Thursday, 28 February 2013

Take a little dose of perspective

So February sucks, I don't hate much (it's a very strong emotion to feel) but I hate February!

This week I had a moment, a really low moment. Yet in that moment I logged onto Facebook and was faced with a friends pictures. My moment lead to another moment; one of guilt and self loathing. I guess I should explain....

Liam, the young man destined for greatness I have mentioned before, has just come back from a trip to Africa. He went out with an organisation that encourages young people to go to Uganda called Link International. Over the course of 10 days the group went to a rural school to teach the kids there, they went to the slums in Kampala with Retrak and finally visited Tudabaju where some of the street kids can go to live and go to school for 4-6 months....yep you read that right months!

I really urge you to check out the blog written during the trip because seriously my effort to tell you about it is here now...I'll wait ;-)

I sat looking at the photos and reading the blog that charted the groups journey and I did it all with my heart in my mouth. Seriously, I have been down this month for what? Yeah I am living with a significant amount of pain at the moment while the doctors dot their i's and cross their t's. And maybe 24 years without my Dad hit me hard this year and one or two other things piled on top haven't made all that any easier. But do you know what this is nothing! Hardship, loss, pain and illness is just normality for the kids and families in Uganda and they don't have the same access to doctors, education or even a comfy bed to retreat to like I do. It humbled me in a way I have not been humbled in a while!

The photo above is my favourite image Liam has posted of his trip. And again I will wait while you jog on over to Instagram to check out some of the other images, they really are worth a look!

I wonder when I got so whiney, when I forgot that other people in this world of ours have it a lot worse than me! I wasn't always like this. There was a time in my life, before kids, when I slept in a cardboard city to raise awareness of the UK's homelessness issues. A time when I would only buy my lunch at one shop in Manchester (Feed the 5000 - FT5K), because it made sure any left overs from the day were distributed amongst the city's homeless population. A time when I could not walk past a Big Issue Seller without buying a copy or when I couldn't ignore the beggar in the abandoned shop doorway without giving them something. Things are not much better in 2013, the local paper this week announced 1 in 4 children in our area live in poverty. Yet I can feel that my heart has hardened, not every homeless person tears at my heart making me want to leave with them what ever I can.

Did things get so tight? Did my family change my focus? Can I remind myself of who I used to be? And will I ever be able to make my munchkins realise just how lucky we are.


  1. I think sometimes especially in today's climate we often think that charity has to begin at home and that sometimes we have to protect ourselves from our lifes becoming hard (if that makes sense). People are scared that they might lose their jobs home etc and that they need to keep what extra they have in their pockets. Most days especially in my job I see people that are far worse off than me and I remain thankful for what I have. Sometimes I think we would like to help others but often want this help to be useful and meaningful - like food donations instead of money???? Does that make some sort of sense????

    1. I definitely agree, I would rather the help I give be meaningful.

  2. *hug*

    I understand feeling low in February.. it wasn't the bestest of months for me either. But Sleepy Joe, while it's good to put things in perspective, please don't feel like you can never be sad. :) It's ok sometimes when sadness gets the best of us. I read a quote once that said (I'm paraphrasing) that if you decide to not be happy because someone else is happier than you, it's silly. But to be hard on yourself for being sad just because others out there have more motives to be sadder than you, can be just as silly. That really helped me because I used to beat myself up about feeling low sometimes, but I've come to realize it's just a part of life. As long as we work out of, it's ok to be sad. We each have what we can handle. :)
    [Not trying to lecture or anything, just something that I needed to know at one time, and just thought maybe you might too. :)]

    1. I love your paraphrased quote.

      Being low is one thing, I was starting to wallow down there and this (plus a couple of other things) gave me my fight back.

      Thanks for the hugs and back at ya....still glad we are in March now. It's shaping up to be a much better month ;-)

  3. Facebook has done this to me a number of times. Most embarassingly was when I posted a whiney life sucks because my kid has a cold, only to scroll down to see my high school BFF post about her daughter's most recent round of chemotherapy. Ugh! Reality check.

    And I really love what Larissa says above. I need to learn that lesson too. (found you from her link up)

    1. Hi Audrey (I promise I will swing by your place soon!) thanks for taking the time to pop on by.

      Larissa has many wonderful things to teach us, this being a lesson I too need to learn!


Penny for your thoughts

PS Thanks for taking the time to stop by