Do lightweight, motivational messages, on internet memes irritate you? Just a bit? They kind of do that to me.
A few months ago I could have used a motivational message or two, and frankly, was about ready to give up on a lot of things… PhD., research, writing, you name it; anything but family.
I took a trip back to the UK—not exactly a fun time, as it was prompted by my mother’s sudden death, and a (still on-going) coroner’s investigation. So that, of course, contributed to an overall happy-go-lucky outlook on life, and helped improve my positive attitude no end.
So when I got back, and was going through some old paperwork, I was less than impressed when I came across a worn-looking greetings card, with one of those doggerel rhymes, intended to convey a motivational message. My initial reaction was marginally less than “Oh joy! A motivational greetings card! Let’s see what it says!” As I read through the lines on the front, my cynical mood did not improve…
When things go wrong
as they sometimes will,
when the road ahead seems all uphill,
when the funds are low
and the debts are high,
and you want to smile,
but you have to sigh,
when care is pressing you down a bit,
rest if you must but don’t you quit.
Success is failure turned inside out,
the silver linings of the seeds of doubt,
and you can never tell how close you are,
it may be near when it seems so far,
so, stick to the fight
when you’re hardest hit,
it’s when things go wrong
that you must not quit.
I was groaning inwardly as I opened the card, where on Earth did I get this from? And I read the handwritten message inside…
When I saw this card I
thought of you both & how
things may often look bleak,
so leave this where you can
see it, and read the words
now & again
All my Love
My mum would have written that when my wife and I were going through one of our—seemingly endless—periods of financial, legal, and you-name-any-other-kind-of-stress, prior to emigrating from the UK to Canada. Stress that was always anything but personal, we knew we were unbelievably lucky to have the love and support of a close family, and we relied… no, that’s not right, we rely on it heavily. And return it whenever we can.
I’m beginning to sound like one of those bloody awful greetings cards now, aren’t I?
And suddenly, I have a lot more patience for that rhyme, and I’m a lot more enthused for that PhD research, and the writing. I’m still not a fan of cheesy motivational messages (and stick-man cartoons can go fig themselves), but what can I say? I’m still not too old to listen to my mum, and I have a few new posts waiting in the wings.