People are disappointing.

Life is disappointing , or perhaps people are. And the worse realisation is that I must also disappoint people. It’s quite a stark reality when you unpick the threads of relationships and interactions. I am not being deliberately gloomy or obtuse , I just sometimes need to sit for a moment in the dark corners of my life and understand them more so that I don’t sink into the abyss & reject what is essentially good.

People are messy , they come with all sorts of baggage, bias , habits & unresolved searching for their own importance in the minds of others. This I think is the main issue , we all seek to be important, loved , sought out , desired & loved completely by those around us. But this is a pipe dream which needs silencing. We disappoint & Others are woefully disappointing.

SO how do you come to sit with only yourself for company , with only your own voice to ensure that you remain whole. Acceptance I guess. That’s the key , acceptance of self and those who are important to you. Otherwise , a lonely life stretches ahead.

What has created this monster in my mind? My best friend not wanting me to come to South Africa with her. That is her home and in the past she has been enthusiastic about taking me there. I recently jested that this January might be the time to do it. I waited expectantly for a hint , an invite , a validation that this excites her , but none came. Then she casually says in conversation that she wants to go alone. I really get that wanting to go alone and not wanting me to come are not the same. I totally understand the yearning to get away from your life , escaping. Yet , I spend time trying to unpick where things shifted. Where I perhaps started to disappoint her. I also find myself feeling angry that she can say no to me so casually. In a throw away comment. How does she look after her own needs so vehemently. Maybe this is what gets my goat the most. I have to try quite hard to live my life for myself and not take responsibility for others happiness.

Anyway , this is what has led down this morose path this weekend. Such a solid friendship , but the cracks have started to reveal themselves. I think I spend my life believing that everything will be magical or perfect , do I expect everything in life to go my way? Do I expect to be loved by all I meet? Where did these expectations come from? How do I extract myself from the insatiable need to be filled by life and it’s journey? Perhaps it’s a good thing. Maybe always wanting and expecting things to be wonderful is a fine way to lead one’s life. It’s never really gone particularly wrong for me before. But then I wonder if I am actually a lonely person.. I have few close friends, I find people in general to be disappointing, Does that make me an egotist , or somewhat narcistic ? Or am I just loathe to be bored , unfulfilled or uninspired?

My best friend inspires me in many ways. But after this episode I found myself uncovering what I perceive to be her faults ; her cracks. Is this a defensive way of protecting myself from being not all that she felt I was? Or is it just a helpful exercise to uncover that people’s decisions and desires are unlikely to be anything to do with how disappointing I am , and much to do with their desire to be important to the people around them.

Being a manager is awful …

So this week I kinda handed my resignation in. I say kind of , as there is a process of interviewing and being successful at getting my old job back ; before I officially resign my post , But that is practically In the bag so to speak . I basically told my boss that I had deduced management wasn’t for me , That I would gladly go back to my old job or I would find another. Luckily , I know I’m valued enough for her to want to keep me and give me what I want.

The relief I felt when I sent off that email and then had the inevitable conversation about it was palpable. I could feel a release like an autumn breeze flow through my soul – I literally didn’t realise how much I disliked the job until I tasted the freedom of relinquishing it.

I was so proud of myself when I got that job , Team manager of a busy multi borough service , coming such a long way from being a student nurse not 8 years ago. I felt such a sense of pride . But the subjective kudos it comes with will never make up for the reality of the role! Many arbitrary, mindless , soul destroying tasks. I just don’t have the ambition , I don’t see the big picture or yearn to develop the expansion. I just want to trundle about in my little car again, responsible for a group women and go home at the end of day and forget.

I loved my job before & it was perhaps pride or a desire for recognition that drove me to take the post . Thankfully , I have enough humility to take me back to my happy spot and leave all the bureaucracy to some other climber.

I’m getting out the tree!

Mabon.

It is one of my favourite times of the year, I have quite a few seasonal highlights in my year, but the Autumn equinox is one of them. That balance of not too dark mornings , where you can get up at a reasonable hour again to catch the dawn, after a summer of early dawns , once more you can taste the moist sunrise, see the glow of life. The slight chill to the air signals to you mother nature changing her course. Yet , I still mourn losing the late sunsets , where the day seems to expand into a timeless existence . There is a sense of excitement with this Autumn, and with this year , without a lock down and Christmas approaching , birthdays , Halloween , work nights out , annual catch ups, crisp morning swims where you can see your breathe…

Brave new book club?

