It was my birthday yesterday. I had a lovely day. I got many messages via Twitter and Facebook from friends and family. We went out to the pub with friends and had a very pleasant evening. I had two lovely birthday cakes made for me by Mrs L and some great pressies. I would like to thank you all for contributing to making the day more than I anticipated it would be. It is not unusual to assume that events may be a let down or people will forget you. When I say that, its not unusual for me to think like that. I have great friends who do not forget and do care. I do not always appreciate or deserve their sincerity and friendship. I mention this as the day before I felt very down. I anticipated an anti climax with no one remembering or bothering. This thought process is silly and irrational . My family have never forgotten my birthday in my 48 years. There has been many a time when I shared the day with my late mother in law Winnie. Her birthday (27th June) often was celebrated on mine with a family do. Indeed my late father in law Joe’s funeral was on my birthday 21 years ago. I remember as we left the family house after the funeral, Winnie touchingly apologised for spoiling my birthday. She obviously had no need to. It was a memorable birthday even if it was with marked with sadness.
You see there’s this glass. To some its half full but to others half empty. Its a very old phrase but it does perfectly describe that idiom.
I helped a good friend move a wardrobe the other week. We collected it and had to partially dismantle it to move it. His mum was convinced that we would never do it and kept reminding us of that. ‘Oh you won’t manage’ or ‘your’e never going to get that down there’. This lady has beaten breast cancer twice and is still smiling, but only foresaw failure and defeat with moving a wardrobe. Maybe what this tells us is that you choose your battles rather than be eternally and universally optimistic. I however start from the empty position. It is probably the scars of depression from many years ago. It leaves its mark on you like a hex.
Every holiday time I worry for weeks about the car working properly. I take that responsibility on when I need not. I convince myself that when Amazon fail to deliver an item, it is my fault. One of my children is upset, I immediately assume I could have done something to prevent this. This personalisation of external events is tiring and puts strains on relationships. I seek reassurance that I am not to blame. The world I realise, can fuck itself up without my help or input.
I am writing two books as well as many other blogs. I love writing. Its a release, a channel for opinions, love, warmth, anger and frustrations. I invent confident, self assured characters that live the life I do not. I speak through my writing when the spoken word is harder to put across. I can be someone I aspire to being. I walk away from a piece of writing back to reality and the old doubts creep back in. I’m sure that some of you reading this would stand next to very confident people that show less self awareness but more vitality and decisiveness and feel inadequate. The contrast in the glass analogy can be put like so:-
A. I am 48, overweight, greying, with no real job, a family growing up and away, no money and no prospect of coming into money. My friends are all more successful than me through their own efforts. I have very little to look forward to.
B. I have a wonderful family whom I love very much. I have survived treatment for cancer in the last few years. I have many years of happiness to look forward to surrounded by good friends and loved ones. I believe I have a talent for writing and will be published one day.
So take your pick. which one is realistic? Maybe the truth is that a mixture of the two is more like it. We all have traumas in life that affect the smooth passage through.
In truth we as a family have had significant issues to deal with since 2009. Bereavement and serious illness do not often occur in such a way. This has permanently affected the happiness level of some of us in the family which only time may heal.
Personally the answer must be to try to revert to half full as the alternative is no longer an option. Having a serious illness and seeing those close suffering with life threatening illness, brings attitudes into perspective. The problem is of course that I have spent so much of my life thinking negatively, that to rewire myself is a big challenge. You do get to a stage though when you just have to. So bear with me as I try to think happy thoughts and step out with a spring in my heel.