Update, January 2020 from Ruth…
I remembered this post from November 2013 last night, and thought it was as true today as it had been when I first wrote it seven years ago. So here it is, with a few careful edits…
(First published, Wednesday 13th November 2013)
Every evening, almost without fail, my husband asks me if I want a cup of tea. To this day, after 11 years of asking, I say no every time. I never drink tea at night – it might be all in my head but the one or two times I have, too polite to refuse when I’m out, my mind goes into overdrive. My husband knows this is my reason, thinks it’s ridiculous, and so keeps asking, just on the off-chance I’ll change.
I can’t tell you how freeing it is to have someone believing that who you are is not set in stone. I’m trying to think of people I know that I could show that same openness to, or if I’ve ever done it in the past. So next time I have to ask a question, I need to throw out my expectations of what their answer will be, and just listen. Someone who’s always a bit gloomy, might just need the space to find a glimmer of happiness – a nodding head and eyes looking away do not give them that.
(January 2020 update from here!)
As I face my most recent bout of weak legs and the permanent need to sit down, I’ve remembered how lonely and limited life can become. All the standing crowds keep their backs to me, not intentionally of course, but when you’re below eye level, you might as well be invisible. I have to turn back after twenty steps on the beach and leave my family to enjoy it without me. The crashing waves are silent behind the car window screen. The wind is visible but not felt.
The problem with this is that it can be easy for me, and those around me, to forget I have more to offer. It may take me longer, but I need to do things, achieve something. Just because I’m sitting down doesn’t mean I’m not thinking. Or listening. Or writing.
I do say yes to tea in the evenings now. So you see, everyone can change. As you think over the New Year’s resolutions you’ve possibly already broken, believe that you are capable of so much more. And never assume otherwise.