Category Archives: Uncategorized

What’s Out There to Rescue You?

Because there is something, somewhere.

I’ve just found my life-line again and I thank whatever power it is that brought it back to me.

Actually, that power came in the form of my daughter signing me up to a music app on my phone, with a seemingly inexhaustible source of my shite taste (according to my kids) in this amazing art form.

And I am blown away! Years, cares, sadness, illness……all just slipped away.

Music was always my go-to escape, my fantasy land and my sanctuary. Not that I can make music!

In fact, many would say I couldn’t carry a note in a bucket. And I would have to agree.

But it’s carrying me!

And for now that’s just fine.

Thank you Daughter Dear, so much. Xxxxx

Start small…..

With any task, start small and then see what can grow from it.

Yet so many times we look at things like mountains to be climbed and in double quick time!

We put ourselves under enormous pressures and then beat ourselves up when we cannot achieve. To what end?

Lack of self-esteem, self-loathing, putting ourselves down to others or isolating ourselves from our friends and loved ones.

I have already written about feeling lost, about not recognising myself anymore. I certainly have not discovered a magic bullet, but after talking it out with a good friend I decided to start with my bedside drawer.

“Your what?” you may ask.

A lot has changed in my life and yet I was not making room for those changes, adding to my stress levels from the moment I wake up every morning. So I started with a single drawer.

I made room for the things I need now and anticipate my mornings should run a bit smoother. And after that small start I continued, removing items from my surroundings that no longer serve or define me, making room for those that do.

Two bin bags later, I have a small sense of accomplishment and that is grand.

No Way Back?

“It’s great to see you looking so well. How are you feeling?” they ask.

”Och I’m grand. Getting there,” I reply.

Getting where though?

Back to the old me?

No, I can never be that person again. There is no going back.

I can’t unknow this last nine months and ever think again that I won’t “break”, just like any other human being on this planet. Every molecule of my brain rejects the sense of weakness, of vulnerability, that I feel now, but my body won’t (or can’t) follow.

And so I am adrift, looking back at my life before cancer like some far off shore, forever out of reach.

I can’t see my new direction yet and I’m not even sure I can be assed to look. So I will find some peace in the here and now, like a spectator on my own life.

Perhaps in this space and quiet I can begin to find my new path, my new me.

Guilty As Charged…

Of time-wasting on an industrial scale!! I could faff for a living right now, expertly!

I laugh when I think about all those days I was rushing out the door to an appointment or hurrying to finish the washing/ironing before Sunday evening, those days where I promised myself a day of sitting on my bum and reading a great book through from start to finish, or spending an entire day sorting through my clothes, make-up, shoes etc.

Now I have the time…..loads of it, with a limited range of physical jobs I can do, so perfectly suited to my dream days above. So, can I finish a page, be arsed to even open the wardrobe?? Not a mission!!

I can wash two or three cups, swipe at the work tops with some disinfectant, gaze guiltily at the ironing and polish half the coffee table before I think the boredom is going to choke me. Memories of kids on wet, summer afternoons, with their noses pressed against the windows and bedrooms full of toys, moaning loudly, ” I’m bored! There’s nothing to do,” come rushing back and it evokes the same reaction.

“Nothing to do!! Look around you, look at all the things you have to be thankful for! Bored indeed.”

Guilty as charged. 😏

Any Sign of Christmas With You?

Having a lovely chat with a friend of mine to-day, as we both waited at a mutual customers premises. She was joined by a male colleague and we got to chatting about buying Christmas presents for partners/spouses.

He commented that in 12 years of marriage he has never been able to buy his wife a gift that she has appreciated. In fact she tells them they are terrible gifts ( and that’s the polite version). Last year he paid for himself, his wife and their child to go to Disneyland on holiday and, yes, he did admit that he had really wanted this holiday a lot too. This did not go down well.

I asked him how he felt about buying presents for his wife now and he agreed that he accepted it was never going to be “right” so he just bought something he will enjoy as well. Mmmm, I thought.

It reminded me of a VERY quiet Christmas in our house; the Christmas my husband bought me a set of mats for my car,…..apologies, TAILORED mats for my car. I wondered for the few days before Christmas day what he could possibly have wrapped in such a big, flat package. Funnily enough, car mats were not top of the bloody list!

As the QUIET day wore on and , bless him, his genuine confusion as to my lack of enthusiasm continued, he suddenly remembered another “little something” he had bought me. As he passed me the gift he smiled, ” Sorry love, I forgot about this.”

