Tag Archives: support

Little things

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My wonderful stepson is on a working holiday in Australia right now. To be able to extend the visa for another year he has to work on a farm for three months. The job he arranged fell through and he has had a tough time finding something to replace it.

The ex said he would speak to his friends about it. Having spent years of my life in rural Queensland and going to school with girls who left to become jillaroos on huge properties, and even owners, I suggested I put the word out too.

I did, on FB, and within an hour there were 3 offers/suggestions and phone numbers to exchange.

My stepson was thrilled and said he was now feeling much better about it all. It is up to him to make something of the connections, but it irked me when I told the ex and he was dismissive. The ex claims that the help was not needed but thanked me for trying. Silly man. I have messages that clearly say otherwise. There is one much more at ease young man sorting out the next stage of his life now.

The little things count. My stepson talking to me about his worries. Amazing people, some I have not seen since school, rallying to help. The power of friendship and connections even if it is electronic.

Out of my head

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This has been a long, long week of lectures and driving. We are packing all the academic stuff in before placement starts, theatres, followed by an elective surgery ward…

In this long week I have struggled to sleep and have been in a state of high anxiety for most of the time.

My artist sister and my lovely hairdresser/friend both extolled the words of Eckhart Tolle, especially his book, The Power of Now….I had a wee look and listen to him on a YouTube clip and did not warm to his slightly wombat like countenance. (Not that I don’t like wombats, I think they are gorgeous, and think me cruel, judgemental, whatever, but if I want to open my mind, I need to feel it is in the right place and time and with the right person)…BUT, after picking up a Deepak Chopra book for 57p, which was simple and similar to a lot of such writing, I put it aside and gave old Eckhart another listen while knitting my socks. (Yes, thank you, they are coming on nicely, progress picture soon..).

Some of it struck a nerve and reminded me of sessions with the counsellor about not living in my head, which is full of what ifs, fear, anxiety and other unhealthy emotions. The trick is to ‘step out of it’, out of the thoughts and leave them behind. I did some stepping out and in some ways it is no different to the old school ‘pull yourself together’ process, only the imagery is nicer and it feels like a CHOICE.

So I am working hard on choosing to be less worried and fretful and to work down my lists, to be gentle and kinder to myself and allow the blips.

 

 

 

 

Learning from life

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A young Nepalese classmate came up to me after the last lecture yesterday and whispered in my ear that she wanted me to know that I am her inspiration. She is beautiful, intelligent and has an elegant sense of peace. It was moving and flattering.

Then I came home, drank too many glasses of wine, watched too much rubbish on the iPlayer and looked at pictures of the ex on the ‘net…..sad indeed. Bet my little Nepalese friend would not be so impressed with that version of me! I am certainly not.

As a result, I have spent a large part of today thinking hard about who and what sort of person I am at this stage in life. I am not happy with myself, although not unhappy with life per se. The future is exciting, I am fortunate with all I have both material and opportunity wise. Thanks to bloggers all over, I am learning how to live a more streamlined, frugal life, BUT, I could still be more caring, thoughtful, reflective and respectful.

It is important to learn from life’s slip ups. That young woman sees a version of me that I would like to be more often. Without being false.  She has helped me reflect and face a few rude truths and I am grateful.

 

 

 

A sense of order

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With all that is going on and the way my mind works (a bit like a spinning top) it is very easy to get sucked into a state where it all just seems TOO MUCH.

Living alone, I recognise that it is always going to be up to me to get on with things, no-one to nag or remind me and no one to help or to share the load. It isn’t bad though. I get to do things how and when I like…but I am very, very easily distracted.

I also recognise that by focusing on things, one at a time, there is a higher chance that tasks will be completed, done well and in time (if there are deadlines).

My lovely friend LE gave me a ‘Things to do Today’ pad and it is so cool it took over a week for me to write in it!!! Grand were my plans for it…..

It has its first list in it now. Stuff on paper that no longer has to jostle for space in my head. A MANAGEABLE list.

The relentless 9-6 (or 7) days are coming to an end soon and there will be time to do the things that I worry about. It is liberating to see them written down and I feel a bit more relaxed.

The charity shop has a new driver too and they will be coming to get the furniture in a day or two….woohoo.

