I’m 18 now…..

Who is controlling whom? Who is taking responsibility and who isn’t? It’s a difficult job being a parent and a teenager!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I’m 18 now….

Childhood is really fleeting; it only lasts for 18 years.  That is what we are told, according to the laws of our land. 

Once we reach 18, we can drink alcohol, smoke and buy cigarettes, vote and best of all earn our own living and live by our own rules……

In the country where I live you can legally have sex at 17, so technically you can get or get someone pregnant too. 

Not many 17 year olds have left home, have a full time job or are self-sufficient.

So where does the responsibility lay?  Whether pregnant or not once a person is 17 or 18 and still living at home, does that give them an instant right to live their life their way, under their parent’s roof?

At 18 the parent is still paying for the house that they all live in.  Is still going to the grocery store to buy the groceries.  Is still paying all the utilities.  The most important one, especially for the 18-year-old, is the electricity which is needed for the broadband which is needed for the 18 hours per day that they wish to spend on their phone, snapping, tick tocking or you tubing.

When I was 18 the only ‘snap’ I had heard of was a game of cards or if someone had worn or bought the exact same thing as me and we saw that in the real world when we bumped into each other, not in a virtual world where we may never have ever met, but are ‘best friends’.

Yes, call me old fashioned, if I were 18 I probably would too.  I would probably think that I am ancient because I have just turned 56…. practically one foot in the grave!  But I am not 18 and neither do I think that I am ancient.  I do think that I am a responsible parent though.

Having raised 5 girls, I can honestly say that the worst time raising them was during their teenage years.  They are sulky, moody, stroppy, self-indulgent, untidy, cheeky, and often very lazy. 

They are still my children and I  love them but I do not like what they morph in to during these testing years.

I have one left.  The other 4 have gone and are all living their own lives, with their own rules, in their own independent ways, some raising their own children and I say hallelujah, praise the lord and best of luck to them, for the world is a great place to be!

This last one, as lovely as she is, and she is lovely, has always pushed my buttons and tested my boundaries.  She is the ultimate social butterfly…. Or wants to be.

Covid 19 couldn’t have come at a worse time for her.  She was looking forward to turning 18, to finishing school, getting a tattoo, to going out with friends to pubs and night clubs, to flying off to Italy and be an au pair for the summer before college started in the Autumn.   Except, none of that happened except college did, sporadically, between online and on campus.

Now I understand her frustrations at all of that.  Covid 19 has not been a particularly welcome or pleasant experience for all of us.  It has been scary, frustrating, difficult and also for some, fatal. 

There have been some positives for people, getting more creative, re-evaluating their lives and changing direction etc. 

So what can we do with our 18 year olds that want to go against the rules, the Governments rules and hang out with their friends.  We have to say No, right.  That isn’t us being ‘controlling’, that is us being ‘responsible’ ‘conforming’ ‘adhering to the rules’. 

Friends are important, I know that and understand that.  I miss my friends too.  But, when my 18-year-old wanted to go and spend the Easter Break up where her digs are, where she attends college, and hang out with her friends, I put my foot down.  Why?

I couldn’t trust that they would social distance properly.  I couldn’t trust that she would become complacent and bring the dreaded virus home to us and then ultimately our other children and grandchildren.   But, not only that, I was actually hurt and disappointed that she did not want to spend the Easter break at home with her family.  That she felt she had no responsibility or even desire to be here. 

When she is here, she is like a lodger.  She comes out of her room for food and back she goes again on the phone.  She is constantly with her friends in the virtual world.  Is it wrong to want her to be a part of the real family in the real world?  To participate in family life for more than just meal times?  Am I wrong in thinking she has an addiction to her phone?

She does not work. She has a college grant. That pays for her lodgings when in college.  Yet, she wants to go hang out with friends over Easter ‘because she’s 18 now’.

Ok so let’s compare.  At 18 I was working full time.  At 18 I had a bedsit.  At 18 I did my own shopping.  At 18 I did my own cooking and laundry.  At 18 I had a boyfriend and went to the pub. At 18 I was totally independent and could live by my own rules.  At 18 if I went home and my boyfriend did I slept in my bedroom and he slept in my brother’s bedroom.  At 18, if I went home I abided by the rules of my mother’s house.  At 18 I called that being respectful and responsible.  At 18 I just knew, that is the way that it was.

