It will be alright: Remembering how to be grateful instead of moaning 47



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“It will be alright” How many times have we heard those words and secretly relegated the speaker into the category of one of the ‘Smugs’? Your inward dialogue goes something like this: “of course it is alright for you – you have a home, someone who adores you, your health, money in the bank, perfect children, investment properties, a trip to Europe planned and slim ankles” as we meekly sit there and receive their smug platitudes across the cafe table. But will it really be alright? Who can guarantee that? Who decides what happens to you and what pattern your life will take? Why was one child (me) conceived in a chilly New Zealand town in 1953 and another in the war torn Gaza strip in 2009? Why must some people suffer so much, and others seemingly glide through life as though coated with teflon – crap just seems to not affect them. The answer my dear readers is – I do not know why.

I had been reading a lot of philosophy as an antidote to all of the novels I read while doing my degree. The conclusion is I don’t think they really know either. Pop philosopher Alain Bouton has some quirky and unique thoughts on life, but in the end one thing is true. Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. Also, good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. Life just is. It happens. So, will it be alright? Is this just a mealy mouthed Pollyannaish platitude to keep the great unwashed in a state of forward momentum so they can function as cogs in the great machine of life?

I don’t really believe that anybody but God has the full answer (and yes, I do believe in God, though I don’t really understand why he allows things to happen, but I believe he allows us to make choices which can have bad repercussions. It is called free will). So, do we just exist or do we choose to live?

I spent much of my life as a very negative person (surprise surprise) I once overheard myself described as “Jones the Moans”. Hurtful as that was, I thought I was entitled to moan about life. It was pretty damn hard at times and I needed all the sympathy I could get to help me by, or so I thought.

Over the years I have gradually come to see that yes: it will be alright. Shit will happen, and it does. Also good things happen. Life just happens – that is the nature of the process. However, it is how we react that determines how we live.

I am now grateful for a body that mostly works and is still reasonably fit. I am thankful for two great kids and wonderful grandkids who makes me smile. You know by now that a wonderful latte can make me happy. As is finding your favourite authors’ books cheap at a garage sale. My body works, I have a roof over my head, a good brain, great sense of humour, faith in God, beautiful music on the stereo and a ripe mango for lunch. I have enough in my purse to pay for a coffee out. I have a great friend to share that experience with. I have enough credit on my credit card to buy the perfect dress if it is on sale. My cat is purring on the bed and for today, all is well.

So yes, it will be alright.

Share your thoughts below and tell us: do you agree with Karen?

Karen Jones

Born in New Zealand, Karen now happily lives in the mid-north coast of New South Wales. She retired early due to ill health and now focuses on her love of walking, writing, reading and spending time with her grandchildren. With a degree in writing, Karen became a blogger and book reviewer for Starts at 60, which has enabled her passions to become enjoyable pastimes. Her recipe for bliss is a well made flat white, a friendly cat and a sea view.

  1. So true. Many people look at the negatives in their lives ( me included occasionally until I remind myself not to) istead being grateful for the positives.Many are envious of what others seem to have until you get to see behind their facades to realise they too have sadness and negatives in their lives.

  2. I do occasionally have a winge, usually when its hot, about the weather.
    I need to keep focusing on the positive, a person who experiences regular episodes of clinical depression, has to be a ‘glass half full’, person in order to survive.
    At times I feel like Pollyanna. Better than the alternative.
    I look around me, there’s always someone worse off.

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  3. Sadly, I am avoiding a close a d much loved friend at the moment, I just can’t listen to her constant complaining abouy her marriage and people who are upsetting her.
    I inderstand that she needs to vent. Its been years and the topic just never changes, I move forward and she is stuck. Its very sad.
    She says I don’t judge her. I do and feel bad about it…..I just don’t say anything.

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  4. Our most basic human instinct is survival and we look for present and potential dangers constantly for that. Our intellect is used to override our emotional responses in our development toward higher needs but we gain most of our life lessons through difficulties. We can wish for hard times as opportunities to grow and yes, they always come around between the good bits, as they must to make us better at surviving and living. You are absolutely correct. Life is and will always just happen and we all can always choose (through our free will) to embrace ALL of it.

  5. Gratitude is the one of the best ways of dealing with life’s little (& not so little) hurdles: ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’!

  6. Mike here-positive no.1. The young lady in the photo has a park to rest in. Here in Adelaide we are spending about $600m to dig up our parklands, for a tunnel, for a bus, said tunnel will result in the permanent loss of the used parklands & will shave approximately 3 minutes off the bus ride to the city. Positive number 2. The Repatriation General Hospital in Adelaide is closing, the gov sees a better way of treating our damaged ex- soldiers. We will send you to the war of our choice but sorry, when you return, you’re on your own. The new system is so flawed that even Doctors are coming out & complaining

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    • Our Repatriation Hospital in Brisbane became a Private Hospital many years ago now but the treatment for Vets has never changed, if anything it has improved. I’m sure the same thing will happen in Adelaide.

    • Mkke here-our Repat property is being sold to developers. The bulk of patints from Rept eill nowbemoved on to Flinders Medical Centre a few kms away. The FMC has been using the Rept as n overflow unit in busy times & the Ward patients from the PTSD are going to be rehoused in a yet to be built ward (ahem) at the Glenside Hospital

  7. I know Faye, I feel bad for avoiding her and I believe she deserves to know why. I get totally exhausted everytime I spend any time with her. She tells me how much she admires me for my attitude yet she doesn’t realise that a happy, positive attitude makes you feel so much better!
    I have to be the way I am. I am full of gratitude for so much. Its how I get by.
    Of course she is unhappy! Happiness sometimes takes work.
    I love her but right now, just can’t cope with her.

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    • I too have a childhood friend who I’ve loved and been there for, But she’s exhausted my ability to care and I needed time out, really it’s the same old story every time we meet, it became to much, so I’ve put some distance and feel bad about it. I love life an appreciate all I have.

  8. Absolutely I agree with the writer, a good attitude, being grateful every day and appreciating the fact that we are alive, take a walk outside and see what nature does, just be. 🙂🌺

  9. It is sad. Especially that some people have no idea what they have going for them. No matter how many times you tell them, its water off a ducks back.
    I could get through to my friend but it would be a case of having to be cruel to be kind and she would feel that another person she loves had turned on her. I won’t do that.

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    • No you can’t do that Philomena it best to pull back, I discovered my friend was just the same negative person ive always known it was me who had changed I couldn’t cope anymore. So be we have to survived and enjoy our time left. Sometimes they can’t see that times running out and to embrace life.

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