A New Word, A Storm & A Headache

Today I have a paint headache. I did yesterday too. I have been painting all kinds of stuff in my house over the last few days and have now been forced to leave, as I was starting to feel pretty sick with the fumes.

The reason for this intense activity is simple. My house is a scruffy mess. Walls and doors are shabby and shameful. Furniture scratched and unfit for any nice thing or person to sit upon. The last two days of warp-speed activity was long overdue and – because I am me – and I have tried to fix a million things all in one go rather than take a planned and steady approach (like a normal human being might), this has caused some considerable upheaval throughout our home. The living room that I am currently hiding from, is this very minute strewn with newspapers covered by various bulky items of furniture gently emitting their evil post-updo fumes (hence the headache).

Sitting with my husband at the weekend (prior to me having thrown the house up in the air and trying to catch it all with my trusty paint roller) we were listening to somebody else discussing some upheaval or other in their lives. My husband noted …

“You never hear much about ‘Downheaval’ do you?”

Hmmm, interesting – Is that even a thing? I quietly pondered this for a little while and realised, well of course it is a thing! Not only that, but one I have some experience with.Read More »

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Poison Ivy & Ninja Skills

It is the darndest thing. When you have a mind that, for whatever perverse reason, would rather see you suffer than be at peace. It looks for things to worry about. It looks for things that will hurt you. And, if it cannot find them readily, it will invent them. And my God is it good at that!

I have such a mind.

As I wrote in my last post, some good things have happened for me of late. They had been a long time in coming. Prior to their arrival, I was battling hard to keep on top of the anxiety monsters that were growling and growing in my stomach. Though winning most rounds in this bare-knuckle fight, some days it was a very close run thing. There were many days I had to talk myself down from a full-blown panic attack.

Then these good things came along all of a sudden. And my anxiety got really confused, and not a little angry. And ever since, it has been trying its damnedest to find new things to trouble me with. Read More »

Little Droplets of Self Love

Just like integrity, self-care is that right thing that you do when nobody else is watching. It is those tiny little acts to show yourself that you are worth a little kindness, a little time, a little love. It is something that we forget to do. It is something we might consider for others, but often neglect to do for ourselves.

If we are depressed, we may actively prevent ourselves doing such things, because we do not believe we warrant the trouble, the effort, the consideration. We might savagely do the opposite, to punish ourselves or perversely confirm some perceived failing.

It doesn’t have to be Mediterranean meditation, or mountain top yoga, or that super expensive spa thing that you like (though that would be lovely of course, if it were possible, on occasion).

It is those simple, tiny, everyday things you can do for yourself to show love.Read More »

Mind Weather

I open my eyes and there he is
My black cloud
Looking down on me
Glaring disappointment from his …..
well whatever clouds have
“So, here we have another bloody day!”
“Are you just going to lie there?” He snarks
“Or are we going to deal with this sodding encumbrance?”

Oh hell. This is not a good start
I just want to stay here
And if I hide my head under the covers
He won’t be able to see me
And I can pretend I am sick
Am I pretending?
I am sick of him anyway
That I know for sure

But I have so much to do!
And there was so much I didn’t get done last week
Mind weather rained off play then too
Come on, let us at least try?
Lead limbs emerge from safety
Cloud glowers
“So, you are going to wash and everything are you?”
“Humph. Well, it won’t change anything!”

Dragging myself to some place to try and work
Cloud lumbers behind, on his string
Grudgingly following my every step
“Well, if you must go out and try and do stuff,
Don’t think I’m not coming with you”
“And don’t think I’m gonna help you”
“This is such foolishness anyway”
“What can you possibly achieve today!?”

With heavy head and saddened heart
I find a spot and make a start
Cloud mocks
“It is all taking you ages isn’t it?!”
“You are never going to get all of this done!”
“What is the point in trying anyway?”
To add insult to injury, the sun gleams outside
Cloud scowls
“Sod off you happy yellow biscuit!”
“What do you know about anything?!”

