Going Full Circle – Life ponderings

Freedom
It’s been a very busy time of year here in Mari’s World which of course is all very exciting and I do hope you like the products I have chosen to review for you but of course this has meant less chat from me, which maybe you were quite thankful of so sorry guys I’m about to break my silence and talk to you again.

Reason being I am constantly bumping into people, old friends and new, who are about to/going through/getting a divorce and my heart goes out to them knowing first hand how painful a road it can be, there’s always something deep inside me that wants to help these people in one way or another, even just by listening or just being there. I want to take away their pain. Which is impossible but doesn’t stop me wanting to make them feel better and it was when I was contemplating all of these emotions that come forth in such moments that I took a look at my own life and realised that I have finally completed the full circle and I can shout out to the world I. Am. Happy.

This is the message I want to pass on to people out there. That there will be a time you can smile again but you will have to go through a horrible phase first.

For me it all started back in 2003 when I discovered my then husband was having an affair, our relationship had been more unpredictable and volatile than Mount Etna but that didn’t prevent me from feeling tremendous shock, disbelief and pain when I found out. In fact earlier posts on my blog may seem quite hateful but maybe this was a self defence mechanism, I find I need to write thoughts on paper to get them out of my system, it was a way of clearing out the cupboards for me, airing the vaults of my mind and allowing myself to start afresh.

So the beginning of my circle was the finding out, the shock and initial pain, the second part was the picking myself up ALONE a terrifying prospect after having been a couple until then. I had to drag my self confidence from out of the deepest pits and force myself to start taking control of every aspect of my life. I thank my lovely Italian friends I had around me at the time who would pick me up and help me along my way, I don’t think I could have done it without them.

On to the third part of my circle, I was coping and deciding for ME. What I wanted to do, where I wanted to go and what I wanted to watch on TV. This part is is deeply healing. I realised in this part of my circle that I was worth it, I was a decent human being and I did have a right to have a happy life. This was also the part of my circle that I was quite bitter. I looked back with anger in my heart and it clouded my vision to a certain extent. I used writing to free myself of the hatred, the bitterness and the upset and it was cleansing. By getting all those nasty thoughts out I was liberated from them and able to move on. This third part of my circle is the part where I met my partner, we started a new family, my divorce was finalised and I could move on and away from it all. I still have very strong bonds with my older children and am in touch as often as life will permit, I’m lucky in the respect they both have their own partners and families and lives to live.

And now? I have come full circle, I have completed the fourth stage and can stand here in front of you hand on heart and say, I have no hate in my heart and it really is all behind me. Now I don’t feel I have to declare this to anyone but my happiness of realising that there is a point where it’s all over is so great I want to share it.

If you are going through a  tough time I need you to know it will get better and one day it will be over and maybe just that glimmer of hope will help you through the bleak moments.

I suppose my greatest test will be if I ever bump into my ex again and as we live in two different countries it won’t be a regular occurrence but right now I feel as if I could put my hand out to shake his, our past behind us and forgotten and I can move on to the next chapter.

Expressions – the face of emotion

“The eyes are the windows to the soul”

is one of the most capturing quotes I have ever read and one that sticks with me constantly. I do like to read people and their eyes are very good give aways. You can tell if your friend is hiding something from you, if your child is lying (well maybe not always on that one!) and what really comes out at you is how that person is feeling inside. Many a smile disguises anguish, upset and deep pain as in this world we’re so used to replying ‘Oh, I’m fine thanks.’ to the question ‘How are you?’ and it takes a little extra attention and digging to really find out how that person is if you really want to know of course.

So when Tara prompted us this week with expressions I immediately had a few old photos in mind, you know the ones that stick in your mind because they captured something you weren’t necessarily looking for?

My Three girls. Alice, Bessie and Gracey

Speaks for itself doesn't it!

Alice gets close up with the camera

having fun, laughing

You alright son? Got everything you need boy? Comfy? You sit and relax whilst I get your dinner ready eh?

