Diary of Small Changes… Day 5-7

Day 5 DIY

I quite love a bit of painting and decorating. I find it relaxing (well if you don’t have to paint a whole house in 6 days) At a slower pace I feel my Mr Miyagi.
When I’m doing it myself, With a focus on something productive that I like doing It allows me to let go of all the other stuff which drifts away as I get absorbed in the task at hand.

Today it was the garden table and hammock that have been given very little love despite that hammock being a place I have used often. A place to feel numb, think, feel, cry and write. But in better times, a place I’ve felt really happy and peaceful. In those times I really loved to lie and swing and dream.
I was so happy when I bought it.
Seeing it in a sale and just buying it on a whim.
Putting it together by myself with bits of wood falling on my head as I tried to balance it all as I screwed all the pieces together.
The original green canopy got ripped to shreds by two cats. I’ve never been a fan of cats. I like dogs. Faithful companions that give unconditional love.

Anyways that canopy was beyond repair and too expensive to just replace.
But yesterday I ordered a cheap double forest green coloured fitted sheet. It will do the job and fits with the naturalness of my garden which is currently getting the star treatment on a budget. A poor alternative to next doors that is gorgeous with all its decking and astro turf. Nice work!
But ever the fixer upper it’s amazing what a bit of elbow grease can achieve in just creating a nice space.
I’ve never cared about having a perfect show home even if I appreciate others.

So sanding was the first job. Never the glamorous part of the show but necessary.
Preparation is everything.
Smoothing it all down so its primed and ready for a new coat of paint. I bought some varnish for added protection. Sometimes a little protection is required to survive the harsher elements.

With sand block in hand and my girl wanting to help too, we got to work.
It’s hard graft it you do it properly. We spent a good couple of hours quietly working on them taking little rests every now and then.
When we finished my girl commented in how satisfying it felt.
Hold that feeling I thought. And wait till it’s finished and you get that feeling of “I did that”.

I bought paint.
Oak colour for the table and hammock and some redwood for the fence and little shed.
Autumnal colours all year round. I also splashed out on
pillow box red paint for the little shed door and the top of the two toadstools carved out of wood that I once bought for a fiver.
Natural with magic is the look I’m trying to achieve.
When it’s finished I want to find some lights.

I know I also need to replace the other fence panel, buy a new shed round the side (the current one collapsing as I write) I need somewhere to put the bikes, instead of under that car cover in the garden. Proper eyesore. But can’t afford those at the minute. I’m trying to save for bits here and there and wanting to go on a couple of trips and see people in the coming months without dipping in to that tiny bit of money I am trying to put aside for life beyond. It’s growing very slowly.

This feels like such a nice little project to keep me occupied and happy right now.
Somewhere nice to be while I create somewhere nicer to be over the coming months.

Still trying to work out how to fix up these paving slabs that were once a lovely autumn yellow but are now a dirty grey with weeds coming through. No budget for decking but someone told me about dry cement that you put straight in without having to mix it and then just add water. Perhaps I can paint or clean the paving stones? Google at its finest.

What I do know though is how much I love just being outside. How much I love nature even in its smallest version of a tiny garden.
How much happier I feel in places and also with people that feel natural.
Where I don’t have to look the part, act the part or become what I’m not just so I fit.
I just feel happy in nature. That’s a world I am made for.

When we finished sanding the weather had started to turn a bit cloudy so we decided to continue in the sunshine on Saturday.

Instead I turned my attention onto my bedroom.

Wanting to create another nice space for myself.
If I need rest then let’s rest somewhere lovely.
I’ve gone into organising mode. Needing to get things straight. All these jobs take time of which I had very little up until now.
Concentrating on basics so that I can concentrate on more when I’m ready.
Tidy home, tidy mind as they say.
I feel my momentum build each day.

Feeling happy with hearing that I can have my car back again soon.
I’ve managed without it and haven’t begrudged it. In fact I love walking. But I have felt a loss of freedom in being able to get to places especially more recently visiting my mum.

My lovely friend L and her bro are also gonna let me tag on to a short trip for 4 days to Devon in the middle of August.
I felt so excited.
I want to make more arrangements but I’m not quite ready at the moment. I’ll know when I am.
But that feels something lovely to work towards.
Today felt like I took lots of steps towards better.

