Christmas, dealing with it when you are on your own. And those parties …

It’s Christmas …

Right in the middle of the ‘Christmas Carol’ at this moment, I am.  All the ghosts of past, present and future just swirling and swirling around. Don’t you find Christmas can be the most marvellous, and also the most emotionally profound, all at the same time?  I am such a memory hoarder! Such an emotional button.

Technically not alone, as I have my precious darlings to celebrate with, but technically, and especially when it comes to those umpteen Christmas parties (the office kind) well, it sort of a hit and miss situation at times.  Of course we know this madam is doing about four different jobs (all of which I love) at the moment and that means lots and lots of year end celebrations.

Given that these are not careers but jobs new in the making, the Christmas parties are either with many I do not know well, or mostly those a few decades younger than me.  Interesting when it comes to the Secret Santas and I am National Trust when others are party games.  I am the thinking of leaving pronto for my bed and the rest are only just starting the night’s festivities.  For me, a Christmas party is watching the Christmas movies with loads of popcorn and Sauvignon Blanc.  Oh how dated I seem…

Then there is the single situation.  And the commute situation – getting home seems like Hannibal crossing the Alps. Also, and it must be said, having a great night out and walking to the tube past so many homeless sheltering in doorways from the bitter cold, is upsetting.  On the plus side, I am the chipper versus the hungover brigade next morning.

Then there is this:  The shift.  It has happened.  

My gorgeous children want Christmas at their home this year.  No longer Christmas at mum’s.  If I were still in the family home with a dozen Christmas trees in every room and cooking enough to keep the Romans off oysters, I may just sink into the redundant spot of self pity.  This year I am in the transitory living situation so my abode is somewhat cold in hospitality and I am happy to join rather than host.  But it is something to ponder – is this the ghost of the future coming a little too soon? Has it happened to you?

Find myself thinking of Ghost Christmas past and it gets me so teary.  Little people with big eyes and huge expectations at the Barbie/Postman Pat/lego possibility.  Family large in generation, feasts and fondness all around. God, I loved Christmas then.

Ghost Present and small, but significant.  Survival and change.  Micro family, with greater depth and understanding of the fragility of life but equally loving and kind. More appreciate of the essence of family.

Ghost Future.  Oh this is a nasty thought.  Looking forward to the grandchildren and oh, hugging is going to be my favourite pastime, but to the further than that.  The thought of me being sat at a communal table of white haired grumpy people, paper hat on head and warbled voiced ‘Santa’s coming to town’ as the tissues and tears flow, and a box of ‘Celebrations’ as my only reward for staying alive, fills me with dread. The hoping the children will come and visit the death nest and my teeth in a glass, well some know me – not on my itinerary.  Not going to have a Christmas when someone denies me wine and I cannot chew the mince pie.  But I digress …

Back to dealing with Christmas when you are alone.  Truth, never are.  

As depressing as your situation may seem, you have it good.  The need around Christmas time is greater than any other time of the year and you have the ability to make a difference, no matter how small.  Charities are desperate for people like you, for an hour, a chat, a touch of hand upon lined hand, for making food, saying a prayer, simply being there.  You have no excuse not to be part of another’s story at this time of the year.

It is then when I look past the shiny shiny, the glitter, the surge in celebration.  Then I can say, I cannot walk past the homeless and not stop, moan about just about everything and know a mother is struggling.  Someone is lonely, another is grieving.  Alone, no, not alone, rather a little timid at getting out of the comfort box to be a fairy for good.

The thing is.  The other night I lead a tour (in blisteringly cold weather, wind chaffing, fingers numbing cold) of ex-pats joined by a singular company on a Dickensian experience through South London.  There were all – religions, cultures, ages and gender.  What London was like in the earlier centuries when kitchens were unknown and heating was scarce.  We were all different yet all together, far from home, new home and linked.  A little mulled wine, some mince pies and story telling and another Christmas story was written. 

Ending along the ever riveting Thames, Christmas was good.  I had made a difference to their Christmas, in my small way, and that is what it all about.

