I am not the one who crazy people go to for help, I am the one that normal people need when the world around them is going insane

Posts tagged ‘changes’

Firsts – one of many

Why is it sometimes some things stick in our memory and not others.

I saw on Facebook the other day that a neighbour of ours that I remember fondly from Spencer Road was having a birthday as one of her daughter’s had posted. It was wonderful to see a recent photo of her as it was just how I remember her, she hasn’t changed at all, and to be able to pass on birthday wishes meant so much.

So what is this particular memory that popped up? Well. It was the day my dad died. Which I find strange as it was 45 years ago. So why now? Who knows but just maybe it needs talking about.

You see Dad had been in hospital for maybe, days, weeks, even months at this stage, and being a kid it all blurred in to one so I’m really not sure how long it was. All I know is he wasn’t at home and hadn’t been for what seemed like forever. That one particular morning we were all woken up by the phone ringing and mum dashed downstairs to answer it, it must have been early as we were all still asleep which wasn’t normal for me as I was usually awake from 6ish each day, to my mother’s dread, as still even today, my eyes open and I start talking! I will never forget the colour of that phone either for the rest of my days, it was a cream and beige brown one with the number dial on the front and the handle sat in the cradle at the top. Moments later she called my older brother downstairs and it all went quiet. It was only then us 2 girls were called down and you know, when you just know it’s not good, each step on the way down was in slow motion, so unreal in so many ways, it felt as though I floated down each and every step, already numb against the shock that was to come.

My mind has then gone blank. I don’t remember being told, I don’t remember who sat where and I don’t really remember what happened next. Until I know I was going to call for my best friend at the time, for school who just happened to be in the same class as me, and her mum answering the door instead of her. Somehow I knew her mum had to go sit with my mum as we were going to school and mum would be on her own until we came home at lunchtime, but I don’t know if I was told to ask her or not, I just knew I had to do it. So I asked her to go see mum as we set off down the road to school, as you do as an 8 year old with not a care in the world, or so it seemed. Luckily we only lived a few hundred yards away from our school and used to run up and down the snickets to get there so we didn’t have to walk near the busy road. That bit makes me chuckle as it was the early 1970s and not many people owned a car so you can just imagine how not busy the roads were compared to today’s. And yes I’m showing my age here but to an 8 year old, roads were dangerous and we couldn’t run near them but we could run free down the backs of the houses.

The school morning must have been the same as any other as again it is a blank. That is until lunchtime. You see, that year in junior school we had the nicest teacher ever. Miss Forward. I’ll never forget her as she was one of those teachers who really cared. She left a long lasting impression on me as to what a teacher should be like for the rest of my school days. Everyday as I left to come home for lunch, I would have to walk past her desk, as my seat was in the middle of the centre row, and she would quietly ask me ‘how is your dad today?’ Every day I would reply ‘fine thanks’, but not this day. I remember I stopped, looked her square in the face and replied, ‘he died this morning’ and just walked off, and headed home for my lunch. When I look back now, what a shock I must have given her. I know I said the words in such a matter of fact way it took all of my strength to say those dreaded words without crying and then I just tootled off. But i don’t know why I knew I hadn’t to cry. Instinct, who knows. I often wonder if she needed something stronger than a cup of tea that lunchtime.

And I’ll be totally honest. The rest of the day is in a blurr and I don’t remember anything. I guess even as a child we have coping mechanisms that kick in without even realising

Yes, looking back this was a devastating day for me, as my life changed dramatically from then on, but as they say out of ever sadness comes a joy and I strongly believe without the kindness of Miss Forward, the fabulous neighbours that we had then and the closeness of dad’s family I wouldn’t be who I am today. And that is what I am so thankful for.

One thing I would change if I could is that I wish death had been spoken about more openly in our house. I know I certainly didn’t understand the impact that day would have on me for the many years to come. And, as an 8 year old didn’t know what death meant.

I know it’s not an easy subject to discuss but it happens to us all at some point and it goes on around us every single day. It’s inevitable, it’s part of life. Please let’s start to be open about what it means to us and what ee believe happens, open up our emotions especially, with our kids, with our loved ones. I would hate to think any other child were going to spend years lost and searching for what was missing, as I did.

