Man-hunt for little old me

Today, I learnt a number of things:

First, of these things were: If you jump over my wall, try to break open my garage and threaten to smash my front door, my dear darling neighbour-lady, whom I’ve entrusted with my keys, will hand them over and let you into my house. (Today, it saved me from having to repair a smashed front door, I don’t know what will happen next time.)

The second realisation was that without a mobile phone, I feel very, very lost. It feels like I have lost a limb, I am that disconnected from society. This is most perturbing indeed!

Thirdly, and perhaps the most scary was that I am seemingly much more of an unstable person than I realised seeing as people couldn’t get hold of me for three hours and most of them decided that I had done something terrible to myself. (Or maybe I am just that reliable a worker that when I failed to show up for work, everyone assumed the worst? I like version two – let’s go with that).

Lastly, no matter what else my life may be, it is never dull. No problem in my life, ever just has a quick and easy solution. NOT. EVER.

So why would I not show up for work you ask? (It is very much unlike me).

Because last night I had my phone stolen. I had my phone in my jacket pocket while my kids and I were wizzing through the supermarket to get some things. I got home, and there was no phone in my pocket.  So I got back in the car and drove back to the store, thinking maybe I had dropped the phone somewhere and someone might pick it up and like a good citizen return it.

On the way, we stopped at the ex-husband’s house, because I do actually have an extra phone, WITH a SIM card, but for some reason I can’t get the damn thing to work.  And I have never bothered with it, because it just hasn’t been needed. So the phone isn’t set up at all and can’t make calls. But, as ex-husbands go, they are never around when you need them, are they?

I have absolutely no way of getting in touch with anyone. A mere 15 years ago, not having a device semi-permanently attached to my hand with which I can call for help, navigate, check my emails etc, would not have been an issue. But not in 2018! I am not good at handling stressful situations. Never have been, and at the ripe old age of almost 40, I have realised that I just never will be. So, I panic! And what happens when one panics, friends? For some reason, the very organ you need most, stops working. Completely.

I am in tears because let’s face it, this is just the latest in a long, long line of shit things that have happened to me in the last 18 months and my tolerance at this stage is at an all-time low. My children are in tears because who likes it when their mother cries?

We get to the shop and I ask them to review the security footage but no. Nothing can be seen and when we try to call the phone, it is already switched off. A sure sign that whomever found it has no intention of giving it back! Somewhere in that shop, someone had stuck their grubby hands in my pocket and stole my phone right out of it! The reason this is so extra creepy is because one of the two said children were at each of my sides throughout this shopping trip.

We now dash off to the cellular shop where they can hopefully set up the phone that I have, so that at least I have some way of being in touch with the world! Again, no, this is me we’re talking about and for some reason only the cell-phone-shop-people will understand, they can’t do a SIM-swop after 6pm. And because I don’t have the box of the phone, they can’t black-list it, so I will have to come back in the morning. Some more tears and mass hysteria (most of the mass belonging to yours truly) later, we have to accept that nothing can be done until morning.

But I am not completely stupid. I have a computer and I am still connected to Facebook. So I send my boss a message on FB (as I sit here and write, it suddenly strikes me that perhaps an email may have been better, but there you go, there is that vital organ that stops working in a panic!) because who else is going to be looking for me? I have let the boss know that I will be a little late because I have to go and do this phone-thing quickly in the morning.

Everyone calms down to a mild panic and we make it through the night. I drop the kids at school and toddle into the phone shop. Here I am greeted with some more issues that would only ever strike me. They can’t find my number. Then they can’t find my phone on the system. And so it goes…and as always, there are glitches. Because I haven’t had the phone for more than 6 months, the excess is half the cost of the phone. I have put some money away to take the kids on holiday. That washes down the drain in a hurry.What was supposed to have taken 10 minutes, has now been an hour.

