They Shaped Our Lives

Author Margaret Atwood attends a reading at Ed...
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I just received my weekly newsletter from Anthony Jennings , entitled They Shaped Our Lives.  It details stories of people who had teachers help them and shape their lives, and in some cases even save them.  It was a very emotional newsletter.  But, it made me think and ask who has shaped my life?  Who has influenced who I am today?  Both positive and negative.

Well, on the positive side is definitely my hubby.  He constantly reminds me that I never have to remain where I am, but that I can continue be better, do better, aim higher.  And then when I fall, which we as humans so often do, he just loves me anyway.  But, he challenges me to continually assess my life and to strive to be better.  I want to be a better person because of him.

And secondly, Baby Girl.  Just purely because she loves me totally, freely and unconditionally.  It is very humbling to experience such amazingly unreserved love.

But, then there was Mrs. Patterson, our Standard 6 English teacher.  She was a real lady and I never heard her raise her voice or see her lose her temper (remember, we’re a bunch of hooligan 13/14-year-old teenagers).  The one day we had to write an essay and as part of the essay I drew some music notes – she was so blown away by my originality she sent me off to the music teacher for me to hear what my “song” sounded like.  Of course, it didn’t amount to much – I have the musical gift of a snail, and they’re not very talented.  Can you imagine playing the piano with a house on your back?  Didn’t think so?  But, she was an amazing teacher who truly believed in her pupils.

Who else has influenced my life?  I think an Author Margaret Atwood.  I love her writing style and have read a number of her books, two maybe even three times (they’re that good).

Other people have perhaps influenced me more negatively – my Gran in the sense that I do not want to end up alone and poor like her.  She had nothing to her name when she passed on, and left this world in a not very nice government frail care centre where they stole her dresses.

My older brother – I so do not want to be an attention seeker like him.

And then there have been various others – all who have influenced me for positive or negative.  The thing is, we can only learn what we learn when we apply it to our lives.  Make it real.   I think the most amazing thing that has influenced me is that my hubby isn’t afraid of anything – and if he is afraid of something, he’ll take that something and tackle it head on until he isn’t afraid anymore.  Me?  I’m afraid of everything – even my own shadow.  And I have learnt through him and with him to conquer many of my fears and to face life a little more strongly.  I fail in this most days, but it gives me focus to try again tomorrow.  The biggest fear I have faced is becoming a mommy.  And you know what?  It isn’t half that scary – just a lot of work – but the rewards are so worth it.

Of course the question asked is what influence do I have on others?  Sometimes I imagine the church being empty at my funeral, because of my shy and reserved nature I don’t easily connect with others – or reach out to them.  It is easier to rather stay home and live in my little computer and TV world.  Let’s hope that is not the case…J!

The Baby Mama


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