Okayness and Friends

There is nothing Hippy-ish about life. It’s a hustle. It is hard work and it is just one big long wiggle. But I see the people in my life and I love them and I appreciate their kindness and kind honesty.

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We received news that news will be forthcoming in two one week blocks.  That’s perfectly fine and dandy.  The night before we received news that news would be forthcoming I had to lullaby myself to sleep which is daft as heck because I know no matter how the chips fall, I’ll be completely fine. Continue reading “Okayness and Friends”

My Name Is Pollyanna And I Am A Disposaholic

My mantra became “Am I willing to carry this to the next moving truck?”

Hi, my name is Pollyanna and I am a disposaholic.

Since I was in my 20’s I’ve moved house roughly every 18-24 months and I reached a state of mind where if I was considering buying a new item I would stop and think “Am I Willing To Carry This To The Next Moving Truck Again?” and “Have I Got Spare Money To Buy This?”.  If the answer was yes, I bought the item but most frequently the answer was no, this is not something that I feel passionately needs to be in my life, it is identified prior to purchase as clutter or a financial burden and has no place in the Whyte House.

I prefer to have very few possessions.  The fewer the better.  It’s a little bit trauma based but I pretend it is a lifestyle choice!  I prefer to have exactly what I need and be able to lay my hands upon it.  I am not a minimalist and like a home to be cozy but everything needs to be useful.

I like to know that everything I own is paid for, that there are no repayments due this month or for 60 months at a reasonable APR.  We don’t have fancy things, my car is 7 years old but new to me and I have a £60 per month payment interest free which is doing my head in because it is the only non-bill bill our house is carrying.

At present I have two sock drawers and that is distracting me from peace of mind, two is too many.  Sock drawers are having an effect on my peace of mind!  That is ridiculous.

I prefer to have very little artwork on the wall because it clutters my thoughts but I really love seeing what other people do to beautify their home.

This weekend I gathered all my gumption and tackled something over which I have a little phobia – paperwork.

I gathered all the post and paperwork from around the house, and was able to dispose of a bin bag of empty envelopes and circulars.  It’s only been 2-3 months since the last time I undertook the same activity.

It had felt like no matter where I turned my head there was Post and paperwork which needed my attention, there was no brain-break from bills because they had been in every line of sight.  But no more.  At least not for a few weeks anyway.

I have some rebates to claim and I have managed to prove that I cancelled a rolling contract in May but the charge was still coming out of my account in October for a portable Wi-Fi hub from EE, how cheeky!  But the service provider was great about it and a refund will be in my account within a week.

I found cheques!  I didn’t realise they had been sent to me for previous overpayments – they were sitting in unopened envelopes which had looked like more bills.

I gathered together pieces of correspondence I need to keep but don’t want to see again. I put them in a series of A4 envelopes without windows so that I don’t have to see those letter headed pages from solicitors again but they are to hand should the need arise at a later date.

There were so many other bits that are now in their rightful place that I can’t even begin to adequately convey the peace of mind and lightening of responsibilities this activity has blessed me with.

We all have coping strategies, mine is to blitz clutter and paperwork and to keep an appointment diary, on paper, in my handbag.

K.I.S.S.

Keep It Simple, Sweetheart!

The less stuff I have, the less I have to move, tidy, or maintain.  It’s a recipe for success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zen During Turmoil

Occasionally there comes a time in personal turmoil that you reach a state of Zen.  You reach a point of “oh well” and start to calm into the trouble rather than fighting it and getting nowhere.

In the Urban Dictionary (a highly reputable source!!!) Zen is defined as thus:

“One way to think of Zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind.  Zen is a way of being.  It is also a state of mind.  Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts”.

Now, I am no Japanese Master of Eastern Philosophies yet there comes a point in seeking Continue reading “Zen During Turmoil”

We wait for news

When we are overreacting to something happening now, we are really responding again to something that happened back then… a perfect example.

A most frustrating thing for me is open ended waiting.  Waiting for information or news.  I do not wait well.  Outwardly things appear fine, inwardly I get in a temper.  Waiting.  I can wait for Christmas or Birthdays, I can wait joyfully for the arrival of a new baby or wait patiently and excitedly for a holiday.  These things are finite durations and have little negative impact associated.  But waiting for life changing news.  That’s just pulse elevatingly trying.

I find myself in a mind-set of “fine, if you don’t care, neither do I”.  It takes a great deal of concerted effort to shake the negative feelings away.  Waiting.