But all I need to do now, is go to the police station and get a case number and come back, by which time they will have the new phone ready for me, as I had asked them to insure it when I got the damn thing, less than three weeks ago. But right, we won’t dwell: which police station? Oh any one they say. But they can’t explain to me how to get to it and the phone I have with me, is unable to navigate. (or make calls at this point, so I STILL have no way of letting anyone know where I am, but this will be real quick, right?) NO. I drive up and down looking for something that is supposed to be easy to find. I eventually do find the police station only to be informed that it’s the wrong one and I need to go to another one. This one is easier to find, but busy. It takes a while, but I have my affidavit and a case number. Now just back to the phone shop real quick and I can phone everyone and tell them I’m on my way! (But it shouldn’t be an issue right, because I sent that message?)

Get back to the shop and after sitting around for another hour for some reason, the insurance wasn’t activated so can I please come back tomorrow? They can activate the insurance now, but we can’t put the claim in on the same day. But we can do it the next day. With an affidavit from the day before. That makes absolutely no sense to me and by now I am in full-blown panic mode again and logic has gone right out the door. I still can’t get hold of anyone and no-one can get hold of me. But at least the office isn’t far. I cry and drive and cry and wipe snot because it’s all just too damn much!

I stumble into the office all snot-smeared and puffy-eyed and things proceed to get worse. Apparently, that FB message hadn’t arrived at it’s intended destination. Everyone would like to know where the fuck I have been and what the fuck I have been up to. I try to explain that I didn’t have a phone and no-one could get hold of me but the boss misconstrues it as me saying no-one cared about me. I get told how she and my other colleagues tried to break into my house and how the kind lady next door had opened up for them to check that I wasn’t dead on the floor somewhere and all my friends are worried sick. They had called them all and no-one could get hold of me. They had even called my psychiatrist to find out if I had been to see her! It was all a big bloody circus!

Tomorrow I will hopefully get reinstated on the mobile networks of the world, but this whole palawa has made me realise how ridiculously dependent we have become on stupid little cell phones. I don’t like it one little bit!

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I hugged a murderer today

It wasn’t quite as dramatic as it sounds, but it got your attention, right?

I work with some pretty interesting characters on a day to day basis. One of the most colourful is a cart horse owner/driver whom we shall call Mr Ten. Mr Ten lives in what is euphemistically called an “informal settlement”. It is a squatter camp where people bang together whatever materials they can scrounge from wherever to put some sort of roof over their heads. It’s crowded, it’s dirty and it’s probably only one step up from being homeless.

Now Mr Ten, he owns two or three horses and a cart with which he collects scrap metal, garden refuse and anything else rich people want to get rid of. He sells the scrap and for a fee, takes the garden refuse to the dump. This is how he ekes out a living. He built three stables out of old pallets and corrugated iron. His horses are always fat and shiny, and his harness is immaculate, complete with brass decorations. He has a wife and two children and his yard is always clean. He has a number of animals including dogs, cats and budgies and recently rescued a severely emaciated pit bull from an abusive owner. In the last few months, this dog that was so terrified the first day I met her, she just cowered in a corner, has really come out of her shell and picked up some weight.

He also has face tattoos and a vile temper. In fact, he spent a long time in prison – for murder.

Over the last week, I have spent more time with Mr Ten than I usually would. I was just basically doing what I get paid to do. Someone wanted to make a documentary film on the life of a cart horse owner and I made sure they got to where they needed to be. Today, when the filming was done, Mr Ten went and bought me a whole packet full of goodies (chocolate, chips and cool drink) to say thank you. He of course did not need to thank me – I was simply doing my job. But I was so overwhelmed by this sweet gesture that I gave him a hug.

The hug, however is not the point. The point is that we are so quick to judge people. We more often than not forget to see the entire picture of their being. No person is all bad or all good. There are people who do some decidedly awful things and I am not condoning that, but we are so very quick to shove people in boxes. We are so quick to label people based on very little information.

