Category Archives: Special People

An Airbrush for Life….

If you could, would you?

“Of course,” some may reply.

Mmmmm, I’m not so sure.

I was applying my make-up this morning, seriously considering that if I have to use many more primers, plumpers or smoother-outers I’m going to have to start the night before, when the thought of a concealer for life came into my head, then, even better, an airbrush.

My mind quickly started rifling through my memories, selecting those for the eraser of all things bad, the sad stuff and the cock-ups.

But none of our actions happen in isolation. If, along with the bad stuff, some of the high points of your life went too, would you still go ahead?

I know I wouldn’t.

My tough times have taught me about personal strength, the power of forgiveness ( of myself and others), the kindness of strangers and that the love of family and friends is the most important thing in my life.

And as for my high points, I wouldn’t swap one of them for all the air-brushing in Hollywood!!

 

 

 

 

That Pollyanna “thing” again…..

How many times, especially this last year to eighteen months, with all that is going on in the world, have I bemoaned what has/is to become of mankind?

I have lost count.

Where have all the decent folk gone?

Answer – wait until you need them and they are there.

Don’t give up on the world or the people in it. There is more to be “Glad” about than you may thInk right now.

Life isn’t about stretching from one high point to another, but about finding worth in the twists and turns.

I always appreciated the goodness of the people in my life, but now they are carrying me through what could be termed a low point, sharing their strength, their love and compassion, allowing me to find the worth of where I am now.

Thank you.

Just Doing What Comes Naturally

How many times have you heard this? Does it usually spring up at the very moment someone is about to attempt to justify the unjustifiable?

Mmm, me too.

“It’s only natural,” is as bogus an excuse for bad behaviour as it is in the labelling of a lot of snacks and convenience foods. In a civilised society we are supposed to temper our “natural” inclinations, to take into account the feelings of others and the impact of our actions on our environment.

Pity then our children trying to make sense of a world where the media makes much of those that shout loudest, stomp on the weak and celebrate/revere the rude, crude and thoroughly undignified.

I feel bombarded by media showing the monetary success this kind of celebrity can bring and, even at my age, have problems processing the quantity and quality of the information, so how on earth can we expect young people to make sense of it, or to be able to filter the myth from the reality.

Unfortunately, and very sadly for all of us, when they try to emulate their modern-day role-models aren’t they then,

“Just doing what comes naturally?”

Be Your Own Best Friend

Throughout my various blogs I have referred many times to the quote,

“Love thy neighbour, as you would love thyself.”

I have also gone over how I did not “get it”, for years, that you need to start with the second part of this before you can understand loving others.

The veracity and truth of this comes back to me so many times, that, each time it does I feel I get a better understanding than that first light-bulb moment.

Friends are wonderful and I am very blessed with mine, but until you learn to listen and respect your inner voice, your inner self, you will continue looking for answers to your problems from others. And no-one can fulfill that role, can know what is truly best for you, better than you.

The act of talking an issue over with a friend is great; quite often allowing you to hear the solution and the sense of it. It can provide a clarity and a comfort that comes with sharing and their loving support.But, ultimately, the answer was within your grasp all the time.

In being your own best friend you need the honesty that comes with this kind of relationship and also the same generosity of spirit you would show to that friend when needed.

Finding peace in being alone should not isolate you, but provide you with a strength of self-awareness and allows you to be a better friend to those you love.

Being Thankful

This is going to sound a bit odd, but my husband and I are just back from visiting a very good friend, of many, many years, in hospital where he was recovering from a severe and acute illness, one that very nearly killed him, and we had the best nights craic ( that’s Northern Irish for fun and laughs).

We had both been concerned at his appearance at his mother’s funeral two weeks earlier, but did not expect to get the phone call we did from his distraught wife on Sunday morning.

We drove up to the hospital with knots in our stomachs, fearing the worst. But it was great to see him sitting up and back to his grouchy ( in a good way) form, giving us the low-down on his dramatic escape.

And maybe that’s what it was. Maybe we all (his wife, her friend, my husband and I) felt like we had escaped that gaping black hole of grief at the loss of someone we love.

It was a time to laugh at the old times, go over those old stories, when we were ALL there to enjoy them once again. It was a time to let these wonderful people know we love them and our lives have been enriched by them being part of it all. And we did.

My youngest daughter phoned while we were still there to ask about our friend and to give him her love. This guy normally pretends to be oblivious to sentiment, but not now. He lowered his head and nodded, “Oh, that’s nice”, he muttered, still looking down.

Don’t wait to tell those that are important to you how much you love them.

I am so thankful our friend is still here, so grateful of the lesson in this.

The Pro-Divorce Scenario

PIcture this please.

Father and daughter are sitting in the garden on a lovely sunny day. Daughter is pregnant with her first child and starts to discuss the recent departure of her mother for sunnier parts, never to return ( or so it was thought).

Daughter asks Father, “Dad, when did you know you had made a mistake marrying mum?”

Father pauses and then replies , “Well, about a fortnight after we married I think.”

Daughter is stunned and says, ” A fortnight? What happened? Why so soon?”

And so he continues, ” Well, she made my dinner one night and asked, as we finished, what I thought of it. So I said it was fine, but perhaps the potatoes could have done with being cooked a bit more.”

“And?” the daughter asks.

“And she didn’t speak to me for a fortnight. I remember thinking “God, I think I’ve fucked up here.”

Daughter continues, ” But Dad, if it was so bad so soon, why did you go on to have kids and inflict your unhappy relationship on us?”