Well, no fear of the lens there!

Sweet, shy and wannabe raucous teenager

 

For more expressions pop over to Tara’s Sticky Fingers and check out some of the excellent photography in the blogging world.

Getting your priorities right

A cuddly moment

 

If I have a quick run through, my priorities are   

  • the girls, and everything that makes them happy
  • my relationship with Paul
  • Thomas, Megan, Gracey
  • My Blog
  • family and friends
  • our home
  • girl’s nights out
  • Facebook
  • Bejewelled Blitz
  • me (manicures, hair cuts, hair removal, reading, needlework, cooking)

Yep, not necessarily in that order but the twins, Tom, Meg, Gracey and Paul are all up there at the top but I struggle as I never have enough time in my day to accomplish everything I want to do and I want the lot.   

My blog has become important to me over the 9 months I’ve been writing, it has shot up the priority scale often clashing with childcare, nudging Facebook (where I keep in touch with most friends and family) back a few places, my Bejewelled Blitz score has suffered immensely at the hands of Mari’s World (Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself) and the more I play with it and all that it encompasses ie Twitter, Carnivals, forums and taking part in various McLinkys around the blogosphere the more I get pulled in and realise I am so way behind everyone else and have so much more to do. Will I ever get there?   

I have been known to lose hours, writing, looking for a photo, posting and commenting on others blogs because that is how you find people to comment on yours! Well it should be but it doesn’t always necessarily work. I have spent hours commenting here, there and everywhere and never seen hide or tail of some people which kind of defeats the object doesn’t it? What we could class as a waste of time.   

And the book? Oh that has dropped massively down the scale as I just can’t fit it in. I have written one chapter and placed it on last week’s Writing Workshop and I now need to do more but first I need to find a copyright license and THAT requires more time.   

And this peeps is how my life runs, a constant running around trying to do everything, often haphazardly, often forgetting bits (like the paint pot in my food photo!)   

But in order to prioritise correctly I turn the thought around and try to imagine what my life would be like without certain elements. It doesn’t bare thinking about does it? I would be completely miserable without any of my children or my partner whereas life without the blog… 

Writing workshop This post was written for Josie’s Writing Workshop. I chose prompt 1 What’s your biggest priority right now? Do you need to rethink yours?

Put brain in gear and THEN book flights

Doh! I’ve just done another of my infamous mess ups which seems only I am capable of performing.

Back in August when the sun was shining and life was hot (well sort of) I phoned my daughter Megan and we decided it had been far too long since we last saw each other (June – Lake Garda) so I booked flights for her and Gracey to come and visit us in October.

I have been struggling to contact my son Thomas, aged 22 these past few weeks and I start thinking and worrying, Is he OK? Has he turned into a drug addict and isn’t aware of my calls? Is he contemplating suicide as he thinks no one loves him? Yes, my thoughts get worse and worse and in my downward tumble I reach out for my phone and call him.

‘Oh hi mum! How are you?’

As casual and as ‘with it’ as ever my Tom is completely unaware of my inner anxiety, I fast forward with a ‘Darling I miss you!’ Where have you been, I can’t get hold of you anywhere?’

‘Oh here and there, working, the usual, you know how it is.’

I told him Megan and Gracey were coming over and I could hear the envy in his voice so I asked him if he’d like to come too. Thus landing myself with another return ticket to pay for. Ouch.

I obviously pulled up Megan’s ticket to make sure I got the same flight so he could assist her with the baby and I would have only one airport run and then I saw my enormous mistake…

I had booked the girls flights from Gatwick to the UK and returns from Italy to the UK. completely the wrong way round.

You can’t change this kind of error online you have to call a 0844 number so that’s going to be costly after a 22 minute call to correct that. It cost £67 to cancel the first flight and I paid another £65 to book them a single flight home at a later date. Very expensive mistake I’d say but the cheapest way around the problem as any other option was going to be around £300. Can you believe it?

