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Sunday, 4 November 2012

Look for the silver lining ....

This post may ramble on a bit, so feel free to leave now!

The other day I read a sentence in a book that I skipped over, then thought about it a bit, and then went back to it.  It basically asked the question "if, before you came into being, you were shown a video of how your life was to be, would you still choose it?"


I've been thinking about it for days now, looking at my life as though through a film, going through the whole range of emotions, sometimes feeling quite maudlin, angry, happy, sad, and very, very nostalgic.   


There have been amazingly happy times, very sad, traumatic times, exciting days, lots of very ordinary even boring days, but they have been my days...

I remember a friend once commenting that I had had a very tragic life, more than most people, but I totally dispute that.  I don't want to come across as a sad, bereft person, who hasn't coped with what life has thrown at her.  Admittedly, sad, almost overwhelming events have happened, but much worse tragedies have occurred in other peoples lives.



We could spend the rest of our days dwelling upon what has happened to us, not enjoying the life that we have been given, wallowing in grief and affecting those around us with our sadness.  Or we could throw ourselves into a mad, crazy life, trying to obliterate everything but on the way obliterating ourselves.  Or we could accept what has happened and try to move on, enjoy our lives but never forgetting the events that have shaped who we are today.



In answer to the question, I'd put the video in the machine, press Play and sit back and watch the show...
I'd linger over the 60's, admiring the homes of my Nana and Aunties, the style of the decade and the music.  The Butlin's and Blackpool holidays, the never-ending summers, and the Christmases, when looking back at them, we got so little compared with today, but then it seemed so much. And the birthdays .... you always knew when it was someone's birthday, because when you got up in the morning there were 2 bowls on the draining board.  One contained red jelly, the other pink blancmange ... exciting stuff!



The early seventies weren't a very happy time, and my teenage years were fraught with the usual angst and trauma, but I'd still keep the machine playing ... rewinding to see those faces lost in time, and fast-forwarding through the embarrassing  bits.  In the late seventies, I left school, started work, made new friends, but kept the old ones too! The eighties saw my first holidays abroad with friends, pop concerts, late nights, discos and fun ... The mid-eighties gave me motherhood for the first time, and settling down to marriage in 1989, and more and more lovely babies, through to the late 90's, intermingled with sadness and loss.


The years spent bringing my children up were the happiest of my life, although challenging and to many people even humdrum, this is what I was put here for.  I'll never be a feminist, but making a home for my family is what I know and love the best.

I'd play the video through to the end, and yes I would choose this life all over again.  Although eventful, and at times unbelievably sad and traumatic, as I said before, it's my life.  I could have pressed the eject button and been given one much worse.  I don't believe I could get a better one.  I have a wonderful husband, amazing children, brother and sister I love with all my heart, and beautiful friends, some of whom I have known all my life, who have been with me through thick and thin, happy and sad, and know all there is to know about me.

Google

So there you go, sorry for rambling and hope it hasn't been too nauseating .... but what would you do? Press play, fast forward, rewind ... or eject and hope for something better?

Have a lovely Sunday ....

With Love, Claire xxx

60 comments:

  1. Stick with it I'd say, there s always someone worse off than you and there is no point thinking the grass is greener on the other side because it is not.

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    1. Very true! Thanks for popping in xxx

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  2. Ooh so easy this one Mrs!
    Wouldn't change a thing.
    I choose wisely and am still in love, 25 years later.Blessed in so many ways with the loveliest of children, who in them selves tread on this earth lightly.I do believe some times the ways on the path can sometimes be lit up for us ,but we do have choices in which way to go.Very much a thought provoking post dear friend.
    Enjoy your Sunday and will see you as soon as can be!!
    Love Maria x

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    1. I'm so glad you've got a happy ending Maria, but the point I was trying to put across was looking at everything that had happened to get there. It would have been very easy saying yes, I'd do it again, because I know it turns out ok ... but the picture isn't always perfect and that was what was hard for me ... looking back from the beginning and going through everything ... very cathartic, but difficult too.

