Tuesday, 5 February 2019

(My 1000th post) - A new Beginning

maybe?

I’d like to make it so, but who knows? I have tried so many times since Beloved died but have, so far, not kept my word, either to myself or to others.

I had hoped that the new year would bring renewed physical and mental application, stamina, enthusiasm, reliability, confidence as well as physical well-being. No such luck. No sooner had the back healed when I caught a nasty cold turning into a chest infection and unpleasant cough. I am only just getting over the side effects.

However, there are signs that all may not be lost: I went back to the gym today for the first time for  many months; I am having to relearn to walk upright rather than a) as at first, like a penguin, and b) following on from that, like a very old person bent forward, leaning on a stick. Under strict supervision I am crawling through exercises, the very first, very mild stand biking, tread milling, getting up from a chair without leaning on aids, step ups, and just plain walking along a straight line, head up, chest out, eyes forward. "Do that twice a week for an hour or so to start with", says Dan, my fitness instructor, "and we’ll have you back where you were by summer." He’s a nice boy, very fit, enthusiastic and encouraging. “You’re doing really well”, he says, looking at me out of his earnest dark eyes. Maybe. When I came home afterwards Marzenna was there, my new Polish cleaner, a lovely young woman, very friendly, very clean and tidy. “You’ve been to the gym?” she marvelled. “So you keep active before?” She’s only known the penguin me. “That’s good, it’s better to move.” Her English is a bit lacking. “Now things will change. You be positive and things will change.” Blimey, I must have been a right old grump if the mere mention of the gym can make her see me in a new light.

The back episode frightened me so much that I decided there and then that I’d need a new shower room rather than a bathroom, as well as a downstairs study rather than a dining room to seat twelve. It is most unlikely that I’ll ever have twelve people sitting down to dinner again. The shower room has been installed and the dining table has been placed at one end of my sitting room. Sooner or later it will probably disappear altogether. I’ve moved a large sofa which is now in the sun room. The former dining room has become my study, it is a bright room with two windows, both of which look out on to the garden. I’ve lost the upstairs book walls, but there are enough shelves in the new study to satisfy this reader. I have also bought myself a music centre, the modern but old looking kind, which plays vinyl LPs, cassettes (remember them?) of which I have many still, and CDs. My computer is there too, my TV with many European channels will follow shortly and a large chair stands by the window, ready to receive me and my book. My cave awaits. If and when the time comes that I can’t manage stairs there is enough space for a bed, provided I scrunch up some of the other furniture.

Other than that I have been dealing with Beloved’s writings, old diaries (goodness, I am not sure that I would have been as fond of the young man as I was of the middle-aged one), and now, his books. What a bright spark he was, there are books on the sciences, geology, geography, history, politics, all many years old and, probably, long overtaken by modern day research. There are his shelves of novels, some of which I will keep, classical literature, art and photography. And poetry books by the metre, most of which I will have to sift through and either dispose of or keep. Being wrapped up in memories of Beloved and our time together has made me miss him all over again, in a deep and sad way now rather than the earlier, raw and painful heartache. The loneliness doesn’t fade away.

But spring will come and the garden will beckon. Maybe Marzenna is right, “you be positive and things will change.”






30 comments:

  1. I'm so very glad to see you back here. I've worried about you a bit, and now I see it was with good cause. It sounds terribly grim but Physio Dan does sound very positive and helpful and that's a good thing. And I think I've read you long enough to know you will be diligent about doing the PT. Marzana won't let you stop!

    Smart move, rearranging to better suit your current life. The bright study sounds quite lovely, as does the new arrangement in the sitting room. I suspect that one day you'll want a smaller table if the time comes, and that'll be good too. I know that revisiting books and journals especially can be a time of mixed emotions, so here's a little hug for when it seems especially daunting.

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  2. Yes, happy to see you back! And I admire your ambition. It sounds like you've been very busy indeed while learning about your partner in new ways as you sort through his belongings.

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  3. Hugs.

    From a near-stranger on the Internet, a hug. :) It's a little weird, but I wanted to let you know you are not alone.

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  4. Things will change whether you are ready or not. Your job or purpose is to direct the change the way you want. I am a big fan of exercise...I should do it more. I wish I had a Polish (or German or French or American) cleaning lady.

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  5. It is always lovely to see a post from you. Hooray for postive steps (and gentle exercise).

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  6. It is always good to “see” you, and the changes you are making seem very good. We have been trying ourselves to do some culling, preparatory to letting go of this house of ours which will before too long become entirely impractical for us, so though the reasons are different for our changes, many things you write here strike a chord. I was amused, for one, to read your comment about books “overtaken by modern research.” It is so true, yet then sometimes all the harder to let go of an historical artifact that informed one’s world view. Spring will help, for sure, with a further new beginning. We had an unexpectedly warm day today, and it was tremendously cheering.

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  7. You are making all the right steps forward and between Marzenna and Dan, you will regain your stamina and enthusiasm. Exercise is a wonderful way to renew the spirit and the body.

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  9. Good to hear that you are back on your feet...and moving forward, making your environment fit your needs.
    I know what you mean about seating twelve for dinner...family are visiting, a young cousin deciding to propose to his fiancee here so that Leo can be present. In the past i would have been feeding the hordes with ease but now, with the disturbances to sleep caused by Leo's care and the alarms and excursions of the day, I find it tiring. I love to see them all....but had forgottten how much energy it all takes!

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  10. You are so right, 'the loneliness does not go away'. But, you are creating wonderful spaces for yourself and that is wonderful. You are filling your bookshelves with writings your Beloved read, learned from and enjoyed. They are a part of what made him into the person he was.

    I'm glad to read that the gym therapy is helping you regain mobility. Keep at it dear Friko.

    Begin positive does help us heal and grow.