To Bridget Jones, The Holiday, Love Actually and all the movies that make me cry buckets for Christmas past … to the joy of being able to watch them in Christmas present and again in Christmas future.

Don’t feel alone and stand in the corner at the Christmas parties.  Be yourself and give of that substance that is you, to others.  The gift will be returned.

Images: BBC, history.com and pintrest

 

 

 

 

Sometime serf visits The Sanctuary – faith, law and feudalism.

THOMAS PAINE: Founding father of the United States.

“Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but is always the strongly marked feature of all law-religion, or religions established by law.”

little date cocktail this morning, as I sit in The Celerium; off the Dean’s Yard, through the Sanctuary, in the depths of Westminster Abbey.  My journey –  to deliver, (and not happy about it)  the deeds to my little home in this place, armed with city mapper (without I will be lost), the irony did not escape me (it was not lost.)

Following the little headlight (which is me) on my app, I stand before the Abbey.   I am before the entrance to the Greatest Abbey on earth and yet I have a date with solicitors.  The Sanctuary.  Ever so politely, the security detail (who I am sure prays all day not to bite a tourist in anger) reveals that I am beside the law firm I seek  … right there… number 1 … next to the gift shop.  What is this?  Church and Law?  Law and Church … smacks of Medieval practice.  Circa 476 AD.

During the perpetual darkness of the Medieval period, death and taxes – what has changed? The Church was in control of the landowners and if you wanted ‘everlasting life’ you paid them taxes.  The landlords forced the minions, called Serfs, to live on the land, work the land, give the landlord your produce, which included blood and sweat and all sanity, in return for military protection.  The only thing you may be lucky to own, was your teeth and back then, not guaranteed.

Me, Third from the left.

So, the situation has me entering the hallows of the Law world. Could not be more of a cliché:  panelled, dark oak, royal red carpet with golden detail that is so deep and spongy, no sound will escape these walls for sure.  Traditional, stoic and serious happens here.  Feeling like a puppy going to the SPCA.  Sit and wait, for fate.  With apologies to all my wonderful friends in the legal world (you are awesome), I also remembered why I never finished my law studies:  

‘You should do law’. I was told.  Was it, now I think, a compliment or because I talk too much?  Anyway, my experience of the law (wee bairn back in the day I had the visions of justice and pretty solved relationships)  has always meant sorrow.  The world of the struggle and I am not for that world.  I struggle enough to decipher my own heart, let alone deal with the others breaking all around in those deeply carpeted chambers.

‘The Sanctuary’ is the incorrect address for my legal date.  But I am not sad or unhappy anymore, and as I leave through the ancient stone steps, one, two, to a different kind of chapter, I need only to look to the right and the Majesty that is the Abbey.  Our little love affair goes back a long, long way.  My virgin pilgrimage took me to St. Margarets next door, and then the looming edifice of the Abbey, young and ignorant of poets till later, my first sighting of the tomb of the unknown soldier left his mark forever.  A mother’s son lies there.  Overwhelming story.

Watched the weddings, and the funerals in this Abbey.  First foundations laid in the 13th Century, though King, Church and Law still closely connected. It still feels spiritual and I contemplate going in again, but the hoards of umbrella following selfie stickers deter me.  Sanctuary when tourists are around, it is not.

Remember buying the smallest of English soldiers for my son in the gift shop.   Little boxes of chain mail wearing fighters – and now he is in the British Military: okay … my eyes lift up to the heavens and I am having a little conversation …

In refuge of Tea and Lemon Drizzle cake, the realisation that my own path has been too much entwining of Church and Law.   Raised in the Dutch Reformed Church, schooled at The Convent of Notre Dame with Jewish friends – doctrine rather than faith to put the fear of God into me, rather than the Love of God into me.  Here, the Law and Church lies side by side – an idea, perhaps practical who knows, but I am fascinated by it this morning.

Felt like the serf for a little while.  At the mercy of … the law intervening and dictating, once again, my life.  Strangers making rulings.  All the loving, the messiness, the dreaming and stumbling of relationships cold in the archives.

