Andy and Red in Shawshank Redemption
Prison – almost as fun as hospital

I’m a firm believer that just because you’re in hospital doesn’t mean you need to put your life on hold. Of course a lot of things change: no commuting to the office for a while; you can’t just pop out to the pub or take your wife to the theatre; the concept of food takes on a whole new – and not exactly positive – meaning; to name just a tiny proportion of forced modifications to your daily life…

But that’s life, anyway. Every time something changes in your life, be it a major upheaval such as changing job or moving house, or a minor inconvenience such as the trains not running or needing to stay at home for a parcel delivery, the way you live shifts, too – even if if just for the short term. We adapt to the situation; we don’t just put our lives on hold until things are ‘back to normal’. Life’s too short!

So why should we put our lives on hold when we’re ill and in hospital? This is just another twist of the type life is wont to throw up when least unexpected. There are limitations – low haemoglobin makes me weary, for example – that mean we cannot do everything we might want to. But when can we? Life’s about adapting, and making the most of what you CAN do is key. Being confined to my room has given me a chance to write that I wasn’t really finding time for outside hospital – this is a great joy for me, as are receiving visitors, reading cards, feeling Harriet’s babies kick, watching Homeland and talking to Mariacristina about life, the universe and everything – just to give you a small taster…

Certain plans are now paused, but others have arisen. This isn’t my life on hold – this is my life. If we don’t make the most of it, even when confronted with mighty challenges, it will just drift away. None of us knows how long we’ve got, so grabbing the most out of every day is a no-brainer – even if that just means talking to someone you love or experiencing the emotions prompted by your favourite box-set.

As Shawshank Redemption tells us: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” If anything, this is even more important when you’re in hospital. I think I’ll opt for the former…

4 thoughts on “Get busy living…

  1. You’d better George! Might be offline for a week now, but if I am, I’m expecting lots of inspiring thoughts when I get back!

  2. Hi George, I have been reading your blog and thinking about you and your family a lot – you write incredibly well and evocatively, which I knew already of course – but I just wanted to say thank you and wish you all the best once again. Emmanuelle (Goldsmiths)

  3. Hi George, I’ve been following your blog and keeping up to date with posts from Harriet and MC – your writing and will are both incredible – I’m going to share this one, we could all stop, read and learn something from you – wishing you the very, very best and I’m sure there’ll be lots of extra love and laughter today with Freddie arriving – Helen (we met at H and Dunc’s beautiful wedding) x

  4. George,

    I enjoy your blogs (great writing!) and hope that good health comes very speedily for you. Your inspirational words make me smile and I think a lot of people could learn from your wonderful attitude. 🙂

    The best wishes,

    Antonia x

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