Monthly Archives: November 2015

Half a day lost

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Not really lost, just me lost in the land of nod.

Yesterday, I moved a lot of stuff around and washed down the desk that he had been using in the room I sleep in (very complex musical rooms in this place for the last few years).  Most of my nursing texts and current notes etc. are in place now. The notice board is here too and needs a hook to hang it on.

More bits moved into the growing pile in the conservatory that he will put into storage and more pieces for the charity shop.

I walked into town and met with two friends, one en route and one for lunch. Then walked to Aldi (woohoo – been a die hard fan for YEARS) and shopped for myself. It was all stuffed into a backpack and other bags and I tottered home under the weight of it. It was heavy because our turkey crown for Christmas was in there too…..proud because I did not use the car, got the exercise, bought only healthy food and all within my budget.

Cooking for one is simple, I just cook for two and the remainder gets frozen for another ready made meal for days when I am home late. Last night was an vegetable/mozzarella bake…

One episode of The Bridge later (I love the Saga character), and I was at the desk tackling the pathophysiology of asthma, all good.

But, I am tired, body, mind and soul tired. I miss my girls and worry about their young lives. I miss my family and some of my faraway friends and crave a break.

So, I took a sleeping tablet at bedtime. I slept on and off for about 14 hours and felt sluggish and slow when I did get up.

The wind is gale force here, but in order to sharpen up, the dog and I headed down the bridle path. It spooked her at times but there is nothing nicer than wind that snatches your breath and makes your hair stand on end.

So I may have lost half a day, but am probably in a better place for it.

It is all about learning to take care of oneself……

 

 

 

 

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On my own

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When he left yesterday I felt very little. No sense of loss, sorrow, regret, no euphoria, no excitement. It just felt right. This is the right thing for me and I believe, for us. I did have though, a very strong urge to purge the place and raced around with the surface spray and tidied up!

Of course it is not ‘over’ as we have months yet to come of selling the flat, me finding a new home, renting this one out and handling all the decisions that will have to be made together. Also, he is returning for Christmas and will camp here for a night or maybe two in January…..

It turned out to be a long, bumpy day and at one point there were some sneaky tears welling. I put it down to being tired and a bit fraught. Splitting up is gruelling. It hurts, a LOT. It causes so much anxiety, not to mention anger, fear and sorrow.

His mother returned all the photos she had of the girls and me too. That was a pointed gesture – at least in my mind. Why not just dump them?  Making the effort to let me know she did not want them was pretty petty.

Anyway, best to let it go.

On the way home I could not decide what to do with my first single night in a decade; pop in for a drink at the local with some friends? A film? Chocolate? What I did was make a healthy, carb free meal, half of which I froze for later in the week, opened a bottle of champagne, had a couple of glasses, watched some silly TV, spoke to my mother in Australia and went to bed early!

I have big plans but need to move in small steps. My new budget kicks in today, it is meagre in comparison to what it was but I am lucky to have it. It will require effort to manage and to save from it, but that is the plan. I am incredibly lucky to even have a budget and to have the opportunity to move on in life on my own terms.

 

 

 

Letting go – too late

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In the last few days we have been working together to sort out his bits and pieces for the move, storage, the charity shop and the tip.

When we moved here the house was fully furnished to the hilt with his deceased ex-wife’s possessions and things that they had bought together while they were married. I was given the all clear to change it all….However, with a grieving stepson, the last thing I wanted was to alter the home he had shared with his mum until he and we were more settled. Very slowly over the years we changed the bathroom and the kitchen and personal items like clothes were removed so that I would have drawer space.

Then there were things like a HUGE dinner service that was their wedding gift that I hinted I did not really want to use, along with paintings that were of times and places that were not part of our life, and furniture and in fact, a lot of stuff that just seemed to drown the place out. Multiple cutlery sets, hundreds of crystal glasses, a lot of stuff.

In time, despite me saying that these were some of the things I would like to change, I was told no. I used the dinner service, put up two pictures of my own, and was told that he did not like them but if I insisted, they could stay. I railed against the clutter and at times became depressed with a sense of being overwhelmed by it all.

Ironically, he has told me that now he wants only a few things and the blasted dinner service can go. I really wonder why it is ok now and not when it would have meant something to me, a new wife, setting up in a new home, in a new country with my little girls to have my feelings about all these things counted.

I resisted asking this question – thinking that if I have to ask then obviously it is not something that has ever crossed his mind…..