I have been a strict parent.  I want my girls, all of them, to be strong independent women.  I want them to stand on their own two feet.  I want them to challenge things, including me but, when at 18, they are not ‘earning’ their own money, not doing their own shopping, cooking, cleaning, bill paying etc. etc. and live under my roof, is it too much to ask that they abide by my rules.

I have a rule that she goes to bed the same time as me.  I usually stay up ‘til midnight or after.  It has always been the way.  Unless they were out with boyfriends, clubbing it in which case they would just come home and go straight to bed.

This one cannot go clubbing it because of Covid, so the last thing I want is her up all night on her phone, leaving it charging, being a fire risk or keeping me awake with chitter chatter and burning lights all night.  She already can’t get up in the mornings.  We are lucky if we see her before lunch time. 

Yes, yes yes teenagers need more sleep, or so they say.  Go to bed earlier then, is what I say…

The point is, when does their ‘responsibility’ kick in.  To converse, to observe, to happily want to participate in family life.  To happily want to seek a job and work during the holidays and earn a few bob?

Has this generation gotten so bad that it actually thinks that they are just ‘entitled’ to do very little by way of being helpful or respectful, and expect to spend every waking moment with friends, either online or offline.

Do they all think they are just going to be the next big sensation on you tube or be the next big influencer in applying a shiny nose in a ‘trowel it on’ make up tutorial where everyone looks the same as a Bratz doll? 

I mean, come on people.  Surely you want more for yourself than that.  Something that you can achieve and be proud of based on your own judgment of yourself and your effort.  Surely you don’t really need the approval of ‘strangers’ in a world that you may never ever meet them.

If so, I ask of you to ask of yourself, why.  Why do you need that?   Why not put your phone down?  Talk to the people in front of you.  Take an interest in what is going on in your own home, in your own family and balance your life with real family and real friends. 

Your family cared for you, nurtured you, protected you, loved you, even when you were sometimes not very lovable. 

Your family are not asking you to forsake your friends or to forsake yourself.  They are saying the exact opposite.   Be happy in yourself, with your own approval.  Work hard, real work, where you can have a sense of achievement.  Ask, ‘is there something I can do for you’ and take some ‘responsibility’ for the lifestyle that you want to live. 

The Government are controlling all of us at the moment because of the Global Pandemic.  Yes it sucks, but in order to get rid of it, we must abide by the rules, don’t we?

If you want to live how you want, when you want, with whomever you want, then do it.  Get a job, get a flat, get the bills and all the paraphernalia that goes with independence.  It really is a fantastic thing.  I know I loved it when I was 18, standing on my own two feet, whilst also going home and spending time with my family.  Go on, just do it!

Turning 18 is not a licence to say, I will do what I want, whether you like it or not.  Turning 18 is about growing up.  Being a grown up means, taking responsibility and not just expecting to still keep ‘playing’ like you did when you were a child, then throwing dolly out of the pram when you don’t get your own way.  After all, you are 18 now!

January…..A month to stay in

So the new year is here, full of new years restrictions, a vaccine and hopefully, with hope….

image – authors own

The tinsel is wrapped and put away

The tree gone to the shredder

The Christmas lights once so bright

Have dimmed now all together

A new year’s day, a new year dawns

And we hope we can progress

It is with caution and foreboding

That I am fearful, I confess

The numbers they are growing

And infecting many lives

Invisible like a thief in the night

It will entice you and beguile

As it lures you in, into its grasp

When it sees you are complacent

The virus travels at quick speed

And does not victimise against us

So January it seems, is the month,

that we must pledge to stay in

To slow the spread of this disease

While letting others win

The people with the cancer

The mental health and needs

So great they need attention

But they just have to yield

And so it’s devastating

Whichever way we go

But stay in, we must in January

Cos they have told us so

And as we crash together

And crumble to our knees

Despairing as to whether

We succumb to our needs

For mankind needs a purpose

To go and do some work

It gives us direction and focus

And helps to prove our worth

So now we must all hibernate

And hope we will come through it

Unscathed and well and feeling whole

And hope we haven’t blown it

Essential workers don’t get to rest

Or hide behind closed doors

Their terror and their worry

Will stay with them some more

In order to protect us

 to treat us, and to cure

They go with trepidation

This virus, they abhor

So we all must do the best we can

To keep this ‘thing’ at bay

And hope we can come together

And have our ‘normal’ back some day

Time

The best thing to learn is everything takes time, it’s a matter of knowing how to use it