Lesson – doing it myself does feel satisfying and takes away my feelings of being needy and messy. Sadness is something that will evolve at its own pace.

Day 6 Stand Tough

I don’t want to write about today. I felt that moment when all my care and trying was disregarded and forgotten as I try to give some care to myself.

Lesson.. In moments when words and actions are used that pull me back down, remember that they are only coming from a place of tiredness and sadness. Rise higher. Believe in who I am. I’m worth fighting for. Fight harder for me.

Day 7 Quiet Happy

Ok so you know im feeling you universe!!!! You’re on fire right now!!!
But I’ll come to that later.

I took a long opportunity to swing on my hammock this morning knowing that I wouldn’t be able to later as it would have a sign of “wet paint”.

As I sat there a little baby fox passed by close behind me. He was on his same route as every morning and every evening to somewhere?
I wonder where? Hope it’s somewhere wonderful.
I like that I am part of that route. Today he wandered past quietly comfortable in my presence. I didn’t even notice until I saw him exiting my garden.
We had our first encounter one night at the beginning of this week. He was right next to me looking at me and I thought can I trust you? .. I think he was feeling the same. We looked in each other’s eyes for a moment without moving Sensing each other’s fears of will you hurt me?
Since then every day it has felt more and more comfortable. He stops and looks at me and then carries on his way.
It felt nice today as he wandered past easily.
I love that we co exist in this same space.

Beautiful colour. I’ve always loved foxes ever since I was a kid.
I’m not sure I’ve never been so close to one before. I’ll see him again.

I then noticed a marking on one of the paving stones. It looked like a monkey smiling next to my garden table.
Made me laugh to myself.

I’m very aware of the simple nature of what I am writing at the moment.
When I was in a similar position four years ago I found myself in a place where it was all out there for everyone to see. No place to hide. Having to fake that I was coping when inside I was all over the place.
All the confusion and craziness and sadness that I was trying to deal with was right there in a room for everyone to see and hear. Whether they actually saw and heard it was another matter. Some being more perceptive than others. But I saw it in myself. It’s taken me a long time to really process what that experience was like for me. The same amount of time that I was in it which makes perfect sense to me actually as that is how I learn.
Drawing on previous experience is how I work out how to deal differently with what’s in front of me. We all learn differently. I’ve never faired well with text book answers. They tend to make no sense to me, not to mention how bored I get reading facts and figures.
But books that inspire me through others experiences or magical and fantastical adventures full of mystery also absorb me.
Like for example all the Shardlake books I read that are set in Tudor London. I feel the history of a period I find fascinating but concealed within a story where I follow an unusual character.
I felt such a connection being in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
Feel excited waiting for my surviving local bookshop to give me the call to tell me that the final two I ordered are in. Could have got it cheaper and quicker online but worth the extra couple of pounds for being able to wander in and marvel at all the kids books 😊
Enid Blyton was my girl.
Plus I’ve never minded waiting.

When I think of feeling so vulnerable at a time when I was already feeling so vulnerable I realise how well I faired. But it wasn’t something that I was prepared for. I did not handle it well inside. I had nothing to compare it to. No previous experience to draw on of putting myself and my life so out there for all to see especially at its very worst.
I’m much more private by nature. Normally you have to really get to know me and I have to get to know you.
It can take some time for me to get there. It requires an investment of time and care from others which I happily reciprocate.
For me to really trust at a level that can feel more intimate requires patience.
I have to feel like I’ve built something more solid and substantial before I can let you get to the good stuff. Its good and bad that sits behind my friendly but that’s where all the shades of colours lives.
I can do beige with anyone. From experience I find most people I meet prefer beige. I guess it blends well with anything or anyone and is easy.
But I like all the colour. It’s so much more more interesting and wonderful.

