Yes it is the first and possibly dreariest month of 2016, and apparently tomorrow is officially THE most depressing day of the year-although as it is my dear sister-in-law’s birthday too she may have different ideas about that!
I am currently working on my first novel. I have written other books before but this is an actual grown up work of fiction. Its working title is I Thought I Knew You, and it has been a work in progress for a good couple of years. However, 2016 is the year it has to come to fruition and be actually finished.
The book follows the lives of various characters-some who have lives filled with abundance but genuinely think they have been dealt a shitty hand, and those who literally have nothing or are facing enormous challenges in their lives, but still find time for other people.
One of my characters spirals easily into a major breakdown because she can’t fit into her skinny jeans and her nanny decides to leave, another faces equally first world problems when she can’t have the dream house she feels she deserves. The main male character lies, cheats and is constantly looking for ways to make cash from anyone he comes into contact with, but maintains that the way his life has turned out is everyone else’s fault, and another character, Marcia, is dealing with the sudden and suspicious death of her husband.
The title of the book has been chosen to reflect the fact that sometimes we THINK we know everything about our friends but when things get really bad, the truth inevitably comes out. It is a book about those who have so much and don’t realise it, and those who have so little but just get on with it. I am particularly pleased with the ending but more of that later!
The books is not designed to be preachy BUT, and it is a BIG BUT my hope is that when people read it (fingers crossed they will!) it might just make them realise how lucky they are to have what they have. I am blessed with good health, an amazing family, loyal, kind and considerate friends and a job that I love. I live in an amazing place and I am writing this from my dream Nordic cabin at the bottom of my garden. I am very, very lucky.
I have two very good friends who are both battling breast cancer at the moment. They are amazing women and far, far too young to be going through all this. I have another friend who is dealing with the fact that after being married for 50 years, her parents now have to be cared for in care homes that are miles away from each other. Separation has been foisted onto them because of their advancing years and complex health issues, and they will never live as man and wife again. They have basically been forced into a divorce. After 50 years together in the same house, how can that be fair?
Another friend continues to fight for justice with a health organisation following the avoidable death of her son.
These, my friends, are things to be worried about. Life events that warrant more than a bit of a moan on social media. But these friends of mine don’t moan, they get on with it. They get up every day put on their lippy and start the fight all over again. And I know they will all continue to do this for as long as they need to. They have too much to lose to just give up and collapse in a heap of self indulgent misery-even though that is their entitlement.
So this month, our worst month when top of the list of worries are shockers such as supermarkets running out of the kale needed to feed our juicing habits, or how much we spent over Christmas or how large our arse has become because of eating our bodyweight in Quality Street, or the fact that we MUST get to the sales and buy that must-have bargain, I would urge anyone who has worries of this level to take a step back, think and look at what you have around you. Chances are you are pretty damn lucky.