Wednesday, December 03, 2008

But For The Grace

I’ve been suffering from bear-with-a-sore-head syndrome for the last few weeks.

Not without cause I hasten to add: illness (still got a dodgy tummy), essays due in at Uni, the mad pre-Christmas rush to get loose ends tied up at work, my novel’s ground to a temporary standstill as other priorities take over, Tom has had a permanent head cold since starting at nursery which often leads to broken sleep for all of us, money worries, Christmas stress...

I believe the phrase is “at low ebb”.

But there are times when I am reminded of how damned lucky I am. My best mate’s youngest son is constantly in and out of hospital – some kind of chromosome defect has left him with poor eyesight, poor hearing, an inability to retain his balance and a host of other problems. He’s going to be in and out of hospital for the rest of his life I suspect. He’s only 5 and has already had it tougher than most.

Then there was the news item on TV this morning. Something like 10% of children in the UK are now thought to be subject to some kind of abuse – most of it carried out at home by family members.

I looked at Tom, sitting in his feeding chair, munching on a Malted Milk biscuit as yet another green line of snot wormed its way down to his biscuit encrusted top lip and I gave him a big hug. I got a “yum” back but this was probably a comment on the biscuit rather than the hug.

Life ain’t so bad.


Brother Tobias said...

It's the only way to look at life. Sort of stepping back so that the good things in front of one's nose come into focus, and the irritating ones are seen in perspective like tiny little sheep. I need to work more on this analogy.

-eve- said...

Oh, good post :-)
Tom and Ben are very lucky
and it never hurts for us to be thankful for all we have. as you say - even responsibilities and trouble are often worth it, cos if we consider, the good times are still more than the bad.
keep going strong Steve! :-)

KAZ said...

If he doesn't want that Malted Milk biscuit I'd like it.
I can always wipe the snot off.

Steve said...

Brother T, I know what you mean though seeing the tiny little sheep in perspective is confusing me...!

As Karen often tells me, Eve, even in the bad times the good things are still there - you just need to make sure that you continue to notice them.

Good for you, Kaz, a bit of extra protein never hurt anybody - and it prevents premature break-up of the biscuit when dunking it in a hot cup of tea.

Anonymous said...

are you going to watch 'its a wonderful life' this christmas? it matters not to me that this film is old, black and white, schmaltzy and considered by some to be just plain awful...I watch it whenever I can, and recently Steve I have had some of the 'low ebb' cloud hanging around..but a drawer knob coming adrift from a chest of drawers recently made me stop, breathe, smile and be thankful....continue to count your blessings...and I hope I'm not as old as your gran!!

Steve said...

If it's on Deirdre I may snuggle up on the sofa and let its good vibes wash over me. I have a number of Christmas films that are essential viewing at this time of year - Mary Poppins, Half A Sixpence, It's A Wonderful Life (of course) but also some modern additions in the form of the Harry Potter films and LOTR. They always get me in the mood for Christmas for some reason. As for my gran, she stopped growing old at 87 if you take my meaning - I'm sure you have a long way to go before you reach that!

The Sagittarian said...

Hi Steve - lovely post as usual! Yep, one foot in front of the other is the only way to do it I reckon. That way at least you can hopefully see any banana skins before you slip on 'em. Our Scowly Teen is a bit of hard work at the moment but I think the kids are tired....and it was 23 degrees at 8.35am today they'll be cranky tonight too! :-)

justme said...

I think we need to focus on the good things. Every now and then, I am quite overwhelmed by how lucky I am. ( When I am not whining and feeling sorry for myself, that is!).
I do think having kids makes you think about things differently, and makes you feel more vulnerable, but also more humble and blessed.
Gets things in perspective when you read the news sometimes.
Hope you feel better soon. Christmas is actually quite difficult I think, even when you have a lovely happy life and lots of things to be grateful for. Cos then you feel guilty for NOT feeling happy and thankful!

Steve said...

Hi Amanda: 23 degrees? Wow. We had a sharp frost that remained for much of the day - maybe we could swap for a couple of hours? You're right, one foot in front of the other is the only way to go.

Justme: yeah I know what you mean - that sense of having to have a good time is usually what makes me hate New Years Eve! I end up deliberatley having an early night and turning my phone off! Humbug! Nice to start the New Year without a hangover though!

Anonymous said...

Yes, children are good for giving us a sense of perspective on our troubles, aren't they? Whenever I feel that my life is a bit rubbish, I just sit and watch my children when they are sleeping and listen to them breathing and nothing else really matters.

But this time of year - weatherwise and the stresses of Christmas - is always a difficult one in which to maintain good spirits I find.

Only a few weeks and Christmas will be out of the way and spring will be in the air! Hang on in there Steve!

Steve said...

Hi Gina, yes a good friend of mine used to say the same thing - no matter how bad life seems, spending some quality time with your kids always sets things back into their proper perseptive. As for spring... I can hardly wait!

skatey katie said...

how CUTE!!!!
oh i miss my children being little.
i love them big of course, but i LOVED the learning-words stage SO MUCH!!!!!

funny, we are the same down here - although our weather beats yours hands down muhahahahaha
but seriously - i am not wishing our life away but i am so looking forward to two weeks' time when Bulldog will have finished kids' exams and reports and writing next year's whole school timetable and done the prizegiving ceremony and written his first essay of his summer school paper and WE WILL CELEBRATE HIS BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!
and Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!

hug that boy steve - it will keep everything in perspective.
wishing you peace and sunshine X

Steve said...

Hi Kate, without wishing either of our time away I hope the next two weeks fly by very enjoyably so you can enjoy the holidays and all the celebrations! Hugs all round, I reckon! ;-)

The Poet Laura-eate said...

A bit of pacing-yourself is all the matter I reckon Steve.

Steve said...

Absolutely Laura - breakneck speed all the way!

Daisy said...

steve...had some interesting stuff happen in my area to make me think that as well...the Governor we have who has caused all kinds of problems for us finally met his match was grand, my friend, grand!

Steve said...

Daisy - good to know that natural justice does exist.