Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekly Winners, Sunday Meme

Wow, it's that time of the week already. I'm afraid I've been a bit of a no-show this week - tied up with committee business, working on my new online project, and just everyday life. I'm making a commitment to myself (and you) to be more focused and disciplined about my time online - the more I take on, the more structure I need to create to enable me to give value to everything I do. I've downloaded Qumana (a blog editor program, for those unaware), and need to have a bit of a play with it to understand it, but I hope it will make it easier for me.

Anyway, on with the show! After ooohing and aaahing over the MudBoy and his trusty sidekick CuteKitten, skedaddle over to our gorgeous Meme Mama Sarcastic Mom's place to check out some more fantastic photography from around the blogosphere (or click on the Weekly Winners button below):

We've had rain - HEAPS of rain - which equals HEAPS of mud. Meet MudBoy...

A saner moment...?

"I think the spin cycle's nearly done, Mama..."

Morning meditation

Small arm with even smaller lizard

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Feeling Fragile

It's true.

I've been flying high for the first few weeks, feeling confident and strong and guided. Knowing I'd made the right decision, pleasantly surprised by how well the Big Feller has ended up behaving, after all my fears.

Euphoria, by nature temporary, has worn off somewhat and has left me softened, a little blue. The wee man comes home from his weekends with his father quite happily, but I am beginning to feel the disquiet that comes with being the boring, the authoritarian, the week-day parent, and to fear the glamour of the fun "weekend" Dad.

The Big Feller makes no secret of the fact that he would love the wee man to live more permanently with him (and I understand and respect that any loving parent would wish for the same thing) - but the simple truth of the matter is that he has issues which I left him for, and they are not just going to go away, and I genuinely don't believe it would be good for the wee man to be with him more than he is. Being the good-time, weekend Dad is perfect for him. He can put the hard stuff aside, bring out the best of himself, and be special for his boy. I just hope he will leave it at that, and not try to convince the wee man otherwise. And I know that we're the grown-ups, and with due respect for the wee man's wishes, we (and the courts and other interested bodies) will make the final decisions about what is best for him...and that there are a lot of parties who know or have a good idea of what our life was like before...

Maybe the problem is that I've got a lot of hurt and frustration and anger which is still unexpressed and dealt with, which leaves me overly sensitive and vulnerable. I know I could do with some good counselling - friends and love and hugs and family are all very well, but some of the raw emotion I feel in my dark moments needs a safe and perhaps dispassionate venue for release, and a sure hand to guide me back through it to myself.

I know my little man loves me, and perhaps he is more sure of my love and can therefore test me more. I know I made the very best choice for him, and for me, and that some days, yes, I am going to feel blue.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekly Winners, Sunday Meme

Oh dear, where has the week gone? And where was my camera while it was whipping by?

A rather paltry offering this week, lovely people - I'm sure if you visit our fabulous meme founder Sarcastic Mom (aka Lotus), or check out some of the other participants via the weekly winners button below, you'll find lots of other great photos.

The colour and flavour of the local market (The Channon Craft Market)

"Wassap, mate?" Boy-with-Tshirt-on-head gives attitude

I think I look more relaxed

Obligatory weekly cute photo of child with kitten ;)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Life's Little Ironies

Am I the only one who has noticed the inherent irony in the title of this blog, and the blog description, and the recent events of my life?

A sub-heading might read: Note to Self - Loooook Out!

Perhaps you thought the choice of name was intentional - after all, many people whinge and gripe about their relationships and their partners without any need or wish to do anything more than vent everyday frustrations.

But really, when I chose the name for this blog, I felt that I just about had it all: a husband who loved me, a longed-for and precious new baby, a re-location to the countryside of my childhood, and the time and space to explore some creative dreams. Only, I wasn't quite sure how I was going to deal with the re-ordered priorities of my life.

Let this serve as an object lesson for you all - the point of that old saying "Be careful what you wish might get it" is that sometimes when our dreams arrive, we are not ready for them, or they may come in a form we were not expecting, or with conditions we did not understand.

