Well here we are at Queen’s Birthday already again. This is the anniversary of my husband’s death and each year my oldest sister sends me flowers. She has done this now for 21 years. I’m not sure if she knows how important this is to me. It simply says, we haven’t forgotten, we remember that horrible day and its aftermath, the police arriving, not wanting to believe it, hoping there was a mistake, hoping it was someone else actually, if I were being truthful.
How cold it was in Dunedin, huddling, teeth chattering by the fire, unable to get warm and dear little Sam, just a baby.
So thank you Diane for sending me lovely non-funeral flowers each year.
Flowers when someone dies are a tricky thing. I owned two vases and received several thousands of dollars worth of flowers that I barely even saw. They smelled and dried and fell about all over the house and became something of a burden. I know this sounds ungrateful but how wonderful it would have been to receive those flowers once a month afterwards when I could really enjoy them and appreciate who they were from. See the link below to an earlier post with some suggestions.
The other topic on my mind is women’s weight. For years I’ve struggled with my weight and done all the things that most overweight women try- Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, joining a gym, 5 and 2, The Atkins Diet, the Pritikin diet etc etc and how boring it is and yet we seem to spend an inordinate amount of time talking about it over and over again and chastising ourselves for it over and over again.
We all actually know what to do- put less in our mouths and exercise. It aint rocket science, so if you are trying to do that then good on you and if you are just managing to get along and feel reasonably okay about yourself then that’s fine too isn’t it? Sometimes others convey the feeling that you are just not trying hard enough, or you are too weak and greedy and when you do lose weight, you are treated as though you’ve discovered a cure for cancer. You are still the same person, same feelings, same problems. I know I eat more when I’m stressed or lonely or sad. Some people lose weight under these conditions.
The article below is an interesting one too.
Two people in my life in recent months told me I was fat for “my own good”. I find this astounding. Did they really think I didn’t know what I looked like? That their hurtful comments were going to help somehow to galvanise me into action, that I just wasn’t trying hard enough?? Any literate woman will have been deluged in bloody diet advice from every quarter. Believe me people, it doesn’t help.
I quite like this advice:
- For in-the-moment relief, try simple self-soothing strategies. This blog post lists 11 suggestions that the author uses to ease her emotions. Among them you’ll find: reading poetry, talking to a friend who helps “soothe you” and bundling up in comfy layers. Consider what helps you feel better and jot it down. Keep your list handy, so when you’re in the throes of an emotional eruption, you have several ready-made solutions that specifically work for you. These can be everything from writing in your journal to walking around the block to crying to calling a good friend to attending a support group. These may not be magical remedies, but exploring healthy ways to lift your spirits or make sense of the situation can do a world of good.
So, I’m not going to diet, I do try to eat healthily, I’m a size 14 and I try to exercise by walking, beyond that I refuse to take part in endless discussions about diets and weight, I’d rather do some knitting. And if you are tempted to tell a friend “for their own good”, zip it or stuff your mouth with a doughnut.
Speaking of knitting… my dog friend Stanley is not coping with the cold nights even though he has a blanket and a cushion and sleeps indoors. So I had to knit him some pajamas, pure woollen ones.
I have also finished knitting Bruce’s double rug so now I have to set to and join the long seam. Unlike my very tidy siblings I’m not good at the finishing.
I hope that you are enjoying the long weekend and doing something fun and creative. I like reading poetry, or sometimes listening to the real poet reading them on line. Like this one:
Now this particular girl
During a ceremonious April walk
With her latest suitor
Found herself, of a sudden, intolerably struck
By the birds irregular babel
And the leaves’ litter.
By this tumult afflicted, she
Observed her lover’s gestures unbalance the air,
Her gait stray uneven
Through a rank wilderness of fern and flower.
She judged petals in disarray,
The whole season, sloven.
How she longed for winter then! –
Scrupulously austere in its order
Of white and black
Ice and rock, each sentiment in border,
And heart’s frosty discipline
Exact as a snowflake.
But here – a burgeoning
Unruly enough to pitch her five queenly wits
Into vulgar motley –
A treason not to be borne. Let idiots
Reel giddy in bedlam spring:
She withdrew neatly.
And round her house she set
Such a barricade of barb and check
Against mutinous weather
As no mere insurgent man could hope to break
With curse, fist, threat
Or love, either.
It’s all about refusing to be vulnerable and it is summed up too, by C S Lewis. I hope I don’t become a bitter and cynical old bag!
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.
Writing this blog is a dangerously vulnerable activity but I’m going to keep on trucking and see where it takes me. Happy holidays everyone FG