The Longest Day

 

08:15, the house is quiet; son is at school, daughter has gone to a Sixth Form induction day at the same school, husband is at work: washing machine making random swishing noises in the background. The street is eerily still after the usual commotion of people driving to work, hurrying to the train station, and children walking to school. The world seems to have stopped, waiting for me to decide the next step.

Things I should attend to:

1. Tidy the dining room table, which is constantly used as a dumping ground for school bags, paperwork, books, computers, and dishes which could reach the sink if only the dumpee would walk another five paces. This list is by no means exhaustive.

2. Dust, polish, hoover the whole house.

3. Give the kitchen a spring clean.

4. Thoroughly sort out the ‘toot’ I’ve stored in the eves. Things I’ve kept for the memory box, which doesn’t exist because it would have to be as large as a box room to fit everything in it. Why do we hold on to ‘stuff’?

5. Ironing. The pile of crumpled clothes now outweighs those in the wardrobe.

6. Clean the bathrooms. I hate that job the most.

Things I might do if I can find a way through this mind fog:

Number 1. I have to walk past the dining room table to reach the kitchen, so that’ll probably get some attention, begrudgingly.

Since returning from Budapest, my mood has dipped considerably. I’ve had a headache for three days and I’m so very tired, I’m at that stage where you can feel the downward pull and can’t find anything to grab onto. It’s not that I want to slide, it just seems to creep up on you. Maybe it’s due to my reduced antidepressants? Maybe it’s being home again and adjusting back to the humdrum? Who knows?

The washing machine is bleeping; at least it is capable of starting a job and completing it within a reasonable time, I’d better go and hang the washing out to dry.

 

Budapest

 

I’ve spent the last four days sightseeing in Budapest with my daughter. Sitting in Ferenc Liszt Airport waiting for our departure to the UK, we are reflecting on our experience.

Being British we have only one complaint…. the weather! It has been in the mid 30 degrees Celsius, and apparently this is unusual for this time of the year. I don’t do heat very well, so spent lots of time mopping up the pints of perspiration leaking from my skin!

That said, we visited the majority of the main tourist attractions via the hop on hop off bus service, the most poignant being the ‘Shoes on the Danube Bank’, erected in April 2005 ‘to the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944–45’. (Further detail can be researched via internet search engines). A few quiet moments to pay our respects and remember those who suffered; still a relatively recent event in history, one questions how human beings can behave so barbarically towards one another.

Our hotel was beautiful, restaurants for all tastes were in abundance, street artistes scattered here and there for our entertainment, and the people were very friendly and welcoming. I will not hesitate to recommend Budapest should anyone ask my opinion.

We’re now discussing where in the world our next city adventure will be, and how soon we can disappear again!

 

Grief

 

If you are not in a good place mentally today, please read this entry another time. 

 

Where to start?

In my introduction, I mentioned a life changing event. I will expand on that today.

My Dad passed away in February this year, age 77. He wasn’t unwell for very long, he had a cold which wouldn’t go away, was sent for a routine x-ray and admitted to hospital with a chest infection. Within two weeks he was dead. He accepted the situation and just ‘wanted to get on with it’.  Very stiff upper lip was my Dad; dealt with whatever life threw at him without complaint.

I lost my Mum in 2010 to cancer, age 68. She too was diagnosed and dead within a very short time. Again admitted to hospital suffering chest pains and didn’t return home.

Dead. I find it a very harsh word. It makes you flinch when you say it.

I have really struggled to cope since Mum’s passing, and found it hard to ‘reach’ my Dad who was dealing, privately, with his own grief. He wasn’t a man who showed his feelings openly and didn’t engage in idle chit chat. He was opinionated, stubborn, and a stickler for good manners. He mellowed a little when his grandchildren came along; me and my siblings (one brother, one sister; both younger) used to compare his treatment of them to our upbringing, Lets just say they never had a ruler down the back of their tops to make them sit up straight at the table!

All through my adult life, I’ve never felt an equal to my Dad. In his presence I would revert to being the child. He was in charge. Don’t talk back. Don’t voice your own opinion. Do as you’re told, etc.

