Today I am in high spirits after the most amazing game of tennis this morning with my wonderful, uplifting and encouraging tennis friends.  I’ve been playing tennis now twice weekly for about 2 and half years on and off in between all the medical stuff and every now and then I just feel at a standstill where I never seem to get any better.  Always starting off on the loser’s court and ending up on the losers court after a two hour session of trying my hardest to move up the ladder and get closer to the winning court but failing.  Although not failing miserably because I always, no matter what the score is, I thoroughly enjoy myself.
I love the focus it gives me in those two hours whilst trying to successfully put the ball over the net and place it exactly where I want it,  I get to forget for that precious time that I have a deadly disease.  Kim and Gill never take the game too seriously and whenever I play with them there is always lots of laughter and sometimes side splitting outbursts, mainly at my dodgy shots.  But that is why I love it, along with the millions of high fives from Sharron (sounds cheesy I know but it’s such a team sport it’s hard not too when you’ve just hit a winning shot) and today was no exception as I played my little, pink, tennis socks off and came second in today’s social tennis out of twenty people.  I think the tennis coach Phil, was more shocked than I was when he read out the scores!
Was it a run of good luck or did I just wake up this morning and think stop trying so bloody hard Melanie, relax and enjoy it, a metaphor for my life really. Because for some time now I’ve been chasing the next best alternative cure for cancer, never pausing for a minute to just relax and let go and think about the present moment and making the most of it.
I realised something recently that life was all about love and happiness and that nothing else really mattered.  So I took a long hard look at my life as it is right now and thought am I in love with my life and am I truly happy and if so what does it feel like and have I got it right?  All I got was a blank.  A nothingness, no emotion, no feeling at all really.  Because if you ask me to describe what it feels like to be in love with life and feel happy I’d imagine a warm, gushy feeling, constantly smiling, skipping about the place filled with enthusiasm for everything and everyone.  But in reality (speaking from my own experience) life just isn’t like that.  It would be very nice if it was but that is simply not true to be a walking bundle of joy everyday as an example of someone who loves life.
And then I had some sad news about someone I love, and I realised just how much I loved them.  My parents are going away for Christmas (which I think is wonderful) but I realised just how much I’ll miss them.  My kids slept out for 2 nights and I realised just how much I need them.  When I felt sick I realised just how healthy I was before I became sick.  When I cried and felt sad, I realised how happy I was the day before.  And when situations arise that would normally stress me out, I now find myself in a completely calm place and realise how far I’ve come.  You see for me, when something is taken away, it’s only then that I realise just how much I love my life and the people that are in it. I suppose I take things for granted, like we all do, but it’s only when something slaps us in the face that it makes us stop and we begin to appreciate everything we’ve got.   So I don’t need to be a walking ray of sunshine to realise how happy and lucky I am to be alive and to say yes I do love my life and I’m extremely happy.
So all I need to do now is to continue to live in the moment, polish up on my tennis skills and hopefully, one day soon, I will be the one holding the trophy on the winner’s court…and this will be the new metaphor for my life!

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