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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Working 9 to 5......and other stuff.

Seldom have we ever had such hope......

Sophie started her new job today.

Some of her interview questions....

Sophie, what don't you like about Asda Stores?

"Fish, you sell fish, you should definitely not sell fish, I can't stand it and please don't ask me to work with it"

Sophie, what do you think would make Asda a better place for the public?

"If I worked can it not get better?"

What can I say?

She is surprisingly thrilled with the lime green and black uniform ( which is rather flattering if you ask me) she has all kinds of exciting bits and bobs and it certainly looks as though she will, if all goes to plan, be able to work and earn a good wage.

Every time she has found a job, by doom and gloom has seen the pitfalls, almost waiting for it all to go so wrong. This time is different because this a huge company, they know what to do, they know how to employ. Sophie has already been given such steady direction, instructions, fool proof do's and dont's, she gets it.

Since we told her the plan that when she gets a job she can make the dining room her own, she has been a changed person, home on time, calling if and when she is staying out. Cleaning up after herself ( but not the room she is in, never mind I shut the door and stay out!) She washes her dishes and when asked, she looks after the boys.

We haven't ( please Lord don't let me jinx it) had a head to head for a long while, frustrations over the asking to borrow money, certainly. Her wages are being paid into an account of mine that I don't use often, I have suggested that after the money she must pay us has been paid, she should choose how much she wants to blow on clothes or whatever and the rest I will split and give her each week for lunches ( if she wants to eat in the canteen, she can always take lunch from here) going out and credit for her phone. She didn't blow a gasket!

What I want to do, in fact I feel compelled ( which for me, lately, is a strong emotion, I have been a soul-less fish of an excuse for a woman lately, the rain has washed my get up and go completely away.) to do, while she is at work one day, is a makeover on her room. I shall have to start freecycle watching and ebaying like a frenzied thing and try to keep it quiet until I have what we need. I want to wait til she goes to work and then transform her room, so she has a bed and a dresser, curtains and a lamp, even a rug maybe. The rest, TV and DVD player etc, she can buy, I want her to love her room and want to be in it more.

With Sophie, if the challenge is too big, she gives in before she starts. If I get the basics and make it a lovely place to be, she can do the rest and will enjoy doing it.

I haven't been so excited about a project in a long time.

It's 2 years since she has had her own bed. Her fault entirely, it has been a good thing in a terrible way, but she is learning and she needs encouraging. She needs a bed and a pretty duvet, soft pillows and some lovely curtains. I shall begin to make that happen without telling her. Splendid.

H, to my absolute joy, is on board with the joy, he says he is going to get her a key cut tomorrow and give it to her when she comes home from work. He was positively animated while she told us the details of her day and her job....he is a staunch supporter of Asda for some reason and so was already a little impressed, the fact that she has 2 of everything from shirts to pens and numerous little dangly bits to keep things in has made him almost giddy with her new job.

I am resisting the urge to worry, to wonder what can go wrong. If it goes tits up, well so be it, for now I am grabbing the happy handles and hanging on for dear life. I am hugging and whoot whooting, I am doing every little thing I can to build her up and help her to stay there. It feels so good to have H with me on it, half the battle is won when there isn't a skirmish on the sidelines.

So, thumbs up's all good.



I can't quite tell you how good it feels to have good news like this. Long may it last!


Some other thoughts.

I seem to have been obsessing lately about my appearance. Not in a vain sort of way but in a flip floppy kind of way.

I am, for other people, totally enamoured of character, of individuality and signs of having lived and loved, of being real and having a story. I adore eccentric and different.

I am bored beyond words with the pretty young things with their extensions and nails, with the same eye make up, same clothes, hoopy ear rings. Everywhere I turn I see the same thing on young girls. Even, for the most part, the same expression. Meander though face book and my space, My space especially has a 'look' oh my, head tilted, slightly looking up through the eyebrows with a ridiculous pout and 'sexy me' OR from behind looking over the shoulder same head down sort of look, spare me.

No, for me, when I look at other people I want to see real life and laughter lines, wrinkles and a story.

When I look at me though, I ...actually, truth be told I don't look at me. At all if I can help it. When I do my hair, I look at my hair, when I put make up on, I look at my eyes. When I clean my teeth I look at my mouth. I never voluntarily look at my whole self. If I am forced to because I walk around a corner and dear life a shop window with ME in it. I am thrust into such a state of woe that it will ruin my day.

Sometimes though, I am in awe of the fact that I am a grandmother. I can see who I am and tell myself that things are so different now. Different things matter.

Being married to H has been a liberating thing for me, he does not see what I see. I am, it must be said, not totally sure what he does see. I just know that when I used to ( because I never do anymore) say anything that smacked of being unsure of myself he would, with a totally stunned look on his face say " I have no idea what you mean"

He has never said I am beautiful or that he finds me beautiful, he says things like ' that looks good' or 'there ya go, I like that' which for him is praise indeed.

He loves feminine and poor man, if ever there was a less frilly gingham and lace sort of girl, I have yet to see her. I could wear ( perish the thought) some kind of sexy item and he would be flummoxed, awkward, uncomfortable. If I were to dress as a pioneer I am pretty sure he would have ma against the nearest barn door with petticoats hoisted in a gosh darn minute!

