Yesterday's blogpost, "Complacency" attracted some thoughtful comments. I think the words I wrote struck a chord with several readers. To tell you the truth, it was an odd post to write. Admitting vulnerability is never easy. In western culture, the default position is usually that glib "I'm fine thank you". We have all said it.
The longest and perhaps most fully considered response came from Adele. Adele lives on New Zealand's South Island - somewhere in the vicinity of Christchurch. She is not to be confused with the multi-million album selling singer-songwriter Adele who comes from North London.
A little diversion at this point. Back in January 2012, Shirley and I visited the Christchurch region. We stayed in a small village called Little River not marked on the map above and afterwards we travelled over Arthur's Pass to the west coast, stopping for hot pies in the village of Sheffield - also not marked on the map. That small rural community was named after this very Yorkshire city. To look back go here .
Anyway, returning to Adele's comment on "Complacency", I couldn't just let it slide away without sharing it properly with other readers. It seemed too good for that so here it is:-
Being aware of your comfortable situation and gratitude for the opportunities it gives you are your defence against complacency.
Good health and loving relationships usually require some sacrifice. The things we do or don't do, say or don't say, food we eat or don't eat and exercise we do or don't take - all of these have an impact on where we finish up.
We all struggle with the concept of our own death, when and how will it happen? As I hope my own will be sudden and painless (for me and my nearest and dearest), I try and enjoy each day I am gifted (whatever the weather),keep on good terms with my children and nurture my friends so there will be no regrets over things not said like " I love you".
The Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 made us all too aware of how suddenly life can change and how little control we have over the earth we live on. A house can be rebuilt but a life lost is lost forever. Many people have since chosen simpler lives, valuing relationships and experiences above material things. We needed our neighbours for help and support.
After 46 years at work I have a small state pension each fortnight, savings and a younger husband still working. We still live on a budget. We can cover our bills and still save for his eventual retirement. I have a large home library, a stash of knitting wool, recipes as yet untried and a garden to work in and enjoy. I am never bored. We have survived good and bad times in our 40 years together - several recessions and redundancies, worked multiple jobs, economised and made things last,and raised two girls to be good, kind, hardworking people. I mostly shop in Charity shops - giving and receiving - and support overseas schools in the Pacific Islands. Education is the gift that keeps on giving.
I can no longer streak down the basketball and netball courts and my tennis days are over but there is still the joy of the Council swimming pool for exercise after a day in the garden or a walk. I carry a book on any journey so I never mind waiting and I'm always learning. I'm no longer keeping anything for best, there is no dress rehearsal, today is all we have. We use the 2nd hand crystal and china everyday as the food and drink taste better.
Most of all I don't WORRY! I leave that to my husband. I am half full, he is half empty.
Your posts always make me think and laugh. Keep up those walks, enjoy the fruit of your labours and your loins, live kindly and keep on sharing your life with the world. We've all worked hard for the freedom retirement brings.
Let's enjoy it!