Connections and webs…

Isn’t it funny how life just seems to put people in our paths for reasons? Reasons we may never fully understand.

An odd co-incidence happened this week. I think I mentioned in my last post that my daughter is about to leave her Primary education and move up to secondary school. It has, so far been a very smooth transition, she is very happy about it all and looking forward to this new stage in her life.

I met her from her first induction day after an extra sports event in the evening, we walked home the two miles because the family car was elsewhere and she told me all about her day and the new things she had learned about her up and coming life at secondary school. A couple of things really struck me but the biggest one of all has a bit of a back story, please bear with me…

When Mr.K and I decided to be an item we were living 100 miles apart, give or take a few feet. So after a short while we stuck a pin in the map in between our two locations and rented a bungalow to see if we might rub along without killing each other. (Almost 21 years later, he’s not dead yet.) We were in the bungalow 2 years and during this time Mr.K had to hire a new ‘mate’ to work with him. Let’s call him Mr.I…  Mr. I and Mr. K became firm friends and through the years and many changes they still are. We went to each other’s weddings, saw five children come along between the families, when they left the country for a bit we visited them abroad and got caught half way up a mountain in a monsoon. Although we have never been in each other’s pockets, especially with the children attended different schools, we muddle along well together and I’ve always enjoyed Mrs. I’s company.

synchronisity

So, the daughters school… 250 children in her year 7 – approximately, divided between 6 ‘houses’ which is split into half so each house has 2 timetables, then split further into tutor groups that contain children from each year… 3 year 7’s  including her. One of which is Mr. I’s second son… Totally random; But amazing none the less. Yes, it’s a co-incidence but the two families just keep getting further and further intertwined.

Also in her half of her house is a young man who we met when she was just weeks old because they were born on the same day. Not such a close connection but still, a half of a sixth of 250 is pretty amazing even if I’m too thick to work out the odds! And to think I was pleased when our closest friends son was in the same house as her!

So, that had my little brain reeling. I’ve always maintained that no one ever crosses your path without a reason, sometimes the reason is so small as to go unnoticed, some people are sent to hurt you, some to make you stronger, some to love you, some to make you wake the hell up… It’s all a web of intricate bonds.

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Epiphanies & finding one’s new place in the world

Changes, changes… 2018 is turning out to be a bit of a roller coaster ride, but in a good way. This morning I had a surge of contrary thoughts as is my way and, also as is my way, I just wanted to vomit them at the computer screen. It helps me to get it all straight in my head, it always has… However, these thoughts were fairly random but not something I could ‘release into the internet’ under any of my current guises: Until I thought of you dear readers. Is it time, do you think to re consider where this blog fits in my life now? Because, to be honest, that has been the problem in the last few years, I couldn’t see how it was of ‘use’ to me.

In the crazy struggle of writers block that just went on and on, then there were kids that didn’t want to be featured on a blog or Twitter or Facebook, also being pulled left right and centre with health issues, I really did try a few times to use this space, which I’m sure you can see if you look back but it never really gelled. Perhaps it still won’t perhaps again I’ll be looking at this post in a year and thinking ‘Oh man..’

Although I think it might work this time.

I started writing again in February… Words came spewing, venting of emotions, some harsh, some whimsical, they spiralled out of me splashing across the screen in a mad ejection of thoughts. Poems mostly, it’s a start I thought and I was right, I’ve tried hard not to force myself to write letting the whimsy take me where it will, no pressure. Why February? Well, I think I’ll put that credit at my Doctors door for sorting out the total mess that had been happening since 2011 and my bumpy ride with early onset menopause… That and a couple of other personal factors. It feels like an epiphany, an awakening of a sort. Long may it last.