In moments I have wanted to leave the whole of that time behind because Ive felt embarrassed in coping so badly in all the stress and chaos.
I’ve never felt like that for such a long period of time.
Overriding all my lovely qualities that I prefer. Always trying to find something more in order to deal with everything.
Isn’t that what I wanted? To be more. I guess I had thought more fun more adventure more good stuff. But perhaps it’s good stuff but in a different way.
I felt it well beyond it ended and fuelled by more difficulties could never quite get to a place when I could stop and breathe and just be happy.
But finally Ive stopped.
Stuff to sort, things to deal with but still able to stop.
And I felt that exhaustion from keeping going.
But since pulling myself back up again and living in more quietness I am starting to feel my energy grow a little more every single day.
Haven’t felt this sort of peace within myself for a long time. Where my head isn’t completely all over the place and I’m just trying to balance.
This feels slow paced and one little step at the time. Without placing any demands on myself. Still living but in a very quiet and simple way. My way. Every day different but not in big exciting things to talk about. Just in little things I do or how I think. Boring to many I’m sure but not to me. Well not right now. I need adventure when I’m bored. On work days without question but on my days, I’m just happily doing simple stuff that make me happy. Building them slowly. No need to go at warp speed and then overwhelm myself. I like this pace. Makes me think of “yeah man”. We would get along famously right now.

I have often wished at different moments that I could leave that whole time behind. So as not to be reminded in what it all felt like for me back then. I think I’ve said before that I wished I could erase it.
I wouldn’t really.
I do however like the growing distance I feel from it as time passes. Not feeling any desire to be part of what that was again in its entirety. Thinking fondly of people who would now feel more like acquaintances in the same way as others I have met through life and work.
Feeling happy to see them should I happen to bump into them in this yes “small world” but not necessarily wanting to initiate nights out or meet ups.
Other than a few. But they haven’t resided inside of that room for me for a long time now.

They were the people I felt closest to, easiest to be around but especially found most inspiring.
Way too special for me to leave behind. I’ve never been a collector of friends. To take three forward with me is lovely actually. Rare and wonderful. A fourth that I don’t feel that same openness with but I admire and like so much.

Interestingly 3 of those people having that sense of dreamyness to them with very different versions of creativity and inspiration that i feel so drawn to. And the other a real doer with a very soft and warm heart within which I don’t think was seen so vividly behind all that confidence but I felt it during that whole experience. From when I first met her she always championed me and highlighted all my qualities.
I liked being around her.
Often felt like a strong and powerful mum figure.
If I’m really honest I doubt I would have met any of them if I hadn’t gone there. Their worlds looking very different to mine. Mixing in different circles to where I’m from.
When I hear about their lives they often feel world’s away. Finding myself feeling like a blank sheet of paper of basic against theirs of creativity and experiences.

Sometimes in life and work I’ve been around people at parties as they all share how clever and knowledgable they are on everything. Left feeling like a cultural idiot because I don’t know about that food, or never read that book or visited that far away destination that they have all been to. I love to learn and understand new things but sometimes it can feel daunting and intimidating in ending up looking like an unsophisticated idiot because I spent a long period of time just making sausage and mash for my family.
I never feel like my friends look at me that way but I do often wonder what I bring to the party in what must appear very simple and provincial. It can feel scary in navigating what is unfamiliar for me knowing that others can just stroll in, comfortable in having taken a similar path full of similar experiences.
It’s that horrible feeling of being like a kid standing in a room where you don’t know who to talk to because you don’t know how to join in with a way they all seem to know.
They are all at home in it while I feel like a fish out of water. Had that feeling a lot in life in places where I’ve strived for more.

The fact is that despite different worlds these were friends I wished for when I was a primary school kid.
I had to wait 3 more decades to find them.
Rare and special in my very different and individual feelings towards each.
I think of them now as people I love as opposed to people from that room.
They may not be part of my every day existence but they are absolutely part of my life and my world.

This time round I feel able to deal with it all in a much more organic way. Where I don’t have to share unless I wish to. I can be real in that without feeling I have to disclose it all. That I can hold most of it inside and process it at my own pace in my own time avoiding that feeling of leaving myself feeling completely vulnerable in that.
Right now trying to help someone else and being completely clueless in it. But finding my way and as ever doing my best.
But my grief and finding my own courage? well that I know. I’ve been here. Understanding it all a little better and not feeling so scared in it. Feeling my own various emotions now as I have handed others theirs back. They need to feel them too.
Totally there for them in different ways but without responsibility beyond my girl.
I feel very free today just in that.

