I actually started handwriting this blog which is what I did with all my books. Also, because when I start to type, Della, my cat, plonks herself on the keyboard and who am I to move her (only cat people will understand that one).
She has been renamed Ms. Bossy as she will intrude and intervene whenever and wherever she pleases. It all began the night before when I was feeling somewhat forlorn. The roller coaster was in place as it has been for a long time. This sense of gloom has been around for a while and my Academy performances weren’t working too well. In fact, my performances were making matters worse.
I kept telling myself that I needed to access more interests, maybe do something I haven’t done before like taking a painting class. Yes, I said, that’s what I’ll do and that was the end of it. So I ordered jigsaw puzzles and a contraption that would allow me to work on it and then roll it up until I was ready to do it again. I now have five puzzles and the tray has remained unused. Did I mention my major character defect was procrastination?
John used to catch me on it, and I did improve for a while. Now I have relapsed. I bought a book on the subject and found the print just too small, so I bought another one. Much better and maybe I’ll read it next year.
Are you getting the picture?
I write to John every day, sometimes twice a day and if I’m pissed off, I miss a day – that’ll show him. Who does he think he is leaving me like this?
I decided to write to him and be brutally honest. I am very honest woman, but this needed to go to the bone. You see apart from a few friends who live many miles away, he was the only one who went through the violence of World War II. Living with history repeating itself is challenging.
I started to write:
John. I don’t feel safe anymore…….I don’t want to be amongst people who are so frightened, and I can’t help them. I do my best as I do have some optimism within me. I phoned Michael (Dr. Michael Kaye), who is the most honest and logical man I know. We’ll talk. He can “knock me into shape!”.
I had been influenced over the past week by people who have challenged my political choices to the point that I was being asked, in an extremely sweet way, to change my party. I smiled and said, No.
Then I was told that it would be better if I didn’t vote at all.
I can’t believe I let that get to me. I did. There was fear. After all, didn’t I see that growing up – neighbor against neighbor, being turned in —– Anne Frank. Then, how could I buy into this? I was almost killed so many times by people called nazis and no, even though my spellchecker wants to use a capital N – it isn’t going to happen. People who have never lived through a war could scare me. Am I nuts?
It continued along those lines. Then appeared these thoughts. I am not going to waste energy on this anymore. I refuse to give up hope. I won’t. (I actually used the word can’t……………..weak and useless). I have to deal with my own challenges, as I have most of my life, and although I tend to get in fights with myself, I always win. It’s the England and Irish you know. Jewish and Catholic. Need I say more?
It became rather dark and gloomy, so I went into the kitchen and put on the lights only to discover it was only 3.30.p.m. I love the dark, but this wasn’t the time, so I put on all the lights even though after this effort the sun had the audacity to come out and shine brightly an hour after this. Regardless, I brought out every candle I had and lighted them all. What a beautiful aura.
I sat myself down with a cuppa – what else. The kettle and I are best friends.
What was happening that I am ignoring and falling into an unrecognisable emotional seesaw? Then I wondered whilst sitting there avoiding Daisy’s staring at me – what was troubling?
I thought of the difference between solitude and loneliness. One is a choice and the other an infliction.
I suppose there is even a difference between loneliness and aloneness, but I haven’t worked that one out yet.
With all this, I was reminded of what I learned through my programme and obviously had forgotten. The Serenity Prayer. Basically, what it says to me is do what you can do something about and let the rest go. Forgot that one.
I realised that what I was doing was trying to control what was impossible to do and in that instant I felt a lot better. Ms. “I’m going to save the world” superwoman improved by becoming me again. Yes, for me, it’s that simple. Remember that? Keep it simple sweetheart.
This pandemic has brought all kinds of challenges apart from the virus itself and I don’t need to list them – we all know what they are. Some people are alone, and others are invaded by family and friends. It is what it is.
It is always how we handle it that matters. Reaching out to speak with people who get it is crucial and I highly recommend it. I am blessed and so incredibly grateful for the people in my life. I have amazing friends and family on both sides of the pond. Of course, when I have a PTSD episode, my incredible veterans are there with support.
