I’ve been thinking extensively about poverty in New Zealand and how close I came to being another person stuck in a rut. Because that’s what poverty is in New Zealand. The social welfare system gives you enough to live on. Sometimes I felt that it was too much. But in all honesty, if I’d had a health crisis… or a car crisis… or an appliance crisis… I’d have been screwed. And I wasn’t dealing with an alcohol or drug addiction… and hadn’t been sucked in to getting a loan from a high interest charging finance company.

Along with the poverty stuff, I’ve been musing at the sorts of jobs that people hold, like working long hours, for crap pay, or in a job which doesn’t present any opportunity to further yourself, or a boss who couldn’t care less that your kid was sick, throwing a tantrum, or you just couldn’t get out the door on time… and I’ve been comparing that to the job I hold… I realised how easy I have it at the moment.

Life could have so easily gone the other way and I could be stuck on the Domestic Purposes Benefit as a solo mum… with no job… and no childcare… and well, nothing. I’m pretty sure it’s mostly down to luck. Getting pregnant in my second year of university with no father for the kid to be seen wasn’t exactly the smartest move I’ve ever made but somehow I’ve made it through.

Three years on, I’m in a totally different place to where I left 2004. I finished my degree, am living in a really neat house (admittedly I’m flatting – but it’s heaps cheaper, so rock on the family flat), a job that allows me to get home to Hannah at a reasonable hour, a boss who is supportive of the kid and I, and a pretty decent payrate (for a recent grad!). The very fact I got a job straight out of uni is miracle enough, let alone all the other stuff falling into place. So how the heck did it happen? And is it going to continue to happen?

As I said earlier, I think luck had a lot to do with it. But how long is that going to last? I seriously think that I’ve been taking for granted how everything has worked out for me and I’d like to start acting grateful and making the most of it. And that includes being a hard worker. And taking learning opportunities. And showing people that I am worthy of investing time and energy into. It also includes being nice to the kid. Not being grumpy for no reason or resorting to yelling before I have stopped to think about what is happening.

So. New leaf.


10 thoughts on “Appreciation

  1. That you have all of those things is a credit to you, young miss. Now that I have a child, I realise how tough it must be to be a parent and work WITH a partner and all that, let alone young and without one. I think you’re pretty darn amazing. Really. *hat off*


  2. I'm afraid I don't agree – luck had nothing to do with it. You didn't get your degree out of a weetbix box did you?! You earned it and now you are reaping what you have sown – that's what hard work and getting yourself educated will give you. I had both my kids during my nursing training and I now have a great part time job as a tutor, my kids are nearly 8 & 10yrs old. When I became pregnant several people said what a shame it was I wouldn't finish my training – yeah right! I showed them. Be proud of your acheivements, don't talk about it as luck, you've earned what you've got, big difference.


  3. Well a nice new leaf. Although I didn’t think a leaf needed turning over (or is that a page, I’m feeling corny heh), pretty good book so far! It’s lovely that you take time to appreciate hon, I’d say your over the flu huh.XXX Lies


  4. I’m often amazed by the changes that happen in lives – in the space of a few short years things can be very different indeed. Yes, luck does play a part, but its the underlying character of the person beneath that allows these things to happen. It also needs saying that unfortunately there are some people who make a few bad choices and these make it harder than ever for them to work their way back up, and that as the proverb my mum would quote says: “but for the grace of God there go I”. And there are of course some people who make more than a few bad choices, unfortunately.


  5. yeah nikki, i often wonder about My Beautiful Life too.maybe it’s something to do with the glass being half full? not jinxing anything, i hope. oh and loved your <>parlons français<> chat in the next post, but forgot to say so and blogger is being a b*gger about loading pages…mwah X


  6. what a thoughtful post. And i totally agree with them up there – it’s all your hard work that has got you this far (plus a little bit of luck, true). I barely manage to look after myself these days let alone a short one too, so big ups!


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