This is my blog (now there is a surprise!). I will be sticking in it poetry, prose, random musings, things that take my fancy and more than likely lots of pictures of cats. I hope you find something to amuse and/or interest you here.

Saturday, 2 July 2011


Am I a failure?

More and more I am feeling that I am.  I am judging myself by the standards I set for myself but are those standards valid?  What do I base those standards on?
I base my standards on what I see other people achieve and what I hear them say they do.  The next question is, how much of what I see and hear is fact and how much is distorted by other factors?  Without any intention to deceive, people always put themselves in the best light they can when talking to others.  That is natural and a subconscious drive.  When I see what other people achieve in one aspect of their lives, I do not see if any other aspect is being neglected.  I do not see the full picture, so in effect I am drawing conclusions from limited data.  My scientific bent sucks in a deep breath of horror at the thought.  My guilt complex says ‘Yes, true.  They could be doing even more than you see.  You might be failing more badly than you think’.  My mind falls again into introspective wrangling and sound judgement takes a holiday.

So here is the situation.
My mother is eighty-three years old and has a heart condition.  A fortnight ago she collapsed and is now slowly regaining her ability do things.  She still suffers from vertigo and gets tired quickly.

While she was very ill, all the housework fell to me to do, along with caring for Mum, bullying her into eating ad drinking (she was sent home from hospital despite being able to do neither), holding down a full-time job and coping with my own mental and physical ill-health.  I struggled.
I work shifts so a stable routine is something I am aware is a good idea but am completely incapable of maintaining.
I have a limited amount of energy.  One it has gone, it has gone.  If I push beyond those limits I end up suicidal.  That is a fact I have to live with.  That is my failure point.

How can I justify it?  My mother needs my care, the housework needs to be done,  I have to keep my job or we lose our home and everything that makes life possible.  How can I, at 46 years old, be so weak that I can not cope with being tired?  My sister is five years older than me and yet has twice the energy and stamina.  My brother is seventeen years older than me and yet he too can do more than I.

Then there is the time.  Where do I find it?  I spend 9 hours a day at work or travelling.  I have the shopping to do.  I need to take Mum out daily as she gets depressed if she just sits in the house and her friends have melted away now she is a wheelchair user.  I need 8 hours sleep or depression sets in.  Where do I fit it all in?  Has anyone got any spare time I can have?  A couple of extra hours a day would be great.

Instead, I am failing.

Oh well.  Stuff to do.


  1. Penny,I can tell you that every thing I have gleamed from your writing about you screams loud and clear that judged by any standard you are not failing in any aspect of life.Rather you soar regardless of what trails that are placed before you. It has been my good fortune to be exposed to your writing and the way in which you view the world and universe around you.Remember perception creats the reality in which we find ourselfs,so the old adaged that a postive out look makes life worth living is true.Keep your head up and shout your defiance to the trails of life.

  2. I am so sorry I have lately not checked in here to read what you have written. Unfortunately there are lots of things I should be doing or should have done and I have not done them. It seems I cannot seem to find the energy for anything much these days! I am trying to make a change and starting here seems like a good idea. I admire you greatly, how well you take care of your mother and at the same time you are struggling to get everything else including a full time job done! And you make it happen! I think many people (me included) wonder at some point (or constantly, like me) if they are a failure or if they really do enough. I must agree with your friend that a positive out look does make a difference. We judge ourselves too harshly! You are a wonderful person and you are doing the best you can. You make a difference.

  3. The thing is, old, young or anywhere in between, that draining weariness when people need you and you can't let them down, that bit where you know you should be doing something but physically can't do more, when it really seems like everyone is taking and nothing is giving back.......it's OK. None of us is superhuman we just set impossible goals. My kitchen isn't tidy, but Chris and the cat are fed. My filing isn't done, but I can find what I need for tomorrow. I haven't reached my goals, but sometimes I realise that I have helped someone. Penny, if you weren't who you are you wouldn't feel that way, just remember that those who provide a crutch for others, are allowed to lean on friends as well. Together we have enough strength to get through tomorrow....and the next day....and....