Bright Side

Every time I have a setback, I try to find a positive. Sometimes it takes me a short while, because to be honest I tend to panic a bit at first – but once I’ve had a chance to consider my options, I just choose the best one and try and make it work. In a way, being severely disabled helps me, because nothing that happens now can be as difficult as what I’ve been through. Experience has taught me that all change brings opportunity, so after I’ve had one of my mini-meltdowns, I find I can soon regain my equilibrium and see the bright side.

Five things I’m always clear about, in my mind – and these are the cornerstones of my resilience, of my ability to react when things aren’t going my way. First, I’m married to Nic, and every day we spend together just makes me feel happy. Second, I’m a Dad to two amazing, precious individuals, so I’d better step up and be as outstanding as I can for them. Third, we have a nice house to live in, in a beautiful part of the country. Fourth, I love to write, I enjoy the process and it gives me a way of expressing how I feel. Fifth, I’ve had a remarkable life so far, it’s provided me with unique perspective that helps me deal with life’s flow.

I wonder if you have a list of the key things that sustain you? It’s worth an hour or so of your time, if you haven’t consciously set it down, so maybe you could then refer to it when times get tough. The things that happen to us really aren’t so bad when we stop to consider them carefully, and in a crisis, it can be especially important to consciously retain and articulate the good things that remain right at the forefront of your mind.

Of course, I’m assuming you have the time to reflect on your situation, to reason deeply about what’s going on in your life, and to make coherent notes for yourself. In today’s world of changing work schedules, fractured relationships, insecure housing and pressure on time, that’s a big assumption. We’re in the age of the 60 second attention span, we’re hurrying past the true wonder of our lives.

We urgently need to reclaim our own time. From work, from the TV, from our phones, from the commute, from shopping. We weren’t born to be slaves to all that.

It’s been a beautiful summer here in Rutland. Lately, we’ve been really lucky to spend time together as a family. I’m doing a great job clearing the junk from my garage and I’ve got some fantastic new ideas for creative writing projects. Nic is going over to her art studio as much as she can and we’re all looking forward to a week in Cornwall in September.

We’re looking on the bright side.