Getting Perspective


There are days when everything seems to go wrong.  When you discover a child covering themselves in Sudocrem at the same time that you’re busy mopping up pee or wiping a bum. The traffic is bad, you break a heel on your shoe. You curse under your breath, or not under your breath. Dinner boils over, you slip on the mess.

You’re overdrawn, underslept, overwrought.  You don’t get that job, or don’t have the money to do that thing that you want or need, or someone is unkind and hurtful to you or your little one. When you want to scream, or cry, or both.

Life feels harder than it should be.

There are days when lots of little things add up to make big things, and you feel like you’ve lost your “get up and go”.

You know that that it’s OK not to be OK, and that if that’s the way you feel it’s valid and you don’t have to just perk up. Even Disney in Inside Out reminded us that  life can’t be all Joy and that you need some Sadness to help you figure things out sometimes.

Then there are days that are a wake up call. Days that make you realise that things aren’t so bad really. When you get clarity or perspective.

Perspective is the thing that makes you stand back and breathe, look around you and see the bigger picture.  The mindfulness people would approve.

I got a very big, in fact a brutal, dose of perspective last week.  At a friend’s funeral his amazing wife delivered a eulogy to a packed church, celebrating the life of “her lovely man”, one that left us decades too soon. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church as she recounted tales of the much-loved husband, father, friend and colleague that the congregation remembered. This man lived life to the full, filling it with things he loved, his family, his hobbies, his passions. That’s the way to do it, an example to us all.

At times during the tear-filled service I vowed to live my life better, to appreciate every moment, to hug my children and tell my husband that I love him more.  At other times I wanted to run home hide under the duvet because there was just no point. If someone so young can become so ill and die what’s the point in anything?

But that would be doing him a disservice, and me too, it wasn’t his way, and shouldn’t be mine when I can choose.

So I’m going to try a little bit harder to appreciate things a little more. I’ll try to feel more grateful for what I do have, and try not to be morbid thinking about those that can’t experience it.

(I’ll still wallow from time to time, but that’s OK, I don’t want to become unrecognisable to my friends and family.)

Yes, it’s OK not to be OK, it’s important to have ups and downs, but when I can I’ll be trying to be grateful for what I have.

My friend, “the host with the most”, has served me one big plate of perspective and I’m going to do my best to relish it.

RIP @aidanclince


  1. Every minute, even the crap ones are something that some people would dearly wish to have. There is very little in life as precious as our health.
    I still recall almost daily the day I guessed my friends young boy had leukemia.The following morning talking with her as she was minutes from going in to see the consultant changed everything for me. Life has never been the same. I thought I lived life and loved life until then.
    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend and you receiving your dose of perspective. It’s awful, but it really can make a very positive difference to your life and I’m sure your friend would be delighted to share in that.

  2. Helen, The Busy Mama

    Life is good. Enjoy yours. You deserve happiness.
    Your friend’s passing is cruel and all sorts of unfair. You do him a lovely honour kickstarting a bit of extra positivity in his memory

  3. Beautifully written and a perfect sentiment – a great reminder to us and a lovely tribute to your friend.

  4. You do this so well.Well done.

  5. lifeonhushabyefarm

    A beautifully written piece and a reminder that we all need perspective. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend and yes, it is Ok not to be Ok, but what a tribute to him to enjoy the highs more and accept that the lows are just little bumps on the road. X

  6. Condolences on the loss of your dear friend. You strike me as someone striving to wring the best from life. That’s a form of courage from where I’m sitting. Forgive yourself the occasions when you need to come up for air. A powerful piece.

  7. My condolences Sinead. I think having this on hand is great to take a step out of the ‘drama’ of life. The drama will always be there, as you say, but it’s good to have this kind of perspective to pull yourself out of it. I have had a really tough few weeks recently- a bit or drama going on and lots of hurt feelings etc. Something in me copped on there last week and I realised that instead of dragging my children into my ‘misery’ I could allow them to pull me out. So instead of focusing on that bad situation I just kept focusing on them- watching them play and interact, talking to them, loving them, caring for them and playing with them. God it helped so much.

  8. I’m so sorry for you loss Sinéad. Life can be so cruel sometimes. I had a similar jolt of perspective recently, though I haven’t managed to capture it as eloquently as you.

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