It has been one of those weeks where nothing has quite turned out as we thought it would – the culmination of some tricky events that have escalated over the summer. I can’t write about them yet – they aren’t just mine to tell. But the impact on the family is great and a dash up the motorway has left this body feeling more decrepit than ever. Chronic pain is flaring and spiralling. Emotions are flipping between tears of worry and screams of anger; a lack of sleep and a definite lack of concentration is overwhelming.
I am sorry to have missed Monday Magic yesterday. This poem that I found by Patricia Grantham seems appropriate!
Today I finished reading a science fiction book that has got me thinking – not my usual cup of tea but I have been asked to review it, so that will be coming! Anyway the premise of the story was of life taking different turns and thus different timelines – the what if? or sliding doors scenario. The main character finds himself with 3 different versions of himself due to time travel – the timelines all run from 1965 to 2016 and the world is a very different place in each one. Which timeline is the correct one for the world? Is there such a thing as the “correct” one? How can one minute action change the whole future of the world? If we were all given different life timelines would it be possible to always make the right choices?
Life is full of uncertainties and every day is full of actions that will have consequences. How many times have you wondered after an event “what would have happened if I’d gone left rather than right?” It made me think about a recent conversation where a mother was saying that her poor teen child was always the one that things went wrong for, had the worst health problems, and suggested everyone around them should be sympathetic. She said “When my teen gets upset and asks why does it always happen to me, I agree that it isn’t fair.”
But is this the right way to answer? Is Mum allowing the teen to always put the blame for every situation on to someone else? It may be better to stand up straight, shoulders back and tell the world “well I don’t like what has been handed to me, but I’m going to damned well get on with it”. Over the years a powerful message that I learnt from so many patients was the “Well why NOT me mentality?”. As you all know I can apply this to my health – I don’t have a fatal condition (neither does the teen!), but it is tricky to live with and I find it hard to think I may be like this for another 40 years. I wonder if I hadn’t taken up rowing aged 12, or if I hadn’t become a nurse, or if I hadn’t fallen down the stairs in my second pregnancy and hurt my back again (hmmm….might answer some of the questions about son number 2!!), or hadn’t had a third pregnancy, or had genetic testing, or, or, or…..there could be so many different timelines if only something had been done differently.
But what a waste of energy. The past can’t be changed and sadly I don’t yet have a time machine…..and even if Dr Who did offer me a spin in the Tardis, how much would it change? Not my genetic condition…..I could think “Why me?”, but actually the bigger question is “Why not me?”. When a close friend died aged 37 from breast cancer, I did ask “Why her?”…….but then look out the window and it could be anyone’s mother, father, brother, sister, friend couldn’t it? If I could change our family timeline I would want to ensure that my kids hadn’t inherited EDS and that nothing bad would ever happen – but I can’t do that, so my job is to ensure that they accept it, live life to the full and for the moment. If problems arise – the politics student’s migraines, the lovely girl’s dislocations and pain – then we will deal with them…..but by shouting “why me? it’s not fair….” is not going to help.
So, back to my novel – the main character found that every time the scientist invented a new machine, he also invented the “accident” of that machine; every time he was sent back to try to alter the timeline/revert to the original timeline, his actions would have a knock on effect….with unforeseen consequences. I think I am actually starting to sound like my old physics teacher – for every action there is an equal and opposite action – or something like that! So I guess for me and the teen, it means we have to get up, not dwell on the bad bits (sometimes easier said than done) and get on with the good bits. But this is only one old crone’s ramblings!
Although if I’d had that time machine and could have made it so that I could join in at the SHS Burn’s night dancing last night…..equally I think hubby, Duncan, would be turning his back so that he wasn’t swept up to do the Gay Gordons!!
Our house is feeling slightly more stressed than normal, and that is down to upcoming mock exams. The lovely girl is in year 11 at school and will be taking her GCSE esams next summer – and this is the first year of the new exams to be graded 1 – 9 with a new syllabus. I’m not sure how widespread the stress is on a national level, but in her school the homework is being piled upon the girls as the teachers seem a little unsure of what to expect, and a meeting was held with the girls as so many of them are showing signs of extreme stress. I know that some of the parents are also adding to the problems with pressure to revise and one is not allowing her daughter out of the house other than to go to school.
Apparently these anxiety levels are some of the highest that they have seen as a school. Our girl is usually very level headed, feted by her friends as being the most sensible one and yet she had a melt down last weekend over her work resulting in tears. So out of character and not what a parent wants to see.
Earlier this week she came home and told us something that I really want to share. One of her close friends, a lovely young lady who has suffered her own share of anxiety issues since year 7 (for reasons that I will not be stating), recognised that everyone was becoming more and more wound up and she wanted to do something. She went home and wrote by hand a letter to each of the girls in their close friendship group. The letters were all individual – she could have written the same to each girl – and she focused on telling each one of her friends what she valued about them and their friendship. She wanted them to remember that they are so much more than schoolwork, exams, sixth form applications and stress. What a wonderful thing to do!
The lovely girl really appreciated this and was full of praise for her lovely friend. To be able to recognise at this age, that a beautiful human is made from a rounded, balanced life and that positive, loving comments are so important, must be a gift – for many of us it takes a lifetime to appreciate this. This 15 year old reinforced that it is so important to be kind to each other.