This - my most-frequently visited pages on Google
Couple of things:
The result was enlightening...
I confuse myself. On the one hand I make snap decisions. And on the other I can't make a decision to save my life.
How is this even possible?
I decide quickly if a role isn't right for me. Though I guess when I say I decide quickly...I think about things for a long time. Then when the stress and anxiety get unbearable I make a quick decision to quit. That's one example of me making snap decisions.
So maybe I actually don't. And that can only be a good thing when it comes to that type of decision. When it involves work.
But - do I buy this pair of shoes? Shall I pack this fleece or that one? Which suitcase is best? What do I want for dinner? Do I want a tea or a coffee?
Those decisions are tough.
Today I did make a decision. A decision about something that is causing me too much anxiety. Something that makes me feel like I am trying to plait fog at the same time as wading through treacle - with a blindfold on and one arm tied behind my back.
I knew today was decision day. I felt it in my water. I was drained. Weepy. Over-tired. Anxious.
Now I just need to make some bigger decisions. I need to work out what's next for me.
Do I plod on...the same path I have been treading for 12 years or so?
It pays the bills. It pays for the holidays. But it doesn't inspire me. I have lost the drive. And more worryingly - I am losing the confidence in myself.
I posted recently about a need to change pace - have a new start. I just can't quite see me and Stu in a hippy commune, in a brightly painted shack, growing potatoes.
I also don't see us quitting the rat race for a motorhome and touring Europe. I'd probably be fed up before we hit the South coast.
We have an inkling of a plan. It involves no mortgage, a house with views all round, few neighbours (apart from those who talk sheep), an outhouse / workshop and a drive.
So - first steps of plan:
Then we'll mull things over for a while longer and think of options to address the elephant in the room (what to do with Joe).
In the meantime - I guess I have to work. Continue to do what I have done for the past 12 years or so.
Or maybe I should just try wedding photography for a year.
The words of a 'wise' bereavement counsellor. "It will get easier over time.
"You will look back in years to come and you'll be glad that you were there"
So - that was her own experience. As she described to me after I had explained my reason for making an appointment and waiting months to see someone. I thought the appointment was my time to explain my feelings not to listen to hers.
As you can probably guess, I didn't go back. I could have told myself the same things she told me. But at the time when the pain was still fresh I thought I would benefit from talking it through with someone other than family.
So has it got easier? In some ways - of course. It's been 18 years since I watched my Dad take his last breath. Time does indeed heal. To a point.
I don't think about him every day. I don't cry myself to sleep. I am no longer numb.
But a couple of times a year - particularly the anniversary of his death - I remember.
I remember the time leading up. The months watching his body betray him. Sad but also some very precious memories.
I also have some very vivid memories, including one of a Macmillan nurse who cut me to the quick. Not what I was expecting. I thought she could provide answers to the questions I had, that I didn't want to ask Dad or Ruth. "Why is chemo not an option.?.." being one. For which I received a damn good telling off... "Do you want your Dad to suffer more?".
(No love - of course I don't. I just don't want to ask my Dad the ins and outs and I am new to this cancer malarkey. And with you being an expert and all - and known to be sympathetic and supportive - I thought you could help me understand what is and isn't happening).
Didn't go and see her again either.
I have held onto these memories for years. Shared only with those close to me. The other bad memories - the ones that hurt so much - I won't share on here.
But I still find it very difficult to remember pre-cancer Dad. Those memories are further away in my mind - hidden behind the sights, sounds, smells, feelings of those final few days - Wednesday to Saturday.
From the moment Ruth rang me at work and asked me to come over - and to bring some spare knickers. To the last time I spoke to Dad (and he spoke to me) on the Thursday. To his final moments on the Saturday.
To the two lovely men who took him away with such care and compassion
The memories end there. I don't remember a great deal more.
I am sorry that I have shared this on what is usually a cheery blog. But maybe I need this. Maybe I need to write it all down. And maybe I need to write the full story down somewhere - somewhere not for sharing. If I expel it onto paper - will I expel the pain from inside me?
Anyway - as ever - here's a photo. One of my favourites. Pre-poorly Dad. With full-on beard and crinkly eyes.