Friday, 4 December 2009


I wish I could extract from my head the list I carry around with me of the standard of 'good'. The 'good' mother or the 'good' friend, the 'good' home educator or the 'good' wife. The image that comes to mind is of the little tank where our sea-monkeys live just after it has been stirred. Lying on the bottom is a mix of dead sea-monkeys, sea-monkey poo, discarded sea-monkey skins, a few cat hairs that have fallen in and some balls of green stuff which I assume are the powdered food we occasionally add. Usually the water is fairly clear and the little creatures spin happily about, waggling their waggly bits. When I stir the tank (to aerate it rather than just for the excitement of the shrimps) all this gunk rises up and spins about too, in a cloudy mess. For a few minutes it is impossible to distinguish the living creatures from the detritus whirling around them.
Similarly, I carry around thoughts that, when I get all stirred up, cloud my vision and make a mess of things. A 'good' mother always cooks fresh, has a moment to listen and never tells her child that not liking the new margarine is 'just silly'. A 'good' friend is always available and always cares. A 'good' home educator makes learning fun and is always encouraging. A 'good' wife is always interested in her husband's day at work and never minds when he is a few minutes late home.
As I said, I wish I could extract these lists, have a clear-sighted view of them, cross off what I don't think is true and generally give my tank a thorough clean.

1 comment:

Maire said...

Thanks for the visual journey, not sure it is a pretty one,lol but it was very graphic. Your wish sounds so simple but is so difficult, even if you could cross out the unreasonable expectations on your lists they might jump right back on there under pressure. But it is certainly worth trying and I think takes a lifetime. I once kept a journal recommended by some self development book I was reading. I had to write three pages of stream of consciousness before I got up, it wasn't easy especially as I had small kids at the time but it was very useful in exposing thought patterns and in helping me spot solutions to problems. Good luck in achieving your wish.