Saturday, 30 June 2012
Just dropping by though so you can take a look at this film Jonathan did today, we braved the rain and enjoyed a great atmosphere there. Enjoy
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Friday, 22 June 2012
It's Friday today though and I am pleased it's the weekend. We have a busy weekend planned but I am looking forward to just spending some time with Jonathan as he's been away most of the week filming on the south coast and in South Wales. It felt a little like our first few weeks together where we spent some nights apart. The main difference this week was that Jonathans cats were with me. Even though I already have two cats there is something about caring for someone else's animals. I think naturally we take on a heightened duty of responsibility when caring for other peoples pets or children.
This week has been quite significant for our furry family, or the cat army as Jonathan calls them. All four have all spent time indoors together. Since Jonathans cats arrived mine have been more than a little off with us, its clear that they were disgruntled about their routines being unsettled. Jonathans cats have been very relaxed though and have just settled in very easily and without fuss. There have been no fights, just a few growls and stares but this week they seem to have spent more time together. I am not daft enough to think that they are all going to cosy up together but we're near the place where they all get along nicely and respect each others spaces. I guess it's like any new relationships, (us humans included) they need to find and re-define their own comfort zones and respect each others space.
I suppose that's set me off thinking about Jonathan and I. We've not had a cross word yet. I don't recall any serious differences of opinion or at least if there has been they've not been noteworthy. I guess it's still early days, 3½ months but it feels like longer. We have spoken so much together about or past and about our aspirations for the future so I feel I know him very well and I hope he feels the same about me although, Jonathan has had the added advantage of being able to read this blog. He's read back to Steve's entries too which he said gives him an understanding of Stephen too. I appreciate that a lot as when he's mentioned then I feel like Jonathan knows him too even though they obviously never met.
I think we have a decent understanding of each other. He knows my past has been tough and on times traumatic and Jonathan has had his own life experiences to deal with. I know everyone the world over has experienced tough times and dark days but it is how you deal with those that helps shape you as a person. I feel there is a lot of respect, understanding and empathy in our relationship. Neither of us seeks to outshine or direct the other, we each have our own strengths and weaknesses and I think we are starting to let those develop naturally, it's a nice feeling. Jonathan feels like an equal, I am not reliant on him and I don't feel he relies on me. We are not together because we need to be together but because we want to be together. It's difficult to explain, perhaps I am too tired (already), to articulate my thoughts properly but I suppose in layman's terms it is about shunning those expected stereotypes of masculine breadwinner / hunter gatherer and feminine homemaker / carer as both of us are equally able to adopt both roles and fluctuate between the two.
I'm going to sign off for now as that has set me off on another train of thought that I really don't want to debate with myself, not now at least.
I'll write soon but have a great weekend whatever you're up to.
Saturday, 16 June 2012
Friday, 15 June 2012
I saw this quote today and it resonated with me:
"You will never know true happiness until you have truly loved,
and you will never understand what pain really is until you have lost it."
Thank you Stephen for some wonderful memories and for helping make me the person I am today. You may be gone but never forgotten.
I know you’d be pleased for me and the new happiness I’ve found and the lessons I’ve learned from you will stay with me forever.
Sleep well Pud, 831 x
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Jonathan has commented a few times on how he likes to lie on the bed and listen to the birds tweeting. Only last week we took a drive out and a long walk in the countryside and enjoyed the scenery, (and a dance on a picnic table but that's another story) we also enjoyed the background noises of a babbling brook and birdsong too.
Whilst I was making up the bed last night I thought it may be nice to go for a walk with Jonathan. He's had a busy few weeks at work and I was feeling more than a little lethargic so I thought a walk might just blow the cobwebs away. It was lovely, we drove out to a country park and walked alongside the lake for well over an hour, chatting and enjoying the scenery and birdsong. There were a few things we needed to chat about, and it was nice to be able to relax and chat and walk. I guess we do that a lot, chatting.
After that we headed home via the supermarket and had a nice dinner together. We then sat out on the patio enjoying the mild evening. Last night it was very still too, with no breeze at all. We spoke again about many things and, reflecting on our walks I recalled how irritated I used to be by the birds tweeting.
After Stephen died I obviously felt very sad. I can see there were clearly three months which were very dark and dismal. I would spend hours sat alone in silence in my sitting room. No TV, no music, no conversation with anyone brave enough to phone or call in but, the one thing I couldn't control was the birds.
I was often irritated and angered by the birds tweeting. The incessant noise which I could neither stop or control the volume of. In my almost sterile environment I could be in control of everything, lighting, heat, smells and sounds etc but the one thing I couldn't control were the birds that used to chirp and sing.
Their chirping and singing seemed like the ultimate insult to me. Why were they so happy, didn't they know how sad I was feeling? Don't they know I need quiet time? It's odd though looking back and it's nice to feel that I've got past that time.
As the anniversary of Stephens death is looming in the not too distant future I am feeling that people are paying me more attention, that they are looking at me and analysing. Have I said that because of "the anniversary" is that the reason I have done that or said that? People give me that 'Oh so knowing' look, a raised eyebrow and a nod of the head. I am sure that's them trying to indicate they know or understand what I am thinking. In reality they don't.
