working towards perfection (and failing)

Tag: happiness

good things come to those who wait?

waiting-room-sign

It’s a ridiculous idea really, probably created by the same person who came up with the idea that your time will come, and that person probably had it all. It’s a concept designed to make us feel a little better about our situations and our problems.

The reality is that for most ordinary people, good things don’t just fall into their laps. If we all waited for everything to just happen our lives would be a chaotic mess. Life is about working hard and reaping the benefits of the effort we put in. I’m a great believer in that. It sort of contradicts my belief that Fate plays a great part in our lives, but doesn’t really detract from it.

Life is both a blessing and a curse. It’s frustrating, repetitive, ridiculous, and painful as well as happy, eventful and lovely. And yes, good things do sometimes come to those who wait, but bad things do too.

Our lives are like little waiting rooms. We wait patiently for buses, for feedback, for donor organs, in queues, on dating websites, and for the postman. We struggle to make ends meet, but know that one day those good things will come. We forego our holidays and our new cars, that perfect pair of shoes and the lover who got away, because we know that good things are just around the corner.

It’s a terribly dangerous concept.

‘Good things come to those who work hard, play hard and are kind to everyone, and even then the good things aren’t guaranteed’, is what the saying should be.

I’ve been waiting patiently for some good things, but good things are rare indeed.

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the melodramatic self-pity post

horridplace

I was simply enjoying a car journey home from the garden centre one day last week when – with no provocation – some great big freaky freakoid leapt out at me and caused the weirdest sensations.  In my head I’ve been likening it to a mini anxiety attack, but on reflection it appears I’ve been suffering from these without realising for howevermanyyears anyway; stress-related IBS, blushing, tongue-tiedness, palpatations, festering warmth and that humongous debilitating knot of worrisomeness that lives in my chest as my constant companion.

The further I get from the actual experience the more ridiculous it seems, but it was truly frightening, if only for a couple of minutes.

It began with a WHOA!

Became a YOU’RE GOING TO BE 40 THIS YEAR!

And hasn’t really ended.

I don’t feel old. But I am old. And I suddenly realised that my life as passed me by, and the older I get the more blurred it becomes.

I haven’t really achieved anything with my life. I haven’t had a baby (SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! STUPID MOTHER OF MY BLOKEY!) and I may have a mortgage but we only have one toilet (I know, I’m ridiculous *rolling of eyes*).

Yes, society makes me think that I’m a failure. All of a sudden my head has decided that I haven’t conformed to society’s wishes. Facebook screams of the jubilation of babies and children and I just want to bang my head against a brick wall.

“My toddler had a poo today!”

Well, no shit.

I suppose the best way I can describe my experience in the car was one of deep sadness. And I don’t just mean deep.  I mean DEEP.  And for the briefest of moments I actually thought, I don’t want to turn 40; I don’t have to turn 40. It was such a peaceful thought … and it’s that peacefulness that scared the crap out of me.

I know that I’m blessed. I have an adoring Blokey, two beautiful cats, a couple of crazy neighbours to keep me occupied, a job I love, I know some brilliant people and have an amazing family. We own our own house (with help from the bank) and our own car. We have savings that amount to more than I earn in a year and I can afford to buy pretty things.

But I feel that my life is spiraling out of control. I need control. I crave it. And yet I have none right now, and I’m teetering on the edge of my world with a sense that I’d be quite happy to fall off the edge …

(I don’t want sympathy … I want a kick up the arse, with thanks in anticipation …)

#16 – what’s at the top of your bucket list

bucketList

Unattainable?

That’s a secret.

Attainable?

Hmmm …

I’d like to visit Russia in the winter, see the Northern Lights from both Alaska and Norway, find Moggly-Moo, dye my hair an outrageous colour, buy a (pink) scooter, get two (more) tattoos, spend a day just travelling on the tube, treat Blokey to a drive in an Aston Martin or a Ferrari, eat curry in India with my little sponsored boy …

I think top of my list would be living a little more …

#14 – if you won the lottery …

pinterest

Hmmm, wouldn’t this depend on how much money I won?  A tenner wouldn’t buy me anything substantial but would be useful towards my weekly bus fare.  A few thousand would probably just sit in the bank until we need a new boiler desperately.

Are we talking a few million?  I do often daydream about this.  I suspect I will spend my entire existence dreaming about it.

When the lottery first started over here I was at uni and was in a relationship with this lad who would later cheat on me.  His mother didn’t like me, but I think that’s probably irrelevant. We both chose six numbers and for the final months of our relationship we bought two lines on a single ticket.  When we broke up after two years and twelve days (no, if I was truly a sentimental dimwit I’d knock a couple of days off for the weekend we broke up five months after getting together, plus a day or so where he was missing because instead of breaking my heart quickly he opted to bugger off for a night with the girl who he would dump me for, but who would later cheat on him … ) I continued to buy two lines (his numbers and mine) for a good few years because I was positively not going to let him win all the money if his numbers came up.

