Life is short, challenging, difficult, frustrating, upsetting and frightening at times. But it can also be joyous, magical, incredible, breathtaking and brilliant.
It is so easy to be distracted by stories about people who have done terrible things to others, who prey on the vulnerable and seek to gain satisfaction by upsetting others. What it helps us to forget is that generally, people are good.
Throughout my life I have met people who are inspirational, uplifting, kind and generous. Some standouts for me are:
- The school friends who linked arms with me when we each lost a parent, making sure we made it out of our teenage years in one piece.
- The NCT teacher who made the mothers in our group feel empowered, and scared the living daylights out of the fathers with her videos and graphic descriptions.
- The nurse who hugged me in comfort and friendship after the difficult birth of my son.
- The sales director who takes time out from being responsible for a multi-million pound business to share his experiences and help me figure out what I'm going to do next in return for a pint.
- The friends with whom I have laughed until my cheeks are sore and danced until my feet ache.
- Whoever it was that paid for the bar at our wedding - still a secret after all these years!
- The neighbours who have loaned lawnmowers, dug my car out of the drive, babysat, collected in-laws lost in the rain and generally been brilliant.
- My children who have filled my life with light and laughter - and taught me to be able to deal with explosions from any orifice during a meal without breaking a sweat.
- And of course my husband. He is a lucky boy but I know I am bloody hard work at times.
So here's to all the good, good people that I've met out there and to all the ones to come.
Update: August 2012 - Thank you to all the good, good people that are supporting me in the Cosmo & Next Blog Awards 2012: my friends and family, the Newbury businesses (find them on RtbC's facebook page here, local media, Berkshire Business Mums (find them on Facebook here) and everyone following me on Twitter via @tonijkent. If you haven't voted yet, please click on the big Cosmo & Next button on the blog and click on 'Reasons to be Cheerful'!