We all have many lives, or stages we go through, doing a variety of things, sometimes with purpose, other times just fumbling through, and many ways in between.
So that when you have the time to stop and think, you may ponder, what even is your best? Is it the best in my working life, in my volunteer roles perhaps, or even as a parent?
As an older woman now, having just hit the sixty milestone, well and truly retired from working life, apart from the little bits and pieces my writing may bring, what would be considered to be “doing my best” these days?
And again, my best for whom? I try to be a good wife, and mother, although these days, due to my chronic illness of Multiple Sclerosis, my husband has taken on some of my former roles as the wife in the family.
And of course, that little bundle of joy that was my baby son is now almost thirty, and moving well and truly into his adult life, with many obligations and needs I am unable to help with, and to be honest, he is for more competent in most things is his life, and is doing his own best in inspiring ways …
I like to think I raised him to be a competent and caring person, so that he would rise up in the world, above and beyond the ordinary, into bigger and better things I could ever have achieved. And when I look at who he is, and what he has done so far, and has planned for the future, I can see I’ve done good job to help raise my son.
Of course, as a good wife and mother, and one who acknowledges the good work of others, I certainly can see the good works of my husband too, in the good that is in our son.
So I can claim I’ve done my best in being a mother, even though there were times, early on in ‘being a Mother’, when I was convinced I was a bad mother, when I’d hoped to be the world’s best mother …
Learning is never a smooth path, from ignorant to expert, with obstacles along the way, but as Marcus Aurelius said two thousand years ago, and Ryan Holiday has spoken on further - The Obstacle is the Way.
What both of these Stoics were talking about, is how the rock in the path, that prevents something happening, or stops egress into the city, can be the source of inspiration that allows the…