This post is more a check-in than a proper inspired post…So, in case you were wondering, I am still alive and kicking. Barely…
I have had a wee bit of a rough time at the grindstone recently. I am definitely not going to bore you with sop stories about long hours drowning in millions of numbers; chasing/begging/pleading with people; and crapping on people while being crapped on; or give you my lessons learned in corporate politics. I still have my head above the water and I am sure if I carry on a little longer, the other side of the swimming pool will come in sight?
And the following are the positives that I am holding onto today:
- It is Saturday and I don’t have to work today.
- I am taking my girls to see the St Petersburg Ballet performing Swan Lake this afternoon
- I have loads of wine in the house, and all my gas heaters are full. Thank goodness for home deliveries
I will be okay. I am a survivor. And I won’t allow anybody to convince me otherwise.
But, this got me thinking. What is it that make some people survivors? Why are some people able to plough through tough times and come out the better for it on the other side?
Why will some people look back on a bad episode in their life, able and willing to count the life lessons learnt in that period. And other people will forever reflect on the same episode as the reason everything went pear-shaped?
Believe me, I am not saying this because I have managed to survive a few rough storms in my life. I often think that my life story would make a pretty incredible book. The focus on incredible, because I doubt many people that know me will believe some of the stories I have to tell. But the main theme will be one of survival, and that there is always a sunny day on the horizon, even if not in the immediate future.
I don’t know if I will ever write this book. For many reasons, partly because my memory is just shocking. I can remember exactly what I felt like 30 years ago, when my dad had a stroke/embolism in the brain and our lives were turned upside down, but I cannot remember the name of the friendly friend-of-the-family that took me and my siblings in for a month while my mom was spending every waking moment by my dad’s bedside 600kms away.
I am more of a bigger picture kind of person, details are not my forte.
But back to the survival game. Of course I have sympathy for people who are constantly being pounded by bad things life throw at them. I am not for one moment trying to make light the devastating events that happen in other people’s life. But it always amazes me how some people can come out on the other side, able to share their experience and being a motivation to others. And I love those stories. Like the story of Nelson Mandela.
One of the most amazing stories I have ever read is a story about Alison Botha, told in her book I have Life. Alison was left for dead after a horrific rape and attempted murder, but somehow managed to get herself to safety and survived. And eventually the perpetrators were caught and she saw them being sent to life in jail, but not before going through another ordeal in the courtroom. It is an inspiring story about survival, choice and the amazing healing powers of attitude.
And that I think is the crux of it all. In the end, what makes someone a survivor has little to do with physical strength, circumstances or your pick in life, but more about emotional strength, our choices in life and how we chose to let our circumstances shape us, by focusing on the opportunities and being positive.
So, in the words of the world famous blue surgeon fish, named Dory…
Dory:”Hey Mr. Grumpy Gills… When life gets you down do you wanna know what you gotta do?”
Marlin:”I don’t wanna know what you gotta do.”
Dory:”Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.”