Living a Good Life

Blimey I've let myself get a bit moochy the last few days!
It all started when I had contact from an old chum from way back (way, way back) to tell me that a chap I'd dated at Uni had sadly passed away.
Now it's no secret, but in case you didn't know, I'm 45.
It's no age to be passing away.
And although I've not kept in contact with many folks from way back then, it still came as a bit of a splap! in the face that someone I'd been close to for a wee while had died.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, past the recent daughter's nuptials, to last week; and I'm updating the online family tree on Genesreunited: adding the son-in-law, changing GD's surname, etc.

And I thought I'd look up a couple of names from Uni on their 'friend finder', just for curiosity's sake.

Here's what I found out:
One of my contemporaries is now a producer on BBC Radio 3! Well done him!
Another - a girl I used to regularly chat into the wee small hours with - is a headteacher in Wales. Good for you, chick!
And yesterday I found another girl has become a prize-winning published author and dynamic speaker.

Didn't I come through a very talented stable?!

So why the 'moochy mood'?
Why am I feeling just a little bit blue?

I know why.

Because up until my breakdown, I 'had it all' too.
I was at the top level of a demanding but very rewarding career.  
We had our own house - albeit with some mortgage still - but it was a stunning architect-designed detached 4-bed. 
We holidayed every year and took weekend breaks.
We had a new car every other year.

And if someone from my Uni had googled and found me back then, my life looked fabulous.



It wasn't fabulous, was it?

The demanding but rewarding career caused the breakdown that I was bloody lucky to recover from.
The myriad of 'friends' we had: including blogging royalty (who I had thought my best friend for some time) realised we could no longer provide the treats they wanted, and I was just too needy once I became ill. 

The house was expensive without the guarantee of my income, and rather than fall into debt we sold it.

The holidays were wonderful, but cost money that we didn't know we'd have anymore, if I didn't work again..
And a car is just a car...

So no.

It looked good from the outside.

But do you know what I am proud of, that someone looking me up won't see?

I recovered from my illness and returned to full-time work.
Our marriage is amazing. (Not just words.)
My beautiful daughter is a fantastic, kind caring person.
The grandchildren are happy and healthy.

I smile. 
I'm happy.

So I needed to stop and take a little stock this morning.
The friends I do have - including those I've met through my blog - are real ones. They stood alongside us before and during my hideous times, and are still here now.

I might not have a hand crafted oak staircase, but I've got a hand sewn patchwork on my bed that charts the hours I spent just sitting and getting better.
I might not conjure a six-figure salary, but I can magic up a meal from a meagre handful of ingredients.
And I might not be as dynamic as once I might have been..but my darling daughter tells me everyday she is proud of me.

Reality? Check. 


  1. This is very moving - thank you for sharing it.
    J x

  2. Speaking from personal experience I think after a serious or unexpected 'illness' it just makes you stop and take stock of absolutely everything in your life. And you know what, things become very clear and suddenly less of everything seems a good thing to have, including friends - experience again. You have your health, your family, a roof over your head and food on the table and I genuinely mean this when I say that's all that really matters. xx

  3. I've learnt over the years the fewer friends and acquaintances you have, the simpler your life is.

    Many "friends" are there for what you can give them, childcare when they need it, pet watching, whatever. But the minute you need something in return, they are busy.

    A few that you can trust is what is needed.

    My car is 8. I've never understood to replace a car that runs and makes you happy.

    Just enjoy your life

  4. Lovely, honest post and YES you should be proud of yourself and your lovely family. Life and health are so much more precious than wealth. It is SO good to have you back blogging. You are always an inspiration to me. Hugs to you and yours xx

  5. Tracey, you sound like you've got everything just right.

  6. Hi Tracey - thank you so much for writing this. You write so beautifully and so honestly it is so refreshing. I am so tired of reading some people's blogs - I think we know who we are talking about!! - that come across so preachy and insincere. We all have shit days and good days - please keep writing - I would also be proud to call you one of my friends.

    I am two years older than you and had a "so called" very successful career in law before having my children (the first one I nearly lost when being born) and we made the decision that I would stay at home to bring the children up. My mother in law called me a "cabbage" and said that my brain would turn to mush and I would lose my place on the career ladder - so what! My boys are now 15 and 11 and the time I had with them I would not swap for all the money in the world. I returned to work a few years ago working with children with special needs. I love it - some days are hard but those days where a child just gets it really makes life worth living and makes you realise what really is important.

    All power to your elbow lady - you are a huge inspiration. Lots of love Laura xx

  7. I totally shamelessly nicked this post, linked you in n wrote mine!!
    Mmmmmmwah!! Xxx

  8. Moving post Tracey, truly wonderful to read. You are indeed very blessed♥ Linda xx

  9. Hi, jumped from Rachel's post and glad I did. Thank you for your honesty! Sounds
    like you have a beautiful life! Well done!
    Karen, Virginia

  10. As long as you're happy with your life nothing else matters. Keep enjoying what you and your family are doing.

  11. You are blessed to be surrounded by those who truely love you and I'm sure as you've figured out the hard way, sod the rest. Thank you for sharing x

  12. So glad you are happy and living your life your way. Glad to have found you again. I followed your old boy and still have the button heart you sent me.

  13. "Blogging Royalty" my arse. She's a fraud, and we both know it. New cars which never got mentioned, a house with the "heating turned off" yet there were pictures of her OH wandering round midwinter in shorts and t-shirts? From what I know of her you are ten times the person she is - and anyone who's read your blog for any length of time knows it! Your honestly is far more refreshing than "somebody's" tendancy to re-write her past, yes there are still those of us that remember what was in the posts she deleted! Honestly reality is ALWAYS better than a carefully crafted facade - those have nothing behind them! ;-) xx


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