The List

It was a brisk, chilly evening. I wore a coat of peacock blue. We strolled along the lane slowly, the aroma of meatballs, pizza, Italian coffee drifting out across the way.

When we sat down at the rickety table under the stars I pulled out a yellow legal pad and we began crafting the list. Hardworking. Self-aware. Kind. Compassionate. Disciplined. As the lines began filling faster we realised how much work we had in front of us. What we wanted our future kids to be was only possible if we first practised those qualities ourselves.

Our lives look so different now. We motor from moment to moment, attaching hurried lessons to the mistakes and hoping the little eyes watching choose to model the good instead. We fail, apologise, try again.

The perfect parents we hoped to be seem impossibly out of reach, but I’m realising that isn’t such a bad thing. If nothing else, we do our own work – understanding ourselves, our motives, our failings – perhaps that will be enough to teach the important stuff. Life isn’t straightforward, mistakes will be made, but we keep trying anyway. We show up.

This post is inspired by the Five Minute Friday writing challenge. Each week I join with this talented group of writers, free writing for five minutes in accordance with a prompt. Today’s prompt is ‘work’. 

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Running the Gauntlet

It is the final hurdle. Energy that has been stretched, reused and gathered for this penultimate moment: bedtime. The word is starting to send shivers down my spine, and not in a good way. ‘Is it going to be one of those nights tonight?’ I wonder as we prepare to […]

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If You Lecture And You Know It…

If there was some kind of award for lecture-giving, I would definitely be in the running to win it. It doesn’t take much for the download of information to begin… sometimes I catch myself mid-lecture before I even realise I’m delivering one. Dave secretly snickers in the background when he […]

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Lessons in Essentialism

I’m sitting in the car outside the doctor’s office, deep in the throes of my fourth Glucose Tolerance Test. For the uninitiated, that means three blood tests at varied intervals over a two hour period, after having drunk a sickly sweet syrup to check how my pregnant body is processing sugar. […]

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The Science of Self-Control

I am an Upholder. According to Gretchen Rubin, everyone responds differently to the idea of expectations – for some, it may be the ideals that esteemed others hold over them, others accept the bounds of expectation only after funnelling the idea through their own principles and then there are the […]

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Invisible Weapons

What if we could change the behaviour of those around us without even speaking a word? What if our mere thoughts and expectations were enough to alter the physical outcome of others’ actions? I’ve been listening to a podcast by Invisibilia (How to Become Batman) which delves into the science […]

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