It is now July and we’re waiting on probate. This is such a long drawn out process, which keeps that raw sense of loss and, dare I say it, abandonment, right at the brim, ready to spill over at the slightest trigger. I have been unable to visit Dad’s bungalow since his funeral.

It’s difficult to explain how it feels to have no parents. Millions of people are in the same predicament, and it’s different for each and every one. I feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights, not know which way to run. Mum and Dad were the glue holding us all together as a family. Now, even though I have my own family with my husband and two children, the umbilical cord is truly severed. There is no turning back. My identity, my reference points, shoulder to cry on (Mum), have a giggle with (Mum), discuss politics and put the world to rights (Dad), have gone. Deceased. Dead.

I am focussing on my family, and recently we’ve had some good days (see previous posts); I must concentrate on moving forward in this direction now.

 

 

 

A Dash of Randomness

 

Main Entry: dash
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: fast race for short distance
Synonyms: birr, bolt, dart, haste, onset, run, rush, sortie, sprint, spurt, zip

Sounds far too energetic for me. What’s the hurry? Remember the story about the hare and the tortoise? Well I’m most definitely the tortoise; slowly and surely I’ll get there.

Let’s think about drivers, they dash in and out of the traffic on the motorway in an effort to reach their destination in the quickest time, only to find they get stuck in the five mile hold up before everyone else. They might be a dozen cars ahead but they’re still in the queue, probably highly irritated and impatient.

Then there’s those who drive to work, always in a hurry; “got to dash“. Some like to shout, gesticulate, flash their lights and/or sound their horns to vent their frustrations with the volume of traffic and what they consider to be others’ incompetence.

What is the hurry? Leave a little earlier, chill out and have patience.

C’est la vie! Some things will never change; including me dashing anywhere anytime soon!

 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Dash

Where Did I Go?

 

I found this little note filed away on my computer; written six years ago.

I often ask myself ‘where did I go?’. My two children are 10 and 8, and there’s the other half.

Prior to having my children, I worked as an office manager, was totally organised and in control. Today is a different story! I tend to stagger from one thing to the next never really having the time to make sure any one individual chore is completely finished. Children constantly yell at me ‘Mum can I…?’ or ‘Mum she did/he said..’ I walk into rooms forgetting why I went there in the first place. I put butter in the cupboard and cereal in the fridge. The majority of the time I have no idea whether I’m on my head or my elbow! Is this really what happens when children come into your life? Or is it just me?

My children accept that mum’s forgetful. They take it in their stride that randomness is the norm.

Where did the organised me go? The person I see in the mirror is hanging on by a thread!

Reading back. nothing much has changed. The children have quietened down a bit, I suppose, but I’m still forgetful. I think that part of my brain must have been frazzled when I gave birth. Well that’s my excuse anyway.  I was taking 40mg Citalopram daily and my menopause hadn’t started; so you might argue that it was plain sailing back then! Now, I’m fighting the mood swings, hot flushes, and proverbial workload running the house; getting the children to where they need to be, on time and on the right day, maintaining the books for my husband’s Company, and any other task that comes my way; phone rings..

“Rach, while your sitting there doing nothing, can you just……”

Catch my drift?

Maybe the old Rachael has gone? The me that’s here today is meant to be topsy-turvy, it’s all part of my self-evolution. Maybe.

 

Walking on Eggshells

 

Recently I’ve been posting about how cheery and pumped up I am feeling. Well it seems all is not apparent to everyone else. I asked my husband and daughter this morning, feeling cocksure of myself and confident of the answer,

“Have you noticed a difference in my mood over the past few weeks, especially since I had the hypnotherapy?”

“Yes” they both replied.

“Here we go.” I thought, “Here come the words of support and encouragement.”

“You’ve been very moody” said daughter.

“You’re short-tempered and hard work” answered husband.

“Humph” I uttered.

They went on to explain that since I have been on reduced medication (see Girls’ Day Out), my temperament has declined; I have been quick to snap, and they’ve been walking on eggshells. Apparently there has been no improvement since the hypnotherapy.

What? I don’t know who they’ve been living with, but I feel fine! Better than fine. I just don’t understand. I’ve been happy, positive, forward thinking, organised, chilled, I started this blog, which I wouldn’t have done a month ago. I thought I’d been a better person to be around in the past few weeks; evidently not! How can I have got it so wrong?

