I had a complete weekend off last week. Well I thought it was a weekend off. I’ve started reading through some family archives. I’ve got around 200 letters between my uncle and family members written between 1944 and 1947, together with lots of other info like his posting notices. He was in the Royal Naval Air Squadron. I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, I started cataloguing it all a while ago and haven’t got round to reading it until now.
Now from this distance I can see how fascinating this story is. I was completely absorbed in the unfolding dramas. There were lots of letters from girls, all asking if they were the only one he was writing to. There was the story of my Granddad’s fight to get a job after he couldn’t get his job reserved. There are letters that have had bits removed by the censors. The story of my uncle’s close shave on a sortie in Ceylon. There are also letters where people are referring to what is actually going on in the war. “What did you think of the landings?” “Did you hear Churchill’s speech?”
This really brings to life an uncle that I never knew and I can now see that, in fact, he was a lot like me. I have always wondered where my character comes from as I am quite different from the rest of my family, but now I can see why I have always felt such a strong connection with him.
This has all really happened only as a result of the distance from these events giving me a different perspective. This is a result of time passing and as life progresses our perspective on many things changes. I bet you now have a better perspective on why you fell out with your best friend at school. You probably can now understand how well you fitted (or didn’t) with your environment in your first job. From this distance you can probably see why long ago relationships either worked or didn’t.
Seeing things in a different light always gives us more opportunities and greater understanding. I am now considering how I can bring this interesting story to life for other people to share.
How has distance helped you get a new perspective? What new insights does that give you? What are you seeing differently now? What opportunities does that present to you today? What are you going to do about that? Who will you share it with? What actions will you take?
Dr Sue Hewitt
Trainer profile: https://tinyurl.com/suehprofile
Views expressed by the writer are not necessarily the views of the Springboard Consultancy Ltd