Then I became too poor and stopped playing. Now Blokey buys our tickets and I can’t even remember what those damn numbers from the nineties are.

I would do the nice thing and give money to charities, noteably Kidney Research UK and the local one connected to Hospital. I would travel to India to visit my sponsored boy and give the charity that cares for him oodles of money.  The forum that I moderate on would be given a nice pile of dosh so that they don’t have to worry about funding their existence and will continue to be there for people like me.

Each of our brothers would get a one-off payment to spend how they wanted and trust funds for present (and future) nephews and nieces would be set up. If either of our mothers needed anything we wouldn’t deny them.

I’d be selfish, of course.  A nice house in a posh part of town (not this town) with at least three toilets.  Maybe a small flat in London.  I’d travel to Russia and Canada, America and New Zealand, Peru and Norway.

I wouldn’t give up work, but Blokey would.

I’d like to just give money to random strangers.  I think it would be fun. I’d set up a website and run it from home.

I’d pay for a cleaner who didn’t mind me cleaning before s/he came round. They could do the ironing as well.

I’d buy a whole room of Irregular Choice shoes.

And never wear them.

Oh, to dream …

beneath your beautiful

AnotherLittleMe

Oh, hello Little One!  My, how you’ve grown.  How old are you now … five, maybe six?

I know that you’re hurting, beautiful.

You’re becoming such a grow’d up cutie-pie with your infectious giggle and your constant natterings betraying your vibrant imagination.

I love being you.

You possess some wonderful qualities which you must never lose, whatever terrible nasties happen to you.  But you do need to know that there will come a point where it will be okay to put these to one side and intentionally allow them to become hidden under the clutter that will be your life.

You don’t have to keep everybody happy all the time.  It will exhaust you.

I am completely and utterly in love with you because you are everything that I used to be, and am no longer.

You have my permission to enjoy the occasional tantrum.  Nobody will love you any less if you stop bottling up your feelings. It’s fine to say that you don’t want to do that (ignore the infamous grow’d up tantrums on the front lawn) regardless of how other people react.

I wish I could take away the pain you feel and the thoughts which tumble through your head.

You will have ups and you will have downs.  That is life.  Through it all you’ll continue to keep everybody happy all the time, as far as you possibly can and for as long as you want.  Do not feel obliged to keep everybody happy for always; when they’ve passed the point of deserving happiness, let them go (ignore the infamous grow’d up contemporarily public tanrums). You’ll be a healthier person for doing so.

Your life will for ever be a jumbled mess but you will cope with it and everything it throws in your direction.  I need you to know that. Don’t ever give up, however much you want to. And always remember that your happiness is just as important as that of other people.

I am far stronger than I give myself credit for, and this strength comes from you, my Little One. I think of you often and I thank you for giving me life and purpose.

I love you, Little One.

a world you never see

It has come to my attention that there are a huge amount of folk who are completely missing out on a whole world of pleasure.  I use public transport (mostly buses) on a near-daily basis.  I find them cold (in the winter), hot (in the summer) and interesting (because of the variety of people who use them).  I also find them annoying, stupid, boring, headache-inducing and occasionally painful.  However, on my last adventure with buses I opted to sit on the top deck.  This isn’t something I do very often, partly because I’m a paranoid worrier who is convinced the bus driver won’t stop when I press the STOP! button, which then results in me tumbling down the stairs in my efforts to get off where I want to get off …  On this occasion I was going to the very last stop, so I happily climbed the stairs, hit shuffle on my iPod and watched the world fly by.

About half-way through the journey I realised that I was enjoying it.  Yes, I was enjoying my bus journey.  I wasn’t seeing it as a means to an end, waiting for the next person to sit on my lap and the teenager to stop blaring his music in my already music-hearing ear.  Instead, I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing in wonder at the world beyond (or beneath) my (dirty) window.

Granted, I am an exceptionally nosy cow anyway.  I like winter because people leave their lights on without drawing their curtains and I get a glimpse into the world they reside in.  If a conversation sounds interesting I’ll start listening in, even when I’m wearing headphones and have to turn my music down.  I don’t always mind queueing because I can see what other people are buying (why in the heavens does he need condoms!?)  and I can spy on people in parks when sitting on benches.  Oh, and my dream is to spend an entire day just sitting on the tube with a flask of tea and a notepad and pen …

If I hadn’t been sitting on the top deck of the bus I wouldn’t have known the river was directly behind those houses.  I never would have seen the dove pigeons sitting on the roof, nor the heart-shapes in the shutters gracing the windows.  I was inches from some souls bedroom window and could have reached out to grab the curtains fluttering in the breeze (if there wasn’t a dirty bus window in the way).  I wouldn’t have missed the lady at her front door, deceiving the world with her airs and graces, but I would have missed the dreadful clutter that was her conservatory.  I may have even seen your pink frilly knickers hanging on the washing line, the line you thought was safe from prying eyes behind a high brick wall.

