Thursday, 12 June 2008

Enough is enough...

There are days aren't there where you just think that enough is enough. Today was one of those days.

Our good car has blown up - nearly literally as the turbo went bang in a cloud of acrid smoke the other day. That is going to cost a fortune, unless Seat own up to there being a problem with their turbo systems. I have to pay for our summer holiday ( the one delicious light shining up there in the future ), but God knows how. #1 son is desperate for freedom and wants to be allowed to go places by himself. He doesn't understand that that is all fine if things go well, but the worst nightmare ever if things go wrong. #2 son has just thrown a hissy fit over his maths fractions homework. And my good friend is being bullied at her work by an evil cow.

I have no control over any of these things. I bumble along trying to do my best for all involved, but its not easy. I suppose life never is, is it ? Things go swimmingly for a while and then they crumble. I am pretty fortunate in the grand scheme of life and I do try to do the right thing for people. Still, its difficult to do the right thing when you are getting shouted at in one ear by one person and the other ear by their brother.

As I grow older I realise more and more that life is composed of so many layers - like the proverbial great big onion. Nobody has a black or white character - more a muddy confusion of good and bad, kindnesses and self absorption. We all do things that can be seen as selfish or careless. What I really hate, though, is meanness in people. Deliberate unkindness over a period of time. My children tell me that they hate me and that I am a terrible mother, but the next minute, or hour, or as they curl up for a bedtime story they kiss me and tell me that they will love me forever. The meanness of a child is shortlived and borne of anger, frustration. The meanness of an adult is unforgiveable. As adults we should know better than to enjoy subjugating another. Whether that adult is at work, at home, part of the family there is no excuse.

What I really love is openness of spirit, kindness, the realisation of another human beings needs. My friend Jonnie had those qualities. She could sense a person in need and had no qualms about putting them first over herself. She knew how to open the door to a person's soul, be they a child or an adult. She was totally dedicated to others. For her "Jonnie " was not the be all and end all. Her story was unimportant other than in how she could help other people. She had the gift of being uninterested in herself, but absorbed by the lives of those around her.

As I grow older I become more aware of the currents that flow through our lives. I try to separate the parts of my life over which I have no control from those which I can effect. I try to base my actions on what is good and kind, but sometimes being good and kind to one person may not be seen as being good and kind by another. For example, letting my son walk to the shop to buy a pain chocolat may seem to him a kindness, but to someone else a complete lapse in responsible parenting. I cannot change the outcome of my car repair bill, but I didn't have to book a holiday.

All I can do is try to weave my way through the obstacles that present themselves along the path of my life. Because that, and how you cope with them, is life.

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