Quant je puis…all that I can

You know when you see something and you instantly connect with it – this phrase arrived in my life like that. It’s a fairly recent entrant into my life but when I saw the carriage panel on The Antique Kitchen last year, I just had to have it – because of the phrase Quant je puis – All that I can.

All that I can…it’s a really simple phrase but, for me, absolutely jam-packed with acceptance, permission and ambition – a phrase that can carry me through good days and bad, triumphs and defeats, challenges and hardships. Here’s why…

All…it’s a tiny, power-packed word, all-encompassing and full of intent – for me, it’s a reminder to try my best, to give my all and to ensure that I never look back and think “I wish I had done more.” So on those days when I want to give up, step back and fade into the background – it’s a little bit of armour to put on and to carry me that little bit further. I will endeavour to be all..to do all..to reach all that I strive for…

That…this looks like a joining word, a word that gets you from one place to another and on the face of it, fairly inconsequential. For me, it’s a quiet reminder to be specific, to know what I’m after, to remember not to try and put my arms around the world. If ever I’m unsure – I have always sat back and asked my self, “What am I trying to do here?” – it stops me panicking, it makes me take a breath and brings in that sense of objectivity and focus. What is that thing that I am after? It encourages me to be specific and measured – to know what “that” is.

I…it’s me, life’s about me. This word reminds me to concern myself with me. Ultimately it’s my choice, it’s my contribution, it’s my life – yes I am part of a family, a team, a group – but I need to be mindful that I matter. So I am in charge of where I go, what I do, how I react and what I reach for. It’s a great reminder that I am running my own race, it stops me looking over at someone else’s race/life and comparing and thinking that I am not good enough. It teaches me that I am living my life and the story that weaves through it is greatly affected by how I approach things. It reminds me that by understanding “I” and looking after “I” – I will be a much better “we”.

Can…I just love this word, it both spurs me on or gives me a break – depending on what I need. It’s a word that is loaded with ambition and reach and stretch – it screams intent and the ability to try – I will be all that I can. It educates me and inspires me to reach for the stars – I will be all that I can…as part of my family, my work, my life.
But then, it backs off, it removes unnecessary pressure, it recognises that I am running my own race – that race that is right for me. My part in this is to deliver all that I can and then I can be content – the can is not measured, there is not a mythical line that I have to reach to be deemed worthy. The line is different for different people and I’m OK with that, I can rest assured in the knowledge that if I have stretched more than I thought I could, have tried harder than I think I need, have given more that I need to give – then all is good with the world.

Then I can be sure that I will have done all that I can and that, my friends, is enough…

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