The joys of my job!

My main responsibility where I work is to look after the entire site, its buildings, maintenance etc.  This can be somewhat uninspiring after a while!  The tedium is broken when one of the Directors decides on a move round. The dreaded Office Move!

In preparation for this ‘exciting’ event the next most popular activity is the Office Clear Out. This requires all staff to rid themselves of the accumulated rubbish of several years. On the ‘happiness’ scale this probably scores at least 10 less than the actual move itself.  Everybody ‘digs in’!  They refuse to throw away anything.  They look lovingly at that Post It note someone wrote them 15 years ago and they can’t bear to part with it!

But cunning me has a motivator up my sleeve.  However this does require a huge amount of physical activity on my part!  We start with a large skip into which all paper is destined.  (Always good to get one with a lid or I expend even more energy chasing stuff round the car park  – which maybe a laugh for the staff but not for me!).  Next we get a builder’s chute and attach it to the fire escape thus allowing staff to throw their rubbish from the 1st floor straight into the skip.  This brings out the child in all of them!!  Suddenly they can play (it’s amazing how easily they’re pleased).  And they do!  They love it.  Now that bundle of accumulated paper they’ve not looked at in years is not needed and whoosh down the chute it goes!  Everybody is now having FUN!

However – problems arise.  The skip fills up at one end and not the other.  The bit under the lid is devoid of anything much.  So – and this is the really good bit – I climb in!!  And that, dear reader, is where I spent most of my day.  Sitting in a very dirty skip moving stuff around and being bombarded with paper from above!!  Add to that the fact that it rained and I have to say my happiness index hit such a high it’s unprintable!!

(I’ve just got home, had a bath, washed my hair, run the washing machine)  And I am now about to pour myself a stiff drink.

And I’ve got 4 more weeks of this before we actually play the Moving Game!!

What you fear is what you get!

Stephen’s words echo in my brain!

There have been two rather surprising outcomes from the Life Coaching I’ve had.  Two things I’ve never been able to do and now find I can!!

Little intrigue here – eh!!

My older brother who – for reasons which completely escape me – seems to have had an unnecessary influence over my life (!!) –  once told me when I was probably in my early teens that I couldn’t sing a note!  That I sang dreadfully flat and that the one thing I should never do is sing in public.

I’m sure he has forgotten he ever said it. The point is I didn’t!   I was very upset and from then on hardly dared sing at all. And when I did – scared that I was singing out of tune, I promptly did  –  I could hear how off key I sounded.   In fact  I’ve succeeded in singing flat ever since!!

Two weeks ago I went along for auditions for a part in our local Am. Drams production of Oh What a Lovely War.  As there is a great deal of singing in it I felt pretty confident I wouldn’t be given a singing role!  Wrong – I’m one of the 5 main female singers.  When I queried this and pointed out my total inability to sing in tune I was told very smartly that that was a load of rubbish and I can sing perfectly well and actually was one of the stronger singers of the group!!

The other thing I’ve never been able to do is stand up and speak in Public.  Far too petrified. I was  VERY shy as a child and VERY self-conscious in group situations.  Early on at a new school I was hauled out of normal classes and added to a special “Reading Aloud”  class.  ( I was 10 at the time) .  Being made an example of did nothing for my self-confidence at all.  Their ‘improvement’ technique was to be made to read in front of the headmistress – even more daunting!  Result:   I got even worse! I felt even more of a  failure than I had at the start!  And  I’ve been hopeless at reading aloud or standing up and speaking in public ever since.

But things have changed.  Totally.  In the past 10 months I’ve stood up and given a speech in front of 30 close friends about my 6′ and 30″ moment (see Eureka moments page), I’ve volunteered at work at least 3 times to give talks to the entire Company.  I can’t stop myself these days!!  And I enjoy it!

Bizarre!!  But thank you Stephen!!  It’s been great to find I can do these things and do them without fear!

