Yesterday, 8 August, is my father’s birthday, and I woke up today wanting to share some thoughts – hence this long overdue nudgeme news.

As some of you will know my Pa died suddenly 5 years ago, the day before his birthday. So why haven’t I written yesterday ‘was’ his birthday, or perhaps said my ‘late’ father’s birthday?

New word ‘is-ness‘ = present tense

Well, firstly, it struck me this morning how strange the use of the word late is to describe a person who has died (or lost for that matter…) especially given my Pa was never late for anything. And secondly, this word ‘is-ness‘ came to mind. It is¬†still my Pa’s birthday, and he is always very much with me any time I think of him in the present.

Pa brought this idea of present tense home to me after my Nan died, when he suggested we change the wording on her headstone. We’d originally said my Nan was much loved by all who ‘knew’ her, and we changed it to much loved by all who ‘know’ her, which far better reflects how we all feel.

Then there’s a lovely phrase Pa used to say that speaks to this present is-ness. “In the garden of happy memories, no one ever really leaves you”. In recent months I’ve come to see how right that feels more and more. Because as long as I have the ability to think, there’s a never ending supply of lovely thoughts about Pa.

I know some people might feel sad when they think of people who have died, but for me this idea of is-ness gives me great comfort. It makes me focus less on a feeling of physical separation and more on the idea that my Pa is only ever a thought away.

Trawl for Gold

That also brings to mind why I named my blog “Trawl for Gold on the River” – on the River because that’s where I live, and Trawl for Gold after another of Pa’s expressions to end each day looking on the bright side and for the best in people. A version of what’s become well known these days with the focus on the word gratitude as a means for improving people’s mental wellbeing.¬† It is said it is impossible to have a bad or stressful thought at the same time as thinking about what you’re grateful for.

I don’t know if that’s true for everyone, but I do know that thoughts create feelings, and as soon as I’m feeling out of sorts, it’s a good indication that my thinking has gone off track. A sign to not take anything too seriously, wait for the moment to pass, and for those inevitable better thoughts to flow once more. Because that’s the nature of the system, thoughts come and go and come and go, and seeing that makes for a much easier life. And that doesn’t mean to say difficult or sad things don’t happen, of course they do, but I do get to choose where I put my attention. So, rather than hold onto thoughts that appear to cause my frustration or upset…to Trawl for the Golden thoughts, which in my experience, is a much kinder and happier way to live.

Thanks for reading my musings. I’d love to hear how they resonate with you.

I’ll be sharing more on my musings today in some conversations I’m planning later in September. If you’d like to join one, either as part of a group or one to one, then do drop me an email. In the meantime, consider yourself nudged until the next time, and have a lovely summer.

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