You arrive earth-side with a finite amount of time. Time to grow, communicate and relate. Time to educate, travel and expand. And time to love, procreate and settle. Until it is time to go. The best start in life comes from feeling safe; your family providing the early foundations for stability. If they are positive, healthy and productive then you can naturally unfold and develop at your pace. The correct rate for you; as a unique being with an exclusive genetic code and blueprint for a life.
Sometimes I wonder if my tale is already written? Out there in the ether; my life story complete with beginning, middle and end. And if that was true; can it be adapted? Can fate intervene with ‘crossed paths’, ‘about turns” and changes of mind’? And if not; are the lessons we learn pointless? Should we bother sticking to the ‘straight and narrow’, playing fair and doing our best? We might as well rebel, act up, be a little wild and stick two fingers up at convention and responsibility! Seize the day, eat the cake, have the extra glass of wine and bugger the consequences. Strangely I would get no comfort from this. I seek to be good, to be right and to be fair. This makes me feel at peace. I pat myself on the back for abstaining, being balanced, loyal and consistent. Boring? Perhaps. But I’m the girl who likes clean surfaces, everything in it’s place and her knickers in a tidy pile. I’m not a thrill seeker; do not require the wind in my hair to feel alive. For I never feel more alive than when I’m sitting with those I love, sharing a meal, laughing and being together. I even enjoy the clearing up after; righting the furniture, putting the bottles out for recycling and shining up the glasses still hearing the happy chatter in the air as I resume routine. A dirty word to some but for me ‘routine’ is safe, comforting and the mini-achievements on a daily basis that serve to join-up the peaks and troughs.
None of us are born equal; we should be, but we are not. Some of us are lucky enough to be born into love, culture and happiness. Other’s are not. We live in a fragile, unstable world which might go some way to explain the high levels of anxiety, depression and mental health issues that many face. How are we to feel stable; when all around us is not? The news is testament to the level of anger, hatred and injustice out there; should you choose to tune in. I choose to limit my news intake these days. Yes, I know it’s reality but I choose not to saturate myself in it. I mean what can I do about it? Am I to pick a cause; any one because there’s plenty out there to choose from and devote myself to it? To immerse myself in a worthy charity and work tirelessly for the greater good? And what would be the ‘knock-on’ effect of this? For every cause there is effect. I would leave behind my children, family, friends; my current life. Knocked off course from my own agenda; no time for creative projects, meaningful relationships, reaching out to those I love and offering them my support. How much of a difference could I make without creating a more localised problem? Watching the news is like standing on the scales naked and eating a Crème Egg; depressing. Hearing the regurgitated words of Politicians we were coerced into electing, despite the given choices being akin to eating a snail or dog poo. Or watching yet another uprising; band of prejudiced individuals brought together through antipathy and self-elected through fear mongering propaganda, playing out xenophobic games to the detriment of the innocent. No; I would rather watch ‘Homes under the Hammer’.
So I choose to spend my finite time with my children, my family and my friends. I also choose to allocate the better part of my life to writing; to reaching out to those who might read my words and gain some comfort from them. Might feel the solidarity in our respective issues; be them parental, body, age or relationships. Issues I am completely comfortable to discuss; to be utterly ‘guts on a plate’ honest about. There is nothing off limits; for we’re non of us infallible, living through the age of competition wholeheartedly supported by the media is in itself a pressure to contend with. Raising children with this pressure; a minefield. Reassuring them without creating delusional adults (see Britain’s Got Talent) and monitoring their expansive, connected world through the touch of a button in their bedroom is a full-time job in itself.
So let us start with our children; teach them to reach out, feel safe to cry, to vent and to express their feelings. Then teach them to empathise with others and afford them the same freedom of expression. Help them to listen; to be quiet and to tap into the peace within themselves. Encourage a wide support network, offering help to their peers where they can. Let them know they can’t do everything but they can still be a very important component in the equation to a solution. Teach them about balance, health, exercise; ‘a little of everything does you good’, ‘do a little and leave a lot’ and my favourite ‘if you can’t change something, change your reaction to it’. Each of these weighing heavily on personal responsibility; teach them that, to be responsible for their actions and not to blame others. Let them know that disappointment is character-building, life is ever-changing and that time will heal most things.
Time is very precious.
Use it wisely.