REFLECTIONS - August 2019

Posted on 23rd August, 2019

I've experienced a scenario that has highlighted a mild defect with my choices and decisions in life. It has left me feeling very much on the fence, 50-50 with whether my choices are correct or not, right for me. Before I share with you what the incident is, I feel compelled to almost justify why I set my life choices up and just what it is that makes me both comforted and distressed at the same time.

When people in my life move away, it's inevitable that relationships will take a swift change and usually in the direction of some distance between them and myself. It's no one's fault... opportunities happen that make people take the chance or improvement of moving to another part of the country or the world... relationships, a business proposition, a family matter, the desired place to live, cheaper lifestyle... so many different reasons. It's never been a problem but people nearly always say... we must still see one another and stay in touch. If this kind of comment is just said as part of the farewell spiel then it's all ok with me. But if the person moving away is expecting to share the responsibility and is announcing that expectation, then it's not ok... with me. And yet, at exactly the same time I love that people are moving on, even more, if moving up. No one should expect a loved-one to forego life-changing positive decisions because it may upset or offend them.

By way of example, I've realised and appreciated that if I chose to be involved with a home swap that involved my moving away, to Bognor for example; I already have in mind not to preach to my sisters, who currently live local to me, that they will be expected to visit, travel and make the effort!

My example today is that my beautiful daughter, who coincidentally moved 60 miles away a few years ago, decided recently to acquire a dog to add to the wonderful family that she has made with her fabulous husband and my two handsome grandsons. As she was in the area, she called and wondered if I'd like to see them but stated that she had her dog with her. I have never wanted to own a pet and have several reasons for this. The main one is a bereavement issue but another one is that both Jezz and I do not want animals in our home. I have the same attitude about smoking which even extends to around the home but I have to relax that sightly or I'd look crazy if I said no smoking outside too. Lol.

So I said no and mentioned that I didn't want a dog in my home and she was ok with it, I think. And it's here that I have mixed feelings. I want to relax my boundaries, it would only be a short while, not be so dramatic if there was an issue and it would have meant that I would've been able to see everyone. However, the other part of my mind is suggesting that I set my boundaries for my comfort and security and adjusting them changes how I feel to a point of not being comfortable and that that may have an impact on any hospitality that I am capable of. A small element also makes me think that there is no need to alter your own comfort zones if it is going to be remotely unsettling but to perhaps take into account, that as a result, I am going to miss out on an otherwise pleasant and relaxing experience.


I have spent the entire morning thinking back how this attitude of mine has affected my day-to-day living and enjoying, or not enjoying, my life. I've not gone to family gatherings because (a lot of the time) I don't like busy environments. This particular feeling has variables because sometimes, normally dependant upon the venue, I weigh up any anxiety possibilities and then choose to go, or not. I still struggle with the problem of not being comfortable with travelling, especially for my daughter's wedding in Scotland, earlier this year. To try to combat this feeling, Jezz had a work engagement at a busy pub, on a Saturday night and invited me to be with him. I wanted to if only to show willing and support, so I took the plunge and said that I would. I enjoyed being with him but wouldn't jump at the chance to do it again. It was noisy and I felt vulnerable throughout and only relaxed slightly once back in the car and on the way home.

The fear of travelling and being away from home prevented me from going anywhere and it is a huge regret. As a result of that, I went crazy and renewed my expired passport and announced to Jezz that if he wanted to go anywhere in the world... I will now go with him. The very disappointment that I felt by not attending my daughter's wedding was enough to make me realise the selfishness that people in my life invite me/want me to be with them and my fears stops it all from happening. It was a last-ditch attempt to overcome this problem for once and for all but more than that, I figured that any fears that I have for Jezz travelling on an aeroplane, with me with him, we go together. It's a horrible thought but real enough to make me rock my stance off its stubborn axis.


I have realised now that the 'taking the plunge' and going for it normally does pay off. I get my fears into check and just go for it. The feelings of the trip this year to Alton Towers with Jezz was, and to some extent still is, mixed. Coping strategies were to share the driving, stay in a luxurious boutique b&b and pace the day with Jezz's total support of needing to stop for a break, abandon a particular ride or possibly the day. His readiness to abort at any stage was a huge comfort for me but that didn't stop the panic when we arrived at Alton Towers or queued for some of the rides.


Another example of being outside of a comfort zone and it impacting on my life is going to see my ole pal, Vicki as she fosters cats and Jezz has an allergy. If I go, I have to go alone or we arrange to meet at places like quiet pubs for lunch.


What I do feel today is that over the past couple of years I feel that I have learned not to have expectations of others. I think it's kind to be pleased with how people live their lives and not let it interfere with my friendship with them. I suppose, in return, I expect them to have the same attitude towards me. Without the need for any excuses, I am convinced that I would be more outgoing if my health was better and not so temperamental. 

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