Oh, he must be a bad person because he killed someone. She must be a bad person because she was unfaithful to her husband. This child throwing a tantrum in the shop must be spoilt. It doesn’t matter what it is – we judge people too quickly and too harshly, very often only to make ourselves feel better.

My day was made today, by someone who would be judged by many as a “bad man”. People have so many aspects that we should really allow ourselves wider perspectives before judging, that’s all I’m saying.

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New house, new beginnings

When my x-husband and I decided a little over a year ago that we were no longer making each other happy and the best way forward may be to split up, I thought since it was a somewhat mutual decision, we would be able to do this amicably. I even said as much to friends and was greeted with much laughter and sneering. It turns out my naivety knows no bounds and my friends were right. There was nothing amicable about the split and of course, the children are the ones that are the biggest losers in the whole debacle.

But they are not the only losers – we have all lost. I have lost a family, who no matter how much they say they are “there for me” cannot by any logical means be that unless they are willing to take sides against their own son, brother and cousin. So no. I have lost them. And they were my family for more than a decade! It is a colossal loss!

More than that, I have been kicked out of my marital home, by a man who swore before God that he would take care of me until the day I died! Seeing as shelter is one of our core human needs, the idea of being homeless causes an inordinate amount of stress. And what a stressful 7 months this year has been so far!

This will be a long, convoluted post, so be prepared to keep up!

I started looking at houses and flats to buy, right from  the beginning of this year, as by that time we knew well enough that a reconciliation was out of the question. But the problem was that the divorce hadn’t gone through and therefore I had no money to put down as a deposit. This somewhat complicated matters. And with the budget I had, there wasn’t a whole lot of variety I could choose from. I found one particular little house that I really fancied! It had two bedrooms, a tiny garden and was literally a street away form our marital home. So when the kids were bigger, they could possibly walk between homes! It seemed perfect. Except that I had no money yet. Let’s call this ‘House P’. So I asked the agent of House P, if the owner wouldn’t consider letting me rent the house until my settlement paid out and I could buy it then. Since the owner had already moved out, it would be a good deal, I thought. But no, the owner of House P was very eager to actually SELL the house and they didn’t want to rent the house.

So I kept looking. I found another place I quite liked and put an offer in on that. It was almost accepted, but two days later some ass came along with a cash offer (and I still hadn’t any money to counter it) and the seller took the other offer instead. (In retrospect, this was a good thing. It was also a flat complex and I’m not sure my cats would have liked it, even though I only had ONE cat at that particular time).

So I started looking further afield and actually found a fairly nice place a little distance away. It would mean a longer drive to work, but there was a tiny private garden for Mr Cat, and once you were inside the little flat, it felt quite homey. Plus it was down the road from a very good friend, so I could see a lot of wine-drinking over weekends! This offer was actually accepted, but low and behold, once again I was ousted by someone who could come up with the money faster than I could.

If you have ever bought a house, you will know that there is a lot of angst involved in making offers to purchase, those offers being accepted and the actual sale going through! Are you keeping up, I have made and lost offers on three houses so far!

I was getting really desperate by now. I looked at almost every flat in one of the new developments nearby, and to be honest, the place gave me the heebiejeebies! It is basically a human anthill. Some of the complexes have no grass and not even a parking space for visitors. So I started looking at smaller houses in less desirable neighbourhoods. I knew every single house for sale within a 40km radius! An agent would call with a listing and I would be able to tell them I had already seen that particular place and why it wouldn’t do. (At least once a week!).

Then, soon after the actual divorce had been signed off by a judge (although no actual money had yet been paid to me) Mr X started getting tetchy about me still living in “his” house. And to be honest, it hadn’t been a joy living there for many months and in fact, I spent many hours sitting in my parked car outside because I couldn’t bear to go inside. So it was time to move. It was time to maybe consider renting first (although this really wasn’t my first choice, because it just meant paying off someone else’s bond and throwing money away!). But the situation was getting desperate. So one night, at the end of February, I set out to look at two flats for rent.