Liberating actually.  Good to know history is once again jabbing the curiosity  for learning is fun.  Excellent to know that irony can be delicious.  Serf no more no more – would rather be a smurf.

And the most important thing.  FAITH. 

Faith is not a set of rules, limited to time and place, class or power.

Faith is not judgemental, critical or pompous.

Faith can be in yourself, in family, in nature or religion.

Faith is calming, accepting and spiritually rewarding.

Faith is hope and hope is love.

Images: FEE and Pintrest

 

 

The Autumn soul.

For someone who is never at home, lacing her life between jobs, commutes and contacts, today was a gift.  A nothing day, and an everything day.  A day, now darkening beneath the first of the true grey days, that I have not spoken a word to anyone.

The beginning of Autumn.  Light hides now, the sun weak and rain draws patterns on glass. On waking, with a day to myself, the urge to turn into the duvet was tempting, but for me, the first, true Autumn day, is the soul day.  For cleaning of life, of space and spirit.  Inward time.

Preparing for the winter, and myself to get through it.  Most know I take little responsibility for my misery dans the London Winter, Lord knows that I struggle with it still – but for the first time, I choose to stay this year.  Much has happened with little choice of my own, so I am sort of surprising myself on this one, and may I take the opportunity now, to yet be held unaccountable when the grey monotone smallness of post Christmas slithers beneath my heart. 

I do love Autumn though.  Always have, its my birthday season, as nature sheds her clothes and stands naked, without fear, as one does when the lover loves regardless and still finds the beauty.  Land becomes carpets of jewels, the fox blends and rosé turns to red. To bed and fire and books and stories of closeness – and family.  Of memories and the world can wait a little – the pace can slow a little – the questions are left unanswered and the messiness of life matters not – for in Autumn I refrain from questions and trying to prove.  Resolve to linger a little longer, love a little deeper and bring the threads home.

In Autumn I still have the faith that though things have changed, beauty remains.  In Winter I grieve for the things that have changed.  Autumn is soft, voluptuous, rounded with berries, scented with earth and passion.  Winter is a grave yard of buried hope. Unless it snows, unless it’s Christmas, unless love still lives there.  Autumn is falling, yet landing softly.  

The Autumn soul is a kind one.  And I hope above all, I can still be that.  So, in this quiet day of preparing for Autumn, the things of others are packed to take out another day, to reminisce about with care and affection.  The candles are lit, the wine is poured, the lack of hearth is not yet lamented but the soul is calm.

‘Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness …’  Keats

Mellow we shall be.  Mellow and still moved by the magic that lingers.

Autumn brings the heart to a quiet mindfulness.  And it remains the same.

Painting by Madison de Villiers

Image: Wow247

 

To childhood friends. Bless them and keep them.

And Fox is saying hello this evening. ‘Hello’ I whisper.

I have written before about my true blessing of having childhood friends still with me at this time. For over fifty years of life, a pocket full of friends who shared the early times, the grazed knees and bicycle jaunts, still remain, and it is to them I return for validation when life gets just a little too much.

To find more are spilling into my life. Thank you Facebook for today, whilst planning my trip home, a message from a friend I grew up with, wanting to say ‘hi’ again. The swimming forever friend who, and I did not know, has been through much, and meeting up with her again when I go ‘home’.

What was interesting was her message.  She is happy, fulfilled, and yet longs too for the connections of those who knew, not only her, but her family.  Parents passed. I have not seen her for nearly thirty years and the connection is as strong as ever.  And I am keen to hear it all … the journey.  Like mine.  Those days of whispering about who we will marry (had to be dreamy) , how many children we will have, how successful we shall be – and now, bless us, how much we just want to return to the roots.

Believe me, it is not about missing.  Not about being disappointed in how things turned out, how life has handed us love and lemons.  About the halcyon days of wonder is what we reach for.  The clean slate days. We want to connect for we remember the parents, the childhood homes, schooldays and all that.  We want to be close to purity. Our purity in childhood. And talk about life in-between. Be proud of what we have become, the children we have raised, relationships we had, the paths followed, to in a sense, bring us together again to say ‘ we did ok’ and have someone else say ‘wow’ you did ALL that and good on you.

