Working hard at being happy

Last week, together with others I was featured in the UK national press in an article about being both childless and parentless (which, let’s face it is where all of those who are childless will eventually land).

It’s a beautiful article & the words which jumped out at me were the final ones from my good friend Ann. And I quote:  ‘That’s not to say that I wouldn’t give anything and everything for just one more hug from my parents, or the chance to hold a child of my own. But I know that, if they were still here, they’d tell me to always be working hard at being happy, in spite of my situation.’

They were brought to my attention by the inspiring Jessica Hepburn who commented, ‘we all are.’ I agree with her wholeheartedly & if you’re a regular reader of my blogs, you’ll know that I’m doing everything I can to live a joyful life. Despite everything the Universe has thrown at me.

As Ann also says; ‘My husband and I travel and make the most of the opportunities we have for hobbies and socialising. We immerse ourselves in enjoying those things, acknowledging they wouldn’t be possible if we were sandwiched between the needs of children and parents. And that helps.’

Amen to that.

Reminders of the preciousness & fragility of life

On the same day the article was published I received news, for the second time in 3 days of a life tragically ended too soon, plus another friend being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Apart from being a complete shock, they were brutal reminders of the preciousness & fragility of life.

Each time I hear similar news it serves as another incentive to absolutely make the most of the opportunities I have & to wring every bit of happiness out of life.

To quote from the final chapter of Finding Joy; ‘I am now in a place where I love my life and it is more or less where I want it to be….  We are grateful that we can travel, especially to places that we wouldn’t go with children and outside school holidays. That freedom and flexibility extends to other areas; we can both pursue our own interests, we can decide at the last minute to go out for the evening or the day.’

Some days it’s easy & others it feels like the hardest work I’ve ever done. But I gladly keep moving forward, step by step because this life I have now is so much better than the one I had before I decided to do the work.

To go back to Finding Joy: ‘We have been given the chance to shape our lives which can either be a luxury or a constrictor. I, my friends, and the other women who share their stories all saw it as an opportunity and I hope you do, too.’

What about you?

Do you see this life as an opportunity?

Are you working hard to be happy, in spite everything the Universe has thrown at you?

Are you?

I urge you to spend time considering your answers to these questions.

And I’d like to end with these familiar words from Steve Jobs. 

‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.’

I urge you

Powerful aren’t they?

With all of my being I urge you to gather up all your courage & conviction & follow your heart.

It will not lead you astray.

Thank you. If this resonated with you, I’d love to hear what you think.

And here’s another link to the newspaper article

You can read book reviews and interviews I’ve done here.
And you can order your copy of Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness on  Amazon UK  and Amazon USA

4 thoughts on “Working hard at being happy”

  1. Hi Lesley

    As always a positive blog. It’s wonderful to see so much more press coverage and people talking about childlessness. It’s great our stories are bing told at last. Thank you for being so transparent and positive to others as we move through our grief. It helps to know we are not alone and there is help and support out there, otherwise it would be a long lonely road. It’s hard to be different from the norm and what others expect of us and sometimes be excluded. Hopefully the more our voices are heard hopefully attitudes may change.

    Though it’s hard the work we put in to making our lives better will pay off in the end😊

    Thanks Lesley for being there.

    • Thanks Debbie, absolutely. There’s so much more coverage now than there was when we stopped trying & that can only be good.
      yes absolutely, it is hard work but it will absolutely pay off.

  2. There’s tough love and then there is lesleypyne. …..which is tougher love!!!!!! No chance for self pity with you on my tail !!!!!!! As always you rock sister especially liked your opening line that being childless and parent less is where we all end up…..geee thanks for that but burst out laughing at your brutal honesty…….blessed as always xxxx

    • Thank you so much Caron,sometimes my Yorkshire roots (pull yourself together & get on with it) come out a bit more forcefully than I intend! At the heart of it though, it makes me incredibly sad to hear childless women say they will always feel sad when i know that doesn’t have to be the case. At the heart of everything I do is wanting people to be happy.
      I know this isn’t you by the way, you’ll absolutely find your joy. xxx


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