Right now, I’m tired. Bordering on exhaustion almost. This year has been such a mixture of naf and amazing. Well-balanced, some might suggest. I don’t. The bad stuff is bad. The worst I’ve ever know. But, I keep going. Sometimes because I have to, because people are relying on me. But more so because I want to. Something deep within my core, my make up, pushes me to succeed, to be reliable. It’s obviously a genetic thing, my family are the same. I’m definitely a giver. That one at Christmas who likes to buy gifts more than receive them. And I’m not saying this to be all ‘Oh wow, check me out, I’m soooooo amazing’. Absolutely not. I’m telling you this because I appreciate that not all people are like me. Not all people thrive on giving. Not all people find personal strength in providing for others. Being a rock, a supporter, a backbone. And that’s fine. We’re all different, which is what brings colour and diversity to the world. But we can all unite if we just make the effort and accept.
(And, although this is a ranting blog post for another day, this is precisely how I perceive diversity. Not in skin colour, nationality, sexual preference. Nope. Diversity comes in choices, strengths, flaws and individuality. Please honour this over-used word by giving it some depth, and move away from it being simply about someone’s appearance and heritage.)
So, the purpose of this opening paragraph, is 1) to show that I identify how we’re all different, and 2) because I’m about to have a little rant. I don’t let my word vomit come from my grumpies often; I usually keep my opinions on most matters closely guarded, always looking for the neutral route in public. But, lately, quite frankly, what tires me out more than the general poo and wee going on in my own life, is that I have to be subjected to other people’s nonsense. Problems that just can’t be classified as problems. And no, I’m not going to list examples, because I have no doubt most readers can read between the lines and have Twitter and Facebook feeds full of posts that make them shake their heads in astonishment and annoyance every day. Those posts that make you say, ‘Why have you even shared this?!’ or 'I was doing fine until I saw this!'
And I’m sick of people telling me what a terrible world we live in. How it’s all destruction and depression and what’s the point. I’m not going to say that there isn’t destruction and depression happening at most turns, because there sure is a lot of it. Problem is, it’s human nature to home in on the negatives, and with information being at everyone’s fingertips we see death and disappointment on every front page and news headline. But, there is so much beauty in this world, that if you can’t see through the misery, if you can’t seek out the incredible and extraordinary, then fundamentally, that’s where a lot of the problem lies.
I’m going to share with you something super personal, for which I’m not expecting words of support. It’s a way I want to illustrate my point.
My dad is dying from cancer. My proud, strong, supportive father who has been there with me every step of the way, is nothing more than a fading skeleton in a chair slowly giving up his fight. And this hasn’t been a sudden thing. Oh no. This has been years of painful, agonising symptoms and treatments, of stress and horror and shock. Of the world as we all knew it crushing and suffocating us. But, and here’s what truly matters, my dad still remains the coolest, strongest, most amazing man I know. Someone who shoves his middle finger up at the suckiest of people and things going on in the world. This is the man, despite his suffering and his knowledge that Mr Grim will be popping by soon, who still sets goals and milestones. Who planned to celebrate his 65th birthday and get his state pension – he made it! Who planned to see my first book published – he made it. Who plans to make my mum’s birthday in the summer. And who continues to plan ahead. He’s the man I sit with and laugh over terrible daytime TV shows, who bickers with me over a jigsaw, who gets excited about what’s for dinner even though he can only manage a few mouthfuls, who cracks jokes about needing help getting his slippers on.
Yeah, this man is strength and beauty. This man encapsulates all of what life should be about. That we need to forget stressing about the things we can’t control and just make more of what this extraordinary planet can give us if we look in the right place. That beauty is external and internal. That if we just stop seeking answers, revenge, excuses, reasoning, then real satisfaction and pleasure can be discovered, and in the most unusual of places.
When people feel troubled, I believe they need to look outside of themselves and their own four walls, beyond the misery that others seem to love shoving in their faces, and look at what we have got, what we have achieved, and what’s out there to discover.
I’m not saying don’t react or feel emotion to the headlines, to war, to sickening decisions made by politicians; I’m not saying don’t fight, or campaign or respond to hideous world and local events. Definitely not. I’m saying, before you give up and fall into your own dark box of depression, remember that life is good, that good people exist, that good things happen every day. Look for them, read about them, remember them. Don’t give up on life. Ever. There’s a person just like my dad on every corner willing to hand over their strength to someone else if they’d just seek it out.
Over and out.