Is the Ali Sandwiches over?

It was as I was singing out loud along with the ‘Leading Ladies’ and their rendition of George Michael’s ‘Freedom’ (which was absolutely excellent… must download their album) on the way to physio this morning, that I realised something.

The sandwich has gone.

The sandwiches are gone.

I am no longer slapped in the middle of two pieces of bread.

In my original blog post back in 2015, ‘the ali sandwiches and the 365 day blog challenge’, I wrote out my feelings of how I felt about being in the ‘Sandwich Years’ – the slices of bread being the worry about aging parents and support of a young family.

I asked myself – ‘What am I’?

“The cling film that holds it all together or the butter that ensure the bread doesn’t go soggy…? That is quite egotistical… the world wouldn’t fall apart without me… or am I the bit of gherkin or pickle that some people love and some people hate? Am I the insignificant filling that’s there but no one realizes? That makes me sound like a total martyr… so what am I?”

And that triggered my thoughts on my other Sandwich dilemma.  The ‘Ali with the glowing corporate CV’ or the ‘Ali the Mum trying to find ways to work, earn money, engage brain’?

Back then, I asked myself – ‘Who am I’?  and ‘What’s in the middle? The transition? Time for me?

In those moments of singing (some wouldn’t agree) outloud ‘FREEEEEDOOOOM’, I realized was exactly that.  Free.

I no longer felt slapped in the middle of two halves of bread roll.  I no longer see my parents (or sadly parent now) or my children as a burden or a restriction as the ‘sandwich years’ would imply.  I am no longer compressed, under pressure, mushed in with all the other aspects of life fighting for air time.

The bread may be gone, but what they represented is now part of me, part of my wholeness.  My Dad is good, always a practical rock, content with a Cheshire grin with his new chapter of life.  He is my support, part of my daily chat with the outside world.  My boys, my little men will always be a worry, a responsibility, a challenge but as I have now put them first entirely without guilt, fear, regret, frustration or any other ugly feeling, they are my life, my purpose, my essence and my biggest joy.

I am no longer trapped by responsibility.  I am free.

And with that freedom, the answer of ‘who am I’ came very easily to me as the words flowed on to the page last night.

So what was in the middle?  A pile of crap springs to mind!

My Dad, forever wise, always reminds me of the story that the Brooks family always get landed in the shit, but they always come up smelling of roses.

And that is kind of where I feel I am right now.  Waiting for the next pile of crap … but this time, I have my umbrella, representing the tools I have learnt through the experiences of the last 2 years.  And it is a really good place to be.

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