      Will see you next week, have a lovely time with Dean!
      Claire xxx

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  3. wow, what a deep question to pose on a Sunday morning! My mind was whirling on that one, yet I came quickly to the conclusion that, yes, I would choose my life. Whilst some decisions I've made in the past I've regretted, the path they then lead me on has brought me here, and the path whilst being a bit bumpy at times, has been a wonderful one, made all the more special by family I'm certain I must have had a hand in picking at some point!
    A lovely and thought provoking post Claire xxx
    BH x

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    1. Hello, and thanks for your lovely comment. It id stange to think, isn't it, that had we chosen different paths, even small ones, our lives could have been so, so, different ... we'll never know, I'm afraid, but I'm a great believer in making the best of what you've got!

      Have a Happy Monday,

      Claire xx

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  4. Who was it who said, regrets I've had a few but then again too few to mention. I wouldn't swap my life for anyone else's. I might quite like to leave a few of the characters out, but then again they make up the rich tapestry don't they. And who said you aren't a feminist, you're flying the flag high. Love you lots like lollipops xxx

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    1. Hello my lovely little sis! Would love to watch both our videos back to back to see how different and similar they are!

      Love you too

      Claire xxx

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  5. Definitely stick with the life you know ... I love my life but we all go through periods of ups and downs ... I think we should be grateful for the happy times ... they help to guide us through the bad ... hope you are having a lovely weekend ... Bee xx

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    1. Hello Bee, I'm glad everyone is choosing the life they have now, and I hope your weekend is filled with loveliness too!

      Claire xxx

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  6. What a thought-provoking post. We only get one life and we have to make the most of every day. The sadness and challenges make us stronger (with time) and become part of who were are, I suppose. My life is far from perfect but it's mine and I like it! x

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    1. That's how I feel too Gillian, it's my life ... it's happened, not really any point in regretting anything along the way!

      Love, Claire xx

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  7. Hello Claire
    Well you have been doing a lot of thinking
    I have to say I would not change a thing about my life , I think going through the unhappy and sometimes very very sad times have made me who I am
    I have had to learn how to love but having my children and meeting Fin has been the lesson I needed
    Thea xx

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    1. Bless you Thea, sometimes life can be so hard and we wonder how we do carry on, but nothing lasts forever, and hopefully the happy times will outweigh the sad.

      Always welcome here,

      Love Claire xx

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  8. What a lovely post. Thank-you.

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    1. You're very welcome Deborah, glad you liked it!

      Love, Claire xx

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  9. Well I for one loved your post xxx

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  10. Hi Claire,very interesting post,wish we could go back and relive certain times and be able to change them for the sake of others.I had depression for most of my mothering years and my hubby and 3 girls had to live with a person they called Pim(Pams Mr Hyde!)We all had awful times when Pim was around and I wish I could erase all the Pim times!My middle daughter and I were chatting the other day as now I am so much better and she said"I hope Pim is dead!!"And to leave on a happier note, one day I would love to visit again is a sunny day in my Grandma and Grandads garden with the smell of soot on the veggie patch and butterflies flittering around.Warm Regards Pam.

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    1. Oh Pam, I really felt for you when I read this! I'm sure Pim is dead and gone and lovely Pam is here to stay... love your memories too xxx

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  11. What is there to say except I have enjoyed this post tremendously. I very much like the approach you have used and how true just like a video.
    Many thanks for sharing

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

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    1. Thank you Amanda, you're very welcome, always xx

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  12. How surprising to see this post as I was thinking much the same question only a few days ago - would I live this life again - yes, I would despite there being some bad times it's all part of who I am now and had I not lived this life I could not have produced my beautiful sons - which, like you, I do believe is my purpose on this planet.

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    1. Hello Betty, welcome to Thriftwood ... lovely words, thank you xx

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  13. What brilliant thought provoking post!

    I think I have had a fairly good life average in most ways. A little sadness a little happiness and maybe a lot of just days.

    No I wouldnt wish to have another film to watch and largely love my life. One thing though I would change would be making a few small changes to how I thought a few years back just so me and my family would be living perhaps our dream life now. But hopefully that will come to pass soon. Life is good and as you say it is who you are, it our story.

    I love posts like this. Hope you had a great weekend.

    P x

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    1. Hello Paula, glad you've had a lovely life, and wouldn't take the video back!

