A Postscript to The Family Way – and Having It All………

I reflected, as I do, after posting The Family Way, and the old mind meandered off towards another path. I felt I had perhaps done a disservice to people who “have it all”. I am so grateful for what I have, and mindful of my good fortune, that I sometimes overlook the challenges along the way. It seems a little ungrateful to dwell on them! But that does a disservice to others who work hard and manage complex lives in order to stabilise their families and support them. We have complex lives in our family, and have had some histories to get to where we are. We are fortunate and have what we need, have a nest and the life support systems that keep us afloat. But we have worked to get there. Without boringly baring all and sharing too many dull details, perhaps I should explain.

Before we had our family, for whom we waited eight years after we married, we lost a number of babies before they were born. Does that mean we cherish the ones we have more than others? I don’t think it does – families love their babies however they arrive. But perhaps it means we have a lively appreciation of them! When the babies were small I worked nights for some years nursing in many different places good and bad, in order to support us. Being part of that system and witnessing it was a part of the reason for me starting my own company some years later – to make sure that we did our best to ensure that good practice happened and bad practice was not tolerated, that people had the best services and the best means of enjoying their lives that they could, regardless of postcode, disability, age, cost or any of the other factors that often reduce a persons quality of life. Our drivers are equality of opportunity and the right to a Life.  It was a difficult time but ultimately lead us in a positive direction. Losing a job later on meant I took some time out, did some painting and writing, took a good, long look and reassessed what I actually wanted and where my strengths were, and my life took off in a hugely exciting and fulfilling direction. A bad thing turned into a good thing. And when my parents died, within 3 years of each other, in hospitals that were shameful, and outrageously and obviously so , it once again took me down a challenging path that had some beneficial outcomes despite the enormous pain of that time, effecting some changes and leaving a legacy for my Mother to be remembered by. And when I became disabled a couple of years ago it was a period of real development for me – I blogged at the time about how it had taught me a new and honestly better way of managing and leading. I was genuinely grateful. And I freely admit to having experienced depression from time to time, and learning how to manage and actually use that experience has taught me a great deal. Life has been stunningly good!

I suppose what I am saying is that sometimes “having it all” can set people up for the envious and the sad, who might deride people who have good lives and feel they do not deserve it or have not earned it somehow. One of the online forums to which I contribute has a thread doing just that at the moment –  a few sadly envious people are having a massive pop at anyone, particularly those in the public eye, with some wealth or success and ignoring the fact that in most cases considerable hard work and experience have contributed to that status. Now, we don’t have oodles of wealth or extravagant “success”, but what we do have is sufficient, it is what we need, and who needs more than that? We have what we need to allow us to have some choices and be ourselves without reducing the meaning that supports our lives – we do not have enough to make us lazy! And we have learned so very much along the way, growing together and weaving our branches to create a support for the new shoots.

It has been a blast – and all those who have it all, who have developed their lives so that they can be themselves and support their families, should be proud of that. There is no pathway without brambles, but learning how to climb over them is a major cause of success and fulfilment. And to be honest, aren’t they one and the same thing?

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