This article has taken me weeks to write believe it or not. Not the tapping out of the keys, but the building of it in my mind.
It is nothing special as far as writing goes but there is a message weaved though it. I am writing about nothing, but really about everything.
I don’t want to keep bringing this up but the years of illness and subsequent loss of my wife Louise totally changed me. I can feel the change from the inside out. Life and the thought process of everything about life is different.
In what way? You may ask, well it’s hard to pin it, mortality – time – having – doing – value – and other people.
Here’s an odd thing to say but I have said this to those close.
I have no fear of death anymore, I use to, but now I only fear living the fear of not living my life right and therefore not impacting those close to me in the way I should.
I constantly try to make the right choices as I now know time here is so precious and needs to be spent right.
Over these last few years I know I wouldn’t be at this point now in life without my kids, Jo, and a few key friends Suzanne – Sarah, Glyn, Vince, Nigel and Bob.
My kids have handled loss in there own way as kids do where as I fell like a stone.
Without these key people I would have struggled to step up to life again, Jo being unbelievably supportive and understanding.
I am now a different person – better I hope than I was, not that I was all-bad but I could have been a better man. I worked too much and I could have given more of ‘me’ to others. Each day now I strive to be a better man. I use to consumed with work and competing – now each day I am consumed with how I can help others and living good life one day at a time.
I am now consumed by ‘doing’ rather than having. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have minimalised life and possessions.
I now only work for the kids essentials and holidays for them, Jo and I. Doing rather than having, living and enjoying memories – I would rather go to Florida than have a flash car, hence I have no car.
Instead of being consumed by myself and competing – I now want to pass on and help as many people as I can. I have turned my little success into raising money for others. Over the last three years over £40,000 has been passed on to cancer research -Wakefield hospice and the Forget Me Not Hospice.
I say this not to put myself on a pedestal, but to show how YOU my bodybuilding community has raised with me only at the spear tip of this thing.
My plan is to keep pushing this on to £50,000 and beyond. It feels so much better helping others and anything I ever did in this sport.
My plans to step on stage again have much more to it than getting in shape and doing my stuff up there.
No – I know that doing the one thing I’m fairly good at creates an interest in my small community therefore I sell more books and the posing camps sell out in hours, and more money is raised for charity. I help others who in turn help others, we all win.
It’s the only thing I know – training – drawing, writing and those things are giving me the tools to help others. So when I ask myself what’s my purpose? I feel it’s to help others to be the best they can be, I truly do.
I feel like I have just rambled on with really nothing to say, like I said at the start of this mash up of words it says nothing but everything.
The take home from this could be.
Try to be a better you, nobody’s perfect and nobody ever will, but try.
Don’t be consumed by yourself – seep into others and be far more than you can be on your own.
Live each day – work only to do -to live and enjoy time.
As I have got a little long in the tooth – I think about life a lot. Like I said earlier I now only fear not living right.
Being happy is key, do what makes you happy. For me its simple things, I thought for years it was having – working- money – competing – winning.
Then I realised the less I had the happier I was, hence the downsizing of everything.
I had a huge business relative to me, that run me into the ground. It took years to realise this. Some people thrive on money in money out – staff and huge company overheads. It’s not my bag.
Simple – basic and being stress free is now my idea of success and happiness.
A few months ago my son Louis asked me “Dad if you could live anywhere where would that be”?
I didn’t even hesitate – “Bridlington or that coast”.
Louis could not believe I would not want to live in Florida, California or the like.
Its a case of being back to my roots I told him, I love the sea the quite rural sprawling openness. I love the memories there of a simplistic childhood and everyday was spent on the seafront and beach.
I had a life plan for as I got older and the kids find their own way to move back to the coast. I crave the sea air and an even simpler life.
As the months ticked by I started to put the life plan in place.
This has led to me buying a lodge/cabin between Hornsea and Withensea – basically in the middle of nowhere but walking distance to the beach and a small village with a butchers – bakers and a candle stick makers – no not that a post office ha ha.
The plan is to use it for weekends for the next few years -it offers quiet open space, so quiet its deafening and clear night sky’s you would not believe for Jo and I. It also has Hornsea and Hull some 15 minutes either way for Molly and Louis – although Lou loves the outdoors as much as me.
This will be in time the ultimate downsize, just the basics of life and the joy and happiness and tranquility that brings.
As the kids need it the home we have will provide them a start for their homes and the cabin – sea and quiet will be ours.
I feel I have come full circle back to the start of my life journey much wiser and full of experience.
Between now and then all I will do is live life the best I can and help others do the same.
What more is there?
Love Ian x