Looking back – survived or thrived?

I’ve kept journals on and off over the last ten years; a habit that I’d have benefited from taking up sooner. I wonder what I’d read if I’d kept a journal back in the days when I was in conflict zones around the world. My memory is poor and there’s a lot of blank patches where I believe I’ve unconsciously locked things up.

Among the words I did record, there are highs and lows on adjacent pages and often even the same pages. Events apparently presaging disaster, over time have led to personal growth. Many difficulties have become a source of strength. My worst depressive episode forged a character and mindset I’m proud of; bolstered a desire to help others where a can. Did I survive, or have I thrived, because of adversity? It’s a false dichotomy.

How I fill my working hours is now of paramount importance and a longer term perspective informs the choices I make day to day.

Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.

Pablo Picasso

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