To talk of our parents.  Of Sunday afternoons in a small town. Of sports days and how terrible we were at hurdles. First crushes and surfboard necklaces that meant we were going steady. Of nuns on bicycles and those awful matric dance dresses. We want to remember stealing peaches from the neighbours, swimming in rivers and Gatsy themed birthday parties. Television crush idols. When just breathing was enough. Just being was enough.

I did not know she had lost a sister. One I remember and life let me forget.

Did the ballet lessons pay off?

Did the education pay off?

Did love happen?

Did we become the people we thought we would?

Doesn’t matter.  We lived.  We loved. We are still the same, deep down and we want to know.  We want to connect.  We are blessed if we can.

Growing up in a small town does this.  We had nothing else but each other and when life and times move us into different places, into other avenues, it is really good to go back and just say ‘you knew me’ and perhaps, just perhaps, those are the friends we have to be with at this stage. Friends who sang the songs, danced in the living room, wrote in the diaries and went to the drive in. To dream of better.

And perhaps we did get ‘the better’.  We did live the dream.  And old friends, childhood friends are the validation that we came from that to this, and make us proud.

Childhood friends have a bond that transcends to lifetime friends.  And I am so blessed to still be able to say .. you knew me well, and you are still here.

Images: smartgirlsgroup, relationsmatters

The fox in my life and planning for good.

How did Sunday come around so fast!  Here I am at the end of another week and on my little balcony having a good think about it all.  The week, the month, the year is seriously flying by too fast – and I think it may be because I am making plans.  Could this be?

In the past, when life was the perfect storm and me the one with the tiger in the boat, plans were something I was totally incapable of making.  Existing was hard enough, breathing something I had to remind myself to do and getting out of bed, my daily gym.  Especially when that black dog was sitting right beside it, looking at me early morn and late at night as an ever constant, incarnated witch.  But not now.  Now its, all about making plans, and in particular wedding plans with my daughter early next year. Nothing like a wedding, and in particular a family wedding to get the creative juices flowing.

Oh, ‘hi’ fox. I have to tell you about fox. Habitual specimen Fox is.  Seems as if every time I step out to my ‘office’ – at some point Fox makes his/her appearance. Till I came to London, foxes were mythical creatures that belonged in the English Countryside: to be hunted, or in children’s books. The fox of Beatrix Potter and Farthingwood friends. Remember ‘Fox and the Hound’?  Cute little critters. In London, foxes are common place and urban scavengers. Always looking a little mangey and thin. Furtive and wild eyed, but I have come to like Fox, my pet of sorts, and we greet one another every evening.

Back to the planning.  So much to do!  In the wine lands of wonderful South Africa, but it is the planning that is the motivator of spirit.  This is a BIG plan, but the little ones are just as important.  We have to make plans, always, to get the juices going, bring the future close or we are simply humdrumming the day away. And that gets tedious.  Planning a trip, a lunch date, they matter but I am talking BIG plans – we are just in making them. Even when all seems small, this is the lesson of the day – I feel amazing in the making of BIG plans, for me, for my family, for whatever, I cannot sit any longer with a what to do today, tomorrow, maybe next week?  I need to make HUGE plans from now on – it’s plan play time. Frigging tsunami plans to be made.

They always say, think big.  Easier said, but not so easy to put into action at times when the ego is wilted and the future seems as empty as the last glass of wine, so let me just say, Fox is motivation.  Simply lives to survive – I aim for higher things.

What about you?

Image: essencialife

All fine travelling alone, but bloody frustrating at times.

Am all good with the travelling solo thing, really I am.  I do it all the time.

The thing is, I do it to familiar places, places I know well.  Get on the train, or the plane and find myself in surroundings of before.  Got it down pat.

The problem is, and you may find this, is when I want to go somewhere and have never been before. If it is in a city, that’s fine, can just Google and deal with the itinerary – cities are friendly places.  Today I thought, maybe I should go to Lisbon and I have no problem with this.  There are many itineraries and bits of advice about Lisbon.