Not feeling that same worry about people seeing how I feel but more knowing that in my own environment without 26 eyes watching me, able to deal with it all in my own quiet way.
I’ve learnt a lot from last time. It is really helping me this time round.

Finding the release on my blog helpful in just random thoughts, knowing that only a few people that I trust and hold close to my heart have access to it. And confident that they won’t sit and judge me but know me enough to know it’s all part of how I’m made and thats good enough.
It feels less about not being able to talk about it but preferring right now to find my own way through it without trying to explain the various details or my ever changing feelings, which evolve rapidly left to my own devices.
Inspiring shares taken in with pleasure as I find my version of what they mean to me.
I love that so much. It helps me more on a very abstract way.
Trusting in my own ability to do what needs to be done.
Sometimes I don’t have that ability and I have to find it. Which invariably I do even if like now I have to take the longer route while I find routes that works for me.
I feel a confidence in my self sufficiency.

FOMO .. an expression given to me a while back and one my girl mentioned the other day in how she was feeling. Fear of missing out.
It’s ok .. I felt it over those couple of weeks I couldn’t get up.
Hearing everyone laughing and having fun in the sun whilst feeling so sad. It felt so hard.
Worrying that there will be no one there when I lm ready to re engage with others.
Everyone will have new fun people to hang out with as they move further forward at a faster pace.
And yet, while I’ve been alone Ive felt more and more that if people really love and care about me then they will still be there when I’m ready. And if not then I’m not the right friend for them or in fact they are not the right friend for me.
People move on and sometimes it might mean I’m left behind.
But I can’t fear that anymore.
Since looking all the way back I’ve realised that there is no real loss in those who don’t care.
Of course I feel the sadness of that but it doesn’t hurt much these days.
Perhaps because over time I have met others who do care.
It’s a no brainer in what holds more value for me.
When I love someone I would like to think that it can be felt no matter where they are. It’s held somewhere inside in a belief in what is shared.
Like that feeling of time passing and not seeing someone but when you do it’s as though no time has passed.
I love that feeling too.
And a lovely sentiment that was reflected back to me by a magical mermaid who by her own admission isn’t like all the other fishes.
No she isn’t.
She has qualities that make me feel comfortable and safe.
She messaged me yesterday after a few months break. Its always wonderful to hear from her.
Special people always remain special.
When I briefly explained where I’m at she understood and told me to let her know whenever I’m ready.

I feel that from all those I love most and that feels very reassuring for me.
In fact that very thing speeds up my process because I feel no pressure.
That lack of pressure will enable me to catch up with them more quickly.

So today was all about painting. As I opened the first tin I realised it was completely the wrong colour. So while others were heading to the beach or the all day barby of the teenage boy next door I headed to B&Q and two lovely ladies who worked there as we tried to find the best solution for my dodgy patio while I bought the correct paint.
Loved them both as we talked kiln dry sand, and masonry paint. In the end I chose to clean it with some kind of patio cleaner which doesn’t harm animals and a power jet cleaner that I’m gonna borrow from a friend.

As we drove back and I felt all pleased with myself in being Miss DIY as the universe spoke and this tune came on the radio.
Omg I love this tune I said to my girl as I turned it up and laughed as I listened to the lyrics.
I can’t make it up.

I spent the rest of the day painting the hammock and table with my girl. The wrong paint now used to spruce up crappy garden pots. No waste round this gaf. And painting the bottom half of the mushrooms.
More to do tomoz.
Feeling the Ibiza vibe coming from over the fence as I poured a glass of Pinot as I worked. Now I’m feeling summer.
Perhaps I’m missing out on the party vibes in cool places but today felt pretty cool to me in all its simple happy.
I’m easy pleased when I have time and space and freedom.

As I sit and write in the garden feeling the vibrations of that heavy bass reverberate through me in a way I love it made me smile. I bet the older lot in the flats are doing their pieces. But I just feel quietly happy.
“I did that”.

Lesson … Don’t know? Maybe “Just Live ”


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