Day Four

Today was another lovely day – hot stone massage, reading, writing, big walk on the beach, topped off with yummy fish and chips.

I am extra grateful today, not only for this holiday but for my life in general.

On Sunday, when I was at the supermarket grabbing some supplies, a couple with a half full trolley were having a very loud argument. She was a beautiful, statuesque African woman with a gorgeous timbre to her voice, even raised as it was. Her husband – I assume it was, for who else but a married couple would argue so freely in the middle of such a mundane task as the weekly shop – was European of some description, I couldn’t pick his accent.

Their argument started fairly run of the mill – he claiming he had done what she asked, her stating she shouldn’t have to ask etc etc but soon turned to deeper issues, their voices not diminishing as it continued. Mothers told their small children not to stare, reminding me that I shouldn’t either. It was uncomfortable to witnesse such issues of the marital life on display for all to see.

Yesterday, I saw a man vehemently berating his teenage son whilst getting out of their car, the son cowed and sullen, the father redfaced and coiled like an unsprung spring.

Today, while waiting for my fish and chips, a man came to use the public phone box, depositing what sounded like a whole piggy bank of coins into the slot.

The onesided conversation was hard to listen to and broke my heart. His pain, laid bare for anyone’s hearing, was raw and ragged, his voice catching on every word. I was embarrassed that the conversation revealed him so plainly to me. Far too intimate were the words for a stranger such as I.

People in pain. They’re everywhere. It may be in varying degrees but the pain is palpable.

And so, as I collected my order from the counter, I felt so thankful. Thankful for my husband, who made this holiday happen and allayed my many concerns about going with his ever soothing words. Thankful for my stunning children who never cease to amaze me with their observations on life, their dealings with others and their inexhaustible love for me, even when I give them plenty of cause to do otherwise.

My life is not without it’s up’s and down’s – I have known hardships, trials, and have sought to learn something through those times.

And, now, when life is good, rich and joyous, all I can do is stand back in awe and wonder…and be thankful.

Day 3

I went for a big long walk on the beach today. She seemed grumpy. Dirty, due to a recent big storm, she was leaving great clumps of muddy sea foam on the shore. I didn’t mind.

What kind of friend of the sea would I be if I turned away just because she was not pristine and clear?

After all, each of us have times when we are not our best, grumpy and tarnished, especially after a big storm in life and can only cope and cleanse ourselves by dumping our rubbish and dirt on the shore for all to see.

With time, the sea will return to her usual self, offering us her crystal waters with bright fluffy foam on the shore once again.

Just like us πŸ™‚

Day Two

So today, in light of the advertised Sunday markets being closed due to the inclement weather, I headed to the local shopping centre for some breakfast and a browse.

Given the weather was hideous, I expected to have to battle for a carpark and spend hours going round and round in circles. Imagine my surprise when I got a carpark, straight off. Feeling pleased with myself, I locked the car and found my way to the nearest entrance.

Only to find, the shops were all shut. Until 10am. It was 9.07am. Nearly an hour to kill before I could even get a coffee, wandering an empty shopping centre. Eventually, I discovered one coffee shop open in the food court (have I ever told you how much I detest food courts?). I ordered my coffee and raison toast from the surly ‘barista’ and found a seat. Taking out my book, I settled in to wait out my time before the shops opened, noticing as I sat down the couple of little sparrows hopping about inside the building. ‘So cute,’ I thought.

I was halfway through my coffee when I noticed it. A bright yellow, white and brown splotch Β on my jeans. On closer inspection, I realised what it was. Bird poop. The little sparrows I had just been admiring had pooped on me!

So, my day wasn’t turning out too successfully, so far, and it wasn’t even 10 o’clock yet!

After picking up some supplies, I made my way back to the unit and, after checking no rogue sparrows had taken up residence there too, spent the afternoon reading and writing, drinking tea and, later, wine.

I took a lovely walk in the rain to get some take-away Indian, chatted to a lovely lady with her toddler and baby and walked back in the rain with my steaming bag of food. More wine πŸ™‚ And now some tv and then a nice read in bed, looking forward to another day tomorrow.

I think I may just be starting to unwind πŸ™‚

Day One

So here I am in my unit on the coast. I have my books, my laptop, my music, and a good red. Bliss.

When I first arrived, I felt good. I drove the two hours with no incident, stopping off for a coffee along the way. I found the unit, thanks to my husbands excellent directions, and set about settling in.

And then it really started to sink in that I was on my own for a whole week. So throughout the afternoon, I have felt in turns excited, bored, homesick, and content. I think it’s just going to take a bit of getting used to.