images taken at St. Helen’s Bay, Co Wexford

None of us know how long or short our time will be on this planet. Some go way too young and others stay beyond a century. I hope to be in the latter. One thing I do know, is that the planet we live on is a place of wonder and beauty. It is ever changing but continually provides a beautiful landscape. Sometimes it rages and causes havoc. Is it angry or simply shifting its focus? Other times it is calm, serene and magical. In moments of time we are the same as this planet. Like a spectrum we can gravitate from one end of the scale to another, depending on our circumstances, our thoughts, opinions, influences and other environmental factors. It is a continuum, time is not static. It does not stand still, even after we leave, time continues and the sun rises and falls and night follows day. Again and again it goes on, in spite of the storms and in spite of the droughts. So it is, that we must do the same. We must carry on in spite of the chaos, in spite of the hurt, in spite of the disappointments, the successes and the failures. Life throws us curve balls and it is up to us what we do with them. We cannot avoid them totally and they will have an impact, but we can work around them, and continue to move forward.

Time is a precious thing in that it never runs out and we can make choices and decisions, and if we screw up and cause havoc like the storms, we know it can be cleaned up, renewed and a new day will dawn and brighter days will follow.

We are heading into a new year and this year we are dealing with and bringing Corona Virus with us. It will not disappear at midnight. There is no fairy godmother that can banish it away or give it wings to fly itself away. We will still wake up in our lock downs with our restrictions and precautions and for that we will feel sad, disappointed and angry, but we know that it will not last forever. We know and have to believe we will get it under control, it is just a matter of time and we must be patient, vigilant and not complacent.

During this time we may have found lots of things to be positive about, thankful for and appreciative of, and so going into the new year, we must remain positive and hang on to those positive thoughts. Trust that a new day is dawning and in time, we can obliterate this virus and in the meantime count our blessings of what we have and who we have in our lives and lets also enjoy the beauty of our planet and nature.

Self Promotion

Don’t be afraid to keep reinventing yourself, believing in yourself or promoting yourself…. You can be anything you want to be

nature and innovation

I love the look of this tree in the photograph. I know it’s not the best photograph, but in its natural glory the picture still tells a story. It’s the story of how we live and co-exist with the environment. The tree began life as a seed and along the way grew up, grew strong and formed attachments, or attachments were made. Other plant life grew around the tree and the tree branched out in different directions, and balanced itself to keep itself rooted, where it was planted.

You’ll notice a street light to the left of the photo. That is innovation and before the invention of electricity or light bulbs, people relied on candles or tilly lamps or the moon and stars. Whatever they relied on, people kept searching to progress and improve their surroundings and ultimately their lives. We are a very long way from the cave men!

These days we have social media and the internet. This has really allowed us to expand our horizons, connect more and it makes the world seem a much smaller place, in that everything is within our reach at the click of a button.

We have tick tockers, influencers, bloggers, facebookers, instagramers and much much more and these platforms allow us to promote ourselves, our products, our lives, our views, our everything really.

So here I am promoting myself and my new product – Caroline’s Card Creations (found on Facebook) or @taylormadecardcreations on instagram. I think that there is nothing wrong in promoting ourselves, in coming up with new ideas, in trying something new, in taking a first step to trying to improve ourselves, our lives and our connections.

Like the lovely tree in this photo with the ivy creeping up it and its branches, extending, twisting and turning it shows us that it has come along way from the little seed it once once and yet, we know there is still more for this tree. It is not over. It provides for nature around it, for birds nesting, oxygen for us and maybe one day will be used to make something. Its purpose is endless.

Like the tree, we are not one dimentional. We cannot exist on our own. We co-exist with others, with nature and the environment. Some people wish they could do something, but are afraid, afraid to branch out, afraid to take the risk. Afraid of failure or afraid of ridicule. By not brancing out or reaching out, we will stay stuck, wondering, regretting, hoping or despairing of what we ‘wish’ we could have tried, should have tried.

So I say, no matter what it is, whether it’s making a new friend, changing a career, inventing something new, moving from one place to another, or creating something, do it, take the first step and be proud that you tried and go promote yourself and all that you are and can be.

Below is an example of one of my cards….. Go Sorcha!

http://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/irishnamecards

women….

