The power

The power of love will always endure…. a power trip, leads to nowhere at all….

There’s beauty in strength for it binds together

Can fight any storm and unsettled weather

A snake in the grass, may work it’s way in

Constrict and contort, a smile, false, manipulating.

When power is on the wrong side of love

It’s empty, it’s cold, in the heart thereof

It just fills a gap and fuels the fire

Cos control and power are the only desire

It cannot heal an open wound

But sink you further into the muddy ground

Open your heart, let real love inside

That’s where the power should truly reside……

Two sides ?

Never judge a book by it’s cover is what they say and there are always two sides to a story, right? Or is it that it only begins with two sides ?

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‘You don’t look old enough’ is generally what people say when I tell them I have 4 grand children.  People are kind or say what they think you would like to hear.  We do it all the time, it just trips off the tongue, usually to make the receiver feel good, flattered and the giver feel appreciated, liked.  Sometimes, its just true!

I am certainly not too young to be a grandmother, being a 53 year old, but I do try to keep myself looking as well as possible.  I was married at 23 and had my first child at 24.  That was considerably old, if you compare it to when my own mother got married or indeed my grand mother.  In their day, 18 was a general ‘good age’ to be married by,  and have a baby within the first year.

These days lots of women are having careers before marriage and babies and lots are having babies from age 18, but without the marriage part.  My eldest was almost 19 having her first, not far off my mother’s age, when she had her first.  My mother was married, my daughter was not.  My daughter since married her childhood sweetheart and went on to have two further children with him and they are happy……. most of the time.

Can we be happy all of the time?  I think not.  I am married to my second husband for  23 years, love him dearly but at times could  quite happily commit murder.  We have, however, endured our ups and downs, swam rivers, climbed mountains and gotten over every bump in the road to arrive at a happy place together having raised our children.

Why couldn’t I have ‘endured’  my first marriage too? Met him aged 21, married him at 23, baby at 24, separated at 26.  We didn’t even get to a 7  year itch stage.  We had a grand total of 5 years, and did it all the right way round…. Met, bought house, got married, had baby and it all went wrong and no, no one else was involved, we just grew apart.  There was no real good cop bad cop, it just wasn’t ‘right’ and I guess I knew it never would be, so it was best all round, to walk away.

He will have his side, I will have my side, but then my daughter will have her side.  There can not be just two sides, can there?   What we do, as adults, will of course impact on the child, right?  It has to, it can’t but not impact, one way or another.  It will however, be up to the adults on whether that will be a good or bad impact, or a somewhere in between.

With all the best intentions in the world, there were times it was difficult.  Some of the times it was amicable, others, it was a battle of the wills.  I tried to never let it get in the way of her relationship with her father, no matter what I thought about him.  I always encouraged her to have a good relationship with him.     He loved her, as I did,  and she loved him and she loved me.  She was entitled to that.  I reasoned I wished her to grow up with two happy parents living apart, rather than two miserable parents living together.

The worst thing I could ever have said to him was that I was taking her away, to live, in another country.  I knew it would cut him in pieces as it would me if the shoe was on the other foot.    I cried at the thoughts of telling him, knowing how he would feel.  When I actually told him, I cried even more, after he had left my house.  She was 7 years old.  She wanted to ‘move’.  Did she know her mind well enough to know this, you might ask.  I asked myself the same question over and over again.

Of course, he took me to Court to try to stop it, as I knew he would and of course I couldn’t blame him. I would  have done the same if it were the other way round.    The funny thing about that was when I first ‘thought’ about moving to Ireland, I didn’t actually think I would, but because it was a thought,  I felt he ought to know.

Things of course turned fairly nasty, he was understandably upset, hurt and bitter.  I knew and understood that, but that all had an impact on our child and for the first time we found ourselves needing the courts to  ‘intervene’ .  I wanted to have the ‘choice’ to go back to my family in Ireland if I so chose in the future, even if it meant taking my child away from her father, as she too had expressed a wish live in Ireland.

She was 8 and a half when we moved and right up to the day of moving I asked her if she wanted to stay in the UK, so she could see her dad, as always,  I would unpack all the boxes and we would stay.   She said she loved him but wanted to move.

She is 29 now and though it was a very difficult time for her father, and of course I did feel a certain amount of guilt, I knew ultimately,  it was the right thing to do for us as a family.  What further made my mind up to actually move, was the amount of conflict between us that was generated from my first telling him of the ‘thought’ to go to finally being granted consent to go.    I was not trying to stop their relationship, indeed I still encouraged it and did so from the time we came,  in that she saw her father for half of all the holidays, and he could come see her whenever he wished,and ring her whenever he wished, which he did on a daily basis.

