Feelings

It has been a roller-coaster of emotions for me these past eight weeks. On many days I have coped by blocking my emotions out. I have either acted by automatic pilot, and / or kept myself very busy, doing anything except taking the time to stop and simply feel my emotions. At other times, my emotions have poured out of me like a torrent of water from a broken tap that would not stop, and I felt things deeply.

My writing stopped for several weeks.

Then when I started writing my journal again, I wrote in a staccato, factual fashion, with no depth of feeling. That was because I was finding it very difficult to process five or six different emotions all at once. It became easier to describe what was happening, rather than how I was feeling. How could I describe all that I have been feeling? All the time my mind has been blank, yet racing at a thousand miles a second. How could I describe that?

Earlier this year I had been working through my transformation to the new me; beginning with my foundations of comfort, then moving on to my foundations of freedom, and the freedom to discover myself. As part of that process I had reached a point where I began to feel my own feelings. Like a light coming on, I realized that I had a right to those feelings, and a right to express those feelings. To some people, that may seem like a strange discovery. Not for me. To me, this was a revolution happening. It was a huge change.

For many years I had been suppressing how I really felt, I had been suppressing the true me inside myself. I was the product of growing up as the introverted sister with two extroverted siblings. I became the product of the introverted wife married to the ultra-extroverted husband. I learned to play the part of second fiddle. I learned to fix and support but never shine. I learned to think that I did not matter, that my feelings did not count, that my opinions were not that important, that what I did was not significant.

Earlier this year I found my own significance and my own feelings began to surface. When I began to feel my feelings and recognize them as my own feelings, I wrote down as the first part of my life purpose “to find my voice and speak my truth“. In other words, I had resolved, to not only act true to myself, but to also begin to speak out about being true to myself. I resolved to begin telling my whole story, to voice out loud how I really felt inside my heart and to express what I really thought, rather than what I thought other people would expect of me.

Then life got in the way.

Before I had a chance to write my story (the story that had been), more of life began happening. Life unfolded in an expected and sudden way and I was swept along by a stream of emotions: joy and sadness, hope and desperation, elation and disappointment, aloneness and togetherness, comfort and distress, brokenness and harmony, confusion and clarity, quandary and resolution, closed and open, indecisiveness and decisiveness, anger and calmness.

At first I could not process them, to feel them. Then I did. I began to feel them. Some of them hurt, yet I allowed myself to feel their intensity.  The numbness that had been blocking out my emotions lifted. It had been so foreign to me to allow myself to feel any emotions. It was even more foreign to express those emotions.

Yet, to feel them is to live more fully, to express them is to become true to myself.

To write about them is now, for me, a necessity.

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Images:Courtesy[Africa]FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Circle of life

Thirty four years after missing out on seeing him at his ‘last ever performance’ at Wembley Stadium in London, I saw Elton John perform Tuesday evening in little Tasmania, Australia. This was a day I simply sat back and enjoyed the moment of watching and hearing a fantastic performance from an incredible artist who started playing the piano at 3 years of age.

This was his closing song and I feel one of his best. it holds so much meaning.

“Circle Of Life”
Music Elton John
Lyrics Tim Rice

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to be seen than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done

Some say eat or be eaten
Some say live and let live
But all are agreed as they join the stampede
You should never take more than you give.
.
In the circle of life
It’s the wheel of fortune
It’s the leap of faith
It’s the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life.
.
Some of us fall by the wayside
And some of us soar to the stars
And some of us sail through our troubles
And some have to live with the scars
.
There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round
.
In the circle of life
It’s the wheel of fortune
It’s the leap of faith
It’s the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life.
.
.

🙂

.

I am woman

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start”.
Nido Qubein

Since the separation from my husband I have reflected often on who or what I am.

Having been with him some 40 years, having had 4 children together, and having worked and synergized together on so many worthwhile projects;  I had previously seen myself as half of a couple living in tandem; and in the roles I fulfilled as a wife and mother. With my husband gone and my children grown, I felt lost as to who or what I had now become.

