The Blessings we don’t like

Last weekend we took the Little Person and her friend to Beamish Museum. Which was brilliant. Then on Monday, as I was preparing to write a lovely happy blog, I discovered Margaret Thatcher had died. Which is neither here nor there. Unfortunately, I received this news on my twitter feed, as people seemed to be taking crass and inappropriate celebrations to a new level. Which annoyed me so much I couldn’t write my happy blog. And that annoyed me even more. Then Little Person had a bug and had to take time off nursery, and gave the bug to me. I now write this with some sort of weird sore ear and throat thing which I can’t decide whether or not it is worth trying to make a doctor’s appointment about on Monday. But on the bright side, I can hear the Dude and the Little Person playing outside, and that makes me feel better. So we might have a happy blog yet.

But all these happenings and fluctuations in my mood have me thinking about context. When we were at Beamish, I saw how much work the women had to do. Cooking, and cleaning, and tending animals and plants. Things like baking bread or oatcakes, which we do for fun, because we can just pop up to the shops and buy them. I count my blessings, not just because I don’t have to do these things, but also because the changes in society between then and now mean that I can achieve my potential. I’m not just stuck doing the cooking, and managing the house (okay, maybe I am at the moment, but it won’t be forever). I don’t have to fight through race or class or gender barriers just to be heard, just to learn to read or think. I can teach Little Person to be anything she wants to be.

I could spend time deliberating on why people responded on Twitter the way they did, or why it upset me so much. Or I can simply learn the lesson. That if I can be what I want to be, then you can be what you want to be. Even if that is a small-minded hate-filled scornbearer. To celebrate my freedoms, my blessings means I have to accept your blessings too.

Even if I don’t like them.

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