 

 

 

Writing from a warm bed – and an update later in the day

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Wind is tossing the birds about and rain is lashing against the window. Eldest Daughter and I were up till about 2:30 this morning. It was a celebration of sorts. The end of the semester (the essay was submitted 5 hours before the deadline) for me and acceptance for her about her recent breakup. We watched The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp. It was a hoot and just right for a bit of silliness after all the recent angst.

Just before submission and reading through the thing, again, I began to worry that the question had not been answered properly. It’s bit of a problem when one doesn’t even know if it HAS been answered or not too…….In fact that wee worm of worry lingers still. Time will tell. Academic writing is hard work, non of this blog-like rambling allowed!

There are now four days of no academic commitment. Four whole days for US, for getting stuck into the house, cleaning it (nasty!), ridding it of more THINGS and getting ready for the day I move.

It also means Eldest Daughter can have more of my attention, she has been very patient with me locked away day and night, writing. And she is brilliant at editing and referencing, really helpful….She needs loads of TLC right now and I am happy that we are going to get a bit of time for that.

We might not get the best weather over the next few days, so long seaside walks may be off the cards, but we can still hang out and have fun be good to ourselves and each other.

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After a slow morning reading blogs, loving Zero Waste Home especially, Daughter and I headed to town, she had things to see to. We ate lunch out, something healthy for me and comforting for her. (I know I said I was going to be frugal, but we were both tired and somewhat delicate after last night….).

We had a poke around the charity shops, but spent nothing there. The weather continued to be horrible and town was very quiet.

Once home I tackled part of the garage. A sideboard and sofa are to go, as well as the dining table and chairs from inside the house, but the sideboard had to be emptied.

For shame! Boxes of new, unopened wine glasses in the original carrier bag….they never even made it into the house. They have probably been there 6 years, or more? Dozens more cut glass and crystal glasses that he has had for more than twenty five years, plates, a whopping big cafetiere, faded old placemats and a broken Tiffany lamp (not allowed to chuck it because he might fix it one day….). Decisions were made. Some items went into his keep pile – i.e. I cannot decide for him so they will go to him and he can take over. The new glasses will come with me to replace the odd collection I have. A big box of stuff went to the charity shop and the rest went to the tip.

I even got to empty motor oil into the giant ‘can’ for that purpose at the tip and was really chuffed.

When I dropped off the bits to the Red Cross, the lady told me the van has broken down and they won’t be collecting this week after all. Pity really as I was looking forward to seeing the space in the garage. Another time….

Finally, another one of the drawers in the kitchen has been streamlined down to ONE of everything THAT I ACTUALLY USE (except chopsticks, we have a few pairs of those). Things not used are all on the way out.

Yes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

why do we feel bad about getting help?

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I was at the uni today, the plan was to gym then study, before seeing the Head of the programme, but ‘the best laid schemes of mice and men…’ etc etc….

My nose has been streaming and it is bitterly cold so it was warm woollies and tissues for me all day, no sitting in a draughty library and no lycra!

When with the Head, she suggested given my current situation that I should apply for extenuating circumstances….this reeks of failure and weakness and all sorts of negative stuff. She patiently explained that if I were NOT going through this whole divorce, moving out, adjusting etc thing, then they would expect that the only thing that would impede my work would be me. However, with all this going on it is not likely that I am performing at my best. (True).  I talked it over with LE and tonight have submitted a request. It means that I can do the work but if I do not do well I can have another go without punishment. Not sure how fair it sounds, but I do know that I have been diligent and have only missed two days. I have worked long and hard at all aspects of the course and on placement, but really felt as if I was floundering before the exam.

Makes me wonder why it is sometimes so hard to accept the help offered.

 

 

 

A weird thing to do, or is it just me?

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Facebook revealed a photo of the ex today, uploaded by a friend, of him and his first wife at their wedding. There was some banter about him holding his stomach in and a comment from someone I have seen in the last few months saying ‘ how nice to see….’ (name of ex-wife).

It hurt, and here is why. That marriage ended in tears and then very, very sadly a few months later in the death of his wife.

The person who commented about his wife, was once a bit unkind about her, to ME.

Since that marriage, we were married, but it seemed as if the last ten years just DO NOT exist.

So, here I am getting all upset and hurt, then I started thinking how very odd to put up a photo that is so OLD. He looks nothing like that now. It was not (according to him) a happy relationship, but there was the photo for all to see. What on earth was the point?

So weird, or is it me just thinking that?

Once I manned up, I started, tentatively tackling my ever growing ‘to do’ list. More stuff for the charity shop, and they are coming with the van next week to take some of the bulkier bits of furniture….

