I was once asked to write a timeline of my life plotting all of my ‘significant’ events. This took a while as I thought about all that had happened, all that I had experienced and deciding what was ‘significant’. When my finished timeline was looked over it was noted that I had only written negative things. I think this was a clever task to set someone; you get a real sense of how someone is feeling by what they fill in. I was then asked to go and re-write my timeline thinking about more positive experiences and, after a while, my thinking changed and a more representative timeline was produced.
Remembering this set me thinking. What do we consider a ‘significant’ event in our lives? Is it the passing of a degree or the learning to ride a motorbike? Both I have done but from a point of usefulness my degree definitely has the upper hand although learning to ride a motorbike was fun riding pillion around Scotland was more so. Should I plot that I lived on a narrow boat for 3 years or that I have learned to play a musical instrument –something that seems to be a regret of a lot of adults I meet. Getting married is definitely significant. Saying you will spend your one and only life with your partner is truly significant but is this more significant than having children? For me having one child was a significant event but having another was even more so due to having depression and not thinking that I would actually like to have any more children at all.
Whether it’s an academic qualification, a personal goal achieved or just something ordinarily marvellous that you’ve done, ‘significant events’ come in many forms and what is significant to you may not be to others around you. Maybe we should make more of our achievements, however small, and celebrate them more openly and, dare I say, share them with our loved ones and those that matter to us. Perhaps we should be a bit more ‘Un British’ and shout from the rooftops a bit more.
To this end I would like share that I am so pleased I started Little White Cottage and consider it and achievement that I have done so. Whether it actually goes on to be a bona fida business I couldn’t possibly say at the moment but I’m willing to work at it to make it all that it can be. I hope, one day when I am much older, to look back on a life filled with the significant events of not just me but my children and possibly Grandchildren. I think the spotlight light on the ‘self’ shifts a bit the older you get as you take so much more pleasure in the achievements of your children. My eldest is only 6 and if I feel 1 tenth of how I feel about him and what he does (times this by 3!) I think I’ll be the happiest Mum there is.
There. I’ve shared mine. Now what would you put on your timeline and what is your latest significant event…?