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



Suzie Tullett said...

And so what if your lawn isn't perfect? You can proudly look at all the stuff you have managed to achieve and say 'I did all that!'

What an inspiring post x

Bluestocking Mum said...

Yes, and I'm getting much better at doing that too, Suzie.

Thank you for those kind words.


Bish Denham said...

I'm so happy that things have leveled off for you, that you've found/are finding your way. And you are absolutely right, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

Enjoy your kids, your dog (such a cuty!) and keep on dreaming of the lawnboy.

Jean Bull said...

You're doing a great job and Bruno is wonderful!

Melissa Marsh said...

You sound like you are doing SO well. Hurrah! I'm very happy for you!!! Your new pup is adorable and I'm sure he adds such happiness to all of your lives. :)

I'm on the verge of being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and so we now have another thing in common besides our writing. I just know we'll accomplish our writing goals...just have to take one day at a time!

Twiglet said...

Well done you! I love the tone of this post - you really are getting on with life and sound to be making a great job of it. Oh and when you find a lawn boy like that please send him over the hills to me!! x Jo

Bluestocking Mum said...

Hello ladies! So good to hear from you all. Thank you.

Bish and Jean - Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I think I'm getting there!x

Melissa - I'm so sorry to hear you have arthritis problems too. Goodness, life can be cruel sometimes. I do hope you soon get a diagnosis and can find some treatments to relieve your symptoms. x

Jo - Lovely to hear from you as always. Thanks for the encouragement. However, I'm afraid the gardener will be all mine! lol :-)


Fennie said...

Don't know how to comment on this really, Debbie, except to say that I can imagine something at least of what you have been through and are going through as you write about it all so beautifully in your blogs and you seem such a naturally happy person. You have the gift of being able to inspire others; that is a precious gift and one day your ship will come home laden with the wonders of the world.

bayou said...

I could have written this post some 19 years ago (no I couldn't because only you find so well the very words). And I would not have been so lucky to get a Bruno from SBS.
Great to read how you feel and how you get on. I know, out there is another English Gardener, only for you, topless, spotless and matching like a jigsaw puzzle bit.

Bluestocking Mum said...

Dear Fennie and Bayou, my stalwart supporters. Thank you both.

Fennie - you're sooo right. I've always been a positive, glass half full kind of person and if I only help one poor soul see there is life after adversity, heartbreak and divorce my blog will have achieved it's purpose.

Bayou - I didn't realise you'd been through similar. Bless you. That gives me hope too, to see that good people DO survive and thrive after such horrible events.

I have so many notes and ideas for non-fiction proposals on all manner of topics. It's only lack of confidence that keeps the words hidden in the recesses of my laptop but both of YOU (and your kind words)inspire ME to do something about it and form them into some kind of 'survival bible' that might help others.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Colette McCormick said...

Glad to hear you are doing better and that is one seriously cute dog.

Bluestocking Mum said...

Thank you, Colette.
Good to hear from you. Apologies for my absence.

He is rather gorgeous, isn't he?


Rena George said...

What a very moving post, Debbie. I still have a lump in my throat.

It's inspiring to know that you're coming through all those bad times.

Hugs to you, your boys, and Bruno, of course - he's gorgeous by the way.

And good luck with that novel! xx

Rosemary Gemmell said...

You've been doing a great job getting on with your life in the present, Debbie - well done. And I love that cute doggy photo!

Bluestocking Mum said...

Hello Rena

Thank you for finding me, and for those encouraging words. You're very kind.

I look forward to keeping in touch through cyber space.

And Rosemary - you're another who's always there for me. Thank you. Yep I figure I could sit here and mope and keep looking back or I can get a grip of life and try to push forward.

I choose the latter!

Hope we get to meet up at the F.O.R or the Winter party? x

Vikki ( said...

What a lovely post, very inspiring :)


Debs Carr said...

It certainly does get better, Debs, and you seem to be doing pretty damn well. So pleased for you - and giggling about getting a gardener and working him hard so he'll have to take his top off..

Bluestocking Mum said...

Hi Vikki

Thank you for visiting. That's very kind of you to say. Thank you.x

Debs - :-D :-D
I'm getting there m'dear ;-)
See you soon.

Rob-bear said...

Well, you are a gritty and determined soul. Which is wonderful for you. Because those make you a growing person.

I always feel your writing has charm and strength in it, and I think that book will come, sooner than later.

Blessings and Bear hugs, from across the pond.

Flowerpot said...

Well done you Debbie - a very heartwarming and brave and cheering post. We've all been through breakups of one kind or another, and yes it does get better. And well done for getting Bruno - he is gorgeous!

Bluestocking Mum said...

Thank you Rob - Oh, yes, determined is my middle name! And I'm working on that book or should I say those books. So many ideas and not enough hours in the day.x

Hello Sue. You're very kind. And I know you've been through similar and have coped so well, you're an inspiration to us all. x

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

So very glad to read this and see you coming through with a smile on your face and a glass in your hand! Like Bayou I was there a long time ago and life does get better. Personally I wouldn't change a thing!

Pondside said...

I so admire your spirit and determination to move forward and make your life - no compromises.
It was such a treat to meet you in September! I can't help but wonder what you did with the mirror you found that day.

Bluestocking Mum said...

Hello Elizabeth. It's good to know there is another side. I know it gets better every week and I think I know what you mean now about not changing a thing... :-) Take care and hope to meet up before too long.

Pondside. Aww, thank you for your kind words. It was so lovely to meet you too although it seems such a long time ago already!

My mirror was given the 'shabby chic' treatment - sanded back, then painted cream, candle waxed then sanded around the edges and finally waxed all over to seal it. It has given it a total new lease of life and looks lovely on my chest of drawers in front of the window - just like a proper 'dressing table.'
Take care