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Just dropped in…

          I’ve just dropped in to let myself know I’m still here. I had my chance to check out early about thirty years ago and passed it up so I’m afraid I’m here for the long haul, you don’t get rid of me that easily.

          To be fair, I’ve been through the last two years and come out pretty much unscathed. If I was counting the years upwards and worrying about the grey hairs I would seriously consider asking for a refund, I don’t seem to have used the last two years at all, so I shouldn’t have to count them. However, I am now counting down to retirement in single figures so I’ll take any extra time on offer to get there sooner.

          Time has passed, day in and day out, I’m still semi-retired and living at my seaside, still working at my little supermarket, and still decorating the house.

          I’m still building the wardrobes in my bedroom, the desk is all but finished, and I’ve built the box on the bottom of the left alcove. Next I’ll be building the frame for the main chunk of wardrobe and moving Hubby’s clothes into it so that I can make use of the doors of the wardrobe his clothes are in now.

          Whilst I had the electric saw out, I took advantage of Hubby to carry the airing cupboard door downstairs for me. It hasn’t opened and closed easily since we had the new carpet on the stairs and landing so I just cut a thin slither off from across the bottom. After Hubby carried the door back upstairs and I’d fixed it back on, I decided not to bother him again immediately and stood to admire the new free swing of the door on my own.

          When I got up the next morning, as is my custom, I just huddled downstairs in the corner of my sofa, surrounded by a nest of cushions. Hubby, as is his way, got up and turned the heating on to take the edge of the morning chill ready to instantly tackle whatever the world had to throw at him. That particular morning, he pulled open the airing cupboard door with his usual vigor, and bopped himself on his head …

          I probably shouldn’t have found this as funny as I did… And I guess laughing out loud wasn’t the expected response either.

          My sanity has taken a battering, but there’s a pretty good chance that by the time the daffodils have finished flowering this spring that I’ll be back into a comfortable coasting mode.

          In the meantime, my crafting mojo has returned and now that I’m no longer selling my crafting at the shop, I’m enjoying just making whatever I feel like for my own enjoyment.

          I’ve just finished making a couple of sleeveless pullovers for the “Little Man” and now I’ve started on a new project for myself, I’m making a wooden string puppet.

          She’s going to be a little fairy, her name will be Pan, short for Pandora, and eventually she will have a little house which folds away in a box, and opens up into a background for her to dance around. Inspired by two wonderful puppets I watched in Barcelona, and by vague memories of playing with a puppet my Dad made many, many moons ago.

2014-06. Puppet house.

         Watch this space …

Mojo skydive

          Oh, hello mojo… there you are …

          My creative “Mojo” has been stretched to its limit during the last year (along with the rest of my poor marbles) … stretched even to the point where I cancelled bookings at future craft fayres and announced my intention to step back from my knotting at the craft shop.

          Locked away from the usual smiles from family and friends, I sank deeper and deeper into myself, a spiralling freefall into the safety of my own little world. I still worked at my supermarket, hidden behind my “Mask“, but I pushed that into dreamland to be able to cope with it. The real world, with its strange new normality went on around me, but it grew further and further away into the distance.

          I brought my “Macramé” stock home during the latest lockdown as Bead Lady was worried the shop might not make it through and would never reopen. I had a request to make a tree of life similar to two small ones I had advertised online. Although I don’t usually do orders I accepted and knotted away until I was happy enough with the tree. Unfortunately the customer wasn’t happy with it and wanted changes made. Undoing knots is more difficult than making them, so we agreed to go our different ways and the tree went into stock.

          Meanwhile I busied myself with the “Finishing and fixing” about the house and gazed out into the garden looking for signs of spring.

          As with most mental sky-dives, there is not much you can do about it until you actually realise you’re falling. The more you pull yourself into your centre, the faster you go and everything on the outside becomes a blur. The outside has no influence on you and practically no one can reach into the fireball you’ve created around yourself.

         When you do realise you’re falling it takes an enormous amount of everything to reach out for help, but that small movement of just reaching out makes such a difference, the rate of falling is slowed, and a small amount of control is returned.

          I’ve been on the other side of a mental skydive too, I’ve been on the outside of the fireball of self distruction. The feeling of helplessness is almost overwhelming. But the biggest and most helpful thing you can do is to just be there, to just stick around, no matter how helpless you feel, to let the person inside the fireball feel that they are able to reach out to you with no fear of judgement or recrimination. Just be there.