By the way, your guttering is broken and that roof tile looks a little loose.  And I do LOVE your bedroom.

I could see random rubbish strewn on the top of bus stops, lost balls in overgrown hedgerows, beautifully landscaped (and some not so beautifully landscaped) back gardens and a reason for having net curtains.

It’s not very exciting, in the grand scheme of things, but it made me happy.  I was seeing what you weren’t seeing; I had my eyes open to a world which few people inhabit and it gave me a brief sense of power and knowledge.

And then I arrived at my destination and life continued as normal.

Spike is to Sunnydale what Snape is to Hogwarts

In my early years I just couldn’t understand the fascination with vampires.  They were blood-sucking evil pointy-teethed undead folk who needed to be driven away with garlic and holy water.  I couldn’t understand how they could exist and so I deemed them to be unworthy of my precious time.

To be fair though, I always had a problem with anything which seemed fantastical and beyond the definition of ‘normal’.  Musicals?  I liked them, but couldn’t get my pretty little head round why the characters within them felt the need to break into song every three minutes; the stories tended to be fine without the music.  To this very day I find it difficult to watch anything where the characters enjoy the sounds of their own (often truly irritating) lyrical sing-song voices. I LOVE Glee, but always fast forward through the songs because the show works well as an insight into the wacky trials and tribulations of being a cheerleader/teenage parent/geek/idiot/narcissist; why spoil it with songs and random dancing in odd places like shopping centres and coffee shops?

I was never able to get into fantasy books either.  On my first attempt at reading a Discworld novel I gave up in disgust after just four pages.  I think I’ve now read nearly all of them, but it wasn’t until I met Pratchett fan Blokey (and had a couple of Harry Potter books under my belt) that I was able to begin liking them.  He let me borrow a book he knew I would enjoy, and I did, so it made me hungry for more.

In my early teens I became obsessed with horror.  I don’t mean gruesome, ghoulish, your head has twisted all the way around and your dreams can kill you horror … I became obsessed with what I would term as ‘real-life’ horror; that which I believed could actually happen.  Vampires couldn’t really happen so they were completely off my radar.  To digress slightly, one of the only films which truly scares the poopy out of me is Halloween.  It gives me chills and forces me to sleep with the light on.

It will come as no surprise therefore that when Buffy started I didn’t watch it.  This was partly because I was in my early twenties and so it wasn’t directly aimed at me, but it was mostly because of the whole vampire malarkey.  And I really didn’t get vampires.  And then something most peculiar occured; vampires became the Next Big Thing.  I wasn’t dragged into the Cool Club kicking and screaming.  I didn’t even meander slowly into it. I simply woke up one day and realised that actually vampires were okay because they were everywhere.

True Blood, Being Human, The Vampire Diaries, Twilight … I suddenly realised that I was enjoying the whole vampire concept.  I am nothing if not a follower of fashion.  Ho-hum.  I will be honest though; I think it has something to do with men.  True Blood has Eric, Being Human had Mitchell, The Vampire Diaries has Damon and Twilight has Edward (yes, so shoot me.)  They’re all easy on the eye, and verily delectable. My perfect vampire would have to be Damon’s personality in Eric’s body with Edward’s intense love and Mitchell’s dress sense.

*drools*

Last summer Syfy decided they were going to show Buffy in its entirety on a daily basis, from the first episode of Season 1 through to the final episode of Season 7.  As I’d just taken voluntary redundancy and had months of nothingness looming ahead of me I decided to throw caution to the wind and see what all the fuss was about.  And I became well and truly hooked.  I didn’t really like Buffy herself, nor Angel, but I did have a soft spot for Willow and Xander, Anya and Spike.  Oh, and I fell very much in lust with both Seth Green and his character Oz (despite the fact that I didn’t like it when he turned into a werewolf.)    Some of the acting was rather wooden, the fighting laughable and the make-up ridiculous but I still couldn’t tear myself away from it.

This morning I still had four episodes left to watch.  This afternoon I have none.  Yes, I shed a tear when Buffy told Spike she loved him and yes, I was pretty annoyed that Anya’s death barely registered.  I REALLY detested that girl who threw herself at Willow, but I LOVED that Spike turned all lovely and world-saving.