Its knocked me a little bit, to be honest; left me quite confused.  I will have to work at outwardly showing the family how I’m feeling on the inside. Teacher’s report: Must try harder.

 

What a Night!

 

What a fantastic night it was last night! I took hubby to a local Italian restaurant where the food was absolutely fabulous. I had Salmon alla Toscana (fillet of salmon with white wine, crayfish, tomato sauce and cream), husband had Pollo Romantica (grilled chicken breast, mushrooms, prawns cooked in a blue cheese and cream sauce), seasonal vegetables and sautéed potatoes.  Delizioso!

We then went to our local British Legion hall which was filled with our family and closest friends to celebrate hubster’s 50th birthday (actually 26th June). Surprise!  He loved catching up with old friends who he had been to school with, worked with, socialised with. Lots of laughter and dancing.  We got in at 1am, exhausted but happy.

This morning we were up and out by 8am to attend a car show in the village, although we  left by 12.30pm, because hubby wanted to watch the Grand Prix. That was my opportunity to catch up on some much needed sleep! I woke up four hours later, oops!

We’re sitting watching the Glastonbury festival on TV now; Barry Gibb is a legend!

No sign of my mood dipping yet, not that I want it to! Feeling on top and fabulous!

Surprise!

 

Tonight will be hubby’s surprise 50th birthday party. What is it with men (generally) not responding to invitations? They were sent out via text message and Facebook messenger three months ago; with only four hours to go, I’m still waiting on half a dozen people getting back to me! C’est la vie! There are approximately eighty guests expected, so it should be a good night, fingers crossed.

Hubster popped out this morning for an hour, so son, daughter  and me rushed to the venue (at the end of our road), and decorated; all the time panicking that he would be home before us, and we couldn’t think of a feasible excuse for us all being out of the house together. Fortunately he wasn’t; crisis averted!

I’ve booked a table at a restaurant in the next town, so I can get him out of the way whilst the guests arrive. Hopefully, by the time we get to the party, most people will be there. That’s the plan anyway. It’s been a while since the two of us spent a couple of hours together, without the children; I’m looking forward to it.

For now, we need to keep everything hush hush, despite the fact that I’m receiving copious messages from family and friends checking on arrangements, and so far hubby’s not mentioned that I’ve been on the phone all day. It’ll come, I’m sure!

My mental health is still at the top of the roller coaster, I can’t believe it. I know I keep raving on about hypnotherapy but you’ve got to try it! This high has lasted too long for it to be anything other than a direct result of my visit to the ‘magic chair’. My natural mood is usually teetering on the kerb, almost falling in the gutter; I would be dreading tonight’s celebrations, and would figuratively have to  paint a happy face on to get through it. The reality is I can’t wait to get things underway. The secrecy and ultimate surprise is so exciting! Roll on 8pm!

 

 

 

 

Girls’ Day Out

 

Out with my daughter today. The nearest (approx an hour away) retail shopping centre was calling! Daughter’s finished her gcse exams and is itching to get her summer underway. Son’s still in school (year 10), so there was no reason not to go!

We spent the day browsing; specifically for summer tops, shorts, nail varnish, and Vans for dearest daughter; and for me summer tops, a dress and ‘short longs’ (three quarter length trousers – they’re too long for shorts, so they’re short longs!). Daughter bought everything she wanted and more. I managed to get a couple of summer outfits and a beautiful tea dress, which I’m going to wear to the Goodwood Festival of Speed on 2nd July. We also ‘lunched’ (Subway) before making our way back towards home turf and went to our hairdresser, who highlighted daughter’s  hair. She’s had a fab day!

This evening Daughter’s going to paint my toenails (lucky her); whatever keeps her happy! I’ll be sipping wine and enjoying being pampered. Cheers!

Side note: went to see the Doctor yesterday because I’m decreasing the dosage of Citalopram so I can start taking Venlaxafine in the hope of reducing the severity of my hot flushes (woman of a certain age you know!). Started at 40mg per day, 30mg last month and now 20mg. Next month I’ll be able to switch and fingers crossed the new meds will do their stuff!

I’m maintaining my good mood thanks to the hypnotherapy, and feeling pretty upbeat. All is good.