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Beat The Beast Challenge

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Today has been an admin day. My daughter Heather broke her wrist last week in an accident at school. It is not a bad break and was dealt with very well by the school but needed a consultant review at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital Larbert. All is well. The splint remains and God Willing no requirement for a stookie as the break was so clean, hairline and remains in line. Heather has been remarkably brave throughout. It has undoubtedly been painful but she has adapted beautifully to conducting life one handed including her hair preparation. I wasn't looking forward to that panic before school every morning and I don't think Heather wanted me anywhere near her hair!!!

So although no activities conducted today I was not concerned as there is always the weekend to make up the fifth day of each week. But not being able to drive meant Heather and I would go to hospital by bus which meant there was no time to get to school and back before having to leave for hospital. This could have been a frustration. But I got on to the bus feeling guilty having rushed into the post office in the village store to get some money and then rush out again without stopping to ask on the good health of Bob who has helped me so cheerfully in the shop ever since I arrived in the village. I wasn’t rude, just quick and in being quick neglected I think to be courteous. This made me realise that today was not a frustration for lost time on the challenge but more of an opportunity to spend some really good quality time with my daughter.

Heather then inspired me in three ways today. Firstly that despite her obvious discomfort her first thought was always for me and my needs. What an example to set and how lovely to be reminded as a Father of the value of selfless commitment by ones' daughter. 

Secondly, in conversation about her injury during what was I think a slightly melancholy mood of why did this happen to her as she entered an intensive period of rehearsals for the City Pantomime she suddenly perked up as she started to ask herself what would have happened if the break had been worse. At that point she realised that it wasn’t worse so rather than being full of regret she was thankful for the fact that the break appeared to be minor and will heal completely and soon. Fantastic and took little prompting from me.

Thirdly a comment she made in conversation on the bus reminded me how, while we live in a .com world in which information and communication is at our very fingertips and therefore immediately available we do perhaps run the risk of losing a concept of the value of time. Not how much we can fit in to time but how to slow down the moment and savour all the glorious flavours, sensations and experiences that that very moment is offering. To truly value life in all it's glory and our relationships with friends, family and even God takes time. Yes I am advocating in this challenge the importance of seizing the day and making every day matter but I am also suggesting that to make the day truly matter and to do the very best you can perhaps we must slow down and not necessarily try to do more things quicker but to do the important things better and give time to what truly matters. To what makes us whole.

This was a truly unexpected reflection to have had today especially when faced with the possibility of having less time than one might have hoped. Should I try and fit more in to that time or should I force myself to slow down, focus on what truly matters and savour each and every moment in the living of the days ahead. On reflection the latter is what I should be doing and is indeed what I hope I am achieving through the challenge and as Heather reminded me today the importance and rewards to be gained from selfless commitment and to not reflect on what might have been but on the blessings and opportunities that any set of circumstances offers.

Sorry – Not much of a philosopher nor wordsmith but thought I might share my scrambled thoughts inspired by such a lovely day with Heather. The good news is that I am attempting 14 miles tomorrow so no time for philosophy!! I wonder if I will take the time to savour the sensations the blisters will offer!?!

Yours aye

Archie.