All in One Day: three stories from medics and carers working at Christmas

For many of us work is winding down and we’re getting ready for the fun and festivities of Christmas. Even if we don’t celebrate, some time off comes as a welcome break at the end of another busy year. Food, holidays, gifts and sales have become synonymous with the season of joy and goodwill but contrary to the adverts on TV, over-eating, over-spending and over indulging aren’t what Christmas is really all about.

This post shares three short stories from medics and carers who’ll be having a very different kind of Christmas. After reading this I hope like me you’ll spare a thought for everyone who epitomises the true meaning of Christmas, “giving up one’s very self to think only of others…”

The Nurse

“I know I can’t make them love their baby. I know I can’t ignore a baby at risk. And even though I know it’s absolutely the right thing – because it isn’t safe for a child to be there – I still feel bad for all of them. Removing a child is a last resort and a whole panel is involved. But the parent(s) blame me anyway, and when that happens it makes me feel like I failed.”

After working with a young mother, her on/off partner and their very young son, The Nurse assessed the home environment was unlikely to improve. Domestic abuse and extensive drug use surrounded the teen mum. By default, it surrounded her young son too. On a grey, wet December day The Nurse took part in care proceedings – something she finds stressful but all too frequent in her type of role – knowing her evidence might lead to removal of the child, possibly for fostering or adoption. Two previous children had already been placed in care. “When the meeting finished, she (the mother) was emotionless about her son. It was if he didn’t exist. Afterwards she mouthed “you did this” and the look she gave me, it was withering. I know I did the right thing, but I just keep asking myself what more could I have done?”

The Carers

“We’ve worked every Christmas and New Year for over ten years. It’s difficult to get cover at Christmas, but peoples’ care can’t suddenly stop. We work because our clients still need washing, dressing and breakfast. They need a friendly face who’ll arrive again at lunchtime, make sure they’re clean and make sure they take their medicine alongside lunch. Then we’re back again in the evening, wash and change the client, and get them safely tucked into bed. Put the dirty laundry into wash so it’s ready for the morning, make sure the client is settled, turn off the lights and then head home. If we’re lucky we’ll be back by 11pm.”

The Carers work from today until New Year’s Day without a break. They’re out on the road at 6.30am every morning, get a couple of short breaks if they’re lucky and their shift ends around 10.30pm. They visit multiple clients with a range of care needs. “This job doesn’t suit everyone. Sometimes clients can be difficult because of their illness, sometimes they’re very confused or upset. There’s a lot of poo to clean up as well, but you just get on with that! Very often we’re the only people some of our clients will see this side of the New Year. So it might mean finishing after midnight, but we give some extra time. No one wants to feel alone over Christmas, do they.”

The Medic

“What an afternoon: one person has chest sepsis, another person had a huge upper GI bleed and nearly arrested, another has critical stenosis of their cartoid arteries. None of them will be well enough to go home for Christmas. I felt completely frazzled at the end of my shift today, and this afternoon really impacted my mood. Working in a major hospital is rewarding but it’s also challenging and this all happened on the ward, not in A&E. We are short staffed, which doesn’t help.”

The Medic’s ideal Christmas this year would be a peaceful one with as little stress as possible, a chance to unwind, sit down for more than ten minutes to eat lunch, and catch up on sleep. “Yesterday I had to tell a family their loved one was dying and probably wouldn’t make it to Christmas. Everyone thinks it’s a happy time of the year, but it isn’t happy for everyone. Inevitably some of that stays with you.”

Chrestotes: the quality of kindness.

Someone once told me a cancer diagnosis is the fastest way to find out who your friends are.  True friends will shine day and night while fakes become increasingly conspicuous by their absence. When your world shakes over twenty on the Richter scale another earth shattering revelation – you’ll be abandoned by people you care about – is almost as shocking as the diagnosis itself.  I remained open-minded and hopefully optimistic while chemotherapy dissolved more than just the cancer.

Three years on I’d love to report that my optimism was well placed, the advice proved invalid and all my friendships remain intact but I can’t.  I’d like to share an explanation for the disappeared friends but I can’t do that either because they evaporated into the ether like the crew of the Mary Celeste. I guess cancer is still too much for some people to deal with.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Aviary Photo_130718654939381437The other part of the prophesy – true friends will shine day and night – is equally true.

They shone, they shine and they keep on shining 🙂

I feel very fortunate to have true friends who are hugely supportive, thoughtful and encouraging.  They demonstrate all of the qualities of chrestotes: compassion, consideration, sympathy, humanity and kindness.

They’ve sent messages for a speedy recovery, cards, flowers and gifts. I am touched and overwhelmed by their continued kindheartedness and support and I feel extremely lucky to know such genuine, compassionate and beautiful human beings.

I’ve also received cards and good wishes from family friends – people who know of my trials and tribulations via my father and decided to lend their support. My hopeful optimism wasn’t entirely misguided because family friends, friends of friends and complete strangers have all proven amazingly kind.

Of course a post about kindness would be incomplete if I failed to mention my father.  For as long as I can remember he has devoted his life to help others yet his own life has been far from easy. A lesser person might have become peevish and resentful – my father isn’t.  Throughout the process of diagnosis, surgery, treatment, recovery, first prophylactic surgery, recovery, the recent second prophylactic surgery and this new period of recovery my father has been an inspiration – encouraging, supportive, wise and humorous (he has an excellent sense of humour and sometimes laughter really is the best medicine…)

The kindness shown by my family and true friends will never be forgotten. It buoyed me through some very difficult experiences and continues to inspire me on a daily basis. WP_20150320_010I am so very grateful to you all.

Crossing the Bridge

There comes a point when the only option is to cross the bridge. No matter how rickety or poorly constructed it may seem and irrespective of the pace or iciness of the waters below, the only road to the rest of your life involves crossing the bridge. Time is on a route march and it doesn’t care much for sorrow, sentiment or sickness; it spares no thought for the down-hearted, despondent or disillusioned. Time goes on and like it or not, so must we.

Old packhorse bridge (c.1717), Carrbrig, Scotland

Old packhorse bridge (c.1717), Carrbrig, Scotland

In clinging to the past we slip out of time. Slowly but surely life passes us by yet we fail to realise  until sometime later, when we perhaps begin wondering where the days, months or years went and how and why we didn’t notice them. Offloading all that baggage and leaving it by the river’s edge isn’t easy. Disentangling the past and setting it down in its rightful place takes thoughtful deliberation, acceptance of what was and complete renunciation of what might, could or should have been. How many times have you heard yourself (and others) talk about the way things should or shouldn’t be? The truth is, there is only what was, what is and that which is yet to come – should, could and might are all irrelevant and leave us stuck in a rut.

To get out of the rut we have to cross the bridge and the only way to do so safely is by travelling unladen. We can’t live for today until  we forgo being cemented in the past.   Fortunately once we build sufficient fortitude to put one foot in front the other, take our chances and walk across the bridge, everything changes. We flow in time. Life is lived in the here and now, in this very moment. Living is very different because here and now is full of sound, colour, wonder and a smorgasbord of new choices; it’s the polar opposite of everything in the world of ‘back then.’  I don’t recall being taught how to manage the past, to leave it in it’s rightful place by the edge of the river and continue with my journey in time. Its a skill that could useful be taught to high school seniors because all too often I am surrounded by folks who are completely trapped in time, rooted by events that happened years or even decades ago. I always try to help, to share coping strategies or suggest appropriate sources of professional help because being empathic isn’t the same as being a psychologist. Empathy exists because I’ve had many of my own bridges to cross and I stopped to take note of each lesson along the way.

I don’t deny crossing life’s bridges unencumbered by the debris and detritus of countless events that cannot be changed is sometimes difficult, even when practiced continually on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s a daunting prospect, but that doesn’t make it impossible.  This year, especially today, I realise I’ve crossed and walked some way from another bridge – one I hesitated to traverse for a multitude of reasons.   It’s the bridge from active cancer patient to healthy human being, from constant companion to casual acquaintance, from broken to steadfast.  I can’t pinpoint exactly when the bridge was crossed, when the heavy baggage of cancer and so many shattered promises got dropped at the side of the riverbank. I don’t know when the waters rose up to wash it all away, I just know that its gone. It seems this happened slowly, almost subconsciously, throughout the course of the year and for the first time in two years there’s room in my head to properly relish each day as it comes. The time of fretting about what tomorrow might hold (all firmly rooted in an army of negative experiences from the past) is gone and this, I think, is what it means to be free.

