Wine and cheese night

I wonder what it means when it is a Saturday night and by 9pm you are in your comfies with a platter of cheese, chutney and a bottle of wine, watching Strictly?

 

Getting old with the hint of middle age?

 

Or just that we are totally and utterly relaxed… ?

 

If I cared what other people think, I would worry it was the former.  But given that I feel so utterly free from the shackles of other people’s opinion, I am confident it is the latter.

 

Cheers to us!

 

cheers

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a new perspective

Yesterday, I was all upside down, topsy-turvy; wearing the wrong colour – black instead of my usual bright reds, yellows, oranges or blues.

I was looking on the dark side, in the shadows, worrying about the things that may never happen.

Fear is the shadow of joy…  I can’t remember who said that, but it is true.  I was in the shadow, afraid of losing joy.

Someone else said that suffering comes from expectation.  And I was expecting all the wrong things.  They also said the way out was to move to appreciation.

So if I was upside down metaphorically yesterday, I turned myself upside down physically today to get a better perspective.  And in doing so, turned myself back the right way round.

I am wearing yellow and a smile again.

Occupation

Everything is won and lost in the mind.

A week ago, I recognised my freedom from the madness of my mind being controlled by the words, thoughts, feelings, rants, judgements and images of another woman.  She had been occupying my mind for so long and just as she had been an addiction for him, she had become an addiction for me.  And just as he had weaned himself off, so had I.  And just as he became his true self again, so had I.  Without her taking residence in my cerebral cortex, with the occupation over, the battle of my mind was won over by my heart and the hard work of the heart of the Big Man.

And yet, here I am occupied again.  A different occupation.  One in my body but which has also instigated the next battle in my mind.  A hard lump of ‘dense tissue’.  And while the positive army loudly fights for the fact it is just that, the negative side is marching determinedly for the side of the inconclusive cell results.  And the longer I wait, the mind battle rages.

There are parallels that run through the two different occupations.

The same vulnerability I had a year ago sets in; I feel exposed and weak. I want to hibernate and hide. And at the same time, be distracted and live and laugh.

The self doubt, the loss of self worth, the loss of self image; who I was or am is questioned.  Just as the couple seemingly happy since their teens, suddenly exposed as clearly not, the vibrant, healthy figure, alarmingly questioned.

The feeling that I deserved it for being so ridiculously trusting, for my unconscious denial, total gullibility and ability to delude myself is the same feeling that I deserve this occupation for the fact I have held on to anger and hatred for too long.  The Dis-‘ease’ causing a ‘disease’ in my body…. That feeling again that it was all my fault.

The uncertainty, the not knowing.  That’s what kills me, just as it did before.

I have just survived the biggest mental battle of my life and I feel pissed that I haven’t even had the chance to catch my breath and enjoy the beauty of the peace and quiet before the next one threatens.

Yet deep down, I know this will all be fine.  A temporary madness and fleeting occupation.  This isn’t a trauma, it’s just a one off drama. And perhaps it is just the same emotions and parallels being re-fired up after being put to rest so recently that is causing me so much angst.

My sister in law, my dearest friend sent me a picture to help me through the last war and they serve me again this time.

Occupation

Everything is won and lost in the mind.

A week ago, I recognised my freedom from the madness of my mind being controlled by the words, thoughts, feelings, rants, judgements and images of another woman.  She had been occupying my mind for so long and just as she had been an addiction for him, she had become an addiction for me.  And just as he had weaned himself off, so had I.  And just as he became his true self again, so had I.  Without her taking residence in my cerebral cortex, with the occupation over, the battle of my mind was won over by my heart and the hard work of the heart of the Big Man.

And yet, here I am occupied again.  A different occupation.  One in my body but which has also instigated the next battle in my mind.  A hard lump of ‘dense tissue’.  And while the positive army loudly fights for the fact it is just that, the negative side is marching determinedly for the side of the inconclusive cell results.  And the longer I wait, the mind battle rages.

There are parallels that run through the two different occupations.

The same vulnerability I had a year ago sets in; I feel exposed and weak. I want to hibernate and hide. And at the same time, be distracted and live and laugh.

The self doubt, the loss of self worth, the loss of self image; who I was or am is questioned.  Just as the couple seemingly happy since their teens, suddenly exposed as clearly not, the vibrant, healthy figure, alarmingly questioned.

The feeling that I deserved it for being so ridiculously trusting, for my unconscious denial, total gullibility and ability to delude myself is the same feeling that I deserve this occupation for the fact I have held on to anger and hatred for too long.  The Dis-‘ease’ causing a ‘disease’ in my body…. That feeling again that it was all my fault.