So now I have remedied and added another ticket for Thomas who didn’t really jump up and down with excitement as much as I wanted him too when I told him but I suppos 20+ year olds don’t really jump up and down with jo anymore do they? They have to be cool, unlike their sad, scatty mothers!

I feel such an idiot. I mean you get to see your online booking and check it through. What was I thinking? Where was my brain that morning? I can’t tell Paul as I think he will shoot me, so I’m going to cover up this tiny error and massive expense with a smile and don’t you DARE go telling on me! :)

Photo

When a father leaves us.

I would like to send my condolences to David Cameron and his family as having lost my own father a couple of years back I know how devastating it is and how the loss never completely leaves you.

Many people have lost their dad, some to health problems, some to accidents and some to old age but all have to cope with the same gap that Dad filled in their life.

My dad was the fun in our life as we grew up. Mum would look after our day to day life making sure we were clothed and fed and emotionally balanced and dad would tickle us, chase us, play ball with us and cuddle us when we needed that big man hug. Don’t get me wrong, mum was full of cuddles too and fun but I seem to associate my dad with this aspect of my childhood more, maybe because he left home when we were still kids and therefore all of the discipline fell on mum’s shoulders as we journeyed through adolescence.

My dad came from a poor background growing up in London’s South Bank, now a trendy ‘it’ area but back then a quarter for Irish immigrants. He changed many jobs in his lifetime leaving mum strapped for cash and even without a house at one point but dad was dad and as kids we adored him, he could do no wrong.

He always knew what to say in every occasion and was convinced he could converse both with kings and paupers. One of his greatest sayings was ‘We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.’ which installed in me a sense of ‘Don’t worry, all in good time’.

Dad married twice and lost his second wife very suddenly returning from work one evening and discovering she had died of an ictus whilst exercising before work. He never got over that and the disaster sent him back into the world of escapism via alcohol that she had helped him leave years earlier.

Dad was on the road to self ruin and nothing me or my brothers said or did could stop him. He became devious, hiding evidence and lying to us on the phone. We would invite him for family get togethers and he wouldn’t turn up. We would get so angry with him. I would stop talking to him and only after discussions with Paul ‘He’s an alcoholic, he can’t help himself.’ would I phone and make up with him.

I never stopped loving him through all of this mess but I wanted to push him into doing something with his life.

Throughout my failed marriage Dad would call once a week and it was a lifeline for me. Many times I didn’t tell him about my problems as I was so happy to hear his voice and wrapped up in my own world and too young to know any better I never asked about his problems and his world.

On my return to the UK I was determined to make up for lost time but he had other plans, well he didn’t actually have any plans really. He just wanted to sit in his dirty flat and wait.

On one visit he pointed to a piece of paper from a notepad on the coffee table.

‘I’ve covered it all’ he said.

‘Eh?’

‘My funeral costs. And of course there’s a little something for all three of you too.’

‘Shut up Dad,’ embarrassed to be hearing this and uncomfortable with the conversation I moved on. Trouble is, in my heart, I never did. I was so angry with him inside, he was wasting his life away I even thought ‘He’d be better off in Heaven.’ at one point.

Then I got the phone call, ‘Dad’s passed away.’

Every fibre in my body screamed ‘Noooo!’ but calmly I replied to my brother. ‘I’ll tell work and get to you as soon as I can.’

WThe three of us spent two days registering his death, emptying his council flat and sharing out his fully stocked freezer!

The boys kept his Arsenal t shirts to clean their cars with (they supported Chelsea, something my dad never fathomed out but accepted) I took a few ornaments I’d given him, a plant which still thrives to this day and a print called ‘Footprints in the sand’ that hung in his hall.

But no object can replace the man I lost and no plant can comfort me as he used to. I’d rather have him back and be angry with him that not have him at all.

Have you lost someone close to you? Tell me about it if you’d like to share, how do you feel about it now?