While my love prepares three reflective writing pieces as assignments for his promotions course. I thought I would spend my quiet time doing my own spot of reflection…you know how it goes, when in Rome!
Before the strong desire to make myself a coffee broke my train of thought, I was thinking about the year to date and why I’ve managed to make it through with only a few emotional bumps and scratches. God knows our little family has been dealt a somewhat dud hand this year! (For the sake of regurgitating Annus Horribilis and my taking my die hard follows back through a year of blog posts, newcomers to She Writes will have to go back and read them to understand what I am talking about).
Then it hits me! I have just made up a new word; remind me to contact Urban Dictionary straight after penning this piece. Let me introduce you to,
[ri-zil-yuhns c oosis]
1.The ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy without undergoing formal training, by Osmosis.
Origin of resilienciosis
1620 – 2017
Osmosis – 1865-70; Latinized form of now obsolete osmose osmosis, extracted from endosmose endosmosis, exosmose exosmosis < French, equivalent to end- end-, ex- ex-2 + Greek ōsm(ós) push, thrust + French -ose -osis
Now this is a very Australian trait, to slam two words together to make one. Some might call it laziness, me, I prefer to look at it as efficiency. Why spend all of that extra time using more words than necessary to explain what’s really going on. I’ve always been one to just cut to the chase! But in this instance, have we ever really stopped to think about what resilience is and how it is developed.
You see, coming from a learning and development background (just one part of my VERY colourful career) we were responsible for the delivery of resilience training to staff members. Interestingly enough, one of my dearest friends, and colleague at the time, LM, would get up on her soap box every other day saying you can’t teach resilience. Every time someone mentioned the word, she would drag that big ol’ box over, climb on up there and try her darnedest to get everyone to understand that you can’t teach resilience! That research suggests that you have established your capacity for resilience by the time you are about 12 years old and that when life decides to dish you a lil’ bit of poo pie, that the only training you will benefit from should focus on providing the skills and ability to deal with uncertainty and change, identify threats and manage the situations accordingly. LM is a realist, believe me when I say she has seen it all and if there is a chick that can give you a situation or a story to address or contextualise a challenge you’re facing, she’s ya ‘go to girl!’
I never really understood the granular details of what she was trying to say, even though the under tone in my Masters Thesis is built off the back of resilience. It wasn’t until I sat down in a quiet space that it hit me, that sexy thing called resilience is taught to us through life’s lessons not in a classroom with a trainer dinging their little peace bell telling you about how you should feel. Give me a pencil so I can shove it in my eye!!!
What I’ve come to realise is, my childhood taught me resilience. Not getting a trophy just for turning up to Ballet or Pony Club but rather earning it through hard work and dedication. I learnt that toes without blisters were a sign that you need to work harder if you wanted to nail that pirouette and if you weren’t falling asleep in math you didn’t get up early enough to train and prepare your horse for the next weekend’s event. My childhood was secured on all four sides with responsibility, hard work, discipline and disappointment. It wasn’t bad, it was a good. It meant I learnt what it was to lose, I learnt to live with disappoint and the consequences of not putting in the work but I also enjoyed the full depth of success when I achieved a goal. Man did I enjoy that success ‘cause I had worked bloody hard to get there.
Failures, (and they were failures in my eyes at that age, believe me!) would rock me to my core an even though vulnerability was not something I learnt in my childhood, my parents would give me a wee bit of a cuddle, pick me up, dust me off with a “you’ll be ok kiddo, get back out there” and, with a little more practice eventually you would succeed. I learnt my tenacity the good ol’ fashion way. Some might say the hard way but to be honest I think it’s the right way.
It doesn’t mean I’m a hard nosed bitch, quite the opposite really. I have empathy in abundance. Actually, when it comes to empathy, my cup runneth over. You know the kind. There’s one in every crowd, you can spot us a mile away. We’re the ones that at the mere hint of social injustice have the glassy eyes and the little bit of clear dribbley snot that sits just inside your nostril. I’m not ashamed, I wear my leaky eyes and snotty nose as badge of honour and I salute the hard lessons my parents let me learn as child, the crazy shit I did, and the consequences that came with them as a teenager, for those experiences have helped me survive the heartbreaks I endure as an adult .
Looking back, even if I were smart enough to navigate away from the crappy people and shitty experiences they brought to my life, I still would have done it. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. The hard knocks are just that, hard knocks, sure it hurts, physically, emotionally and psychologically but it’s how you get up, and face up, that builds character… and a tonne of really awesome stories!!!
“There was this one time…”