“The real journey of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

My second favourite Marcel (after mime artist Marcel Marceau) advocating a practical and balanced perception of events, rather than the event itself, afforded individuals greater revelation.

Although I’m late to the party with this lobbying cry, it’s an advocacy I embrace myself these days; a trait which’s significantly improved this offbeat fella’s ambrosia levels.

Footnote – At this juncture, I would’ve also liked to’ve included an insightful philosophical soundbite from Marcel Marceau. However, with him being a mime artist, I’m struggling to unearth any of the late entertainers vocal championing…… In lieu of this I enclose a photo of the bloke who liked to pretend he was stuck in a glass box.

Marcel Marceau – He didn’t say much!

Proust also opined that “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” The author also attributed with proffering “Do the Shake and Vac to put the freshness back.“….. Actually, I think the latter suggestion was made in refrain by actress Jenny Logan in a 1980’s carpet cleaner commercial….. Best strike that!

The French writer/philosopher’s observation regarding gratitude to individuals who make us happy is another of his quotes which, from what I’ve learned in the past three years, is a pretty decent mantra to follow.

My penchant over the past few years to only mix with friends/acquaintances with half full glasses (or charming gardeners of our blossoming souls, as Proust may label them) was the catalyst to heightened contentment. A purging of the negative and toxic from my life enhancing yours truly’s existence immeasurably.

Attendance at the alma mater of life in middle-age has instilled a reflectiveness and wisdom which for decades were ‘in there somewhere’, just seemingly reticent to make an appearance. GJ Strachan’s new-found peace of mind now thankfully his default animation; as opposed to the tortured soul riddled with angst which was his millstone of yore.

As Proust’s 100+ years old advocacy suggests, my journey of discovery to a place of calm wasn’t consequential of seeking new landscapes. No, this more contented life juncture is courtesy of obtaining the wisdom to evaluate life through new eyes.

This new positive approach admittedly enhanced by the fact I’ve retired early and, for the first time in over thirty years, stand unshackled from the obligations of husband, father and latterly carer. Being free to live life how I desire (within reason) for the first time in adulthood is a truly wonderful feeling.

Despite being as flawed as I ever was, I now afford myself the luxury of being happy without pangs of guilt, or worrying the brio will end sooner rather than later. I’m resigned to the fact yours truly, like everyone, will have turgid times – However it’s good to report that, at last, I’ll now let myself enjoy those occasions when gravy flows fountain-like.

To close, another observation of Proust’s was that “We are healed from suffering only by experiencing it to the full.”

Now don’t get me wrong my life’s been ambrosia compared to many individuals (including at least one family member).

However, it has to be said, enduring a decade where I suffered a heart attack, lost both my parents, dealt with a spousal cancer fight, was hospitalised with a gastric bleed and spent eight months as a carer, I’d say that suffering has made me significantly stronger and it, at last, feels as though I’m starting to heal.

Proust certainly knew his onions….. Well, I suppose he was French so it’s hardly a surprise I guess.

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