Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Through the Wilderness II - Life as a singleton

I know there’s no need to make excuses for my sporadic blogs but it’s hard being a single parent, trying to juggle everything, especially with my health limitations.

The best way to describe life is domestic chaos, although that hasn’t changed much from when the ex was here as he spent all week in London and I had it all to do then. But in addition to the housework, washing, ironing, mum's taxi duties etc, these days there's also house and car maintenance, re-cycling trips to the tip, lawns, hedge cutting, getting the wood in etc, and I’ve yet to master how to put up a curtain pole!

Having main parental custody of my sons I confess there are times when I crave to sleep for a hundred years or run away – perhaps to somewhere spiritual like India. Of course I can’t. This is my lot and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And it’s only as I write this I see the progress over these last eighteen months. I no longer play sad songs or go through old photos, crying and wailing. In fact, I’ve found it helps not to look back too much. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I’ve learnt from the experience but refuse to dwell. Feeling sorry for myself or being bitter won’t help. Living in the past is corrosive and every minute spent picking at the scabs of old wounds is time wasted on ME and my life and plans, and moving forward.

There are no regrets that I gave my ex his first chance six or seven years ago when he had his first affair. I have no anger or bitterness towards him or his girlfriend. Any tears I shed are not over him. Best of all I feel free; happier than I have for some time that I no longer have to look over my shoulder or play second best. There’s no more feeling insecure or as if I’m going mad. I see the positives - I’m in charge of the remote control, can keep the electric blanket on all night if I wish and eat what I like when I like. My ex wouldn’t let me have a second dog so guess what I did when he left?

Yep, I got a second dog, courtesy of my dear friend, Snailbeach Shepherdess,and he’s the best thing we've done. Meet 'BRUNO'...
Sadly our old boy died a few weeks later but Bruno has helped fill the gaping hole he left for all the family.

Perhaps it’s the indecent amounts of red wine I still consume (some things never change) but I don’t seem to beat myself up anywhere near as much as I used to. I accept I’m only human, even though on occasions I’ll put my knickers on over my tights and don a Wonder Woman top! The house isn’t a show home. The lawns may not be perfectly coiffed like they were in the ex’s day. I might not be a good mother but I’m good enough. I do my best.

I manage my days by keeping busy and focused. I have personal goals - something to work toward and to look forward to. Just for me. You might have seen the challenge for World Arthritis Day I just completed (click on the Arthritis Care avatar at the top of page for details.) After all, a dream is just a wish without a plan. Most of my goals concern being published, especially the hope that one day when my novel makes it through the slush piles, the first thing I’ll do is hire myself a gardener and I'll force him to work so hard, he'll need to take his top off ;-)
Well, what else do I need a man for, other than to cut my lawns? Thank goodness for Ann Summers, that’s what I say! ;-)

Anyone reading this, facing the same predicament I found myself in eighteen months ago, please be reassured, it does get better. It’s not always easy manoeuvring the path of the singleton but if you stay strong and determined (and maintain your sense of humour,)and take every experience as a lesson from which you can learn, you will get there. As I’ve said before, the best revenge in life is to live well. Do the best you can. Be a fighter. You can survive. And you will come through this all the better, wiser and stronger. I promise.

Until another day