Sunday, 26 May 2019

What should I do ? Which path should I walk down ?

One minute I think one thing, then the next I hold a totally different opinion.

Does that make me indecisive ?

Does it make me bi-polar?

Or am I perhaps a bit like Samson ? No longer having me hair all of my strength has gone !

It is now a week since Sunshine Smile Day and I am trying hard to decide how I want to move forward.

While I applaud all who contributed to Sunshine Smile Day 2019,  particularly Lisa and her family who made it all happen, I can not help but feel sad that we failed to engage more people to join in the smiles. Particularly I am sad many of those I expected to see smiling with us were absent.

Was the day a success ?

Yes, of course it was.

But what next ?

One thought is to say we have had two wonderful years, let's celebrate all we have achieved and leave it there.

Is that what I want ?

I am not sure.

Inside my head I have an idea where we can make things
one hundred times more powerful than they are right now while putting in a fraction of the time and effort we are at present. A fraction of the time and effort but demanding a far greater expenditure than ever before. We will have to raise that money. Not a single penny is ever taken from the good causes we support.

Will my hair grow back ?

I have my doubts.

If it does grow back will there be a third sponsored haircut in 2020 ?  If so who will it be to support ?

In my days at a senior member of staff at Leon School I clearly remember saying to Headmaster Bruce Abbott that I
wanted a less demanding role, perhaps cutting the grass on the sports field. Bruce laughed and said I could not live if I was not overloaded with things to do. 

One of my students at the time was Sam. Sam is now Headmaster of The Cairo International School. He said this:

My memories of you are filled with images of you charging down the corridor always doing 100 things at once. I have to say looking back I didn't realise just how dedicated you were. In retrospect we all owe you a great deal for the effort you put into your work at school. I now also realise the personal challenges you were dealing with at the time and the sacrifices you and you family must have
made time after time. For all of that I want to say thank you.

Do you think my hair could perhaps grow back like this - as it was when Sam recalled my charging down the corridor.

Wish I had the face and the teeth that went with the hair so I could smile like that again !

My very dear friend Josh says when I talk about retirement: You retire ? Do nothing ? You'd
be dead !

Mike, the boss of Radio CRMK says the time to quit as a presenter is when it is no longer fun.

It is 3.16am. I have been writing this blog for thirty minutes. At 6am I will be live on-air and right now I couldn't care less - I can't be bothered ! But once the music starts to play it will be different - to quote Josh again - I will be high - high on life !

So what are the alternatives ? What choices do I have ?

I can retire and spend my time writing.

I used to be a prolific writer. During the time when Rebekah was so ill I would use the time sitting in the waiting room at hospital to write. Every day for a month in early 2017 I either visited her in hospital or drove her to a hospital appointment. I could write 10,000 words in a day.  The book I am working on right now, the book I have been working on for a year, has ground to a halt.  I've done nothing with it for weeks and weeks.
I have started writing a new case for Dave McDermott. Crime writing is not my favourite genre but it is the favourite of my readers - my few readers. As a young man my favourite genre of fiction was horror.  Perhaps I could finish my novel The Fires of Hell.  Perhaps.

Who knows ?

My best work by far is The Bridge House and it is the book I most enjoyed writing. So should I return to being Max Robinson the author who writes prolifically but hardly sells anything ? What I do not want to be doing is to be involved in one large event after another - from the Frog Challenge to Sunshine Smile Day - from The Big Fun Run to an overnight radio disco.

Everything started supporting families with a child sick in hospital. The smile then moved wider to support our homeless and rough-sleeping friends. From that we included the work of The Food Bank. I wanted an animal good cause to be part of our portfolio so we included Curly Tails adopting Piggie Alfie.

Families with a child sick in hospital, the homeless, those
needing The Food Bank - all people in vulnerable positions - all people suffering anxiety, call it mental illness if you like, in their lives. How does a pig fit into that ? Well................ Curly Tails not only rescues unwanted pet pigs but also opens its doors of love to groups to meet and spend time with the pigs - vulnerable people.
Over two years we have built up a wide list of contacts, contacts of all kinds and from many different areas of life. My thinking is to build a co-ordination among the good causes we support, providing a forum where the can support each other.

For example why could we not use our contact with Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Council and their bandstand to put on a concert featuring some of the musicians we have to support
Milton Keynes Winter Night Shelter ? It's not rocket science. We could achieve far, far more than we have thus far done in our two years of operation.

Secret Santa 2017 supported one hospital. Secret Santa 2018 worked with two.

Why could not Secret Santa 2019 also include those receiving love from The Food Bank and those being cared for by Milton Keynes Winter Night Shelter.

Josh and I have put printed cards - our SMILE CARDS - into
the day room of Ward 16 in our hospital and in the relatives room of the Intensive Care Unit. If just one card has helped just one person in a vulnerable time of life to smile then we have achieved so much.
On Friday evening when I went to bed I was ready to quit, to retire and call it a day. 

On Saturday morning I walked into the police station to be
greeted by the front desk officer: Hello David, good to see you - what can we do for you ?  In the hospital a nurse who I did not know said: Hi Dave, how are you today ?  I smiled, was happy and lost all desire to quit. But right now retirement is the path I am looking down.

Is it the way I want to walk ?  No I do not think so. It is the easy path but listening to Headmaster Abbott, Sam and Josh it is a foolish path to tread. However, the alternative path is impossible to walk down alone. I guess the only way I can walk down it is with dozens of smiles surrounding me.

Walking down the corridor of the hospital yesterday Josh was way out ahead of me. He kept turning round saying; Come on keep up !  If I am to walk down that second path I need lots of people walking with me and every single one of them calling to me COME ON KEEP UP !

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