Backbone or Wishbone? Or both?

A lovely gentleman I know, has found a new happiness in his senior years. After working fdcking hard for 55 years, and finally selling up his successful business, he has ‘retired’ to his dream home… and also found a new lady to share it with. That sounds superbly lucky. But I know it wasn’t all plain sailing for him. He has suffered many setbacks, illness and tragedy. Today he is counting his blessings …. and now, on social media, used the expression

Thats what 55 years hard work gets you… The backbone is much more effective than the wish bone.

Now, whilst I appreciated the sentiment, for some niggling reason, I had to have a bleddy ponder over it…

Funnily enough, I was reminded of something my father used to say, with a similar meaning … though not so polite … his version was “Wish in one hand, and shit in the other…. then see which hand gets full first”… (you can see where I get ‘it’ from now eh?)

For those that can’t ‘get’ what we are driving at… it basically means you got to get off your arse and work for what you want. You’ve got to put your back, heart and soul into it. You can’t wish to fulfil your dreams. Or can you??

Now … the reason I needed to ponder, was the fact that my immediate reaction to my friends post, was to respond ‘well… it works for some’ …. I was tempted to write it too… but decided that seemed like a bit of jealousy on my part … and I had no right to spoil the pride he is revealing in the fruits of his labour…

…. and yep… there is jealousy on my part …. how lovely to see what you have worked for come to a ‘successful fruition’…. but to me (and only in my opinion of course!) his statement is a bit of a generalisation…. I worked fucking hard for my 55 years too…. but never got the rewards that he is now enjoying…..

So what made the difference? I suppose I have to say, much against the grain, that because I was a woman. I spent decades bringing up a family …. but I also worked full time whilst doing that! (Ffs that’s two full time jobs being done at the same time!!) I did suffer inequalities in the workplace…. being turned down for jobs because I was a woman (and mother!). It was before the equality stuff came in obviously… but even after, when I became an employer, I knew first hand there were devious ways around that shit! I still don’t think it’s easy for any woman to get into decent jobs… without working twice as hard as most men … *waits for the arrows of outraged testosterone to be lobbed in my direction*…

It was difficult to make my way into responsible jobs… because I only had my organisational skills, and no qualifications, as had to leave school at 15 to contribute to the family coffers. But then so did my male friend. So can’t really use that as an ‘argument’.

I didn’t do too bad when I was married… at one time I earned more than my first husband… let me tell you …. he didn’t fdcking like it either! That was a big factor in beginning of the end of the 17 years of marital bliss…. *she coughs* ..,

The second go at marriage saw a business built to a successful level … people told me how lucky I was and enjoyed the fruits of that labour… with me always saying that “it’s funny that the harder you work, the luckier you get’…. until my usefulness had expired after 23 years… in both business and personal life. Hmmm.

From here my ‘fortunes’ took a downward spiral. In wonderful ‘hindsight’ … I made fuckkng stupid choices and decisions… but don’t we all?? I’ve just about stopped blaming myself … as there certainly were extenuating circumstances in much of what I did.

But seeing my friends comment, it rather rubbed salt into my healing wounds. It fucking stung for a little while too…. then I took a reality check. Yes…I worked bleddy hard …. and No, I don’t have that financial security, or the material lifestyle it buys….

What I do have is peace of mind…. that I did just about everything I could have. I had my own setbacks, illnesses and tragedy. My route has been very different… that’s all.

But I now I reckon I did have a backbone and a wishbone. My backbone gave me the tenacity to hang on in there. My wishbone gave me the dream to be chuffing happy at the end of the day…, regardless of all the shit thrown my way.

It’s all about perceptions of where you are in life. What you see in others, may not be all you see. You have no idea of the cost of getting there…. and that’s different for everyone! We all get broken at times, and we often have our dreams…. we must all have a backbone and a wishbone.

The only big difference between my friend and I, is that he has someone to share it with … oh hang on… isn’t that what my pooch is for? And she probably is a lot cheaper to keep than a man. In the past, they have proved to be a luxury I can’t bleddy afford!!

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