Once again I am in Warwick looking after my aging ancestor. My mother is 88 years old, she has heart problems and is quite infirm which means she is housebound. It is only because myself and my sister are here much of the time that she can continue to stay in her own home.
It seems my mother knows lots of ill people and I have got used to being told that this person has passed away or that person is seriously ill. But this time mother has told me about her nephew who's wife is dying of cancer and is staying with her sister. I thought it was strange that a dying woman is being looked after by her sister and not her husband especially when the sister lives nearly 100 miles away from the family home.
It seems that mother's nephew cannot look after his wife for the simple reason that he has to work! I found this amazing that when is wife is dying, the need to work prevents him from looking after her. Amazing and incredibly sad.
Conventional wisdom is that we get a good job, work hard and one day when we're old we'll get some time to ourselves to do the things we want to do. But I see that as a swindle! It may work out for a few but what if illness claims us before retirement sets us free? What if we are too old, too frail to do anything with that freedom?
That might be conventional wisdom...but it isn't for me. I am working hard but I am not working for someone else's fortune - I am working for my own freedom, my own security and my own future.
My mother still regularly asks me when I'm going to get a proper job. She often points out major companies that are recruiting. But what she doesn't understand, and can't understand because she has been swindled by conventional wisdom, is that whilst I might not have a huge bank account what I have is far more valuable to me. I have the freedom to choose to be here looking after my aging ancestor. I have the freedom to choose to help keep her living in her own home.
Hard work is important in life but it is also essential to know what is personally important in one's life. Keeping focus on what matters and working on strengthening that is the way to ensure a fulfilling and rewarding life.