The one was inside the Human Anthill and the other was actually in the same neighbourhood where we were living, so I went and looked at that one first. I really rather liked it, and said to the owner that I just needed to look at one more place, but I think I would take it, I would call him later that evening.

I walked into the Human Anthill place and it was DISGUSTING. There were dead cockroaches everywhere and the place had a very nasty smell to it. I asked if the complex allowed cats and was told it didn’t, so I really didn’t see any point in looking around any further. I went home and called the other guy, who informed me that someone had come to look at the place after me, and had already paid the deposit. Sorry. Ah well, wouldn’t want him for a landlord anyway, eh? The search would have to continue. Or…would it?

Next morning (Wednesday 28 February) I get a phone call from the agent of the Anthill place. They have reconsidered and they would allow me to bring the cat, but I would have to apply for the credit check and pay the deposit before noon. (No coercing of a desperate woman there!). So I call the X and tell him if he wants me out of the house he had better come up with the deposit – which is no small amount, by the way; it entails TWO month’s rent, plus the actual rent for the first month, plus some admin fees.

He is super keen to get rid of me and magics the money from somewhere (on condition that when my settlement does come through, this will be deducted from there). Whatever Buster, I’m desperate! So I take a day and a half off work and pick up my keys the next day at noon. As I walk into the place with the agent, my stomach sinks. This is the first proper look I’ve taken…there are STILL piles of dead roaches everywhere, PLUS live ones in the kitchen cupboards!

There are no door handles on the bathroom doors, nor any towel railings, which have seemingly been ripped from the walls. The blinds are all shredded to pieces and there are literally chunks of plaster that have been knocked from the walls. I don’t know what kind of animals lived here…but when I open the garage, there is the reason for the awful smell that permeated the place; A whole pile of clothes (clearly unwashed) and shit (not literal feaces, just stuff). The agent sees the look of mighty disgust on my face and offers to clean everything up, fumigate again and bring me the keys later that evening. I agree to those terms and go home to start packing.

Moving is stressful at the best of times, but let me tell you, this was a hard pack! I had to split up ten years’ worth of shared living and memories. I had to decide what goes, what stays, what the kids will need. And to top it off, I am less than thrilled about where I am moving to. I spend the afternoon packing boxes and wiping tears and snot away. It’s not pretty!

Then, at around four, I receive a phone call from the agent that is selling House P. There have been no offers on the house and they are willing to rent the place out to me, on condition that it is still for sale and if someone else wants to buy it, I’m out. What now? I have already signed the contract for the Anthill and I’m not sure I can get out of it, although I do call that agent and tell him to keep his bloody keys, I want out of the deal! (He gets back to me the next morning saying that although they will pay back my deposit and oh so generously, the admin fees, they will keep back the first month’s rent until they can find a new tenant, but I needn’t worry as he already has someone lined up and they should only deduct a day or two’s rent. That seems fair so I agree. Naturally, because of the state of the place, they DON’T actually get new tenants until the END of that month and I lose all that money. But hey, that is my sort of luck!)

I move in on the Saturday. The X is so keen to get me out, he even hires a trailer and his parents jump in and help me move too. I have barely settled in that evening, boxes still standing everywhere, when an agent calls to let me know that she has someone that is interested in buying the place. What the hell?? No-one has been interested for months! She wants to bring them the next day, but on account of all the boxes I refuse. They come on the Tuesday instead. On Thursday I get a phone call from the owner informing me that he has accepted an offer and here is my 2 month’s notice.

I don’t know if you realise under how much stress I had been up to this point, but at this point I have a complete and utter mental breakdown! I can’t get out of bed the next morning. I call my psychiatrist and make an emergency appointment. I want out. Of life. I. Am. Done. She is naturally concerned and wants to check me into a hospital. As much as I would like a time-out from life at this point, I simply can’t – there are things that need to happen, not the least of which, me finding a new bloody place to live! Also, my horse has to move to a new yard.

