Monday, 23 January 2017

Another right thing to do

Along with all the inspiring, empowering things going on this last weekend, there has also been mockery of a child because a number of us despise his father. Children are especially vulnerable to words and mockery, despite the old 'sticks and stones' baloney we spin them. The bigger picture, for more than just Barron, is that you never know what someone else's journey is, you cannot know their thoughts or feelings, sometimes until it's too late; and so in line with my current mantra of 'Be Kind', here is a poem that I wrote last year when feeling particularly low. Please don't bring that child, or anyone else, to that point. Just be kind.


The final straw can be so very thin,
Can be so slight, perceptible as air,
That final thing that really does you in.

The pile of To Be Read books to your chin
Collapses heaplike, adding pamphlets where
The final straw can be so very thin.

A box of chocolates finished - not a sin,
At least at first, though afterwards you swear
The final toffee must have done you in.

A vodka shot, another glass of gin,
You feel okay till puking without care - 
The final straw can be so very thin.

A missing smile, anticipated grin
That could have saved the day, instead impairs,
Could be the thing that really does you in.

The spirit strives to bolster from within,
Struggles alone as friends stay unaware
Of final straws that are so very thin,

Those final things that really do you in.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Little resolved, resolving nothing...

Now that the New Year has sunk its teeth into us and shaken us all about a little, it seemed appropriate to review how I did on my not-resolutions last year.

I only set myself four real challenges (not including the 'run 5k in under 30 minutes', which I managed, thank you Claire!) so it's a little embarrassing to realise that I can only consider two of them even partially met.

I started to work on my fear of dogs. There is one dog I can generally cope with (though I panicked somewhat when a wet nose met my hand the other night!) and a couple of others I have gone for walks with (on their leads, with their owner), plus a couple more I have coped being in the same room with. I was less happy about the one that bounded up joyfully in Keele Woods, practically nose to nose, but my companions quickly distracted it and with a few deep breaths I recovered. This is all progress. A way to go still, but progress. I shall continue to work on it.

I completely forgot I was supposed to be submitting more poetry, to address my fear of rejection. I've been editing some, and even written a few new ones, but never got round to sending any off. I did post one on the blog, which the village newsletter subsequently included in the next issue - does that count? I thought not. Must try harder.

Company news. Again, kind of forgot about this one. I have had a conversation with the accountant about a possible way forward, but it's more a step back really, just a way of reducing my tax liability. I have tried to get the current novel edited to the point where it's ready to publish, but there's just been too much else going on. I know, if I really wanted to do it, I'd find the time. Must find the time.

Fear of public humiliation - this has been addressed a little, as I did some 'proper' singing in public and people said nice things about it afterwards. The terror involved did generate a fair amount of cold sweat and trembling, but I did it. Would I do it again? If I don't, have I really confronted my fear properly? Once is just once - it could be a freak occurrence. I need to develop it into a habit to be able to say I've conquered the fear. And habits are tricky things to develop.

So what about 2017 - do I need new challenges or should I just continue to work, rather less half-heartedly perhaps, on the 2016 ones? I've already agreed to do a 10k Race for Life in July, and I hope to finish in under an hour. Five challenges is enough, isn't it? But then there's all the writing I should be doing, and.... Perhaps my biggest challenge is to set myself realistic targets.