It seems to me the only thing that stays the same is that everything keeps on changing.
That’s a good thing, I guess, because without change our lives would be incredibly boring, but changes can also be a problem when we are comfortable with things the way they are.
I think that’s a big part of why I’ve been struggling to have a positive outlook lately.
For most of the past 20 years I’ve been a full-time father who fit my money earning activities around family life.
I worked part-time in The Voice office in Francistown while the kids were in school or I wrote from home while they were out or asleep.
I also ran a guesthouse on our property that allowed me to be home and available for the family most of the day.
Then, after my wife’s life was cut short by cancer, my daughters and I moved to England so the girls could get their secondary and university educations here because that is what we had long planned to do.
Lesley’s illness and eventual death and then the change of continent and culture were extremely difficult times and they involved massive changes for my daughters and for me but all along my focus remained the same – I had to look after my girls.
Now, that is changing as well.
My oldest daughter has gone off to university and her sister is getting established at the local sixth form college where she has just begun her A-level studies.
The first is independent for most things other than financial concerns and she knows it, and the second is getting to the same point although isn’t really aware of it yet, so my roll in their lives seems to be shrinking.
This is exactly the result I’ve worked for and exactly what my wife and I always wanted for the girls, but now that it is becoming a reality I don’t completely like it… well, not yet anyway… but I suppose that will change.
Obviously this is not the first time I’ve struggled to hold onto a positive attitude about life so I have some experience with trying to get back on track.
Hopefully writing about it now will help me stick to my plan and maybe give some of you another option for dealing with similar problems.
What I’ve been doing for the past few days and what I plan to continue doing is read– even if it is only for ten minutes a day.
But I’m not reading newspapers or magazines or thrillers, I’m reading positive, motivational and spiritual stuff.
If you are a religious person, reading The Bible, The Koran or some of the Hindu or Buddhist texts might do the trick.
For me though, books that deal with the mental side of activities such as playing tennis or the guitar or shooting arrows have always helped because they emphasise the importance of attitude and expectations and highlight that those things are a matter of choice.
Yes, they are books I’ve read before, but the interesting thing is that every time I re-read them I find something I’ve missed before and the message and my understanding changes.