My favourite quality? Easy: My sheer bloody-minded refusal to give up EVER – and, allied to this, my bawdy and irreverent sense of humour. Read my answer to the question I set above…
In my case, NEVER.
I am stronger than I often give myself credit for – and have a healthy dose of sheer bloody-minded-ness which, along with my irreverent sense of humour, has seen me through thus far.
Having unfurled my Flag of Courage, however, yesterday was beyond-belief grim. Oh, in terms the world would understand it was nothing: No one died; I did not become bankrupt or felled by a sudden serious illness; the house did not fall down.
But, let us be clear here, awfulness does not always relate to the more extreme life traumas, nor does it depend, for its veracity, upon material concerns.
I have a long habit of protecting others – often from themselves, often from their bizarre, cruel or insensitive behaviour towards me. I make endless excuses for them, understand and empathise, feel compassion even when my gut instinct is screaming, ‘What empathy or compassion has this person EVER shown me?’ Taking the blame is my default position.
Several incidents yesterday have left me gasping, shocked – and, because this is how my body works unfortunately, in global pain once more. This morning, it was so bad that I wanted to cry, to give up; I almost talked myself out of walking Jumble.
‘What’s the bloody point?’ I said to myself as I drove the lad to school, then trudged, with the dog, through the marshy landscape of our usual field. ‘What good am I doing anyone in this life?’
And then I got angry. Very healthy, I am sure, and much better than the endless litany of self-blame. My ‘What good am I?’ thoughts turned into raging ‘How DARE you?’ ones, followed by thoughts and language which I will not repeat on here!
I am NOT going down yet – and, when I do (hopefully at a ripe and raucous old age), I’ll leap into my grave with my bright pink DMs on, thank you very much!
At what point does one give up?
One doesn’t! One kicks ass! One curses and shouts and behaves outrageously! One has long flowing orange curls at sixty – and wears bright purple at ninety. One remains excited by all that life has to offer – and squeals and shrieks and yodels with the love of the moment. One loves with all the passion available – and weeps healing oceans when that is necessary. One acknowledges the pain and the sadness – and, no matter how tempting, does not cram it all under the nearest carpet to rot and poison the soul. One is far from perfect, but the life force is perennially bright and strong and, like the coin of metaphor, both light and dark. One is fully alive – right up to the moment when the Grim Reaper’s scythe parts body and soul…
…at least, this one is!