The answer’s in the heading.
The question, of course, being where have I been these past two weeks? You haven’t missed me? Can’t believe it… 🙂
Depending on how you view life, the last fortnight has either been a nightmare or a rather unasked-for opportunity to exercise that most precious of life skills – looking on the bright side when life goes belly up.
You see, my daughter went belly up last Tuesday falling from the 7 ft high monkey bars at school, and breaking the inside of her elbow on landing. Ouch. Ouch again.
So, she’s the Plaster of Paris clue.
Four days before that, my husband came down with the worst case of flu I’ve seen him endure. Now, before you mock and mutter ‘Man Flu’ at me, my husband is one of those rarities: a man who doesn’t moan when he’s ill and whom I can easily forget is up in bed sweating out his 7 day headache and 39 degree flu. Really.
He’s the Lemsip clue.
Less than 24 hrs after my daughter became a temporarily one-armed 7yr old, I got a call from my bank asking if I had bought anything from Hollister for £41.95 last night, or made a purchase from a company based in China for £120, or paid for something worth £49 from another unheard-of company. “Er, no!” came my reply. “I don’t buy branded clothes.” (Why should I buy extortionately priced clothes for the privilege of advertising that brand? Shouldn’t I be paid to do that? I’m clearly from the wrong era. I digress…)
My card was promptly ‘stopped’ and the words “We’ll have a replacement out to you in 5-7 working days” passed down the phone line in a tone that sounded like that should be a comfort. Yeah right. “When did you last not buy anything for 5-7 days?” is what I’d love to have replied back, but something about not shooting the messenger passed through my consciousness.
So, there’s your last clue answered.
Before you tell me ‘Well, there’s your three!”, I had a puncture in my car tyre just before my husband became best friends with his bed for a week.
Yes, it’s been a rather challenging 10 days to say the least. Tempers, energy levels and the simple act of buying of a loaf of bread have all been tested.
It’s times like this that I have to choose to find that silver lining, to be thankful for what hasn’t gone wrong, and for the good that has emerged out of it. If not, I’ll be sunk by it all.
Things like GG (my daughter) breaking her right arm when she’s left handed; my husband not getting stressed out about the high-profile project he’s not working on whilst ill because, well, he’s not working on any high-profile at the mo – he’s unemployed! Ok, that’s a tough one in itself, but that belongs to another post….
And then there are the rather unexpectedly good things that have come out if it all. Like GG’s friends giving her lots of attention at school, her discovering which of them are her really good friends, and which clearly want to be a nurse when they grow up 🙂
By far the biggest of these unexpected blessings has been the fabulous reprieve from my needing to
nag persistently persuade GG to get dressed or undressed. To appreciate this you need to realise that this is the biggest bug bear in our house at the mo. GG seems to find the whole transition of clothes from drawer to body thing, and reverse, the least interesting thing in the world.
I see you scratching your head: “What on earth has that got to do with a broken arm?”
Well, we couldn’t get her school dress off after the nurse applied the cast on Tuesday. And as it was the only one she had that a) wasn’t too short and b) I’d actually bought full price from a reputable retailer, I was at pains to apply the scissors to it.
So, we found ourselves in the happy situation of GG permanently being ready for school or bed. Whenever I looked at her, she was ‘ready’.
Unbelievable. Hilarious. Bliss.
And because the dress was a non-iron one, she got out of bed looking like she’d just taken it off the hanger. Double bliss.
Even she thinks its funny. She says she’s having to nag me to come and get her dressed now. Cheeky monkey.
We even managed to bath her in that dress – I’ll leave you to send in guesses at exactly how we did that….wish I could’ve submitted a photo.
Anyway, for seven blissful days my relationship with GG has not been dominated by the pressure to get dressed or undressed, even since she was valiantly freed from her dress on Friday at the hospital for her cast change. Her debilitated state has made her more dependent, more biddable, whilst my relaxed attitude has brought out more of the sweet little girl that I know her to be, one that had recently begun to be overshadowed by the knowingness and stroppyness of a girl approaching her ‘tweens’. Its been very special.
So you see, every cloud has a silver lining. Sometimes its platinum.
PS Before you start thinking erroneously that I’m a total saint, you need to realise that this attitude of smiling in the face of adversity isn’t exactly something I’m naturally good at :-). It wasn’t a trait I was taught as a child. My natural reaction is to get frustrated and annoyed. But it’s a habit I’ve been practising over the past few years as I’ve been learning about the foundational importance of thankfulness in everything. It’s something we have to choose. Its not easy. And I certainly don’t always live in this ‘silver lining zone’. But when I do, it’s amazing the effect it has on both me, and those around me.