Remona AlyThursday 19 January 2023 Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2
Carousels and forward thinking
January can be a dull and dismal month for me, so I was grateful the final embers of 2022 were lit with distracted fun, as New Year’s Eve saw me hanging off the painted unicorn of a carousel, high on sugar, while trying to mask the fact this was yet another orbit around the sun.
New year…same me, since I’m no good at resolutions or breaking habits. Every year, I put off doing my taxes until the eleventh hour. Every year I’ll do anything to avoid a piece of work – tea breaks, Insta reels, googling what people google like, ‘Why isn’t 11 pronounced onety one?’ And I end up dancing around what has to get done, instead of diving into it.
Like that carousel, I wonder if I’m going around in circles, instead of moving forwards.
Perhaps it’s a silent fear that time is becoming irrelevant. Despite revelling in all the amazing experiences so far, I wonder if the exciting part of my life is done with, and whatever chances I had, have passed me by.
I think of all the milestones I didn’t reach, the loves I never had, the achievements I couldn’t make…my opportunities burned out like a box of used matches, while the days ahead seem emptied of the fire of youth and promise.
But what if all the years past are simply the first half of my story? What if the life in front of me holds the best that is to come?
Maybe the universe isn’t done with me yet.
Whatever is past, today – right now – is the youngest I will ever be. And each morning offers me the keys to a prospect that this might be my most beautiful adventure yet.
The 12th century-born Persian Muslim poet, Shams Tabrizi said, “However old we are, whatever we went through, it is always possible to be reborn. If each day is a copy of the last one, what a pity! Every breath is a chance to be reborn.”
With each inhale, exhale, comes an opportunity to breathe my life in new directions. So I’ll be less carousel, and more unicorn, as I fly forward, towards endless possibilities.