The distance between us turned out to be a good thing because the impact on our child was a positive one, in that she did not have to be caught between any crossfire.  She has loved living in Ireland and has had a nice life here.  She has continued to love her father and has never regretted moving here.    We will never know how things would have been had we stayed in the UK, but for our family, this had a positive impact.

The thing is with separation and family break down, even with the best will in the world, it is a very difficult road to navigate and know if you  are doing the right thing.  A child, however, must always be at the center of the situation.  If one or both of the  parents cannot reasonably  agree then of course, the courts will have to decide and in the meantime be very mindful of any impact and upset you are putting on the child in the middle of it all.

A story to tell……

Every picture tells a story. Every moment is a snapshot in time, whether it be good, bad or indifferent. Some days seem to go on forever and other days just fly by. There are just not enough hours in the day or the hours drag on FOREVER ! Some days you may wish you don’t want to have another. Other days you may eantcto live forever and there are the days inbetween where you feel blessed to have another day to start again.

Looking at other people’s days, lives, experiences may somehow have an impact on how you feel about your own life. Some people seem to have tragic, chaotic, lonely lives. Some have happy fulfilled and contented lives and the rest are somewhere inbetween.

But is life static? Will it ever change. Will the bad life ever turn good. Will the good life ever turn bad. Will this snapshot in time be a Happy or sad moment in time?

People experience many highs and lows all the time. It’s like a rollercoaster. It’s like a spectrum and we pass from one end to the other at different speeds and paces. How we react and respond is down to our personality, our resilience, our coping mechanisms.

How we interact with others allows us to laugh, cry, scream, shout, be quiet or silent. It allows us to look in the window of their life and their personality and their coping mechanisms and resillience and it allows them to see ours. It allows us to share, to learn, to walk away, to love, to sympathise and empathise, to advice and to listen, with our hearts and our ears.

We are not defined by experiences but we are shaped by them and we learn from them. We grow and develop from our mistakes and that gives us strength, even when it doesn’t feel that way.

It’s about recognising that this moment in time is just that, a moment, and whether happy, sad, difficult, easy or somewhere inbetween, it will inevitably change. For it to change, something has to happen, something has to be different. Whether it is us doing something different or something in our circumstances changing, making it different, it is up to us how we react and respond to it…… that is our choice and in making that choice we will be affected one way or another. It is ultimately our responsibilty to effect a change in order to be the happiest version of ourselves that we can be or hope to be.

We can chose this as many times as we like because for as long as we are living and breathing, we can chose which way we want to go. It may not be easy or it may be the simplest step you will ever take, but remember, all it takes is the first step.

I wrote a story about a time in my life, it was a snapshot of my life, a time during my teenage years, that for me, was very difficult due to circumstances beyond my control. I responded to it in the only way I could, by facing the challenges head on, by rebelling somewhat in order to stand up for myself and by planning my great escape to the life I really wanted, when the time was right.

Of course everyone has a story to tell and since my teenage years I’ve had plenty more challenges to face, as we all do. That is the key, face them, deal with them and move on from them.. keep moving forward, keep learning, keep growing, learn from the good and the bad. Accept that some things are just the way they are. Accept you can’t change everything but strive to be the best version of you that you can be.

Write your story, it doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, if it’s written well or not, it only matters that it is your story, your snapshot, and it does not have to define you now or your future self …

Love

There it raced across my heart

A sudden flutter, a stop and start

Down it went, my tummy flipped

Thoughts out loud, ‘I love You, slipped

The shock, the horror, I want to hide

Open the ground and let me slide

Out of sight away from your face

Too soon I know, I can tell by your face

I start to tremble and feel quite weak

I step away as you begin to speak

I block the sound and close my eyes

I hang my head, but there’s the surprise

‘I love you too’ you said at last

Reached for my hand and held my grasp

I feel quite faint and light as a feather

I can’t believe we’ll be together

That was all way back when

Early days when our love began

On this path our love still grows

Sometimes friends sometimes foes

Ups and downs, we’ve had a few

All the time, our love still grew

The passage of time has made us strong

In each others arms is where we belong

Betrayed

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All that glitters, isn’t gold

Slowly, cracks begin to unfold

Truth or dare, what shall it be

Let you go, set me free?

Best plans are not always made

Instinct screams, you are betrayed

Heart is heavy

Head is light

Time to go, time to fight ?

Outside space is closing in

Hard to breath,  what’s the sin?

