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“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men
Gang aft agley,

An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, 
For promis’d joy!”

Robert Burns, “To a mouse”


Friday 25th January is the 260th anniversary of  the birth of one of Scotland’s most famous poets, Robert Burns.

The above line from his poem “To a mouse” talks of how often our carefully made plans can go adrift, causing us to readjust what we had hoped to do. Read the full poem here

This sentiment perfectly sums up what has happened with our planned Basic IT Skills course, which we have now had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances.

Not to worry, we’ve been exploring community based alternatives run in local libraries for those who are really keen to improve their PC skills.

This serves as another reminder of why we run the “Epilepsy Futures” programme, to help people with epilepsy find ways to improve their resiliency in the face of a condition which  causes such uncertainty.

Our most recent sessions in the “Living life to the Full” programme have been exploring how our own reactions to outside circumstances determines whether we enter a vicious cycle of negative thinking, painful emotions, reduced physical well being and altered behaviour or choose to take an alternative path where we challenge our those negative habits.

We’ve been talking about how to

  • challenge the instinct to avoid situations that make us anxious
  • how to spot those “wee voices” which pop into our head and make us feel bad
  • and how to change just one part of the “vicious cycle” in order to respond differently

It is fair to say that participants in the room have been surprised to hear how they are not alone in these negative thinking patterns, and week by week we are all making a plan of something that will bring more pleasure, sense of achievement and closeness into our lives.

A big part of that process is developing the kindness and flexibility with ourselves of considering what our alternatives will be if anything external gets in the way and stops us when our plans “gang agley“.

Making positive changes in our lives takes perseverance, humour and consistency.

Peter Dale