I’d love some feedback

I’d love some feedback from those who followed the discussion and those who have read it through!  Please let me know if you found it useful and if so what you gained – if anything!  It would be great if you could share your views with the rest of us.

(and I promise I won’t let your views turn into another discussion!!  I will ‘kill off’ any replies!!). 

Or – If you would like to say something but not for the public domain then you can email me:  carolinectw@gmail.com

Thanks – Caroline

Disentangling Facts and “Truths”

This is something I have grappled with over the last year. When first confronted with the possibility that my ‘truth’ and Alex’s could be totally different I dismissed the idea out-of-hand.  In fact I couldn’t comprehend it was possible!

Now I view this in a totally new light. And doing so has helped me understand what happened / is happening.

My marriage is a fact. It happened.  20 April 1992.
Alex left.  Fact.  February 2009.

We also went on numerous holidays to Southern Africa.  Fact.   And If I take – say – a particular holiday perhaps I can explain what I think I am getting at regarding truths and facts.

In 2004 we went to Namibia and Botswana. We drove across the northern edge of the Makgadikgadi  (pronounced Ma-huddi-huddi) Pans in Botswana. We then turned off down a track which was virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the bush on either side of it. We travelled for several hours, through small hamlets where the ‘track’ vanished. We finally came out onto the salt pans themselves and drove across several small ones, finally arriving at Kubu Island.

Kubu Island is a rocky outcrop covered in baobab trees, surrounded by the salt pans. On one side you can look out to a completely white horizon. A sea of salt. We camped overnight. The wind got up in the evening and the tent almost buckled under it.

All these are FACTS.

Now for the ‘truths’ – these for me are different from facts.

Firstly if I engage with the Adventurer Me.

It was a brilliant day and evening. Slightly scary. We had to negotiate our way through small hamlets of people who didn’t speak English. We felt like intruders into their private space. When we finally found our way through and out on to the salt pans a new kind of ‘scary’ took over. You have to be careful where you drive as the salt crust can hide areas where the earth underneath is soft and can cave in. The trick is to stick with tracks made before you as you know these will be safe. After so many hours of driving it was hard to concentrate. Reaching Kubu Island gave us a sense of real achievement. The island is stunning. The baobab trees magnificent. We climbed to the top of the rocks and looked out at the view.   All that ‘nothing’!  Amazing. I just love these sort of adventures – really ticks all my boxes – Risk – Adventure – Significance (as in doing something different from most people!)

Now if I engage with the feminine Me:

Alex was amazing. He encouraged me to do the driving so he could ‘map’ read ( the map didn’t really exist!!) and check the GPS co-ordinates he had found. When we were faced with the salt he directed and congratulated me for getting us all the way to the Island. He told me about all the trees and the rocks and how the salt had been formed. He took charge of the fire so we could cook our supper and picked the best spot for the tent. When the wind blew up he staked out the tent so we wouldn’t blow away. I felt protected and cared for and special and significant in this life.

Now the ‘lover’ me:

When the sun went down. The salt turned the most wonderful pink, then red, before the sun vanished over the horizon and the pitch black took over and the temperature plummeted. The effect was spine-tingling. The multitude of stars above us magical. Alex helped me pick out the Southern Cross and told me all about the galaxies.

But. He didn’t hug me, he didn’t hold my hand, he didn’t cuddle up to me. We were two separate beings experiencing this event rather separately. We slept next to each other in our separate sleeping bags – which are actually designed to be zipped together. I think we may have had a brief hug.  Sad really. The night could have been so much more special.

Finally if I engage the ‘fearful’ – ‘masculine’  me – the one I really don’t like:

It was hard doing most of the driving – even though I think I’m the better driver.. I could have done with the occasional break. I felt insecure at times. But Alex prefers to read .  The tent nearly blew away. He could have chosen a better spot.

The point of all this is?   All the above are “true”. They’re all emotions I experienced at the time. By engaging different versions of me I can give myself a different perspective of the event.  Put the whole lot together and they become the total me.

