I watched a few documentaries about child poverty in the weekend. The kids lived (mostly) in squalor but they seemed happy enough. They were all exceptionally perceptive about themselves and their parents, knowing they were doing their best. Most of the kids went to breakfast club and often didn't get lunch or dinner but when the parents were interviewed, I couldn't help but notice the nails, jewellery, styled hair, cigarettes, alcohol etc.
At first I was horrified that it seemed I was being judgemental but I have a saying - Observation is when you notice the guy walking toward you has tattoo's on his face, judgement is crossing the street before he gets to you. In other words, I was merely observing because I didn't suddenly decide they were bad parents.
I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong in the mix. If the parents cared (which they clearly did), why were some of these children living in such horrendous conditions and missing out on food? One boy even had to wear his older sisters hand me down clothes to go to school and was bullied mercilessly.
In the early hours of the morning, the answer woke me from my sleep.
It's all about priorities.
Every member of the family was struggling and the things some of the parents spent their meagre income on were prioritised - often, obviously, their sanity (cigarettes and alcohol) being more important than groceries. I'm still not judging - I've been that person. I'm just now more aware.
So, here's where all this went...
Whenever something hits home with a whumpf like that one did, I always have to run it through my mental health database and see if it fits in somewhere and I was able to see so clearly that my climb out of the pits of despair started when I changed my priorities. I had identified that depression, for me, was an addiction to negative thinking and self-loathing so I changed my priorities overnight to focus on positivity and finding things to even just like about myself.
Even though I'm a nobody in every sense of the word - I'm 50 in a few weeks, live wayyy under the radar in my parents caravan and survive on a benefit - I'm extremely happy and content.
I had been questioning whether I was deluding myself and was in fact a loser doing nothing each week but writing and traveling between both sets of parents, but within the context of priorities, I was so relieved to see that with my priorities being to look after both sets of parents and help the few friends I have whenever I can, that I'm far from a loser. Suddenly, giving up a lucrative career in the film industry seemed a very small price to pay for all my parents safety, health and happiness.
What do you think?
When you review the issues in your life are you able to identify a priority that could be adjusted? Or are you able to see yourself in a different, more favourable light when you acknowledge your priorities?
Do you see this relating to another aspect of your life?
I'd be curious to know...
Pimp My Attitude
This is where I think out loud as I transform my appearance, thought processes and most of all, attitude - no matter how unpretty.