I just walked into my daughter’s old bedroom, a space that is struggling to shrug off the lipstick and fairy books of it’s past. I am trying to help. I have pulled off the paper, that had hidden horizontal stripes for years and swapped the bed for a chaise. I have filled the holes left by teddy laden shelves, washed the glue from the walls, put a first coat over the stripes and made a start on removing the blackboard paint. It all got a bit too hard. I had totally forgotten about the stripes and the blackboard paint will need more than hot water and soap. And so, the room sits, not sure what it will become, an office I promised it one day and set up a desk, an office, I promised then closed the door.
My bones are shrinking in size and density, making them weak and more susceptible to fracture so I must watch my step. My Muscles feel weaker and I am not as bendy. I think I have got a bit shorter.
My digestive system, my large intestine to be exact, is undergoing structural changes which means I must eat more fiber. My bladder is becoming less elastic and, along with my pelvic floor muscles, is getting weaker. I now understand the adverts.
It’s been a while, a while since I’ve published my thoughts. I still set them down in straight lines, but they sit waiting for release in my draft folder. This is thought number 1052. Everything is normal, the weekdays have gone by so quickly I am surprised its Friday tomorrow. I am sore and tired, my body complains. My knees, in particular, remind me I am getting older, in their weird cracked Morse code. I ignore them, they are always nagging. It has been a hard day, I dump my bags on the bench and head for the coffee machine, then pop two thick pieces of fruit loaf into the toaster. My children are home, there is mess everywhere, the TV is on. My son is on the sofa.
I feel irritated as I watch him, and then there it is, the new heavy, dark thing I need to convert into straight lines. It pushes behind my eyes. I do not want to cry so I shake my head.
I have felt a little odd lately, emotionally silly, full of self pity. I guess the word I would use is maudlin. I haven’t written, which is always alarming. I have been pushing words around my screen like cold brussel sprouts, unable and unwilling to finish a dozen pieces now sitting in my draft folder. Wondering, like a spoiled child, if writing a blog was worth the effort. I have had terrible nightmares which have woken me up with a beating heart and the need to search their meaning in obscure dream books.
I have wondered about the world without me in it, a future without my husband by my side. I have looked at my naked body after a shower and considered how long it will continue to work. I have worried about my final years, my children, my extended family.
I was told about a young boy, my son’s age, who has just died from a heart attack. I could not think properly about anything else for the rest of the day.Continue reading “Advice Safe”→
I’m busy, I’m always busy. I am not sure what life would look like if I wasn’t. The spaces between sometimes allow for a moment of stillness. I write of course, but writing mops up the dark voids of sleeplessness, so not sure that counts as stopping. I lurch manically from one thing to another, sometimes one begins before the other ends. It’s exhausting to watch, people say, but my White Rabbit habit is hard to break; my watch is heavy and ticking. I brush my teeth and scoop my hair up infront of a mirror but generally, do not spend much time looking at myself.
The traffic on my way home from work makes me stretch my fingers away from the wheel with irritation. I hit the buttons on the radio to escape the adverts, and think about the millions of things I have to do. I think about the walk on the beach with my dog and unconsciously look to the sky for clouds.
I have Ankylosing Spondylitis, it is a chronic, progressive, inflammatory rheumatic disease. It’s shit, it’s painful, it affects the bones in my spine, particularly the ones at the bottom, the sacroiliac joints. The disease causes continuous inflammation of the soft tissues around my bones and over time, the inflammation causes the bones to fuse together causing stiffness and rigidity. The process is horrifically painful. I am not special, it affects approximately .5% of the population. It is a very odd disease to have, more common than leukemia, muscular dystrophy or cystic fibrosis, yet less known.
Ankylosing Spondylitis has quietly stolen part of my life, I do not talk about it too much as nobody knows what Ankylosing Spondylitis is. Lower back pain is as common as the cold, so meh, it’s not exciting enough to warrant a conversation. The symptoms and their severity vary from person to person.
My daughter pushed her way into my world. I had not decided to have her, but she was ready, and so she came. I leant against the cool plastic of the public toilet and looked again at the blue mark telling me she was on her way. I called my mum, told her that I was pregnant and wailed that my life was over.
I sobbed and asked ‘what am I going to do?’ She laughed and said, ‘have a baby,’
Thankfully my boyfriend and I had decided that our infatuation was more than we had intended. At the looming reality of being separated by passport status, we had decided to commit and get married. It was not a romantic proposal, I’m still waiting, rather a reaction from two people who had found the fairytale but needed to fight for the Happy Ever After. We had planned to travel the world for a bit, I think we were going to drop in America somewhere and make our way from there or was it Canada? I can’t remember much about our plans, they were vague, exciting and free. I do remember I had given in my notice to work and having a baby was not on the itinerary.
I have just woken up and automatically reach for my phone. I search in the dark, something falls to the ground and fills the room with its annoyance at being disturbed. No phone. My brain catches up, this isn’t your bedroom, you are in Paris, it reminds me with a sigh, I told you last night.
OMG I am in Paris, yes I remember looking up and seeing wrought iron balconies bursting with flowers as I left the Metro.
I remember, get out of bed and stumble around the room, banging my legs, tripping, arms outstretched. I do not know this space so slow down and feel for the walls. I now know where my phone is, I remember telling my husband to plug it in, to recharge. It is by the coffee machine, I watched him do it before I fell back to a jet-lagged sleep on a turquoise bedspread. My stomach full of red wine, pasta, truffle, pizza, meringue cheese, cream, sponge, cocktails, I had been greedy, I am in Paris and could not decide on just one thing. Continue reading “Campfire story”→
I overheard a mother telling her young child, who was having a tantrum, that she was going to leave the store and that the manager would put her in a room on her own. Now no judging here, I have made plenty of ………….or else statements, it did, however, make me think about how we routinely lie to our children.
What about the small lies we tell as a tool to make children comply. Is it OK? Don’t lie! or your nose will grow, finish your crusts they make your hair curly, don’t pick your nose or your brains will fall out. I’m going to find a policeman, Santa is watching you, you better be good. Are we taking the easy road on a very hard journey? Is telling a child they must not eat cake before bedtime as it will give them nightmares better than saying, No it is unhealthy? There’s even a term for the white lie approach, it’s called Pinocchio Parenting.