whoami-730x400

So, here I am with my muddled head of contrary thoughts and a place that might be suitable to vent them? I wonder… I feel, right now, that in so many ways I am in a transition period. I’m not the first, I mean how many books, films and documentaries are there about women needing to ‘find themselves?’ As much as I’d bl**dy love to f*ck off to Greece for a month like Shirley Valentine, it’s not going to happen, I’ve not so much ‘lost myself’ as I just kinda put ‘me’ on a shelf for 12 years and now I’m trying to find out if I still fit. My darling girl is about to end her primary school career and is flexing the fingers of independence, my gorgeous boy has feet the same size as me and is almost as tall, he has to face his first school year without his sister around and secretly he’s hating that thought. The husband is finding his feet driving a desk rather than a van but is very good (bossy as all hell) at managing his people. Which leaves me… No longer required as much for the everyday fire fighting that first almost 12 years of motherhood have demanded.

I’ve been easing back to life. For the last 3 years I’ve been working part-time which often can feel like an escape into the ‘adult’ world. This last school year I’ve attended college once a week to learn silver smithing which has been really wonderful. On top of that we as a family have been enjoying little freedoms… like letting the kids who swim like fishes go into the sea by themselves on holiday. They pop out to the newsagent on errands and at weekends the make their own breakfasts. The little things add up. Since February though, I have felt an ever-increasing build up of what can only be described as pressure inside me. With the husband working from home my head space and me time has gone. Someone else is always in the house, chatting on his never-ending phone calls and just being present. It a claustrophobic feeling which I think I am getting used to but begrudgingly so. The need to escape and be just me without the labels is immense. I love being a Mum, Wife, sister, daughter, friend etc… but this shaking the labels off has always been a major issue for me. (My old reader will be nodding.)

My solution? (Yes, I do have one) I’m off to London on my own to just be. It’s all booked as much as I want it to be, hotel, train… I’m escaping to the city to spend some time with myself. To go to the V&A, maybe the national gallery? Maybe see a show? Maybe sit in Covent Garden and drink very expensive wine and watch the world go by? Maybe stay in bed until 10am and get crumbs on the sheets? I don’t know, I’m not planning anything because if it’s just me, I don’t need to, do I? No ‘Mum! I’m hungry/bored’ ‘Can we have?’ no worrying about Mr.K not wanting to eat curry if I do (he’s easy going to be honest but he’s still my third child and I want a time out of caring).

An epiphany if I ever had one.

 

Perhaps this is something I can share with you? Here in this space? That would be good.

Staring at a blank page again…

Its time for a mind ramble..

It’s not like I haven’t tried to write, although to be fair to me (which I do try to do, even with a propensity to be too hard on myself.) life moves so fast and I’m often pulled in so many directions that my head spins.  As each day closes I remind myself to feel blessed that I reached the end of it with everyone I love safe and well. Compared to this, this full life of “stuffs” the need to write is just a niggle which I file mentally under “Things to do next week” along with printing off my endless back log of digital photos and actually doing some housework.

Sometimes the niggle is louder, so I muse on Facebook. Short, sharp often humorous (I hope) status updates observing the latest thing to tickle my fancy, the niggle is short-lived, easily placated and gets burried as I’m pulled into the next thing, endless refereeing, creating culinary masterpieces (scoffs loudly) school runs, evening clubs (theirs not mine, I have no social life!), preparing for trips, ironing work clothes, watching them display their latest achievements on the trampoline… and I do so love it all. It’s good this life. A pause button would of course make it better.

Today I find myself with a little extra time due to school play rehearsals, so I thought, get on with it, and then I thought, I have nothing to say. This discussion has ended my writing aspiration so many time I can not even begin to calculate, it may even have happened daily since my last post… Today I decided I would tell you this. Which makes today a very different day indeed.