      Thanks for your lovely comments

      Claire xx

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  14. What a great post Claire, very thought provoking! Knowing what you know, what advice would you give to the young Claire, to help through those tough times? :)

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    1. Hello Ada, gosh that's a bit tricky! I cringe sometimes when I think of things I got up to, and that's why I worry so much about my children!

      I think I'd say "always be true to yourself, and remember this too will pass"

      Thanks for making me think!

      Love Claire xxx

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  15. Lovely post. I wouldn't change my life at all and feel very fortunate that I feel like that.

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    1. Hello, and so glad you have a lovely life, but more glad that you are aware of it, and not just taking it for granted ... thanks for popping in, you're always welcome!

      Love Claire xx

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  16. Claire, what a lovely and thought provoking blog. I think we all wish for happy days always but without the traumatic ones, who do we appreciate the happy ones? I would definitely keep the life I have. It has been a wonderful life for the most part. Yes, there have been bad times, very bad times, but the good times, the happy times, the life affirming times far outweigh those times. There's always going to be things we would want to change but we are who we are because of what we have experienced.

    Your post has made me think about my life and my struggles and my joys and even if I was given the chance to go back and have another life, I would not want to. I would miss the opportunity to raise my children and see the wonderful human beings they have become. I would miss the opportunity to have my husband in my life.

    Thank you for this post.

    Hugs,
    Sharon

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    1. So sorry you've had bad, bad times and struggles Sharon, but glad that you've triumphed over adversity to be the lovely, caring person you clearly are.

      Thank you for sharing with me

      Claire xx

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  17. An absolutely beautiful post. It's a difficult one. Like you, my life has had its shares of ups and downs but I guess its made me who I am - like it or not :) I know that whatever difficulties I've experienced in the past have been salved by meeting my partner and realising that I have never in my life loved anyone as much as I love him (children aside of course), nor have I been more content. So if it's taken a lifetime of angst to reach this wonderful period of my life then I guess I'd press fast forward over the bad bits to reach the present. Now I just wish there was a pause button to hit so that I could prolong every single second. Thank for you sharing this post xx

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    1. Oh Kim, that's lovely, you've brought a tear to my eye. I love the way you speak, you just say it as it is, don't go for flowery speech ... a bit like me, I think!

      Thank for your lovely words

      Claire xx

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  18. Hello Claire,
    What a lovely and thoughtful post. 'Life it is what you make it'. No one escapes life without bad times and pain. I had an unhappy childhood but I wouldn't have married my wonderful husband and had two lovely children if things were different. Being a parent is the most under rated job. Someone once refered to me as 'such a mother' because I like to bake and sew. Until I found blogland I was a bit embarrassed about being crafty (in a sewing way). Love the Snoopy cartoon. Hope you have a lovely week.
    Ali x

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    1. Don't ever make excuses or be embarrassed about what you do Ali! You're a clever, talented, brilliant lady (I know, because I've had one of your swaps!) So glad everything turned out right in the end xxx

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  19. Rewinding the film to cut out or change the hurtful bits, the times when I didn`t always treat my parents with the respect they deserved, would be one thing I`d do. Apart from that I wouldn`t change anything else or I would never have had the children I now have. And I could possibly not even look forward to becoming a grandmother in March 2013. Whatever we have been through in life has made us who we are, now. I`m a better person now than I was then and have learned so much along the way. Why would I want to errase all those experiences and knowledge gained? Life has it`s ups and downs and continues to surprise us. We live each part the best we think and treasure the good bits.

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    1. Hello and welcome! Life is a long lesson and as long as we do learn along the way from our mistakes that's fine. How fabulous to be becoming a Grandma soon! Thanks for dropping in!

      Claire xx

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  20. i wouldn't change a thing :) Thats a good feeling to have too! :)

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    1. Fabulous feeling!

      Have a Happy Monday xxx

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  21. Beautiful post. I would do exactly as you. Watch it all and not want it any other way...
    ox

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    1. Thank you Sarah Jane and glad you liked it.

      Claire xx

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  22. Thank you for this post - lovely. However I would choose not to see it...........for sure.

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    1. Thanks for your interesting comment ... it would be very hard, wouldn't it, but curiosity would get the better of me, I'm afraid!

      Hope you're ok xxx

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  23. Thank you for the wake up call! I've been wallowing in the negative for a while now and need to appreciate the wonderful things that surround me. Life is what you make it after all! :) x

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    1. Glad to have helped a bit Emma!

