Despite all my innate cynicism about the Government/banks/systems/taxes/petrol costs/EDL marches/UAF marches and every other petty bureaucracy/ hate-crime that seems to make me sadder about humanity and society, I have to say, those around me are wonderful. I’m very lucky.
My parents and grand-parents have made me a feisty, resilient, independent, confident go-getter with the spirit and drive to do what I wanted. I was born lucky because I was born in their family. From my father, I learned the gift of the gab, the charm and honest sincerity that win people over. I learned optimism and I learned that if you fail, you can get back up again. I learned that we continue to grow and develop, to become, every minute we’re alive. We aren’t what we were a moment ago. He taught me to smile and to pick up the pieces and move on. He taught me to be brave and to believe anything is possible. I never yet had a single argument with my dad. Not one.
Yet, I’m not my father through-and-through. Some of my best qualities are those I got from my mother. I learned to be honest and to be kind. She let me have independence, hard as it was for her to give, and she let me grow. She nurtured me and let me be what I needed to be, even if that wasn’t always likeable. She taught me that happy endings exist, in other ways than my father did. She taught me the quiet happiness of sewing, creating, making, growing.
And I’m my Gramps – stubborn and obstinate, steadfast and hard-working – And I’m my Nana – a nurturer, a cook, proud of what I’ve achieved.
They taught me that you can be what you choose to be, that life isn’t always fair, not to settle. And some things they taught me by omission. My Gramps taught me life is too short, because his was and there were still things he hadn’t done. He taught me to seize the moment, because it’s gone too quick. And my dad taught me frugality, by not having any! And my mum taught me not to worry, because she worries all the time, and she taught me optimism is better than pessimism.
I’m lucky to have them. And I’m lucky for my other relatives, too; my sister, who is my rock when I need her; my brother who is most like me, I guess. My uncles and aunts. I’m surrounded by good people. And in many ways, it gave me a blinkered view of life, because I thought this was how people are, when in reality, there’s petty grievances and jealousy and hatred and nastiness. I’m sad I had to learn the world isn’t like my family. I wish that was one lesson I’d never learned in life, but, if anything, it taught me that my family are different and precious.
And I’m lucky I have got Steve, my rock and inspiration through all of this. He brings me a calm I never knew before, and a peacefulness and a happiness I never thought would ever happen. I love his understated strength, and that people really don’t know him very well. I like that he’s something at work that his friends never see, and I like that he’s someone else entirely with his friends than he is at work, and someone else unique with me. He’s an amazing father, despite many difficulties, and he is determined and stubborn and I love that he will lie in that bed he’s made until he’s sorted it out as best he can. He will reap what he sows, but whatever it is he’s sowed, he will still nurture it and do his best by it. And I like that I never knew he could be like that. I like that he’s shy and he worries what people think – people that matter to him. I like that he is so understated and few people expect him to succeed with such aplomb. He’s intelligent and practical in ways I am not. That makes me lucky.
And luck has brought me to Les Ecures, despite having ‘lost’ a house we never had at Blanchard, and having brought me down a path I didn’t want to tread, job-wise. I’m still here, still standing, and things aren’t as bad as I thought they ever could be.
Things will no doubt turn sour. Money is always an issue, as is work, and worry, and family, and health, and a million small worries at the back of my mind that have the potential to rip the fabric of my life apart – there’s an anxiety there that will never go away, but, just in case you are of the opinion I am one of life’s complainers, I have another string to my bow, too – that is I’m perfectly good at counting life’s blessings when I need to be!