Remember when you nearly pegged it?

You never realise how comforting light and sound are until there is no light or sound…

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Perhaps that is an exaggeration.  Nobody nearly pegged it or died.  But that is how it felt in the dark of the middle of the night when plunged in to perceived peril.

It’s 3am, you’re woken by a fizzing pop sound near your head, the lamp which you normally leave on is dark, the radio you normally leave playing through the night is silent and in your stupor you wonder why the alarm won’t tell you the time.

Gosh darn it.  Something’s up with the electricity.

You reach for the extension socket and can’t get it out of the confined space in which it lives.

You pull your bed away from the wall with the lack of grace so profound that scientists are starting to write papers on the absence of grace as a contributing factor in String Theory.

Your hand gets stuck behind the headboard so you have a little middle of the night panic.  The hand is free at last so you try again unplugging the surge protector finally.

Yanking cables and trying not to drop items off of the bedside table ensues.  It does not go well.

So, in the dark you find your way across the room to see if the light switch works and do a happy dance when it does.

You determine that happy dancing at 3.05am is not a beautiful sight to anyone but you so you calm down a little.

Walking back to the socket area you crack your knee on the out of place bedframe but don’t cuss anything worse than “for the love of Sundays” which is a great replacement cuss, it has all the cadence and resonance of something far more cussy, it is very satisfying.

Back at the socket you find and release the surge protector from its captivity and notice that the little surge light is the culprit for the fizzle pop – it looks bedraggled and burned out, having done its job admirably and the switch has fallen off.

More growling sounds from you and trapped hands behind the headboard later, we find a spare socket for the alarm clock and set that little beast in luminous neon Star Trek blue so that it can wake you in a couple of hours now.

You discard the spent surge protector.

You muse that thank heavens you heard the fizzle pop sound through your dreams and responded otherwise your family would likely have slept until noon without interruption.

You worry that your house is going to burn down and that you shouldn’t have taken the battery out of the smoke alarm when you cooked sausages yesterday.

You vow to learn to cook sausages without having to have an evacuation procedure in place.

You stare at the clock for a while to make sure that the numbers change as they should, you nod off.

Debt Free At Last, Free At Last!

Debt is a form of modern day slavery. Well, with a little luck, this Woman is about to get her freedom papers.

If I have my numbers right, and I am quietly confident that I most likely have, in 2 months I will be completely without debt excluding a mortgage and regular bills. Did you hear that?  (knock on wood)! *runs around the house with her shirt over her head screeching hallelujah’s*.  

I have within my grasp the idea of being debt free for possibly the first time in a long time. I am excited to start building rather than repairing. I am excited at the idea of getting out in front rather than keeping up.  I am excited that the £28100 rent in the past four years didn’t quite pull us under. I am excited that elbow grease and value for money service providers were the biggest component in fixing this home, I am grateful for a wizard of a Mortgage advisor who negotiated a very manageable deal. 

Now, in among this happiness let us not start planning a new wing on the house, or moving to Kensington SW1 in London, or buying fancy things. We will, by the grace of whatever we believe in, and with a trade wind in the right direction, have enough to get by. We will, putting aside the obligatory emergencies, be able to live comfortably enough to to have everything we need and a little of what we want after building up a little reserve for the future.  I will not have to do mathematical gymnastics and keep a mental and physical spreadsheet log of everything draining our resources and their current APR.

Now, although exciting to me and joyful, it is also a little embarrassing to have been in this predicament.  Lesson number one, when the boy says he needs all your money and you have to pay the daycare fees and household bills too, don’t do it. He will have nice clothes and you will not. He will go out with friends and you will not. He will put your shared houses in his sole name. He will be a toe rag but you will not. 

In a month the divorce will be through. I am going to see if I can push and have this all knocked off before then. It is a big ask but wouldn’t it be grand to have matrimonial and financial freedom occur simultaneously?!  A woman can dream and then wake up and get to work to make her dreams come true.  

When Sisters Fight.

When you love someone, they have power to hurt you. I know how long it takes to get back to ok?

My sister and I used to get along but not nowadays.  We have very different world views and opinions.  We approach differences completely differently to each other. The relationship was strained anyway and then we didn’t speak for a several years after a minor incident which escalated.  We were and are furious with each other.

Things improve.  Now, years later, my sister and I are able to be in the same room and be as polite as we would with anyone else.  We can share a joke.

The difference of opinion significantly impacted other close familial relationships too.  People were quick to divide up.  A large Irish/English family fractures quickly.

From my perspective those who gossiped did not stay in contact with me or help Missy when she needed Aunts and Cousins the most.  My pulse just elevated remembering how they didn’t offer so much as a kind word to Missy when they knew she was a 12 year old in her most sorrowful and darkest hour.

