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Accept life on life’s terms

Or you will break

Once we leave secondary education and move on to university, a job, and have to pay bills etc, life becomes messy. We no longer have the security of home, the cushion that parents provide, or someone else you grew up with.

We become adults but are still not fully formed as our lives in society are very new. We may have survived debilitating illness, lost a parent, been in a car wreck, all these things cause us to have insight and compassion, but it has not prepared us for life in the big wide world.

If we have been brought up well enough, we understand that life is unfair, full of injustice, broken promises, and flaky people. We will also know that there are trustworthy people, kindness, family and friends to cheer you on and celebrate the success you achieve.

If we are unable to accept what life brings to our path, we will break, and find it very tough to be mended.

I knew a life-changing illness at an early age. It’s progression rendered me, a quiet, reserved girl, to be passive and not care about what doctors did to me. This wasn’t acceptance, but utter defeat. I realized some years later that I had unexpressed anger, and PTSD.

I know of people who had seemingly undisturbed lives who are angry anyway.

Life is difficult. We fall in love and our hearts get broken. We study hard but can’t convert that into a good degree. Our friends can be unreliable. Our dog dies. All these leave us with a choice.

  • We can become bitter and unpleasant to be around.
  • We can accept what life hands us, accept it and do our our best.

When we accept the difficulties, we have succeeded with half of those difficulties.

We grow as humans with every experience we have, if we choose to accept it. We gain knowledge and wisdom. We become better friends to others, wiser parents, more understanding lovers. We are kinder, empathetic, compassionate, good listeners, and gentle.

We allow people to have space, know when to touch them, when to intervene, how to encourage, not to be shocked. We turn up with food, without food, we send sympathy cards because we know how much it means.

These qualities come more easily to some than others. But it is not a competition. We be who we are are. None of us is perfect.

We accept imperfect people.

We are able to comfort those who are suffering, and allow kindness to be more important than our fear. Thus, we can help someone who has fallen on the sidewalk, give directions to strangers who are lost, stay with a child who is crying or not crying until their parent finds them again.

I have told complete strangers that they must hold their three year old child’’s hand in a busy main street. I have repeated it when I ran into them again outside another store. My fear of saying it is less important than a child’s safety.

I don’t care what others think of me if I am doing the right thing.

Recently, someone posted publicly that there were ambulances, fire trucks, and a doctor’s car at a certain place. I politely asked her to remove it as whoever needed them deserved some privacy and the vehicles already announced their distress. Later, I saw she had added a link to the fire service’s report. Again, I asked her to remove it. If people want to look up what the fire service was doing that day, they can go to the website. We don’t publicize the trauma of others just because we can.

I held my family members as they died within eighteen months of each other. We have become unafraid to do this. It is compassionate, and dreadful, but we do it because we love.

We face our own trauma with grace as we have realized there is no alternative. We thank those who care for us with kindness and cheerfulness. We laugh when we are able to, as it is medicine to the soul, and a moment shared.

Connection is valued because we are all human and need each other. We have learned to disconnect from those who do not respect or honor us. It is better to have an enemy than friends who cannot realize our worth.

We contribute to our community because we know it important to give back. We do this according to our personality, some volunteer, some take on responsibilities, some leave small handmade treasures to delight others, and many unseen, unrecognized, gestures of charity and hope.

If you have read this, I hope you are comforted, inspired, reassured, and know that you are not alone.

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I had food poisoning…

My queasiness turned into violent vomiting which unnerved me. Once that was over I seemed to feel myself again. I drank lots, with a rehydration tablet dissolved in it and went to bed.

But I awoke in a discombobulated state. I drank loads more water and ate some protein.

I checked in with my GP, not just about the food poisoning but another issue too. He told me I would need several days to recover fully.

I brought up the issue of linking with the hospice and became very weepy. It’s so emotive.

He suggested I might see a neurologist locally. I’ve already seen him. An excellent doctor, but an appalling bedside manner, and lack of awareness.

I don’t want to be poked and prodded again. I’ve been an experiment too much already. I want peace.

I love my life. I love my home. I love where I live. I’m just tired of forgetting where I put things and the energy it takes to do everything.

If only I could breathe without effort.

Mark, my GP, our children went to school together, so we address each other by first names, says we need to talk face to face so it has to wait until lockdown is over.

This is when I want a hand to hold in the night. My ex-husband would hold my hand in night if I slipped mine into his. No words. The same with Michael. I had a long relationship after I divorced my husband, and we touched as we slept too.

I have two heroes today. Mainly my daughter.

The vitriol on medium goes on. Callum Brown also made a complaint but about far more than I did.

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Sleeping a lot and the panic buying…

Thankfully, I slept well last night so the appliance on my finger didn’t bother me.

Today I have slept a lot. I woke feeling refreshed but soon realised I was exhausted. So I have slept a lot and rested.

Friends of mine are expecting a baby and she is in very early labour. I had hoped to see them, but she is exhausted and so am I.

I am not feeling so vulnerable now. I guess the physical exhaustion and the verbal stimuli I went through stripped back some of my resilience.

Life is hard sometimes, and we must accept it. We just need to sustain ourselves during the difficult times. It’s part of being alive.

No one ever said life would be easy.

