“You should know you’re not alone. And trouble comes, and trouble goes. How this ends, no one knows. So hold on tight when the wind blows” “Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind. Like a beacon reaching out. To you and yours from me and mine. Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind. In a world that has decided. That it’s going to lose its mind. Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind” – Be More Kind – Frank Turner
The words of one of my favourite lyricists, Frank Turner, are a shining light on these crazy times. A man who wears his heart on his sleeve. If you’re looking for some decent music, look no further.
Of course we should be more kind. But it sometimes feels like we have forgotten how to be kind, let alone be more kind.
So, my friends, welcome to another View From The Ground attempt at trying to be more kind. A barrages of words built around the ongoing recovery of a misery. Words formed with a look in the rear view mirror at what’s passed; at what’s in the past; a look at those things that have helped put me on the path of being a far more happy chap ………………. most of the time.
As I’ve said before, the mission with the blogs is to reach as many people possible and provide a smile and, hopefully through some honest reflections, a glimpse that if this recovering misery can get on the road to a happier future, we all can.
To quote from Demons by Frank Turner (again, I know but he is an inspiration) – “You’re not delivering a perfect body to the grave. Time is not there to be saved. Life is a holiday, a moment stolen from the black; Before the demons drag you back. You won’t get everything you wanted. But you will never be defeated. ………. At this truth we have arrived. God damn, it’s great to be alive”
A little play on the order of the lyrics, I love that line, “god damn, it’s great to be alive”. I’ve mentioned before my sadness at so many people ending their owns lives because, the way they see it, it’s not great to be alive. I can’t imagine how dark life must get for someone to want to end it, I’d never make out I could. But I just wish we could do something, do anything to show that there is hope. There are people ready and willing. People waiting and wanting to just be there. To be more kind.
Those who have read previous blogs will know my mind wanders. The whole process of the actual blog writing has formed a slight deviation in the overall mind wandering. I can sit or lie there for a long time jus reflecting and working through my life – my good life.
I know I’ve rambled on about wanting the blogs to lead to a book. But, really, write a book? Why? Ego? Just so can say I’ve published, self published probably, a book? Well, actually, no, none of the above. In fact, that is so wide of the mark. I had 60,000 words laid out before me about 3 1/2 years ago. With a bit more work, something could have gone out if this was an ego thing. But, the content? Looking back, it wasn’t a true reflection of the real me. It was written by the person I thought I needed to be to keep my life together at that time. I’m glad I didn’t do it.
The whole idea, for a few years now, has been to put something out there – be it as a good old fashioned paper book or digital – that could reach out to others and maybe, just maybe, help them. My original thinking of what that ‘help’ would look like 3 1/2 years ago versus what it looks like now is a world of difference.
But, looking at what I want to do now – could thinking I could help anyone be seen as an arrogant, self absorbed assumption? How could what I think, or what I’ve experienced, help someone else?Well, in reality, it’s difficult to know if these ramblings of a recovering misery could help people. We all lead different lives but my hope is, in amongst my sharing these things with people, it’s a case of something for everyone (well, most people).
Certainly, my life isn’t extraordinary. But, sometimes from the not so extraordinary something can be drawn.
Life is all about learning. We learn everyday. But, in my humble opinion, it’s a matter of whether, and how, we chose to use that learning. And, if we do chose to use the learning, it’s then a case of whether the learning is of a self absorbed nature and purely for our own benefit. Or, whether we decide to offer that learning out into the wider world in the hope that it might benefit others.
In essence, I guess that’s where I’m coming from with the idea of writing the blogs and, as part of the bigger project, complete ‘A View From The Ground – the ramblings of a recovering misery’ book.
I’ve already documented how I’ve got to this great place that I’ve arrived at.
The blogs have always being written from the heart but, perhaps, some were interjected with a dose of, what I’d call frustration and bewilderment. Some may suggest anger. To be honest, anger does not provide learning – in my humble opinion. In fact, quite the opposite. So, the idea of a book, let’s say two years ago, could have been quite dark; using the wrong kind of energy. It might have been a black comedy and maybe I’ll still do something based on some of the things I learned and experienced a few years ago. A book – And So The Door Closed – is still there but I’d need a skilled author to guide what’s in my head towards something that could be quite funny. A combination of Harry Potter meets Wilt is still a possibility.
However, for now, the ramblings of a recovering misery feels the correct route to travel on. Again, to some, what I’ve got to write about is no big deal and that’s just fine. But, who knows. As I’ve always said, if I can have a positive impact on 1 person, and they then do the same to someone else and so one, things can only improve.