We all have demons in the closet, painful events, disappointments, scars and injuries, but we don’t have to be ruled by them. We can chose to lock the door behind them and walk away or drop them at the edge of the river, cross the bridge and let the waters wash them far out to sea. For however long I have here I’ll take the opportunity to drop life’s baggage at the banks of each river and skip across the bridge to whatever happens next. Today, cancer, (and all the ills you wrought upon me), I am over you. Guess what, it feels good :-).

 

The most precious gift

New memories were made on Christmas Day, positive ones that will stand us in good stead for the future. Appreciation written in a card for unfaltering support during a troublesome year. A warm thank you for dinner, including the carrots (!) and a life-long agreement that we’re never too old to hang up a stocking in the hope we’ve behaved well enough to avoid finding coal or sprouts at the bottom. Personally I like sprouts but my son doesn’t.

image Some everyday, non-Christmassy things were noticed and appreciated too. “Mom, your nails are back and your hair isn’t white. It’s still ginger and it’s grown… and you’re doing great.” There’s nothing special about hair or nails until you see your Mom without them. Then you find your teenage years – time that’s supposed to be carefree – erased by the concepts of critical illness and death. Cancer is such a thief. We’ve spent a lot of time together in recent months but yesterday brought a new dawn for my son. It was almost as if a thunder-cloud had lifted from his shoulders and sunlight was streaming into his world once more. Mom isn’t covered in bruises, stalled between life and death or endangered by other people’s germs. Mom’s just Mom again and that’s the best gift my son received this Christmas. It’s the best thing I could’ve wished for too.

Of course the future will be different because everything changed. We’ve no idea what that might mean and it doesn’t matter because the future was never guaranteed. (We just kid ourselves into thinking we have some control over it). Whatever it is, worry won’t cause it to better or worse. The present, well that’s another story. It’s easier to make the most of today when it isn’t clouded by maybes, or promises based on frail assumptions of plenty more tomorrows to make good the pledges.

The new memories are very ordinary yet extraordinarily special. Sharing Christmas dinner together, listening to carols, watching movies and finding neither sprouts nor coal in the stocking. Laughing that socks are a good present when the washing machine seems intent on eating them throughout the year. We were all pleased with our gifts, made the most of the chance to relax and enjoyed the food and drink. More than any time previously we found that one day of happy, uninterrupted time together was the most precious gift of all and for that we were enormously grateful.

Yuletide Gratitude & Thankfulness

It’s the season of goodwill and all around me friends and family are scurrying to get ready for Christmas.  Although a number of us hold no strong religious convictions we preserve many of the customs handed down from generation to generation. As well as giving gifts we decorate our homes with fir trees, holly, ivy and mistletoe, a practice that pre-dates Christianity.

The ancient Celts cut mistletoe and placed sprigs above their doorways offering protection from bad weather and evil spirits. The mistletoe festival and crowning a mistletoe queen still takes place in my local village.  The ancients believed mistletoe was sacred and used it as a cure for many illnesses (please don’t eat it, it’s poisonous). To them it represented peace, friendship and fertility. Bringing greenery into the home at Yuletide also served as a reminder that once the winter solstice had passed the sun would return and crops would grow.

To live in a fertile land where food is plentiful is a blessing but I haven’t lost sight that I am fortunate to be able to feed my family. Although we live in a modern society there are many here who are hungry, cannot afford both food and accommodation, or whose families rely on food banks to ensure they can eat one meal per day.  As well as hungry people there are hungry animals, abandoned or neglected due to circumstance or spitefulness.  Eating is something many of us take for granted. When you’ve been hungry and had no money for food you realise being able to buy produce is something to be thankful for.

