Resilience has been on my mind a lot lately, for a few reasons. Some prompted by my own experiences, some from reading about the exploits of others.
When I looked in my diary this morning and saw that it was already September, it reminded me that it is almost 5 years since 29 September 2010 when I had a heart attack. I wrote about it here. Tomorrow I must go to London for an echocardiogram, an ultrasound picture of my heart.
Next week a visit to the cardiologist to interpret the photo and other recent tests and I hope, a good report.
I feel as good as ever, can do everything I want. Just have to do the more strenuous stuff a bit slower.
Looking back at the few days I spent in a hospital bed 5 years ago, wondering if I would survive 5 days let alone 5 years. Wondering how I would make enough money to survive when told that I had to stop all my farming related work.
We had learned the value of resilience during the bad times in Zimbabwe, once again, we knew we would have to draw on our reserves of resilience and perseverance to survive.
The 5 years have not been easy. It has been harder than I expected to generate the same income I did from my farming contracting work. I still do some small jobs for farmers and will help a neighbour with the turnip and corn harvest once again this year.
We have survived, Sue and I have both been to England to see our families – separately because of our collection of animals and heating our house with wood. Sue also got to Zimbabwe when her son and his family were still there. Saw some old friends.
But most of all we have survived because we chose to. We chose to overcome what ever adversity came along, make the most of every day. We are still here, still thriving.
A friend recently gave me a copy of The Bradbury Chronicles, a book about the life and achievements of one of America’s most prolific authors and a master of the science fiction and fantasy genres. (affiliate link)
Ray Bradbury lived through the Great Depression, through years as a child and young man in a family with little income. He shared a bed with his brother until he left home to get married, never learned to drive a car.
But he wrote 7 days a week for more than 70 years almost to the day he died at age 91 in 2012. He wrote 27 novels, over 600 short stories, radio and TV scripts, poetry, plays and screenplays.
He never learned how to use a computer, he produced much of his early work on old-fashioned manual typewriters. Much of that writing was rejected by publishers.
He kept writing.
That’s resilience and perseverance.
Another book lent to me recently was Eavesdroppings: Stories From Small Towns When Sin Was Fun by Bob Green. It’s about life in small towns in Ontario from the 1930s on. A delightful collection of short stories, irreverent, politically incorrect and amusing.
I have included it in a post about resilience for two reasons:
The author was 76 when he published it.
It provides brilliant examples of the resilience of people, particularly children in those simple days before, social media, smart phones and political correctness, stifled honest free speech.