The day of dad’s funeral is another day entirely that sticks in my memory but that’s another tale for another day, when I’m feeling brave enough.

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Does It Matter

In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter?

What am I talking about now? Religion and our inner most faith is what I have been questioned about today. Should it matter to anyone else what my beliefs are, do I have to share it with anyone else? I don’t think so, but there again I’m not your average person and don’t want to be either.

christening the dew the priest

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today I have been asked what my religion is? And it shook me a little bit because I don’t feel I have a religion and I felt a little uncomfortable answering. But why should I feel that way? I have a faith and a belief that are mine and should be nobody else’s concern.

Yes, as a child of about 3 years old there is one photograph of me with my godparents, Aunt Pat, dad’s sister and Aunt June and Uncle Brian, mum’s closest friends, not our real aunt and uncle, on my shared christening day. There we are all stood proudly outside in the front garden. When I say shared, it was because my little sister Tracy was also christened on the same day at a few months old.

For a long time I used to deny even being christened because all I remember as a really young child was religion causing arguments. Dad didn’t believe in anything, had no faith what so ever and mum was so frightened not to believe that she insisted that we had to be christened. So you can just imagine the rows we used to hear. Eventually dad buckled to the pressure and let mum have her way. The day meant so much to me I have no memories what so ever of any of it, so if I didn’t have the photograph I wouldn’t be able to recall anything. I must dig that old photo out now I am talking about it.

Dad’s none belief was so strong that every Sunday evening the minute Songs of Praise came on the television, up dad would get and off went the tv. Not forgetting in those days there were only one or two channels for us to choose from and the option we had was you either watched what was on, or, you turned it off. As a kid though it was close to bed time so didn’t really affect me. This all coincided with bath, clean pyjamas on, nit comb and fingers and toe nails trimmed. The Sunday night ritual I will never forget.

Once we moved to Canada, after dad died, Sunday school was a habit us 2 girls were somehow lead in to. Each week being collected and dropped off again afterwards, by the strangest lady from the church you would ever meet, and all so mum could have a lay in. I remember the church well, it was on the end of Silver Street, near the beer store but can’t remember the name of it for the life of me. I don’t remember that lasting long though and it didn’t really make such a great impression on me if I can’t remember the name of it.

I do remember the United reformed church in Richmond that we used to have to go to with the Scott family if ever we were lucky enough to be allowed to stay over night on the farm, but it is the memories of us all piling in the station wagon to drive down the road in that I really remember. Two adults and 6 of their children plus me all squashed in and laughing about who could sit where. Sherry and I used to love being able to sit in the rear facing seats right at the very back and upsetting Bob and Bruce because they liked it too.

Can I say religion has paid a big part in my life, no I guess it hasn’t. I can’t say my chosen God parents had any religious influence over me, they certainly never made sure I attended a church. My 2 god mothers are still alive but as life has taken its many twists and turns we don’t see each other any more.

When my daughter was born they only gave her 48 hours to live and I will never forget the nurse’s face when she told me I must have her christened and to contact whoever I wanted to do the ceremony. I flatly refused as I suppose this was the dad in me coming out as I told her boldly that at that moment in time my faith was in the doctors and nurses as well as Becky herself. If it was meant to be that she lived then it would happen. Having anyone come in to say a few words over the incubator and ventilator wouldn’t make the slightest difference to me. And I’m happy to report that 33 years later she is still here, alive and kicking, and still not christened.

Has been of a religious faith made any difference to her life, no I don’t think so, and she’s a big girl now and can choose to follow whatever faith or religion she wishes.

Does it really matter if people have a religious faith, yes it does, if that is what they choose to have. I believe we are all individuals doing our best to live the life we have been given and if we feel we need a belief system, then have one.

But please, be mindful of your beliefs influencing how you treat others. My reply and the look on the person’s face today tells me they won’t be rushing to have a chat with me again.

Aside

Happiness

I  read this quote on the tinterweb the other day and it got me thinking

“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.”

 happy

Just what is it that makes us happy? Whilst I am rattling on spend a moment to think about yourself and what makes you happy.