They say it happens slowly, just creeps up on you and you don’t really notice…. ‘they’ were right!

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

I think I might be pregnant, cos I’m showing all the signs

Feeling so exhausting and sleepy all the time

Sometimes I feel like crying and I have no idea why

It makes me feel uncomfortable, of that I can’t deny

My boobs they are a-growing and bursting out my bra

If I stood next to dolly, then we would be on a par

My waist is non-existent and is spreading out the side

My ass is also growing and, well really, it’s quite wide

It used to be so perky and one to feel quite proud

But now it’s changing rapidly, I get stares from the crowd

But I know I can’t be pregnant, unless it is a phantom

No I’m not the virgin Mary, but neither am I dumb

I think it’s hormones going mad, like they did in my youth

But what they’re doing to my body, is really quite uncouth

I cut right back and walked out long and joined the slimming world

But nothing seems to do the trick for this fat bottomed girl

I don’t want to starve myself and I can’t think straight any more

The shock of this reality is that it must be the menopause

At least when you are pregnant, the outcome is really cute

Whoever thought women need this too, is honestly a brute!

So if you over 55 and your body is sprouting like mad

It’s time to get the party started to wash away the sad

Time to now embrace, the new larger squishy side of you

Join hands with all your sisters and pray that we get through

Hot flushes and the mood swings, dry skin and all the rest

Look back oh so fondly on the days when you looked your best

So what can we do with this stranger in the mirror

Just dress her up, and dance in the rain, cos you are still a winner

Go out all flamboyant and add a  little  crazy

Drink back some gin, and say so what? so what if it’s all hazy

Go strut your stuff like you always did and don’t apologise

Inside that body, it’s still you kid, of that I tell no lies !

Broken…

Sometimes, especially in youth, things seem so big that they are insurmountable, but then you often realise that it is the little things that really matter and that anything can be achieved. Every day is a new day to start again, regardless of the big or the little thing. As we age and mature, what was the ‘big thing’ will often pale into insignificance and what was the ‘little thing’ is often the most important thing. Its called perspective.

Photo by sergio souza on Pexels.com

Surrounded by her family, yet feeling so alone

all is safe and peaceful, in this happy family home

but as she sat at the table, concealing how she feels

the hurt and desperation are really very real

she doesn’t want to burden them, or tell them they were right

instead she’ll keep it with her and end it all tonight

she wants to say she loves them, but her throat begins to close

the words are trapped and stuck there, of the secret no one knows

growing up is difficult, but then to be betrayed

of the love in a relationship, how could she possibly stay?

for when the drink was taken, a monster he became

no one could control him, or even make him tame

so as much as he said he loved her, his fists said otherwise

no more could she bare the agony of the beatings or the lies

not yet even twenty, yet she felt life had no meaning

ashamed of what she’d put up with, had left her true self reeling

so as she went to bed that night, she studied all the pills

they only way to stop the pain – it had been a a battle of the wills

she thought about her family, and she began to cry

deep down inside, within her heart, she didn’t want to die

she knew no other way to stop the hurt and pain

and so she took all the pills and on her bed she lay

sometimes without explanation, an intervention occurs

for when she woke the next morning a ‘voice’ had spoke to her

it’s not your time to go now, don’t be so alarmed

the tablets that you’ve taken, have left you quite unharmed

go and live your life, you are stronger than you think

and then the voice disappeared as quick as she could blink

she felt a little groggy, astounded and so shocked

but soon she felt the strength enough, but her secret would stay locked

she swore she would do something, and make her life worthwhile

no more being trod upon and soon she would smile

now when she looks back on that time, oh so long ago

she’s thankful for that ‘intervention’, that helped to make her grow

and realised that a mind so young, can be easily disturbed

and loose sight of what can be achieved, if we share and we observe

so when around the table, at family dinner time

be sure to check with your young ones, that they are doing fine

and if they appear distant or even a little aloof

sometimes that is just enough to offer you some proof

that maybe all is not so well, so tread kindly and be open

let them know you’re there for them, and would help if they feel broken

it may must be the start, that they feel that they can tell

when all that’s going on in their life, is really not going so well.

When…

all we are certain of is now….