SO , last week I decided that I had a distinct lack of friends in my life, real friends, the kind you go and spend time with to rejuvenate you , the kind who live round the corner and you can just knock and collapse in their garden demanding a G&T. I have only one of these who are in my vicinity. I have other close friends, who probably fit the old adage that I can count them on one hand, but they don’t live within spitting distance, one is far far away in Australia , which may as well be the moon.

Anyway , my one friend who is my treasure , could one day up it back off to South Africa. She has no plans to , but life is a funny thing and no one really knows. I guess the only person who I can depend on to be with me for the rest of my days is my husband. And yes , he’s my best friend too , but he’s also my husband and that’s just not the same. Sometimes he’s hard work. Sometimes we argue. Sometimes you just need the simplicity of friendship with other women.

So , In my infinite wisdom and rather impulsively driven nature , I decided to post on the app ‘ Nextdoor’ to see if I could join a book club nearby , or if not , try and start one. I love books and I need more doorstep friends so this seemed to be a perfectly fabulous idea.

This is my habitual trend in my life, I have an idea and I throw it to the wind , or commit to it in some way and then it happens. I love this about myself , but I also go through a whole process of regret while it unfolds!

So , I sling it out there, 45 year old nurse, mother of teenagers, lover of books, nature and wine requires book club type post. A couple of days pass and I get a couple of eager responses , then it suddenly gains momentum and I have 12 women all desperate to join a book club. So at this point, regret and panic is setting in, I have committed to creating a book club, I have 12 women at my disposal. I quickly shut the post down , as I envision all these women trying to fit in my home … I now have to actually set things in motion to begin ! I have never been in a book club. I read books like a small child gobbling up sweets , but I know nothing about the nuances of a book club.

So last night , myself , my dear friend who was reluctant to join ( she’s a I only read a book a year person ) met with 6 other women in the local pub. It was like going on a blind date! It was such a surreal experience. There were moments of awkwardness as we started conversations, but overall we all had a pretty amazing evening! We laughed and got to know one another , shared our favourite books, shared what we did with our lives and who our children were. A right eclectic bunch of 40 something women creating new friendships. Who would have thought it would be so easy!?

I think as you get older you fear making friends, or that it’s a past-time of the young, where somehow you only make friends in the situations that life puts you in, like work, or the gym. Who would have thought making new friends off your own back , pushing yourself out there could be such a ride! We have made a plan , we have chosen a book and we all meet later this month to discuss it. With another 5 women who we haven’t met yet!

I think it was partly to do with the freedom of being yourself? Going out with work colleagues in my new (ish) job is a painful experience – I am naturally an outspoken , gregarious person , with a tendency to blurt stuff out without thinking, this gets worse when I drink wine! So I often spend the day after the night before, in a cloud of shame and anxiety about what I have said or done! This has got much better with age, as I learn to not give a fuck.

But what struck me as I remain on quite a high from this simple experience , is how easy it would have been not to do it. To spend my life in the same place, avoiding people generally is my usual disposition , not really sure why , as they obviously make me happy when they are the right people.. I think I have this odd tendency for being an extrovert while at the same time yearning for solitude, which can be a tricky balance as last night made me realise that I need to be around other women , they feed my soul..

Guilt ridden Motherdom.

Motherhood is or perhaps has become so heavily guilt ridden. I don’t know if a day goes by where I don’t think to myself that I should have in some small way acted differently to have achieved a more positive impact on my children’s well-being . How I could have been a better , less selfish person. How I should even discard my own immediate needs to improve their immediate ones.

I then have moments of shame , disappointment or even ridicule at myself for not being the best I can . I feel sad , heavy or just downright shitty. How long does one live like this for ? Does it last a life time? Is motherhood always destined for a life of Judgement ?

This weekend I’m busy keeping my daughter alive.

“ I will kill myself , I’m obviously not going to tell you how “

I feel a level of tiredness that I don’t think I have experienced before , the fatigue is burrowing deep inside my eyeballs and my soul feels ever so weary that moving feels such an effort. I want to slip away into a deep level of unconsciousness and escape life.

Mid – week my 15 year old daughter took a large overdose . Last night we got discharged from hospital & told that the team will come and start work on Monday – ‘ but you have to keep her safe till then’ . My daughter doesn’t want to be safe , she wants to die. She wanted to be admitted , but they don’t ‘ do ‘ that for distressed , suicidal, risky children or in fact for worn out families who feel that their resources have been well and truly depleted .

So here we are early Saturday morning. We have lasted the night on shift work. My husband has gone to bed and I’m up , but I feel like a zombie. The last few days having taken its toll. It makes me wonder how people in a consistent stressful environments survive ?

