Blue sky or not blue sky

Sunshine, blue sky, dark cloud, storm clouds, dry, rain, snow, bright, dark.

That Yorkshire sky really sums up perfectly my mood levels since lockdown started. It’s a bit of everything really. Swinging from smiles to tear. Feeling full of the joys of spring to darkest winter coldness. Optimistic then pessimistic. Feeling contented then feeling boxed in. Calm then anxious. At ease with the world then frustrated.

Emotional never ending tides.

Yesterday I was fighting the tears. Life seemed bleak and so restrictive. Definitely feeling cut adrift, isolated and alone.

Yet today I can’t stop smiling. Ok life feels constrained but it also feels good. Filled with HOPE and WONDERFUL thoughts. Most definitely not feeling alone rather feeling part of a BEAUTIFUL world.

Ask me yesterday and I would say what am I doing. Today it’s WE can do this.

I’m the same person, I’ve not moved, I’ve not won the money lottery. No person or no asset has entered my world. So why the swing in mood. Could it be that we are permanently riding those emotional waves. Swings in outlook are to be expected. Good moments, bad moments. Maybe the secret is to look at each day. What are the things that weigh me down and try to do something about those. Then most importantly work out what are the things that lift me up so much. If you can identify those things (maybe it’s just one important thing) then keep trying to move towards those wonderful things in life.

Yes WE can do this.

Toe

Some things in life are naturally beautiful and guaranteed to make you smile.

One of those days. Not enough sleep. School at home was a pain in the buttocks. WordPress continued to act like an incompetent evil overlord. An upcoming concert I was really looking forward to (which had already been rescheduled from last year) was cancelled. Smashed some cups (unintentionally). THEN Hawklad decided to walk into wooden table and clearly has broken his little toe. At least I can see evidence that some of my genes have passed down the family line. Nothing we can do except get him to rest up for a few days.

So in need of distraction I decided to strike one item off the growing DIY list. Let’s put the external mail box back on the wall. Much drilling, much banging, much muttering, much screwing. The mail box was up. Not a bad job at all. Level and well secured. Shame it was upside down…… Not sure what the Postman would think of a letter slot at the bottom. Not the first time my DIY has taken a walk to the a Southern Hemisphere. Summed up the day…..

On days like this those things that make you smile are even more important. Even more treasured.

Where am I

It’s an old graveyard. Many of the gravestones have stood for hundreds of years. Many of the names and dates have now eroded away. Lost to the years and the hill top northern weather. Just maybe someone somewhere will be remembering those names.

I was stood watching the sun rise in the early morning air. My mind wandered. It’s been over three years since I visited my mums grave. It’s about 40 miles north from here. I had great intentions to visit every year. But life happened. No idea when I will be able to return again. But that’s how it goes sometimes.

Back in 2016 that thought would have really upset me. My thinking was very much that doors had very much closed on big parts of my life. My job was to not move on but to hang onto the past. Stay close to those locked doors even though they would never open again. In those terms visiting graves became a huge deal.

Now it’s a little different. Living has to come first. I can’t do that by standing by permanently locked doors. There will be times to visit places like graves but that will be when the time is right. The important thing for me is that I don’t need to be physically in one place to access memories. I always carry them with me regardless of where I am stood.

Dance

I came across a really sad story. A story which those you have experienced loss will so understand.

A Walker would take her dog for a walk each day. She would often bump into an elderly couple who walk hand in hand. Often she would even see them dancing arm in arm on a bridge over a small river. Then the couple disappeared for a while. Then one day she saw the man dancing on the bridge, by himself. Clearly holding his beloved tight as if she was with him.

My heart breaks for that man.

Life can be horrendously sad yet that beautiful act of dancing with a lost partner demonstrates the power of love. Demonstrates why life can still be special.

Families

Families are funny.

I come from quite a big family. I’m the youngest of the brood. In many ways the odd one out. The one with the funny diet. The one who works out. The one outdoor person. The one that went to university. The one who is bereaved. The one single parent. The one Aspergers parent. The one who blogs. I could go on…..

Don’t get me wrong we are a loving family. No egos. No fights. No cross words.

We are geographically spread but would fairly regularly see each other. Would…..

