Today is the 19th anniversary of my brother's suicide. I've mentioned his death before (usually on other people's blogs), and I'll keep mentioning it periodically because it is a big part of who I am and what I do. If he hadn't died I'd probably be a research librarian or a high school teacher, both of which are Good Jobs, but I spent a lot of time after his death wondering why I should have to do what everyone else expected me to do, and eventually finding the nerve to do something I liked passionately. I'd like to think that if he'd lived he would have been the Arty One at first, but that I would have got there eventually. I'll just take this moment to add that suicide SUCKS. Don't do it.
Anyhoo, around this time of year I like to think about why I still want to be on the face of the Earth, and it usually boils down to some very simple things. So I'm starting a meme, because I'd like to know what keeps all of you alive too.
The Remember to Breathe Meme (or: 12 simple things that keep me going from year to year)
In no particular order:
1. the smell of Jonquils (or Daphne)
2. a deep blue sky
3. swing jazz
4. a drift of bright-coloured autumn leaves
5. cat purrs
6. the wonder that humans can still come up with fresh ways to be creative
7. bird song
8. risotto, fresh off the stove
9. sunshine on my face on a wintery day
10. a book that can take me away from it all
11. Worn paint
12. Looking out over the sea from a cliff
That's today's list, anyway. I could probably make up a new one every day. I haven't included any of the thrills I get from the work I do or from my loved ones, because that's an added bonus. This is what would keep me alive even if I was single, childless and working in an office. But do add that sort of stuff if it's what keeps you going.
I'm not making a list of participants... feel free to take it up or leave it be, but do drop a line in the comments if you do this meme direct from reading this post, because I'm genuinely interested.
So, what about you?