It’s 3.30am as I start writing this. I’ve been lying awake for a while with all sorts of thoughts running through my mind so I decided to give up trying to get back to sleep right now and spill some of those thoughts out here. I’ve made myself a cinnamon and apple tea (was looking for camomile but I think we’re out) and I’m sipping that while I type.
My sleeping patterns are weird. I can go for months sleeping soundly all through the night and then I’ll have several weeks when I’m awake at least two or three times. Sometimes I know why (too much sugar does it, or if there are people on my mind to pray for) and sometimes not. Well tonight I can’t figure out a reason for my wakefulness. I’ve prayed for several people who came to mind and I’m still awake. I haven’t had any alcohol in 5 days (that occasionally messes up my sleep) or too much caffeine, so I’m clueless.
Today (well yesterday technically) was a gloriously sunny day. We watched church online in the morning and then had a picnic lunch in the garden. I read some of my book (Rising Strong by Brene Brown) lying on the picnic blanket and went out for my daily exercise allowance (walk) in the fields nearby. After dinner (well during/after dinner) I decided to burn some of our paper rubbish in the fire pit. Due to Covid-19 changes they’re not picking up our recycling like they usually do. They’re now only collecting one bin every week again and everything is in the same bin (it’s like we’ve gone back in time).
Anyway I had this thought while I was feeding and watching the fire. I love a fire – I’m not sure why? Maybe it reminds me of my grandad who was always sitting by his open fire and ‘looking after’ it? Maybe it’s just that I’ve always enjoyed being warm – if there’s a fire in a room I’ll be sitting beside it. I wondered if I had been brought up in a completely different family would I have been an arsonist? 😂 It’s a silly thought really but I guess I was thinking that my fascination with fire could have gone a different way?
I was brought up in a semi-strict Christian family. My dad was a bank accountant and lay preacher who later became a pastor. My mum was a midwife. We were raised with tight rules and good morals. It got me thinking about what might have been different in my life if I had had a different type of upbringing. Not that I’d want to change it – I consider my childhood to have been a very positive experience on the whole; but for example if I had witnessed my parents fight or argue would I have known how to handle conflict better and not been such a teddy bear (my conflict style)? If my parents hadn’t sided with my foster brother against me that time (another story) would I have had less doubts about my worth in later life? If I had felt able to openly discuss my questions about faith and life that might not fit exactly with what the Bible says would I have felt more free to speak what is on my mind? Don’t get me wrong – I’m not dissing my parents – I think they did a great job. Nothing about parenting is easy and I’m quite sure my kids could make a long list of everything I got wrong. I’m simply wondering how things might have been different.
I appreciate that for some people reading this you may have had the opposite type of upbringing, with more negative experiences than positive ones. I suppose though my question still stands for you. How might things have been different?
Whatever your background was like I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think that you would have been fundamentally different if you were raised in a different type of family? What aspects of your character or personality do you think were profoundly affected by your upbringing? Is there anything you wish you could change or are you convinced that whatever your journey has been it’s led you to become the person you are today?
Let me know in the comments. 🙃