Often in my world you see things no reasonable person should see.
It’s not the blood and guts, no, we don’t see them nearly as much as everyone thinks. It’s the darker, more insidious undercurrents of the human condition we witness. It’s the single mother in a housing commission flat, high on drugs who has lost both custody of her daughter and control over her life. It’s the neglect in nursing homes, the complete loss of self and independence the residents have, the despair when we realise that old Betty has had a broken hip for a week and no one has noticed. It’s the man who arrested—dead—on the side of the road who you manage to get back, his family crying on the phone to loved ones in the hospital.
It hits you like a truck sometimes, that we all have the capacity to be these people we go to. We put a barrier up, which is an easy enough thing to do when a great deal of our patients fail to look after themselves, and believe that we couldn’t be in their shoes. But we could.
How many poor decisions away from becoming a single parent in a Strathpine housing commission flat do you think you would be? Many fewer than you think, I would argue.
How hard would it be to end up in a nursing home with staff that fail to notice you’re broken a bone for a week? Considering the state of most of the nursing homes we go to; not very fucking difficult.
How often do you think that this is all there is, and to make the most of it? After all, any of us have the capacity to die unexpectedly like our bloke on the side of the road.
Living like there’s no tomorrow can understandably cause problems, but living like there’s no terminal event in our lives can be similarly problematic. The difficulty lies in how to balance the line between them. Temperance vs haste.
I feel like I have gained some wisdom of age, but still definitely still have the folly of youth. Life’s too short to hide in the shadows and be unheard so I am noisier, know what I want and ask for it. Mostly. I want to experience the full breadth of human experience, however how compatible is that with all else we are ‘supposed’ to do in life?
I am going to XCM World Champs to race elite in a month. That’s part of the human experience for me. I qualified and while I have a snowflakes chance in hell of getting on the podium I have recently been in great form and think I can have a great race. It costs a lot of money and will be a big drag financially, but in my temperance vs haste argument it is all justified, after all i’m thirty and opportunities like these don’t come knocking all the time.
So, live in the now, you never know we hit our terminal day.