About to go to South Africa again.  Really have my heart set on a few days in the Cederberg mountains, a place I have never been before.  Turns out, this was no easy feat in the planning of it.  No-one seems to have any idea of a woman travelling alone to the area.  The hotels, the hikes, the road maps – nothing seemed conducive to a woman travelling alone.

For sure, if I had won the Lotto, would go straight to Bushmanskloof.  This amazing, five star haven would solve it all.  Game drives, gorgeous accommodation, luxury spa – who would want for more?  But expensive. A little too much for me, so what else I thought was on offer?

There are a few places in the accommodation field, but I know nothing of them.  Would I be safe?  Would I be able to travel on my own? Would my little hired car get me around to the wonderful sights?  I just could not work it out. There are tours, a guided tour with a guide for three days, just me and the guide in a chalet which did not, quite appeal. Oh dear. Am I just being a softy, scaredy cat or should I blow caution to the wind on this one?  If I had someone else, somehow it seemed a better deal.  But I don’t.

So what am I saying here?  Travelling solo is possible.  It’s invigorating and life changing and I have seen the most incredible places, I knew, would be ok to do on my own.  But the unknown destinations still worry me a bit. Am I seeking for another sole traveller’s notes on this? Should I just go and do it? I don’t know.

For some, and I know many women who have travelled to India, Australia, America and the more unknown places, I salute them. Europe has been my solo travelling space to date. I know her well, she is friendly and accessible.  I could go to Croatia, Lisbon, Rome, Paris and anywhere else with total abandon, but when it comes to Africa … my birthplace … my desire to have a road trip of note … is a little worrying. Have I read too many stories, am I just being paranoid? And it not Africa, or South Africa, would I do it to other destinations I have not travelled before? Does it make me feel whatever? Have not done these trips before on my own, now recently on my own.

So I google forever for advice on travelling solo to places I have not been before.  I am the master of European travel and can advise you on most of it – but I want to do something else now, and find myself questioning the solo travel thing.  Like Namibia – would love to go there but on my own? Help me if you know.

In the meantime I am still going to South Africa. I still want to do a road trip to the Cederberg Mountains, through the Karoo and down to Durban – am I going to do it, who knows?  Why do I hesitate to travel, on my own to places unknown?

It is not about being alone. And travelling.  And spending nights in different places.  It is about my safety, and who will help me along the way. New territory for me – and then again, if I have to wait for someone to travel with, it could be me with cobwebs growing from my scalp – so let’s just say, scary or not, I am up for it, maybe I am the one to be the pioneer in this.

If you are a solo traveller, tell me about it. When you plan a trip – do you go for it, or plan it carefully, being alone, being a solo traveller? And if so, how brave are you in doing this? Would love to know.

Image Pintrest

The power of ‘pause’.

‘A woman who cuts her hair, is about to change her life.’

Coco Chanel

Thought about it. Many times.  The long tresses (wild as they are at times) must go. The new me, the different me … the going to look like a Daisy de Melker, me. For those who don’t know Daisy de Melker, she poisoned her husbands (no comment) and died for doing so, but the hairdo was way more scarier than the act. I don’t want to look like Daisy de Melker.

So I am staying with the ‘Donna’ from ‘Mama Mia/Meryl Streep look for a while. The look would be more fitting in a beach scene, but London will have to do.  Anyway, I digress.

The truth is, I have been trapezing my life since ‘La Divorce.’ Deer in the headlights syndrome. Where to, what to do, how to cope … blah, blah and all that.  Darling gone said … let’s divorce so we can get on with our lives.  Say what?  Come again ? Start again, carrying on with what, where and how, was my mantra following the leaving. You know about that, we poor souls who suffer from the famous ‘gray divorce’ syndrome.

Anyhow, in all the turmoil that ensued, I planned so much, and did so little.

Stange thing was, my home, was him … so how to find the home again?  Some do, some like me, just go awol on the world for awhile and imagine all sorts of things … and do so little in the PTSD bolthole.

