Resilience and a Letterbox

What, you may well ask, do Resilience and a letterbox have in common?  Well, funny you should ask!  It all happened last Friday night …………. but I only discovered that something had happened on Saturday morning when I went to check my letterbox and discovered THIS! 


Just a dirty reminder that someone had STOLEN my letterbox!  I checked again because I really honestly couldn’t believe it and YUP, nada!


As the evidence shows, the bastard/s had simply wrenched the LB off its screws and made off with it.  My voice went instantly high-pitched and I definitely felt punched in the chest and my language went BLUE! 

It was effing this and effing that and lots of “bastards!” at my house that moment.  I felt threatened, unsafe, paranoid, scared – a whole bunch of things as well as shocked to the core.  Yes, I may well have had a sheltered life as far as thievery and crime go – and I felt outrage.

In the midst of all this emotion, I also really didn’t give a hoot about the letterbox itself but rather the act of theft.  And who would do such a thing?

Here’s where Resilience reared her wonderful head.  In the past, I may have succumbed to feelings of victimisation and helplessness.  Certainly I consider myself fairly useless in a practical sense.  My electric drill still flummoxes me.  So I decided I would make a new letterbox that bastards would have a harder time wrenching away from its position.  With my favourites – bricks/pavers and sand and mortar and Bondcrete.

This is how I know I will be able to build a house with Cob – and straw-bales.  Because I love working with my hands and using the sand/mortar mix and rendering.

I popped over to the local handyman shop and bought the necessaries which added up to $27, cheaper than a new letterbox.  And I began to experiment with what I had lying around the yard, left-overs from the Great Renovations/Innovations of 2014, namely bricks and pavers.  The first prototype was a dog’s breakfast!


Fortunately, I left it to stew over for the evening.  I find that reading a book really helps all of life’s tribulations.  My dog even recognizes the phrase “let’s read a book” now!

Bricks were not the ideal for a semi-presentable letterbox at all!  That left pavers et voila!

pavers for sides and top and slim bricks for filler and back
pavers for sides and top and slim bricks for filler and back

So here is the finished product which I think matches the fence and the feel of the property and will certainly give bastard thieves a run for their money in future!

Ned Kelly!
Ned Kelly!

Now the point of this is to say that resilience is a sign of the ability to get up after Life has knocked you around a bit.  Of course, losing a letterbox does NOT compare to the horrors that a lot of innocent souls are facing today around the world.  I’m talking about day-to-day incidental resilience that gets us depressives out of bed each morning and into the day.

Faced with a shock, how do we deal with it?  In the past, I have wilted.  And certainly on Saturday morning, as I already said, I felt punched in the chest, so out of the blue was the shock.  But I rallied and I rallied quickly.  By Sunday evening, as I type, I can laugh about it and the new letterbox is out there already painted!

Resilience also is a gauge of our physical health.  Admittedly I’ve been walking quite some kilometres in the past fortnight.  I decided that if I didn’t get a call for casual work that day, I would walk out any stresses about that.  Some days saw 14 k walks!  I firmly believe that stress builds up in our bodies and needs an outlet otherwise we implode.

This is a link to a fairly easy and quick read about Resilience – and it talks about being able to adapt more easily to a change in circumstances, like when you go to get your mail and your letterbox is GORN!!!!!!!!

That being able to laugh about it stuff has always eluded me – I’ve never really experienced that which is why I would never want to live any part of my life over again.  But this weekend I learned a valuable lesson – even at 57!  Never too old to learn something new!

I have progressed.  I attribute being able to deal more calmly with things to 300 hours or more of meditation and to walking and to standing on my own two feet these last 5 years.  I’ve gradually grown into my skin and it’s more comfortable.  The journey isn’t complete yet – I’m far from the calm and serene person I long to be.  But I noticed I could laugh about the robbery more quickly than in the past.  I’m hoping this small test this weekend indicates a greater resilience for any future larger changes that need adapting to.

For a more detailed discussion on resilience go here

And for a printable PDF on Resilience by the Black Dog Institute go here. 

The home page of the Black Dog Institute is here. 

Feel free to share your own experiences or stories about how you’re coping in the comments below – the more the merrier – it’s encouraging to others.

Love and peace,


PS.  my next door neighbour discovered where my original letterbox had been dumped, further down the road, by rampaging drunken idiots from the local on Friday night.  One poor neighbour got his car lights trashed.  All in all, I fared a lot more cheaply!

About Nancy Liddle

In 2014 I walked from Seville to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, some 800 ks I walked, aged 56. I learnt that no matter what age we are, our bodies are strong work-horses. Ageing doesn't have to be the nightmare that our culture feeds us. We can be strong and vital and energetic! And meditation exercises our minds. Clearly these discoveries have impacted my life deeply.

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