Happy Birthday to You

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So another birthday comes along. Another year has gone on its merry way, another ring has been added to the tree of my life.

I have to confess i do not much like birthdays, that is to say i love to celebrate other peoples but i am far from having any fond feelings for my own. Too many unpleasant memories are barely tempered by slightly more enjoyable ones of late. Alas the negative wins out by sheer number for want of any other reason.

As perhaps is typical i mourned the loss of another year and then began to ponder my place in life in relevance to my remaining years. At first, of course,  it was easily done to follow the thought paths leading to wondering how many years i may have left and whether i will achieve the many things i would like to within my lifetime. Where will i be ten years from now? What will i be? Who will i love?

Strangely unbidden a quote popped into my head that much disturbed my train of thought and i wondered perhaps if we are so guilty of forever wanting more that we forget to live and enjoy the life we actually have.

 “First give time to your love, family and friends. Who will remember your presentations, meetings, degrees and overtime after you died?”

I have no idea why that thought popped in my head and i sat and mused about it for a while. Whilst it is true that those very famous of us may be remembered for the things we did, the rest of us in general will not. Of all the people who are no longer in my life i confess i do not particularly remember what they did as a career, nor do i know their qualifications or if they were given awards or recommendations. Yet what i do remember long after they are gone is the kind of people they were and the roles they held in my life. For that i miss them greatly and yet for no other reason than that. They may have achieved great things, true enough, yet strangely it matters very little now that they are no longer here and those deeds have long since faded. Yet i shall remember those people and yes in many cases miss them greatly just for the kind of people that they were. 

I wondered then how i should like to be remembered when i am gone. Am i so guilty of wanting that which i do not have that i forget to be happy about what i have in the here and now. Perhaps it is all too easy to take for granted what you have, to assume you will always have it and to continually keep on reaching for the greener grass on the other side of the fence. Yet as i realised recently, assuming something is a constant in your life is easy until you see a glimpse of what your life would be without it. A thought we should all consider far more often than we do i think.

There is no doubt that we all need dreams. They give us purpose and give us something to make our lives worthwhile. Strangely though, we often do not realise that the happiest things we dream about most are often those things right under our very noses. It is not until we are in danger of losing them that we realise they are dreams at all. It may be something to consider that perhaps a dream does not cease to be a dream just because we attain it.

So another ring on my tree and if i take a rather maudlin moment to consider my mortality i shall adjust my perception and place a little greater importance on leaving a reason to be missed. No you will not remember my qualifications or my career. You will quickly forget any achievements that i made or even if i became famous. But what you will not forget, i know, is the small way in which i touched your life and hopefully made a difference. 

It only takes one person to keep a memory alive. Have you touched anyones life enough to be theirs?

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Just Singing in the Rain

I’ve always had a saying, one i invented myself but pretty much sums up the way i see the world…

‘LIFE HAS A FUNNY WAY OF WORKING OUT EXACTLY HOW ITS MEANT TO NO MATTER WHAT WE TRY AND DO ABOUT IT’

Do i believe it? Yes of course i do. Call me optimistic, unrealistic, whatever you choose for i shall not mind at all. Yes i have been told i have a Pollyanna attitude to life but i have always had a steadfast refusal to be anything less than positive and so far this has served me pretty well. 

I remember a year ago, one very grey stormy day when the rain fell in sheets and raindrops bounced upon the pavement looking for all the world like they were trying to get back where they came from. I waited and waited hoping that it would ease and i could make a mad dash on an unavoidable errand but it didn’t stop. It rained and rained and rained. It pretty much summed it all up when i peered out of my window and saw a small duck sheltering under the tree at the bottom of my garden.

Regardless of this i had no choice but to leave the warm dry comfort of my home and battle the weather but then i stopped and thought that hey, i had no choice so i could either smile and make the best of it or be miserable and make the whole thing ten times worse. 

Half an hour later with most colourful umbrella twirling around over my head i was skipping through the puddles humming ‘Singing in the Rain’  watching all the unsmiling faces huddled into coats, head down against the rain and i had to smile and shake my head for i actually wasn’t minding it so much at that point. Yes my socks were wet and yes a stray raindrop was trickling down my nose but it made me laugh and i shook my wet head crazily much in the manner of a very soggy puppy. 

Humming my way through the puddles i was slightly startled out of my skip and sing routine, which amazingly for me was rather in tune, by a hand on my arm and i splashed to a stop . An elderly gentleman clutched my sleeve,rain running down his cap and disappearing into his collar, and smiled at me. ”Do you know” he said to me ”yours is the only smiling face i have seen today and you’ve made my day”. Of course i beamed at him and explained my philosophy and he chuckled and thanked me.

As he shuffled off i stood and listened for as he walked i could faintly hear him humming…Singing in the Rain.

I often remember that elderly gentleman and i feel glad that i made him smile for had i given in to instinct i could so easily have been yet another gloomy face in an already gloomy sky. 

I may be a Pollyanna, but strangely i do not find this an insult but instead much of a compliment. And whenever lifes skies are grey i shall twirl my colourful umbrella, hum my little tune and smile at those that pass me by. For i have found that often that little ray of sunshine is just enough to lighten someones rainstorm and who knows you may just, if you’re lucky, make someones day. 

                                                 I’m singing in the rain
                                                Just singing in the rain
                                                 What a glorious feelin’
                                                     I’m happy again
                                               I’m laughing at clouds
                                                So dark up above
                                              The sun’s in my heart
                                              And I’m ready for love
                                         Let the stormy clouds chase
                                            Everyone from the place
                                             Come on with the rain
                                            I’ve a smile on my face
                                              I walk down the lane
                                              With a happy refrain
                                                   Just singin’,
                                              Singin’ in the rain

 

Lyrics courtesy of Arthur Freed