Unhappy Anniversary

15 Aug
South Africa (orthographic projection)
Image via Wikipedia

Imagine it’s August 2021 – what is your life like?

If ever there was an exercise in futility…. 

On this very day, Fifteenth August, 1996 – fifteen years ago – I arrived back in the UK after fourteen years in South Africa, with two children, two prams, eleven trunks full of stuff I wouldn’t see for eight months, six suitcases, and the expectation that the Hub would follow me and we would have no trouble finding jobs, a home and a happy new life.

The Hub followed me, so that was something.

We found ourselves homeless and jobless; he got sick with CFS/ME; our money ran out; and three of our parents died within eighteen months of each other.  Did you ever stand in a hurricane and wonder how you got there?  Me neither, but I bet I know how it feels.

Work for a better future, definitely; but don’t expect it.  Expectations are a waste of time.  Dreaming is a waste of time.  Live in the now, and make the most of it; be grateful for what you have – a happy marriage; great kids; much laughter; a roof over your head and food, however burnt, on the table.

I’d rather look back on laughter and good times than hope for it to come, because there are no guarantees.

38 Responses to “Unhappy Anniversary”

  1. Ron. August 15, 2011 at 13:48 #

    No clearer argument for “Be Here Now.”


    • Tilly Bud August 15, 2011 at 14:52 #

      I am a Cesar Millan fan – I live in the now, like my dogs 🙂


  2. misswhiplash August 15, 2011 at 13:54 #

    I agree..live life as though there is no tomorrow.

    I am so sorry that you have had such a rough ride..but it sounds as though you are all okay now.

    lots of love


    • Tilly Bud August 15, 2011 at 14:53 #

      Everyone goes through rough patches; the trick is to learn from them, once you stop feeling sorry for yourself 🙂


  3. vivenne blake August 15, 2011 at 14:14 #

    Tilly, you are an inspiration and an example to us all, with your wonderful infectious sense of humour, your optimism and your spirit. Sorry, but I can’t write a flippant response to your post.


    • Tilly Bud August 15, 2011 at 16:22 #

      That’s okay, Viv; I’ll take the flattery as compensation 🙂


  4. Cindy August 15, 2011 at 15:22 #

    Very true, Tilly!


  5. gigihawaii August 15, 2011 at 15:56 #

    Yes, I agree that life is unpredictable despite plans and expectations. Live for today and enjoy what’s left of your life.


  6. Big Al August 15, 2011 at 16:10 #

    Your sense of humor and wit is a constant reminder that you practice what you preach, e.g. enjoy the day, it’s the only one we’ve got.

    You reminded me of that adage: “Yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s a mystery, today is a gift; that’s why they call it the present!”


    • Tilly Bud August 15, 2011 at 16:24 #

      I’ve never heard that before. I love it 🙂


  7. earlybird August 15, 2011 at 16:24 #

    What do I admire most about you? Your optimism, your ability to make other people laugh and the way you cope without ever (apparently) complaining.


    • Tilly Bud August 15, 2011 at 18:12 #

      And what I most admire about you is your ability to flatter outrageously with (apparently) a straight face 🙂


      • earlybird August 16, 2011 at 12:08 #

        Now I’m going to tell you off (with my STERN face) – just take a compliment, will you please. I mean every word.



        • Tilly Bud August 18, 2011 at 11:21 #

          I know you mean it; that’s why it’s so hard to take 🙂


  8. Christina Does It All August 15, 2011 at 18:20 #

    “I’d rather look back on laughter and good times than hope for it to come, because there are no guarantees.”
    yes!!! loved this!


  9. Janie Jones August 15, 2011 at 18:43 #

    If ever I’ve heard words of wisdom spoken, these would be the ones. Well said.


  10. Paula Tohline Calhoun August 15, 2011 at 20:37 #

    I agree with and empathize with every word, except one: Dreaming is never a waste of time! Standing around and waiting for them to come true is the wasted effort (or non-effort, as the case may be!). Don’t ever top dreaming. I believe you can live in the now, accept and enjoy as much as you can every single minute, laugh all the time – mostly at ourselves, and still dream. Keep on kepin’ on! without dreaming, there is no writing as wonderful as yours is – and I can never get enough. . .



    • Tilly Bud August 16, 2011 at 09:40 #

      Perhaps I should have said ‘day dreaming’.


  11. Hattie August 15, 2011 at 20:49 #

    We’ve had our tough times, too. But we have been lucky over all. Hoping for better times is part of being young, I think. These days I figure this is it, so I had better enjoy what I have!


  12. barb19 August 15, 2011 at 21:56 #

    Dogs have got it right – live in the now! The past is gone and tomorrow will bring it’s own surprises.
    I like Big Al’s quote “Yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s a mystery, today is a gift – that’s why they call it the present”! Love it!


  13. bluebee August 15, 2011 at 22:24 #

    What a hell you have been through, Tilly. I admire your humour, resilience and courage in the face of such adversity. And agree with your philosophy wholeheartedly.

    (August 1996 was a pivotal month in South Africa for us to decide to leave for other shores too, which we did two years later)


    • Tilly Bud August 16, 2011 at 09:46 #

      I don’t think we have had it worse than most; and we have certainly had it better than many. I truly believe there is always someone worse off and we must make the best of what we have; but it was a hard lesson to learn 🙂


  14. nrhatch August 16, 2011 at 00:48 #

    Wonderful post, TillyB.

    Glad that you maintained your sense of humor . . . it’s a valuable possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    Like you, I didn’t even begin to ponder what my life would be like in 2021. Who knows if I’ll even be around that long. Or if any of us will.


    • Tilly Bud August 16, 2011 at 09:47 #

      Nancy! I hadn’t thought of that! Arrgghh!


  15. Perfecting Motherhood August 16, 2011 at 06:38 #

    Carpe diem. Seize the day. Because you’re so right, who knows about tomorrow.


  16. Yulia August 16, 2011 at 11:44 #

    This is a very nice post! I like it…
    Enjoy today because we live in today. Today is a gift 🙂



  17. sarsm August 17, 2011 at 12:31 #

    Losing three parents between you, in such a short time, on top of everything else – that’s hard. Especially when you had such young children.

    When I read this prompt, I thought, “Huh, how I am supposed to know how my life will be in ten years time?” I suspect it will be completely different from now. But a lot of things that will happen will come from outside influences. Where I will have no control. And to be honest, I don’t really like to think about that. In general, I think it’s a good thing that we don’t know. We’d all be running around like nervous wrecks.


    • Tilly Bud August 18, 2011 at 11:21 #

      I agree. Some things are best left unknown. Though I wish I’d known that eating Maltesers makes you fat.


  18. Pseu August 17, 2011 at 19:06 #

    I saw this written in a child’s hand, at the Liverpool museum yesterday… it seemed sort of relevant

    “Today is the tomorrow we talked about yesterday”


    • Tilly Bud August 18, 2011 at 11:17 #

      Surely directed to write it by an adult?


      • Pseu August 18, 2011 at 21:35 #

        possibly 🙂


  19. eof737 August 18, 2011 at 08:15 #

    You are a survivor, and I won’t pretend that those dark days weren’t tough… but you made it. I still dream and remain expectant even as I marshal ahead with my life as I know it… I enjoyed this post. 🙂


    • Tilly Bud August 18, 2011 at 11:25 #

      I think most people are survivors. We have to be 🙂


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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