The people that stayed in touch were those that recognised how hurtful the whole situation was, shared with me that they were sorry we were having difficulty and then filled the sister-void in small ways.

There is a great deal of judgement from acquaintances when they try to talk about the situation.  They say we were very close as children, they try to gossip and take sides but I make them stop.  They tell me they just don’t understand such a failure because they’d never fall out with their siblings like this.  “They” are not my close circle.

It separated the wheat from the chaff, and I was completely ok that the chaff blew away.

The intense feelings of upset lasted for 16 weeks.  It took 16 weeks to go from ouch to ok.  Then another couple of months to get to “huh, this isn’t as bad as I thought it would be”.

Within the year I would have a few moments where a situation reminded me of the difficulty or even of the fun we used to have and I would be emotionally moved.

Watching Wicked – The Musical made me break down in tears when the two witches sang about how even though they were estranged, because they’d known each other they’d been changed for good.

This leads me on to the idea of self worth and self determination.  These are not selfish nor lofty ideals.  They are a protection in a difficult world.

It is a persons right to listen to their intellect and instincts.  If someone is hurting you or causing you harm, and if it cannot be rectified, you have the right to be away from that damage.  It doesn’t matter if you were born into the same family, if it is causing injury feel free to manage the relationship in a way that causes you no further harm.

The benefit of difficulty with the family for me was it encouraged me to broaden my friendship group, to look out for those that were in the buddy market, to accept invitations and to begin inviting people to events myself.   Having the opportunity to meet and get to know new people was a blessing in disguise.  Having breathing space away from contention was good for the soul.  Taking a break from alt-facts and comments which invariably ended up at my ears was the respite my emotions needed.

Becoming more comfortable with being completely separate and independent from family was difficult but achievable.

Now, when we visit with each other it is because it firstly causes no injury and secondly is enjoyable.  Then Missy and I get back in the car and head home.  It is a great feeling.

A few of the relationships which were damaged improved.  However, I didn’t need them to improve to make me feel better.  It is just a by-product of being ok with the decisions made and giving things time.  If the relationships had never improved, that’d be ok.

People will say what people say, that’s ok, that is not your problem.  It is ok to have the courage of your convictions, it is ok to say “I see things very differently to that”.  Try to see the other side, if there is no healthy alternative, take the break you think you need.  It is fine to advocate for yourself, be humble enough to say sorry if and when it is your fault, have the courage of your convictions even if that means a fair and frank exchange of ideas.

 

Shocking reality of rail fares.

It’s cheaper to buy a disposable car for the day, I did the maths!


The cost of rail fares now in the UK is beyond shocking.

I have determined that for a group of 4, it is cheaper to

  • buy a disposable car,
  • insure it for the day,
  • drive it to London,
  • see the tourist things that are there to see,
  • drive home,
  • call the breakers yard
  • have them collect the vehicle for scrap
  • cancel the insurance

than it is to buy 4 return tickets off peak, whether or not the tickets are directly purchased or through a comparison site.  See my evidence below of results through a popular discount rail ticket site (cough spottedhanky cough)…

Shocking!

 

Sleep remedies my depression

I found one way, which is free, to manage any future episodes of depression. Can you say “goal oriented optimist”?

When I feel the brain snuffles, depression, coming on, the faster I can take a nap the better. It is a reset button. It gives me time to process that which is in the old brain buffer. It gives me a physical and emotional time out.

Now, I am a cantankerous and oppositional old mare at the best of times and rarely do what is good for myself, preferring instead to “push through” which gets a lot of household chores taken care of which we are calling a “good thing” this week but the longer I avoid extra sleeping, the more sleep I will need  to compensate for my bull headedness later and the less say I will have in the when and where’s, so really I am shooting myself in the foot.

I am allergic to the useful medicine which would typically be used to alleviate depression symptoms so have to do this au natrel.  Believe me, if I could, I would be down the pharmacy faster than you could say “Where did Pollyanna go?  She was just here…” Continue reading “Sleep remedies my depression”

Romance as a future possibility.

I want to date and I SOOOO don’t want to date. I am ready and I am not. It’s complicated.

You remember when we used to be clueless about when people did or didn’t like us… and then there was the family and marriage and stuff so we didn’t have to think about that for 24 years pretty much (give or take a squabble or two), but then the marriage ended and so dating as a future probability became a thing on the agenda again? 

Me too.

The thing is, during that intervening period, one would have hoped to have become more in tune with who does or doesn’t like us and whether or not they were goodies or baddies. 

I’m here to share that there is no such thing as the “having-a-clue fairy” and I’m here to declare that people do not come colour coded with black or white cowboy hats, gosh darn it. Continue reading “Romance as a future possibility.”