I’d love to reach out to more people and the concept of the 6 degrees of separation still resonates – in a roundabout sort of way. The possibility that that 6th person in the chain is the one who opens the flood gates to the blogs and whatever being read by a wider audience and helping thousands – a dream. Let’s face it, we should all want to heal the world.
It would be great if I could actually meet someone who is a proper writer and they can form my ramblings into actual crafted words. I know, at the moment, I’m literally throwing down on to electronic paper what ever falls out of my brain.
Maybe the blog titles need some work for them to be picked up as a serious read. My problem is, whilst they are aimed at helping they are also aimed at putting a smile of the face of the reader. A quandary.
And I’m sure there’s a raised eyebrow to ‘Cash? Oooo! Nuts!!’. Perhaps a title like that has stopped someone reading the blog. I hope not.
I guess these are titles of chapters of the dream book. Each section has a serious subject matter but, with a play on words, the chapter titles have a twist. There’s nothing new there. So many people do it.
This title is actually reference to something else that is close to my heart and part of my recovery from a place of misery. The reliance on money.
When I say reliance, I’m meaning situations such as when we say ‘I wish I had more money’ – how much is more do we need?
Or, ‘I can’t afford that’ – what does afford mean? Is it a case of literally we don’t have the money, or that we are just not willing to sacrifice something else so that we can buy that sought after item. Are we blinding ourselves to actual possibilities?
That’s just two examples but, having being in that place where I was crying because I didn’t have any money, I guess this is a raw subject.
The time where I literally no money in my account to pay for the taxi I was in (being the only available transport to get me to the train station. I stopped at a money machine to withdraw cash only to have that heart sinking message of ‘insufficient funds’). I was blessed to be bailed out by Ben, transferring me half of what he had left in his bank account.
And the times of not having money for the weekly food shop, so Aud stepped in and put food in our mouths. I guess I’ve learned my interpretation of what I see as the value of this thing that we call money.
Please be assured, I know my plight bears no comparison to the true poverty that so many thousands experience on a daily basis. Again, I’ve written before about the responsibility of our governments to remove this unnecessary poverty. We here about world debt? Who do we owe this money to? Surely, somewhere it is the responsibility of governments to say ‘sod repaying the debt, let’s deal with poverty’. And the wealthy few should get their heads out of their arses and help the many.
I’ve worked hard to rebuild my life. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful, loving partner in Aud. Ben and Liv bring me happiness, pride, love and fun every day. Gaby has come on board and is a wonderful addition to the family. I’m so proud of the life Ben and Gaby are building. Of course, I need to brace myself for Liv disappearing to France for a few months later in the year. Wow! What an achievement! Again, I’m so proud.
Family, friends and others who have surrounded us all during these times can never be truly thanked sufficiently. Their being there is something that can never be understated or underestimated. Thank you all.
Cash? Ooooo! Nuts!! It’s not always about the focus of money. Yes, to get to where I am now, money has been necessary to right a lot of wrong and to repay those kind souls who supported us. Ben and Gaby have needed money to establish their world together, but in doing so have made many sacrifices. And, Liv going to France will need some planning but, with sensible work, it can be achieved without undue worry. Planning and sacrifice. Not I wish or I can’t afford it.
There have been so many financial learnings in the last 3 years. Over spend, hiding from reality and many other similarly poisonous boils have needed to be lanced. But, we’re getting there. And, we’re still learning.
I guess, my message here is, it is easy to get trapped by this thing we know as money. We risk starting to believe it’s the solution to everything. Believing it can provide whatever you need. But if you don’t respect it, it can provide a hell that you really don’t need.
To paraphrase a song, you could get to a position where money’s too sh!te to mention.
When there’s no money 8n your pocket, you can guarantee that the first song you’ll hear on the radio is ABBA singing about money, money money. Then you put on TV, and there’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, interspersed with advertisers trying to give you a payday loan at 100,000% interest.
I’ve certainly learned that if you treat money with respect you may be lucky enough to enjoy a little bit of it. But, if you think it is your god given right to have money, watch out for the thunder flash from the sky to take it all away.
Cash? Ooooo! Nuts!! Get it wrong, it could drive you up the walnuts. Don’t take the pistachio out of it. Don’t take the pea(nuts) out of money. It might send you coco(nuts). Point made? Alm(ond) sure it is. Think about it.
So, with a fond wave and a raised eyebrow I will close another blog with the reader wondered what they’ve just read. Don’t worry, by step 15 it will all make sense. I promise.
Until then, to come back to where I started, in the words of Frank Turner again: –
“Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind.
Like a beacon reaching out.
To you and yours from me and mine.
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind.
In a world that has decided.
That it’s going to lose its mind.
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind”