On hurting (and carrying on regardless)

Dear mind, dear body, dear soul,

Yes it sucks. Yes, it hurts. Yes it’s hard.

Know what though?

We’re carrying on. We’re not going to stop or give up or collapse or breakdown. We can go slower if you like. But we’re not stopping. There’s a long way to go yet.

Sometimes, like when hunting bears, you can’t go round it, over it or under it, you have to go through it. Guess where we’re going?! Yup. “The only way out is through” and all that jazz.

And we will get through it. Eventually.

Apparently the right kind of pain means you’re getting stronger. I have no idea which sort we’re working with, but let’s assume it’s the helpful sort and go from there.

It hurts more than before, but we’re better than before, so we can deal with more than before. We got through everything to get here, we can get through this to get further.

On the way, we’re going to keep smiling, keep cycling, keep rowing, keep walking and plodding and crawling. Keep talking and writing and listening and laughing and reading and building and trying. Especially trying.

Even when it’s hard. Maybe especially when it’s hard. Or raining or windy or snowy or silent or uphill.

We can do this.

Slowly.

With a million setbacks and a million and one restarts.

With tears and bruises and scars.

With stories and memories and pictures.

With late nights and early mornings and cake and hot chocolate and parsnips.

With barely-done-up trousers and worn out shoes and a brand new coat rack.

With good books and sunny days and amazing conversations.

With fish and fluffy slippers and freshly-put-up lights.

We’ve got this.

With lots of love,

Me xx

“And she never gives up…she just changes her mind!”

– Billy Joel

On listening to multiple voices

DB’s parents both tend to talk (to me, and anyone else who’ll listen) at the same time. As a result, I often don’t understand either of them (or at least can’t follow either topic properly). Three simultaneous conversations between the four of us are no rarity. I suppose I should offer a fourth, but I can’t think straight enough to form sentences while they’re all yakking away.

I quite regularly complain about it/them to DB who always tells me it’s not that hard and I’ll get used to it soon.

***

Today, we came home from the specialist via his cousin and aunt.

They both talk at the same time too (must be in the genes), but with the added bonus of a heavy dialect on top.

Back in the car, DB ranted about how it was impossible to understand a word they were saying when they spoke over each other.

I still can’t, so I couldn’t tell him it was easy, or that he just needed more practice and he’d be fine – but I did remind him that his folks aren’t a whole lot better!

Apparently that’s different……..

On talking too much to sleep

It’s gone one am and I’m not asleep yet.

I’m at my third AuPair family’s house. I haven’t been here in 8 or 9 years, and it is amazing how much has happened since then, yet how recent my time here seems.

It doesn’t feel strained or tense or foreign, it’s more like I’ve been away for a couple of months than several years. We’ve all changed a bit, but stayed the same a lot – things still fit, and we didn’t have to go through the awkward small talk at the beginning, we just took up where we’d left off. We have reminisced, and compared memories, and tried to catch up a bit, but one evening /overnight stay isn’t nearly long enough to cover everything that’s happened since I lived here.

I’m going to make an effort to see them more often than once a decade from now on.

***

Right now I need to get some sleep!

On writing Revision Cards

I have decided to be super organised.

Not as organised as I said I would be in October, but still a good sight better than I sometimes am.

I have exams in the last week of July.

My last ‘block’ (46-50 hours of lessons) is the first week of July.

Usually I would finish the last block, realise I’m 2 weeks away from the exams and panic – locking myself away from the world and living on frozen (and baked) pizza.

This time I have decided to revise all the things I’ve learned in the last 3 blocks, so that I know ‘everything’ 😉 by the end of June. That way I only have to revise the new stuff in the 2 middle July-weeks (thus locking myself away from the world for 2 months instead of 2 weeks ;)).

Having done a lot of exams to get this far, I know I revise best when I get to talk lots ;).

I’m not such a fan of talking to myself so I need people to help me.

I need people to find their way into a subject they most likely have less than no idea about.

I need people to ask me relevant questions and be patient with me while I squirm about on my seat working out what they want to know.