I decide to to take a week off anyway and go and stay with a friend in a different town. This is also where I acquired two additional cats, but this is covered in another post in more detail.

I come back and the search for a new house continues. I find a place. On the wrong side of the railway tracks…But it seems livable. I make an offer and it is accepted. There is just one glitch. There are tenants in this particular house, whose lease has just been extended to the end of July. I need to move at the end of May. Problem. In fact a problem that leaves me sleepless and freaked out for many weeks. I beg and plead with the guy who bought House P and he agrees to let me stay for an additional two months. Breathe a little sigh of relief.

But the problems don’t end there. The day of the move is a weekday. So there is almost no-one to help me. I have asked someone who is known by someone I know with a trailer and some men, to come and pick up the really heavy stuff such as the fridge, the washing machine the beds and such like. The rest of the stuff, I will have to move myself. It is not a long distance. But there is a problem. New owner wants to move into his place by 12 and I can only get the keys to MY new place at bloody 13:00! So driving back and forth for ten trips is just not an option.

Two days before moving I run into an acquaintance (who has since become a friend as you shall soon see) with a small bakkie (a pickup truck for non-South Africans). I ask if she would help me move and to my surprise she agrees. So now I have a small half-tonne bakkie and a  VW Polo. And another friend has offered to bring her car along as well.

The day of the move arrives. I got up early and starting packing the last boxes and shoving things in my car. Friend 1 arrives and we stuff her car too. Acquaintance arrives and we pack her bakkie. Shit, there is still too much stuff!! Where did it all come from? Is there a nest somewhere? I go off to find a trailer for hire and while out on my search, Friend 1 calls to tell me that some of my carthorse guys have arrived and can we not ask them to move some of the stuff? Of course we can! The move is not far and we won’t overload the horse! And ask the driver and the guy with him if they will help load and unload!

I arrive back with the trailer and the two “carties” are put to work. If I can say one thing for carthorse drivers, it is that they are AMAZING at packing! They pack the hired trailer and once the other trailer arrives for the “big stuff” I send them on their way to the other house (obviously the horse moves a little slower than a car). I do however call the agent at the other end, telling her to look out for two guys on a horse cart coming with the first of my furniture. She laughs, thinking I’m joking. She clearly doesn’t know me very well!

Acquaintance has since come in very handy, knowing shit like where to turn off the water mains and disconnecting the washing machine. Instant upgrade to “friend 2” right there! But wait, she has more in her yet!

So we arrive en mass at the new house. There isn’t enough place in front of my house to park the horse, so she is moved in front of a neighbour’s garage. Slight tactical error on making a good impression on new neighbours, as she promptly has a shit right there. Neighbour-lady comes storming out with a disgusted prune-face moaning about the mess. I try and introduce myself as the new neighbour, but get flat ignored in favour of her shouting at the two carties. I decide to ignore the old cow for now. I tell the carties to move the horse, clean the dung and wait for me as I would like to buy them some lunch.

This takes a while longer than anticipated as we still have to return the hired trailer as well as pick up my cats that are still locked in the old house’s bathroom!

When we eventually return, I am greeted by not only prune-faced-neighbour-lady, now introducing herself as some-sort-of-cheese-for-a-surname, instantly earning herself the nickname of “Mrs Cheese” but also the Neighbourhood Watch which she had summoned to come and deal with the unwanted elements the new neighbour left in front of her garage! The joke is on her though. I have worked with these particular neighbourhood guys before and they know me by name! So she is left with egg on her face as they report into the radio: “Oh no problem here, it is only M from Cart Horse!”. And then I stifle a snigger as they kindly take my phone number to add me to the notification list.