Have you got a minute?  Let me tell you a story.

A long time ago, possibly 38 years ago, two relatives were not speaking.

It had been nearly two years and I wanted my Nan back, who was one of the parties involved.  So I, knowing what was best and having the clarity of youth, aged 10 or less, remembered my nan’s phone number.  I secretly used the big and corded house phone to call Nan and say hi, and that the other person missed her and loved her.  My nan was delighted and asked “really?”, “Yes, absolutely”. To which she responded “Have them call me and I’d love to have you over for a visit”.  She was only in the next town across but it might as well have been the moon for all the contact we’d been having of late.  Later that day, with butterflies in my tummy I told the other person that Nan had called and that she missed us and wanted us to visit ….. which was technically 66% true, she did miss us and she had been on the telephone but hadn’t initiated.  The person I was speaking with was delighted and called straight away.  It was a strained conversation but I could tell my side was pleased.  The first hint of my deception was revealed as a “you called me first” conversation arose and the person on my end of the phone turned to stare at me but let it slide in the moment.  A visit was arranged.  We went round on the Saturday.  We arrived in my families old Jaguar car in our Sunday finest.  We went in to the ground floor, unheated 2 bedroom apartment with a kitchen the size of a small closet.  We all started chatting and I was hoping I would not be fully found out or revealed.  My furtive gaze darted around the room on this sunny day.  I held my breath.  Then it happened, the deception was uncovered as the two parties talked, the one expressing delight the other had called, the other expressing confusion as it was clearly the other way round.  Then all faces turned to me.. “What did you do?” came the question from the elder woman.  I tried explaining that I knew they would speak if someone would start it off but their voices dropped an octave and I was told “Get to the car, I’ll deal with you later”.  I begged forgiveness but I was told again to go to the car on the driveway, so I did, helped along by the scruff of my collar.  I cried my 10 year old eyes out.  I cried louder hoping they’d hear me and feel sorry, I hid down hoping they’d think I’d wandered off and come out to see where I was but no.  I was in the car.  Nobody was coming out.  After half an hour or so I ventured back in and said sorry, I was told to go to the car, so I did.  After another half an hour or so according to the clock on the walnut dashboard, I tried again and went in, begging please please, I’m sorry.  I was told to go back out.  When I was in the car I could hear them chatting and laughing together.  I knew I’d been right, that if someone started, the whole thing would resolve and here it was, the evidence, they were resolving their issues and talking, I was vindicated.  After another period of time I ventured in again this time begging “Please, sort me out now, please”, which everyone knew meant “please, hit me now, get it over with” but they said get outside, in the car, and a third adult said “I’ll sort you out later”.  I ventured one more attempt before the end of the two hour visit and was told “I’ll sort you out later” again by the third person.  I cried quietly this time, trembling in the car as I waited, feeling queasy.  There were no distractions, no colouring books, no toys, this was old school car travel and I was alone with my thoughts.  They did eventually emerge from the home, they were cheerful, kisses and hugs goodbye.  I was miserable and afraid.  They did get me home and I did get a wallop or few.  When the spanking came, I was relieved, apart from being in peoples bad books, it was over and done with.  I just had to tolerate their moodiness until they got over my deception.  38 years later I stand by my assessment that if they’d start talking they’d resolve that particular issue.  I was right.  There were plenty of other times that issues arose but even knowing how to resolve them, I stayed well clear in future.  I know I shouldn’t have deceived the adults.  If I had been courageous I would have said that I called the other person and they were pleased to hear from me but I was not filled with courage at that point, the stakes were too high. Continue reading “We wait for news”

If you knew, what would you do?

What would you do differently if you had a confidence it’d all be ok in the end?

If you knew it would all work out, what would you do?  What different decisions would you make if you knew that even though life is sometimes difficult, it’d all work out to your benefit?  What would you do differently?  There is no promise of your decision being easy or pain free, life is often messy and difficult, there is no promise that other people would forget, but how would things differ if you knew you would be ok at the end of it all?  How would your life look if you knew that all these experiences would benefit you and be for your good?  Another question: how many times have things worked out ok so far?  How different is your life from any original thought and how much have you learned because of your experiences thus far?

She Grew Up

School is so much more than Maths and English.

