After our third chemical pregnancy I did the by-then-familiar ringing of colleagues to swap shifts so I could have my followup beta, except this time I ended up sobbing down the phone to said colleague, with the effect that a) she readily agreed to swap shifts with me and b) she offered to cover for me until 4pm on the day of the blood test, if I needed the extra time.

I came in at twelve. "I'm surprised you didn't take the day off til four," she said, when I'd caught her up on the news.

I just shrugged. "Why?" I replied. "It's not as if I'm going to feel better about it by then."

The RDA ball happened last weekend, on the 5th of May, and April was abuzz with it. Every time I fronted up someone would ask, "Are you coming?" and people talked of little else apart from the costumes they were planning, or the preparation which had yet to be done. At first I held off, not sure I'd be in the party mood, but a week before the event it struck me. Why not go? Was I going to wait til I felt fully ok before I stepped out the door again? Did I expect that to happen if I just held off four more hours?

I was "away sick" when they formed the ball committee, whose efforts were enormous, but I managed to get in a good deed by helping a bit with the last-minute preparations. I took a moment out to front up to a shop selling retro fashions, and allowed the sales assistants to go crazy putting together an outfit. We grabbed Mr Bea a wig, shirt and glasses from a costume shop, a ticket or two, and presto - we were off to the RDA Annual Charity Ball.


I'm now halfway through my Fifty Good Deeds In Celebration Of Life, and I've been thinking about what it means. A lot of you have said flattering things about my generosity and kindheartedness, which always makes me squirm a bit because most of my deeds are very small, the types of things many do from day to day without thinking twice - certainly without crowing about it on the internet - but mainly because I'm not sure if you realise how much this does for me.

It does nothing less than this: it reminds me that, ridiculous as it sounds, I still think I can change the world. I haven't been swallowed up by bitterness or despair, and I still believe you have to try, even when the task seems too big. It reminds me there's still something worthwhile here, no matter what each cycle brings. It means I haven't lost hope. It means I haven't lost.

I wanted to let you know, in case you've just been kicked in the gut once again and you're left feeling cursed and forsaken, like life has let you down and you should return the favour. I want to tell you to go ahead and praise the people who make your coffee, compliment someone at your local shop, clean your neighbour's house, write a thankyou to those who went the extra mile, or let someone know you love her and you're there. Anything - just make it something you didn't have to do. I want you to remind yourself you're still worthwhile, and no matter what's happened or what you've decided for the future, you're not beaten, and you're not lost.

And even if you don't yet feel one hundred percent ok, I want you to go to the ball*.


--
*I also want you to drum up some noise, but more on that tomorrow.


19 Comments

Baby Blues said...

I just love your attitude Bea! You are so generously kindhearted and it shines through your posts.

Rachel Inbar said...

It must have been hard to see in that mask :-D

Once again I was reminded of you when I picked up an older couple who looked like they needed a ride, about 2 miles from the city. They were walking home from the fruit & vegetable market and it was boiling hot outside, even though it was already getting dark.

At first I saw them and thought about the fact that I decided to never take hitchhikers... then I thought that if I offered them a ride they weren't actually hitchhikers... and they didn't look scary. So I offered them a ride & they got in & we started talking. It turned out that they are good friends of my parents (who live a 10 minute walk from me)...

And yes, you can actually do things like that around here safely... it's not like the US.

Vee said...

I love a fancy dress party !

Well done on the halfway mark, you should be very proud. If we all try surely we can make it a little better.

Sarah said...

great post, and FABULOUS outfit!

GLouise said...

Love the costume!!

Matthew M. F. Miller said...

Every time I go to the Dentist, Whole Foods or Starbucks the people there greet me on a first name basis, and I can tell that by having created a mutual respect, we both have a better day and experience because of it.

Take the time to talk to and get to know the people you encounter daily - Bea couldn't be more right.

Ellen K. said...

Good for you for going to the ball. Great boots too. (Meow!)

Congrats on being halfway through the 50 Good Deeds!

Mary Ellen and Steve said...

Love the costume Bea!

Reproductive Jeans said...

Glad you went to the ball-and what a fab outfit! Its so awesome that you are already half way through your deed list--I have much admiration for you Bea!

Beagle said...

Very inspiring post!

(Love the outfit as well!)

Piccinigirl said...

well you look awesome!

you are so generous and kind, why shouldn't you tell us and let us celebrate you and all the good things you do? It's important and I think that your place in our world can/will change it. I believe that every time I read your blog.

millie said...

Fab boots!!!

And a great post as well. You can change the world, one good deed at a time.

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

"It does nothing less than this: it reminds me that, ridiculous as it sounds, I still think I can change the world. I haven't been swallowed up by bitterness or despair, and I still believe you have to try, even when the task seems too big. It reminds me there's still something worthwhile here, no matter what each cycle brings. It means I haven't lost hope. It means I haven't lost."

Bea, that is one of the most inspirational quotes I have read in a long time. I may just have to copy it and paste it on my computer monitor as a reminder.

Have fun at the ball!

Kate said...

Great attitude and great outfit!!

Lut C. said...

Love the outfit!

Big good deeds or little good deeds, it's impressive how you refuse to be sucked down into that black hole.

Bumble said...

I don't know why Bea, but I'm sitting here crying after reading your post today. Beautiful.

My Reality said...

Great outfit!

You rock, Bea. Not only can you change the world, but you already have.

TeamWinks said...

The costume is certainly excellent!

Hmmm, now I feel inspired all over again to do another good deed. I can honestly say that cleaning my neighbor's house, made her week. It was a small deed, but meant a lot to her. I think I got more out of it than she did though. It made me feel great!

projgen said...

I try very very hard to remember that when I feel like crud, I can pull myself out of it a little bit by doing something nice for someone else. Even if it's just saying, "thank you" to the bus driver when I get out at my stop.

It's amazing how seemingly small acts can keep the hope alive. Thanks for the reminder, Bea.

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