But alas, it is not the end. She is not be silenced without the last word. She comes stomping over to tell me how unimpressed she is by the “mess” in front of her garage. This all, despite the fact that it has been scooped up, brushed away AND rinsed with a bucket of water, so all that now remains is a puddle of really rather fresh water! I have had a stressful few months and I just snap. I physically grab her and tell her that I really don’t have the time for her shit. She threatens to send her son over later and I tell her to do just that and stomp away before I do any real physical harm. Acquaintance-turned-friend2 is left in the driveway listening to her whinging and trying to explain to her that people actually PAY for shit to put in their gardens, but this is lost on Mrs Cheese.

Now the fun really starts. Unpacking! But with my sensitive constitution, I promptly get the worst migraine in the history of migraines. I spend the evening alternately hugging the toilet or hanging up curtains (which frankly, does nothing to ease a pounding headache!).

Friend 2 unpacks the house and proves to be very useful indeed by building the kids’ bunkbed as well as installing shelves in their cupboard. (If her husband ever kicks her out, I will marry her!) By the time she leaves, there are only a few books left to be unpacked. Plus I call her back because in my insane-head-aching state, I can’t find one of the cats. She kindly turns around and we find the little bastard in a cupboard!

I spend the rest of the night contemplating calling her back again to take me to the hospital. I am foaming at the mouth and shaking uncontrollably. I have never known a migraine like this one! But I survive. Just like I have survived the past 17 months. Life shall continue. (Note to the Universe, this is not, I repeat, NOT a challenge!).

Some of us took no time at all to settle in!

Friend 2 making herself useful while I’m hugging the bog

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Does not ask for help…

A sign to that effect was placed around Sandra Bullock’s character’s neck in the movie: “28 Days”. I can relate to that. Most of the time I don’t even think of asking for help anyway, but even when it is offered, I very rarely accept. It’s not that I don’t want it, it’s just that…well, I want to do it myself

Somewhere in my formative years, a notion got stuck that if I can’t do something by myself, it somehow doesn’t “count”. I don’t know where it started, but since I can remember, I have firmly believed that. It’s hard to explain to people because I don’t even fully understand it myself.

There has been a recurring theme in my life lately. People keep telling me that I am being too hard on myself, that I am taking myself and life too seriously. I take heed. I understand, but I don’t know how to “fix” it. How do I change 39 years’ worth of thinking?

Very closely linked to this, is this eternal fear of losing control. I have to be in control of every situation. This leads to loads and loads of unnecessary angst about things that I can and cannot control. It’s silly, I know. It’s stupid and it doesn’t have to be like that. But it is…so once again, this is a thought pattern that has been so deeply ingrained that I simply don’t know of a different way of thinking and doing.

And the really laughable thing is, I have yet to try and find a “method” to work through this that I don’t get so absolutely obsessed about that I get totally anxious about it.

It really sucks the “joy” out of life. It makes life hard. Really fucking HARD! It makes doing “silly” things impossible and doing things just for the sake of doing them because I enjoy them, just about impossible.

All of society tells you to be driven and have a goal and a purpose and give everything to reach your goal. Just thinking that exhausts me!

More than half the people I know are on anti-depressant medication. Surely that can’t be right? Surely that is a symptom of a sick society? If the way we are living is not meeting our basic emotional needs and leaves us drained, without joy and enjoyment, that can’t be right?

More than a year ago a dear friend told me to not worry so much about the fact that I am in “limbo”, that it may actually be a good place to be and I shouldn’t rush forward out of it, but rather ride out the wave of “not knowing”. It’s good advice and I haven’t forgotten it, I just haven’t figured out how to do it!

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I have been forced to ask for help over the last year. It has been a startling experience to say the least!

It would seem…that if you do ask, people are actually more than willing to help! I know…a real revelation…it only took me 39 years…

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Who ARE we, really?

When I was younger, I spent an awful lot of time wondering what people thought of me. I always wondered how they perceived me and spent inordinate amounts of energy trying to get them to understand why I had done something. I am still not sure why it was so important to me that they understood my motivations or my reasons behind doing things. Luckily, as we grow older and more sensible, we care less what others think. But is there a danger in caring too little what others think they know about us?

