NaNoWriMo Day 19 – looking back in astonishment

I thought I had had a reasonable weekend with a total of about 6000 words. Given the other demands it had seemed like it was good enough.

I’m a big fan of good enough. It all started when I was a student and learned about “good enough parenting”. When I became a parent, I think that single concept kept me going when all else failed. I pictured my tutor sitting there, saying “Kids grow up reasonably normal in spite of their parents, rarely because of them.” I can only assume he was a fan of Philip Larkin.

Can I write good enough? Who knows? But today I have written 4244 words, despite only grabbing an hour at lunch and a little more this evening. It’s like something in my brain suddenly said “Oh, you mean like this?”

I just hope I can keep that going over the remaining days of November.

On a less positive note my mother’s new carers took over today and managed to fail to give her her medication both at breakfast and at lunch. I’m not sure how much more irritating it could be. Fortunately the really vital meds are the ones I give her in the evening. This is because I don’t trust carers. Today is an example of why.

I know there are many well-meaning, competent people out there who provide care. A number of them provide it to my mother; they are good enough and more. But it only takes one idiot to put her at risk. And there seems to be a number of them around as well.

‘Ware rant!

I don’t feel it is too much to ask for people to take their jobs seriously, to try and think a little about what they are doing and to raise an alarm when it is not going right. Really, just think for a moment, carer people. If someone needs medication there is probably a reason. So if you can’t give medication, do something about it, don’t just leave a note on a piece of paper which won’t be read until the evening. You have the doctor’s details. Perhaps that might be a place to start.

And relax.

Mother seems fine this evening, if a little breathless (asthma and emphysema to contend with). I can’t worry about missing the meds, because I left my time machine in my other coat pocket, so that’s that. She’s alive and stuffed her dinner down with gusto. No harm done.

My mother has lived a long and mostly happy life, with its seasoning of sadness along the way. She has been blessed and continues to receive good care with blips here and there. According to the notes, I am her advocate because she doesn’t like to cause a fuss. You can read between the line son that and I will happily accept that I will cause a fuss for her. With my headteacher voice and everything.

The world is an astonishing place. Sometimes that’s a double edged sword, and the astonishment can be at the gap between expectation and reality. On the whole though, I’m with Tim Minchin:

“I am a tiny, insignificant, ignorant lump of carbon.
I have one life, and it is short
And unimportant…
But thanks to recent scientific advances
I get to live twice as long
As my great great great great uncleses and auntses.
Twice as long to live this life of mine
Twice as long to love this wife of mine
Twice as many years of friends and wine”

Be astonishing, and if you don’t feel like that today, then be good enough. If you don’t feel good enough, celebrate that with the help of science you have twice as long to figure out what to do about it.


Go on then, it's your turn

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