Coming Up Roses

Life Issues: Coming Up Roses



When Jess visits the lady of good hope at the end of Coming up Roses he concludes that some people make their own luck. A lot of it is about having a positive attitude and doing the best you can with what you have got, as the Maguire family illustrate.

The Maguire family are not the richest family in Kildogan by a long shot. In fact, Patrick has been out of work for some time. Despite their situation, Cathleen and Patrick are very supportive of each other through the tough times.

Patrick makes a mistake, some would say, in paying Jimmy for the allotment of scrub. Some might call him gullible as well. I get the feeling that Patrick knows he is taking a risk though. He knows that Jimmy is bent and is likely to rip him off. But Patrick is fundamentally a good and trusting man who wants to believe that Jimmy is the same. Patrick is, by nature, an optimist.

I think Catherine recognises this in Patrick as well. After his so called mistake, she comforts Patrick and, instead of ticking him off for falling for the scam, calls him the ‘kindest, most honest man I know.’ Catherine too is an optimist, they are two of a kind.

More than once they talk of ‘making the best of it’ – whatever the situation they encounter. With this attitude they will without a doubt have fulfilling lives. Do I sound too glowing? I don’t know but I think that both characters realise that attitude counts for a lot and that every person is responsible for making their own luck to a degree.

A lot of people swear by affirmations – people telling themselves every day that they will succeed. Some people even go over miniature movies in their mind’s eye – watching them selves succeed. Countless sports stars such as Jack Nicolas, recently ranked as the World’s greatest golfer of all time, and movie stars such as Arnold Schwarzenegger have given themselves positive affirmations for years and fulfil the goals that they imagine. By having a positive attitude, as illustrated by Cathleen and Patrick, you are going through the same process, willing yourself on.


Of course, we all know of people that do the opposite – tell themselves that things are terrible at something, blaming somebody for the world’s ills, looking at things pessimistically. Many of us probably recognise that we tell ourselves that we cannot succeed at times. We have to be careful about the negative affirmations we give ourselves – remember accentuate the positive!!

Everybody faces tough times. While some people interpret these as if the world is falling apart, others can step back from the situation and realise that perhaps it is not the most important thing in the world after all. Life goes on and there are other things and, more relevantly, people around us that are of much greater importance. That is what Cathleen and Patrick do in that scene where Patrick begins to apologise. They realise that the situation is actually quite laughable and are grateful for what they have got.

Even old Jimmy, is quite an optimist – an optimistic opportunist if you like. When he is foiled by Jess, Jonty and Mo, he can’t help but look on the funny side. I don’t know what you think but I’d say that is often a good philosophy to have in a lot of these types of situations.

Jonty is the exception in the Maguire family. He is initially much more of a pessimist than the rest of the family. In the early part of the episode he wills the statue to make life better. He complains if things are not the way that he wants them. He is initially sceptical of Jimmy when his father mentions the deal. After the land is proved useless, he blames Jimmy and wants to teach him a lesson by getting back at him.

Although, Patrick recognises Jonty as being brighter than he is, I don’t know if you would say that Jonty would be any happier. In the end Jonty has the chance to really get even with Jimmy by publicly humiliating him, but decides to forgive him. Jonty can see the funny side of the situation. He has taken a book out of his parent’s book here. One gets the feeling that although the kids were responsible for saving the money that Patrick had lost, it was Patrick and Cathleen who are taking the moral high ground in the story. It is Jonty that actually learns the biggest lesson.

Do you agree that your mind creates your reality?

How much of life’s success or enjoyment is due to the way that you approach it?