Matthew James is 3 weeks old today, my how the time flies when you’re sleep-walking through almost every day. I anticipate regaining the capacity to write something mildly entertaining for you by next week so this may be the last of the guest post series. I’ll play it by ear, or baby wipe, though and we’ll see what happens this time next week.
For now, let me introduce Alison Boyce, our 4th and potentially final blog-napper. Below is a brief intro to Alison, along with her charming post about choosing to be kind to people. Thanks Alison, I am truly grateful for your help with the blog this week!
Alison is originally from Ireland, and lives in Canada due to love. She
was a wannabe writer who has accepted the inevitable, however that doesn’t stop her writing, or forcing her poor long-suffering husband to read the results.
She has several passions in life: her family, which currently consists of
her husband and two huge hairy hounds, but is hoping to expand soon in the form of fostering; http://ourjourneyintofostering.wordpress.com/, food
which she eats way too much of; http://happydomesticity.wordpress.com/ and writing random stories about the weird and wonderful;
http://musinghappeningsandotherstuff.wordpress.com/ and taking
According to one friend she has more pictures of the 401 in Ontario than
the Federal Government. Don’t ask why. Though at the moment her camera is missing in action and is the cause of a family investigation. Another family investigation is how to stop the pesky raccoons from eating the sweetcorn she is growing in her garden, her husband has more sense than she and has stopped her connecting the toaster to the chicken wire to give them a little reminder that theft is not good, even for raccoons.
Especially when she spent little over half an hour one day on the highway
holding up traffic as she tried to save the life of a baby raccoon who
kept chasing her and making her run the other way while her husband sat in the car laughing his head off.
When I read of the opportunity to “blog-sit” here I immediately replied asking if I could be considered.
There were several reasons, some selfish…
One of which being that I love to write, and though I tend to the ramble rather than the concise I love having any opportunity to get my words on paper and if possible have them read.
I am not naïve enough to think I am a great writer; though I can boast of getting an A+ in composition writing in school when I was seven. It was only later I learned the word “plagiarism”, and was very happy that my ancient (she must have been at least 26!) teacher had never read any of Enid Blyton’s fairy tales.
Also, I can report that my original (this time!) work was deemed so advanced in a class of eight year olds that it should be given wall space for almost six full months!
The only problem with that achievement was that it was my sister’s class. And being exactly eleven and a half years older than her I might have had a slight advantage over my competition, which is where I do have some shame. Some. It got her a good mark. And I was always taught by my parents that it is good to help your little sister.
But those incidents aside I can clearly, categorically, and finally say that my writing is never going to earn me a living.
Even though as a teenager I longed for the life of a writer, the romance of spending my hours in front of a fire while snow fell outside my garret window.
It was always winter and always warm in the garret. And I had nice dishes.
I have always had a thing about nice dishes.
As for nom de plumes… I had many! I had visions of writing in many genres, of taking the world by storm with my bodice rippers by “Fanny Stratchit”, my murder mysteries by “Agnes Whetherup” and all sorts of other ridiculous ideas, dreamt up by an idealistic teenager.
However, age and experience have shown me that if I can get anyone other than my husband to read my writing it is a huge achievement. So, on the off-chance that I would get lucky and be allowed to blog-sit and therefore steal an audience expecting to read something worthy I was going to take it.
And, I did have some non-selfless reasons too. I adore kids and the idea of being able to help someone with a baby about to arrive did make me smile.
When I got the email a few days ago that I should send something to be considered I immediately started writing, and deleting.
Without my delete and “!” keys, nothing would ever come out of my keyboard.
But nothing seemed right.
And then I read on Facebook a comment on a friend’s status and it seemed perfect.
The status was that someone had dinged her car with their door as she was getting out of her car, they had parked beside her, and that she had made a choice to ignore it and walk away instead of getting upset.
There were lots of comments saying she had done the right thing, but one person commented to say that she should have keyed their car as every time someone dinged his car, he automatically keyed them to “teach them a lesson”. He went on to say that if he held open a door for someone and they didn’t thank him he would shout after them, “You’re welcome!”
And it made me think.
Should that be normal behavior? Instant karma, if you will…
Or should we try to be kind? Should we try to let those annoyances go?
I am truly not criticising the person who made that comment. It is their choice and I am all for individual right of choice.
I just choose to live in a world were random acts of kindness are given without expectation of recompense.
A smile to a stranger in the street. That smile might be the only contact that person has with another human soul that entire day. And that smile might brighten their day. That smile might be passed on to the next person they pass and so on until it reaches someone who really needs a smile in their day. A tiny pebble tossed into a mill pond.
Or holding the door for someone, someone who rushes through and doesn’t acknowledge your action. Maybe they are having a truly dreadful day, week or month. Maybe they have just had bad news, maybe they are feeling ill and are rushing to make it home, or maybe they are thinking of a sick relative.
Is it really so terrible that they don’t say “Thank you”?
The person who dings your door, may be just plain rude, or maybe they are caught up in hiding some pain and oblivious to their surroundings.
Would keying their door make their lives easier? Would it make ours easier? Would it make us feel better?
Or would it just pass on misery to them and reflect it back to us?
I am not sure that this piece will ever make it onto this blog. If it doesn’t, that’s okay. Just because I offered to “help” doesn’t mean I am entitled to be read. Maybe it is just meant to be read by one person.
But maybe it is going to make the cut, which reminds me of a time I ended up on the cutting room floor of a TV show, because I got so tongue-tied when being interviewed about being a teenager from the North of Ireland working with teenagers from the South of Ireland towards a future of peace that I ended up being a “piece” and not making the cut.
I survived that. Even though my mother was disgusted as it was “Songs of Praise” – a religious program which she loved – and she had told all her friends to watch and I failed to appear apart from crowd scenes…
And the fact that the presenter was Sir Harry Secombe, who was a member of the Goon Show, with Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, means I can never talk of my TV appearance with one of Peter Sellers’ mates…
But, if this does make the cut, (and inevitable edit… believe me, anything that was edited out was worse than what remains.), I want to leave you with two things:
It costs us nothing to be kind, but it is priceless to those who need it.
And Spike Milligan’s epitaph… “I told you I was ill.”
(A pity it had to be in Gaelic to be approved by the powers that be.)