I returned to work this week, after a year off, part of which was spent looking after Mum until she died. I was quietly apprehensive about this new beginning in my life. A year is a long time, one in which some pretty major life changes have taken place for me and my dear man: bereavement; house moving; retirement and for me the continuing need to monitor and support the care of my godmother who lives several hours drive away from me. All quite stressful, so back to work was a big bump on my horizon. I have completed my first "week" (I work part time) without disgracing myself, I even feel I've done one or two useful things, but the thing that has marked it most for me has been the kindness of others. As I have "busied about" the past several days, all sorts of people, colleagues and friends, have greeted me and made me feel welcomed and appreciated. It is such a simple gift from one person to another, a smile, a hug, shared laughter and a bit of a gossip, yet it gives the day a lift and lightness. Life is always changing, it is one of the few certainties we have. I am very aware of the contrast between my return to one of the things that has given all my adult life context and meaning, just as my man retires and so loses this aspect of his life. It is such an embedded part of who we feel we are.
Then I came home and caught up with some blogs I follow and this comment by Pen struck a chord, so I thought I'd share it. it seemed of a piece with appreciating the good and fruitful aspects of humanity.