How did that happen? Blink and you’d think they’d been no weekend. It doesn’t help that the levels of exhaustion reached a record high last week. Culminating in a rambling wreck come 6.30pm Friday (no, not even touched a drop). Power nap was decreed but awoken by a Rosie Dog. So watched Masterchef and had a sausage sandwich. Then was sick (due to lethargy) and I retired to bed before the clock struck 10!! Friday night? How very dare my body collapse on me on my favourite night. Then ten hours (that is a world record for me!) later I was up and ready to…work!!
You see, it was raining and I had stuff to do. I then finished that and started the house work. Now, this is no moany rant, just a prelude to what I really need to say, which is: I feel the need to reclaim my life. What I mean by that is, I’ve got to stop putting the unimportant stuff (jobs, work, cleaning…) first and instead focus on the important stuff – mainly people.
Ironically, this reflective and somewhat ‘long time coming’ mood was brought on after a particularly long Wednesday work day. A day where at 5.30pm I was still in a meeting discussing ‘work/life balance’. Ha! I thought, I’ve got this nailed. I’m so organised and I’m still breathing. My children are well cared for and I even have time to walk the Rosienator and do my fitness stuff. However, this is bum fluff and I’ll tell you why! I’ve lost my way and in the process have missed some really important things. I’ve mislaid friendships and let my core belief system slip. I’ve been selfish and blinkered myself so I don’t burn out. So things got to change…
You see, I’ve had a couple of wake up calls. Firstly, a friend I lost touch with nine years ago has died after a long and tragic battle with cancer. The bastard disease has ripped a beautiful 35 year old woman from her new husband and their 5 children. Did I know she was ill? No. I lost touch and in this hectic life I think we are all guilty of letting stuff slip. This truly beautiful soul was there for us when Him was ill. Reading her plight I also discovered they’d been fundraising for her last wishes to be granted and she’d been living in a hospice. My goodness, what I’d do to turn back time and be able to do something, anything and to say goodbye.
With shock and grief comes thinking time. We are only in May and I have had so many people around me struggling with terrible things. I know how it feels to be shrouded in loss and when I reflect on my darkest hours, I know the isolation, anger and numbness which follows. That black cloud which hovers overhead and won’t just monkey off. This is where I got my second reminder…
Whilst unpacking boxes (yes still after five months) I found some wonderful things that need to be on display: pictures, vases and, for want of a better word ‘ornaments’ (makes me think of dusty mini statuettes of girls with posies, cast in white porcelain with ‘made in China’ stamped on its bottom). Anyway, in amongst these sentimental artefacts, I found various things a friend has bought me over the years. Things, which not bought as occasion gifts, but gifts bought as affectionate ‘thank yous’ and ‘to cheer me up’. This friend had been there for me (and me for her) for thousands of years. A trusted and valued member of my community and a firm friend of epic proportions. Nothing, I say, nothing, would ever stop me loving her. Guess what? We drifted apart. And I got to thinking; how could I let someone so special to me slip away? Racked with guilt and embarrassment of my stupidity I mused over my shortfall in the friendship department yet again, Guess what I did next? I swallowed my pride, bit the bullet and text her! Boy am I glad that I did. Lovely (and equally heartfelt/apologetic response) and we are heading to be back on track.
With both realisations in mind, I made a resolution:
‘To remember what comes first: family, friends, life then. work.’
Buoyed by this I sacked work off, met my mum, stopped (although busy) in the supermarket to chat to people I know, met my friends in the pub and today sent my oldest friend a, longer than usual, Facebook message. And this is just a small selection! All these little things and made me feel good and reminded me that I must try harder.
NB. I also intended to text one friend about her daughter playing as she was upset (but too late even I remembered), another about her son (I’ll do so in a bit) and still have two condolence cards to write and a parcel for the big one in Greece to seal.
I’ve known for a while that I’ve had missing pieces (no, not the screw!) but through my own hardships I’ve had to lockdown and protect myself. Life wasn’t easy for us for a while and I was often floundering for a hand to hold. Do you know what? I had no idea how to ask. No one could give me what I needed, therefore I just stopped trying. I was lost for a time and no doubt will be again. So, to make my life better and stronger I’m going to put back all those missing pieces with a smile. Life’s too short to put these things off. I want to spend it with all you beautiful people who I love. Sod my tiredness, let’s feel the happiness and love around us.
Grab someone’s hand and run with it!
This week’s blog is dedicated to Leah