The galloping housewife has had an ‘interesting’ week. In between recovering from her wee jog (it was two days before she could walk down the stairs forwards), yelling at the computer (well, mainly the government – they’ve just increased the health surcharge for immigrants another 50% which means an additional £2,500 fee on top of the £35,000 we’ve already paid for the privilege of moving here for services we’re already paying for twice…), and prepping for the apocalypse that the same government seems determined to bestow upon us all, she has also been immersing herself in a business study group.
It has been quite some time since the galloping housewife did anything resembling formal learning. Her last attempt was beginning a Finance degree in the early 2000’s. She got to the end of her first year with an A average before deciding that despite finding global finance and macroeconomics quite fascinating, she could never quite see herself in a glass tower wearing a power suit. This new course she has embarked on is as much about developing thought leaders as it is running a business and has pushed the galloping housewife well outside her comfort zone. One of the exercises involved asking a group of friends what they saw as the galloping housewife’s personal strengths and the answers were, ummm, illuminating. The responses were remarkably consistent and while some highlighted the reasons why the galloping housewife not pursuing her first vocational desire when she left school of being a diplomat was a very good choice in hindsight, the absolute stand out quality that nearly everyone mentioned in some form, was resilience. Which is what this blog is going to talk to.
The thing is, the galloping housewife does not feel especially resilient. She does not think that this is in anyway a superpower that she has been particularly bestowed with. Yes, she has gotten through some things like her father dying when she was a teenager, a failed marriage, becoming a solo parent, moving to the other side of the world from all her friends and family and anything resembling a support network, being done over by visa agents, being taken for granted and betrayed by lifelong friends and business partners, having a dog stolen, having horses go lame and die, being badly injured, losing her entire life savings trying to keep her family afloat, being threatened with deportation and living under the hostile environment, being the sole breadwinner for a family of four and a whole raft of other things that are too painful to write and will keep her therapist going on overseas holidays for many years to come. But seriously, what was the alternative? What does one do when the shit hits the fan? There is really only one option – do a Dory and just keep swimming.
The galloping housewife was brought up with the saying ‘life’s not fair’ and after years of nursing can tell you with all certainty that that is the truth. Bad things happen to good people. Some people say that crap only happens to those that are strong enough to endure it. The galloping housewife declares bullshit on that. People realise their own inner strength on the other side of adversity, is all. We are all capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. We can fight on and get through and find the positives in any situation. That’s not to say you shouldn’t get upset and angry and sad. The galloping housewife often says that hysteria is a perfectly valid coping mechanism and if she was ever in a locked room with the bastards that took her dog, she’d be the one walking out unharmed…
This year is going to be tough. None of us are going to come out unscathed. The way we live our lives is going to be very different, a lot of us will lose someone close to us and we’re all going to take an economic hit. But that doesn’t need to mean the year is going to be a write off, in fact quite the opposite. We have the chance for a massive reset. To figure out what is important to us. To find the resilience we have buried within. And to truly understand what is going firmly on that dreamboard – what our life force is, our reason for getting up in the morning.
As for this galloping housewife, she is grateful. She is grateful for the tough times because they taught her to be self-sufficient. She is grateful that she and her family are fit and healthy. She is grateful that she has been forced to live within her means because now she can thrive. She is grateful for video chat that means that she can catch up with family back home and she is especially, truly grateful that she let her nursing registration lapse.**
Finally, on her dreamboard is a horse. Not a fabulous moving, medal winning, Grand Prix dressage horse, but a small, average looking, crossbred all rounder. Something that she can do the odd dressage test on, or canter around a BE90, something she can have fun on and go out for hacks with mates and turn out in a strange field and not worry about. Something to take her back to her roots of riding where it was all about the enjoyment and camaraderie and just having a bloody good time on horseback.
**Just a final PS, a special message for readers that are healthcare workers at this time. It’s going to be shit. The rest of us will get this virus or we won’t, we’ll get better or we won’t. What is inevitable is that our public healthcare systems will be overwhelmed. Just remember that you are only one person and you can only do what one person can do. It won’t feel like it is enough, but it is. And the rest of us are grateful.