I spent last weekend with a friend. Towards the end of the weekend I realised I had said nothing all weekend. Nothing beyond, hello, how are you, turn the TV off please. I am a very quiet person and unless I have something to say, I just don’t talk. It makes me an exceedingly good listener. Most of the time, because I don’t have much to purvey to the world, I am very good at perceiving it. And the people within it.

We all have ideas of who other people are, and inevitably, that is all it is: a made-up version of that person. Not who they really are. But suddenly my old anxiety returned: Do people know who I really am? Do they realise what a passionate, loving person I am? Just because I don’t show it outwardly, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Have I become too comfortable not talking? Do people think I am the most boring, non-descript creature on the planet, just because I don’t tell them otherwise?

Just because my heart breaks when you hurt, doesn’t mean you feel the same. Just because I wake up crying when you are sad, doesn’t mean you will cry for me…just because I feel what you feel as if it were my own, does that mean those feelings are reciprocated? Just because I have become so good at hiding all these things I feel, doesn’t mean I don’t feel them.

Sometimes I guess we forget that other people are in fact not as good at perceiving things. Maybe we expect too much of them. Perhaps we have become so good at not caring what others think that we don’t bother to try and tell them who we really are anymore?

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The worst feeling in the world..

…is not being betrayed, or having your heart broken or being lonely. The worst feeling in the world is helplessness. 

It’s when someone you love is hurting and you are powerless to do anything for them. It’s when your child is learning a life lesson and all you can do is watch them learn it. It’s when a friend is having a hard time and all you can do is stand by.

I went to see a friend last weekend. She has always been there for me. And I mean always. We have been friends since we were 6 years old. Although I have not always been there for her and we have had our differences (bound to happen over a stretch of 33 years!) I can call her anytime for anything.

So anyway. I arrived at her house with the kids in tow who went off to play with her daughter. She was not in a good space. She hasn’t been for a long while, and I haven’t been much good to anyone lately.

But, she cooked me lunch and as we wanted to sit down at the table she knocked her wine over. There was red wine everywhere. In the butter, all over her table cloth, in the food. It was a spectacular mess. Now me, I would have lost my shit right there and probably have ruined the rest of the visit. Not this one! She surveyed the mess and called out to her husband:”Bring more wine, we’re gonna need more wine here!”

Today, after both of us having had rather tiresome weeks we met up for some retail therapy. Jeez loueese did we laugh! For a short while we were both helpless with laughter. It was a good feeling. It is a good feeling when you can, if only temporarily, do something.

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And then…you fall off your horse

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I got bucked off my horse yesterday. When you reach a certain age falling off is really not fun anymore. You are really scared that you might get really hurt, especially if you have children and other dependents. But I fell and I was OK. It wasn’t as bad as I expected. Trust me, I am pretty sore and stiff and I have a sprained finger, but there was no blood and no broken bones – bonus!

When you ride horses, it is an inevitable thing. You will at some point or another fall off. And from the minute you start riding, it gets drilled into your head. You are not a good rider until you have fallen off a certain number of times (people’s opinions vary on the exact number!). The other thing that gets drilled into your head is – you get up, you dust yourself off and you get back on that horse!

This may well be the only reason life has not managed to get me under just yet. It is so ingrained, that you just do it without thinking. You get up, spit out the blood and carry on…

The thing is, I have been expecting this fall. It was not a matter of if, but only a matter of when. Some might argue that you are inviting it because it is the law of attraction. I am not so sure…sometimes your horse is just a fool and you know that at some point they are going to catch you off balance and you will eat dirt. I have had a number of “too-close-for-comfort” moments over the last year and I knew it just had to happen at some point. So yesterday was that day.

The point is, it happened, and it wasn’t so bad. And I guess we do the same in life. We picture the absolute worst outcomes and worry about that – and then when it happens, (if it happens) it’s not nearly as bad as our imaginations told us it would be.

SO, the message for today is, stop worrying about things that haven’t happened yet and just enjoy the ride!

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