One more try

As we countdown to Christmas, I offer you the gift of prose – a resilience poem – which I reckon all of us can benefit from…

I honestly believe that there are very few people who live a charmed life, despite appearances to the contrary.

We are all at some point faced with life challenges, such as the reality of losing a job, declining health, anxiety, depression and the ultimate leveller, death.

This year has seen the usual rollercoaster of events across my illness cystic fibrosis (CF)*, my CF friends and community: from survival against all odds, to the miracle of lung transplants to chronic bouts of suffering and sadly to deaths. Only this week, I saw on Facebook that two 20 year old CF friends had died within days of each other.

People who battle with a chronic physical or mental condition demonstrate that life is tough and can feel out of control. Underpinning everything is the harsh realisation that life is short, fragile but precious while it lasts.

Often our individual life challenges are obdurately fought in silence which can increase the feeling of isolation and despair, sometimes on a daily basis. When life is getting us down, we need the gift of resilience to see us through to another day…

‘In life sometimes prospects may seem darkest when really they are on the turn.’ Elbert Hubbard

An ode to resilience

I recently discovered a wonderful poem by British Canadian poet Robert Service, written in the early 20th Century, ironically entitled ‘The Quitter’.

I was won over by its battle-cry prose, and used the poem during the conclusion of my speech at the Wantage Literary Festival in honour of the famous poet John Betjeman, who is synonymous with the event.

The poem does contain some old-fashioned language. For example, ‘It’s according to Hoyle’ relates to the 18th Century writer Edmond Hoyle to mean an ‘appeal to authority’.

However, throughout its glorious prose, it poignantly explains that when life is tough, be determined to survive, don’t be a quitter! If ever there was a poem that depicts that daily mindset required to keep going against the tide, this is it.

The Quitter, RWService

For many people, some life challenges can understandably feel overly arduous. Even getting through the next hour, day or week can seem too much to stomach when spirits are horribly low and hope has been vanquished.

BUT, often the difference – as per the poem and based on my daily survival – is to have one more try. To get up and go again.

I hope you like the poem – you’ll all need it one day!

Wishing you all a happy Christmas and a healthy new year!

I dedicate this blog to my CF warrior friends Oli Rayner and Helen Toghill, who inspire me to keep on battling!

I will keep you posted on my life-affirming moments, trials and tribulations as and when they happen. Please keep reading and sharing my blog and sign-up (on the right hand side tab) if you have not already done so.

Yours cup half full.


Tim Wotton (author of Award-Winning CF Memoir ‘How have I cheated death?’)

Fantastic video – please watch my good friend Mark Phillips as he did a tandem sky dive for CF!

CF community – to see if CF patients and carers can be compensated to help scientists find a cure, please complete this short survey. Thanks!

* Cystic Fibrosis is one of the UK’s most common life threatening inherited diseases, affecting over 10,500 people. The condition affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick sticky mucus. This makes it hard to breathe and digest food. Each week, five babies are born with the condition, however, each week, three young lives are also lost to it. There is currently no cure for CF. However, existing gene therapy trials in the UK are bringing people with the illness closer to a form of cure but CF is not that well known and would benefit from more public donations. For more information and to find out more view the CF Trust Website.


About Tim Wotton

I live with my lovely wife (Katie) and spirited ten-year old son (Felix) in Morden, Surrey; working full-time as an internal communications specialist in the Oil & Gas sector. I have played sport, particularly hockey, tennis all my life and now regularly go to the gym. Cystic fibrosis has been a huge factor in my life, but not one that overshadows it. I have always had great support from my loving family - parents Margaret and Douglas (RIP), elder brother Chris and my twin brother Jez. I have many rich life insights based on knowing I have a reduced life expectancy and battling against the odds for over 44 years. My eyes and heart have been opened by my health struggle. I feel empowered to share my life lessons to help anyone with health and life issues to overcome. My passions include Paul Smith clothes, dress shirts (believing that it's enlightening to dress like it's your last day on earth), Alfa Romeo cars, spicey food, Harlequins and England rugby, Southampton FC, Wimbledon village and common, Dorset, seascapes, sunsets and military history. I am available for public speaking on this subject matter and can be contacted via timwottonAThotmailDOTcom. I have written a book 'How have I cheated death?' based on my euphoric countdown year to 40 which was published in 2014 and won the 2015 'Best Achievement' Award at the UK People's Book Prize. It is available via e-book, audiobook and paperback at Amazon and to order from UK bookstores. Go to the relevant sites below or in the UK go to a WH SMITH, Waterstones or Foyles bookstore and give them my name, book title and this ISBN number (9781849637190). It’s also available via GARDNER’S, BERTRAM’S, AUSTINMACAULEY.COM, BLACKWELL’S, PLAY.COM, AMAZON.CO.UK AND AMAZON.COM
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11 Responses to One more try

  1. whitelabelz says:

    I love the way you write Tim. You’ve hit the nail on the head and leave us with a something to think about. I love it! Have a great Christmas to you and the family x

  2. Lesley porter says:

    Thankyou!!! X

  3. Kelley McGhee says:

    Hi Tim! Kelley McGhee here, Scott’s wife. I read the poem aloud – here – all alone in my kitchen. Interesting and telling how the word “grit” has resurfaced to become a modern concept and component for successful living. Thanks for your words and your “grit” and for your friendship with my husband – he’s better for it. Happy holidays to you and your family. I hope we get to meet one day. Cheers, Kelley.

  4. Hey Timmy That was lovely. Thank you for sharing. Xx

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Stewart Jones says:

    Awesome and inspiring as ever Timmy! Hope you are well and wish you a very Merry Christmas! S

    From: Tim Wotton Reply-To: Tim Wotton Date: Friday, 08 December 2017 at 00:16 To: Stewart Jones Subject: [New post] One more try Tim Wotton posted: “As we countdown to Christmas, I offer you the gift of prose ­ a resilience poem ­ which I reckon all of us can benefit fromŠ I honestly believe that there are very few people who live a charmed life, despite appearances to the contrary. We are all at so”

  6. Richard says:

    Beautiful poem

    Some with cf have it harder than others though Tim than you eg think of the nature/nurture debate. Hence those who have cf with difficult temperaments /weakness in their personality alongside family poverty and acute cf problems.

    With respect your luckier than most it appears due to coming from it seems a more affluent background which helps


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