Student Finance has agreed to lend me money – never thought I would be happy to be in debt, but it is going to seriously help over the next few months. I emptied my pound coin and penny jar and had over £50 which was banked.

I am now about to start more work and have a gym date at uni in the morning before hitting the library and seeing the head of the program.

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbyes are exhausting

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Early this morning the taxi arrived to take him to the airport. I got up to see him off and to check over the list of things to do…he said that he was surprised that none of us, the girls and I, had asked him anything about his new life. It seems that everyone he met this holiday did, that they were interested in him and what he was doing. He said it was amazing that we had not shown the same level of curiosity.

How does one show all that while at the same time being berated with complaints and accusations and reminders of how much damage one has caused to another human being? How does one show that when the other party talks constantly about themselves when not moaning?

He complained to me once at a dinner party that while the host and guests were nice, he was not enjoying himself because no-one asked him any questions about what he did….

He did however kindly wish me well in my studies and I said that I hoped he would be well and happy and that was it.

Odd, awkward, exhausting.

Thank goodness for decent friends is all I can say. Decent friends and FACETIME. Half an hour on the phone to a lovely one in Japan and my spirit was restored.

I hate feeling doubtful about myself and worrying if I am after all a truly evil person in wanting to break away. Without friends, it would be easy to get swallowed up in such rotten thoughts.

Onward and upward.

Daughter wants me to ride 20k with her on the bike while she runs and the rain is lashing against the windows making me shudder to think of stepping outside. We leave in 30 minutes apparently…..

 

 

A pledge and a plan

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Today was significant in my small world. While loving life as it is now, exercising more, de-cluttering and being more me, there has been at the same time, a gradual slide into more frequent black dog moods, poor sleep, teeth grinding, too much eating and drinking over the last two weeks with regard to the academic side of things.

A big exam looms and I have the concentration span of a gnat when sitting at the desk trying to study. Then I worry and fret and maybe have a snack, or an early glass of wine while cooking dinner, then a bit of rubbish TV, then another go at the books and then end up playing Sudoku! These are all distraction techniques but they are destructive too…undoing any sense of well-being felt after a brisk walk or furious vacuuming or clearing out session!

But today enough was enough. My lovely uni friend, LE messaged to ask how it was going and I fessed up. While we were chatting I realised all that is necessary is a bit of refocusing and realigning.

Buoyed by her words and accepting that we all have dips, I made a pledge and a plan.

My DRYATHLON starts today. A few days early but hey! That is my pledge. Not to drink from now for all of January.

My plan was to give myself a day away from the books, to break up the relentless pressure. So, errands were run, a delivery was made to the charity shop, (including most embarrassingly and unintentionally a pair of my big purple knickers that had become entwined in some sports gear….). I hurriedly snatched them from the elderly male volunteer before he could hold them up for the world to see….A quiet coffee while reading the paper. A financial meeting with the girls and a spot of food shopping. I also bought flowers to decorate the hall for new year.

Somehow things seems more balanced and calm. Certainly I feel happier and less anxious about the exam.

 

 

 

 

Standing up for myself – with a wee bit of help

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Less than a week and an email has arrived saying that he is struggling with finances and therefore would like to make some changes to the arrangement that we made – pay me less in fact.

This is a man in a 5 star hotel suite room on a tropical island with a fat salary and two pensions…

So this is me, first time I read it, I think, poor him, he is having a hard time. Second time I read it I think, wait a minute, he is cutting left right and centre and has already asked for £500 – yes, which I gave him….FOOL and then he is saying that his making cuts are really to benefit me in the long term as he will be able to save for my new tiny home…..does not that mean in fact that I will be the one saving if the cuts are coming from me?

I almost responded but decided to run it by my solicitor instead. Harsh? No bloody way. He wants to cut the cost of a ‘holiday to Australia’ for me  (among other things). Believe me, it might be God’s own country and holiday heaven to some, but it is my family home, my father is battling two types of cancer and recently had most of his stomach removed. My mother is slowing deteriorating. All my siblings are there and I think I am entitled to see them once in a while. So I do not count the long, long trip home as a holiday. It is a family visit.

And anyway, how can one cry poor when one posts videos of their luxury lifestyle all over Facebook?

So I am standing up for myself with a wee bit of help. I am not saying no to a discussion, but I am saying no to the wheedling, manipulation that has gone on for so long.