I heard some news from a friend this weekend, that led to this post. The friend in question is going through a VERY tough experience (not my place to say more). I guess as well as offering comfort, we all count our blessings when we hear of other people’s hardship. It got me thinking about the things I would call blessings, and of course I have all the ‘usual’ ones, and I’m very glad of them:
A loving and supportive (if occasionally annoying) husband 😉
An always-there-for-me best friend, and a little team of other great friends
Four mad cats that always cheer me up
A lovely house
A paying job
Pretty good health
But what blessing am I most grateful for? My MIND. Let me explain.
For a start, it works. Mostly. 🙂 It’s wired up reasonably well. I don’t suffer from any mental health issues.
I’m quite intelligent. (What? – long-suffering-hubby). Yes, I said it. I can understand forms and do sums and even fill in a tax return correctly!
But I’m most grateful for my IMAGINATION. It’s got me through some of the darkest patches in my life.
I didn’t have a particularly happy childhood. I was bullied at school for being clever and ‘different’. At home, I had an emotionally (and occasionally physically) abusive father. I escaped into books, but also into worlds I created for myself. Sometimes I wrote stuff down, sometimes I didn’t, but there was always a story being told inside my head.
Many years later, when I was forced by circumstances to deal with my father once more, I started this blog and began writing fiction again, and I swear that those things went a long way to keeping me sane during that time.
If I have money worries or job stress or whatever, I write down what I can do to sort the problem out (I’ve always been a great maker of lists). Then, I escape into my head and compose a story, or scribble something in my writer’s notebook, or type away on my iPad or computer.
I know there are many other ways to take one’s mind off problems: go for a walk, watch a movie, vent to a friend – and I’ve done all these. But in the middle of the night, when my brain won’t switch off, I can always escape into an imaginary world. Some of those worlds have seen the light of day on this blog, others haven’t. But they’re always there.
Occasionally, I got told off as a child for ‘having my head in the clouds’. Or a book. As an adult, I can balance the real world and my creative one. I like the real world, mostly. But sometimes, the one in my head is better. 😉