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  • Neil

Moments of Struggle

School Report

Neil is clearly working below his full capacity. We appreciate his cheerful friendly attitude about the school but this must be backed up by thorough learning and genuine not superficial interest. April 23rd 1969

Well that was me at 11. Possibly my design for life. It appears this attitude hasn't served me too bad. Reading my school report from way back then I clearly recognise myself. Interestingly my best subject seemed to be woodwork. Not ideal for a grammar school pupil.

Fast forward to August 22nd 2020 and I'm sent a photo of a painting which one of my friends did today with this message ............."started writing some random words and realised I was thinking of you guys. So this is for you". .............. I read the words and realised it's clearly about the same person in the school report over half a century ago.

Do we really change? Probably not that much. My best subject is still woodwork, I like to think I'm still friendly and cheerful but maybe I take more than a superficial interest in most things.

Today I stayed busy and managed to get through without those Moments of Struggle. At least so far.

Let me elaborate.

A Moment of Struggle is like a miserable martini moment. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere. It's when, out of the blue, sometimes mid conversation or when Louie and Mils are shouting, at the top of their voices, out of the open car windows, "Bye Grandad" as they drive away or when I just look at my girls near and far or when I think about all those things Tricia will need to be able to do....(pumping the car tyres up, mowing the lawn and a host of other things). It's when an emotional wave hits and I want to cry. Often I stop talking, go quiet, look away or even walk away.

Mostly I still demonstrate my cheerful friendly attitude.

Occasionally I have a Moment of Struggle.

Sometimes I crumple.

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