The uncertainty, the not knowing.  That’s what kills me, just as it did before.

I have just survived the biggest mental battle of my life and I feel pissed that I haven’t even had the chance to catch my breath and enjoy the beauty of the peace and quiet before the next one threatens.

Yet deep down, I know this will all be fine.  A temporary madness and fleeting occupation.  This isn’t a trauma, it’s just a one off drama. And perhaps it is just the same emotions and parallels being re-fired up after being put to rest so recently that is causing me so much angst.

My sister in law, my dearest friend sent me a picture to help me through the last war and they serve me again this time.

Lighting myself up again

In her book, Light is the New Black, Rebecca Campbell says to do what ‘lights you up’.  For me, that means going back to my ‘joy list’.  And after a morning that left me totally weirded out, out of sorts, imbalanced and living in the shadow of the dark, that is exactly what I needed to do.

A flat white in my favourite coffee shop, with my book, the first step out of the dark.

Catch ups and downloads with two of my oldest besties, virtually shopping and selfie sending with one and chatting health and turmeric lattes with the other. Laughter and love tempted me further out and I felt the light beginning to touch me.

Having my first accountability coaching session with a fellow student, a new friend. Talking with someone on the same wavelength, with the same interests, passions and uncannily similar backgrounds reminded me of my own light as I saw hers shining.

Stopping at the top of a hill to admire the incredible views in all directions and getting the car stuck in the mud.  I was standing in the light.

Living in the light, doing what ‘lights you up’, I believe is living your purpose, being your authentic self.  The steps I took out of my dark morning, took me back to that.  And I spent the afternoon doing one of activities on the top of my joy list – being a sideline Mum, cheering on my talented son and the rest of his top notch teammates!

Trust life!

When something or some things are bothering me, I bake.  And while I was baking our favourite banana and cinnamon loaf, I heard these words and I cried.

Gratitude is a celebration of love…. And life….  We don’t die from death, but from fully ripened love.”

 

I cried.  I think at their beauty…. But also because it helped loosen a knot, or the knots of my current worry.

As I write, the mixer is buzzing to the tempo of my tears.  Slowly, methodically and rhythmically.

I am watching Oprah interview the Benedictine Monk, David Steidl on his book ‘Gratefulness’.

Trust life!”  He advises.

And so, I will respond to the events of today with trust.

I trust that my mind was just playing little tricks by giving me a bad dream, not as a horrible reminder of that awful day but that I survived it.  And by trusting life, trusting the journey, living through the crisis, understanding the meaning and trusting in our vision, I am living a better life and a better version of me.

I trust that my little man will be ok; I trust that the unsettling incident at school that ended with the Deputy Head ringing to apologise is a learning lesson for all involved.  I trust my intuition as a mother and will ask the right questions and do the right things by him.  And I trust him.

I trust my friend as she refers to me to a colleague to review my inconclusive results… and perform a biopsy with bigger needles and anaesthetic.  I trust that life will continue to throw curve balls at me, big and small, so that I can continue to live in a state of gratitude and gratefulness and let love ripen me, rather than fear shrivel me.

In the meantime, I fear I am over-beating my cake and a cake full of tears never tastes as good as one made with love..  so I am drying my eyes and trusting life.  And life with cake in it, is always good.

Mumbo’s legacy

I am not sure what made today the day, but it was.  Perhaps it was because the sun was shining so beautifully.  Perhaps it was because my heart was full of peace and happiness.  Perhaps it was because I really feel like I have come home, I am home.

Today was the day to say my final and private goodbye to Mumbo as I scattered the last of her ashes that had been stored in an old Maille Dijon Mustard jar (one of her favourite ingredients to use) and that I have carried around with me since my Dad gave it to me over a year ago.

I pulled on her old red, itchy wool, original Swiss Snowsport jumper that was given to her years ago and that I saved from the black bin liners… and I sprinkled her over my new roses, my additions to the rose garden; easy does it, smiles, abundance and prosperity.  I asked her to tend to them as she did her gardens and keep them beautiful so that each time I look at them, I will know she is there.  Close by.

And I no longer feel sad when I think of her, her death and the fact that she is no longer here. And I no longer feel guilty for feeling that.  In some way, I can feel her, or sense her.  And perhaps that is because I see her in me.  When I look in the mirror with my blond hair; when I garden and talk to the roses; when I love my children demonstratively, loudly and unashamedly…  she lives on in me, her good bits mixed with my good traits and I am sure some of the less desirable ones too!  Her legacy…. Me and now my roses.