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When the buds unravel and unfurl in their splendour

it’s time

when a heart skips a beat and you get lost in loves wonder

it’s time

when a mother first sees you and holds you in her arms

it’s time

when a loved one takes their last earthly mortal breath

it’s time

when the moon and stars shines light in the darkness

it’s time

when the sun’s warm embrace soothes and rests on your face

it’s time

when sadness, hurt and despair are choking and squeezing you

it’s time

and when faith and hope and love collide, and give reason and understanding, it gives power in the now, this hour, this second, this moment in time

it’s time to embrace and endure to look and to listen, to feel and to heal, respect and accept

it’s time

The Oscars…..

Not many of us expect to be talking about our ‘final wishes’ at a young age. That is usually for the very rich or the very old, who make provisions for what is to happen to them at ‘the end’. This pandemic may give us all a different view on that now.

I was thinking about the Oscars, I don’t know why, because I never watch them fully, but I do sometimes watch the edited highlights.  I watch as the camera pans to the celebrity that has been nominated, all of them tentatively smiling, looking coy or bashful, but hopeful that they will win the Oscar.  One of them will read the speech which they had prepared, in the hope that they might win.  So many potential speeches waiting to be read, full of thanks and praise for many, including their loved ones

We are currently going through a pandemic; this time it has the full attention of the world.  When it was the Bird Flu, or SARS or even Ebola, the whole world didn’t quite take note as they are now.  I myself, carried on as normal at that time, thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’ and I am sure there are many people who thought the way I did then.

This time it is a different story.  This time the virus is spreading like wildfire and like other viruses, it does not discriminate against age, sex, race, disability, marital status or religion.  This one is abiding by the Equality Act and each of us must take note.

We have all become accustomed, at this stage, to know what ‘Social distancing’ ‘wash your hands’ lockdown’ and PPE mean.   It has become part of our everyday dialect and vocabulary.  My 3-year-old beautiful grand-daughter calls it the ‘Virusy’ and wonders when it will go away so that she can give me a hug again.  How I long for it to be over now, so I can give her and my 3 other grandchildren a big squeezey hug.  I cannot answer her with certainty, no-one can.   Instead we have to ‘make do’ with the occasional ‘window visit’.

What I do know is that the longer people flout the rules and don’t engage in social distancing, washing hands, remaining in lockdown or having the required PPE, the longer this virus will dance with us and pick us off one by one and none of us will know for sure, if we will survive it. 

From healthcare workers to people on the street, Actors, models and even the UK Prime minster, young, old and in between people are contracting this virus and people are dying.  It’s like a lottery, people are chosen at random but there are no winners, only losers.  Sure lots of people will get over it and survive, but with what long lasting damage to their lungs?  Others, not so lucky to survive.

This brings me to the Oscars.  What if you get it?  You don’t know if you will survive it.   You have to be prepared.  You have to have your ‘speech’ ready.  You have to tell your loved ones, not only that you love them, that you will miss them, that you don’t want to leave them, you have to tell them what they have to do with you, if you do indeed, leave them. 

Some families only think about having to bury their elderly relatives, but this virus can take any of us and we need to let our families know, what and how we would like to happen to us at the end.  Whether that is to be cremated or buried.  Whether it is to be repatriated home if you live/work in another country or indeed which graveyard to be buried in.  Is this morbid, no I don’t think so.  It is necessary.  Not everyone has made a Will.  Talk to your loved ones, let them know what you would like to happen to you, ‘just in case’ you are the one. 

Write your closing speech.  Your speech of acceptance, in the event that it is you.  Write it in a letter.   Tell your parents, your siblings, your children, your grandchildren, your friends.  Tell whomever is dear to you, what they mean to you, in your closing speech.  Be prepared.  You may never get this virus and the letter will then never have to be read out, just like the nominees at the Oscars, they go home with their unread speeches if they didn’t win.  You get to keep your letter if you are lucky enough to not contract this virus.

In the meantime, follow the rules to slow the spread and flatten the curve.  Keep our Healthcare workers as safe as possible, by staying home.  Allow them to not to have to be crushed by an overwhelming workload, in these extraordinary circumstances, and often, without the proper PPE.   Give them some respect.  If you do not stay home and follow the rules you are risking their lives as well as your own.  They already have enough of a burden to bear, being in the midst of this pandemic and watching people suffer and die on a daily basis.  Please do not add to their burden unnecessarily.

Take care, stay safe, stay home and give your ‘speech’ some thought as well as your wishes. 