It took me some time to see myself as an individual, rather than as half of a couple. In reaching that point, I came to the realisation that for many years – in the commitment I had made to my marriage – there had been for me an overwhelming feeling of responsibility for the happiness and needs of my husband. I was often caught up in seeing all life episodes through the lens of the effects on him. At times, I even I began living my life through his values, standards and priorities. These were not necessarily wrong. They were just not always the same as mine. As such, and with my quieter personality, I often went unseen and unheard with my real self melting away.

Now I have the opportunity to live by my own true self and to become the person I have always wanted to be.

Who is that person?

I thought in answering that question, I would begin with who I am right now that I cannot change. Then I can take a look at who I am inside me that I can change if I want to, or not if I do not want to. Then with the strength of that inner core, I may take myself on a wonderful journey of discovery as to who I would like to become.

This is who and what I am now that I cannot change. This is the point from which I will start the next part of my journey:

  • I am 58 years old.
  • I am an introvert.
  • I am a woman

I Am Woman
-Artist: Helen Reddy. -Words and Music by Helen Reddy and Ray Burton

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
’cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

CHORUS
Oh yes I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
’cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
’cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

CHORUS

I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Oh yes I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong

FADE
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman

New memories

My son currently based in Canada is home with his girlfriend for the next two weeks. The other children have come from near and not-so-near to spend time with us.

I have been busy the last few weeks getting the house ready for his arrival so that I am able to once more accommodate 8 people.This included a sudden idea to revamp the room upstairs that had gradually taken on a mausoleum-like appearance and gathering of dust through its complete non-use. The room I am referring to of course is ‘THE’ bedroom. Whilst earlier on after the separation I had prided myself in my decisive action of spring-cleaning and ridding myself of meaningless ‘stuff’ and any reminder of the past that caused me pain, my call to action and my I-am-a-survivor spirit had only gone so far. The what-am-I-doing-here-in-this-big-empty-house reality took hold of me over the winter where I had in fact retreated into three rooms of the house with me sleeping in the guest room. I could not sleep in ‘THE’ bed or ‘THE’ bedroom upstairs. Long story cut short – with all the children, girlfriends, daughter-in-law and grand-daughter coming home suddenly I was in the throws of getting a builder in to change a door around, replacing carpet and blinds, painting, and buying a new quilt cover and other small items. After three weeks – thoroughly exhausted – I had a complete new room. Although my son and his girlfriend will stay here initially, this will become my new room. The bed (not ‘THE’ bed) is now looking in a different direction out to the valley and I have a little writing studio, claimed from what was a balcony, set-up for me to indulge my new-found passion of writing.

Yesterday the valley, across to the east and down to the river, put on quite a display with the wattle all ablaze in vibrant yellow against the backdrop of greenery and the sun providing warmth and comfort.

We all had a fantastic afternoon and evening re-living some happy memories and making some new ones, telling favourite stories of the past, laughing and sharing our thoughts and dreams for the future. I went to bed last night feeling contended and at peace.

I have been so excited because all the children and I are now together again. I do so miss all the family times together and I am going to enjoy every moment with them while I can. My ‘new beginnings’ blogging will have to take a back-seat for a little while so I can indulge in some living and making for myself and the family some new happy memories ….

Be back soon……….

Week 34 – Bike ride through Stanley Park

At week 34 post separation, I was in Vancouver Canada visiting my son.

On my last day we went bike-riding through Stanley Park. It was great – an easy trail.

ImageI had a fantastic time and simply lived for the moment and while I was cycling along I was taking in every part of the journey – the trees, the ground, the sky, the flowers, the people, the water, the views, the boats, the crowds, the grass… I wanted to capture it all and so – and even though I am NOT a photographer – I went click, click, click with my camera in order to capture every single moment I was enjoying.  The pictures say it all.

We started out our journey in North Vancouver where we caught a bus to Stanley Park.

The start of our day’s journey. View from window                 North Vancouver

The ride took us through a public area first with lots of pedestrians, babies in back-packs or prams, people on bikes, people roller-blading. Then we went out of this area into an initially paved trail then into a forested glen shaded by trees onto a gravel bridle trail that we were able to bike along.