Deny the gut then you’ll know

If you should stay, or if you should go

Love is patient, love is kind

Love cannot be defined

Love can hurt, and drag you down

Love is fleeting or profound

Betray yourself if you must

Only for Love, never for lust

 

 

 

Revenge I seek

Crimson lips fade to pale
Confessions of Love – a sting in the tale
T’ was meant for me, I know it’s so
Another path, you must go
A heart of ice calls your name
No choice you have, to play the game
Stiff and rigid you play along
Conform and dance to her merry song
I watch her eyes, her twitching lips
Her twisted lies and sarcastic quips
I stand and stare in disbelief
Holding on, in silence, to my grief
Off you go to the maidens lair
I know in your heart, I must be there?
Can’t you run and escape her grasp
If only you had a looking glass
See the story how it should be
Then you’d know, you should be with me
What’s her power, has she cast a spell?
Is there a secret, never to tell?
life without you seems so bleak
Just walk away, why so weak?
Do not laugh and frolic with her
Remember me, I called you sir?
You promised me love and fairytale
My Prince, my knight, but now you bail
You said you loved me, I believed it was true
Now I’m confused cos she is with you
You’ve abandoned me now but what is the cost
I’m angry inside, broken, lost
I want to scream, and call you out
Please sir please sir I want to shout
I feel like a child, vulnerable and small
You’ve got nothing to say, nothing at all?
I’ve been discarded left here on the path
Let me tell you sir, you will feel my wrath
You’ve used and abused me, I know I am right
Hang your head in shame Don’ t put up a fight
You said that you loved me, I thought it was so
Silly girl, stupid, now I must go
I’ll hatch a plan , revenge will be sweet
I won’t be so nice, the next time we meet!
My heart, it is broken, you can’t comprehend
The damage you’ve caused – you were never my friend……

Ustav Raj spirals

Being a grown up!

Teenagers cannot wait to grow up and do it’ their way’, because, they know everything and parents are ‘old fashioned’. The reality of becoming a parent is often different to the ‘idea’ of what being a parent is and sometimes being grown up is just not what its all ‘cracked up to be’…….

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I was having a conversation with my almost 16 and almost 17 year old last week.  Of course, life is different now, than it was in my day, because I am just ‘old fashioned’ right?   The (almost) 17 year old has been working as a volunteer now for a year in a charity shop and is gaining useful skills.   Would she rather have a job that pays her a wage?  of course, but paying jobs are very hard to find.

The (almost) 16 year old does not want to volunteer when she turns 16.  ‘I don’t want to work with old people, I wouldn’t be any good at it’  – is her reason.   ‘What would you rather do’? I asked…….   she shrugged her shoulders and replied ‘hang out with my friends’.     She is a social butterfly this one.  Wants to dress nicely, wear make up, make herself look older than her (almost) 16 years and just hang out with friends.  How she gets all the things she wants, is really not on her agenda, so long as she gets them.

Don’t get me wrong, if she is asked to do chores, she does them, with the usual begrudery that, I suppose, a lot of teenagers have but I do worry about her lack of ‘work ethic’.  All those that went before her ‘worked’   This one wants to be an investigative journalist.  She has the brains but does she have the motivation……. time will tell.

‘I don’t think I want to have babies’, she said.  ‘I mean, you have to look after them EVERY DAY’ she exclaimed.  I smiled, then I laughed.  She is used to all the grandchildren coming around and see’s her older sisters’ lives of all the comings and goings. demands and needs of the children.  The mundane drudge of boring housework and juggling of work of mothering and home making……  ‘ughhh – too much effort’.  She sees them hardly ever going out and having ‘fun’ when all she wants is to go out and have fun.  That of course, is her choice and it may change – one day.

‘You don’t just look after them EVERY DAY’ I said,  ‘it goes on for years and years, until one day you have a stroppy 15 year old on the couch, with a face full of make up, in her super dry jeans,having just returned from a day out of celebrations, stuffing her face with chocolate, and looking forward to a long lie in because she is tired, not induced by working’! I finish.   She throws her head back, laughs and says ‘Exactly’!

I watch my other daughters, with their children and see how loved and well cared for they are.  I also see the stresses that they live through, day in day out, one way or another.  I recognise their feelings and emotions of love and anxiety, of patience and impatience, of frustration and adoration of energy and exhaustion, of happiness and sadness,  of tolerance and intolerance of many varying situations.  The juggling of the physical stuff as well as the emotional stuff, its just not easy, some of the time and being a grown up can be hard.  Sometimes you feel like you just want to get away or run away, if only for a day (or two) to recharge, re-energize, re evaluate and rejuvenate and then put all that renewed energy back into all the relationships associated with being a parent, a housewife,  an employee, etc etc.

My girls are  are strong independent women.  Sure they have their moments and their hardships.  They also have what I call ‘grit’.  They have determination and they continue to put the effort into all that they do, but the most important thing 2 of them do, is be mothers, good mothers, to their children, the next generation.  From early age, they did their chores, they were brought up with a firm but fair mother, who had certain expectations, and that included going out to work and being responsible, I think it paid off.

To my almost 16 year old, who just wants to have fun….. enjoy the next couple of months of freedom, because then it will be time to work, albeit, volunteering, with OLD PEOPLE because we have got to get you some skills!