Thursday, June 9, 2011

Do you have a choice?

Hi folks - how are you all out there in the land of tinternet? I am feeling positive and upbeat there have been some good things happen in my circle recently. My theme for this post is whether we can do anything about things that happen in our lives. Can we be in control? If so what are we in control of?

If you read the last blog then you would know about my mum's breast cancer and how well her outcome has been. She is continuing to heal and has managed out to visit her friends at the local cafe where she works one day a week. Having social contact is so important in helping us to feel good. Sharing a laugh and a cup of coffee really boosts your immune system as well as your spirits. For us it's just great to see her getting better.

My daughter, Kirsten will be 12 next month and is in the last month of primary school. Yesterday was her first of 3 days induction at her new secondary school. This meant getting up earlier and getting a bus to school instead of leaving our house almost as she hears the school bell. Two of her friends came to join her to get the bus and off they went. I watched the three of them walk to the bus stop with a tear in my eye. I am pleased to see her grow up and head to the next phase of her life but it also comes with some sadness. New beginnings also have endings and we have had a wonderful relationship with the staff at her primary school. I am sure that Kirsten would not have coped so well at school after her brother's death without the care and nurturing provided by the head teacher and all the staff.
I also had a tear because Calum was not there to support and encourage her. I know that he would have loved showing off his little sister and introducing her to the ways of the big school. He was Kirsten's best friend as well as her brother. I watched her get on the bus and talked to Calum about his time starting high school and how nervous he had been. I remembered the panic and tears that quickly turned into smiles and laughs as he found his feet and made lots of new friends. I asked him to keep an eye on her and encourage her try new things.
I wiped away the tears and smiled as I felt close to my son, I talk to him a lot. He may not be with me in person but he is connected in spirit.
Kirsten enjoyed her first day and left this morning to go for the bus as if she had done it for years. She has opted to try the school cafe "might as well have a go just now" she said. So maybe Calum has managed to encourage her a little.
Her school leavers service is in a couple of weeks - the kids have been practising their leavers song. Think that I had better stock up on tissues now as I expect I won't be the only one with tears that day.

Sinclair has finished writing his 2nd novel in the Reluctant Detective series, it's called "The Good Girl" and is set in and around St Andrews in Fife. He is working to finalise all versions for publishing :- paperback and ebooks so it should be available soon. He has been doing a tour of North Glasgow Libraries talking about his first book and his writing experiences as part of their Author tours. This has been an interesting experience with some nights busier than others. It is so good to see Sinclair living his dream of being a writer, of course there are challenges, marketing and selling to name two!
Four years ago when he was working as an IT manager for Network Rail he was so stressed. He hated the changes that were imposed that he didn't think improved services, he made his arguments against about how people were being treated because he cared about "the Railway" and his "Railway family". In the end he couldn't change what was going on, so he had to make a choice. He chose to leave and become self employed creating websites and doing IT support work for small businesses.
The change in Sinclair was instant he smiled and laughted again. Sadly just a few months later our son Calum died from meningitis. I am very grateful that those last few months of Calum's life were a really happy family time. We shared more time together, laughed, played and enjoyed life. Calum's death has also been a catalyst in Sinclair's life - he chose to finish one of his writing projects (having started many over the years). Two books done, number three is already started and he is out talking to audiences about his book. If you had asked Sinclair four years ago if he could be a published author his answer would probably have been no. I wonder how many of you have dreams that you don't think you will achieve?

Life is a journey, sometimes we hit road blocks, diversions or are even moved to a different mode of transport. It's what you do when faced with these challenges that count. Many people ask me how I have coped with Calum's death. It is an ongoing journey but I know that I have a choice about what I think and do. I could have stayed in the bleak black place that I existed in after his death, I could have raged against the injustice of it all, asking why the world was robbed of a good kind person when so many "bad" people live. I could have shut myself away continuing to feel sorry for myself. All of these were choices, I doubt that anyone would have condemned me if I had chosen them. But I also knew I had a choice to find happiness again, to bring some colour into my life and share my life with others.

So for anyone else who may find themselves in a difficult place whatever the cirumstances I urge you to see that you have a choice. You can change things. It might not be an easy option, some find change scary. Sinclair chose to leave his well paid but soul destroying job, I chose to find happiness again. The how to get to where we are now came next. Even if you cannot change the cirumstances you can choose to take another point of view. If you think differently then things change.

So what can you choose to think differently about today?

If you live in Glasgow (Scotland) area and would like to explore more ways of being happy then give my Happiness Club a try.

Wishing you all a happy week.