My daughter is asleep. Snoring softly . I know this because we have taken her door away. That door has blocked my way to my daughter for many years . Many nights I’ve looked at That door in despair , wondering how she is behind it . Feeling utterly helpless to stem the flood of sadness and self loathing. To have it removed is like removing an old , nasty tooth . The relief that I get access to my girl whenever I want is huge. The decision to do it done with utter confidence considering her resolute pledge to die.

Taking each hour as it comes .

Continue reading “This weekend I’m busy keeping my daughter alive.”

Softening the edges..

Photo by Jara on Pexels.com

There are so many things that I want to do , so many habits that I want to cultivate. Journalling here , how long is it since I have done this? Months. Yoga regularly , daily meditation, putting a load of washing in each day and putting it away, taking my supplements, going to bed early , not drinking wine. . The list is often the same yet nothing much changes. Sometimes this gets me down , all the things that I want to do but don’t. What is this consistent cognitive dissonance in my life?

Today , I let my bike go. It literally fell apart a couple of weeks ago, the gear box and chain just fell off as I struggled up a steep hill. I took it to get fixed , but it just wasn’t worth it. I have had my bike for over 10 years. I felt oddly emotional about leaving her in the shop to be recycled (for Africa!) That bike has taken me on a long symbolic journey , in the last 10 years so much has changed in my life and I have really reached a point where I don’t really recognise my life or myself back then , so much has changed ; for the better . And my dear old bike has been there all through out that time. Carrying me hundreds of miles to my destination today.

Today , I did some things on my list. I did a yoga class in my room which was just divine , no itchy irritable desire to stop , just divine deliciousness. I am writing here & I will take my supplements. You just got to keep trying haven’t you? And not beat yourself up .

Next month , I start a new job as a manager in my current team . I am going full time, something I blogged about never doing again. But I have also leaned into the fact that I can change my mind. I am softening out the edges of myself bit by bit.

Ashes to Ashes.

Coincidence ? Synchronicity? Power? Intuition?

The strangest , mind -blowing event in my life happened this week. I am nearly through Deepak Chopra’s 21 Days of Abundance course . Tuesday’s task was to write a letter of recognition and gratitude to someone who I felt had hurt me .

The only person who came to mind was an ex of mine from some 25 years ago. I have blogged about him in my ‘Descansos’ post so I won’t repeat myself , but basically I wrote a letter of peace and ending. Thanking him for all the lessons I learnt under his rather discarding treatment. I was Young & vulnerable and well he wasn’t .

I have seen him a couple of times in the last couple of decades and it was friendly , we had friends in common. As I sat up my allotment on a hot June night , I put to bed some stuff I didn’t even realise was there. I wished him peace and happiness in the letter . I then burnt the letter with a deep sense of closure and acceptance . Watching it curl up at the ends and turn to ashes.

The next day , our mutual friend rang me . Which he never does . He told me that last night , my ex , died in a house fire . To give this some context , I don’t think about this man from one year to the next but I chose him for this task as he shattered my confidence in my youth. A couple of hours after I wrote and burned this letter ; he burnt to death.

I was and still am freaked out by this. In the abundance course it asks you to start looking for coincidences- well wham bam in my face … but what does it mean?

I’m inclined to believe that it was a way of showing me that the path of love and peace that I’m on is the right one. That it is a way of showing me that grudges , resentments & pain are to be set free . That I have power that is unleashing . And in romantic moments , I like to believe that my part in the universe sent him on his way with goodness & love. But yeah . I’m still freaked out.

Shedding the skin of unimportance

Yesterday , I read through an old diary from 5 years ago . I was taken aback by how needy I was for importance and recognition and how much I have grown in my management of my insecurities.

It was littered with a need for inclusion , a huge desire to fit in with the crowd and be recognised for someone who is liked and wanted. My decisions and goals were often based on what other people were doing or what was expected of the culture that I was immersed in at the time . I had a strong sense of freedom that those days are gone and I have a real sense of self orientated functioning. Growth is often imperceptible and I am grateful for my journaling to expose the truths of my journey.

It’s taken me a long time to just be me. And the wonderful result of that metamorphosis is that my relationships have improved and become deeper and more rich in love and joy. I still sometimes struggle with getting my needs met , particularly at work but I have felt a descending peace upon my psyche lately . One which demands that people have to accept me as I am or move on. And when I am rejected , in whatever form , I know that it is due to the other person not being able to accept who I am and that isn’t my problem.

I attribute these changes to age & wisdom , which come as an intrinsic pair , leaving a conform- driven religion and group therapy. I have also got to know the little girl I once was and honour her needs for nature , dancing , Solitude & creating .