Monday, 18 March 2013

the no more tears formula

Yesterday I went to a wedding.  The truth is I didnt' actually want to go. Not because I didn't wish the happy couple every good thing, but because of the reasons I wrote about back at

So it was with more than a little trepidation that I got my fancy dress on and drove two hours in the pouring rain (OK so I wasn't actually the one doing the driving but still) to go and see a couple I barely know get hitched.  This was my also to be my first experience of a ''second time around for both'' wedding amongst my peers - the last having been when I was a child and my parents friends were all re partnering.

The wedding was held in a small marquee at a friends house, in fact the place these two had met just a year before.  The bride wore red, the groom wore a kilt.  All the invited guests were asked to declare their blessing on the marriage.  There were friends old and new, children and grandchildren of the happy couple.  The vows were spontaneous and delightful (him) and incredibly heartfelt  (her).  The readings were agnostic and humorous but clearly chosen with them both in mind.  The service lasted all over 15 minutes and then it was over.

There were no sweeping statements - no denial that both of these people had ''been there before'' - and an acknowledgement of all that had been, whilst still with the feeling of excitement and anticipation that any new marriage should have.

It was lovely.  It was real. It made me believe in happy ever after.

And I didn't cry a single tear.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

a healthy dose of self pity

Life has a way of backing up on me.  Things can be swimming along very nicely (thank you very much!) and suddenly there's a nasty rip that feels like it's going to suck me under.

I've had a few weeks of rough weather at sea now.  A friend called in last night and in the course of the conversation told me of her own bad few weeks.  I remarked that I felt I couldn't take a single thing more - the stress levels are high enough thanks, and one more little thing might just be my undoing.

Of course the reality is one more little thing won't make much difference at all.  The things that I'm struggling with right now are no different to those of a million others out there - job insecurity, financial uncertainty, growing children and the ensuing parenting issues, an aging body.  I moan too much about ''doing it alone'' when in reality I'm not.  I've got good kids. I'm in a great community, I have a great partner and I co-parent pretty effectively with the father of my children.  What right do I have to complain, really?

Well, here's the rub.  Perception actually is reality.  So on the days when I feel like I'm doing it alone, I actually am doing it alone.  On the days when lifes challenges feel insurmountable they probably are.

The lesson for me - be kind to myself, be kind to others.  Back to my old mantra - offer grace and be be gracious in return.  Remember that life is always going to give me a few lemons.  It really is up to me to get stuck in and make the lemonade.