Meme - Elephant Journal
You know how many of you tell me in the comments that something I have written about, or a meme that I have shared has resonated strongly with you, and you thank me for speaking out, publishing it and sharing. Well yesterday my beautiful blogging buddy Elaine shared a meme on Facebook that stopped me in my tracks Completely. Utterly.
Like a boxing blow to the solar plexus that left me reeling. I sat stock still my phone loosely grasped in my hands. Then I caught my breath, regained some composure and thought it through. Then I sobbed my bloody heart out ... for what is hopefully the last time.
I have been angry, angry for a long time, on and off for almost exactly three years in fact.
I wrote THIS post on my Our New Life in the Country blog about the day Alan was 'retiring', about how we would be working together more and more and how the 'day job' would be worked from home in a much smaller way. I bought him the plaque to immortalise the date our new life together was to start.
But bit by bit the day job work ramped up again and he spent more and more time in the office, squeezing the basic maintenance jobs around the smallholding back into the three days a week they had always been done on when he had been away. Yes, we had more of each others company for lunch and in the evenings, but I think I was always waiting for the 'day job' to be the one or two day a week thing or the three, three day conventions a year part of Alan's life that we had originally planned for. With us slowing things down on the smallholding for the early retirement together that we had originally talked about sat on the stairs of my little shop way back in 2008.
It took Alan until early last year to admit to me that 'the Good Life' was no longer the life he wanted. He had loved the putting together of the smallholding, the research into the solar power systems and other eco friendly things we have installed. He loved acquiring all the machinery that fills his workshop, and I loved watching his boyish delight with each and every machine or gadget being delivered ... and teased him about it mercilessly.
BUT, then he admitted loved his job MORE, and wanted to carry on doing it for as long as possible. We sat down and discussed all options, what would we do, how would we want the future and came up with plan to sell this place, to cash in on our investment and move forwards in a different way. Being nearer family was important for both of us, being somewhere with an equal travel time to Alan's work in Berkshire was important to him, and being nearer to people and life was important to me.
I have told him over the years, quite a few times, on the occasions when he has noticed my despair, how I actually feel. He knew how dejected I was just a few short months into our new life in the country about giving up what I had left behind. Leaving my tiny shop in the town I loved and had always wanted to live in. The business I had built and the friends I had gathered during my time working for myself and for the local hospice. More recently during flare ups when I told him he has turned on me and told me not to drag up the past, to move forward and that I should simply adapt.
So for the past year I thought I had been angry, so very angry. I held it in my tense shoulders, in my snap back words, in the high blood pressure that rises at the drop of a hat.
You lovely lot have seen it on my posts, have read between the lines and asked if I am okay. There have been emails and comments, love shown and strength offered and I have used that to help me get to this point. And it took one simple meme, of few words to clarify something that I should have seen so long ago.
It wasn't anger I was feeling ... it was grief.
I have been grieving the things I gave up, the plans we made together that never came to fruition and were sometimes never mentioned again after the memory of the promises made were perceived to have faded.
I have been grieving what I had, what I loved and what had been taken away with my permission. I have been grieving that I have changed so much that I have to dredge the old part of me up on a regular basis to remind myself of what I could be.
Of what I will be again.