Being in a Family is like the Eyjafjallajökull Eruption Grounding Flights

by elizabethfcoates

Dear Salmons,

Do you remember the volcano in Iceland burping ash into the atmosphere back in April 2009, grounding flights across Northern Europe? People were stranded, unable to return home in or out of the U.K., Scandinavia or the northern reaches of France, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland.

The skies overhead were completely silent for two weeks. Yet amongst these stranded people, who included harassed business people, holiday makers, emigrants and immigrants alike, there were families.

In the news as of late, there has been much talk about juggling family life and a career, as if one can only have one or the other.


This is last time I’m taking an Iceland budget family holiday…

Initiatives are in place so our children are looked after so we can work longer hours, make more money and thus spend that money on those expensive little spawn.

But, we are still salmons. We travel up to 10,000 miles in order to have the hope of mating. We don’t throw away the most fleeting and important moments of family life in favour of impressing people you hate.

What would you prefer? Watching your child, awkward but determined, confident enough to try take their first steps, read their first book, (attempt at) playing an instrument, or sitting in a board room, trying to navigate narcissistic predators to allow your point to come across?

Oh, honestly. You who try to have it all are fools. Not just women, but men also. Somewhere, something has to give, and how much money you make should be right down beside joining the BNP as least pressing things to think about.

Unfortunately for those who will have us work to death, love is what drives us. No one loves, apart from a predator, to be at the top of the career ladder. If you are no carnivore, you should not be top carnivore on the food chain.

Do you see a plucky, bright flamingo beat their herbivore background and grind gazelle bones with the lions? No. You see a plucky, bright flamingo finding themselves parched, away from where they are meant to be.

I’m not saying you should not have ambition. I’m saying that you shouldn’t aspire to do what others say is worthy of ambition, you should aspire to what your heart says, and use your head to make it come true.

The volcano stopped flights for two weeks. Families didn’t go on Easter holidays, they didn’t come home. They entered a crisis together; the parents being away from work, their children from school, they could reconnect, and realise that when the chips are down, they are all that we have.

No money, fast cars, houses or great job can give you a family.

Keep swimming, Salmons.