This post is a very long-winded way of me saying that I’ve had to learn that reality can be suspended for an hour or two each day.  I still don’t ‘get it’ and I have no intention of trying to wrap my head around it but I don’t need to understand it in order to enjoy it anymore.

I’m a big girl now.

*smile*

It must be that time of year again

My brain has gone poo-ey. 

I started to write a post about family (mine), but I can’t form my words to express myself in a way that makes sense.  It feels as though there’s a little man in my head and he’s trying to pull a big heavy door across my brain, forcing me to spend all my energy on holding him/it back.  I’m sure it’s just tiredness.

Tabatha-Cat has walked off in disgust because I ignored her. 

*sigh*

Just recently I’ve been besieged by forgetfulness.  There was the problem of Hugh Dennis.  It took me the whole of an episode of Mock the Week to remember his blasted surname.  Then there was the problem of which film I’d seen at the weekend.  After two days of being unable to remember (just days after seeing it) I had to ask The Blokey to jog my memory.  It was Surrogates, in case you were wondering.  I’ve just received an email from a friend reminding me that I had promised to send some photos; I’ve known that I needed to email this friend but for the love of goodness I couldn’t remember why. 

Sometimes I sit here and I forget what I’m doing.  I forget words, and I forget what I’m talking about.  I certainly can’t think clearly.  The Blokey has noticed. It’s making me sad.  And it can’t be normal, can it?

Rational Head informs me that it’s simply tiredness and stress, that I’m all wound up like a tenser than tense something that’s tense and eventually it will either a) drain away, or b) erupt quite spectacularly in a very public place.  At the very worst, says Rational Head, it’s mild depression and, says Rational Head, you’ve dealt with that before and you can deal with it again.  Married life has been stressful (not the being married bit; just the significant Big Bits that all seemed to happen because after we got married!) and so I can surely be excused a bit of depression?

Irrational Head is a bit of a minx.  She makes me Google my symptoms.  On the one had this Google lark is good; depression and anxiety can cause forgetfulness.  On the other hand, the one which Irrational Head waves in my face, it’s a tad bleak.  Parkinson’s.  Dementia. Adjustment Disorder.  You’ve got ADD, screams Irrational Head.  She’s probably right. 

The Blokey wants me to go and see the GP (this is the same man who wouldn’t go and see his GP for three years, when it was obvious there was something seriously wrong with him …).  I’m not so sure.  There’s a big part of me which wants to be diagnosed with something (anything) because then I know that I’m right and not just a bit doolally.  But if the GP can’t find anything wrong with me, and is hesitant even to diagnose anxiety or depression, then that would be awful … truly awful. 

In other completely random and totally off-topic news, The Blokey wants another cat.  I know he does because he wants us to visit the animal shelter from whence came Tabatha (and find her a friend).  He says that it’s not him who wants another cat, but me!  Tsk.  So, should we, shouldn’t we … Oh, the decisions!

My pussy needs some attention (and I have a hungry belly) …

Madness takes its toll – please have exact change

Oompf keeps buggering off.  He’s happy to share the frivolity of life with me, but seems to disappear when he realises that life isn’t full of fun and games.  The last couple of weeks has seen Oompf hiding lots.  He always takes a holiday at this time of year, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

I’m trying to find balance within my life.  If I can’t find the balance I’ll tumble into something resembling more than mild depression and that frightens me.  There have been Good Things happening over the last couple of weeks, but … Pfft. 

Good Things?

  • We went to Cardiff and stayed in the Marriott (thank you Tesco)
  • We went to Cardiff and danced with The Killers (and Louis XIV)
  • We went to a little village near Cardiff and confused the NephewBoys

(does it draw well? 

does it draw a well *laughs* don’t be silly auntie liftabus!

no, does it draw well, silly, as in does it make nice pictures?

[later]

william has drawn a well for you!

oh.)

  • We went to maC and laughed with Al Murray (again)
  • We spent a weekend together without an online connection and it reminded me of when we first fell in love
  • I became the proud owner of new jewellery
  • I am the Queen of getting kids to do work they really don’t want to do
  • I registered for a new Open Uni course as a way to ease myself back into studying

Bad Things?

  • The Blokey was violently sick whilst we were away – nasty food or his existing condition, we don’t know
  • MiL upset me so much that I cried sobbed myself to sleep (she doesn’t know)
  • At that point I really really missed my FiL
  • I have a tight knot in my belly which won’t go away
  • And I feel desperately sad and tearful all the time
  • I am a bitch (I have a feeling that GiL would confirm this, given the opportunity)
  • Our back garden is so so so untidy

Perhaps the glass is half-full, rather than half-empty … but the bold text is crushing me inside.

*bashes head against a brick wall in the hope that Mr Negativity will be knocked out and Oompf will come home*

 

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