Usually when I begin reading a post that starts, “it was four long years ago today that…” I am getting my finger ready to click off. These pieces are usually about loss – loss of a friend, a relative, a pet, or an inanimate object such as a car.
It’s not that I’m not interested, I am… but I am also aware of protecting my own emotional and mental environment. I am conscious of whether what I am about to expose myself to will lift me up, or bring me down.
Putting the time – “four long years”, early in a piece, suggests we are going to take a trip back into history. Depending on the author, the content will usually lead you down one of three paths.
The dark path – it’s gloomy, depressing, and you feel sad or horrible when you finish reading.
The sympathy path – you feel for the person but don’t really empathise. You have not completely bought in emotionally to their writing. It was nice, you might like it and you go on about your day.
The uplifting path – you are taken on a journey of loss or tragedy, you remain present, perhaps buy in somewhat to the emotion. In the end you have related and you feel positive, energised, and uplifted. You are ready to take action or make change.
As it turns out it was 4 years ago today that I wrote my first post. That’s about 209 posts ago equating to just 1463 weeks. 1463 doesn’t sound like a long time ago, does it? Or maybe it does.
Each week I have had the pleasure of chatting with you and sharing what’s on my mind or what bee is in my bonnet at the time.
I have worked hard to create interesting and entertaining content, that will not only make you think but also leave you feeling positive and uplifted at the end. Ideally, this feeling will stay with you and prompt you to take action. My purpose is not just to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, well sometimes that’s also the purpose, but for you to do something about it and to feel empowered.
Four years ago, my sister created a Facebook account for me, which I didn’t really want. What I did want though was to be part of the stories and pictures that were being shared of Ben. Like the customer who wants the hole, not the drill, if I wanted to see this type of content easily, I had to join the social media movement.
And so, on the 8th of October 2017, it began. I have written from a multitude of geographical locations and from air space in between. I have typed on a laptop and scribbled down words on the back of scraps of paper sitting in coffee shops, parks, and on planes, miles up in the air. I have explored hundreds of different topics with one common theme. To add value.
My first post was one of gratitude. When I looked back to see what I had written, one line stood out.
“In every decision we have made, we have first asked, “What would Benny want?“
‘Ha!’ I said out loud. Such irony in this! So much has changed in my life but this line remains the same. Not so much what would Ben want but the fact that I still check in with him on all my decisions.
This week I had an amazing opportunity to share my story in a podcast for FORTY (not published just yet but check out other amazing interviews!). As I got myself organised I looked at his picture on my desk, ‘Okay Benny, we’re up!’. I logged on and connected with the girls in the studio. Just before we started, one of them said, ‘Oh my god, there’s a bird sitting on this window ledge! This has never happened before! He’s just sitting there looking…’
I had to laugh. You just never know what’s going to happen when Benny’s involved 😊
I look at life today and Ben is a part of everything we have and everything I do. It has taken time, (four years) for me to get here but I know I am lucky. I can only appreciate this by briefly glancing back.
Today I write for a living and get asked to speak and share to a variety of audiences.
The last question I was asked during the interview was, ‘What are you most looking forward to?’.
I smiled and got an overwhelming sensation, like goosebumps. ‘To making a difference! To making it count, my life and Ben’s. To making a difference!’
I don’t know what you will take away from today but perhaps it will include the following thoughts:
- Are you conscious of what makes you feel energised and uplifted? (and what doesn’t)
- Are you aware of what you are regularly exposing yourself to? (including triggers for the dark path)
- When you experience something that inspires you, what action do you take? Why?
- What gives you goosebumps when you think about it?
- What are you most looking forward to?
Last week I asked for stories of Ben, and today I am excited to share the first one 😊 Please keep them coming!
“It must have been year 3 and it was Valentines Day. Miss S said she wanted to take Ben some chocolates so she did. She walked up to him and said, “These are for I don’t know”… and ran off.
Ben had the biggest smile on his face and was like “YUM! Chocolate!” I’ll never forget it! 💙
Dalya xx 💙