I need people who are willing to try and work out what I mean when I finally have an answer, and to decide if it fits the question.

Because most of my questioning-victims aren’t so well versed in Glass-Theory, and because my school-notes are a huge mess of brightly coloured scribbles and arrows, I’m going through them and writing the most important things onto A7 cards. I’m even making it easier for them by writing a question on one side and the condensed answer on the back.

Now they just have to be able to convert my squiggles into writing and add the correct grammar.. 😛

That’s the plan anyway.

The practice looks a little different.

I can’t concentrate enough to actually write the stoopid things..

Even knowing I have to finish writing by Tuesday doesn’t help me much.

It’s Sunday. That gives me the rest of today and 2 more days.

2 more evenings really, because I work until 5pm.

I have such a short deadline because I don’t actually want to lock myself away for 2 months. I want to continue to do all the things I love doing and be able to read the cards in the gaps. There aren’t many gaps as it is, but I want to be able to use the ones life throws at me, even if they’re short ones. It’s amazing how many A7 cards you can read in 5 minutes.

It’s also amazing how few you can WRITE in the same timeframe.

It’s practically the end of May already. Here are [some of] the things I want to get done round my revision:

A work colleague (a nice one) and I are going to visit a super-glassblower for a couple of days and be shown how to do clever things with glass. I want to bring him and his family a cake to thank him for his time and for organising the whole thing.

I’m going to spend 8-9 days on a boat with another glassblower. I will hopefully not only learn to drive a motorboat, get through [canal]locks, and sleep while bobbing about on the water, but also find time to learn the stuff I’ve written on the cards. I do have the added bonus of a questioner-with-background-knowledge though :).

2 lovely ladies from school are coming to see me and my town. I really want to have loads of time for them and show them all my favourite places and introduce them to my favourite people so I don’t want to be revising then.

My mum, my gran, my [parents’] house and my [parents’] garden are celebrating assorted birthdays and anniversaries so I’m going home to celebrate them. None of them speak German so the cards would be useless even if I found willing victims.

And then it’s the beginning of July and I’m back in school.

I’d better get back to the books/cards I guess…

OH YEAH!!

On doing things I’m good at…

Today I excelled at the things I do well 🙂

I went to bed in the early hours of the morning, far later than I originally wanted to, after distracting myself with other peoples’ blogs and cooking a galoptious potfull of almost inedible brown gloop.

I slept until almost midday, whereupon I proceded to lounge about in bed until about half past midday alternately reading email on my phone, updating my phone book (my old phone is back from the dead :)) and sleeping.

A friend phoned me. I phoned her back (I don’t pay to phone people*) and we talked. And talked. And talked. For 4 and a half hours 🙂 And that didn’t officially break my record 😉 Was good though. And as well as enjoyable, parts of it were even productive – she’s back at school so I asked her lots of questions about what she knows (= lots). A couple of years ago I did the same course, so I have the course book (and a big head ;))

Once we decided we’d talked long enough we hung up and texted each other instead 🙂

At some point after that I fell asleep. Again.

When I woke up and noticed that it was dark outside I remembered all the plans I’d had for the day. One of my more urgent plans had been to go shopping and buy more looroll. Sometimes (read “extremely often”) it gets to Saturday evening and I decide I have enough food to get me through until Monday and don’t bother going out. Sometimes, like today, this isn’t really a viable option. I looked at bustimetables and figured I needed to leave in 10 minutes – which left me no time to shower, and I really needed to shower – or 40 minutes – which gave me plenty of time to do nothing for a while before I went through the whole, get undressed-wet-dry-dressed rigmarole. I obviously did nothing long enough to miss both busses, and a couple of others.

I hadn’t eaten all day, what with hardly leaving the bedroom and all, so I was starving by the time I was washed, dressed and ready to go out. I cooked a load of spaghetti and warmed up some of the brown gloop. Being left overnight often does wonders for food. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case, and all the posh-mushroom flavour I’d carefully disguised yesterday had come back in full force. I did some more disguise work and managed to eat about 3 forkfulls before realising I had 4 minutes to be at the busstop in time to catch the last bus to the shop-I-don’t-mind-going-to-if-I’m-late-remembering-I-need-to-buy-things.. I left the house in a bit of a hurry, remembering just in time to take my purse out of my work bag and put it in my coat pocket.