Is it helping others, is it what you own materialistically, is it what you would like to do, is it the memories you have from what you have done?

My life over the last couple of weeks has been manic and crazy with lots of changes going on. For those of you who don’t know my day job is working from the Happiness Centre in Ilkley, healing and running workshops and meditations and lots of other things as well. Well today it started about 10am, one after the other person called in to see me and sit and have a chat. Everyone of them had a trouble that they needed to talk about. The last one left about 3.30 and I was due to go home at 4. Now normally I would have been climbing the walls and trying to sort out all of their problems for them, but for some reason I just sat and listened, didn’t even offer any advice, nowt, not a bean, but.

Do you know what made me happy that day? It was that all of these people knew that they could come to me to offload. There was nothing I could do to change anything for them, that was down to them. They all felt 100% better when they walked back out the door again. At one point I had to ask one gentleman to call back in about ½ hour after he had had a wander around and had a coffee as the lady before him was talking some serious things that I felt nobody else should be hearing. Some days my working life is more like a coffee club than a zen like quiet space.

I wonder what makes some of us all negative and only concentrate on our troubles and some of us all positive and only think of the happy things in life. Do you think there is something we can do to make ourselves happier with our lot.

Someone once said to me, how can you expect to make others around you happy if you aren’t happy yourself.

Maybe it is up to us to spend the time and effort on ourselves first before we try to help others. Life is strange at times and often when these funny days happen it is because we have something to learn from it. My lesson was certainly to think of myself and not everyone else that day, not to take on their worries and woes and leave them to sort themselves out. That is what will make them happy when everything is resolved.

My dictionary says that to be happy you have to be glad or content, lucky or fortunate. So why is it, if we aren’t glad or content we don’t do something about it?

What is it that stops us from being happy with our lives at times?

Maybe if we could work that out just maybe we can make some nice changes to our lives. How many times have you said, I would be so happy if I won the lottery tonight or I would be so much happier if I had a new car, or a new house or etc etc, you know what I mean. Why do we say we would be happier if we had more things WHY????

What does being happy mean to you? Why is it something different to each and everyone of us? If I don’t understand and spend the time to find out what makes me happy how can I expect to make someone else happier in their life. We are all different in our outlook and expectations so let’s concentrate on being different but being happy.

How many of you know people like I do, they moan and groan and always complain. When you offer to help or give suggestions to them they always come back to you straight away with a reason why they can’t make those changes. Then have the cheek to say, it’s alright for you as though you don’t have to do anything to make your life ok and everything a bed of roses.

Maybe we just need to learn to leave them to get on with it in their own sweet way.

All the time I have been thinking of this I have had someone singing Ken Dodd’s Happiness song in my ear. It is still as cheesy as it ever was, for those not old enough to know what I am on about, google it. It will make you laugh I am sure.

Here are some of mine that make me happy on a daily basis that I will share:

Hugs, kisses, smiles, sending time with my family and friends, going on sunshine holidays, being able to pay my bills, having petrol in the car so I can get where I need to be, having food on the table that I like to eat, being able to take the dog for nice long walks in the woods and the fields, having a bit of money in my pocket so can go spending occasionally.

Maybe this time has given us all something to think about and if we aren’t happy with our lives then maybe we can find the courage to make some changes. We all deserve to be happy.

Hard work

What is hard work and what makes it hard is my current question? The answer I received during meditating was ‘hard work is something you don’t want to do’.  So does that make sense to me. Well yes I think it does in a strange way.

Hard work to me means long hours, no pleasure, no gain or reward at completion, just something we have to do to get a head in life. When we enjoy doing something and can see the rewards we or others will receive from our hard work and long hours somehow it doesn’t seem like hard work.

Life is meant to be a pleasure not a chore so if you find any part of your life hard work what can you do to make the changes.  Some say not a lot and just stick with what they know, whilst others when they realise what is happening and face up to the changes they have to make can put the hard work in to get what they really desire to make something that is hard work fun again.

Life gives us many opportunities and I strongly believe we have free will to guide us, but why choose to go where we do not receive any joy. If your life is hard work, just stop for a moment and think what you would do to take the hard out of hard work.

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