In most respects its been a very normal Wednesday! I get more head space on Wednesdays as a rule, the small people have a woodland wander to school which means I get to drop them off earlier. After a brief logistical chat with one of my most fabulous friends, about various to-ings and fro-ings of children I headed home to coffee and i-pad time before work. I work part-time and this morning was a quiet one with friendly customers and chats about camping, puppies and the inability of any human to multitask. After work I wandered through the town running the odd errand, indulging on my favourite pass time of saying hello and exchanging news with people I know, spreading smiles. I was even brave enough to say hello to someone I thought I recognised from Instagram! (It was her too! which is even lovelier.) On arriving home I was greeted as usual by the black and white ninjacat, aka Twinkle, who has mellowed with age to being passably polite to most people and occasionally loving towards me, the food provider. Lunch was an indulgence of goats cheese and chorizo and then I found myself facing the dilema – I could clean/wash/iron/vacumn/sort/tidy etc or I could crochet/sew/read/game etc or I could write…. Guess what won.

Life changes.  Gone is the need to tweet to maintain adult contact in a world filled with nappies and peppa pig. No more, the desire to invite the world of the internets to know my every movement and dinner, it seems.  I never was one for selfies.  The daughter (now 10, I know, when the hell did that happen!) is adverse to my sharing her picture or doings on a web site (and I repect that) so any drivel I do splash onto this page about the smalls needs permission, although its usually granted.  The cats, adoreable as they are, are much the same as anybody elses. I never did write much about Mr. K as it would end up being a moan (possibly) and I’m much too loyal to mouth off so publicly about his good self.  I find myself a little bereft of subject matter.  So please forgive me if another year or so passes before I darken your door again.

 

 

Still here, honest!

One of my twitter friends asked me if I was still blogging this week *looks ashamed* the answer is yes with a guilty little no rattling around in my head, the truth is that sickness and a little thing called #nanowrimo is keeping my brain spinning.

So you know I’m still here I’m going to give you an excerpt from my National Novel Writing Month attempt. The point of NaNo is you write like the clappers and leave your internal editor on the shelf until December, so this piece is uneditted and raw – forgive me my errors and typos!

My main charector is not unlike me, a married, slightly sarcastic 30 something *coughs* with several children, although unlike me she blogs about relationships mostly and gets to live life a little more lasciviously than I ever could! Her blog posts are scattered through the story, this excerpt is one of them. (and btw, she swears a lot :-s)

Blog Post: The world is full of frustrated housewives.

 Or so we are led to believe. Apparently I’m one too so I’m told, yes, apparently so, although I certainly don’t feel frustrated.  After all it has been bought to my attention that it is generally considered, that a woman who has reached a certain age and thinks or writes about sex, must be sexually frustrated and not getting any; and also apparently, anything she does write about must be pure fantasy because otherwise, why would she need to write about it?

 Yes, okay, I’m a bit irked about that suggestion but I can see why, stereo typically, someone who has not lived enough to be able to see life from my shoes might think that…

 Stereotypically, is this life?

 We women strive from a very early age to find ‘the one’ he has to be everything we dream of. Animal instincts kick in at such an early age, the need to find someone genetically superior with whom to procreate.  At school when we should be concentrating on being educated so we can be useful independent beings and it’s all chaste kisses behind the bike sheds and experimentation with peer pressure, gropes at the school disco and sixth form study sleep-ins are just a hotbed of fornication. At university its all this party, that coffee shop, this bar to meet the lads, alcohol, perhaps drugs *shudders*. In the workplace its short skirts and heels, cleavage and mascara, trilled laughter at the photocopier, furtive touches at the watercooler, a quickie in the stationary office. Yes, I’m prone to exaggeration but you get the picture. Because he is out there somewhere, our Prince Charming who will sweep into our lives and make us complete and as they say love is blind, is there really such a thing as perfect?

So he’s caught and ensnared by your girlish charms, the love life swirls in a vortex of passion and discovery. You get engaged, married; get a house, things swim along nicely in your D.I.N.K.Y lifestyle until the need for a small person rears its head. But this is progress, the next step in the chain, or so we are told. A child is born and yes, he/she is the ultimate in beautiful.  Even at few weeks old when you have been getting up every 2 hours to feed, you mind is numb, overtiredness threatens to shatter your sanity, tears rolling down your face.  The sink is full of washing up and you have no clean clothes because they are covered in upchucked milk; but the baby is still beautiful, thankfully, God Bless Mother Nature. 

