Changing My Perceptions

small dog

Today I read Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord post about the late Sue Vincent and Mary Smith. Both are bloggers I followed.

Sally’s post includes a brief biography of each, which left me wondering how those of us who scribble away from a contained life in (relatively) comfortable circumstances can aspire to emulate writers with so much more life experience.

I was going to say, ‘compete with writers’, but one thing I have learned is that competition doesn’t come into it. There are readers for every story, and since I started this journey, I have been uplifted by the encouragement of fellow writers, most of whom don’t know me from Eve.

But sometimes I look at my mundane life of school, training, childrearing, librarianship and retirement, and I find little there to fire my imagination into storytelling.

Some of my daily routines today are unchanged since I was bringing up four kids and working full time. Routines such as ignoring the housework until dust gets noticeable enough to appreciate the difference; keeping a spare can or packet in the cupboard or freezer so the user can put it on the shopping list when they take the last one.

Most of my kids now live at the other end of a motorway (the youngest is on the other side of the world).

In this time of increasing costs, I could instead replace items only when they run out. How would that save money long-term, though? I don’t throw away food now.

Unless the freezer breaks down.

Or we get a lengthy power failure, like those caused by storms in parts of the UK recently.

Or floods.

Or wildfires.

So far, we’ve been lucky. Such things have happened to other people.

And then I thought what it must be like to have your home and belongings and routines and sureties bombed into non-existence. How it must be to abandon every routine you ever maintained, every item you ever cherished, every vestige of your life. Maybe even the people you love.

I hope I may never know.

But it surely puts the trivial concerns of me and my mundane story characters into perspective.

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Photo by Lucas Pezeta on

13 thoughts on “Changing My Perceptions

  1. It makes me realise how lucky I am that my immediate family live within ten minutes walk of me. We are all ‘safe’ here in England, we have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and warmth in our homes. Everything we need, if not all everyone wants. From where I started to here is a huge step upwards and I appreciate it more and more as I get older.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes. I, too, have known times when we wondered if we would ever be free of the debts that accumulated just by living. When I first went back to work part-time once the children were at school (maternity leave wasn’t available back then, and childcare was unaffordable ) I thought that salary would solve all our problems. How quickly it beccame inadequate!
      But when I hear from an older friend who brought up her three children alone with no help from her ex, I realise we had it relatively easy.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. It has been a chaotic and frightening two years but as you say Cathy, nothing compares to the horrors being faced by so many who have lost everything. I have dust around the house which gets whisked away every few weeks or so and nobody has noticed. I am so thankful to live in Ireland which has become my home after years as a nomad… a small country with a big heart.. ♥

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Indeed – as if a pandemic weren’t enough to recover from…
    I confess I am increasingly annoyed by those news-mongers that insist on regurgitating (at length) issues they insist are contentious but that seem hardly relevant in the face of Putin’s megalomania and its consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A very interesting post Cathy.
    It is difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, difficult to empathise, when the situation someone else is in, is beyond your own experience.
    I have always been a practical sort of person I try and fix things and do the practical things to help w anyone when I can.
    I am bloody useless at sympathy or offering words of comfort not because I don’t care but because it is beyond my abilities, I don’t have the right words.
    Our problems real as they are, to us, are when set against, the fear of losing your loved ones, your life or home much mundane.
    As a species I wish we could do better.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. How true, I often wonder which is real life; fleeing or fighting for your life and your moral fibre tested to the very limit or peacefully enjoying your tiny spot on earth, appreciating family, food and flowers!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Yes we can only write from what we know. But it turns out that “ordinary” life is quite intriguing. I would guess that most of the blogs I follow chronicle regular life around the world. I find it quite engaging if not immensely dramatic.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I too followed both Sue and Mary and was heartbroken when they passed. I love this line of yours, “There are readers for every story, and since I started this journey, I have been uplifted by the encouragement of fellow writers, most of whom don’t know me from Eve.” I feel much the same. Hugs, C


  8. Yes Cathy, we are lucky to live in a country which for all our lives has been relatively peaceful. All we have to worry about is thinking up ideas for the next post. Baby Boomers are indeed blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

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