The purpose of accountability

It has been a strange sort of week, TV isn’t helping by being filled with little else than one of my favourite TV programs ever, “Dr Who”. I always thought that it was one of those shows that you grow up with and just can’t let go of, almost as though it somehow slides under your skin and just grows there, waiting for the next one, when ever it arrives. Most children spend all their teenage years and more, doing everything they can not to like what their parents love, but along with “Star Trek”, Teressa not only shares my love of “Dr Who”, but possibly has landing up loving it even more than I do and that’s hard. I used to worry about my little girl and what she would make of her life, I should have known that anyone with impeccable taste in TV would be fine.

Being a parent is a strange thing for any of us to actually set out to be, obtaining the baby is reasonably easy, but what we don’t take into account is the fact that it just gets harder and harder. I have heard so many people say that once they were grown up and away from you, living their own lives, building their career and proving themselves as people, that your part is over, I don’t actually think it is ever over, it just changes. The strangest thing I have found and I can’t totally explain is the system of accountability, a child is accountable to the parent, for all their childhood errors. They have to explain the whys and hows of all the things they failed to hide well enough, as their parents stand judge and jury over them, something all of us will recognise. Then there is this pivot point when suddenly you are equals, dreams and jokes are shared easily and ambitions discussed, time spent together is spent on totally equal ground. You share your interests, you socialise happily together, even partners are discussed and laughed about, memories are equally, no hierarchy exists, as accountability appears to have vanished. The final twist will be clear by now, yes the tables turn, not literary but in your mind, as you age there is a growing feeling that you have to explain, you have to know they understand all the twists and changes that happened which affected their lives in any way. Some how you feel accountable to them, you feel you have to show them all that was hidden when they were too young to be part of it, to fill in the gaps and untie the fuller picture from the pieces they think they know. When time starts to run out that feeling grows, even when you can’t find or think of anything left for them to ever want to ask, you still wait to be held accountable.

The ticking clock, is still only ticking quietly, but it changes everything, just knowing it is counting downwards and as it moves on one more minute, there is one less left. Each single tick adds a strange pressure that time won’t be long enough to allow you to put right or correct all the tiny things that still don’t fit or feel right. When that clock was set ticking, it changed more than just how long you have left to live, it started something else, something that I never expected, I became accountable not just to my family, as we all are, but some how to the entire world. Our lives don’t just touch the people we still know, they have touched life, after life, after life and each of those have gone on to touch others, all of them effected by you. I missed until recently that just that fact alone, means we are accountable for things we never even knew happened, that is a really powerful and scary thing to see.

These days I try to make my accountable actions as positive as I can make them, I have a need to put to good use what time that clock still gives me. I have never been what I would call a bad person, but like every person who has lived past the age of puberty, I haven’t always been as good as I could have been. Things happen in your head that you never expect, that’s why thinking is a dangerous thing to do, I don’t know where that need to pass on and share what makes life good has come from, I thought for a while that is was all part of the circle of accountability, as it does fit quite well. It also fits with a need to counterbalance anything wrong I have ever done, but fundamentally as good person, what on earth is going to take years to atone for. I kept digging away at it, looking for what my true motives were and all of them came back with big fat blanks. To have a motive means it is a thought out deliberate action and it wasn’t, it just grew. Ten years of ticking and I need a purpose, I need to give back to the world all the things it has taught me, the good and the bad. I need a reason to get up each day and to keep going and I have now found 38,000 reason, well actually they found me, people who wait to see me there each day, to read what I write and to respond. And there that word accountability reappears again, should I vanish for a day, just take a break and do something else, I would find myself once more having to explain where I had gone.

Happiness and love may be the strongest parts of life I have found, it makes life more than just something to do, it makes life turn into living, but strangely on their own still aren’t enough. We all need purpose and the less time you know you have, the more you need that purpose and with all purpose comes accountability. I guess there is no escaping it, to make life the whole package and to balance our emotions we need it grounded, a grounding that helps to make it all worth while.

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