The true magic comes in recognising that even though the time or the path or the form is unexpected, we have still traveled closer to our heart's dreams, and have grown through the journey. We are now better equipped to move into those dreams and make them our realities.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Weekly Winners, Sunday Meme

...Truth be told, the real reason I went out and got prepaid dial-up internet access for our temporary digs (apart from a compulsion to drive myself insane) was because I couldn't miss another week of Sarcastic Mom(aka Lotus)'s Weekly Winners Sunday Meme. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, click on the Weekly Winners button below and check out some great pictures from around the blogging world.)

Not that I claim greatness for these pictures - just a few happy snaps of the wee man and the kitten, and a rather spectacular sunset-after-rainy-day...

And I'm cheating a little by including these two, since they were taken last week, but come on, they're sooo cute...

PS. Did you read the earlier post? Fergal/Stuart the kitten proved to be a "she", not a "he" (shows how preoccupied I was that week!), and has now been renamed Mahlia (a unanimous choice...).

Saturday, February 09, 2008

New Digs

From this:

to this:

And from this:

to this:

which by the next morning looked like this:

Lessons from my nomadic early life reminded me that I can be, and feel, at home anywhere. I did love that house, but that was then and this is now. It's very temporary, but comfortable for us nonetheless.

Friday, February 08, 2008

So what's been going on then...? you want the short answer or the long one? Who am I kidding? ...Of course you want the long answer, else you wouldn't have been kind enough to keep popping in here, wondering when the hell I was going to bob up again and put you out of your misery! (That, by the way, is my incredibly flippant way of thanking you from the bottom of my heart for continuing to care and waiting patiently for me to pull myself out of whatever dark rabbithole I had disappeared down...)

So. The Big Feller and I have separated. At the same time (and partly as a catalyst) we had to move out of the house we were living in. A busy beginning to the year, don't you think?

Sorry...I'm being really flippant again, and perhaps you might feel I'm doing it as a coping mechanism. These are serious changes, and there are many feelings I have yet to release and explore. But, at the heart of it, I am happy. Yes, I am making light of it, and yes, that is a bit of self-protection - but, considering that I'm currently living in limbo (otherwise known as a little bedsit under the village doctor's surgery) while I wait for a house in the village to become available for myself and the wee man, after calling it quits in my 10-year relationship due to all sorts of mental, emotional and financial stress and mishandling (I hesitate to use the word "abuse" because I don't want to feel like a victim), I think a little levity is a healthy response.

After a certain amount of reactivity and game-playing, the Big Feller seems to have taken it pretty well. I feel he has actually quite quickly realised that this is the best thing for all of us. Very early on in the process, we were able to establish that the wee man's well-being was our No. 1 priority, and with that in mind we seem to have negotiated our way through the tricky waters of care and custody, and division of our (very minimal!) property, with the minimum of drama.

To be frank, I'm surprised. And very, very grateful. After all, I did love this man very much for a long time, and thought that I could spend a lifetime with him - so glad that that person came to the fore, and not the aspects of him which have eroded so much of my love and respect over recent years.

The wee man is taking it all in his stride as young children so often do. Perhaps a little more fragile than usual, taking the opportunity after minor falls to have a good long cry, but generally adjusting to the changes with cheerful grace and a child's opportunistic eye to the advantages (the first 2 weekends with Dad have resulted in a return with several new trains for his Thomas collection - he was planning his next addition out loud today, despite a conversation about why that was not a good idea...). His father still wants to be a big part of his life - the plan is for the wee man to be picked up every Friday afternoon, and return either to me or preschool on Monday morning.

Which is also leaving me with something which I had not even considered...time for myself. Doesn't that sound naive? I really hadn't given it much thought - and yes, part of me felt that the Big Feller might not stay around after the split had sunk in. Slipping into the third weekend of our shared care agreement, I have a sense of the new shape my world can begin to take - a long-missed Saturday morning yoga class that I'll be off to in the morning, a friend and a couple of glasses of red wine perhaps in the afternoon, a movie?! (And that's not even taking into account the opportunities for blogging...)

Oh, and the kitten? Still with the wee man and me...and he's a she! Shows how distracted I was that first of my girlfriends pointed it out (or the absence of "IT', to be precise!), and Stuart has become Mahlia.

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