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Who I am

Christine, in years to come you will hear words spoken about you,be asked questions you know not the meaning of, you will be as an exhibit, a fascination, reduced to symptoms of medical interest
Resist the urge to live,let yourself go into the gloomy stupor of death which leads to the light beyond. Ignore the instinct to survive, to grab hold of life, your suffering will be ignored, your pain unknown, you will never find love on this earth
Let all the confusion you will know wash over and away, the years beyond will be too many, with not enough of anything to sustain, not love, not friends, not family, your own daughter will desert you, your sister die in your arms
Dad will love you, mother will poison your life more than disease, let go, when death comes, say yes, and let it be short, don’t live long while you are dying, acquiesce, embrace the light, go to the everlasting arms, don’t exhaust yourself with living
People live in their cocoons, what destroys your life is of no concern, no one will care about you, empty words will fill your ears, enjoy the sunlight and say goodbye while you can speak, everyone you love will disappear, fade away, words have no meaning, life is dust, let go

Published by Hedgehog Press

This is the most autobiographical piece I’ve ever written. My editor invited poems on the theme of who we are. I chose to write to my seven year old self. I was broken up over recent events, I thought about the man I married, my love for him that had water poured over it and yet the support I gave him when a mother’s nightmare happened to us. He took, he took and took. Another relationship, fairly uneventful but he was jealous. He slipped a disc and I nursed him, he took and took. And all the time I was a mother putting my daughter first. Then a boring little man, who asked permission to go to the shop for his lunch stuff, got into my bedroom at three in the morning and molested me while we were talking. While making amends for that he seduced me and began a relationship with me. I started to fall in love but he obeyed his owner. I was fine but he came to visit me, and that was the undoing. I have a folder of emails I thought were from his owner, but apparently are from him. A lot of emails over the last nine months. And then he crushed me. Told me I only wanted a carer. He smashed me and the pieces are many

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Pablo Neruda…

Emerging

A man says yes without knowing
how to decide even what the question is,
and is caught up, and then is carried along
and never again escapes from his own cocoon;
and that’s how we are, forever falling
into the deep well of other beings;
and one thread wraps itself around our necks,
another entwines a foot, and then it is impossible,
impossible to move except in the well —
nobody can rescue us from other people.

It seems as if we don’t know how to speak;
it seems as if there are words which escape,
which are missing, when have gone away and left us
to ourselves, tangled up in snares and threads.

And all at once, that’s it; we no longer know
what it’s all about, but we are deep inside it,
and now we will never see with the same eyes
as once we did when we were children playing.
Now these eyes are closed to us,
now our hands emerge from different arms.

And therefore when you sleep, you are alone in your dreaming,
and running freely through the corridors
of one dream only, which belongs to you.
Oh never let them come to steal our dreams,
never let them entwine us in our bed.
Let us hold on to the shadows
to see if, from our own obscurity,
we emerge and grope along the walls,
lie in wait for the light, to capture it,
till, once and for all time,
it becomes our own, the sun of every day.

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More from Issue 57, Spring 1974

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SHARED FROM A FRIEND IT WAS TOO MEANINGFUL NOT TO PASS ALONG: When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now & then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, & extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his Biscuit, smile at my mom & ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love burned biscuits.” Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night & I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms & said, “Your momma put in a long hard day at work today & she’s real tired. Besides… a burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!” You know, life is full of imperfect things… & imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, & I forget birthdays & anniversaries just like everyone else. What I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each others faults & choosing to celebrate each others differences, is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, & lasting relationship. So…please pass me a biscuit. And yes, the burned one will do just fine! And please pass this along to someone who has enriched your life… I just did! Life is too short to wake up with regrets… Love the people who treat you right & forget about the ones who don’t. ENJOY LIFE NOW – IT HAS AN EXPIRATION DATE!!!…

This post doesn’t have a title as I copied and pasted this from elsewhere in my docx, and it won’t co-operate with my wish for a title. I’m a hopeless blogger. My cleaner just left and told me I keep my home much tidier than a lot of places she cleans. She didn’t need to say this. She said it because she is kind and full of love for people. Life is too short to criticise and find fault with others all the time.

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SHARED FROM A FRIEND IT WAS TOO MEANINGFUL NOT TO PASS ALONG: When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now & then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, & extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his Biscuit, smile at my mom & ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love burned biscuits.” Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night & I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms & said, “Your momma put in a long hard day at work today & she’s real tired. Besides… a burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!” You know, life is full of imperfect things… & imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, & I forget birthdays & anniversaries just like everyone else. What I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each others faults & choosing to celebrate each others differences, is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, & lasting relationship. So…please pass me a biscuit. And yes, the burned one will do just fine! And please pass this along to someone who has enriched your life… I just did! Life is too short to wake up with regrets… Love the people who treat you right & forget about the ones who don’t. ENJOY LIFE NOW – IT HAS AN EXPIRATION DATE!!!Sharing a thought…

I came across this earlier, and wanted to share it. This is love. Life is too brief to waste it criticising other people. For every finger we point there are three pointing back at us.

My cleaner just left. She asked why I was short of breath when I reached the bottom of my stairs. I explained briefly, and she replied that she thinks I’m amazing because my home is so much tidier than other homes she cleans. She didn’t need to say this. She said it because she is kind and loving. She helped me swap lamps around because my bedside lamp bulb died at the weekend or before. She noticed the lamp we brought up was bulbless, and brought one up from my cupboard. I can get a replacement bulb today or whenever it suits me, mainly it’s remembering. The real name for a ‘bulb’ is lamp which I learned from my electrician friend. I need a lamp for my lamp. I find this amusing because I am easily amused and pleased.

Mike continues to attack me. Let him. Life is too short, I’ve had three family members die in my arms. I want to live my life…