Earlier this week I went to sign all the papers and collect the keys for my new home. Within a couple of minutes walk is a small country park. As I was early for my appointment and feeling a bit stressed I decided to take a look at this small park. There was a small pond with a few reeds and irises around it and a man sitting quietly fishing. There were several seats so I sat down for a while listening to the most wonderful birdsong and enjoying the peace and the sunshine.
After a while I decided to explore the paths I could see. One went back down into a street while another one wound upwards through the trees. I took this upward path noticing the blossom on the trees and the wild flowers. It was not long before I had to return for my appointment but that short break in nature had destressed me. I know I will be there often to sit and enjoy the natural world around me.
I am sure that we all feel stressed at times and science is now proving that being out in nature can help us and is beneficial for our health. I hope you know places like the one I have found and use them for reflection and replenishment. I am adding a couple of photos to give you some idea of what the park is like.
Well, I am on the move again this time to a flat/apartment in a retirement village where there is all you need, small shop, cafe, places to sit in the sun and lounge about, hairdresser, etc. It is a lovely place but where I will be living is smaller than where I am now so more items to dispose of. I have already found homes for some of the smaller items but I have larger items of furniture to go as well. This is good as I can hoard things like many of us do. Sometimes we hoard or keep things because they have an emotional link to the past or to someone we knew. So now is the time to let some of those items go.
It made me think about how we also hang on to feelings about events which may have occurred several years or even decades ago and how these feelings affect our current life So I am also looking at this aspect of clearing out and have already changed my perception of some feelings I had about events in the past. This feels so good. It is not good to hang on the feeling of anger when things go wrong as this can make you physically ill. I do think that as we look back at events in our lives we often look at them through rose tinted glasses until the reality finds it way in. So clearing out unwanted feelings about the past is a good thing.
But back to my new place now. Nearby within about a few minutes walk is a small country park with trees and a small pond. I shall be spending time there and hope it will inspire me to keep writing and maybe to do other things. I see this move as an opportunity to live somewhere where the care I might need is there when needed but I have my independence too. It might be a challenge to downsize but I am getting there.
Sorry about the cars in the photo but I love the shape of this tree.
I have got lots of ideas in my head about what to write about this week but where to start? One of the main things that got to me this week was the attitude of those who don’t vote because they say whatever happens won’t affect them. One local seat was lost by fifty votes and I wonder how much difference it would have made if those who did not vote had actually gone and voted. Many years ago only men who owned property could vote and then it became all men as long as they were employed. Eventually women were able to vote as well. We owe it to these ancestors to use our right to vote which they fought for.
Another thing that got to me this week is how brainwashed a lot of people are. They seem to think that what they read in the papers and hear on the television or radio is the truth. They are not able to discern fact from fiction. Our local paper had a wraparound cover the other day paid for by the Tory party. I found it rather offensive but then the newspaper is owned by a large firm who will do anything to get more money. The money that paid for this cover in many other newspapers too, could have gone towards our health service and helped many people.
I try to keep politics out of my writing but I want to see a fairer world where children do not go hungry, where education is good and free and where our health service is available to everyone. We should not be seeing homeless people on the streets or people having to use food banks. As a population we should be moving forward and looking towards a better, fairer future, not moving backwards to what life was like in the Victorian age and before. What went wrong I often ask myself. Where did we become complacent about our government and when did we stop believing that they had our interests at heart? How can we help others to learn to discern truth from lies and find out the best way to get things changed? I’m not sure it will happen in my lifetime but I hope it happens soon so our children and grandchildren have a decent future to look forward to.
Following on from the events of last week I have spent much time pondering how we react to such events. First of all we start to adapt what we do and how we do things. This is essential for survival of course. Often we find we have to compromise by doing different things that we had put on one side for a later time and then of course there is the finding of other ways of doing things.
But these thoughts also bring me to the way we lead our lives. I don’t personally know any one whose life has gone smoothly. We all seem to have times when there are hitches or delays or when we have to change our plans. This is life of course and how we deal with all the hitches and changes is what makes us unique because we don’t all work in the same way. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another.
Looking back at my life I can see many times when I have had to change course as it were. Unexpected events, unexpected results of exams and unexpected changes of jobs are just a few of these. In most cases I either adapted to the changes or found ways of dealing with them that took me in another direction. This of course explains my varied academic achievements from music to science! I have found my life to be a very long learning curve.
