I realised the other day – and not for the first time – how easy it is to spiral downwards into self-pity. I’ve caught small daughter’s cough and have spent the last week feeling very sorry for myself and wishing that the world would stop for a few days so that I could spend those few days in bed. It struck me just how self-pitying I was becoming when I found myself out for the dog’s night-time walk and muttering all the way along Winwick’s dark streets about how badly done to I was. Nobody else ever takes the dog for a walk, cleans the house, gets the school lunchboxes ready, cooks the meals. It’s all rubbish, of course, and the dog would probably have told me so if he had learnt to say anything but ‘woof’. But sometimes I think you have to have these moments, even if just to remind yourself how ridiculous you are being. I read once that if the urge for badly-done-to muttering strikes you, you should add in every possible grievance until you laugh. So I have to walk the dog, clean the house, make sandwiches, cook the meals, make the sun shine, mend the church roof, sort out those roadworks on the M62, find a cure for cancer … all these things wrong in the world and it’s all down to me to fix. By this point, I’m smiling again, the dog’s ready to go home and I can remember all the lovely things that have happened this week instead.
On Friday, big daughter announced that my husband and I were having a ‘date night’. She cleaned the kitchen, moved the dining table so that we would be undisturbed, lit more candles than I knew we had in the house and cooked a fabulous meal for us with very little help. Small daughter took on waitressing duties and attempted to be the caberet, but was hoicked out of the way every time she was about to have a ‘ta-da’ moment. It was lovely and definitely not the sort of evening that happens to a badly-done-to mother.
My husband, who had spent the previous week working late, announced that he needed fresh air with the dog and took him out for every walk over the weekend. Not exactly what happens when I’m the only one in the house to walk the dog.
Small daughter proclaimed (complete with ‘ta-da’) that she’d tidied her bedroom (now that really is a ‘ta-da’ moment!) and when I went to look, she really had. So, perhaps someone else does do some cleaning up after all.
There are so many times when it’s easy to look on the black side and think about what’s going wrong instead of going right. I know that I have days, probably much as we all do, when the glass is half-empty instead of half-full but I’ve realised that the half-empty days show me how full my glass really is – and most of the time, it’s overflowing.