Friday, 29 May 2009

Me, me, me

Sometimes I get sick of thinking about myself all the time.
Every now and again I have days that show there can be an alternative to this obsessive solipsism.

Of late, my BIL has been staying for a couple of nights each week to get work done on the extension. This has been such a pleasant change. It means that I get to cook for someone else, make up a bed, vacuum up crumbs, wash towels and perform all the other little acts that mean there is another human being in the house.

BIL can be a grumpy old curmudgeon. He hogs the TV remote, leaves cups lying around the house, retunes all my radios and always seems to be in the bathroom when I want to use it. But it is so nice to have someone else to talk to at breakfast time.

Today a girlfriend came round to moan on my shoulder and to offload about her nightmare in-laws. She brought cake, we drank tea and together we put the world to rights for a couple of hours.
I don't know that I actually helped with her situation at all, but was good to think about someone else's troubles for once. To be just a friend, rather than a friend-in-need.

This evening I was in the garden planting up some herbs and making a long, long mental list of everything I need to do this weekend. A list that didn't include seeing other people on it. I was trying to be sanguine about it and just about succeeding when some neighbours popped their heads over the gate. "We are off down to the pub for a swift one before supper. Care to join us?"

I had changed my shoes, grabbed my purse and was out the door before they could draw breath!*
And for a short time we talked about all the things that people talk about down the pub. R had the odd mention in passing, but otherwise nothing about dead people at all. It feels slightly disloyal to say that felt good, but it did.

It has been a whole day of normal.
Not the old normal that had R in it. It's a new normal that allows me to feel like me again, rather than the strange, semi-detached widow creature who seems to dog my every step.
I like that me and hope she comes to visit again soon.

* I really am not quite the dipsomaniac that my recent posts might suggest. Honest!


  1. I totally understand what you mean about getting sick of thinking about yourself all the time! I even begin to bore myself! When I have an opportunity to provide advice to friends or listen to their issues, I come out feeling much less helpless and inadequate. It helps to be on the other side. Not that I can do it that often but it is nice to offer words of wisdom that have helped me - kind of like completing the circle...

  2. Yes, that is so true.
    I have never felt the truth of the old adage 'It is better to give than to receive' more than I do now. However grateful one is, always being on the receiving end of help does seem to have a strength-sapping effect.

  3. And yet, we want to help. Your neighbors helped.
    I'm so happy to hear of your normal evening.

  4. CC: And the people who are 'just there' are the very best help of all. Truly they are.