Anyway, it so happens that the other night, after much coaxing to get out and meet other people, I met a bunch of incredible women who have had it far worse than me.  I mean, far, far worse.  Endling up homeless, mental breakdown and living on the smell of an oil rag, and I came home and thought … whoa, stop and just, well, stop.

Pause.

Frigging pause.

The story does not end here.  And you are the writer of this.  It may be tough but before giving up and playing Camille, just decide not to decide for a moment.  Just breathe. Pause, and breathe.

Take pen to paper.  Work out your living expenses.  If you have a roof over your head and can stay there, tick.  A job, or a career that pays the bills, stick with it for a while, even if you hate it … just cover the basics and tick the box. If you are healthy and appreciate getting up in the morning, good. Friends, sure. Plans, totally, but to get there, this is the plan.  You pause first and do the domestics.  Then you plan, like the swan who glides on the top of the water and paddles like the devil underneath. Looking good, this pausing thing because you are catching up on the chaos that is your life, but not letting it define your life.  How your life is going to be.  You are pausing to plan.

I was going to sell the little I had, run away to who knows where and become the most successful something ever.  Just wanted to cut the ties and get away.  And I was the one who was going to suffer for it. Spring chicken, not so this has to be taken into account, hate to say it. The overwhelming urge to prove I could survive, make a new start, be fabulous, was exhausting.

Not cutting the hair.  Not changing the status quo for now, but pausing.  And planning on my own terms, at my own pace, in my own world with my own dreams.  Maybe for the first time.

If you feel manic driven by the trauma of being in Silver Street, in your job, a relationship, empty nest syndrome, widowed, single all of a sudden,  grief over parents and feeling, oh so ever abandoned and fearful of the future, pause. Quiet those fears and literally stop to smell the now, the everyday.  And then you begin the planning, from a stronger point of view, with your self intact and your heart in the right place.

Truth be told, still not ‘getting on with my life’ thank you very much.  But getting on and it is my life – so watch this space.  I am in pausing mode but this panther will be ready to spring before you can blink your eyes.

Without cutting the hair.  So you will have to look for other signs … but we wil reveal when we are ready. Not so?

Images Pintrest

 

 

Where do you go to my lovely, when your’e alone in your bed …

‘Where do you go to my lovely, when your’e alone in your bed. Tell me the thoughts that surround you, I want to look into your head.’

Peter Sarstedt

You have done well my friend.  Smiled all day, laughed at the right times, demure when it needed to be.  Active and organised. Planning and dates in the diary.  And when night falls, and sleep escapes … what thoughts run through your head?

Heath Ledger said: ‘ I think the most common cause of insomnia is simple.  It’s loneliness.’ If you are alone, or not. Your are alone with your thoughts in the middle of the night. When you cannot sleep.

It matters not what your age is – being alone in the middle of the night is not exclusive to age, it just is.  Single, widowed, divorced, or lying next to someone who does not understand or fulfil your needs, or does, makes those hours of the night the time the mind will not rest.

Some take sleeping pills to fall asleep.  Some, as the stereotype goes, drink wine to help them fall asleep.  Sleep will not come. You are entirely alone with your thoughts and those keep racing through your head.  Endlessly, unceasingly, flipping back and forth like a dingy on the open sea, tossing relentlessly.

Thoughts you had not even thought of for ages.  A party in your brain. Ghosts of past, gremlins of present, plans made, plans scuppered, people come and gone, places visited, memories that are the making of you – all jumbled up and as you turn, determined to let them go, they follow you.  Insomnia is a unhappy guest.

I hear the foxes outside.  The bus going by.  Drink tea. Tired, exhausted, yes, sleep coming, not a chance. So where do you go to my lovely, when you are alone in your bed?

I go home.  To backyard peach trees and swimming in dams. To party dresses, candles and Christmas.  The mind sweeps to lovers whose faces one wants to touch again, bicycles, running without thinking, stubbing toes.  To parents gone and the aching that follows – breakfasts and fires on the farm. To road trips and business plans, to bridal gowns and interviews.  From nowhere sweeps the fear of the future, the nostalgia of the past.  Puppies and Old Year’s Eve. Birth. The Tooth fairy and picking lemons in the garden. Of dinner parties, shopping trips, beaches and mountain trails. Of blowing candles, decorating and entertaining. Of flights, of fancies, or growing up.