Big changes, leaps and bounds, in the Casa Blanca.  They Whyte House is abuzz with change.  We can barely utter a sentence without change occurring at the moment.  The girl grew up.  GCSE exam results were returned to the students this last week, choices were made regarding future educational establishments, interviews were held, shuffle up days are happening right now as we speak.

The kid did good with her results.  My first inkling that the kid did good was when I took her in the car to collect her results from school and waited in the car park while she went in.  A few minutes later I heard a shriek of joy from someone running across the yard brandishing a manila envelope screaming over and over “A-Star in English” which was improbable because, you know, dyslexia.  The young lady then stopped in her tracks to hug the school chaplain who just arrived and say thank you for her help, before sprinting again to get back to me.  Her school has a chaplain as it is a Church of England school.  They have their own chapel too.  It’s kind of nifty.

The rest of the results were great too, a good spread of great grades and everything she needed to get in to some of her preferred options.

Just as important as grades, she ended up enjoying the school experience.  She ended up with a wide and diverse group of friends.  She ended up attending parties and going into town to meet up for lunches or shopping, she ended up sleeping over and having sleep overs and parties.

This was a medical improbability.  This was a medical unlikelihood.

She has worked flipping hard to get to understand people and what values they hold and how they’re likely to respond in any given circumstance.  She’s worked hard to be a woman of her word that people could count on to be honest and kind but sure of herself.  She ended up working hard to comply with school expectations upon her with their implied requirements and shifting priorities and minor injustices which are normal occurrences in society.  It took it’s toll on her, it was taxing, demanding and relentless but she continued working hard.

This experience was a firm foundation upon which to build a happy and successful adulthood.  She leaves this school to attend the rival school in the next town over for the next two years.  It is with a little pathos that she forsakes spending hours a day with the people she has become accustomed to and who she loves.  But this experience has proven to be a firm foundation.  She’s learned how to socialise into a group and how to let her quirkiness and quick mind shine as a beneficial talent.

I don’t think I could have achieved what she has achieved socially, I don’t think I could have achieved what she achieved academically while concentrating on social skills.  I am in awe of her, but don’t tell her because she gets a little big headed sometimes!

Here’s to the future, and what a magnificent future it is shaping up to be.

Wasted Saturday

A wasted Saturday is a rare and glorious gift to ourself.

It seems that I am good in company at the moment, feeling genuinely cheerful and happy to be in social situations just chatting or dancing or listening to buddies, but am plunging in to worry and anxiety when alone when there is nowhere else to run from myself.  Feeling emotionally breathless is absolutely rubbish and I recommend it to nobody at all, not even my worst enemies.  So, Saturday my daughter and I took a day off of everything, absolutely everything.

When I’d awoken before dawn I realised that I could afford to get a bad day out of my system as I wasn’t required to be anywhere particular this weekend apart from Sunday Services.  I had a two A4 page of Honey-Do’s I’d written for myself, each line being a tiresome project which needed completing in the house preferably before winter falls. And I couldn’t face it.  I was close to tears, on a Saturday! What a waste of tears.  I determined I was not going to cry on my own time!  Instead, I was going to be still.  I was going to ignore the day as long as I could.

My teen padded in to my untidy room around midday and flopped on the bed.  We conspired together that we deserved a complete day off having run ourselves ragged for years.  It was exciting to be in this together.  We chatted a while about books we were reading on Audio because we’re both a little dyslexic and I’d rather listen to a book than struggle with text and so would she.  We’re both perfectly capable of reading but sometimes for recreation we just have someone read the darned book to us.  It feels like cheating but what is the point of technology if you can’t use it to enhance your experience of literature and make available that which you wouldn’t have tackled without the electronic intercedent.

After a while she padded off again and I settled in for more breathing.  Breathing is something I’ve taken for granted all these years but of late my glorious mind keeps trying to trick me that there is insufficient oxygen in the atmosphere.  Stupid glorious mind…

So, I lay there in my unmade bed and breathed.  Then when I’d done that for an hour or so I took a nap, then listened to a show and then breathed again.

I was roused only by the offspring’s enquiry as to what was for dinner.  Without said offspring I would gladly have spent all the hours until the next day in my room, but I’m contracted to care for the kid so up we got and a dinner of beef burgers and pasta was rustled.  Then, relocated to the living room, I sat and breathed some more until I realised it was now 2am and I really should go to my untidy room to breathe.  Brushed my teeth and toddled off to my chamber for some more breathing.

Is it me, or did somebody really turn down the oxygen supply in the atmosphere?  Asking for a friend.