There are some days when I feel like I am treading water, just getting by and doing the essentials.
Thankfully my ironing pile is currently non-existent but I must admit the washing basket is beginning to multiply again. All that glorious weather last week meant I got literally loads and loads dried on the line, a quick shake and very little ironing to be done. I always feel I am on top of things when the pile disappears and there is the satisfying squeak of the ironing board being finally folded away.
Homework is another matter. Now I have both boys at secondary school and oldest son has started his GCSEs this has increased exponentially. There never appears to be an end in sight even when they say they haven’t got any, I’ve learned that’s boy speak for “I’ve got nothing that needs to be handed in tomorrow.” The next night they have four pieces to finish and they bemoan the unfairness of it all. I have to cajole and bribe and nag and shout but at least I don’t have to DO all of it, it just sometimes seems like it.
“I need this printed off.” Is the cry at ten past eight in the morning when we have to leave the house in five minutes.
There is then the on-going job of keeping on top of the housework, thank goodness I have a cleaner to help out with that one in my far-too-grand-for-three sized house.
And then comes that most dreaded of questions “what are we having for tea tonight?” You can guarantee the day I am organised remembering to get something out of the freezer is the day they have already eaten that very same meal at school for lunch.
But all these things are just LIFE ticking over. The boring and mundane jobs that just need to be done.
As I’ve said I do have a cleaner and I am keeping on top of things - well OK most things. I still have lots of paperwork to get filed away but that was something I often did together with Andrew. Even then we would leave it for too long between sort outs. There was even a bit of a standing joke that we only tidied the large dining table once a year at Christmas ready to serve our festive meal.
Then there are times when I need a break from the dull routine and want to embark on something new.
Ever since the house went on the market it has been my plan to have the sort of mammoth clear out you only ever have when you are moving house. Now I have found somewhere I would like to live I have moved up a gear. The bins are full every week – gone is the girl who used to pride herself with only half filling the wheelie bin, there is so much clutter that needs chucking.
Of course, good girl that I am, I’m still doing a great deal of recycling and have sorted out a pile of old toys, games and bric a brac for a table top sale at the weekend. Might as well try and get a bit for it to pay for my gardener – my other latest venture – we are trying to give my house that kerb appeal to make any potential buyer fall in love with the place and make an offer.
Sorting out and tidying up in this fashion is my way of saying that we are ready to move on. I long for my fresh new start.
It still often feels unreal that Andrew is gone for good but the truth is he is never going to walk through the front door again, or be hiding behind a long curtain somewhere (childish but fun and oh so predictable!).
The alternative to moving forward is to just keep everything the same, ticking over but pretending none of this had ever happened. Acting as if he is just away on an extended trip is not going to help in the long run.
Am I heartless or callous for wanting to start anew? I think I decided a while ago that it doesn’t matter what other people say and think about how I process my grief. It is mine to deal with. Also I have discovered from writing this blog just how deep our love was despite the usual ups and downs of marriage. We always said our love had grown over the years, changing with the seasons but now I have had the chance to reflect on it from a different perspective and mourn it’s passing.
Moving on is not dishonouring Andrew’s memory or how much he still means to me.
With being on anti-depressants it has been a few weeks since I had a good cry and that concerned me. Had the tablets taken my feelings of loss away? I have certainly been bouncier since taking them which I must confess has felt great. This week the tears have re-surfaced in a good way at appropriate times and places as I get my life back in some kind of emotional balance.
The good with the bad, the old and the new, past memories alongside hopefulness for the future.
Both ticking over and moving forward in harmony.