Making love, and losing love.

Insomnia has no timeline.

It all comes together in one, fell swoop that is your life.

It is the window, the orchestra of you in the middle of the night.

The loneliest you will ever be, is with your thoughts in the middle of the night.

It is a good thing.  Despite the knowing you are going to feel like death the next day, it is the one time you get to be with you, in your goodness, your faults, your mistakes and your acceptance that is, is.  It is what it is.  And only you can take all these myriad of thoughts and feelings and put them in perspective.  The chance to not fear the lack of sleep, but delve into the world that is you, and accept.  And make it better.

I hardly sleep. It does not worry me for I go the places that I had forgotten and loved, it reminds me of all the little things that are the making of me, the undoing and doing of me and how I, in this Silver Street time, will embrace the thoughts and go forward, for I am not done.  I am not undone.  I am taking this lack of sleep, the dark hours between dusk and dawn, and saying, so … it’s ok, I will live.  And I will gather the threads.

It is a lonely time, insomnia. It may just be the best time, really.

I will not sleep, but I will dream for more.

So where do you go to my lovely, when your’e alone in your bed.  Tell me the thoughts that surround you … they will tell you a story of you that is amazing.

I will make it happen.  Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will go home.  And home, is me.

Image: Pintrest

 

 

I’m falling harder than I pretend …

Sweet talking myself here.  What’s it all about Mrs. Brown? What is the doing of the Ewing with now? ‘Cause I have seen some pretty hard places in my life, and that gutter don’t do me no good … and what is this now?

Epiphany station. Seems the moment one takes that plunge to say it’s ok to lose, to be that ultimate failure and let me tell you, therapists dream I am, but help me, I think I am falling in love with it all again. All the good loving, the some not so good loving, the staying and the leaving, it’s coming together in one big cup cake. Let her lie on a couch they say … what about the angst, the misunderstood, the villains and heartbreakers of past … does she not remember them and lie broken still?

Mmmm, perhaps  Mmmm a little of the wounded knee to be true.  But, with a new dress on.  A little black dress that clings and swings and holds it in. The broken heels are tossed for bare feet.  That is what we do at this stage of our lives because face it, lying there is so unattractive. We have history, sure, but we have history that defines us, and it is awesome, like the chambers of our hearts, they keep pumping fresh, clean blood. Blood rush happening.

The thing is, you have to take those you loved (phew, really, ok if you say so), those that love you still, lovers past and present, and know, put it in the salad spinner and in the end, realise it makes you remarkable, someone special.  You take that heartbreak and all the debris that goes with it, you harness it and fall in love all over again, with the history, with the fragments and this time, you fall in love with the absolute idea that you were capable of loving.  And that, is all.

You are capable of loving.  What a gift. So, walk the walk, and sweet talk the daily doings of life, and then, think about it … you are one big, fat fluffy teddy of love, always falling harder than you pretend, because that is who you are – a loving, fully, no holds barred, without boundaries person and if it got you well, blah at this stage of your life, loving is the best gift you give anyone.

What a compliment you paid someone else.

In all that though, in all the loving, you forgot something didn’t you?  Maybe? You forgot to love yourself …

Is that not being selfish, we stop and ponder?

Call coming up for the self love!  And why am I telling you this? You have your times, and I yesterday, met up with one of the ‘loves.’  Indifferent, moved on and despite the nerves at the ‘hello’, the touching up of the lipstick, the spraying of perfume in the local shop for courage, I sat there and looked, and listened and shook .. and then I thought to myself, you know what, I loved, so deeply, so completely that this is all going to be fine. And when I walked away, I felt more in love than ever before, because I did good. I loved deeply.  Does that make sense?

We are children no more. Young adolescents and yuppie reachers any more.  We are honed and moulded now, by life and all those songs, but we are also capable of being wondrous, for we have loved.

