If? What would Kipling write now?

13 Dec 2018
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Some time ago I was flattered, by Lex, I think, saying that I epitomised the 'If' in Kipling's poem.

In the 9 weeks since my husband's death I have written, to me, the 'stages' of grief. The last was 'I know where I'm going' illustrated by a long, straight, French road. Now, the Hindu god epitomises my current state. It looks as though I may be out of my 'cage' that of being a carer, and rooted to the spot from lack of money.

Now, my caring responsibilities are over, and it looks as though the unsold house, source of many of my problems, is finished with. So, why do I feel like a caged bird, who, although the door is open, is scared of getting out?

Age, naturally, is against many flights of fancy – Club Med off the coast of Malaya being dream world. But I find my mind has stopped exploring possibilities – and now, in retrospect, I wonder (not worry) that I may have presented a closed mind to the mass of advice I have received in the last 5 years.

No TV, lovely music and some good St Emilion wine have generated analysis of the advice, and a questioning if ANY of it was practical. It was not. To the adviser, it was SO simple. There was a large, historic house, in good order, lovely garden, famous tourist area, let it, long let or week-ends. Selling it was the urgent need, a long let would have caused legal problems, and hassle, besides; I'd nicked most of the furniture for the new house. Also – as I am sure many have found to their cost, a house which may seem a luxury family abode becomes a slum when you try to let it (or sell it on a market in the doldrums). It is quite likely you have to spend to bring it up to 'letting' standards. By the time you have paid taxes, income, local, and possibly VAT, plus the percentage demanded by Booking.com, Airb&b etc you are out of pocket.

Most of my life I have had to get up early: large family, farming, lots of animals, sick husband – no way do I want to get up and provide breakfast for PG's. And I CANNOT change big duvets, I'd have to pay somebody, who would have to be reliable, to do it. Anyway, door shut on that lot.

Travel ideas open – had some super trips with the Ramblers' association and the local diocese. But I have to get to point of departure. Stalemate. However, there is a system here 'blah-blah' cars. If I can be driven to the Gare du Nord I can get to Geneva, and thence to the Alps. So, as is necessary in modern parlance, to 'think outside the box' I am beginning to feel that getting out of the cage may not be so scary after all!

The Gardener

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Comments

Shaun

Dec. 13, 2018, 6:42 a.m.

Good morning from down the road, Toulouse. Travel is wonderful, but I suggest a short trip just to start. Sudden dislocation can be destabilising and leave you yearning for home as a reaction. Perhaps a short trip to see some lovely chateau gardens, even if it is winter!!!!!!!! Many thanks for all your blogs too. Shaun

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The Gardener

Dec. 13, 2018, 8:38 a.m.

Hello Shaun, love Toulouse. Went there first on fold-up bikes - got to Paris and threw a metaphorical dart at the departure board, hit Toulouse! Trip to UK Monday, then cities on future list.

Anne

Dec. 13, 2018, 7:22 a.m.

I really enjoyed your honesty in this beautifully written account of 'IF'. It is sometimes helpful to write things down isn't it. I enjoy writing too, sometimes, when I need to, or I decide I want to write eg something in the creative writing sphere. I went to classes for many years, in a Write Afresh group, and we met, had a tea or coffee, or water, with a biscuit, and had a little chat, if we wanted, and then for half an hour we wrote about the topic, without speaking on the whole. We all tried to write something on the paper, using a pen. Some of our writings have been published too. The topic was either chosen by our group leader, or we discussed amongst ourselves what the topic would be.

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The Gardener

Dec. 13, 2018, 8:39 a.m.

Thanks Anne, been on some super inspiring writing courses - good idea for my agenda - tried to get one going here, no takers. Chosen topics fascinating, and what people made of them.

Barbara

Dec. 13, 2018, 7:48 a.m.

Thanks for this. I don't understand the reference to the Hindu ***. Which *** is it and what are you trying to say?

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The Gardener

Dec. 13, 2018, 8:40 a.m.

Hello Barbara, slightly obscure, I admit. I think it is Shiva - analogy is that no way can you get any direction from all those arms!

The Gardener

Dec. 13, 2018, 9:37 a.m.

I have taken note from the picture - that I CANNOT do everything at once, as is my wont, introduce order and method into my life, do not let chaos reign (somebody tried to explain the 'chaos' theory, as obscure as the ***!

Orangeblossom

Dec. 13, 2018, 8:46 a.m.

Hi TG been thinking of you loads & wondering when you were travelling to the UK. As It is the 17th, that is the current Pope’s birthday. Hope that the weekend goes well for you & that you are able to feel that from this point your life is an adventure. A big hug is coming your way from me.

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Jul

Dec. 13, 2018, 9:06 a.m.

Good morning G. I think your lovely beautifully written blog possibly sums up how many of us feel about taking risks, venturing into the relatively unknown and getting out of a rut built up unwittingly over a number of years even though we haven't suffered the death of a loved one following years of caring for them. You are one brave female. You are going to feel very different after the memorial service in the UK. See what changes that brings and go onwards from there. Little by little. And last thing, cages are there for protection and are sometimes useful and in many cases essential for safety. The little door will be opened soon. Love Jul xx

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PeaceLoveRICHARD

Dec. 13, 2018, 7:18 p.m.

