Swing from the chandelier

I heard that song by Sia yesterday and felt incredibly sad. You would think that the thought of swinging from anything would be an exhilarating thing…

Since November I’ve been having a health blip and all the self-pity that comes with it. I have watched my life shrink, my steps shorten, my movements slow, my mouthfuls of food become tiny. My ambition and creative ideas have just flopped. It’s very hard to explain this feeling. It’s a bit like climbing into a big cardboard box and not being able to get out. Or trying on new shoes with the opposite laces still tied together. Or moving through slow-drying cement.

Right now, I long for a brisk walk in the fresh air or the ability to glug down a tall glass of water. It’s funny what you miss when you can’t have it. Swinging from the chandelier is definitely not on that list! But maybe it should be. When days become about solely surviving, maybe that’s when we need to have the courage to dream big.

When your life is shrinking for whatever reason- illness, family commitments, financial constraints, anxiety, fear, what’s your chandelier? Mine used to be to wear high heels again. Now it is simply to get myself to the top of a gentle hill, or the edge of the sea and just. stand. there. With my poles of course. Otherwise it would be a different swaying experience altogether!

If you look up the lyrics of Chandelier they’re actually about a socialite who is trapped by her circumstances. A bit like Lily Bart in The House of Mirth. When I listened to it yesterday I was feeling sorry for all the things that I can no longer do. But when I heard the news about Caroline Flack, and read the lyrics in full, I realised that all the high heels, physical achievements, fame and fortune in the world can never ensure happiness. Or love.

These two precious gifts are right here beside me. I’m ashamed I ever forgot that.

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