Mum was the gravitational force that held us in orbit. The force that would bring us together. Now the gravity has gone. We don’t meet up much now. The links are now mainly phone calls and texts. 2020 has not helped. I’ve not seen one sister and my brother in over 2 years now.

But we are still loving and caring. But here’s the thing.

You can be loving without being close. You can be family and not share. Be caring without understanding.

I share things on this blog that my family never hear. If I need a shoulder to cry on I don’t turn to my brother or sisters. I turn to my closest friend(s). That’s were I’m best understood.

Yep families are funny.

L

Swiss Sunday

It’s Sunday so it must be time for a visit to alpine heaven. A true dream destination. A beautiful country that our little family hasn’t been able to visit since 2015. But one day we will again. Let’s spend a bit of time in stunning 🇨🇭 Switzerland.

Oh the Hotel Savoy in Interlaken. I have never ventured inside the building but sat outside so many times. On every visit to this beautiful country we would catch the boat across lake Thun to this wonderful little town. Always the first Sunday morning of the holiday. We would walk to this hotel and sit outside. The first hot chocolate and cake of the trip. I remember always thinking while we watched the world go by – this is what life should feel like on a Sunday.

What would I give to be there this very Sunday. To be sat with those I love.

So where ever you dream destination is. I hope it’s not long before you are there. To me that will always be Switzerland.

Mud

Mud glorious mud. If only we could sell mud then we would be quids in.

Sometimes it feels like life is just a constant trudge through waste deep thick, clinging mud. Much harder than it was supposed to be? Was parenting supposed to be this demanding? Was the bank account supposed to be that empty? Was the career supposed to abruptly come to an end? Was my social diary supposed to be as empty as my bank account? Was I supposed to be this out of synch with life? Was grief supposed to hurt that much? Was I supposed to be walking these fields on my own? Why did depression and anxiety have to come knocking at my door?

But wait. Mud is good for the complexion. It keeps you grounded. Walking through it makes you stronger over time. You learn things about yourself. You grow. So……

Does a large bank balance matter – NO IT DOES NOT. Is living rather than following a career a better route to happiness – YES IT IS. So is parenting supposed to be this good and rewarding – YES IT IS. Is grief just another way of saying you love someone – OH YES IT IS. Do your real friends and those who truly love you always stick with you – YES THEY DO. Can I overcome my demons – YES I CAN.

Is it still a wonderful life – YES IT IS. It most certainly is.

That feeling

Holidays, special occasions and anniversaries can be a beautiful time BUT…

They can be a nightmare for many. A time when isolation, fear, anxieties and loss are amplified. Where a spotlight is directed on what is no more, what will never happen and what is looming. A time when probably the last thing you want to hear about is all around you. Blasting out from the TV and Radio. Seemingly the only thing that people are talking about.

I know that feeling because I’ve been there. Been in that position. I know what it feels like. Even after 4 and a bit years (is it really that long). Even though I’ve started down new roads, new paths. Even though I’ve learnt to smile again. That feeling can still be there. It probably always will be.

With me it’s a double edge sword. That feeling hits. My heart and spirit drop. I want to retreat. Hide away in my room. Find safety and sanctuary there. Yet doing that immediately opens up that feeling of isolation and being confined in a small space. A prison. Feeling even more alone.

So yes I so understand this feeling. That feeling still lives with me. Not all the time but it’s never that far away. Especially at these special times.

If you are in that place. Your not alone. I’m with you as well.

Winter is coming

Winter is coming.

A time for wooly jumpers, gloves and warm hats. Sliding on ice patches. Snow ball fights, sledging and snow angels. Steaming hot chocolate filled with marshmallows. Writing names of frozen car windscreens. Fires and hot water bottles. Crisp winter walks with stunning moody landscapes. Long dark night skies filled with the wonder of the cosmos. Warming soups and stews. A perfect time to cuddle close to those you love. A time to feel alive.

Winter is coming.

A cold, bleak time. When the frequent bad weather forces you inside. Cuts you off from the world. When the darkness and howling winds matches the mood. When loneliness echoes around the surrounding walls that makes your home feel like a prison. A prison where the sentence is solitary confinement. Memories filled with loss and grief send shivers down your spine. Counting the long days until Spring returns. A time to survive.

Winter is coming.

I have experienced both. I know the opportunities and the threats it can offer. Which one will this Winter be?