Thoughts on life

Fear is easy

“what if I fall? Oh but my darling what if you fly?”

It’s easy to be scared

Embracing the new, leaving the old…learning to find yourself and starting again, we’ve all been there (maybe right at this moment) and let’s face it, it sucks

It’s SCARY

It calls upon relying on a strength we may not remember, fully believe or possibly even know we possess…

It’s something we are all born with but sadly many lose somewhere along the way

It’s the very thing that bonds us with caregivers and binds us to life…

trust

The simple yet elusive act of believing we are safe and that the future is too…

It’s a big word despite its minimal letters. 

Those two little constenants surrounding “you” and book ended by two humble and well-worn “t’s” is what we need to believe the next step is coming…even though we’ve lost sight of the ladder

What are we so afraid of?

Afraid to fail. Afraid to fall. Afraid of not knowing. Afraid of making the wrong choice. Afraid to be in the void. Afraid of rejection and afraid of being afraid…

But haven’t we been there before? 

Think about it…before we were old enough to be capable of questioning outcomes we believed in our “selves”. We trusted our journeys, followed our little hearts where they led us, enjoying the adventure of discovering what we liked, who we were and what made our hearts sing (or dance!)

We didn’t chastise or question ourselves if our favourite colour changed from green to yellow, our preference for playing soccer turned to football or we decided we simply preferred English to Math.

We trusted our instincts and our choices, trusted the path we were finding ourselves on and believing with childlike innocence that it would lead us to our future selves…one day

What if we still allowed ourselves this perspective on new beginnings?

Saw ourselves not as adults who question and worry, adults who are afraid to “start again” but instead as children who are still on our trusted journey, which is bound to change but which we still allow ourselves to be simply and happily on regardless!

What if we think of ourselves in this way?
…it actually isn’t easier to be afraid…it’s in fact much more natural and effortless to trust.

To continue on the path we’ve always been walking…allowing the wisdom of adulthood to help, not hinder, the journey.

But, what if I fall???

“Oh but my darling…

…what if you FLY!!”

family, life, Poetry

The struggle unseen…

I see the struggle everywhere.

Bodies aged and bent, crippled over cane
shuffled steps, shrinking shoulders.

Getting out of cars, an effort in itself. Crossing the street at painful pace.

When a metre is a mile
Understanding is a smile

The rhythm of life around them quietly mocking…

Years of life dragging down weary faces

A lifetime of frowns forged in wrinkled skin
A lifetime of working worn onto hands of grey

When the memory of youth is nothing more than that

When life has been struggle
But life is no more…

And only struggle remains

The elderly wear their age so obviously, that it is hard not to feel compassion. Show tolerance.
Have understanding.

But the weariness carried by some is often invisible.
The struggle of many, more often than not, goes unseen.

Misunderstood.

I want to tell you a story

It’s something which happened to me recently that changed my perspective forever.

I’m in sales. I sell women’s fashion at wholesale and my customers are made up of roughly 70 independent fashion boutiques owned, mostly, by women.

One of my customers is a strange woman. I shouldn’t call her strange. That’s not kind.

The thing is though, there is an aloofness and sense of disorientation that I just can’t quite explain.

She forgets things, needs explanations and reminders of simple things.

It is unnerving at best and downright inconvenient at worst.

She rarely smiles, yet doesn’t seem sad, or angry.

Just……distant

She often comes across as cold and, although I’ve never felt that she doesn’t like me or that’s it’s personal in anyway, I can’t help but feel frustrated by this slow pace, lack of mental clarity and absent….oh, I don’t know. Soul?

I’m sorry to even say that, but as I take great pride in my relationships and consider myself the consummate clichéd “people person”, I have to admit I’ve been questioning to no end just HOW, after two whole years of attempting to build a relationship, this could be all I can get!

I have asked myself, “what am I doing wrong??”

I’ve also questioned, on many occasions, “what on earth is wrong with this lady??”

(Judgement is such a natural state…isn’t it?)

Then one day recently a colleague told me something, the most horrendous of things, and it quite literally stopped me in my tracks.

