Half Lived Life…….or reasons to be
cheerful – PART 1
As I enter my
half century there’s a lot to reflect on.
What has got me through the last 50?
An indomitable spirit no less!
So here’s a potted history of the story of my
I’m born…..8 weeks after a catastrophic event
that rocked the world……the assassination of JFK….if I had any notions of the
world being a safe place it was knocked out of me then! Adjusting and adapting
to a rollercoaster lifestyle which I’m completely obilivous of. In this stage
of my life, I exchange a tropical landscape (akin to paradise) for the colder
shores of the Northern Hemisphere so snow is a new experience! I sample the
delights of my first school and realise that I love learning!
bites……and I’m learning things that life is not a bowl of cherries! Parental
conflict inhibits their childrens’ growth but this appears to be the destiny
prescribed; so layers of fear and sadness build up in young hearts. At this stage,
I try out my second and third schools as we return to a political battlefield
(aka “Paradise”) and brother no. 3 arrives. Paradise is not so pretty so we
return to freezing temperatures and hearts to match!
I discover a
flair for writing and while away the hours (that are not filled up with
responsibility and chores) by writing poetry and bits of fiction. Learning is
still a great adventure but adventure has its fraught moments! Teenage angst
and depression kicks in and so it’s the start of the worst wonder years and I
wonder if I’ll ever grow …into a graceful swan!! Books become my refuge and
spending time at the library is a highlight!
The swan makes
an appearance but low self esteem prevents me from truly appreciating my worth.
I lose myself in my insecurities and familial dysfunction but keep a smile
pasted on my face….so I fool everyone but myself. People-pleasing is my default
setting so I become mediocre by burying my light under a bushel. Whilst I
believe myself to be too weak and inadequate to chase after my dreams, I bump
into a pipe dream that is merely an illusion and on the way to becoming a full
The world is
certainly not my oyster. No oyster could thrive in the murky depths of my mind….
and my soul is crushed under the weight of the world on my shoulders. Just as
well, since I choose vegetarianism as a healthy option. I get hitched and have Baby no. 1 who is
adorable and as perfect as he needs to be. Motherhood is life-changing and I take
to it like a duck to water (responsible people do!) and there’s plenty to smile
Into each life
some rain has to fall but this is torrential! I’m starting to see the wood from
the trees and it’s not picturesque. Imperfectly perfect is all I can say about
this period. I learn things I’d rather forget but this is the character
building stage when I have to take the “slings and arrows” of what fate’s
dished out (or so I think!).
Wow – two more
babies in this era and they’re both all I could imagine and want. I’m a
blissful mother as I have managed to produce a mini-me (daughter) too and
that’s a good feeling. But the clouds are never far away and I start growing
some courage….deep within tiny shoots develop….and I water and feed them day by
day. I also feed my mind good books and endeavour to keep myself in good
company but that’s not proving to be easy!
A period of
confident growth. I’ve analysed my life choices and found that they were based
on fear and sadness so what good can come of that? Now I come into my own, I
grab at opportunities and take “the road less travelled”. I’m relieved to find
that it’s not as arduous as I first thought. My body may be tired but my soul’s
rested and I experience freedom and (god forbid!) fun! Challenges are the
making (not the breaking) of me and my unbound spirit soars.
I love life –
what a revelation! I can (almost) do as I please and not please anyone. My
inner resources are strong as I become solution-orientated. Problems come
and….go……and I try to see the lesson before I jump into depressive mode. My
heart’s light (body needs work) but hey I’m thriving and surviving. I’m ending
this half century (and starting a new one) strong.
At this stage of my life:
(for everything I’ve learnt the hard way)
I’m free to be
myself (except when I choose not to be)
(most of the time)
I’m in good shape
(when I don’t over-indulge)
I even believe
in miracles (in fact, I am a miracle!)
Life has taught
me that it’s short and I need to pay attention to the details – like me, myself
and I - and “attention must be paid”……to my mind and my soul…..purity matters.
So here’s to the
next 50 years of a glass half full……may my cup runneth over!