Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Balance- March

My word for the year if you recall is Balance, as I adjust to life as a widow , and generally fettle myself. Last month I had concluded that if I felt tired I needed to sleep and rest. I had done some research and found exhausation to be part of the grieving process. Once I had stopped berating myself for being tired and just went with it I improved, even found myself picking up the knitting from time to time.

I have continued in the same vein this month. Really paying attention to when life is getting too busy. Planning my days better so that I have time at home by myself, and it is working. More importantly I took the decision to stop listening to the world service to get to sleep by. It had started a while ago to stop me thinking about all the sad things that had happened, and for a time it had helped. More recently it was waking me in the night , sometimes the programmes were interesting so I would wake myself up to listen properly, but then the news took over , and it really affected me. So I stopped turning it on when I turned off the bedside light. To begin with it felt weird, the silence… then mid month I realised that I had started to dream every single night and what a jumble they were. My childhood home, my Mum, my sons, Mr E, random dogs, suitcases, etc . After about ten days the dreams ceased, I have had the occasional one since, but not every night and not as busy. Sleep really is great isn’t it?

The other big thing that occured to me was about STUFF. I have Dad’s stuff, Mum’s stuff and now Mr E’s stuff, and since Dad died back in 2014 felt like I was a custodian of stuff. Things they had kept, things that had meaning for them, but not for me…. some is useful but much is just stuff. And actually all this STUFF is now MY STUFF. It’s no longer anyone else’s but mine. I don’t have to feel that I have to keep it. In all probability my sons will just throw it all in a skip, they won’t feel like a curator in a museum of stuff.

So I had a final clear out of what Mr E had planned as a media room with his electronic organ which he never actually unpacked, all the home cinema stuff ( Successfully given away last month), umpteen computer bits etc.

See the empty space

I ordered myself a computer desk. No longer would I need to be on the dining room table.

The only drawback is I now need a chair. I’m sitting on two cushions as I type and this is not ideal.

I think I’ll look out for a rug too. The room feels like mine now. When Mr E got really poorly I’d cleared space for the hospital bed, and that memory lingered. Now it feels quite different in here. I have moved my family history books to the unit, not the prettiest of units but functional and now useful.

With things opening up in England post Covid lockdown I have been to a few crafty workshops. It gets me out and meeting other people, making friends and activating my brain again. Putting a life together which is balanced between things that have got to be done and those which enhance.

My son Mr T’s MIL has a pottery studio where she has drop in sessions. I’ve been a few times now, not every week, but maybe every two to three weeks.

I’ll not be entering the Pottery Show any time ever, but there is something decidedly comforting about clay!

Leaf dish
Underneath. Looks more like a tortoise now!

The carer’s group has continued to provide support with monthly walks and coffee mornings and craft workshops.

Mosaic coasters

We had to bring them home to grout them and sadly the journey caused some tiles to slip a bit.

Grouted! The one on the left was supposed to be a beach hut but didn’t work out as intended.

The class has reignited my love of mosaic making too.I am very, very lucky to have this wonderful organisation in my town, and post moving house, loosing Mr E and lockdown the group has really helped me regain some balance in my life.

Yesterday I tackled the garage, full of things Mr E rescued from my Dad’s home and all his woodworking etc tools. I have found a charity which refurbishes tools to send to Africa, and those which aren’t needed are sold on to pay for shipping. A chap came and helped and together we filled his carboot. I just know Mr E would be glad that I had found good homes for everything he valued, and he would have adored attending the tool sale!

So what is now mostly left in the garage are things I can use for gardening and plain old rubbish. Do I need another skip? Probably, most certainly.

I really feel this month that I have acquired a good balance between “Getting things done” and rest. That awful feeling of being overwhelmed has largely gone, and if I sense I am trying to achieve the impossible for me I stop a while.

I have even been swimming again… twice

Easter next month.. I am going to clear the hallway which has become a dumping ground for things that still need good homes, largely books and kitchen gadgets. Mr E did like a kitchen gadget. Then I shall just enjoy the chocolate, no not the chocolate , family gatherings, I hope.

I am grateful to Carolyn who hosts One Word- the link is here-https://youronewordblog.wordpress.com/2022/03/28/one-word-march-twenty-two/

Comments on: "Balance- March" (37)

  1. Oh yes exhaustion is part of it, I still struggle with it at times. Congratulations on being able to make changes to your home that work for you and your new life.

  2. PS: Sleep is a balm; so necessary but often elusive.

  3. I am an organizer by trade, and as such, I’m incredibly impressed with your ability to think clearly and move forward with the sorting and disposing of STUFF! Well done, well done. Your spirits are good and though the process of grief can be long and varied and deeply personal, it sounds to me that you are handling things beautifully. xo

  4. Good to see that you are getting yourself organised. I like the pottery dish. The glazes look interesting. I have enjoyed pottery in the past. Not something it is easy to do at home though.

  5. You have made such wonderful progress! Love your new workroom, and your clay leaf is just beautiful 🙂

  6. Your are doing a lovely job at seeking balance. I love that your desk is by that window. Light and napping – very good things.

  7. You really are doing great. You are figuring things out and doing things in your own time. Your media room looks great! I hope you find the perfect chair that will be nice and comfy.

  8. You’re doing well Cathy, this post is full of positivity and it really sounds like you’ve turned a corner. I like the coasters, especially the one with red and blue in it, and the leaf dish looks good. Your comment about it looking like a tortoise made me laugh 🙂

  9. Cathy, what delightful spaces you’re providing for yourself and your new experiences! It seems like so many places over your way have community services right to hand, and that is wonderful! Delighted that you get to grapple with clay, something I’ve never tried. Do enjoy yourself thoroughly!!! (That includes a chocy 🐇)

  10. My gosh, I just want to jump right into this post and go to the pottery studio with you, Cathy! You have done a gorgeous job with the room–it looks beautiful, fresh, inviting…balanced! I loved reading how you were able to transform the space, acknowledging what had been, what could be. And now, what IS! I do hope you find just the right chair for you. (Because back…wrists…neck!)
    Wishing you a Happy Easter gathering with your family AND the chocolate.

