Sunday, January 02, 2011

Choosing perspectives

It's no secret that 2010 took a sudden left turn in July and became an annus horribilis for me. One thing after another went wrong. When it came to Christmas time, I decided to put it all behind me and focus on making the festive season as pleasant as possible under the rather trying circumstances, and address my life's crises from a fresh perspective in the new year. But the year had one last sting in its tail. My mother phoned me a few days after Christmas to tell me that my super-fit, ultra-marathon running uncle had had a massive heart attack while on the treadmill at the gym. While under sedation, he developed pneumonia. He only regained consciousness today. When I heard the news, I could only groan, "What next?"

My uncle is one of two remaining influential male figures in my life who have been there from the very beginning. The other is also an uncle, but of the 'by marriage' sort. The two of them have known each other since they were teenagers and, during family Christmas holidays when I was growing up, they tended to forget that they were no longer in their teens, and got up to all manner of mischief. They loom large in my childhood mental photographs, and the thought of losing him makes me feel physically ill.

Up until that phone call, I would have said that my most urgent desire for 2011 would be to secure a source of income. But suddenly it has become far more urgent that my uncle should recover. Completely. And run the Two Oceans again.

Although we aren't much into New Year's resolutions as a family, we have adopted the practice of setting ourselves goals for the year ahead, which we share over our New Year's day lunch. At this point, we also reflect on the year that has passed, and I realised that some great things had happened during the year. With everything that had gone wrong, it had been all to easy to forget the things that had gone right. And all the many days that had been wonderfully ordinary and uneventful. All the days which had included little triumphs of the sort so often, so easily forgotten.

So I decided to sign up for the 365 project (I hope that link works - the site is being a bit iffy. Let me know). Having a daily record of the year: the little moments, the big moments - will keep things in perspective should (God forbid) the wheels not reattach themselves, or fall off again.

I don't have a wonderful camera, and I'm not a gifted photographer. But the project isn't just for those who can tick both those boxes.

Perhaps you'd like to join me on this journey. Or perhaps you might like to start one of your own.


Views from Malmesbury said...

Just to let you know the link didn't work for me.

I'm sorry to hear about your family. We've had successive Christmases with various problems - cancer diagnosis, broken neck, heart problems and more, and they've been ongoing so I know how dark things can get. It is so important to remember the good things and we've been making a point of celebrating every little thing we could and enjoying every small moment, creating memories. I don't know what the link leads to but I believe you're right to try something to record the good so you can remember them in the bad times. Another important thing to do though is look to the future, and you have your boys. They are past, present and future, they are continuation. From what you've mentioned in your blogs they are a great source of pride and no doubt will be a source of strength and consolation whenever you need them.

The upsycho said...

@Views Thanks for the comment and the encouragement. I've redone the link and it now seems to be working for me. I hope that fixes it.