But what Cloud doesn’t know, that I do
Is that, though always attached to me
The piece of string is not a conductor
He can bob along there as much as he wants
And I will let him be there
Because it seems that is where he lives
But he is made out of cloud
Clouds are not heavy
Unless you strain against them
And they have silver linings
Cloud hates that!

So, come with me, my little personal weather system
And rain on my head if you must
But you are merely mind weather
Some days you will be joined by friends
And I will be paralysed by your storm-cloud party
But some days you will be outshone
The stupid yellow biscuit, whom you so despise
Will warm my limbs and evaporate your edges
That is just how it goes

Come with me Cloud
I know that you must
But all weather is temporary
And in this truth I trust

 


Copyright © 2017 · Forty and Everything After

One Small Step

The blanket’s embrace is calling
As it did yesterday
As you know it will tomorrow
But your dreams cannot breathe under there
Your dreams are at the windows
Noses pressed, breath shaped questions on the glass
Looking in
Contemplating the small amount of hair hiding there

Just one thing
It doesn’t have to be a big thing
One small step outside
A walk to the end of the road
A glance at the sun, a testing of the air
That might be all you can bear
Or you might walk a little further
It doesn’t matter if you don’t
Just put on some shoes

You know what has to be done
But it seems wholly monstrous from here
With its eyes fixed and teeth bared
You are sure it will feast on your fear
Yet instead it would seek to converse with you
To share its true nature and cares with you
If only you’d dare to come near
Despite the beast’s seeming enormity
It would happily walk gently in your company

Just a few steps
The world need not be traversed in one day
See those pieces on the floor?
Pick one up … just one
Feel its shape in your palm
Just do that bit
I won’t ask too much
I won’t bring you to harm
Just choose one piece to hold
We’ll take it from there
And if that feels too much
I’ll understand

No agenda
I promise
Just go stand in the rain
I know you like rain
I know, I know, but try to breathe through the pain
Just let some drops fall and see what comes
You don’t have to get drenched
Just let it fall upon your skin
And see how each drop feels within
One small step
Just dip one toe
You never know

 


Copyright © 2017 · Words & Images · Forty and Everything After

Midlife Enlightenment and Becoming Your Own Butterfly (or how to move on from being a disoriented grub)

Guest piece written by Forty & Everything After

Butterfly Life Cycle / Butterfly Metamorphosis

“The pupa stage is one of the coolest stages of a butterfly’s life.  As soon as a caterpillar is done growing and they have reached their full length/weight, they form themselves into a pupa, also known as a chrysalis.  From the outside of the pupa, it looks as if the caterpillar may just be resting, but the inside is where all of the action is. Inside of the pupa, the caterpillar is rapidly changing.

Now, as most people know, caterpillars are short, stubby and have no wings at all.  Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called ‘metamorphosis,’ to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge”

Source: http://www.thebutterflysite.com/life-cycle.shtml#null

Turning forty was not a whole heap of fun for me. Things in the years prior hadn’t turned out quite as I had planned or imagined. My work life had turned sour, my dreams of starting a family had gone awry, and this had an inevitable impact upon my close relationships. I didn’t feel much like celebrating. In the preceding two decades I had pretty much known what the next step was, where I was supposed to be headed (note the ‘supposed to’ here. It turned out to be significant), and what actions I was going to take to move me toward those so well thought out goals. As I reached this supposedly momentous occasion however, I realised I was actually at a complete loss.

The realisation came over me that I had lost my way in life. My carefully laid out plan had burst into flames in front of my eyes and, in a confused and child-like manner, I sat on my own hands and said “Right, that is it! I don’t want to play anymore!”

Read More »

My Musical Coma & Letting The Light Back In

The final procedure performed when you undergo IVF is the re-implantation of your now fertilised eggs. This procedure is painful, both physically and emotionally. Before I underwent this procedure (on what was to be my third and final course of IVF), my husband and I, rightly or wrongly, agreed to be introduced to our two fertilised embryos (Edwin and Ernie as they became known in our house) – as they sat there, only a handful of subdividing cells between them, on a petri-dish under a microscope. Left alone to have a moment with them, we gave them some encouraging words and urged them both to “Grab on”. They didn’t grab on.

Read More »