“Oh, you know, nature takes over, things just happen,” he replied with resignation.

“Didn’t you ever think to divorce before we came along?” pressed the daughter.

Shocked, her Father replied, “Oh no! That wasn’t done! You couldn’t do that, no!” He seemed to shudder at the thought.

The daughter shuddered at the memories. I still do.

The “Great Put Down”….?

Yes, I have laughed along with the best of them when a smart comment seems to take the ground from under a politician or other such publicity hungry individual who has apparently grown too big for their boots. The individual that deals the blow seems to grow in stature, to be feared and revered at once. Who has not admired the skilled comedian that leaves the heckler speechless and regretting he bought his concert ticket.

While we laugh along with the giant-slayer we are part of the crowd, anonymous and comfortable, relieved that, for now, we are not the victim of the barbs. But it can come to us all.

I have been told that no-one can put you down without your co-operation; a sentiment I understand and appreciate, until you remember that we all have weak spots. Those more subtle slights that compound our self-doubt can be more deadly than an outright assault, one we see coming and can fend off with a smart repost.

Who among us is bullet-proof when in the line of fire?  Not I. I have way too many faults and weaknesses to want anyone to “take me down”, humiliate or destroy me as part of some great sport. I would also take no pleasure in inflicting that on anyone else.

So leave it to the wannabe politicians and their inquisitors.

A “Great Put Down”. No Thanks

Hi There..

Here I am, back again and very glad to be so.

We all see the good and bad in people in our everyday lives, but usually to a more mundane extent than I have witnessed this last few weeks. I have already written about finding who your true friends really are, when it really counts and your back is against the wall.

Well, very sadly, a remarkably good, kind and much-loved person died last week and I attended their very moving funeral, a service full of love and support for the surviving family and friends. What was mentioned time and again was this persons love for life, right up to the end, their lack of bitterness at the cancer that was taking their life, way too early, and their loving thoughts for those they were leaving behind. What this individual and their wonderful family faced was awful, not deliberate or in any way avoidable, but completely life-changing for all concerned. Yet, despite the palpable sadness of loss, the overwhelming feeling in the chapel was of love for a life well-lived.

Now, I have always had an issue with that certain meanness of spirit I have found in some people throughout my life, the kind of people who take joy in the misery or misfortune of others, seemingly begrudging folk the air they breathe, but, standing in that chapel all I could think was of the total futility and waste of time it is to spend even one precious second of my life carrying anger or hurt in my heart at the actions of others.  It changes nothing and that burden weighs heavy, leaving no room there for love and affecting my ability to take joy in the rest of my life.

So I will take some of that positive energy from the way this good person both led his life and faced his death and use it to drive the fear and negativity from my mind and from my soul.

Thankfully, kind, loving and warm people still vastly out-number the shitty ones.

The Calm Before The……..Whatever

I keep checking the mirror to see if I still LOOK like me, because I sure as shootin’ don’t feel like me! I should be running around , crying, ranting, chewing my fingers to the bone, but I’m not. I feel strangely calm with just flutters every now and then of mild panic, quickly subsumed by this… “peace.”

I highlight this because it is common to a few situations close loved-ones have found themselves in lately as well. They have gone through horrendously stressful times, struggling with a life-changing decision, only to find that having taken the leap this same strange peace or calm descends. Other strong forces (sadness, grief, regret) can still take their toll, but, for me, the knowledge that matters have come to the only conclusion they could and should have, make the rest of it bearable.

But I am very, very fortunate. This could all sound incredibly trite to others without the level of support and kindness I am blessed with. I may yet be typing another entry in this blog with one hand, while tearing lumps of my hair out by the roots, cursing myself for putting my own happiness before my duty as a wife, daughter and mother. But what use am I to anyone without my soul and what example would that set to my adult children.  “Yes kids, live your lives but don’t believe that you deserve happiness, or peace, or self-esteem, or joy, or hope.”  No, I don’t think so.

I remember when my children were born saying the “only” thing I wished for them was that they be happy, truly happy. Some friends of mine hoped their children would be doctors or dancers or successful….you get the picture.  At this stage of my life I look back and think my wish may just have been the most ambitious.

Oscar, The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful.

Congratulations to Eddie Redmayne on his recent success at the Oscars, even more so when you look at the competition he was up against.

The amazing potential an award like this can bring to highlighting the plight of people suffering with not only Motor Neuron Disease, but other physically and emotionally crippling ailments, is huge. I wonder how many people had never even considered the life Prof. Stephen Hawking had before this illness wreaked its havoc on him. Do they look at him differently now?

Will they stop and think on the next time they talk over someone in a wheelchair like they are not there, or  s p e a k  v e r y  s l o w l y  in the company of an elderly person. Don’t think so.

One film cannot turn the tide all on its own, but it can shine a light on how much we all need to look beyond the outer packaging of our souls, at what actually counts in a person, and the movie industry shows us the flip side of that right now. In ” 50 Shades,” we have women, all over the world, ready to surrender all common sense and dignity, and why? Because Christian Grey is “gorgeous”, of course!

And this is all celebrated on an evening where every aspect of the actors/actresses appearance is scrutinised to the tiniest detail; where not a smidgen of fat or less-than-perfect skin is on show. Regardless of their acting abilities,if any of these lads or lasses couldn’t cut it on the red carpet they might be waiting a while on the next script dropping through the letter box.

I don’t believe Hollywood is about to change its beauty obsessed culture any time soon, but the rest of us need to wise up about it all. Real folk don’t come with air-brushing!