Gratefulness in Survival

I am 32.

Each day I awake feeling very grateful to have a caring wife, two healthy, bright, mischievious daughters, parents and in-laws that are wonderful and present, and dear friends to share food, drink and stories with.

There are many things in our lives we have no say in, or cannot change. These things; essentially, we can either learn to accept, or keep poisoning ourselves with in negative loops until death washes all away. (And I hope death will wait until I’ve had a long and healthy life first.)

I believe what we choose from the things we do have a say in—and how we react to situations and emotions presented to us—define who we are. Memory plays a part, but using naivety while being present in the here and now can break us from the wagon wheel ruts of autopilot decision making and judgement.

Aspirations amd challenges

My aspiration is to be a gentleman, to always be caring and kind to people, even those who oppose me or my plans, because revenge is immature and violence breeds violence. I’ve long since stopped spending considerable time trying to forcibly change people's opinions when they are out of kilter to what I wish.

Not everyone can understand you, or be understood by you. Some will despise you without knowing you, just because you remind them of someone else who hurt them in the past. Some will despise you for doing wrong by them, because you slipped up, or prioritised something above them.

We’re all walking wounded, some more wounded than others. Our psychic wounds leave scars, are reopened, infected, or healed over, depending on how we treat them, and how we eventually accept them or continue to deny them.

How to self-actualise

What I do, how I listen, how I speak, what I wear; these are all external demonstrations of the values I live by. I take care to set an example for me, my wife, my daughters, and my family, to better us all.

We live by three simple family rules, defined together a year ago to teach my eldest daughter (four years old at the time):

  1. Listen to each other.
  2. Look after each other.
  3. Spend time together.

The Pain Body of Youth

Digging around old files from almost twenty years ago, including some hand-coded HMTL sites for old bands and Windows wallpaper, short stories, and songs, I found this poem.

I wrote this poem in my early-teens. Bathed in acidic hormonal angst, simple prose and a clipped tempo, it expressed how I felt at the time, while I kept those feelings private.

When I look back to my younger self, I am glad to have suffered through all kinds of torment (mostly self-inflicted) at the time. I no longer can feel or identify with that pain in my current life, but am grateful to know what rock bottom is, how far I am from that now, and what do to when I feel myself slipping down that path before I gain too much negative momentum.

I am 14. Here is my poem.

Poem: A Thousand Shrapnel Fragments by Iain B. Simpson (1999)

I'm sitting here watching you, You lie to me, You lie to you, Why oh why do you,

You're hurting me, You're hurting you, I'm scarring now, But I'll still live, I can't see yours, what is it to give,

I've forgotten now, It's in my head, Was it fun, It hurt like lead,

You could've said, You felt disdain, All I felt was hurt and pain,

You didn't have to do this, Should've ended at the start,

Now it's too late, You can't take back, What you did, I've got the scars,

In my heart, It split in two, Because of you, And your ways,

You could've said, You could've told, But now it's too late, And I feel cold.


Download an eclectic assortment of desktop wallpapers I created between 2000 and 2004 (including the image associated with this post):


"Crackle" Iain B. Simpson (2003)

AuthorI.B. Simpson