I honestly know people who have never had the experience.

They know loving unconditionally can mean hurting so they avoid it. Bless them.

But we know better. We may be a little cautious now .. and let’s not be … it is the most amazing feeling to be in love with love.

I am falling in love with the idea of love, all over again. I pretend to be cool and sensible, but secretly, the idea of being in love, of loving another without restriction, of loving myself is blowing my socks off.  I’m falling harder than I pretend. And I will never apologise for that.

Thank you Joni for tonights background vibe.

 

 

 

You are your brand, even if it’s a re-brand and all those words that go with the idea.

 

‘Owning myself is a way to be myself.’ Oprah Winfrey.

So missy here confessed to the laying it bare and what a great, naked, euphoric feeling it has been.  Nothing to hide, no dark corners anymore.  The scars on the body visible but proudly displayed. I am sure the black dog will come again, nip that naked behind quite firmly, but somehow dealing with said dog I think will get easier from now on.

And so to the branding, or re-branding of me, naked and all.  Not going to happen all in one go, and not pretending to recreate a persona, business, set of environmental spaces all in one go.  I have time, the important thing is that I made it across the Rubicon and am, I surmise, still in one piece. Would rather have been skinny dipping than forging through black mire, but skinny dipping is on the list.  Not the bucket list I might add as I have an aversion to the very term, ugh, squirm and to hell with that, one last time sort of defeatism, but the list of freedom.

I digress.  The branding begins with what no longer fits.  Let’s begin with the outer look shall we?  If you are like me, I have held onto clothes that ‘maybe’ I can use one day when I am next in a place I will never be again.  Those went  in the black bag dragged to the charity shop and cannot explain, but always with a somewhat guilty expression on my face? Why do I feel guilty about taking clothes to the charity shop? For another time.  The clothes went, along with the linen and tea towels and shoes.  The coat I bought my ex the first time we came to London and I thought he looked like an RAF pilot and left for me to sob over and put on post sauvignon blanc. Gone. Important to clear clutter of pain pre sauvignon blanc.  Remember that.

Unlike Carrie Bradshaw I have only a few pairs of shoes I personally would sleep with.  Unlike Carrie, I can barely hold my balance on the heels, once elongating the long legs and power to exude grace.  Public transport has put a stop of any idea of heels. Short of wearing sexless trainers, I am to practical yet classic footwear. Sob, bye, pretty heels. No, be firm she says.

A happy confession to make.  Even in the dimmest grey of depression and angst, this plum never descended into trackpants/hoodie/bargain/pj’sallday look.  So none to throw out. The slippers can stay. Take heart fluffy slippers, you can stay.

A shameful confession to make.  One, dear Lord, oversized, velour gown in lilac, avec sobs, wine stains, candle wax and numerous food history which would be ‘walk in, put on, sit on balcony and scare the passers by mode.’ I looked like Barney on drugs, the day after, doing the walk of shame. I actually did not dispose of said evidence, my children demanded it. She is gone.

Darling has gone shopping

Little budget for such things but one does not need, no imperative not to get all in a fell swoop.  The excitement of being a little selfish, a little cheeky and adding to the new wardrobe is hours of therapy in one afternoon. Do not believe I do not care anymore to see the fatness in the cubicle and go – I don’t care, this is me – no, it sucks but it is motivation 101 also. I don’t like the letting go, not about to embark on an epic marathon of blisters but I will make it happen.  For later.

Love the new additions to the family.  One in particular, in the pic above, has become my closest friend.  I have fallen in love with her.  Lovely  comes from Cos and her fabric is like satin, her colour ice-blue and her flow is lyrical. She is so lovely I want to buy her sister, do you think I should?  The dress is simple: I am Maria in the convent, and Maria, in love in the conservatory. Think I should buy her sister and that is the point, when something fits, when it makes you happy, it’s an epiphany of style, and the adding to the brand that is the better you.

Wearing Lovely today.  Found matching nail polish, ‘saltwater happy’ by Essie, to match and you will find me, far from the sea, but as I only choose colours if the names make me happy, this is a given. I am.