Fast forward a few years and you start feeling you have a grip on your life, yes, I did say years and I’m not kidding. If you are lucky you have got to stay at home and nursery starts allowing you a few precious hours breathing space; or as a working Mum you are still dropping off, working, picking up being Mum 24/7 – harsh.  As life gets back into a manageable pattern and if you don’t have the mad urge to have another baby, what do you see when you look around you? A not so controlled house with wallpaper being shredded off the wall, or crayoned on? A tired and disgruntled husband who has taken second place in your life for three years and feels neglected? A nonexistent sex life due to sheer exhaustion? So you sit back and take stock. Your hair is a mess, your body flabby, you are tired and strained, a night out is a dim and distant flicker in your imagination, a day off seems impossible. Your husband thinks nothing of farting in front of you and cuts his toenails so they ping all over the bathroom floor, leaves his dirty socks rolled up in balls in the washing and expects you to pull them loose before they get washed.

Yep, it’s a nightmare. Your mind is waking up and it doesn’t know who the hell you are any more. Your body is waking up and you want to be flirtatious and sexy, you want romancing and loving, perhaps with a little hard f*****g thrown in for good measure? Mr. Wonderful has become Mr. OhTooFamiliar and clawing back love and passion seems nigh on impossible. You no longer know who you are so how can you hope to find the ‘we’ again?

Bored, frustrated? Perhaps….

Sadly I’m no self help guru, the simple truth is I don’t have the answer. It’s a back to square one job. You can’t expect to be the woman you were pre-family so you need to find the woman you are now. The woman who has a family, who is tired, who needs to love and be loved in return.  The only suggestion I can think of to make it work from here is communication and sharing. Marriage is hard, it never stops needing to be worked at and if you can’t talk you might as well call it quits now.

Find out what you need, in a world where everyone needs you be aware that you have needs too, emotionally, physically, sexually, intellectually, you need to feel worthwhile and fulfilled and it is your husbands ‘job’ to contribute to you, as it is yours to contribute to him. You are in this together and if you want it to stay that way, you need to talk.

Courage

She watched him as he walked across the green, his lithe athleticism in fluid beauty of movement. Sinewy strength of taut muscles, tension bound like the worried expression on his face. She knew so much was wrong with his life, so much that she just couldn’t fathom the depth of his concern. Worst still, she was ineffectual to help him.

As he saw her his face became radiant, like clouds lifting after a summer storm making way for the suns rays to caress her skin.

“It’s good to see you.” he said simply and she nodded her voice suddenly silenced, he sat down next to her on the bench, folded tightly, his elbows on his knees, he ran his fingers through his hair, knuckles white with pressure. They sat in silence, each comforted by the presence of the other but maintaining distance. She listened to the sound of his breathing for some time, waiting for what he wanted to say. Eventually he murmured “I’m so glad you came.” He lifted his head and met her gaze with his glacier blue eyes, so penetrating, reaching into her soul, grasping her heart and twisting, her emotion rushing to her throat.

“You know don’t you.” he asked and once more she nodded and looked away, staring across the open space into nothing. “I’m sorry, it can’t be any other way.” he sighed “You have been all that has been bright to me for such a long time. Thank you, really. I love you.” he fell silent, his message delivered.

She felt the breeze on her face, noticed the chill creep through her coat and eventually the reality that night had fallen and she remained sitting on the bench in the park reached her. She turned to where he had sat so many hours ago and there was nothing, a gaping space where he should have been, to hold her, whisper soothing words of comfort and ease the pain from her body with his tender kisses.

Slowly, rising to her feet, fighting the cold cramp feelings of inactivity she stood. As the long-captive tears rolled down her cheeks  she reached within herself to the very core of her existence and found a spark, a glimmer of hope which made her move and took her safely home.

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