Life has, in the weeks since Christmas, taken on a new pattern. As if something has shifted inside me and I find myself entering another phase of grief or perhaps more positively, renewal.
If I tell you something, will you promise not to judge me? You see I fully expected there to be a knight on shining armour. I truly did. I thought that somewhere along the way some faceless man would see me kind of drowning and come fish me out of the water. Pop me back on my pedestal and empty my bins forever after.
Even in this post feminist, enlightened age, I just didn’t picture myself muddling through my days without a man to throw a coat over puddles or tickle my feet on demand. And yes I do know how ridiculous that sounds but it is the truth. I have spent fifteen years being molly-coddled at my own insistence by both Mark and my Dad (there never was a Daddy’s girl like me!). I say jump and they perform an entire circus act of somersaults on my behalf. Scandalously until Mark left I never had to make myself a cup of
It’s not that I am neither independent or strong enough to manage. I am both. I just don’t wanna. Isn’t it awful? I don’t wanna. But you know what? I gotta.
Realisation has dawned. In this brand new world nothing is going to get done unless I get off my very fat bum and do it myself. Yes Dad or poor John (very, very useful having a single man on your doorstep) from next door will no doubt come running if my life is in danger or there is a mouse living in my fireplace. And of course there are any number of other peoples husbands within spitting distance to call upon when my tires need changing or my kitchen tap explodes as it did in the summer (Picture the scene: water spurting everywhere and me standing in the back garden, soaked to the skin and yelling for a man, any man to come stop the flood! And come, thank goodness they did!). But the fact is that it is me who has to lock up at night and run through the darkness in fear of rats and bogeyman. It is me who from now on has to pull up the weeds and drag the ludicrously heavy wheelie bin out for collection. I’m going to be the one up on a ladder re-painting the living room in a few weeks time and it will be me who will be sitting, shivering at Finley’s bedside in the middle of the night when he can’t sleep because his blankets are "ripped"…
I know in my position other women declare themselves strong, join a car maintenance class and spend their evenings with their head in a DIY
I am. Sheer loneliness constantly gets the better of me.
And yet in the past few weeks it is as if acceptance has settled on my St Tropezed shoulders. I’m working like a demon and loving it. Making plans for all our tomorrows and living in the moment with the most affectionate babba in the country. I am closing my ears to Mark’s constant criticism and living according to my own rhythm.
Even if that does mean crawling into bed with a