Oh FFS and other really rude swear words! I had a whole post written under this photo and some how managed to delete it when I pressed “publish”. How is that even possible? Maybe it’s my subconscious censoring another mundane post? Well you’re all off the hook – I can’t be bothered to rewrite all that so you’ve been spared. Thank my self-censoring subconscious ;)
OK so there were actually only 3 spiders, but that is definitely 3 too many. Just before bedtime the cat was farting about in the corner of the room prodding and patting something. Spider number one was a biggie. Much to the cat’s disgust, that one was rescued in a glass and taken outside to play in the garden (how come they don’t look so scary against natural surroundings?).
Getting on for 2 in the morning: Why oh why did I have to have that last cup of seriously diuretic coffee? Up to answer a call of nature, I nearly fainted at the size of the next spider sat on the wall near the bathroom. In a glass (with a bit of effort to fit all its legs in there) and out the front door to play in the front garden. This one tried to turn around and run back in the house (if I hadn’t already just “been” I could have created an involuntary puddle at this point) – no way matey…out you go!
A little after 3:30 a.m. I realised that I’d been half awake and hearing the cat scraping in the litter tray for an unusually long time. Yep, it turned out she wasn’t burying a turd, but playing with another HUGE spider in there. Eww. This one had the indignity of being lifted up on the end of the long-handled poop-scoop before being carried outside in a plastic tub and released – stinky (probably) but otherwise unharmed.
I bloody hate spider season. I know they have to mingle to create the next generation of fly-catchers but I wish they’d seek each other’s company outside where they belong, instead of frightening the life out of me of an evening.
In my last post, while describing how I was totally on schedule to get a task completed, I uttered the stupid phrase “Unless something big and unexpected happens”. Talk about bloody well tempting fate. To cut a long and painful story short, last night I got my hand slammed in a gate and completely pinned across the largest knuckles of my fingers. The only way to unpin my hand was to perform the accident in reverse. Usually I could win awards for swearing, regularly turning the air blue with colourful expletives, but the pain was so great this time that I could not utter a sound. Not even a whimper.
For 2 hours last night my hand was in and out of a bowl of iced water, but the pain, swelling and bleeding would not subside. Finally at the third hour I gave in and took pain killers. Gradually I began to feel better. By the time I went to bed, the big joint on my middle finger looked like an elbow and I began to think I may have broken it (I don’t do hospitals, so a lot of guess work goes into my ailments!). After a shit night’s “sleep” of more iced water, elevating my hand on pillows, more pain killers, waking myself up turning over on my hand, swearing, sighing and some serious bandaging, I woke to find my fingers were less swollen, more bruised and thankfully able to do the full range of movements (albeit with pain). How the hell are they not broken? I must have squashy bones or something.
So despite having painful fingers, bandaged up to look like some grotesque finger-puppet show, I’m feeling so lucky and so grateful. I don’t appreciate my hands enough and as soon as they recover I’m going to start looking after them properly. And I’m still hopeful that the felt Christmas decorations will get finished in time. Until then I’m back on the extra strength Nurofen and looking slightly clownish after trying to apply makeup with my left hand (it was definitely me who was the weirdo on the bus this morning!).
In the same week as I made it through the first 6 months without my brother (horrible endings) the universe tried to balance it out by helping me reach my first milestone of 100 sales in my etsy shop (nice beginnings). OK so the sales milestone in no way makes up for losing my brother (of course not!!!!!) but it does remind me that life can still go on and still give me pleasure. Just as I always knew that if I could make it through 6 months without my lovely bro I could keep going, I also knew that if I could just make it to my first 100 sales then I would keep going with the shop. So yay for my latest lovely customer who helped me cross that line.
Yesterday I finally got my finger out and listed the felt fish in the shop and it feels good to get that crossed off my list. I ordered some more business cards as I now have every intention of keeping the shop open and the Christmas decorations are coming along nicely. Unless something big and unexpected happens (God I hope not) I’m on track to get them launched mid August as planned. The project after that is much more troublesome but I’m up for the challenge now.
Gradually I want to steer the shop away from the cute & colourful and bring in what I’m more comfortable with – dark & brooding! The changeover will be a very slow process as I’ve still got a mountain of felt & fabric to get through and it’s just asking to be made into something fluffy & light-hearted. I’m taking such tiny, tiny steps with my work, but at least this time they are all going in the same direction!
My day job is ridiculously busy again, but I’ve resisted the urge to bring any of it home this time – they’ve had enough free work out of me. I have to be really selfish now and work on my own stuff whenever I have any free time. I’m working on it every evening, most of the weekend and every morning between working out and journeying to work. I’m tired, but it’s good tired. My shop inventory is steadily increasing (though I’ve yet to actually list it) and the ideas are flowing again. My brain is so overworked that it refuses to shut off when I try to sleep, so I lie there in the darkness making plans for my future and not worrying about feeling tired in the morning. I’m well on my way to finding the beginnings of happiness again.
I’m making a conscious effort not to think about my brother’s actual loss in daylight hours (since thinking about him is not going to bring him back) and mostly that approach is helping. I’m starting to let go of the more destructive and futile side of grieving. I’m starting to accept that I can’t change anything but myself. One day last week I almost felt like my old self again and it really scared me. To feel like my old self was what I’d longed for since my brother’s death, but I now know that I don’t want to be my old self ever again. I want to be a million times better than my old self. To that end I’m beginning to piece together what it is I want from life and take every step I can towards that goal. I’ve stopped procrastinating. Finally.
No matter my plans for the future, I’m also practicing being present in the here and now. I’m trying to enjoy the Summer (never my favourite season) but I’ve also got one eye on Autumn from a purely shop-orientated point of view. I’m going to be listing Christmas stock for the first time since I’ve been selling online (in various guises on various venues) and have to get it all listed by mid August at the very latest. There is now a stack of embroidery hoops with felt decorations at various stages of completion a box of finished work and a few surprises on the way too. I hope I can keep this forward momentum going because it feels so good to be building things up again instead of being so unwillingly deconstructed.
Lately I’ve just been keeping my head down and taking life as it comes. I’m trying to keep myself ultra-busy so my brain doesn’t have time to think about my brother. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but at least I’m getting a lot of work done, so it’s a victory of sorts. I’ve been frantically hand-sewing my way through that mountain of felt I had stocked up and I’m beginning to get some good ideas out of it. I’ve finished the packaging for the little fishes I made and just have to get them photographed, measured and listed. I’m also working on what may or may not turn out to be felt pictures, I’ll just have to wait and see how they work out. I’m also working on an ever growing collection of seasonal decorations, which I really must get listed in the shop.
As an antidote to all that sitting around on my bottom I’ve also gone a bit mad on the exercise front. Much to my delight (and relief), 2 weeks ago I just decided to take up running again and already the post-bereavement flabbiness is just about all gone. I’ve kept up with yoga and I’m seeing improvements every day. I go for a bike ride at least 3 times a week and between that and running 3 times a week all that fresh air and natural light is helping to lighten my mood a little. I feel dangerously like I still have a good future ahead of me somewhere! My emotions are still zig-zagging all over the place, but the lows aren’t as deep anymore or lasting as long as the highs. Improvements all round so yeah, life is almost good.