ImageAfter a while we came to beaver lake where we saw some ducks and a chipmunk,

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ImageThen we cycled through more wooded trails

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Imageto the foreshore

Imageunder the lionsgate bridge

Imagewith Cyprus and other mountains in the background…

Imagea taste of the busy city life with cargo ships and sailing ships passing us by.

ImageThen further along the foreshore on to Enoch bay beach where there were many people enjoying the spring day.

ImageAnd what a beautiful May spring day it was ….

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ImageHere we indulged in some decadent foods before heading back through the park then caught the bus back to North Vancouver.

ImageAnd while I was cycling and riding along I was thinking and planning my life’s way forward. This ride – an easy trail yet so enjoyable – was so much like my vision in December of wanting to take the easier trail through life …. no more mountains.
On this beautiful spring day i was enjoying in the northern hemisphere, I was positively sure that it was a clear message sent to me – that there is an easier way, there is a way you can manage, there is the easier trail that you can take through life ……. no more climbing mountains…….. take hold of life one manageable step at a time.

 

Week 3 – Spring clean

By week 3 of life on my own (02 October 2011) I was starting to feel just a little bit angry. I thought of the years stripped away. How could I ever think of them with fondness and happiness again. My childhood sweetheart where the love was supposed to continue forever; the future we planned together of travel and time with the grand-children; our home together; our four beautiful children; the support on projects we gave each other over the years; the trials; the triumphs; the holidays; the camping; the support for him; always, always, always being there for him …… yet he dumps me like a limp cabbage. HOW could he do this to me …………Yes, the anger definitely started stirring inside of me.

Message to self.”Self, channel this anger energy into something positive”

And I did. ……… I started to clean.

I cleaned out the cupboards of the house. I took everything out, washed everything, cleaned down the shelves, and put back only exactly what I needed for myself. I packed away everything else or threw things away. “If in doubt, throw it out” was the motto I followed. I tidied, I washed, I vacuumed, I packed away boxes of “stuff”.

I decided to keep only a quarter of what was there before. Half for him then I got rid of half of my half.  I worked right through the night and the following day and the following week. I continued until I had finished. There was now space on all the shelves for me to start again. I put all the “reject” stuff into boxes to be taken away. This was good therapy. It felt good. In fact, it felt strangely fantastic.

Later one of my sons came home and helped me halve the videos and DVDs. We cleared out my husbands music collection, his CDs and his books. It was symbolic for me. I was ridding him from my life literally, metaphorically and emotionally.

This was still only week three and I was still in pain and utterly raw inside the whole time. Many things made me sad and I could not face them. So I made a “sad” box. If I came across something that made me too sad to leave out yet too precious to throw away, I put it in my “sad box” to look at later when I felt I could deal with it. That time has not yet come. This included some photos, gifts and jewellery that only yesterday held a special place in my heart reminding me of our time together and now I did not know what they would mean to me.

If there was anything that I found uplifting in those painful early weeks, it was the action of spring-cleaning the house; of ridding myself of the painful reminders of the happily-ever-after that now would never be; of re-claiming all the space as mine; of starting new beginnings. This was the beginning of me for moving on as me.

So ended the third week of life on my own.

Week 1 – Pain

Week One – Pain

I coped by shutting down and living my life one hour at a time. How could I come to grips with what had happened? It is not easy to pick oneself up after 36 years of marriage and accept that it is over. Your marriage is everything; your heart, your soul, your soul-mate, your family, your work, your drive, your reason for getting up in the morning with hope in your heart. And it is gone. All gone in an instant. The tears started to flow and became a torrent that would not stop. All the time voices tried to get into my head reliving the past, thinking of our plans for the future. I shut them out. I could not cope. The past was too painful. Yesterday they were happy memories, now they are too sad. I could not go there. Our future – my future – had been stolen. What was to become of me now? I became anxious about the future. I shut it out. Only the present was safe. Only the present was real. So I stayed in the present – one painful hour at a time. Wake, walk, work, shop, cook, eat, house duties, sleep – going through the motions of life like a zombie.

Breathing became a top priority for me – it meant I was alive.