To Judge

People say they are non-judgmental, but I think people judge all the time, if only for a while…

Judging……

My grandson turned 5 yesterday. He is a very clever, observant and smart boy. He is definitely in tune with his feelings too. The night before his birthday, he go very upset, thinking that once he was 5, he would no longer be able to do crafts or colour in pictures of spiderman etc as he would be too old. His mother reassured him that not only could he still do his crafts and colouring, but that he would get better and better at it and anything that he did, the older he gets. He was very reassured and of course, believed his mother.

I went to see him on his birthday, well to have a social distance visit with him so I could leave his birthday present in the garden for him. After thanking me, he proceeded to tell me that he been upset the night before his birthday because he thought that he would not be able to colour or craft once he was 5 but that his mammy told him that he would be able to and not only that, but that he would get better and better. I also reassured him that yes, that was the case and that I am now 55 and I can still paint, draw and make things and that I got better with age. He smiled and nodded.

We were both painting at my house about a month ago, I was doing an abstract. He told me that my painting looked like a child had done it! Now thinking back to our conversation yesterday, I am a little perturbed that when he smiled and nodded at me, he was being polite, thinking that by 55 I should be able to paint better than something that looked like a child had done it! I think he may have been judging me!

These are very different times which we live in, especially the last few weeks and it is having an impact on everyone, all ages, across the world. This sensitive 5 year old picks up on everything around him and he is alert to everything in his environment and the people around him.

Last week he and his mother were having a chat which lead to how he views the family around him and it goes something like this:-

Nana L – drinks tea

Grandad L drinks champagne

Nanny M smokes

Grandad J builds

Nanny C Judges (means bosses everyone) 🙂

Grandad K works all the time

Daddy drinks cans of boost

Mammy drinks milk (no I don’t) she says

Jess watches Netflix

Jake says cool stuff

Uncle D gives out to B every day!

Aunty S tells C not to tease

Little J goes to school

and S…. poos

Well, we did have a giggle. Out of the mouths of babes hey. Well me being Nanny C, I took a little time to reflect. Am I really ‘Judgey/ bossy’? Well, yes I guess I am. It’s not the first time and I don’t think it will be the last time that someone will say that to be honest

I Judge EVERYTHING, straight away, and I am not ashamed to admit it. However, I am not the only one. You do too! People like to say that they don’t judge but, we all do. You are judging this piece of writing right now. I first wrote this in a notepad in a beautiful leather bound case which I bought in a shop in Dingle. I judged it as soon as I saw it, thought it was beautiful and bought it. Others may have seen it and thought it was just OK or too expensive, that would be their judgement on it.

The dictionary definition of to judge is:-

to form an opinion or conclusion

We all form opinions everyday, from the weather to what to wear, eat or how people interact with each other etc, etc. The dictionary definition is to form an opinion OR conclusion, not necessarily both, at the same time. In my defense then, I would say that when I form an opinion I do not always come to a conclusion on something, that there is room for manoeuvre. For example, lets take the weather. I may say ‘I don’t think it will rain all day’. That is not a foregone conclusion, merely my opinion. A meteorologist may be able to put me right, given that she/he is more expert in the field of weather, but even experts sometimes get it wrong.

I mind this particular grandchild 3 days per week whilst his mother is at work and sometimes at the week end too, until she gets back from work. He spends a lot of time with me, in usual circumstances, at this moment he is locked in at home with his mammy and loving every minute of having her home! He has been known to call me mammy 2, in the absence of mammy 1, but mammy 1 is his absolute number 1 person in his life I might add. As much as I love him and my 3 other grandchildren, I am known to somewhat spoil them more than I did their mothers when they were little. That is a grandmother’s prerogative is it not? Having said that, I still have to ensure he is ‘fed and watered’ properly and nutritionally first. I also have to ensure he is ‘bathed and bed’ by a reasonable hour, so I can absolutely understand his view of me as being ‘bossy’.

Also, I still have two teens in the house and boy oh boy do they test my patience at times. My little 5 year old is often a vicarious party to the conversations which go on between us plus the fact that they often have to be coerced, encouraged and told what to do and how to do it by yours truly, moi! Hence, of course I am a bossy boots.

