of its offering, the Pumpkin vine never moved me to adulation.
Did love the pumpkin fritters though.
I once said to my daughter, “When you’re young you think you have life by the balls.” Her reply was: “But I do, Mom.” And so she does.
Hers is “A mind not to be changed by place or time.” (Milton, Paradise Lost)
And as John Milton goes on to explain in that classic manuscript, ‘The mind is it’s own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..‘
She reminded me that she has her head screwed on correctly; she is capable of critical thinking. Then I reminded myself that she is no fool; young, innocent in some ways, but not stupid or given to gullibility. Her life so far has been inundated with others’ wishes for her, not necessarily with her wellbeing at the core, yet she has managed to steer a steady, rather successful course. She remembers the good, the warm memories, and keeps them close to her heart. She grows strong therefore, stable and confident in who she is and that she is loved.
The mind and our memories can be key in staying and living well. Make a heaven of hell if need be, and NEVER make a hell of heaven.
Sometimes you think you’ll be fine on your own, and sometimes you are.
All you need are warm memories, and a positive outlook to get you to that place you long to be. And if Barbados has provided you with some of these memories then as a Barbadian I am honoured that it has.
Make a home of your warm memories. Let it be somewhere you go to, something you can wrap around you, when you need a temporary respite or buffer from all that is going on around you – like a private holiday getaway or vacation destination that only you can travel to.
You can be fine on your own once you acknowledge those warm memories from time to time. They are there to give you comfort and strength; and a bit of laughter. They are proof of your ability to love, of your happiness when loved, and of all that you are.
They are proof that “it’s still a beautiful world.”