      Love, Claire xx

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  24. Dear Claire, Firstly, what a thought provoking beautiful post, that I have so enjoyed and has got me thinking....Thank you.

    Me....well I would not change a thing, I'd watch it till the end, Cringe, Cry, Laugh, be angry, heartbroken all those things that, like you say mould you into the person you become...Like you I refuse to be beaten down , we are only here once and this is not a rehearsal, so, sadness, yes I carry it with me...happiness I strive for xx Love you to bits keep being you xx
    have a lovely day x

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    1. Thank you so much Sophie for your lovely words ... I wasn't just looking for the happy ending, if we are lucky enough to have one ... but the journey we had to take to get there. In glorious technicolor, my story isn't always a pretty picture, that's why I found it hard, it would have been very easy to just say yes, I'd do it again, because I know it turns out ok in the end. The hard bit was looking at everything that has happened on the way and thinking God, if this was an autobiography, they'd say I made most of it up!

      Have a Happy Monday, Sophie,

      Love Claire xxx

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    2. Beautiful post, filled with grateful reflection, the joy of memories, the human reality of loss and pain and the deep sense of great love. Thank you xxxx

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    3. Thank you Dawn ... you've really touched me with your beautiful words xxx

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  25. Such a beautiful post Claire. You sound like a very optimistic person to me! I think I would push the rewind button as well and relive all those special moments.

    Madelief x

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    1. Aww, thank you Madelief ... I do try to be optimistic, my glass is always half full! xxx

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  26. Great post - made me think...I'd love to rewind just to relive some special moments but I wouldn't change a thing (except maybe, having cut my finger really badly this evening which is making typing rather hard!) Good or bad it's what got me where I am now, which is a happy place.
    x

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    1. Thank you Alix, ouch! Hope your fingers ok, it takes a while for fingers to heal, because we use them so much ... definitely erase that bit from the film!

      Thanks for popping in!
      Claire xx

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  27. Hello Claire its me again!! I have been thinking...your post really made me think lots!! and I thought and thought and thought, actually I think I might change my mind, and couldn't rest until I wrote it down!! so you see I wouldn't play the tape, I've decided, what good would come of that? I'd keep everything the same, but I wouldn't play the tape. phew I got that of my chest, you probly think I'm a looney now!! I think I could probly ramble on for hours about it, over a nice cup of tea, at either one of our kitchen tables :-) anyhow thats me off now xx

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    1. Aww Sophie ... That's how I felt when I read it ... It made me think for days before I blogged about it. I would watch it, because otherwise how would you know? It's not about looking back and changing things, I think the author meant it to be before you'd lived any of it, would you still choose it for your life, knowing what was going to happen? Very provocative, I suppose there are lots of ways of looking at it and I've probably made you think even more, now! Am glad I've held your attention, and I'd never think you were a loony, just someone who really thinks things through! Always love your comments, Sophie, please don't ever stop commenting!

      Love Claire xxx

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  28. A lovely post Claire. I think the good times always out weigh the bad in the grand scheme of things.

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  29. Thank you so much, I think that too, but it's hard when times are tough, and knowing about them in advance, would we still put ourselves through them?

    I seem to have caused a lot of debate on this one!

    Enjoy your Tuesday xxx

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  30. What a fascinating post - and replies. I do class myself as a feminist, very much so, but I love being at home, and everything about making a home and having children, just as I value my work and the person I am outside the domestic sphere. I think the two things are compatible and I've never really understood why people think you can only be one thing or the other.
    As to your question about replaying the vid - I think I am too nostalgic as it is, so I wouldn't view it. Like everyone, I've had some tough times, and some health issues, but I only have one real regret about my life and that is being so extremely shy as a teenager and in my twenties. I've done everything I can to try to give my own children confidence in themselves.

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  31. Just have to say Claire how very thoughtful you are to reply to eveyones comments.Are you watching Kirstie on T.V tonight?I'm really looking forward to it!! Warm Regards Pam.

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I love to hear what you think of my ramblings and value all your comments ... I will try and get back to you, but am sorry if I don't always manage this ... sometimes real life just gets in the way! Claire xxx