What has your life been like? How do you adapt to unforeseen changes or events? Do you compromise in difficult situations? Do you continue to learn each day?
My restrictions on walking this week took me to a tiny garden planted by the residents of that street and called the Jubilee Garden. It won awards over several years and was hard for me to find until the shrubs were pruned and I realised what it was, a little gem in the midst of houses. I might not have found this had my walking not been restricted.
I am writing this with one hand. An unexpected event occurred on Friday evening. I was doing something quite normal with my left hand when I got a very sharp strong pain around my thumb. Overnight the hand swelled and the pain got worse and I could not use the hand at all.
Here in the UK we have walk in clinics often attached to small hospitals so I asked a friend to take me there. After four long hours and lots of x-rays I was back home with my wrist and thumb splinted so I could not use them.
Until you don’t have the use of a hand you don’t understand just how difficult it is to do things using only one hand. I think I am being given some lessons to learn this week. And yet I have known people who only had one arm and they always seemed to manage OK. I think that you learn to adapt and find ways of doing things so this is what I shall be doing until my appointment at the fracture clinic on Thursday.
So this blog is shorter than usual for obvious reasons. I shall now go and find a way to have a wash and get dressed without any help. It has made me appreciate what others go through at times in their lives. And also appreciate the dedication of the nurses who are not paid enough for their work.
Earlier in the week I was thinking about this blog and found a really good word for the title. Now it escapes me and I have had to use the words ‘taking things for granted’. However I was looking at what we take for granted, here in the UK at least. Most of us take for granted that we may have a job, a house or other residence, enough food and enough clothes. We take for granted the electricity and gas that power our homes and we also take for granted the water we use. Some of course have other sources of power and some even have a well not piped water but we do have water.
So what else do we take for granted? We often take our relatives and friends for granted too. We expect them to be there for us when we need them and can get upset when they don’t help. We take our public services for granted. I know we pay for them but we get cross when they don’t work. We take for granted that our politicians will do the best for us even though we know they won’t but we seem unable to get them to change.
One of the main things we take for granted is our health. Although many of us have various kinds of health problems we expect them to be dealt with by doctors and hospitals, but don’t fight for the nurses to have better pay so they can do an even better job of looking after us. But the health problem hit hard this week. I have been having a lot of pain and swelling in my hands and wrists and am waiting to see a consultant. But I have been busy sorting out lots of paperwork from years past and this has not helped. I woke up the other morning unable to use my left hand at all and my right hand only a little. Have you ever tried to wash and dress yourself with the use of only one hand and the partial use of the other? It was quite difficult and it brought home to me just how much we use our hands and take them for granted. We use our hands to wash and dress ourselves, to clean our teeth, to prepare food and cook it and to do so many other things it is too long to list them.
So what do you take for granted in your life? How do you deal with things that go wrong unexpectedly with what you take for granted? I love to read your comments some of which give me other lines of thought and different ways of perception so thank you all for those comments and keep them coming.
This week has been one where I have been suffering from what is known as ‘brain fog’. It makes it difficult to make everyday decisions and to do things. But I have had to work through it this week as I had a couple of important forms to fill in and post as well as other things to do with my research.
I find the answer was to do things in little spurts. Do a bit then rest or do something less tasking. Then do another bit and so on. That way I got the forms filled in and all the relevant papers copied and put them together and then took them to the post box yesterday.
But the decision making is on hold. I know I have to move again at some point as my health is not good enough for me to keep managing the stairs. Ideally I would love a cosy cottage in the countryside in a nice village with friendly helpful neighbours. But I know that is not possible as I need to be near help if needed and a good bus service and some shops as well as the usual optician, dentist and doctor. So somewhere along the line I have to compromise but making those kind of decisions when suffering from brain fog is not a good idea.
Decision making is always hard but I do go with what I call my gut feeling about places and people. My instinct does not often let me down. But when I have this brain fog I am quite wary. There are times when I think that finding my dream place would be really good and that if I took this leap of faith I would find what I needed in that dream place. But do I have the courage to do that and hope that all would work out well? Something for me to ponder on this coming week. Is length of life more important that quality of life I ask myself often. Perhaps this is where I stop writing today so I can ponder more on this question ready for a future blog.