This is a post about things I’m good at. It would obviously not be complete if it didn’t include getting to within 200 yards of a busstop in time to see the bus pull away. I could have made it (I think) if I’d run (like I usually do). The thing was, it had snowed, and the ground was that kind of slippery where you’re not sure which bits are safe and which bits are going to make you fall over. I don’t particularly like running at the best of times, and any running which results in me falling over is my least favourite kind of running. I walked sedately up the hill, watched the bus drive sedately up the hill past me and off into the distance then walked sedately past the busstop and into town, quietly cursing the fact that this meant I’d have to go to my least favourite supermarket. It’s the biggest, most confusingest, longest-opening supermarket in my town and while it’s not actually as bad as some of its brothers and sisters (which take up 2 floors) I think it’s pretty grim, in a I’m-still-thankfull-it’s-open-and-willing-to-sell-me-looroll-at-10pm-on-a-Saturday kind of way.

One of the things I most dislike about the shop is its maze-like qualities, and its inability to arrange things in the same way as other supermarkets. I am generally in favour of difference, but I appreciate things being logical, and putting milk in a completely different section from things like yogurt and cheese just baffles me. However. I’m slowly getting the hang of their reasoning and made it to the looroll department without too many problems. As I got there I stepped onto a piece of thick packaging paper which someone had kindly left on the floor, skidded, just about managed to get off the paper and back on to the floor without damaging myself or knocking anything off the shelves and came to a halt 3 cm away from some bloke who looked bemused and carried on with his last minute shopping.

A minute or so later, as I was faced with the near impossible task of choosing between 57 varieties of Vitamin B12, the bemused bloke approached me (of all people) to ask if I knew where the sugar might be hidden. Not having much of an idea, but not liking to be unhelpful, I pointed him in the direction of the baking things. I hope I was right. In that shop it’s liable to be kept next to the biscuits (because people put it in tea I suppose) or the fruit and veg (think strawberries and cream), or the shower gel/olive oil (sugar scrub). Or somewhere even less logical. Like I said, I hope I was right. He might have been there all night otherwise. Is it mean to be glad other people have the same problem finding things as me?

I nosed through most of an article about sexism-at-work and only thought about paying and going home when the speakers stopped playing elevator supermarket music to annouce that they were about to shut and would I please like to make my way to the checkout. I put the magazine back on its shelf, found my way to the checkout desk, paid and, surprisingly, caught the bus home without having to wait 27 minutes first.

People warn me not to go shopping hungry. I was, but I was also tired/not-particularly-awake so I didn’t buy loads of random stuff. I only barely remembered what I was there for. In the end I bought looroll, 3 boxes of milk, 2 boxes of cocoa, more B12 tablets and a small tube of water-and-heat-resistant glue apparently suitable for sticking glass together. The checkout lady must wonder about the lives people lead.

Once I was home I ignored 3 years of cooking lessons and re-reheated the spaghetti mixture which I ate in front of the computer and a lot more blog posts with the odd Youtube video/picture-of-a-cat thrown in for good measure.

I didn’t declutter anything. I didn’t start the new project I promised myself I was going to start in February. I didn’t wash the floor in the kitchen or take the organic-waste outside to the bin. I didn’t do any washing.. And I didn’t finish my calendar page.

I am about to go to bed. It’s much later than I’d planned. Tomorrow I will wish I’d gone to bed earlier. That, too, is something I’m good at.

*okay, so obviously I do pay the phone company, it just doesn’t bother them if I phone anyone or not..

On what we say v. what they hear.

I’m too sleepy to write as much as I’d like to on this, but it’s been a theme running through several conversations this week.

If what we say isn’t always what they hear, then maybe what we hear isn’t what they said…….. (/what they meant)