My country is largely peaceful and for that I am grateful too. There are incidents, more violence and intolerance than I would want, but most of us feel safe in our homes and out on the streets. The various Governments of my country engage in warfare from time to time though this is rarely done with the support of all citizens. The sanctity of life is important, yet perhaps we only realise how important when looking death straight in the face? Once you understand that time and old age are not givens as I and anyone affected by a critical illness soon learns, your perspective changes. Life is not something to be wasted over power struggles, land disputes or disparate beliefs.  I am grateful for every second of my life, the ups and downs, the quiet solitude, the time with family and friends. Much has changed in the past 2 years and there is no doubt life is harder, more uncertain and sometimes frustrating. Yet I am not regularly faced with procedures I have no choice in, made sick as part of the process of getting better or mentally confined in the land of the lab rat. I am thankful that those days are gone, that I am largely intact and still have hold of a reasonable chunk of physical and cognitive ability

I am grateful for those who are dear to me, whether nearby or far away, for the friends I’ve known since school and my virtual friends who have offered so much support. I am thankful that my son is showing signs of improvement and the depths of his depression are not as all-consuming as they were in summer.  I am glad we trust each other enough to talk about the problems and seek help. My Dad is simply amazing and if people were paid based on the goodness in their hearts he would be the best paid man on the planet. I am glad we are so close and have the ability to find strength in adversity.

I am thankful to prepare for another Christmas, to decorate the tree, wrap gifts and listen to cheesey songs. I’m grateful to have time with my family, drink tea and eat toast in a warm house surrounded by cats while a storm is raging outside. I’m thankful for the chance to experience 2014, wake each day and watch the seasons change. I am grateful for my humanity and my commitment to improve things for those around me in any way I can. We may walk this path only once so I’m going to make the most of each minute. I hope like me, you’ll find a way to celebrate the good things in your lives and give thanks for the time you have.

Bloggers for Peace: Monthly Peace Challenge – Quote This

Every month Kozo at Everyday Gurus inspires a new B4Peace challenge.  This month’s challenge is all about quotes. The quote below is my own, it’s my mantra and I hope perhaps it is something that strikes a chord with you too.

B4peace quotes

 

You’ll find more beautiful B4Peace quotes here, here and here 🙂

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Thanks is reward enough

This week has already been busy yet its only Wednesday.  Perhaps its true that time speeds up as we get older 😉  I’m not sure how I worked full-time, studied part-time, had a family, ran a home and travelled extensively while still finding time for the odd TV programme.  Somehow I managed to squash it all in to 168 hours a week for the past 20 years… maybe that’s why I have wrinkles and white hair?!

 

I’m prone to packing as much as possible into the time available and I’ve been this way for longer than I care to remember.  The volume of activities occupying my life are largely of my own doing.  I could’ve given up studying, been less committed to my career or switched my phone off every night but I’m fairly sure I’d have found other ways to occupy my time. I’m fairly sure that my desire to live each day to the full stems from being very aware that reaching retirement isn’t something everyone gets to do.   If I’m one of those people I want to make sure I haven’t wasted too much time slobbing about when I could’ve been doing something useful.

 

My train journey on Monday was meant to be an uneventful opportunity to catch up on some reading and start researching education technologies in more depth.  As it happened the train was delayed by over 45 minutes and I gained a companion for much of the journey.  I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I’m a middle-aged woman, look unlikely to rob anyone or that I appear to know how to deal with technology that makes me seem non-threatening to elderly women travelling alone.  Whatever it is I don’t mind because I’m quite happy to sit and talk to older women as a means to pass the journey for both of us. This week was no exception.

 

An elderly lady joined me at Oxford and we spent the rest of the journey holding an impromptu lesson on how to get the best from an iPad, how to join train or other WiFi services and options for mobile connectivity.  The lady was 81 years old. She told me she was paying (a rather large sum) for weekly one-to-one lessons from Apple.  After an hour and a half on the train she said she’d gained far more from our time together and thanked me for helping her. She wanted to know how I managed to get through life this way, giving up my time to complete strangers whilst neglecting whatever I needed to do. She wanted to know how I could go through life being so kind.

 

The lady’s observations threw me a little.  I don’t find helping strangers unusual and if sharing some knowledge makes another person’s life easier then so much the better.    I would like to think that if I’m old and in need of assistance one day someone will devote a little time to help me.  I smiled at the lady and told her I come from a family where helping others is part of our DNA;  we grew up knowing kindness costs nothing yet makes a world of difference.  I helped her take her suitcase from the train, wished her a pleasant day and was about to set off to meet friends for lunch when the lady stopped me.  She said she still found it hard to see how I get through life being so kind to others and asking nothing in return. I told her it was my pleasure, no trouble at all (I was just sharing knowledge after all) and wished her well. Making her happy,  a little more technology-aware and receiving her words of thanks were reward enough for me 🙂

 

English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Appl...

