The story goes that a farmer’s horse runs away. His neighbour says “What terrible news!”

The farmer replies “Good news, bad news, who knows?”

The following day, the farmer’s horse returns, accompanied by a wild horse. Now he has two horses. His neighbour says “What good news!’

The farmer replies “Good news, bad news, who knows?”

The story goes on with the farmer’s son breaking his leg falling from the wild horse, and then being unable to be conscripted because of his injury.  You can never tell whether something is good news or not until its effects have been felt.

30 years ago, following my divorce, the loss of my job and a necessary house move, I suffered a nervous breakdown. It certainly felt like really bad news. However, it sparked my interest in counselling, which went on to be a career that still delights my heart. Good news, bad news, who knows?

It’s been a tough year for my wife and I. She was diagnosed last year with a serious liver disorder, and I have had a knee operation, and a prostate problem.  A good friend lost her son to a drug overdose, and soon after Christmas my mother died. In the middle of all this have been moments of great pain, but also of great release and great joy.  Life has moved on, and we are no longer a couple at the end of a vigorous middle age. Old age, with its physical frailties, is with us. However, there is great joy and letting go. It’s so much easier to relax and put your ego aside, and although we are more frail, we should be here for a few more years yet.

We are here now to develop our wisdom, and to pass that on lovingly to those around us. It feels much more as if we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Life is opening up. Graces women’s group is flourishing, she has built a team of strong women to help, and she is developing online groups.  My writing has never flowed so easily, and I see myself moving into this as a new career.

So here we are. Good news, bad news, who knows?