Thursday, 27 August 2009

Making Time and other mottos


This is a quiet spot by the River Dart where we sometimes walk Mollie when we're staying with my mum. While it might not seem to have anything to do with this post it does - trust me.

Recent events, including the announcement of A levels and GCSE results, have got me thinking about the tremendous amount of pressure that is placed on kids nowadays. Some of course have more pressure than others depending on where you live, it seems. South East England seems to be much more pressurised than us hicks down here in Cornwall (though us hicks still achieve very good results).

Of course everyone wants the best for their children. But at what cost? One of my closest friends has a daughter who moved down here from Sussex a few years ago. “It's such a relief just to be me, to be us,” she said. “Most people down here don't have money, so there's no pressure to keep up with the neighbours and all that.”

Life tends to be very much defined by What We Do rather than who we are, though of course one is often bound up very tightly in the other. I am fortunate in loving what I do – it's a constant challenge that on bad days is utterly chronic, but on good days makes me fulfilled and happy. But for a lot of my working life I haven't enjoyed what I've done, and I know there is little more soul destroying than trudging into a job you hate. It eeks the colour from your life, rips your confidence to shreds and makes you wonder if it's worth getting up in the morning.

Regardless of whether you enjoy work or not, I think it's worth remembering that life isn't all about achievement but about relationships too. Time is a precious commodity these days, but how can we have good relationships with others if we have no time for them?

I am fortunate in having a husband who is extremely generous, thoughtful and acute when it comes to people. He very much believes in making time for the people that matter in life, and this can be very humbling. Quite often I've felt tired, unsociable, like having a Saturday morning with just us, and it's our turn to take elderly James out. I protest on those occasions, and he will say, “It's not much to do, to take him out for an hour.” And of course he's right. Seeing the joy in James's face makes it all worthwhile.

My mum is a good example of making time for people. She has a very busy social life but she has a huge number of very good friends because she always makes time for them.

So perhaps my motto for this post would be to try and Make Time. Not by making your life busier, but by making it less busy (and I know how difficult this can be if you have children). Try and have time with and for your partner, your children, your dog, your parents, your family or your best friend. But most importantly, try and make time for yourself.

19 comments:

Akelamalu said...

A great post and great advice Flowerpot. :)

rosiero said...

I agree. Children are under incredible pressure these days - both at school (to achieve the highest grades for the school league tables) and amongst their peers (to possess the latest mp3-players, mobile phones, clothes etc). They grow up so quickly too, so it seems they only really have a few years of childhood before they are wearing make-up or doing grown-up things! I agree that relationships and caring for people are far more important.

B said...

thank you for this lovely post, especially relevant to me right now!

my hubby goes round to see his grandparents twice a week. i go once most weeks, sometimes twice. he isn't what you would normally call a people person; he's forced to deal with people a lot in work, so when he gets home he tends to want to be on his own (i don't count luckily!!). yet he goes round, week after week, even when he doesn't want to, and sits and has a cuppa and chats to them.

the only problem is, it makes me feel bad that we live so far away from my grandparents :(

anyway i need to remember to take time out for me. thanks flowerpot. x

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Ak - but it's something that applies to me too!

ChrisH said...

You could be writing this post for me, Fp, the part about doing what you love rather than what you have to really struck a chord. Working for someone who undermined me at every opportunity knocked everything out of me. We don't have any spare money now but we're very rich in other ways.

Debs said...

I agree with you. It's so important to take time for those close to you and also for yourself.

I was so relieved my son achieved the results he needed in his Alevels to take his place at uni, but it's difficult encouraging youngsters, whilst at the same time letting them know that if they don't 'make the grade' they can still be happy and fulfilled.

Love that photo too. What a beautiful place.

Flowerpot said...

Rosiero - my nieces and nephews are growing up so quickly and we rarely see them which is so sad. One minute they're children and the next grown ups. Where did the time go?

B - yes don't forget you, please! Good for your hubby - and sorry you are a long way from your grandparents. Mine died a long time ago but my maternal grandmother was such a character that I still feel she's with me.

Flowerpot said...

Chris - this is what I was trying to get across. (We do seem to have led parallel lives don't we?!!) I'm sorry you had such a vile job but glad you are happier now. We are totally skint but much happier than living in debt.

Debs - that's a very very difficult balance isn't it? Good for you!

Trubes said...

That was a touching post FP and so true. I love to spend time with my family and particularly the grandchildren. They can be very demanding when one's used to being 'just the two of us', if that makes sense!
You may like to read my new post on the sixies in Liverpool and the Beatles etc.

Hope you are keeping well, loved the picture of the river Dart, looks so tranquil.
It evokes happy memories of holidays there.

di.x

Crystal Jigsaw said...

This was a lovely post and I really enjoyed reading it, as time is preventing family time for me right now with the harvest, even though I know it'll pass.

CJ xx

Elaine said...

That's an absolutely beautiful photo.

Great advice, too. Family are more important than anything else in this world.

Flowerpot said...

Trubes - yes, not having children ourselves, spending time with my nephews and nieces is all the more important. Will hop over to see your new post now!

Flowerpot said...

CJ - harvest doesnt that; doesn't it - but as you say, it will pass. Hope your worries will diminish soon...

Flowerpot said...

Elaine - that picture is taken in Totnes where all the rowers practise on a Sunday monring. Beautiful spot!

MarmiteToasty said...

What a beautiful post.....

x

Flowerpot said...

Marmie - how ARE you? Long time no hear. Are you OK?

Sandra Ferguson said...

Lovely post. I wish I were better at this task, but you're so right about it being a choice.

My son -- middle child -- has just started a local community college. He has a night class, so when I drop him off, I run by my mom's and visit with her the hour and a half that he's in class. I like this time with just the two of us. We lost my dad late last year and these moment are special for just the kiddo-mom bonding. Some things we never get to old for, eh?

Have a lovely Monday.

Flowerpot said...

Sandra - that sounds a great time to visit your mum, particularly if you lost your dad recently. I bet she loves that time with you so much.

Philipa said...

Yes, good advice. However, life can be so overwhelming, some people can be so cruel, that all you end up doing is 'making time for yourself'. To cry, to go over things in your head, to desperately think of a way, any way, to make things better. And you end up spinning plates in your head and not doing the washing up. Far better, as you say, to do things with the ones you love - do the washing up together.