 

 

 

Peace at Home: Monthly Peace Challenge

 

forpeace6June’s bloggers for peace challenge asks us to consider peace in relationships or peace in the home. I’m running late with this post simply because there’s so much that could be said and distilling it into a few paragraphs needed some thought.

Friedrich Schiller said “Peace is rarely denied to the peaceful.”  This, I think, is true.

As humans we have a vast array of behaviours and attitudes that enable us to cause chaos in the home, in the community or even on a global scale.   These behaviours and attitudes result in pain and distress for all involved, they drive fear, hatred and cause unnecessary destruction. Fortunately we also have the ability to be tolerant, compassionate and patient and these human traits help bring balance to our world.

Being at peace with someone else – partner, sister, neighbour, colleague – can only happen when we have inner peace. So our quest for peace in relationships must begin by making peace with ourselves. Here are some thoughts on achieving inner peace so that we have space to fully appreciate the lives of others and in doing so build enduring, engaging relationships:

1. Acceptance. To achieve inner peace we have to accept ourselves for who we are; tall, short, portly, slim, serious, fun-loving, diligent or self-critical we are the sum of all our experiences to date and we’ll continue to be shaped by the things that are yet to happen. Acceptance puts us at ease with our physical presence, our personal characteristics and our abilities. Acceptance also gives us room to develop at our own pace instead of chastising ourselves for the absence of things we have yet to master.

2. Kindness. If you cannot be kind to yourself, how can you possibly be kind to someone else? Practice being kind to yourself, to offer praise instead of criticism. We all have an inner voice or self-talk, what’s yours saying? Encourage it to be kind, to accept who you are and be glad of this life. We’re all worthwhile, we all have value and we’re all loveable so stop doubting, be kind and keep that inner voice positive.

3. Forgiveness. Being human means making mistakes. We are learning creatures and we learn by getting things wrong. In order to let others learn we have to forgive their mistakes… The same is true for ourselves. Practice the art of forgiveness by forgiving yourself for your mistakes, learning from them and moving on. Dwelling on the past doesn’t change it but learning from it makes for a better future.

4. Thinking. Take time to think, reflect and consider. Modern society rarely offers the opportunity to stop doing. We are in perpetual motion and often have no idea why. Stop doing and take some time out to think, reflect and consider. If the things you’re doing aren’t bringing peace, happiness and fulfilment stop doing them. Change is always possible and life is too short to live every day in misery.

When we have inner peace we’re comfortable in our own skins, we accept who we are and acknowledge our achievements. We give ourselves permission to make mistakes and learn by doing so. We’re aware consciously and sub-consciously that what we’re doing makes us feel happy and fulfilled. The  principles for inner peace are also the basis of  strong effective relationships – acceptance, kindness, forgiveness and thoughtfulness.

Why try to change your partner,  accept who they are and they’re more likely to accept you.

Why be unkind when we can give encouragement and offer praise just as easily.

Why hold grudges when they anchor us in the past? Forgive and move forward.

Why keep absent-mindedly doing when thinking and thoughtfulness are the true path to contentment?

Peace in relationships is dependent on inner peace, work for that and bringing peace to any relationship will be seamless and meaningful.

 

PS. Acceptance, kindness, forgives and thoughtfulness = love 🙂

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

English: Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

2013 brings… blogging awards

Its time for me to say thank you to some fellow bloggers.  2013 might be proving to be a pain in the a*** for me personally but I’m grateful for these nominations and glad folks continue to enjoy my ramblings even when I’ve been less upbeat than usual.

Firstly Ajaytao – I bow and thank you for the Most Influential Blogger Award.  Ajaytao has an amazing blog of photographs, phrases, sayings and pearls of wisdom.  Go take a look, you won’t be disappointed.

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Next Shaun  at Praying for one day for the Tag You’re It award.  This reminds me of playing tag in the school playground… it was a long time ago!!  Shaun has some health challenges too, he blogs about it alongside other interesting articles and observations. Go visit him.

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Also thanks to Seeker for a Very Inspiring Blogger award. Seeker has a great blog and is  part of bloggers for peace. Stop by and visit for some thought-provoking posts.