 

 

Focus pocus

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unnamed[1]This day started with a run, some weight exercises for the old bingo wings and some lunges (with weights as well) in the gym with my cool, fit friend LE. All that hard work was followed by scrambled egg and mushrooms on toast with a cuppa in the café…mmmm

The plan was to work on the essay…essays loom on the horizon here for months, until the buggers are due and there they are, on the doorstep, demanding to be written and submitted on time.

With good intentions to get ahead, we found ourselves in the library, surrounded by relevant articles, highlighter pens, coffee, coconut macaroons (sigh) and for me a total writer’s block. What is it that I can, in my head, talk through the idea but cannot get it onto the page?

Part of it is worry that it is not academic or polished enough, that the question is not being answered, that I am on the wrong track and a myriad of other niggles.

I need to have more faith and more focus. So, here I go again. In the meantime, enjoy a little corner of the library ceiling, which was once a ballroom….

PS. No major blowouts about the finer points of the agreement. 6 days and counting.

PPS. Me and my big typing fingers pressed publish too soon! The notorious ‘my mate, the solicitor’ has had his paws on it and has ‘suggested a few changes’. This is the bloody thing we agreed on. Why do they have to fiddle? I am not happy at all and was told that it was to HELP ME that all this is being done. Frustratingly there were tears on my part. Can we just move forward and not have all this crap, pleeeease?

 

 

 

Meh!

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Bit of a wobbly week, so far. Some of the old gloom is back and a sense of dread. Today I took the edited version of the consent to end the marriage to the solicitors. He has not seen it yet, but will tomorrow. I worry that it will cause more kicking off and finger pointing and boy does that make me edgy.

In less than two weeks (fingers crossed) it will be done and dusted. Bring it on. It is like living on a knife edge at times.

Feelings of hurt abound as well. Same old reasons as before, but I found a photo of me, still in its frame, in the wastepaper basket when I emptied it this morning….I have not been as thoughtless in my removal of personal items.

BUT there is always good stuff going on – my youngest sister is 50 today and has been putting up some colourful stuff on FB…bless! Mum will pale a little no doubt when she reads it!

I have been running twice this week and am booked in again for Friday. Beginning to love it. Over 3 ks now at any one time and feel proud. My ‘splits’ are getting shorter too.

Tonight is BookClub which is more about the wine and gossip, and my first attendance for months. Not drinking, but regardless, it is always a laugh.  Friends really make life ok.

Blogging helps too, started off all flat and now am ready to tackle my admin chore list.

Have a happy, blowy day out there x

Thoughts on recent news and the weekend

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While plodding away in the hotel room with the odd peek at the news etc. on my mobile, the news about the attacks in Paris started pouring in. On went the TV and as I did for 9/11 I watched for a few hours while people everywhere tried to make sense of what was going on. During the night I kept checking and then texted my sister in Sydney. She was up in the wee hours tidying after a late night and we agreed on the horror.

The following morning on the train (via Gatwick) the news came through that the North Terminal was closed and someone was subsequently arrested there, disrupting, for their own safety, the travel plans of thousands for hours.

In a very wet London the streets were heaving. Apparently it was the Lord Mayor’s Show, which I was unaware of. But there was a marked police presence and many police vans parked in side streets. I did what I went to do in certain shops and made my way to China Town, to Jen Cafe, my fave for dumplings and noodles. I had not eaten all day and relished the meal.

To get out of the rain I went to the Curzon Cinema and saw The Lobster. It was clever, the dialogue so stilted, the people with so few expectations, and it left an uneasy feeling, which is good!

Back to the hotel room and time to reflect. These are my opinions so here goes.

Despite the brutal loss of life in Paris, one wonders why we do not also react similarly to the losses that take place daily in Syria, in Beirut and in many other parts of the world. There seems to be a sense of outrage that someone else’s war has come to Europe. My heart goes out to those who suffered and those left behind, but it also goes out to the people on flimsy boats in icy seas risking death to get to safety. Is it safety or is whatever fate waits better than where they are from? And what about the millions of displaced people in camps and those still arriving who and who face a bitter winter with few supplies.

And then there are in this country our own homeless, lonely, isolated, hungry people.

I think we need to start at home, give to local food banks, donate decent warm clothes and blankets, recycle our glasses, do not waste what we have, appreciate it.

I am thankful for the time I had alone, it gave me the opportunity to think about many things. I am grateful for my life.

Winding down

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Coming to a hotel was a good idea. It is very soothing being alone. I checked in, had a cup of tea in the nifty room, and then went a bought a swimsuit (with student discount!!) and a salad and some fruit for dinner. Before eating, I swam, only for half an hour, but it was wonderful. There were three other women in the pool quietly bobbing around and chatting but it still felt peaceful. There is something about being in water, maybe the buoyancy effect, but it is easy to think and ponder and to wind down.

