Turning the world upside down

When I wrote this, the rain was hammering onto the bird table roof, glistening drops of water hanging all around its edges. I could see almost horizontal sheets of rain blowing across the garden. The sound of raindrops on our conservatory was like an army of marching ants in tin boots. Wind was blowing the trees, bushes and grasses in a wild dervish. We had been back home for just under an hour and I said to Mary, “I’m glad it wasn’t raining like that when we were out.” We got wet, but not that wet.

The rain then stopped, and the sun shone.

One thing we know about in England is the weather. Have you noticed how many words we have for rain, it’s drizzling, damping down, torrential, pouring, hammering, misty, cats and dogs, the heavens opened, I am sure you know more. What’s our opening line in conversation? It’s always the weather. “Hasn’t it been hot lately?” “When will this rain stop?” Did you see that lightening?” We don’t just talk about it we complain about it. When it’s hot, it’s too hot, then next week, it’s too cold. Then we get too much rain, followed by, yes drought. If it’s sunny it’s too sunny, if there is snow it’s too deep, or too slushy, or too icy. I don’t know I have ever heard someone say, “the weather today is perfect.”

The reason that’s important is because it’s about attitude. We look at how things are not, rather than how they are. OK, I was trying to say, “the others man’s grass is always greener in a new way.” It’s why we want more of everything and what others have. It’s also why when we are well, we don’t appreciate it and when we are ill or limited, we focus on what we cannot do, rather than what we can.

We need to turn our view upside down. Turn the world upside down. Rather than look at what we want, look at what we have. Rather than what we cannot do, look at what we can. Frustration only takes hold when we try to do more than we are able or want what we can’t have.

Let me be down to earth and practical here. I spend a lot of time in a hospital type bed and the rest of my time in a power wheelchair. Most things must be fetched for me or done for me. So, I have found some things I can do and focus on enjoying those. I can write and I can use a PC. By using my good times when I have the energy to do those things, which isn’t all the time; I can have fulfilment. It gives me a sense of achievement, joy, and worth. Instead of lying around feeling useless I have found something I can do for a few hours a week. This is directly applicable to you too. There will be something you can do in every situation. Whatever our limitations there is always something. I can say that confidently because I have times, I cannot move anything. In those times I use my imagination and go on journeys in my head. Find the joy, the what you can do. Of course, if you are reading this and you are 100% well and strong, that’s great. In my experience you will still find things to be frustrated over, so same goes for you. Focus on what you can do.

We can just focus on the weather, moan about it, shelter from it, get wet or enjoy the beauty of glistening rain drops. Ski in the snow. See beauty in fallen leaves, you see where I am going with this? We could feel frustrated about what we do not have, or cannot do, or we can decide to find out what we can do and enjoy it.

Turn the world upside down. Look at it in a new way. Transform your viewpoint. Change your perspective. What can you do?

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Author: Mike Nevin

I decided to write about the funny side of being cared for. I am a full time wheelchair user with daily carers. It's my experiences with my carers that inspired this blog.

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