Today is a great day – make it yours

Photo by the lovely Helen Rosemier

Photo by the lovely Helen Rosemier

Success is about waking up every day with a purpose, being true to the values that make you who you are and remembering that a life without friendship, kindness, happiness and meaning, is not life at all. 

 

In a sentence

I'm a thirty-something publishing professional on a mission to make the best of every day – and encourage others to do the same. 


MY STORY

What are you doing today that you'd be proud to put on your gravestone? It's a challenging statement and one that gets me out of bed every day – after it was said to me by the nurse caring for me in my post-mastectomy haze.

I haven't always been driven by purpose. In 2013, I was a different person. I was so busy rushing through each day, working too hard, not turning up to parties or banking happiness, that I'd forgotten what it was to turn up in my own life.

You'd think I'd know better. I spent my twenties in pain, unable to run for the bus or dance at weddings. I had my pelvis sawn in three and pinned back together again with metal in 2007. I had to learn to walk again. 

But, as the scars faded, so too did the feeling of gratitude. 

Life, however, has a way of reminding us of what is important. That's why, three weeks after getting engaged to my partner of 13 years, we weren't discussing our big day, but rather mastectomy surgery,  fertility preservation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I was diagnosed cancer. This time, I wasn't fighting for a better night's sleep. I was fighting for my life.

Cancer strips you bare and forces you to take a long hard look in the mirror. Thankfully, I surprised myself with how quick I was to smile back.

Now, more than two years on, every day counts. I volunteer for six cancer-related charities. I've left Europe for the first time. I've run a marathon, I've made crumpets from scratch, I've reconnected with friends I haven't seen for 14 years and won a Woman of the Future award in recognition of the  person I've become, not just all the things I've achieved.

And, on 23 April 2017, my fiancee Duncan and I will be pulling off a world first and getting married on the Cutty Sark at 7.30am before running the London Marathon. We'll then be trekking a section of the Great Wall of China for our honeymoon. It's our big charity fundraiser wedding and it means the world to Duncan and me.

Every day is an adventure for us and, by creating this site, that's what I want for you too.

Why This Day Forward? It's part of a phrase linked to weddings, but for me it means so much more. It says, whatever has come before and whatever challenges you face, there is a way to move forward. It is never too late to change. It's also a reminder that 'this day' doesn't have to be a landmark event in our lives. Don't live for the big events, but for the ones that have the power to change the course of every day. That's what matters. 

Find a way back to your smile and you will be amazed at all you can achieve.

This Day Forward is my way of helping you discover all that is beautiful in every day.

Take a look around and then make today a day to remember.

What are you doing today that you’d be proud to put on your gravestone?
— The cancer nurse who saved my life

let's get started

This Day Forward is designed to help you put yourself first with...

  • The Thoughtful blog. Covering everything from happiness theory to how to get the best out of your 168 hours, this is my way of sharing all that I've learned from hours of listening to podcasts (while I run) and commuter reads. Happiness is hard work, but there are a few things we can all do to make it a little easier to achieve. I'll also keep you updated with our latest 'brighter life' challenges. First up, the wedding! 
  • A page dedicated to life lists. Why is it always so easy to create a massive to-do list for work and 'lifemin' but less easy to create lists that help you enjoy life, get closer to your dreams and make the most of every moment. Whether it's a gratitude  diary or a 'what next?' travel list, I share the pages of my life that keep me motivated and excited.
  • A few quick wins to help you start today