They do not need to look back

 My friend, Charlotte, offers this guest post - one that has meaning on many levels. Thank you, Charlotte!

You need to look back to see the future more clearly.

 A bad day is a bad day, whatever angle you look at it.  I don’t mean a bad hair day, I mean a really bad day:  The day when the boy who promised to love you forever says “We need to talk”, the day your dog dies, you get fired from a job, get pick-pocketed on pay day, lose a parent, get an eatingdisorder diagnosis for your child, hear the terminal cancer conversation from a close friend.  Those days the world turns black.

You have to try and pull the threads from your memory of your good days: your first love, your wedding day, graduating, getting the job, the birth of your children, their first words, steps, smiles, the day you finally got Johnny Cash’s “Walk the line”, the overture to the“Marriage of Figaro”,  understandingJackson Pollock, your first proper French meal, a walk in the moonlight, a non-family holiday, your first car, dumping the rat boyfriend, reading “To Kill aMockingbird”, laughing so hard your gut was about to burst, understanding your grandparents, your first dog or cat, your house, your kitchen, your remote control.....sorry pushing the boundaries there.

There is an upside, if you can just find it and cling on to it.  At the Around the Dinner Table forum, every day we welcome a parent, who is lost, isolated, desperate and disempowered.  Every day, I make a new friend there.  Every day I have the chance to encourage and nurture back to health a sufferer, so they can go on to graduate and leave home, without a backward glance, into a new exciting life, leaving me wiping silent tears of sadness and gratitude.  They do not need to look back.  I need to look back so that I can see how far they have come.


  1. I'm with you all the way, Charlotte! It does help for us parents to take those quick looks back, while keeping eagle eyes on the present and looking hopefully to the future.


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