Healthy meal, some rubbish TV and now a bit of pathophysiology.

Bliss.

Are you savvy?

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On the long drive home on the M25 today I listened to BBC Radio 4’s Money Box about Cohabiting and the legal/financial pitfalls of having a home, children, business etc if one is NOT married and that relationship breaks down. It seems that the cohabitors of this land have very few of the rights afforded their married friends and family.

One of the panel was Sarah Pennell, founder of the SavvyWoman website, which is about money issues for women. How cool is that? Fortunately the snazzy name meant I could remember it and I have had a look, and like it.

I will be 55 in a few short weeks and have almost no UK pension and his nibs ain’t sharing a penny of his, despite our decade together…..SO I need to be a lot more savvy about what I do with any money that comes my way.

This sort of site, along with MoneySavingExpert.com which I have been a big fan and member of for YEARS, provide a lot of good information (disclaimer of course that they do not provide ADVICE). We could all do with understanding our finances better. The thing about the SavvyWoman site is that it is for women and therefore seems more appealing.

Over the next months there are going to be huge financial adjustments to be made and I am pretty scared but it is good to know that I am a good saver, thrifty and there is a ton of information available. Fingers crossed I don’t stuff it up!

Coming up for air

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There is a change in the air, in me more than anything.  Something is bubbling up from deep inside and it is good. I feel better, more positive, more ready for the challenge of the next step, more committed to the degree and to looking after myself.

For anyone going through the end of a long term relationship I would say:

Cry when you have to.

Be angry (don’t hurt anyone or their property).

Have hateful thoughts (they don’t hurt people if they are only in your head).

Feel sorry for yourself – there is only so much wallowing a person can do and this stage will pass.

Be forgiving of yourself, no one can hold it together all the time and if you crack at work or on the bus etc. that is ok.

Remember that as low as you feel it is only a stage.

Embrace the painful, ugly parts of breaking up – sweeping them aside only means they have to be dealt with later.

I would also say that while huge decisions may have to be made, possibly about where you live, your children, finances, future, work, pets etc., try not to rush them and try not to deal with them all at the same time. Unless you have to.

GET HELP/SUPPORT. See a mediator who is trained and NEUTRAL to help with some of the decisions. This will save money and the dreadful stress of slogging things out between solicitors.

See a counsellor or other health professional to talk through your feelings.

Write things down in a notebook and carry it with you. It can be lists, feelings, ideas, contact numbers anything but it is about you for you.

Don’t be bullied, it does not matter what is being said about you or to you (to some extent, as long as it is not on social media or harmful in any other way). Just remember that you are not that person.

If you have it in you, exercise. Just go for a walk with a dog, a friend, your iTunes, whatever.

All of this is from my own experience. I have great friends and awesome sisters. I love what I do. I think we only have one chance in life and whatever blow we are dealt we need to make the most of it.

I feel better now because of the above and because of all the love that people have shown me.

If anyone reads this, and it helps in any way, then good.

No Prizes for originality….

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Back to the drawing board, the blog name drawing board that is. Seems that ‘a table for one’ is well used and its all about single women, single meals and dating…no thank you, to that last one.

The thinking cap is on and name ideas are fermenting away.

The low moods have been tough. I found myself weeping over my toast out of the blue the other day. A friend who has been through the same told me she too cried a lot. It is part of parting. It is still part of it even though I want to do the parting.

I have felt the need to take myself out of the house as much as possible and that can be quite tiring as well as unsettling. To be fair, much of the outside time has been in one local library or another and even the uni library as there is work to be done. However being displaced is not pleasant.

Meals are sometimes cooked when I get back, although more often than not they are started and I finish them. There is always an invitation to watch something on TV together.  I get to hear all about the next instalment on the move, his accommodation, who he will be rubbing shoulders with etc. I don’t really care to be frank. He made the choice to go and has therefore created a huge task in getting ready, getting this place ready to let out and when he sighs and says how stressed he is I get frustrated. Particularly as the constant packing and moving is done by me. As we near the deadline there are cupboards full of his things and I suspect I will be left to deal with them.

It was requested that I take myself off for two nights next week so he can have a farewell boys weekend. I have just booked myself into a local hotel that has a pool and gym and is walking distance from a station so I can head up to London one day…nice one!

The week after he leaves I hope to go to Belgium for a few nights to stay with a dear elderly friend.  All positive things.