I was reminded recently that I must write. An old friend reached out and told me how my blogs were helping her to not feel alone after losing her husband. Writing is my happy place. Most people are still searching for their happy place – why neglect mine?
When I started the Empty Nest blog it was as an antidote to the gloom and doom surrounding me. I hoped humorous tales about our family life would make readers smile and bring a different slant on life. Unfortunately, as you know, our lives took such a dark turn I lost my way. For a while I couldn’t write. I couldn’t find joy in anything, but now I can see glimpses of light and laughter. I’ve read a lot about bereavement and grief. Just because I’m laughing doesn’t mean I’m ‘over it.’ That took a while to sink in, but it resonated. I’m allowed to be happy again. I’m allowed to find joy in simple things. So I must accept that and live it. So in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, I decided to put more effort into life and be more proactive, with my writing in particular. There’s still a lot of gloom and doom in the world but nature remind us everything is cyclical. Those damn daffodils will still poke their joyous heads up above the earth for us to wonder at their beauty. The tulips will open again and bend towards the light and I will be able to plant sweetpeas wherever I am living and enjoy their transient colour and fragrance.
It won’t always be winter, rainy and cold but the buds will appear, the evenings will lighten and in the words of one of my favourite poets, William Blake, we can approach the world with cheerful optimism…
When the voices of children are heard on the green
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast
And every thing else is still
So, after reading about the ‘golden hour,’ one hour after sunrise and before sunset (I’ve interpreted it for myself here to only include sunrise) I now wake up and open my laptop to work on my novel before I do anything else. This includes getting my cup of tea and for those who know me, this is sacrosanct to my morning ritual. This way I’ve nailed an hour at least a day of writing, even if I don’t return to it later. It’s amazing how sanctimonious I feel when I can mentally tick that box. I seem to far more productive throughout the day as well with this good start. I only hope my ‘ own brand of complacency’ which a tutor at University said I ‘coasted along on’ doesn’t kick into place any time soon. By the time I’ve done a cycle or dog walk afterwards, the day is off to a fine start. Another tick.
My move is progressing as it should. The admin side is kicking in and solicitors are doing their thing (I hope). I’ve found strength I didn’t know I had. I feel the real Teresa is emerging. I haven’t been single for over thirty-five years. I’ve been a wife for so long I’ve forgotten what it is to be me. Naturally I took a certain role within the relationship. I didn’t mind as I was very happy. It just evolved over the years. Before, Nick would have taken charge and dealt with any snags to do with the move and I would have been happy to let him, believing he was more able than me, but I realise I am more than capable. Issue with the retaining walls in the new property? No problem. Chat to a few friends asking their advice, then seek a builder in the area to give me a quote to find the depth of the problem and how much the repairs would cost. Find a reliable removal firm? Again, talking to people and a recommendation from a friend did the trick. Tick.
I’m now at the practical stage of packing up. I’ve been ruthless with culling my stash of books.
I’m listening to a lot on audible these days and really, if I need one… what are libraries for? I have a skip on the drive and the more I put in, the happier I am. I’ve sold sofas and lawn mowers, clothes and filing cabinets. I’m determined not to take ‘stuff’ I don’t need with me. This is my new start. My new life and I want to fill it with the things that make me happy, not clutter that drains me. And anyway, how will I fit my surfboard in if my house is full of stuff I don’t use?
It is liberating to clear out and exciting to feel a new start is approaching.
Wishing you and yours health and happiness