I would imagine he has taken in a great many of the conversations we have had regarding, teens, indulgent and otherwise, boys, clothes, and make up styles to name but a few. Make up, especially seems to be a regular topic in the house in that I see lots of people contouring their faces to within an inch of their lives. Making themselves look like drag queens with the over made up eyes, lips and enormous eyelashes, that a bird could build a nest in. Then of course, there are the eyebrows and the shiney noses. Who really in their right mind wants to look like Groucho Marx about the brows and Rudolph with the ‘shiney nose’. Girls, put down the high lighter and step away from the brow pack…. Dont you know you are to only enhance what you already have, not recreate it with a pencil! See there I go again with the judging.

I started this piece by saying my 5 year old grandson is a very clever, observant and smart boy. I have judged him correctly on this occasion, not only is that my opinion it is also my conclusion about him. I also observe that he too can be a little bossy at times….. he must take after his nanny C.

In conclusion, however, to his list, when I am no longer ‘actively’ parenting or childminding grandchildren, I propose to be more like grandad L, and drink Champagne…..

want to break free ?

from early on we strive to build friendships, work, build networks and build a home, but during all this ‘building’, do we ever feel overwhelmed, overburdened, overshadowed and then feel the need to break free?

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We are conditioned by nature to seek out relationships.  We are engineered by our environment as to the types of relationships we build, based on what and whom we are exposed to.  Some of us are born to our families and remain with them all of our formative years and maintain good relationships when we flee the nest.  Others do not get to stay with their family of origin but may still have some form of contact, or none whatsoever, depending on the circumstances and the circumstances can be many and varied.  We are shaped by the people around us, parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers, friends.  We learn from each other.  We build and we adapt, depending on whom we are with and what we are doing.  We often ‘go along with things’ so as not to stick out, be the odd one out, rock the boat.  To keep the peace is often the easier option. We may surpress what we really feel and deny ourselves the opportunity to be honest and open.  To do so could offend, incite an argument, evoke scrutiny that we may not wish to recall or simply we may think it is kinder to not be honest in certain situations.  After all, we all have different tastes, ideas, ideals, opinions, beliefs and perspectives, and that is fine.

Sometimes though, it can all become too much.  We are but one person.  In order to survive we NEED others, we NEED  relationships.  We need to love and be loved, to feel value and give another person a sense of value.   We need relationships on some level, for us to feel full and complete.  This can lead us to feeling good, yet overwhelmed.  As the saying goes, ‘we cannot please all of the people all of the time’.  One person, whether a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a grandparent, a child, we must ‘interact’.  It is in the interacting with all of the people in our circle and indeed outside of our circle that can lead us to feeling overwhelmed, overburdened, overshadowed.  We can deny ourselves so much and so often, that we don’t even realise that we are denying ourselves.   It can become a way of life, a habit, and habits are easy to form yet difficult to break.

Like an animal, taken from the wild and placed in a zoo,  it can adapt to his new surroundings.  He will be fed, exposed to company, given somewhere to live, given the basic things needed to survive, but, will he be happy, all of the time or for that matter, any of the time.  Yet he stays, no option but to stay, he is so tightly monitored and guarded that his existence is secured.  He learns to adapt to his new way of life, but may still yearn for his former life, for his independence.    His offspring born in this new habitat will no nothing of the wild as they would have been born to this habitat and will not know any different….. but what is their instinct.  They may not know how to hunt, how to take care of themselves, how to survive in the wild, but perhaps they have a desire to find out.  Perhaps they have a desire to break free, perhaps their instinct is engrained in their DNA.

We are the same.  We were born into our surroundings, guided, nurtured, ensuring or needs were met.  We conform to the rules of our environment and of our society.   We built friendships, relationships, homes and families of our own.  Some of it is easy, some of it is difficult, but still we strive.  However, there comes a time, often more than once, that we may want to’ break free’.   Not necessarily forever, maybe just for a day or a week or even a few hours.  We need to break free for our sanity, for us to be us, the person we were born to be, not the person someone expects us to be.  For a short time we need to take care of us, we need to take the time to be free, to recharge, re-energise, reflect and reconnect, if we so choose.  We have to NOT deny ourselves of what we want or need. We need to practice self care, in order that we can fulfill and continue to be part of all the other relationships that we encounter and are party to.  We need to go and find something, a place, a thing, a journey, whatever it takes, but we need to find our joy,  our peace, our inner calm and ourselves.  If that means you need to break free, then break free, just do it – you need to love and have a relationship with you!

 

Picture authors own taken at Fota Wildlife Park.