I’m going to be 90 in seven months time. Not bad eh? I’ve learned a fair bit over the years. Not stuff that’s in books, I can read and write, but I’m not what you would call an educated woman. Most of my learning has come from life and what it has to offer, the good and the bad.
We had news yesterday that one of my grandsons is going to lose his job, the company is closing. He is stressed beyond belief about this. I can understand that to an extent, but it’s not the be all and end all.
I am not making light of it, it’s a big thing losing your income, but there are jobs out there. They may not be what he particularly wants to do, but he will be able to find work. He has a good work record and excellent references, but he wants to pick and chose and sometimes that’s just not possible. He moans about the unfairness of life and all that. He said he is stressed to the nth degree…I hate that phrase, nth degree, what does that mean for goodness sake?
I asked him if he will lose his home, he said no, they are way in front and it is almost paid off.
I asked him if he is going to go hungry, he said no, they have money in the bank.
I asked him if he is in debt, he said no, except the last couple of years on the mortgage they own everything outright.
What he is worried about is the holiday to the Seychelles they were hoping to go on, and the new car they were hoping to buy after Christmas. I have no sympathy for him not being able to do those things.
I think his stress is misplaced if I am honest.
I told him about the war years where even what little we had was reduced by rationing and shortages.
I told him about his grandpa Ernest breaking his leg and us relying on what food people gave us for over two months because he couldn’t work…no work no pay. How I had to look after all the children and tend the garden, to supplement what family and friends donated to us…I lost so much weight I was unrecognisable, but that’s what 20 hour days will do to you. The washing and cooking still had to be done, and with no utilities…
I told him about the winter of ’47. Long and hard, the vegetables frozen into the ground, people going hungry and some freezing to death in their own homes because family couldn’t get to them to help out.
I told him the effect that winter had on his father, my second eldest son. How we almost lost him to pneumonia but there was no hope of a doctor or a hospital the snow was so deep we couldn’t get out. God was good, he lived but his return to full health took months.
These things create stress, but you HAVE to move on through that because if you don’t you, or someone you love could quite easily die.
That’s the bottom line I think, the difference between him and me. I have no doubt he really feels as stressed as he says he is but his priorities are so very different to mine. If I have a sound roof, good health and food in the cupboard I can cope. I can deal with the other issues as they crop up.
Holidays and cars, to me are non-essentials. If he can afford to lose his job and still keep his home and feed his family, he is in a far better position than millions of people the world over. For that he should be very grateful…grateful to the nth degree in fact.