I started to write this week’s blog in the early hours of the morning one day last week when I couldn’t sleep.
As I sat crying over the keyboard, in a stunned daze, I titled it: “Something shocking happens…..”.
The only other words I could summon up at the time were: How can I write about it? How can I write and not?
We had just learnt that the daughter of close friends had died in tragic circumstances. A young mum, aged 30. A bright, vivacious, gorgeous girl who lit up a room when she walked in. To think of her no longer being among us was incomprehensible.
For our friends and their family, their world is turned upside down. We, and others close to them, have been knocked sideways and the ripple has been felt throughout our small community.
It’s been a strange and slightly unreal time since, and difficult to carry on. But time doesn’t stop – as it never does for any of the terrible things that happen all over the world.
I was in charge of organising a 10km run that took place at the weekend – I thought about cancelling it, but realised I had to carry on just like everyone else. And it made me focus and kept me busy.
It’s hard to get everything right in life. And the run was no exception, with niggles and questions about things that had gone wrong.
I felt sorry that I didn’t get it all totally right – it wasn’t the best experience I’d hoped it would be for every person there.
That night I dreamt of the negative points of the day, worrying about them, dwelling on them, even as I slept.
Thankfully, when I woke I realised – it was my mind playing tricks on me, making me believe the bad stuff to the exclusion of all the good that happened on the day.
Standing back and looking at the bigger picture I knew that out of the 130 or so runners there, the vast majority had a great day (despite the 30 degree heat!), and that the dozens of helpers had put in the best effort they could to make it happen.
Why do we beat ourselves up over the usually small things that make something less than perfect? Why pick them to pieces, instead of celebrating our success?
As a former journalist I know it’s something the media does all the time, focus on the bad stuff, the things that go wrong – indeed often it looks to find fault. Rarely will our media seek out the good in the world, highlight that.
The picture painted is not a true reflection of our life and society, as the negative thoughts we challenge ourselves with are not a true reflection of us.
It’s hard to shake off the bad stuff, the things we are criticised for, and especially the things we criticise ourselves for.
There’s far more good in the world than we read about, as there’s far more good in all of us than we allow ourselves to believe.
Our friend’s daughter was truly lovely, but she found it hard to believe the good stuff.
RIP JB – another star in heaven x