29 June 2008


It has been a long time since I have blogged – April this year it seems when I checked.

I know why – I have lost the “habit” – the habit of listening to myself and rebalancing - by writing when all about me have lost… you know how the old saying goes and that is my very crude interpretation.

More importantly since April of this year, I have found myself speechless. Not writer’s block – this is more serious than that – I have just found I have nothing to “say”. Nothing to share. Nothing worthy of commanding to a page.

I finish my paid employment and then start studying, I finish studying and then I sit down or go to visit Toby. I visit Toby – and sort out the administration that makes his world tick. In other words, I am spending all my timing “doing” not “being”.

I am struggling to find a minute to actually call my “own”. Not “owned” by my employer, or my husband, or my children, or friendships, or writing groups, or….. any of the multiple personalities which make up “me”.

This has all very sadly come to a head on Friday of this week. Sadly for some, but not for “me”.

Enough is enough. I have spent the last 40 years of my life attempting to please everyone and forgetting to please “me”.

There is always time for that, to sit down quietly, not hold a conversation – just “being” when all else is done and obligations met to capacity – well there used to be… and when things got rocky and swells and storms threatened to overtake me and pull me into their vortex.

I knew there would be a time to rebalance and safe ground ahead, if I just held on and allowed the storm to go where it would. I couldn’t control “it”, but importantly I wouldn’t let “it” control me.

My belief in that happy every after though has now evaporated, like my belief in the tooth fairy and Father Christmas.

It is 6.19 on a Sunday morning – I have got up to write a blog – and what happens next? “Him who would like to be obeyed” has come down to join me, to keep me company. BLOODY WELL GO AWAY. Give me some space, give me some time, and more importantly allow me to rebalance and listen to myself.

I need company like a hole in the head, I need more tasks, projects, clearing up – I am drowning in the mess of my existence.

What I really need is time to speak to “me”.

So where was I – Friday – the end of yet another long week in the office, at home, etc. Actually in reality it was a very short week, where things were so bad I can’t actually remember where the week went.

I have spent all of it in heated-debate, not gentle disagreements, but full volume and brain fuelling sharpened and scythe-like tongue to capacity. On Friday – I even ended up in conflict with myself.

Now people who know me, know that I live for a challenge – nothing is ever excepted at face value – the “no” response is actually hardwired into my primeval brain as “yes of course” and nowadays, usually with the “how much?” query. (the subtext to that being – no price is too high to get me off their case).

But sometimes there are challenges just not worth fighting. I can’t go into details because of employee confidentiality and a lot of my other outside “stuff” affects others and is commercially sensitive, but quite frankly nobody would believe me if I did write it down…. Grim Lit is us… Perhaps that is why the mythical nirvana of employee happiness perpetuates? One of nature’s mysteries is how a body/mind forgets pain.

So I have reached the point of having to walk away, Ok – where next? Now this is the difficulty – how much of the rest of my life is crap as well? Well it seems quite a bit when I take a deep breathe and look about me at the wreckage.

Watching Grand Designs yesterday (whilst clearing up, knitting a sock, fall asleep out of exhaustion, spinning up some wool for Toby’s jumper, and generally beavering about). Actually I have to be precise about this – I was watching the adverts interspersed by the programme Grand Designs – have I missed something vital here? When did Adverts become the reason for watching the moving wallpaper? – I digress.

There was a segment about how far you pull a rotting house down, before it needs totally rebuilding from the foundations. This man started with a few internal walls, and next thing he knew he had no roof, no lintels – well no nothing to be quite honest… This could be a metaphor for my existence.

Because of time pressures at work I have stopped writing for relaxation. I have had to stop running my writing groups because I just had no preparation time – something that I have never had to do before even through the worst of times a few years back. I can’t face a computer now without feeling physically sick, and the noise just drains my thoughts.

The house has descended into the chaos that it always threatened to be. It contains three bedrooms, and a garden – allegedly. You would never believe it – I think there is a bathroom in there also somewhere and the kitchen… well that defies description at present.

I can’t even find my walking shoes, they have been immured into one of the rooms where one would not explore. I am not into finger pointing – but as I am out of the house all day, and late into the night – how has this happened? Can’t the other inhabitant just clear up? If you don’t need something – chuck it…

I spent last weekend in my bedroom for two days, just so as to stay out of his way and give him a chance to get started on this Grand Design – except he moaned all weekend about how lonely he was...and how he had to feed me – honest chuck – four cups of tea in 2 days and a couple of bacon sarnies does not a balanced diet make.

I had taken a couple of days off and decided to retrace my roots – I get more sense out of Dead Ancestors than those around me nowadays. At least they can’t argue back and find me a job to do (well one did, but that is another story !!).

I re-emerged on Monday morning to find absolutely nothing had been done – the bedrooms still looked like the set from Miserable (complete with swords and guns, but no swivelling or pivoting – no room) and to top it all the washing up was still there from two nights before.

Then I went back to the hell hole (don’t ask which one).

To be fair, I think he has now spotted the error of his ways – well with a few clues and a tongue-lashing – “Contempt is us” should be my middle name. We have made progress this week, a desk which has sat dismantled in one of the bedrooms has now been re-constructed into its intended location.

Sounds a small enough achievement, but fairly groundbreaking actually – I have had six months of being told how it won’t fit, and what a load of expensive crap it is (I was actually given it – so why should I care?), how psychologically I am damaging my oldest son – it is his bedroom (well he left a year or so ago, so how long do you keep the home fires burning?!!!! – perhaps that was why the wood was needed?) and the list goes on and on.

So happiness of happiness I started clearing up yesterday – and then it dawned me the gravity of the entire situation. I found all my prep and research work, my writing groups stuff, my former life, my study work as I undertook an archaeological dig worthy of Time Team (also on re-runs yesterday to fill in the time between Adverts). Note the use of ME in all of that – ME had become buried by the detritus of time.

No wonder I came to a total halt – the oxygen which fuels my existence – my writing – had been denied and almost destroyed.

So back to this morning – it is now 7.02 am, and the most amazing birds are surrounding me – I remembered the laptop is supposed to be portable, so have taken into the cold, but sheltered garden. I can hear something buzzing around me, and the fountains are silent. I can smell fresh air and hear the gentle swaying/rustling of the trees. I am transported back to Lulworth Cove – the YMCA where we stayed on the last family holiday before “the accident” – the peace of mind and tranquillity of Ti Chi before the day began (except I am not even sure I can remember how to do Ti Chi anymore – perhaps it is in the muscle memory somewhere?).

Okay, there are dead leaves all over the decking and the dog bowl really could do with a wash – which I am going off to do now - but for the last hour I have found “me”. That is all I need – an hour every now and again.

I don’t want to break the spell, but I am hungry – so must…

If I could just find a way of bottling this when I return to work tomorrow – then I think I have the way forward. Actually the answer is at hand, it is blindingly obvious – there all the time, I have a pen and paper, along with the ability to write – I can conjure up my world anywhere I want (along with a To Do list…J).

Problem solved – moan over… I can get back to being “me” – well once my batteries are replenished and I find where I left my ink… blue or green?

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