Nearly the end of another year and I was feeling a 'mite' bit sorry for myself. It was all to do with 'self worth'. I got to thinking, 'What am I worth' and 'What use am I.' Its all to do with getting old I reckon; retired, no job, obviously and thereby producing nothing. Hobbling about on sticks, a burden on state and family; good for nothing, ready for the knackers yard. The feeling of being past one's sell by date lasted for ages; well, an hour at least. So I opened a bottle of beer and I pondered; and I pondered; and I pondered.
Now someone, somewhere had brewed the beer to put in that bottle. Probably a little chap in a big brewery. Without people like me, the little chap wouldn't have a job, would he! Neither would the man growing the hops, and the wheat to make the beer; or making the bottle, not including the top. Or for that matter the man delivering the bottles to the supermarket via the lorry made on the conveyer belt in the factory, filled with diesel made by another little chap and his workmates at the oil refinery. To be placed on the shelves by young men and served at the tills by young and some not so young women. I am beginning to realise that, unemployed and infirm I may be, but my responsibilities to others are enormous. Without me and people like me the brewery would go out of business. The farmer, the oil refinery and the supermarket workers all need me I reckon; quite a thought. So I opened another bottle of beer.
It is my duty, I have decided, in these austere times to provide employment for others. The hospital I have visited so frequently in the past year. The doctors and the dentists, the district nurses, the makers of the pills I consume in large quantities, where would you all be without me!
I bought a new car this year. How many workers has this purchase made happy; including our friends from across the sea. For I bought a Seat, made in Spain, courtesy of Germany's Volkwagen. And a television made in Japan, plus cooking aides for my wife, courtesy of China. My bank balance is much depleted, of concern to both myself and the bank clerks who manage my finances. But my awareness that my existence has some value lifted my spirits. So I opened another bottle of beer!
On Tuesday Paulette and I travel to St Annes to spend Christmas with daughter Sarah, husband Jeff and grand daughter (number one) Helena, aged fifteen. Quite an artistic family, plus Ramsie, perhaps the most amazing English Bull Terrier, certainly in this part of Lancashire. Ramsie is renowned, unfortunately, for his obsessional behaviour, he swallows, given the opportunity, any unguarded object he finds. The range is enormous and has included his bed, phone chargers, socks, in fact anything that stops moving; a very expensive collection to retrieve!
I opened another bottle, and through by now an alcoholic haze I perceived a truth that I had not seen before in my searching. My 'worth', my real 'worth' was before my eyes, and I couldn't see it. My 'worth' lay in the love I have for my family and my friends; and they for me. For little else matters. To love and be loved, whatever one's age is worth more than any material consideration. Ah, happy days. Then, and I'm not sure why, I fell asleep!
Happy Christmas to all who have visited my blog. I hope you get all you wish for. Peace and best wishes to you all.