    Happy February to you ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

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  11. So very happy you are back here. I missed you. Blog away, you have never been boring and our journeys on this plain we can all share and commiserate and laugh and cry with each other.

    I like the changes you have made to your living quarters, become more you rather than the former we. A form of grieving and letting go also.

    Write on, my dear friend.

    XO
    WWW

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  12. My day is always better when I find that you have posted. I think adapting your environment is a really good idea. Anything to make life a bit easier. I always think exercise is a great idea! Why don't I engage in it more?! I am in the hospital with my husband. This is his second admission in three weeks. I know the inevitable. Is approaching. Not a fun time.

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  13. Rather coincidentally, I found myself thinking of you just last night, wondering how you were and what you were up to. You've been busy organizing your home, and dealing with your health. Both of those things would eat up a lot of time. I hope your back continues to improve.

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  14. I'm happy to read that you have made productive changes and are feeling better, all to the good. I think your young cleaner has a point. Best to you.

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  15. Hi Friko - so good to see you posting ... and even if you think you've been hiding away - you've 'engineered' some major changes to make life more comfortable for you, and still going carefully through Beloved's books and diaries (interesting comment) - Well done is all I can say ... and so nice to read about youngsters being encouraging. Excellent to know about Marzenna being there for you ... and apparently having such a great outlook on life.

    You'll enjoy having your garden outlook ... yet still be able to get out and enjoy your plants, flowers and views as and when you feel like it ... Spring looks like it's grasped you to move forward ... all the very best from a misty south coast - cheers Hilary

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  16. I was just thinking about you the other day Friko and now here you are. turning the dining room into a study/den with the windows looking out to the garden sounds lovely and glad to hear you are working on getting fit again. and yes, things change whether we want them to or not, it's the nature of life, so might just as well face them with positivity.

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  17. First congratulations on having written 1000 posts, that is quite an achievement. I also believe that installing a shower is helpful. I had one made for my husband in our new house in Nashville, although he never got to use it. It has been 3 months since he passed away so I do understand the void that you feel. His birthday would have been Feb 2 so I passed a sad weed-end and decided to visit all my blogging friends for comfort and it helped (I don’t have friends here.) Dealing with books is a big job, I understand that too as I am dealing with them in our house in Georgia, it brings many memories. By the way I came and wrote a comment on your last post but I did not see it published – I guess it went in the spam basket. Hopefully your weather has not been as drastic as here in the US and you are able to get out. Take care.

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  18. You've been making some big changes while you were "away". Nice! Glad you are gradually feeling better and have even made it to the gym. The garden is probably already whispering to you. *hugs*

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  19. Funnily enough, only yesterday I was thinking of you and that it's been a while since I last saw your blog's name appear on my dashboard, infoming me about new posts of those blogs I "follow".
    Your gym instructor sounds very reasonable, like he knows his stuff.
    I wonder what Marzenna will do after the 29th of March.
    Your new layout of the house sounds pleasant - a study with windows overlooking the garden must be lovely!

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    1. Oh, and congratulations - 1,000 posts is impressive!

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  20. You have been doing a lot and it all sounds very positive, even if your emotional state hasn't quite got there. It will. Positivity is hard work, but worth it.

    My granddaughter is 25 and 3 years ago her mother-in-law was murdered. She was 44. It has taken a great deal of hard work for Marnie, her husband, her brother-in-law, to come to terms with it but they are all much more stable now than they were. Of course, when the murderer is released, the fears and worries will start again, but for now that's quite a long way in the future.

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  21. Getting your downstairs organised now is a wise move Friko, and getting physically well hopefully will better equip you to cope with the deep and sad and if like me after 16yrs cope with the raw when it hits out of nowhere. We learn to live and get on with life amid the relentless loneliness of missing our beloveds. Much love to you my dear.

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  22. Your 'cave' sounds perfectly delightful to me. I've always said that if only I have a window, all will be well. I'm glad you have that lovely young man to straighten you up, too -- in every sense of the word. I find myself slumping a bit from time to time, and I'm trying to improve my posture on my own. A little more weight loss will help, too. It doesn't have to be much, but ten pounds can make a great difference.

    It's odd that you should be talking of rearranging and all that. I've been fussing for some time about (1) knowing I need to downsize, in order to reduce my rent, and (2) not wanting to give up my view. I don't need the space, but I do love overlooking the water. Well, one thing led to another and I asked the apartment manager to show me one of the smaller one bedrooms. It was lovely. Even absent the view, it was light and airy, and felt quite spacious. I don't have a schedule, but I'm beginning the process of getting rid of everything I wouldn't want to move. When all comes together, it will be easier. Sometimes, things work along on their own schedule -- and all we have to do is be ready to move when life wants us to move: physically, as for you, or from one place to another for me.

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  23. Good to read a post from you, Friko. Both Dan and Marzenna sound encouraging and that can't be a bad thing. LG aus San Francisco!

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  24. Yes think positive! Your cave sounds like a great place:)

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  25. One little step at a time to heal. ♥

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  26. Pragmatic and sensible, what you're doing. Going back to the gym is one of the best things you can do, and your new shower arrangements are certainly practical. A comment I read recently from a doctor about the value of exercising was that while it won't make you any younger but will at least help to make old age 'less miserable'.
    Quite realistic, I thought. The cave is a good idea, and all of these changes make it more likely that you'll be able to stay where you are for a good long time, barring accidents. Good to hear from you and I hope Brexit doesn't mean that you lose Marzenna . xo

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  27. Thank you for sharing, Friko

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  28. I like the changes you have made in your home re the study and shower room. Since my hubby died two years ago I have made many changes and upgrades in my home. One room still needs a lot of work, it is full of his things and books. I am glad you are getting strong physically and have a comfy cave to spend time in.

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