I spent a wonderful few hours yesterday morning with two of my good blogging friends, Alison and Katrina, and, as usual, we put the (blogging) world to rights. It left me in a wonderfully positive mood, so much so that I treated myself to lunch at Zizzis and as I passed a sports shop, I bought Dexter the Chelsea kit he’s been wanting some months.
I haven’t been in a position for the longest time to treat him on a whim like that, and it felt good to do so. To buy him something … just because. For so long I have been fighting to make ends meet … fighting to keep a roof over our heads … just fighting really. Bloody tiring.
Anyway, I came home and called Dexter downstairs and asked him to stand in front of me with his eyes closed and his hands held out. I then gently placed the carrier bag with the Chelsea kit inside it onto his hands. He looked at the bag, then looked at me, and said over and over again, “No no no, you haven’t …” He opened the bag as quickly as he could, looked inside and burst into tears. Because you see he’s not used to his Mum being able to just buy him something just because she felt like it. He is used to a Mum that complains about bills. Complains about whether she’s earning enough money. Complains about how tired she is all the time. A Mum that is ALWAYS on her laptop.
Earlier this week, I had finished most of my work for the day, done the housework, paid some bills and finally sat down … only to realise that for the first time in years, I was bored. I didn’t really know what to do with myself. Suddenly, I didn’t really have anything to worry about any more. I mean the bigger picture is always on my mind (hoping I will always have enough work and money to look after us all,) but at that moment in time, I was bored.
And it was the most wonderful feeling! I had time to think about making a lovely dinner. I now have a dressing table so that I have somewhere where I can do my make up and brush my hair … so I spent ten minutes doing just that. I now have a place for everything. My children are happy.
The mundaneness of that precise moment only served to highlight how intense the previous three years have been for me. Imagine being on this massive hamster wheel constantly, year-on-year, with no one to hold your hand … knowing that putting one foot wrong will see you thrown off. It’s utterly exhausting. So for me to actually have time to be bored is a bit of a revelation really. (And of course, the boredom didn’t last long because I remembered we needed some toilet roll!)
I’m finding I now have the head space to just sit and chill with Dexter when he comes home from school. Now when I ask, “How was school?” it’s not said whilst I’m trying to multi-task on the laptop. Instead, we sit on the sofa together for ten minutes while he unwinds and we chat about the teachers he likes (and the ones he doesn’t,) how quickly he managed to cycle home (and whether he beat the record from the day before) and the main question … what’s for dinner?
I find I talk more to both boys now because my head isn’t whirring around with the incessant worry of life and as much as some people may take that for granted, for me, it’s wonderful! I’ve finally managed to let go of things that have happened in the past and put them in their boxes where they belong. I won’t say it’s been easy, and nor do I think the process is over because you don’t suddenly get over the type of relationship I was in with no scars, but I’ve taken the right steps to ensure shit like that doesn’t hold me back. You see that’s the thing about bitterness and hatred, the only person it really affects is you. Letting it go is difficult but necessary.
I am enjoying just ‘being.’ I’ve joined a dating site again because I now feel I could possibly have the time and energy to devote to it again. (More of that later, obviously.) And I’ve realised that you can only really appreciate the calm and the mundane if you’ve been through tumultuous times so that when you come out the other side, you have perspective and context. It’s no bad thing.
So that’s where I’m at with things. In a good place, enjoying this new found breathing space while I can. Because if I’ve learnt anything, it’s that you should never take anything for granted and I have no idea what’s round the corner, but whatever it is, it’s nothing I can’t handle.