I can’t ‘run’ the same event from Alex’s point of view but my guess it could be much the same as mine except for the Lover version:  I felt tired that evening – too much glaring at the map and anyway it was very cold.  I think she was hoping for more but I wasn’t in the mood and she didn’t do much to encourage me (come to think of it she rarely does – perhaps I don’t turn her on).  The failing Protector Version / weak man Version:  I don’t think I chose the best spot to camp, I should have taken us round to the other side of the rocks so we would have been in the lee of the wind.  I bet she thinks this is my fault and is secretly blaming me………  I feel I failed her.

So what happens when one version of ourselves takes over and ‘kills off’ all the others. The event – holiday – marriage –  gets skewed or distorted. I think this is how people ‘re-write history”.  What if Alex is only living in the fearful version of himself – the weak/inadequate version – or say the “non-lover” –  then all he will remember of the holiday and that magical evening was that it was OK but could have been better.

And we CAN “rewrite history”.  We all know people who suddenly sing the praises of someone who has recently died, having disliked them and found them a real pain when they were alive. They distort the past as suddenly they feel guilty for feeling the way they did so it’s more comfortable to do a quick rewrite – maybe to justify the deceased’s  behaviour  – as it makes themselves feel better – less guilty.

So I believe it is with Alex. To justify his actions, his adultery, the destruction of our marriage, he has “rewritten” or “blotted out”  vast swathes of the good times  so he feels less guilty. So he can justify what he’s done. But what if he has only managed to do this by living in a distorted version of himself? What if he has ‘killed off’ the lover, the seducer, the adventurer, the man, and has allowed a very destructive version of himself to rule him? What then? Will he ultimately be happy? Maybe for now.  But for how long?

That’s why I feel compassion for him.

It doesn’t change what’s happened.  It doesn’t change the facts.  But it helps my ‘truths’ – and keeps them true for me.

The marathon debate!

I’d like to thank both LFBA and Stephen for this marathon discussion/debate.

I think it has probably run its course now – as regards benefiting those who have been watching it unfold.

I hope you’ve found it interesting!

I, personally, have found it very thought provoking and useful.  For those who don’t know what’s been going on please click below.

The title of the post did have a meaning at the time!

Why isn’t today Wednesday!

Abandonment in Passion

A draft of this post has been hanging around for quite some time (months). I’ve not published it because of how you dear readers might react:  Embarrassment possibly; pity for me – maybe, even a degree of “Why is she telling us this”.  “This is too acutely personal”.  Well  finally  I realized I had two choices – delete it or publish!  I’ve decided to publish – because I do this for me – as you all know!!!.  So here it isYour reaction is – of course, as always – your choice!

This is maybe  a “Too Much Information” post for some of you – my blogging friends!  So you don’t need to read!!  But honesty has always been the watchword of this blog – so honesty about everything is what I write here – and you, dear reader, get to read it – if you want!

Abandonment in passion is an issue which does haunt me.  Abandonment in Passion is something I think about a great deal.  Something I always wanted (I imagine most of us do) and rather too frequently didn’t get – or  maybe more importantly – allow myself to have.  That ability to let go into the moment and abandon myself in being made love to.   OK  I ‘got there’ – fairly often – but not as often as I would have liked.  Somehow, so often, I didn’t feel safe enough to ‘go for it’!  I didn’t feel engaged.  Somehow I felt left out.  That I was missing out.  Yup – a lot to do with my history I know ( see Eureka moments if you want to know more) – but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to – don’t want to.  I just didn’t know how sometimes – and I now believe I didn’t get much help.  I couldn’t talk about it. So I didn’t. So he didn’t know.

Anyway one of my Facebook friends posted this video link of a song.  A very seductive and passionate song:

This is what I wanted a lot more of from Alex – amongst other things:
This is truly beautiful.  That intimate experience  –  I hope you’ll find it’s worth playing and enjoy listening….  It would be lovely to discover it can be as good as that………. all of the time!