That customer.
A mother.
A beautiful son the same age as mine.
A simple life on the farm.
A school break a few years ago…
A tractor.
A cord hanging loose from a jumper.
An unimaginable chain of events.
An outcome too awful

In that moment I was unexpectedly, emotionally and abruptly forced to think differently about this woman who in that very moment became anything but a difficult customer.

She simply became a mother who’d lost a child…

I almost cried, imagining her on that day. Picturing her face, feeling her heart stop beating.

In an instant I saw it all…her tears, her fear, her panic, her desperate cries…her slip from reality

I felt her disbelief and anger, felt her life and soul fall away and become separate from her very existence.

I heard her sobbing, her screams, her wails of agony, heard her pleading, her begging, her prayers, her denial, her acceptance and then…….finally……….her numb.

Just NUMB

How could I ever go back to my first impressions of her?

Two minutes of knowing her story, changed two whole years of thinking (ridiculously perhaps) that I could even begin to know the inside, simply because I thought I knew the outside.

….feeling her pain, knowing her truth and finally seeing her in a way I had NEVER done before

I now see this amazing woman exactly as she is.

I see her struggle.

Not the struggle she’s already been through, or the struggle she’s overcome.

But the struggle she’s become…..

And now I understand

crap I say, entertainment, humour, life

For the love of peeling potatoes

A potato saved me today.

Actually, to be completely and embarrassingly honest, it was a bag of potatoes.

and a potato peeler
and Dean Martin

Let me begin by saying I owe you all an apology…I have not been myself lately. For those of you who’ve known me long enough, I’m sure you’ll agree that my latest posts have been a little out of character. For those who’ve only just met me…I am NOT, in fact, a psychotic pessimist. I’m sorry if I’ve disappointed you…

I don’t even think I wrote those posts.
I’m serious.

Get out your tissues, as I’m about to tell you how bad life has been for me lately, how stressful my job is, how tired and emotionally unstable I’ve been…

….oh, that’s right, I’ve already done that in my last few posts.

ok, well I’ll tell you about the potatoes then, ok? I promise it has a happy ending and not a single “F'” word in sight!

I think there is a reason potatoes are called the “humble spud”. I realised tonight, when I got home from work unusually early for once, that I have not cooked my family a meal in about a fortnight. Oh God I can hear all the cries of “bad mother” and “selfish woman” now!!!

Don’t get me wrong, my family has eaten (as far as I know) but as busy lives tend to create a need for instant meals and restaurant outings, I haven’t cut, peeled, blended, baked and “1950’s house-wife’d” in as long as I can remember.

And I think that it is much more important than I realised.

Usually, whilst preparing the family meal, thrown together in haste after rushing in the door head crammed full of work stress and urgent issues I can’t let go of, I would listen to jazz or “Chillout Session” (insert relevant copyright here) in the hopes of becoming instantly “relaxed”.

But tonight I turned on the “crooners” channel and I found myself smiling.

As Dean Martin serenaded my softer side, with tales of love and longing, romance and feelings most of us living today probably don’t understand…I began to feel relaxed…genuinely relaxed. The kind of relaxed you only get from feeling completely safe, loved and “home”.

And as I listened….and hummed….and swayed…gently in time to the familiar, timeless tunes…pulling the potatoe peeler firmly and assuredly over the potatoes, I felt I was slipping back in time…

Back to a simpler time
Back to a more grateful time
To a time less stressful…

I prepared the entire meal in that state of mind. Feeling grateful for the food and for the simple pleasure of being able to prepare it. For the job that provides the money for the food.

My job is still there, my stresses are still there if I choose to see them. The hustle and bustle and imaginary emergencies are still at my disposal. But I think this view of life suits me far better.

So, even though I really do like Jazz and Chillout, and even though I don’t half mind being taken out for fancy dinners, and because (actually) I HATE mashed potatoes…I think I will be having spuds with Dean Martin more often.

Try it sometime 🙂

keep it real and keep smiling

Mandy xx