At this time of year, the inevitable Christmas charity adverts pop up. And all of them, of course, tug on the heart-strings. But this year, the new 'Save the Children' advert has really touched my heart. There's a particular shot of a little boy, lying and trying to sleep on a pavement. Something about the way he turns and tries to snuggle into the concrete reminds me of Joe, snuggling over in his cot. The contrast between Joe, in his comfy pyjamas on clean sheets, with this boy - just as vulnerable and full of love as little Joe, really brings it home for me. No child should live like this.
I already give to 'Save the Children' on a monthly basis, and am not the richest of people, but I really want to help him/other children like this. I find it hard enough when Lily has a bad day at school, or Timmy gets his plastic trolley snatched by Joe. But the thought of children born into such a cruel situation is heart-rending.
But what to do? Yes, I could up my monthly donation, but there is always that nagging doubt that the money isn't being well-used, or won't get to them (due to news reports). Adverts like this make me feel so helpless, and remind me how blessed my children are - even with me as a mother!
I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I am thinking of doing something to raise money for 'Save the Children' - any ideas?
Talking of misery, let's get back to the "UK brand" of misery - misery within our own lives (which obviously pales into insignificance when compared with the suffering above). There's a saying "misery likes company" - and it's true. But there is also something in us that is fascinated by the misery of others...
I sometimes read Liz Jones' diary in the Daily Mail - I was fascinated by what I saw as her self-indulgent whinging and miserable outlook. "Pull yourself together!" I wanted to cry, "for god's sake, get a grip, woman!" I even wrote to her once (years ago) suggesting she try some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
But now, what has happened? She's in a relationship and seems happy. And for me, the column is all the more boring for it! I can barely be bothered to read it...
No idea what that says about me!
Finally, Ray said to me last night (when I was complaining how everyone seems busy at Xmas, or are going to the UK (which is what I want to do)) perhaps my blog is putting people off me because I'm so miserable! Well, firstly, I don't think he's read it for a while... but on the subject of my anxiety problems, I have shared bits and bobs in the hope that people who suffer similarly will see that it can be overcome (which it CAN! I am SO MUCH better!).
But also, I feel that - for better or worse - my anxious self is part of me, of who I am. My creativeness, my tendency to fly off the handle, perhaps my tendency to over-share - I may look back and blush sometimes, but I am who I am (pause to break into song...! And what I AM needs no EXCUSESSSSSSS)
Like many people, I spent years hiding how I was feeling, and, as a result, suffered more than was necessary. I refuse to be ashamed of what I suffer with sometimes, and instead choose to be proud of battling on.
If it really has put people off, then perhaps I'm better off without them...
And I'm not miserable! Just a little paranoid - but hey, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you... right?! :)