“Ohhhh, thank God,” I thought. ” He does love me.”

It was a tin of touch-up spray paint for the car !! Seriously.

This is a “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus” moment and he still, some fifteen years later, does not see why I didn’t love this gift. So do you know what?? As he loved the idea of this sooooo much I think I know what he’s getting for Christmas this year.

Let’s hear it for the guys!!

I was chatting to a lovely guy to-day and we got to talking about “Movember” and raising awareness of Prostate Cancer. He remarked how women are great at talking to each other about “Women’s Issues” but how men were some way behind on this. A few local men had tried to have meetings to discuss matters relating to health, both physical and mental, for other men in the area but it didn’t get off the ground.

Now I know only to well how brilliantly women do at this kind of thing nowadays, but it wasn’t always so. I am old enough to remember when Breast Cancer started being talked about very openly, and my mother wincing at “Breasts” being talked about so brazenly. It’s not her fault; that was the era she was brought up in. It seems to have been better to have literally died of ignorance back then, than mention any part of normally covered by your underwear!

This is where I become a bit of a hypocrite though. If I have to watch one more God-forsaken advert showing some pole-vaulting, half-naked dolly bird, telling me how absorbent her tampon is I am going to get a penis transplant! Enough already; we get it!

The Power of Positive Thinking!!

Talking to my mate I remarked ” you know I’m absolutely heart-broken about this”.
“No you’re not”, she replied quickly. “You think you should be, so you’re saying you are and “fitting in” with that mind-set”.
I thought for a moment and realised she was right! There is “stuff” in my life right now that really is “heart-breaking” but not this. Someone you love being unwell, and being powerless to help, is “heart-breaking” not the rest of the dross.
Now I am up this morning, feeling like I can embrace the “stuff”, viewing it as a bit of a challenge, but nothing more.
I had actually typed out “take on the world and win” and then realised I don’t even feel that level of strife. Brilliant!
Thanks Babe and you know who you are.

A State of Grace…..

Strange as this may sound, but, after having a few pretty awful weeks, I am sitting down to write this blog with a feeling of peace and tranquillity that has sadly been missing from my life for while, and I’ll tell you why. In the middle of all the “stuff” going on I happened to meet three people that helped restore not only my faith in human kind but in our ability to cope with the big things in life, without going into a complete meltdown.

Instead of a ” Why me” they had a “Why not me” attitude. And I don’t mean in any kind of a “Pollyanna” type of sickly, fake goodness kind of thing. No, these folk were staring at some life-changing events with courage, dignity and a determination to affect change where they can and accept what cannot be altered.

They were not blinkered by their own lives to the pain or suffering of others around them; not so self absorbed as to be unable to look at the happenings around the world and find both the positive and negative in all that is going on. They maintained the ability to reach out to help others, and yes, to ask for help for themselves.

Is this generosity of spirit the “State of Grace” we hear about? I hope so. I felt lighter and more positive after each of these meetings than words can ever say and I very much doubt any of the individuals involved would have any idea how much they have affected me.

They were ordinary people living extraordinarily.

It is so easy to get bogged down in the shocking and heart-breaking events on the news, but there is also so much good around us too. I cringe when people say ” Oh, there’s always people worse off than you” and I certainly derive no comfort from that thought but the next time I feel the pressure of life getting too much I will think of these people and hope some of their grace and dignity has rubbed off on me.

Further to A Camera Never Lies??

I found this image on a blog by Rebecca Hains and was struck by how often we would all love the ability to air-brush our lives, let alone our bodies. Indeed some of us run into trouble when we try to!

The trouble is it all seems okay at first, with the minor adjustments, just like when actors and actresses start with the small, non-invasive treatments to smooth out the lines; the bits they don’t like. But then that usually leads on to the big stuff; the total overhauls and re-inventions and where do you stop?

It reminds me of how annoyed my mum got when my dad told her abruptly, after seeing a less than flattering photograph of herself, “The camera never lies!”

Well, we all know how untrue that is. And just as surely as we know the various actresses do not have 5ft long legs and 20″ waists, we know that few people ( I would say none at all) have “perfect” or “problem-free” lives, so what is all the pretence about? I don’t think we need to “confess all”, or spill our emotional baggage at the drop of a hat, but it must be an enormous strain to have to keep up this image of “Walton Family” type lives.

Drop the act and join the rest of us mere mortals; trying our best to do the “right thing”, even when we haven’t a clue what that is.