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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!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Plenty of CAPS and YELLING.

Sometimes, it isn't such fun, being me.
I used to feel so useful and capable and good at things. I felt that way because I was, good at things I mean.
These days, I feel pretty much as if I am doing a half assed not up to par job of everything I Can be bothered to do.
I am the feminists nightmare, give me a husband to feed and a home to pretty up and I will wear a frilly pinny and sing while I bake. As long as the husband is out earning an honest crust and minding HIS own business while I mind mine. Dammit.
That's where we slip up, my husband and I. He wants my job, I don't want his.
I will stand up in my own soup and tell the world what I am good at. I am good at shopping I can make a penny do what a shilling used to do. I can make 3 meals from an empty pantry and then come up with dessert.
I can, but I never have to because my pantry is FULL, always full, cupboards are full, shelves and bulging and neding under the weight of my frugal stocking and filling.
There are very few days when I don't have any money. I live within my means, I scrimp and I spread what I have as finely as I Can so that there is usually a little bit of something hidden for an emergency, I mean a little bit, it may be only £100 but if I need it I can usually find it.
I have made it my goal that I will always be able to feed my family, have some treats and somehow, in some tiny way, be able to help someone else.
A small goal but however small your goal, when you achieve it, there is such enormous satisfaction. Such a sense of well being and self worth , I like that, I crave that, it is what keeps us all going.
I have always, no matter where I have been, from a room in the nurses home to the splendour of the barn, had a house that I am proud of, even that hideous devil's lair looked good to other people.
This house is a crap hole. I give in. I am outnumbered. For every pretty, attractive, stylish thing I find, there is some masculine pile of crap that will smother it. For every pleasing and orderly arrangement, a tangle of wires. For each leafy addition, there will be a piece of frayed string tied to it with a conker or toy animal attached.
I will throw away an old shoe box, 10 minutes later,there it is, back on my pretty hallway cabinet, next to the bike helmets and broken once beautiful flowery thing my mum made me, right there, underneath the wall of carefully hung family pictures that are so wonky and out of line because they have been hit by flying tennis balls, bouncy balls, sock balls, towel flicking fights, on top of the carpet that looks like something my Nan would have discarded ( And let me tell you, she lived in the same house for over 70 years and never threw a thing away)
I can cook a great meal. GREAT meal. Now, everything I cook, unless it is eaten with white rice, is sighed over, something refused, something not quite acceptable.
My pantry, such a source of pride and often ( this is true) I would go in the kitchen and just look at it, just get me some happy from staring at the ordered shelves. Well, it seems the order wasn't orderly enough because this weekend H rearranged it, every single sodding part of it. Every drawer, each and every shelf and even the cupboards were emptied and rearranged and now? Now I don't know where a bloody thing is. I feel like the somewhat unsatisfactory barely paid hired help. SO, when I cook a meal that will alomst certainly have something wrong with it, I have to yell " WHERE WILL I FIND?????"
Yes, you can imagine how well THAT goes down.
Now, if you had plenty of time and were so inclined, you would be able to go back to the last time I grumbled about H and his 'helpful' ways and by jiminy if it wasn't exactly 28 days ago.
THIS PROVES MY POINT! Because has he HELPED AT ALL in those 28 days? NO HE HAS NOT!
Has he mopped the 3 inches of talc off the bathroom floor? Why no. He is the only person to ever USE talc and yet, I am allowed to clean the floor every other day, all on my own, without any interference or suggestions whatsoever. I haven't touched that floor for a week just to SEE if he is inspired to clean it, you know to help me or whatever. It's forming it's own shape, like some new country developing right there in the bathroom, he has probably knelt in it whilst REARRANGING MY CUPBOARD UNDER THE SINK, where all the spare mouthwash and hand soap and toothpaste is stored ( in a displeasing way it would seem)
He will have to tramp his way through it to clear out the drawers that house bath toys and all manner of exciting things, he is about to do that because he told me this very day.
Bet he doesn't clean it. I bet he DOESN'T.
I hate, really, truly HATE losing all the things that gave me satisfaction.
I am so mad about this that I can't even write about Seth going away, for a whole week,
to sleep and climb and have fun and not be here.
I spoke to H about this ( and what a waste of breath, I have spoken to him before, what is the point?) and he said " I was making things EASIER for you"
"but they weren't hard!"
"But now everything is in a good place, you can find it all!"
"How many time did I EVER have to ask you where things were? How many? Never, not once BECAUSE I KNEW WHERE EVERYTHING WAS"
"but you don't always want to put the shopping away do you?"
"no, you are always more than welcome to put it away, WHERE it goes, where I CHOSE for things to be, where I can FIND them and where it was PLEASING to me to have them"
"Oh but we were making it all so much better for you and now it is EASY to see where everything goes."

Hello wall.

I am finding that more and more there is a part of me that is screaming against becoming who I am becoming. Feeling that it is all such a waste of time to even bother asserting myself because it is so much easier to just shut up and put up and wait to be old.
Don't get me wrong, being old isn't so bad at all, the alternative is pretty bleak and being old is liberating.
I just want to be something BEFORE I am old. Something splendid, all of my own. Something ME.
I don't think I have been anything yet.
Apart from pregnant, fat or exasperated.
Or someone else's something or other.
I love being a mother and wife and daughter and sister and friend. I do.
But I so long to be Helen...... SOMETHING no-one else is. Or something someone else is but BETTER.

I think most 40 something women feel this way. As though somehow, the best bit has passed us by and the rest all looks so humdrum.
Who am I to complain? I get to go away and be me every now and then and in 10 days I shall do it again.
When I go anywhere, on my own, as me, just me. I am like something that has been wound up, as tight as it can be wound and then held onto, very tight.
Then. Let. Go.
I talk without catching breath, I run around like a kid in a toy shop, here and there and DON'T TELL ME WHEN TO STOP.
I feel like a years' worth of ME has to get out.
10 days.
I hope I can last that long.
It's not a certainty by any means.
How everyone else in Boston will fare this time is another uncertainty, they are strong women, they'll cope, just drop me at Target and come back in 2 hours, I'll be fine, I'll be happy talking to those walls, a change is as good as a rest so they say.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Cathy said...

Sometimes they just need to leave well enough alone...but they don't know how to do that. They think they are helping.Helping would be to give us a hand and listen to us when we need them to do something for us.
If you need you, we shall call you...got it male species?

We Boston women have been resting and napping and working out in preparation of your arrival. We can not wait to let you loose in Target and watch you gooooooooo.....we will not stop you. We will be your cheerleaders and will push your cart or 3 around for you while you place things. We will listen to you talk. You can be telling us to go poop in our hats but with an accent like that, it will be so pleasant and we shall all line up with our hats in our hands.

Us 40 somethings have taken care of our families and now that they have become more independent, we shall brace all this time and, well not so much energy, and do things for us! Things that make US happy!

I love you and can NOT wait to wrap my arms around you. Please refrain from trying to steal my purse again....

6:42 pm  
Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

Oh Helen. You are such an inspiration, such a fountain of strength and wisdom and laughter. You are SO much more than you give yourself credit for.

11:31 pm  
Blogger Sara said...

Helen,

Again you manage to make me smile, laugh and cry all at once. I can't wait until you get here... and please leave Cathy's purse for me to steal. I saw it first.

12:23 am  

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