Looking Beyond …

thoughts and deliberations .. a theme is too restrictive


No need to wait until it is too late…..

Pusing up the daisies

This week started with a thanksgiving service for the husband and father of friends of mine.  He died quite suddenly aged 70 whilst out in the garden.  I was struck by the poignancy of one of the things his wife said to me when we were chatting some days later – she only wished that he could have heard all the nice things that people were now saying about him, when he had been alive.   I certainly shed a tear at the thoughtful and moving reflections written by one of the daughters at the service on Monday.

I have since been pondering on how after a death, family and friends speak with great sincerity and affection, extoling the virtues and happy times spent with their loved ones. Tributes given always focus on the positive and the good and choose the truths that edify that person and show them in a good light.   And yet that same person will rarely have heard these carefully composed encouraging words and received such appreciation whilst they were living – not unless they have come into the public limelight for some reason and have found themselves on the right side of the media.

I wonder why we are so bad at recognising the value of relationships whilst we still have them?  It seems so easy to pull a person down in conversation, to focus on their faults and failings.  It happens all the time.  It happens in the public forum, and privately – most frequently in relationships that would benefit greatly from the same shift of focus that happens when someone has suddenly gone from our lives.

After pondering on what the effect would be if I were to write my tributaries for important people in my life and let them read them before it is too late, I came across the following challenge from Jeff Lucas, the very next day:

“Who are the people who have impacted us?  Paul (he is speaking of Paul the Jewish convert in the New Testament) let his friends know, loud and clear, that they were important to him: he was very willing to express his love freely, without hesitation.  We should go out of our way – before offering a tribute at a funeral – to do the same”

And so, my idea for a series of blog entries was cemented in my mind.  After all, eulogies are given in public.  I have no idea how difficult this is going to be -I suspect it could present a significant challenge – but I am up for giving it a go.

Watch this space ……..



Reasons to be Cheerful….

It has been a short while since my last post and good discipline dictates that I should be making regular entries in order to keep on track (whatever that looks like).  I know that it is about time that I put together some sensible thoughts, peppered with some amusing anecdotes and maybe, just maybe, even focused on my original intent to journal my progress on the career change front – especially now that I have actually started my first internship.

There have been several started and abandoned ‘scribblings’ throughout the past week or so.  The trouble is that I have not been in the right state of mind for completing these.  Unable to trust what might emerge from the fingers rattling across the keyboard, it has been preferable to stop.  Life just hits me like that from time to time and it often seems that the best I can hope for under such circumstances is to stem the flow of negative thinking.

So, trying to progress beyond this point at the weekend, I was reminding myself of all the reasons why negative thinking was inappropriate. The 1970’s hit by ‘Ian Dury & the Blockheads’ came into my head – ‘Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3)’.   I smiled internally at the memory of excitement when I succeeded in getting a request played for my brother on the local radio in our teenage years. Same band – playing ‘Hit me with your Rhythm Stick’.

For the time being then, I leave you with my own record of many of the reasons I had to be cheerful over the week end (even though I wasn’t).

2014-06-20 17.19.25

Memories from childhood … ‘hit me with your rhythm stick’,

Dad wanting to climb ladders, neighbours trying to stop him quick,

Mum sat in the Garden, enjoying homemade scones for tea,

Riding bikes with Michael, countryside and feeling free,

Sunshine, coasting down the hill, on to the river’s edge for rest,

Promise of good things to come, tickets waiting for Begfest,

Summer, Sandra, Cathy, Tom, Catherine and Dorota,

With smiles, stories and joyful songs, baptised in deep water,

A thank you for a job well done, a chance to go the extra mile,

The random things that pick you up, a picture book, a baby smile

Clean shoes, fresh bread and a splatter free car,

Family knits on the line, supper at the Uni Bar

Joining the youngsters in their adult domain,

Al fresco dining with good friends that remain,

But best of all that quirky mix of

Cheese and pineapple on sticks.


Having taken the trouble to bring all of these things to the front of my mind, I feel somewhat more cheerful and certainly grateful.

Hope to update you soon on progress on the work fulfilment front – as you will have noticed by now there are a lot of distractions.

What do you do to try to steer your mind out of a seemingly inevitable downwards spiral?