I don't want or like my emotions or thoughts now being attributed to Stephen. Yes I think about him and talk about him often but he is part of my life not the entirety of my life. In the same way that my interactions with my parents, my family, my friends and of course Jonathan shape my mood and emotions now then Steve is a part of that influential jigsaw but not all of it.
When I look back over the last 12 months I feel proud of how far I have travelled on my journey with grief. Yes, I had three dark months but after that I managed to make progress for six months and completely changed my outlook on life and love before meeting Jonathan. Since meeting Jonathan I can honestly say I have been reminded what it is like to be happy and it is nice to hear that I make him happy too.
I won't say that I am over Stephen now, I am told I may never get over the loss but I have learned to live with it and accept it and I am looking forward to the future with hope and happiness. These are the days I had hoped for when I was in those dark and dismal days.
I look at the imminent anniversary not as an opportunity to be sad and to re-live those deep feelings of grief and loss but as an opportunity to reflect. To reflect on how lucky I was to have had a Husband like Steve, how blessed I have been to have supportive friends and family around me and how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to love again and to feel loved again.
It's certainly been an eventful year. I have learned lots about others and about myself and I feel ready to face whatever the next year throws at me. I can already see some challenges on the horizon but, far from being fearful of those I am looking forward to embracing them and moving forward. Who knows what the next 12 months will bring? Nobody does but, one thing is sure though, whatever they bring I will learn and grow from those experiences.
Have a lovely evening, I hope to as I can already hear those birds tweeting and I'm enjoying it.
xx Mark xx
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Sunday, 10 June 2012
This weekend has been lovely. Yesterday we took Jon's Dad out for lunch. He seemed to enjoy the company too. A hearty meal and a few pints later we were home so Jon and I had a long soak in the bath before snuggling down with a few bottles of wine and a film just in our dressing gowns. A lazy relaxing night.
After the film we just listened to soft music and talked whilst enjoying a real open log fire. There was no smell from the fire as it was one of these DVDs of a log fire and, being a film maker himself Jonathan noticed the edits in the film and pointed them out. That sort of defeated the point but hey, it was lovely to spend time together anyway.
Today we had a lie in again but then headed off to town for the Manchester Day Parade. Jon fancied doing something creative so I tagged along and took pictures etc. It was a lovely day weather wise and I enjoyed not only time with Jon but the atmosphere, the crowds and just about all of it really.
There's a link to the film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVZ74jf_9-k&feature=youtube_gdata_player but that's really about all for now.
Signing off for tonight, happy and smiley with achy feet. I hope you had a great weekend too!
Xx Mark xX
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Thursday, 7 June 2012
Tonight I am swapping computers, basically taking all emails from my faulty laptop to another one and transferring all emails along with all 10 email accounts to the other laptop too. hopefully soon I will be able to get the things done that I need to get done.
OOPS!!! I spoke to soon, it looks like the other laptop has given up the ghost before i can finish doing what I needed to. It took me days to get it sorted last time so I shall persevere again as I just need it to work for a few more hours and I guess I will have gotten all I need from it. Bloody machines!!!
Well thats scuppered my evening plans but hey, theres no point stressing over it because there is not a lot I can do right now. Oh well, theres always tomorrow.
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Wednesday, 6 June 2012
Well I'm back at work today, it's lunchtime and already I'm struggling. I didn't really sleep well last night, in fact I haven't for a few days for various reasons. I just feel quite blue today, I suppose we all get days like this. I cant name one specific reason as I am not aware of one, I guess there is just a lot on my mind at the moment but, when I look at all the various elements I am aware of, none of them in isolation are a major issue.
I understand why I feel like this, I recognise that I sometimes see things as bigger issues than they are, then afterwards, when I reflect on things I see that I worried un-necessarily. I'm not generally a needy person or at least I don't think I am. I see myself as confident and outgoing and fairly optimistic too despite my life experiences but I also like to either be in control to be aware of all eventualities so I am prepared for what may come.
The major downside to this is that emotions cannot always be controlled. Least of all mine. I like to think I am in control and I can disguise or hide some thoughts or worries or concerns. I'm guessing the assumption many people will have is that this is all focussed around Stephen as it's coming up to 12 months since he passed away. I'm not conscious that that's the case, maybe it is sub-consciously but I don't feel it is as Stephen is still spoken about regularly and I also chat to Jonathan about him too.
I am aware I have so many things to be cheerful about right now and Jonathan being part of my life is a major thing worthy of a smile but today I am finding smiling difficult. I have been thinking and wondering too whether my time in Egypt has contributed to my mindset? I didn't want to go from the outset and now I recall how sad I felt being away. Maybe.
Before I went away I sorted a few things out at home with a view to coming back refreshed and bright and hopeful of a sunny future, almost like a new start or an opportunity to move forward in a continued positive frame of mind, (remember how sickeningly giddy and excitable I was?) Anyway I still want that and I am still enjoying making those plans etc, I am sure this is a temporary blip.
I think tonight I will try and sort my computer out, it's been playing up, and that started the night before I went on holiday. I am conscious there are a few things I need to do and the info is on my PC so I think I will feel better when at least some of the jobs on my "To Do" list have been done. Perhaps a walk first though to clear my head before I start. That's it. That's my plan for this evening. I feel better now, almost like writing this has been some sort of self help therapy!
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Till next time, Mx
Saturday, 2 June 2012
Friday, 1 June 2012
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