          I reached out and Hubby was there, waiting.

          Many, many, many moons ago on a previous skydive I reached out to the doctor for a magic cure for “The Grumpiness” .. There isn’t one as such, but she did give me a parachute. A little box of pills which although they don’t make happy thoughts, they do hold on to even the minutest of happy thoughts you manage to find for yourself.

          I’ve managed to find a few more “Positive” thoughts and have been building on them. I’ve been helping Bead Lady to organise the craft shop ready for a grand re-opening after April 12th, and I’ve found a little mojo to make a start on some new knotting … I’ve even bought myself some more wooden beads to play with.

          I caught sight of my reflection and realised I had become the old lady who used to jump in front of me at the mirror, I had very few clothes which still fitted me and I didn’t dare stand on the scales for fear of them being rude to me. I enlisted the help and encouragement of my girls and Little Sister, and abandoned the majority of the nice food in favour of more healthy options.

          The healthier fuel helped, as the balance dropped downwards on one side with the loss of a few pounds, the mood lifted on the other with a few extra smiles.

          As for the old lady? Crows feet wrinkles around the eyes from smiles are much more attractive than frown furrows in the brow. And the hair? I’ve been toying with letting the grey grow through, but I think maybe the extra effort to keep my colour for a little longer may be worth it… At least until a little more of the pearly white beneath is established.

          With small movements I’m gradually finding happy thoughts again and my pills are helping me to hold onto them. Little by little my fireball is turning back I to a bubble and I can see through to life outside.

          I’m no longer speeding towards hot black volcanic rock. My decent has slowed and I can see trees and grass in the distance.

          I’m not looking for sympathy, concern, or even acceptance of the up’s and down’s of living inside my head. I just want to let anyone living in a world such as mine that they’re not alone. And to assure them that when they are brave enough to reach out for help, someone will be there waiting.

          More from before: A little peek further into the world that I’ve “Created“.

Controlled collapse

          Oh dear there go the iron levels again…that hasn’t happened for a while. I was hoping I’d left the worst of being one of “those women” at “that age” behind me, there was a time when the iron would drop once a month, I’d like to say as regularly as clockwork, but I wasn’t lucky enough to be that regular. But it’s a rare occurance these days.

          I was reclining on the sofa, poking away at the puzzle page on the tablet Hubby bought me for Christmas when I glanced across to my coffee cup and saw it was empty. I made a decision, there an then, to move myself from the settee and go make another coffee. That’s about as exciting as my world was at the time. An instant decision from me is rare, but add to that the immediate spring into action from the sofa in the room, to the kettle in the kitchen and my whole being could quite possibly have gone I to shock. I reached the “Coffee station” and grasped at the worktop, the kitchen span, and my legs buckled from under me. Instinctively I closed my eyes and lowered myself to the floor.

          It’s no big deal really, I’ve done the same thing thousands of times before, fighting against the inevitable bottom shelf just causes injuries, going down gracefully generally injures nothing more than my pride.

          There’s notthing seriously wrong with me to make me fall over, the only medical reason is when I’ve got low iron and I get dizzy, but I’ve got that under control (most of the time). My main problem is my spacial awareness, or lack of, my brain tells my feet where to go, but somewhere between brain and feet, the message gets scrambled, sometimes it’s because my brain gets distracted before it’s sent the whole message, other times it’s because my feet haven’t caught up with the last thing they were doing and so get left behind. Either way, I’ll miss my footing or take a trip and the rest of my body just shrugs and goes down without fighting. Its easier that way, then I just pick myself up and off we go again.

          They say you can tell how old you are by what happens after you’ve fallen over… If everone looks concerned and asks if you’re OK, then you’re getting old… If they laugh, then you’re not. It’s OK, Hubby laughed… Then helped me up… Then insisted I found my iron tablets and force-fed me a vitamin with my lunch.

          I remember as a child, quite a young child, my Mum used to faint a lot. She would just go down like a sack of potatoes and crumple into a pile on the floor. We learned that it was best to just leave her where she was and wait for her to wake up. I think I remember one time when she went down in the kitchen, I rolled up a jumper or something similar to put under her head and pulled the kitchen rug up over her to keep her warm. Apparently, waking up underneath the dirty kitchen rug on the kitchen floor wasn’t one of my Mum’s more delightful memories.

          Writing the title to this post, my mind wandered off to another controlled collapse to give me a photo, when the power station chimneys in “Didcot” were reduced to rubble…”KA-BOOM!”