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Survival is the day’s work

I believe you should get ready the night before. HONESTLY. It is a really good idea. But I never do.

This morning I clambered over the weekend’s camping gear spread over the hall. I spent ten minutes trying to find a clean sock for my daughter. I had to pick my son out of bed and force him into clothes, me a dressing machine, him like an unwilling Wallace.

All this time cursing my husband for leaving early and leaving me to sort out the mess.

Lunch was leftover burger buns, a mini cheddar, yogurt and a banana on the brown side of the 5yo’s standards.

Breakfast was another burger bun toasted with jam, eaten on the way to school.

As I was making it I thought of the families I read about in the Guardian this weekend who live in war zones.  Being repeatedly shelled in Serbia, the night ambulanceman and grave digger who borrowed a car battery to Skype with The Guardian journalist. The teenager with shrapnel still in his head. The children in the Ukraine who can’t leave because the taxi for their disabled Grandmother is beyond the realms of affordability, they live among decomposing rubbish, left behind animals and survival is the day’s work.

When we stepped out in the sunshine I felt so grateful to have something to give them for breakfast, to have a sunny and safe walk to school, to have jobs to go to. To have had a weekend away in the caravan, in countryside and fresh air.

But I didn’t want to write a post about other people’s circumstances making me grateful. One of the phrases I hate most vehemently on social media is ‘hold your children closer’ said when some one has lost their child.

What I am talking about here is perspective. Someone asked me recently if going to Ghana and Tanzania with Comic Relief changed me. I’ve been saying no. But more and more I am saying yes. The places I put my energy, the things I worry about.

A little bit of scrabbling around once in a while is nothing. Absolutely nothing. My world won’t end because I don’t get our stuff together the night before. But, if I really get my own stuff together, get super organised, I can really help make a difference in this world.

I feel like I am marking time to the next big fundraising push. I can’t wait to plan for Team Honk 2015.


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