Matthew Munson: Things we should be proud of – and new targets

Matthew Munson Photo Thanet Writers

I spent 11 hours in A&E this weekend. Not, you understand, for myself – although with my natural talent for tripping over my own feet, that wouldn’t be entirely surprising – but for a member of my family. That’s not the point of this column – they’re recovering very nicely, thank you very much, in a ward with friendly nurses, a menu, and not-so-elegant gowns that are the least of our worries – but things we should be proud of is the point.

Pride in things seems like a good end to the year, and the NHS is certainly a good example of that. I take it for granted, and I’m sure a lot of us do; how many of us have any memories of the health services beforehand? We hear a lot of fear-mongering about our current system, but I had the opportunity to see it first-hand caring for someone I love, and I have nothing but praise for the staff working in a system that is creaking, yes, but who are determined to do good. I lost count of the number of accents I heard, smiles given, and compassion exuded; I wanted to say thank you to every single member of that team personally, but I’d still be there now.

It’s easy to complain, isn’t it? I hear myself doing it all too often, but I’m reminded of the positives at times like this; we can access health services in times of crisis and it’s still (just about) free at the point of delivery. The NHS is one of our most precious resources, and I saw it absolutely showcase its strengths this weekend; I’m proud to pay into a system, through my taxes, that works despite the byzantine bureaucracy that creaks along in the background – the care and compassion is exquisite.

So there are many things to be thankful for; I’m thankful for my family and friends, who have been put in my path for me to encounter, and I am grateful for the opportunities in 2019 – that I get to be a father for the first and only time and … well, if that were it, then I would be content, but my fifth book will be gestated and born later on in the year. A double whammy of amazing opportunities right there, although I know that the parenthood will be, by far, the most intense, stressful, and rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life.

But this is why I don’t ever do new year’s resolutions. I have goals, sure, but I always refuse to wait for a particular calendar to begin before starting something new and exciting. Being a father, for example, was a long and involved process, and I didn’t want to wait for a particular date in the diary before starting – it’s too exciting, and it means my son will be home with me sooner.

So, be appreciative for the things we have that are rather spiffing – and raise merry hell when things are going wrong – but also be proud of yourselves. Savour the potential in your lives and don’t put off those things you want to do; if they’re important, don’t wait for a particular day before starting. You’ll just regret putting it off, and that simply won’t do.


  1. Make the most of the local hospital services, the political grim reaper known as the Tory party are getting rid of our a and e plus our stroke unit

    • Ha ha! Labour view eh? Who left the piggy bank empty with a note to confirm it? NB I do agree that those services should remain at QEQM!

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