In the run up to Anzac Day I felt an element of unease about the commemorations. I decided not to attend any events but instead to quietly mark the day at home.
I was tired out by the time I got to bed Friday night and I was glad that I didn’t have to set the alarm for an early wakeup. I slept soundly. Then it was 4.37 am and I was wide awake with the words LEST WE FORGET booming in my mind. I thought what the heck: looks like I am going to the dawn service after all. And, naturally, I was thankful that I did.
It is our young people who do it for me. And praise to the organisers, especially Coolum-Peregian RSL president Bill Powell, who allow our young people a voice. It is wonderful, inspiring, reassuring to know there is such a brilliant crop of them. The high school students nailed it with their speeches brimming with thankfulness, respect, and inclusiveness. Who could not be touched by the innocence in the voices of the children’s choir; and the sometimes quavering last post by Harry in Year 6 was so deeply, deeply moving precisely because the rendition wasn’t perfect.
Later down at the beach for the oar salute, it came so strongly to me that what I have is life and I damned well better make the most of it!Easier said than done though isn’t it. I think about bumping into R… along the beach front. Now R… is one of those amazing Red Cross nurses who are on-call to take leave from their regular job and work at the site of the latest disaster in the world. For a few moments, I half-heartedly feel guilty about the absence of such heroism/boldness in my life. I think about my life’s rather prosaic aspects and fleetingly wonder if I should be doing something more sacrificial and adventurous. But I recognise it as a constructed guilt. I know my gig is here—and that I am lucky that it ain’t half bad! Sure I stress about the superficial—how could my hairdresser have got it so, so wrong last time: moan, wail. But I also know my life is more than a hated haircut.
I feel as though I have sorted out a lot about myself—who I am, my values, what’s important to me, the principles I want to live by. That’s one of the rare pluses of growing older: we have experience and at least a smidgin of wisdom. Why is it then that I seem to inhabit a glass cage? A glass cage constructed of caution, fitting-in, not wanting to fail, lack of confidence.
I recognise that I have helped in its construction and that it is up to me to break out of it. Importantly, to accept that failure generally makes an appearance on the way to success; that some people won’t like me or what I do; that I can’t make everything right for my loved ones; that I am not going to be ‘discovered’. Oh, there is heaps more but you get the picture.
I am encouraged and inspired by Naz’s jewellery-making friend Linda who is giving full reign to her creative spirit. If I am going to live life to the full, I have to do it now. If I don’t break out of my glass box now, it is never going to happen.
The cracks are appearing. Starting this blog with Naz has been a start. I’m up for it. What about you? Have you ever experienced the glass box syndrome?