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  • Writer's pictureSusan Reynolds

The wind rises

‘Le vent se leve, il faut tenter de vivre’….The wind rises, but still we must live

This quote from French writer Paul Valery means that although life sometimes has a way of blowing apart our dreams and plans, we still have to keep living. (For a beautiful film about this, look at The Wind Rises (2013) by Miyazaki for Studio Ghibli.)

So, this is easier said than done, especially this year. When the life we had now looks unrecognisable we can find ourselves in shock, depression, anxiety and just overwhelm. This might be anything from cancelled summer plans, a job that no longer exists, to the loss of a loved one. The loss might be too big to just pick yourself up and carry on – there must be time for grieving.

It’s tempting to give up – what’s the point of planning anything at the moment? It’s true that life no longer feels predictable enough to fill up our diaries in the way we used to. We are forced to live in the present with an unknown future. But here’s the point: we never did have any more control over the future than we do over where the wind blows.

So should we literally live one day at a time? Mindfulness talks about living in the present – not filling our head so much with regrets about the past or worries about the future that we miss what is going on right now. But it’s still good to dream and make plans: jobs we might do, places we might go, people we want to see. You could say that today’s day-dreams feed tomorrow’s decisions. The trick is to remember that actually we are very small and when a bigger wind blows through our life and leaves it looking very different, then the original plan will have to be adapted or re-invented.

This way of living is now called resilience. Even when a huge part of our life is gone, we can

still hold on to who we are, our core beliefs and values. We can use these to build new day-dreams which will lead to tomorrow’s decisions. This is simply how we must live.

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