I did my hair differently when we had been married about 2 years, thought he must be sick of the same old look, when I asked him what he thought he replied " how do you usually have it?" I struck gold when I found H, a less visual man would be tough to find.

Put before him a dinner of liver and bacon cooked with an onion gravy and mashed potatoes and his joy will burst forth, waxing lyrical. He and I were made for each other.

My sister came by yesterday to bring a hysterical book she just finished reading, she has called me often and read snippets to me while I reached into the fridge at Asda ( where Sophie WORKS!) to grab some milk, she was whistling with laughter and so as soon as she was done, she brought the book for me to read. She wanted to show me a particular passage and so she stood in front of me and she did this thing with her glasses that I love, every time I see her do it it makes me smile. I see her story and her life......I took a picture because it was just so perfect.


See? It's just so her.

I look at H with his eccentric sideburns that have long outlived ( And outgrown) the novelty and yet I still love it because it is so him, so bizarre and full of character.

I see big women I adore and see such beauty, such comfort, such joy and exuberance.

I see old ladies bent over with age and adore every inch of them.

I see old men with fat necks and hairy ears and they are divine in my eyes.

Why is it then that I cannot look at ME and just see what I am, who I am, what being me means?

It's so sad to feel so scrunched in on myself, so horribly uncomfortable and ashamed. I so want to feel differently and with great joy, I can say that the whole time I was in Boston I DID see me like that. With the exception of when we were shopping in blistering heat on sunday, when I was sweaty and hot and so fed up with dripping, I didn't once feel anything but gorgeous and exactly right. I had pictures taken of me that I didn't hate. I looked and saw what I hope other people saw and I liked it. How sad that it shrivelled away on the way home.

No matter how big I have been, no matter what size or shape, I have never had anyone be unkind to me, I have no experience of being shunned or hurt, the first one said things that could have scarred me but he is stupid and thoughtless, his words ran off me like water off a ducks back, apart from him, people have always just loved me. Whatever problems or hang ups I may have, are entirely of my own making and that makes me so cross at myself.

I decide that I wll work at it and change the way I look so that I will feel differently and I will admit when I am thinner I am more comfortable, I love buying nicer clothes but inside I still feel the same because I AM the same. I am me. It is time I just accepted me and tried to see me the way other people do. If only it were that simple.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

How incredibly awesome and wonderful. I must say I miss ASDA like something serious and now more since they've hired such wonderful help :). I am so happy for you and beautiful Sophie. I will continue to keep her in prayer!!

6:19 pm  
Blogger LosingSanity said...

Congratulations to Sophie on her new job. I hope it works out for her and she is able to gain confidence and independence.

I wish it were that simple to change the way we think. I can relate to a lot of what you said. I know deep down that I just need to accept myself as I am. Yet, it isn't as easy as that. But, isn't it great to have a husband like H? J is the same way. I have never felt more beautiful or at ease about my looks as I do with him. He looks at me and he adores me as I am. Sometimes I wonder if he is blind. They do say love is blind, though, right? LOL. If only we could see ourselves through their eyes!

3:48 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do the same things when I look in the mirror. Sometimes i am shocked when I really look at myself or see a picture someone has taken. In my mind, I still look the wai I did at 30, but certainly not in the mirror.
Love the picture of your sis. I think she is beautiful. As for Sophie, I couldn't be more excited for her. Don't you do the same thing she does and wait for the other shoe to fall. Wonder where she gets that? Hmmmm.....

9:49 am  
Blogger Tired Mom of Six said...

I felt the same as you in Boston. I felt like I could see what other people saw in me. It was a marvelous and wonderful feeling. Being myself and that being ok...with 12 women who I hadn't ever actually met before that time.

Helen, I wish you could see what we all see in you. I wish it weren't just glimpses that you saw. I think you're awesome. You are a great mum, funny, witty, kind...You're a great story teller and now I know you're a fab singer too. I just love you...ALL of you. All the little bits and the big bits. Every single part! Anytime you need to borrow my eyes to see yourself, just say the word.

I am supremely happy for Sophie & her new job. I hope only good things come her way and that she continues down the path she is on for her sake as well as yours.


3:12 pm  
Blogger Cathy said...

I wish you could look thru my eyes and see what I see when I look at you!
You are such a beautiful person with the most loving heart.
Please don't change....inside or out. I love you just like you are!

5:33 pm  
Blogger Jenn said...

Oh we are all so hard on ourselves.
Wish we could all pass our eyes to the left and see ourselves through our friends eyes whenever we're feeling down. An instant pick me up.
Am so proud of Sophie and thrilled that things are going so well (so far - and NO fates, that is not an invitation nor a dare to change things for the worse, so just scuttle off now)
I am excited for your 'project' - You have great decorating skillz!
In my eyes - you are just top notch! Love you.

8:09 pm  
Anonymous gemma said...

ahhhh i love that woman!! and the glasses thing!

9:34 pm  
Blogger Julie Q said...

I was excited to redo my girls room three years ago like that! I hope you can get what you need for her!! :)

Good luck to Sophie and her new job!

It surely is hard to see what others see in us isn't it?

1:33 pm  

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