Archive for October, 2013


Inane Distractions

Inane distractions

Recently,  the cable through which my house receives both TV and internet had a major fault.  It lasted 4 days.
…and I nearly lost my marbles.

Part of the reason was that I needed to log onto the work system to download the latest files for school, but part of the reason was that I have come to rely on the television to provide an inane, background distraction whenever my brain wandered in to places I’d rather it not revisit.

I told two friends about how much I had come to rely on the television to provide me with entertainment and distraction from being lonely and grieving. ….

Both friends are highly articulate women who are well read, interesting, and intelligent.

One of them knew exactly what I was talking about.  She agreed that TV could indeed provide a valuable distraction that was great for whenever you were both tired and emotional to take your mind elsewhere for a while and allow it to rest.

The other one suggested that I go read a book instead because TV is “just a crutch”….

Guess which one of my two friends is another widow…….

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Sometimes all that I need to go from feeling low to feeling OK is half an hour of watching Stephen Fry on QI or Doctor Who.  I need to distract the part of my brain that  deals with language and memory … and with less effort than that required to read and comprehend  a chapter of a book.  (Having said that, I still read each day, but its not something that calms me down.  Rather, it is something I do when I am already calm.)

I can and do use other distractions frequently, but for me, the winner on an evening when I am feeling lonely and sad and angry that Greg had the hide to bloody well DIE on me is TV.

Am I alone in this?

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Who knows?

Who knows?

When I met Greg, it was at a housewarming party for mutual friends.
He danced with me, brought me drinks, held my hand and at the end of the night, he walked me to my car and kissed me softly.

Years later, we could remember exactly where we were standing when we first clapped eyes on each other.

It was love at first sight.

It was perfect after feeling rather “meh” about previous boyfriends.  I knew I hadn’t loved any of them even when I was with them, but as soon as I met Greg, something in me shifted.

That love was so deep that it changed my soul.

…and something I always appreciated was that I was never in any doubt as to his intentions: he liked me. A lot.
From the first meeting.
…. and he let me know in no uncertain terms.
That made it really easy for me to tell him I loved him within 6 weeks of meeting him.
…and we fell deeper in love each day after

….and then 17 years later, he died.

But our love didn’t.

I’ve spent every day since his death desperately in love with a dead man…..which, as we all know,  is both beautiful and frustrating at the same time.

It has taken more then 3 years but I finally felt ready to dip a toe into the proverbial waters again.
For real this time.
I am ready to find someone new even if I will never let go the love I have for Greg.

….and recently I met someone who has made me sit up and think “hey – this one is nice”.

But its not been the same immediate, tumbling-fall into love.

In fact, its nothing more than a new friend:  a pen friend.

But talking to a male who is single (widowed) and clever and  who gets me is ….. alright.
Its good actually.
It is slow and steady with lots of words over a long distance.
I look forward to his nightly emails and I enjoy talking about my day … my ideas … with someone who is actually interested in what I have to say.

Maybe it will fizzle out, but maybe it will continue.  Who knows?

But whatever happens, knowing that I have made a new friend is a good feeling…. and that’s enough for now.

….. the woman inside me has sat up and started paying attention again.

Victim Mentality

Victim Mentality

Last week I had no internet access for over 4 days (hence the lack of WV post).
I also had no TV access as it runs from the same cable.
I was going stir crazy as I was needing to get online to finalise things for my return to work after the holidays.
WHY was this happening to me.
….and then I gave myself a good shake, a kick up the bum and asked myself if anyone I loved would die as a result of a faulty internet cable.

I was sinking into “victim mentality”*.

This week, I was speaking to someone who had every excuse in the book for their own poor behaviour.  Every excuse! Nothing was their own fault but life’s circumstances meant they thought it was OK to treat others in an appalling way.
They were appealing to me for sympathy for their situation … but frankly, I couldn’t muster much.  To be honest, I was thinking to myself that they needed to get a bit of perspective: nobody was dead.

So many people seem to carry around a form a of victim mentality with them.
So many people do not realise that EVERYONE is carrying a burden.
They don’t realise that nobody’s life is perfect.
They don’t realise that every day we have the choice to put our problems in perspective ….

….and as a teacher, I can see that this “poor me” mentality is being passed on to children by parents who have no coping mechanisms.  So many of children I meet have poor resilience to even the slightest stress that I really do worry about how they will cope with something that is really horrible.

… like death.

Even tonight I find myself feeling a bit sorry for myself as I have had a rough day.
A new relationship that I had thought was developing slowly-but-surely is no longer developing.
I feel like I am ugly and old and boring and why would anyone want to date me anyway?
I am tired: this week I have too many places to be in at the same time.
Everyone I speak to seems to need another piece of me.
Every question is an intrusion into my already tired mind.
I am jumpy and annoyed at the world.
I am feeling sad and sorry for myself.
but.
BUT.

Nobody is dead.

Nothing I am going through now even comes close to touching that true tragedy.
…and I have to remember that I can have the odd pity party,
….actually, I *deserve* the occasional slump into feeling hard-done-by,
….but sinking into victimhood is not helpful to me or anyone else.

So tonight I will moan and groan at how bloody AWFUL this week has been and how hard the rest of it will be, but by tomorrow I will wake up and remember that I have already endured something that would break so many other people and that my current woes are small.

I will remember that I am strong.
I will remember that I am not a victim.
I will choose hope.

(* Victim mentality is an acquired (learned) personality trait in which a person tends to regard him or herself as a victim of the negative actions of others, and to think, speak and act as if that were the case – even in the absence of clear evidence. )

Looking after me

Looking after me.

There’s someone I’ve been neglecting for the past 3.5 years.
She is strong, but has infrequent, spectacular meltdowns due to the ….(there is no word to describe this but widows know the feeling) …. of it all.
She loves hard, but falls hard.
She picks herself back up again, dusts herself off and keeps going.
She takes every sling and arrow personally …. yet never backs away from fighting for something she believes in.
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School has been out for a week and there are still a few days of holidays to go before we head into the insane final term of the year.  Its a reporting term.  With a fete thrown in for good measure.  I know I will need something extra to get myself through to December….

So this week, I have been looking after me.

I’ve been eating right and walking lots.
I’ve been indulging my passion for photography.
I’ve been dog sitting and remember what fun it is to have a dog.
I bought myself the first non-work clothes I’ve had in the past 3.5 years.
I’ve listened to music I like .. Ed Sheeran, Passenger, Kate Miller- Heidke…..
I’ve read books and watched movies.
I decided that I can no longer cope with all of the housework and have just hired a cleaning lady to help me once a fortnight (oh the luxury!).

I’ve even found time to go out for a meal with a friend without the children.

Maybe its Spring talking, but life feels full of possibilities.

and that feeling is amazing.

I know that I am riding the crest of a wave, but maybe I can surf this one for a little while longer and the next trough won’t be so deep.