Recently I have been reading / hearing many stories (and I use this word rather wearily (is this even a word ?) because I don't believe they are stories (which in my mind is a fictional tale of something) - I believe these accounts (is that a better word ?) to be true) about the tragic lives that people have lived. Stories of abuse of children. And adults. Horrific stories about tragedy - tragedy of children who didn't have a childhood. Abuse by people who should have known better. And, it got me thinking. It made me realise (a) what a great life I have had and (b) just how naive I can be because I, never in a million years, could have imagined what some people have lived through, never mind how I would have coped had I been in the same situation.
I grew up in a middle class family in a middle class neighbourhood. I lived in one house from when I was born until I got married at the ripe old age of 22. I then lived in that house for 12-13 years until we sold up and moved to Australia. We rented for 6 months until we bought the house that we currently live in. When we bought it in September 2000, I said to A that this was it - we had moved half way around the world into a rental and now we had a house and the next move I would make would be in a coffin to my cremation. (Yes, we joke about death - often - even with my folks who are 76yo !). (There is another post about the next step we are about to take with regards to our house.)
When we were kids, we didn't have a lot but we certainly didn't need anything. My Mom worked at a uni 9.30-1.30 so was there when we left for school and was there when we got home from school. We walked to our friends in the afternoon and played and then walked home at 5pm in time to bath and have dinner and go to bed.
My Dad worked reasonably long hours at his job and did a lot of long distance running and playing tennis but he was always there when we needed him.
I can count on less than one hand (is that a saying or am I just making it up ?) the number of times that my Dad raised my voice to my Mom. He certainly never raised his hand to her. I think there was maybe a handful of times that I can remember him being miffed with my Mom about something but not nearly as many times as my Mom was miffed with him (and I would go so far as to say it wasn't always his fault that she was miffed with him - she would get a bee in her bonnet about something and he would be the one to cop it). But, apart from when she screamed at us kids, I never heard her raise her voice to my Dad.
My parents have been married for 53 years this year and I couldn't be more proud of them.
When I met A, we knew within a couple of weeks that we would be together - so much so A went and bought bridal champagne glasses (without telling me), wrote the date on the box and put them away until we got engaged ! We have had a great life together - yes there have been difficult times, yes there have been times when I have wanted to throttle him, yes there have been times when we wondered where the next $ was going to come from but we have got through it all. There was a time when I threatened to leave him because of extended family issues but we worked through it. There were times of complete joy and happiness - bringing K home and settling down as a family was one of the greatess moments of my life.
Every day I count my blessings when I think of others who have dealt with situations that have been so different and so much more difficult. My Dad often says (about himself) "I have had such a great life. I'm a lucky fella." I'm not saying that my life has been easy sailing the whole way, but I certainly haven't had to deal with cr*p the way some people have had to. I admire those people - who are still standing strong at the end of it all - I think that if it had of been me, I would have just curled up in a ball and let life pass me by.
Today I am thankful for the fantastic life I have lived - for the great support system that I have - for the wonderful experiences that I have lived through - and for the small (by comparison to others) adversities I have faced which were never too big for me to handle and maybe that is because I truly believe we are never dealt a hand that we cannot deal with.
I am also thankful to Pip from Bub Sweat and Tears who told me about morgueFile free photos that I can use without fear of infringing any copyright issues !! I love using photos and colour in my posts but can't be fussed with downloading them from my camera (plus there is no way I can take photos like these ones !!!)
What are you thankful for today ?
TFTD : Focus on the small things you can do, not the big things you can't. Small steps turn into miles in the long run.
(Ain't that the truth ?)