I want to take a minute to talk about one in particular. My neighbor and friend Pat. I truly do not know what I would do without her. She knew and loved John. She stayed with him during Hospice and before that. She is there for me, especially now that I can’t walk, and pops in twice a day. She weighs all of half a pound and has enormous strength to carry out trash, open bottles and whatever.
She can fix just about anything and above all is one of the funniest women I know. When she talks about her childhood, as painful as it probably was, she has overcome it and is so very loving. We shared some of the funny and not so funny incidents and how by refusing to go along with their brain washing as children we overcame, and they became incentives. Her children are living proof of how she sees life today. I told her a story which will forever stay in my mind and when I think of it, I laugh myself silly.
I don’t know if I ever shared this one so I will now.
When I was about to give birth to my first child, I was in Kings College Hospital, London. We had to go for the first and fifth child. Don’t ask!
Of course it wasn’t like it is today with maternity suites. We were head to head in wards and the delivery room. They didn’t like taking aids for pain either and there was a young woman who was in the delivery room the same time as I was. She was in a lot of pain and expressed it fully, yelling and screaming.
A young doctor came in and said, “Come on. It isn’t that bad. Stop this nonsense.”
After she gave birth, he returned and said, “See, I told you it wasn’t that bad. Aren’t you ashamed of the noise you made?” At which point, she got of the bed and socked him. Knocked him right out. The nurses applauded and I believe she taught him a valuable lesson! How could that not be a wonderful message to remember!
Pat’s family is there for her and she is for them, 100%. She came here this afternoon when I talked about my current metamorphosis and we were in hysterics before long. She loves English TV shows and tells me about some I don’t even know about. Even though I was dealing with this in my own way, the laughter made it even more real. I am so blessed. So, thank you Pat, my friend.
I was determined to carry through my definition of change in attitude this morning.
I turned on the television for the weather and then turned it off. Big change right there. I always wanted to know what I had recorded. Now, I didn’t care. I put on some music, the Beatles I believe, and I found myself dancing with my walker.
Then I prepared to go onto Zoom for my weekly meeting. I always love it. Normally I leave the computer as I have my beloved friend Fran with me, but she now has to work on Sundays. That woman needs an eight day week, 36 hours a day and she would use that up in no time! The Zoom didn’t work and the young woman who hosts it for me worked wonders and I ended up presenting on Facebook! I could hear her and nobody else and they could hear me. It didn’t faze me as it normally would have.
Usually I hang around with Fran, but she wasn’t here so this time I stayed put. I went through some of the YouTube videos and came across a presentation that always sees me through whatever is going on. It is the Haka.
From New Zealand I first saw it watching Rugby and it empowers me to the point I am learning how to do it myself. As it is I watch them and find I am following their move. It works for me and that’s what I am looking for – what works for me. They have them for all kinds of events, even weddings so I watched about an hour of them becoming more and more energized, determined not to be influenced by anything but the knowledge or what I can or can’t do (change that to won’t do).
Then I watched a video of Leonard Cohen which had been posted by Edie Weinstein – we all know the remarkable Edie. The feelings I had watching this went downhill fast because that’s how he affected me. Yet I saw the truth and then watched a wonderful presentation by an English Rabbi known as Rabbi Sacks. Outstanding. I felt so uplifted listening to this extraordinary cleric.
I am someone who has drifted away from organized religion for reasons of my own. However, it left me with an open mind and this man filled it with thought and hope. Tomorrow is the holiest day of the Jewish year, so it was most appropriate in timing. I am half and half, yet this man really got beneath my façade and touched my soul. I am grateful and will follow him to see what else he has to offer, and I hope I can find him on a regular basis.
I realised while listening to him that I had forgotten what I learned from the Dalai Lama, Buddha, and my own life’s lessons. It just endorsed what I have believed in forever. It is never too late to change or learn. I have always been a student of perpetual learning and this made it clear I had neglected my own standards.
Some hours later.
I spoke with Dr. Michael and is lovely wife Frances and true to form, he pulled me through whatever the battle was. After a lot of situations being pointed out to me I saw the light and laughed….a lot. They left me with this suggestion.
NETFLIX. Watch The Social Dilemma and Travels With My Father. Friggin’ hysterical. I laughed myself silly, which is a great place to be and the other, maybe tomorrow. So much makes sense now.
Love you and I hope you find peace too.