    • Thank you Carolyn. I have used the room every day instead of walking past it as quickly as I could. I know about the chair, my neck gave me good warning !

  11. I feel you have turned a corner. The whole tone of this post is so much more optimistic and forward-looking, and you are making plans and doing things instead of living in a holding pattern and letting stuff happen to you. I’m delighted these signs of the former Cathy are appearing. The ability to throw away or repurpose things is really telling… Hugs.

  12. I love you pottery piece, it is beautiful! You are doing so well, Cathy, I am inspired reading your post! The clean out is going very well for you, and a little at a time, but often is working very well! A thought on the music equipment…is there a local school that might have older students interested in music? They could come and load it our for you! Just a thought. Hurrah for being able to sleep with the quiet now, that is huge; I know that would be a challenge for me as well, though now that Bandit is here, I think I would manage much better.

    • That’s a good idea about the music. I have an electronic piano, two guitars, and amplifier plus a clarinet. It would be Good to find homes for them.

  13. Highly Reasonable said:

    I’m also a repository for several people’s stuff – my parents, some of my MiL’s, and of course, my own. I’ve begun the long process of clearing out, and while it’s daunting, it’s good to keep going. I applaud all that you’ve done, especially finding balance.

  14. That all sound fantastically therapeutic. And yes to clay being comforting!

    • I feel enormous relief that someone came and helped sort out everything and took the useful items. I love the idea that some of the tools Mr E took from my Dad’s shed will end helpi g soneone in Africa, and some things will be sold on to pay for shipping, everything ending up being used

  15. Choosing that particular word was a good decision Cathy…. we certainly need balance in our lives….without it we become unbalanced in mind body and spirit (don’t ask how I know that – long story). So you’re definitely going great where balance is concerned!

    I’m sure stuff multiplies even when it’s just sitting around doing nothing…..we had the council hard rubbish collection recently and I’m still discovering stuff in the garage that could/should of gone out…if I’d seen it. Going to be a tip run some time soon

    • I wonder why we find it hard to let go of stuff. We used to speculate that it was being a baby boomer and growing up when life was simpler, things more expensive… I recall when a book was a big Christmas present. Mr E used to cycle round the countryside looking for things that had been fly tipped as a child and stripping them for electronic components . Dress making at school terrified me because I was aware of how much the fabric had cost.
      Good luck with your garage.

  16. Going Batty in Wales said:

    You are doing amazingly well Cathy! I have found it has taken repeated de-clutters to get rid of stuff. The next job is to get rid of lots of books which I put in the loft a long time ago thinking I would see if I retrieved them. I was prevented from getting rid of them totally by the lockdowns but now it is time to start taking them to charity shops. I have also re-organised the house several times trying to get it to work right for me. Life keeps developing and changing so I have to keep trying new layouts. Balance is proving a good theme for your year – have lots of fun when you can.

    • I have rather used the hall as a dumping ground for things for the charity shop. I should just get on with doing that next. I am dreading the cupboard under the stairs because that’s where I put the electric organ, drone, guitars when I made space for the hospital bed. It’s possible that the door is blocked by the charity stuff so I can’t go in the cupboard. Don’t have to think about it yet!

      • Going Batty in Wales said:

        One step at a time Cathy. Those things in the cupoboard are doing no harm and not coming to any harm either so there is no rush.

  17. Balance as your watch-word certainly seems to be working well for you – as ever I am full of admiration for your self-awareness and the way you are making all sorts of progress. You are going to have so much fun making your new office/craft room into a cosy inspiring place. A rug sounds perfect. Would you fancy making a rag rug?

    • Would you be at all surprised to know that in my time I have made three latch hook rugs and attempted a plaited rug. I did the latter with a friend, we had an evening of cutting up grotty crimpiline trousers and got very silly, probably down to the bottle of wine or two we consumed. We decided the fabric was just too horrible in the end and abandoned the idea. My granny had a rag rug in her kitchen, I can see it now.
      I have also to confess to having a separate craft room… It’s a bit messy…

  18. Healing and grieving aren’t linear processes, they ebb and flow. My mum’s family are all hoarders but I find letting go of stuff therapeutic, I always feel lighter after a big declutter and clear out. The mosaics are lovely!

    • I feel better knowing I have now managed to find people and groups who will appreciate all the tools and bits and bobs. I don’t mind the rubbish so much, I just can’t bear waste. Plus we did have active discussions with each other about our accumulated hobby stuff, so I knew what I had to do it was just a case of finding who would appreciate the items. Quite looking forward now to sorting out the rest of the garage, I had been worried about throwing out good stuff.

  19. claire93 said:

    good to read that you’re able to find new homes for stuff and make more space for yourself. I too feel like a curator of other people’s stuff. We have my Dad’s stuff, my MIL and FIL’s stuff. And even lots of the kids’ stuff, that they never claimed when they left home. And, for the two kids settled in England, I doubt they ever will.

    • I shall tackle the boxes from my parents at some point in time. I have to wonder if I actually need things like the observation notes my Mum made during her teaching practice in 1950, for example. The family doesn’t want them. I suppose I know that she was proud of them and that’s why she kept them. And yes I do still have my son’s things. I found two Mother’s Day cards the youngest two had made me tucked in a book the other day . I put them on display. Course they don’t remember them.

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