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And to Cristi for the Liebster blog award.  Simple. Interesting  is entertaining, interesting and informative.  Definitely worth visiting because you’ll find a wealth of information and lovely pictures there.  Thanks for this award Cristi 🙂

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I’ve said before that I’m not always good at following rules and if I were to rigidly follow the rules for all these awards I’d end up answering questions, posing questions and making award nominations to fellow bloggers for the rest of this month. I’d love to do that but I don’t have the time right now because…

I had a hiccup with my herceptin treatment on Friday and now have to go back to see Dr C the oncologist tomorrow to decide what to do about the issues I’m experiencing.  I’ll write about all that jazz separately but it means I’m bending the rules a bit and taking a different approach with these awards.

I nominate the folks below for blogging awards and they can choose all or any of the above for their blogs if they wish to do so because they’re certainly worthy of recognition  I appreciate their writing, photography and insights very much.  Well done to you all and I hope you’ll enjoy an award or two (or even all four 🙂 )

Bite Size Canada

Living with ADHD

1Earth United

Not Down or Out

Cancer will be my bitch

Noreinsgirl

Pondering Spawned

Tracie Louise Photography

The Great American Landscape

Not all about cats

Just a Brit with a camera

Diana Gray Author

Purple Rays

 

 

 

 

 

The Knights of Clerkenwell

In the olden days well before all our times knights-errant and the chivalric code played a significant role in certain aspects of society. Brave and dutiful, honourable and noble, just and true those who became knights lived to protect and serve members of society who needed their help.

 From time to time we can all use a little help. Sometimes its forthcoming, sometimes it isn’t and when it does materialise it can come from unexpected places in unusual shapes and forms. I’ve just experienced unforeseen help in the form of friends who I’ll call the Knights of Clerkenwell.  I can say hand on heart that noble goodness runs through them sure as blood runs through veins yet the Clerkenwell Knight was unexpected. I, like many other people, thought the days of chivalry had long since been consigned to the land of myths and legends.  I work in London; walking around Oxford Street or trying to catch the Central Line during rush hour quickly demonstrates what an insular, every (wo)man for themselves society we’ve become but fortunately it seems I was wrong. Knights are not extinct, they’re just rather a rare find these days.

Being found and helped by a modern-day knight came as a surprise, a pleasant one too which was most welcome given my start to 2013 changed from full of renewed hope to wondering just how much more crap I’d be able to survive.  Like people, help can also come in many guises. The knight and I expected something structured, tangible and straightforward. What we found was rather rambling and intangible, possibly not as helpful as we’d hoped.

We talked about it over a very large cup of tea as is the way of knights and ladies. For the record I’m not a proper lady and that’s probably how I ended up working in IT instead of being a beautician. Once a tomboy always a tomboy and if my joints weren’t so damned painful and swollen I’d still spend my weekends climbing trees and making dens.  After detaining the knight from a number of other important matters for far longer than expected I bid him adieu and reflected on happier occasions when our paths had crossed; times when life’s complexities were as easy as uncovering the modus operandi of credit card fraud gangs, defeating corporate blackmailers and managing firewall rules. It’s true our lives have involved high-order geekery and socio-technological mischief-makers for many years but they’ve also entailed professional respect, successful businesses and a few too many beers once in a while.  Working in IT is strange like that.

 For the past few weeks my insomnia has returned with a vengeance proving tiring and far from useful.  Having an extra 7 hours to mull over my conversation with the knight put those additional waking hours to work. Help had not been found exactly as expected but a conversation over tea suddenly held most of the answers. There is a way forward, I bow deeply to the knight and say a heartfelt thank you because things look brighter than they did before we met.

Those who know me know I’m a Muse fan. I’m taking my son to see them at the Emirates Stadium next month and we’re both looking forward to it. By then I might even have enough hair to pass myself off as an uber-trendy festival-going pseudo-punk.   I ripped off one of Muse’s song titles in this post. Sorry about that guys but somehow it seemed fitting so just in case you’re wondering, here’s the original version…

Knights of Cydonia – Muse

Come ride with me

Through the veins of history

I’ll show you how god

Falls asleep on the job

 

Dragon-Knights

And how can we win

When fools can be kings

Don’t waste your time

Or time will waste you

 

No one’s gonna take me alive

The time has come to make things right

You and I must fight for our rights

You and I must fight to survive