And when I realise that it really is the first time, EVER, that I have had this amount of time to myself, I’m prepared to cut myself some slack and just go with all the feelings as they present themselves.

The most pressing emotion is the ‘no people’ one. Boy, do I miss them all already. And that’s not a bad thing, I keep trying to tell myself πŸ™‚

So tomorrow, I am off to the street markets that are on every Sunday and will enjoy a nice breakfast and coffee in one of the many cafe’s I spied on my walk this afternoon.

And, hopefully, Sunday afternoon will be spent working on my novel and other writing bits and pieces.

I’m rather looking forward to tomorrow πŸ™‚

Be careful what you wish for

This coming weekend, I will be hopping in my car and driving myself up the coast to spend a week with……me.

That’s right folks, you read that right. A whole week to myself.

No one asking what they can have to eat or when’s tea or can you help with my homework or where’s my uniform….No work emails to reply to, phone to answer, deadlines to meet.

Just me, my laptop and…me. Walks on the beach, wandering round the markets, swims in the pool, afternoon nanna-naps, late nights, early nights, sleep ins, early mornings. All things I have daydreamed about and wished for, for about the last 20 years.

I can do…Whatever. I. Want.

There’s just one small problem.

As wonderful as it all sounds, it’s actually a bit scary. I have never had a weekend to myself, let alone a whole week. Put that together with the fact that I am just a tiny bit of an extrovert and spending a week by myself is a bit daunting.

On paper…great! In reality…mmmm, we’ll see.

I know that I will have plenty to do. With all the ‘activities’ (writing, reading, dvd watching, bowen theory work) that I have already piled by my mental door, my husband keeps checking that I know it’s just one week I am going for.

I think I have worked out why I feel apprehensive.

I don’t have a need to be needed (well, no more than any other normal mother), I don’t have any concerns that my husband can handle our business plus the kids (he is ridiculously capable, almost to the point of rendering me redundant sometimes). I have no problems with my own company, and I’m not afraid to be alone.

What it boils down to, for me, is that I love people, and specifically, my people. I will miss my family beyond belief and I just know I am going to have to fight the urge to hop back in the car on the second day and come home.

But I won’t, partly because I will get a lecture about how we’ve already paid for the accommodation, but mainly because I like to stretch myself. I relish pushing myself mentally and moving outside my comfort zone. A ‘character building exercise’ my psychology friend would call it. I like to rise to a challenge and know that I have won.

So. Here’s to winning.

Oh and if you don’t mind, I just might bring you all along to cheer me on my way. See you up the coast, cyber friends and family!

The pain register

In my training as a bowen therapist, we talk about the fact that our brains don’t register ‘no pain’. We are good at identifying pain but not the absence of it.

Sometimes a client will only realise days later that their headache is gone, or their backache has disappeared and will only recognise it when asked. And people are always so surprised when they realise they are not in pain. And then, then they appreciate it.

Think about it: when was the last time you woke up and your first thought was “Yippee! No headache today!”? Unless you are a chronic headache sufferer, in which case, you would probably notice it!, the chances are that doesn’t happen very often. Rather, we only notice it when we do have a headache.

We don’t register ‘no pain’.

I think we can be a bit like that in life. We are quick to register when we have been hurt by another person but somehow ‘forget’ all the times that person was there for us, effectively when they didn’t cause us pain. Much like a headache or sore back, it’s only the pain that draws our attention and not the absence of it.

What if we flipped that around and started recognising the times when people in our lives didn’t cause us pain, instead of focussing on the few times they hurt us? What if we started to register ‘no pain’?

 

It’s mine

I saw this list of ‘ten toddler rules’ on facebook the other day and it gave me a good chuckle.

1. If I like it, it’s mine.

2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.

3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.

4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.

5. If it’s mine, it must NEVER appear to be yours in any way.

6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.

7. If it looks just like mine, it is mine.

8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.

9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically
becomes mine.

10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.

Do you think it applies only to toddlers?

Handwriting – what it says about you

When I was a teenager, a friend gave me a book on handwriting analysis for a gift. We pored over it in our lunch breaks (and sometimes in class!), trying to learn all the intricacies Β  Β  with which to then analyse certain teachers writing – with the express aim of trying to gain some sort of edge on them, I guess.

Anyway, since then, handwriting, and what it can say about who we are, has fascinated me. Β So I thought for this post, we could have a little fun.

I have posted a sample of my handwriting as you can see, and the talented Exiled StarΒ (whose art I just love, by the way)Β Β is going to analyse it and tell me about me. Let’s see how spot on she is πŸ™‚