Life’s Little Ironies

Life is something uncontrollable. It can be something that smacks us in the face and question the point to this mortal coil. It can also be a massive blast. Big belly laugh moments and punctuated by glimmers of pure joy. This inconsistent rollercoaster is something none of us find easy (don’t listen to anyone who tells you any different – they’re liars). It’s twists and turns can tie us up in knots and make us scream in equal measures of both joy and sadness. However, there’s one thing that keeps us on our toes and that’s how ironic it can be.

a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result.
plural noun: ironies
“the irony is that I thought he could help me”

Now, although irony can be highly amusing – I particularly find it ironic I ended up teaching when I hated school…I also find my life is built on ironies. Which, with this realisation, I have turned a once ‘uptight and manic’ woman into a more ‘laid back and passive’ one. Yes, I’m still a worrier (mainly about ‘The Fear’) but I no longer overthink every scenario within an inch of its life. That’s why, when people judge me for my crappy parenting and life choices I just grin and carry on.

You see, I thought I’d got it all planned out. Felt (smugly) I could write a handbook. The joke was on me though, turns out I’ve not got the foggiest and after many tears and soul searching, I realised that I didn’t actually need the answers. Life’s little ironies are a way of telling us to take a leap of faith.

So, when people thought I was mad ‘what you doing your 18 year old daughter to go abroad on her own to work?’ There were shouts of ‘what about the terrorists?’. You see everyone has an opinion and as a mother, I totally get the inclination to wrap all my children in bubble wrap, dress them alike and keep them in pigtails until the age of thirty. But that was before…

About ten years ago I was a fanatical mother who organised everything around her children. Every aspect of their lives was planned for happiness and success. I spent hours planning, shopping (it requires a great deal of shopping to coordinate) and enjoying my beautiful three. We made beautiful picture book memories with days out, holidays and family nights in. But then, they started to grow.

With growth comes independent thinking. As a strong willed person myself, I encourage this and (rightly or wrongly) they begin to make their own decisions. This is where being a mummy becomes sticky; how do you let them make their own choices, without saying the wrong thing and pushing them away? Thing is, when you see one of them hurtling towards a disaster, you instinctively want to grab hold and save them. What happens though is they don’t always want saving. They just want to grow into their own person. So another rule of motherhood is to be clever and be a forward thinker.

Therefore, I knew what I was doing. Working for a reputable company, provided with food and accommodation and the opportunity to experience life. We were all so happy and proud. The distant voices from concerned people who said ‘I can’t believe you let her travel to Turkey on a boat!’ My reply being ‘what on a boat she sells trips on?’ Seriously!

So what is the irony? The irony is that being abroad is the safesr and wisest choice she could have made. Two reasons:
1. She would have been at Manchester at that gig on Monday night.
2. We’d never have discovered she was ill and needed medical care.

It’s as simple as this:
One, without her new job she’d have gone to that gig (already said yes) as her oldest friends plus one.
Two, it took the penniless Greek healthcare system, a tiny island specialist, to X-ray and diagnose a broken collar bone and twisted spine. Damage which occurred during a car accident twelve months ago. Damage which was missed by our own NHS.

Scary isn’t it? Pathways, fate, what could have been…

The irony isn’t lost on me. That leap of faith I take to get me through the twists and turns of life seems to be working. Scary as it is, it’s working! I just keep going and my mantra ‘keep the faith’ is keeping me strong. Because trying to control the uncontrollable is simply too exhausting!  Therefore my handbook has been reduced to the the size of a simple sentence ‘what will be…’

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