A New Year.

“The journey to your goal is more beautiful than the goal itself.” ~ Purvi Raniga

At the beginning of each year, I list the goals that I would like to achieve within that year. In 2019, these were primarily physical fitness-related, but due to reasons beyond my control, I was only able to achieve one of those goals: to complete an average of 20 kilometers per week, walking, running or hiking. Over 365 days, I completed a total of 1089 kilometers: a monthly average of 90k, or 21k per week, despite two bouts of illness for which I was inactive for a combined period of 6 weeks.

While this was a great achievement for me, there is another fitness goal I achieved which I consider to be one of spiritual fitness: Reading the Bible in one year. This was not an easy task for me, but I found that as it became a part of my early morning routine, this superseded my physical fitness goals.

As 2020 begins, and I reflect on the past year, what I realize, more than ever, is how precious life is and also how brief it can be. During the 5-month period when I underwent chemotherapy, I met and learnt about others who were in a similar situation to mine, battling breast cancer. To date, at least three of them have died. The deaths of these persons and others close to me have underlined the importance of relationships and people, versus money and acquired things.

Tomorrow I will be celebrating a birthday, and as the New Year begins, my goals will be more focused on people and experiences, in the hope that I can have a positive impact on the lives of others.

Happy New Year!

Don’t worry…be happy.

Worrying works. 99 percent of the things you worry about, never happen. ~ Unknown

One of my greatest fears is public speaking. Every time I am askedPart of the 2015 Cheltenham Festival crowd. Bumper crowds are on course to top the record of 237,000 to address a public gathering, my heart races, my sweat glands become overactive, and I remain in perpetual terror until the event passes and my heart rate can return to normal. I do not know anyone who has actually passed out while speaking in front of an audience, yet I am convinced each time that I may be the first to do so.

After living with a potentially fatal illness for the past two years, I have realized that standing up and speaking before an audience is not the worst thing that could happen. Recently I decided to share my story with my church family (at least 200 persons) during Sunday morning service. I simultaneously prepared and agonized for days in advance, but the time came and guess what? I survived! In fact I was overwhelmed by the positive responses I received from people who were in the audience, not only after the service but for several days following…in the supermarket, my neighborhood and even in the restaurant I sometimes buy lunch.

We tend to spend time agonizing about things over which we really have no control, however the best approach may be to pray, face our fears head-on, and then move on.

My next challenge:Colbeck Castle (3)
I have accepted an invitation to speak to a photography group about using photography as therapy. Will my heart race…my sweat glands become overactive…will I be in perpetual terror until the day passes? Probably. But maybe to a lesser extent than before.