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Take a deep breath

How often do I tell my girls to do this? And today, I’ve already had to say it to myself more than once.

Life is amazing. It’s a gift. And we all deserve it to ourselves to make the most of every single moment.

And yet experiences and events can make you become very short sighted and very blinkered, often in the cause of self-preservation

Andy and I are about to embark upon a project which will see us create our dream home. And excited doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel.

A year ago we (and Rowan, the Welsh Springer Spaniel) moved here - well, about half a mile

down the hill behind the camera - to the West Pennine Moors, to a horrible little house but with amazing views and ‘potential’

This morning we’ve been and chosen the stone for the walls: Old, reclaimed stone that has already had at least two lives (one before being quarried and another in the mill from which it has been reclaimed).

And seeing that stone and thinking about what has been, what is now, and what is to come, has made me have a bit of a wobble. But ironically, the wobble is about the fact that I’ve not had a huge wobble!

Two years ago I didn’t have the confidence to book anything more than a few weeks ahead. I didn’t want to tempt fate.

Today I chose the stone for the walls of the house that I will live in for the rest of my life, and others will do after me for the rest of theirs.

And for the first time in 3 years, the excitement of something future-based is far outweighing the niggling voice in my head, reminding me to not count my chickens.

I wish that voice would bugger off!

That voice has already held me back enough. It has held me back in launching projects, in putting myself forward for things and in sticking to plans.

It’s getting quieter and I’ve started to learn to push it to one side far easier than I could. But it hasn’t gone completely.

So the stone will arrive in about 2 weeks for the beginning of its third life. Obviously, I’ve got loads more whinging about dirt, dust, noise, lack of space etc to be done in the process, but this also marks the true beginning of the third part of my life. The part which truly is post-cancer. And the part which has so much to offer.

And truly embracing my new-found future focus, I’m going for it. So, on Monday 13th May, not only do the builders start work on the house, but I’m also launching a sector-wide piece of research into the well-being of those working in the charity sector, predominantly but not exclusively focussed on fundraisers.

But more on that later Today I’m focusing on ballet classes, birthday organising for my gorgeous older daughter who is 12 on Monday, and on enjoying the excitement of what the future holds

Take a deep breath!

Claire x

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