Jul writes in a measured style I can only dream of. I sit alone in a rock pub, happy as a sandboy. Of all people, a depressive, Winston Churchill springs to mind. "If you're going through ****, keep going" Good guy. Baby face. Black dog needed walking now and again. My black dog has a penchant for salted nuts... Peace & Love to all. Ooh. Whole lotta Rosie on jukebox...

Sally

Dec. 13, 2018, 8:17 p.m.

Echo PeaceLoveRichard’s words, Jul. You are right. And sometimes cages ARE there for protection, yes indeed! I can think of occasions when a huge shift happened, of its own accord, resulting in increased energy levels and motivation. It will happen, Gardener. Believe.

Jul

Dec. 14, 2018, 8:56 a.m.

Richard I love you! I love your laid back style which I wish I could express because deep down I am laid back. Trouble is, it just does not conform with what's expected of me. Maybe one day I will escape my cage too and will be sitting in a pub happy as a sandboy remembering kind your words. Peace and Love. Jul xx

Jul

Dec. 14, 2018, 8:59 a.m.

Thank you too Sally. Go well. Is your son home for Christmas or will you visit him? We are on our own, children doing their own thing this year! Jul xx

Valerie

Dec. 14, 2018, 12:16 p.m.

Can I join you and Richard down the pub? I'll start with Elvis on the jukebox,then as I become maudlin in my cups I'll move onto Leonard Cohen.***

Sally

Dec. 14, 2018, 3:06 p.m.

Thank you, Jul. Son will come home for 4-5 hours with luck. More not tolerated by him! So one of us will drive him back ( the one who hasn’t been drinking!) . It’s only 20 mins away, fortunately! He is insanely intolerant/ jealous / anxious around 21 month old granddaughter and she is now frightened of him. Great shame. Do you mind your children not being there with you , Jul? Have a happy time anyway.

Jul

Dec. 15, 2018, 9 a.m.

Hi Sally. How difficult the situation with your granddaughter. I guess your son has had so much attention focused on him, he can't cope emotionally with another family member who needs attention. I suppose on any other occasion, you can organise it so that the two aren't in the same room but not on Christmas day. I hope you manage to enjoy the day despite all this. Drinks are essential. Bon Courage. I am OK about my children doing their own thing. It's éasier for me. However I do have some issues with it but I need to tell you rather than write it here. No worries though. Love Jul xx

Another Sally

Dec. 13, 2018, 9:52 a.m.

Good morning G, I do hope your trip to the UK goes smoothly and that there is some relief when another 'thing to get through' is over and you can return to France with a new lightness. After the beginning of January you will, with luck, be getting longer, brighter days and can see the signs of Spring beginning in your garden. The drear days of winter can be so hard, so treat yourself gently dear Gardener. Best wishes for Christmas and the new year. Love, Another Sally xx

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The Gardener

Dec. 13, 2018, 10 a.m.

Thanks AS - the 'thing to be got through' is daunting in that I shall meet people I have not seen for 30 years - will be emotional, of course, in the church we were married in, on the day, 64 years ago. But the emotional support from the family, coming out here for the funeral, pride at comments from the French, and even more that they are organising the Memorial service at a hectic time for them all. All overwhelming. xx

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Lexi

Dec. 13, 2018, 12:14 p.m.

Lovely image and post TG. As Julie says, take it slowly. First the memorial service and then on to adventures. I hope your trip to the UK goes smoothly. And congrats on selling the old house. I think I missed that in a post. Onwards and upwards xo

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Molly

Dec. 13, 2018, 1:51 p.m.

Hi Gardener, I think you are doing brilliantly with your optimism for the future. I also hope the memorial service goes well and your travel is not disrupted. Thank you for your blog and picture. Love Molly xx

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Sally

Dec. 13, 2018, 8:23 p.m.

Just to add my good wishes for your travels to the UK, TG. I hope you gain great comfort from the Memorial service and ancillary events and reunions.

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Anne

Dec. 13, 2018, 9:41 p.m.

If I were an octopus Then life could be quite fun With 8 Arms I could grab my food And wolf it down in one.

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Molly

Dec. 14, 2018, 2:51 p.m.

:-) lol xx

Anne

Dec. 13, 2018, 9:42 p.m.

Inspired by the illustration above - we often need a picture to start off our thought processes. Anne

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DAVE

Dec. 13, 2018, 9:57 p.m.

TG You're just an inspiration. My thoughts are with you, putting one foot in front othe other,step by step, precept upon precept. Enjoy the 'NOW' TG you deserve it, your dedication and enthusiasm shines so bright, looking back is only useful in the positive sense, looking too far ahead is a mystery. Today is a GIFT, that's why they call it 'The Present'. *** bless Dave X

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Ach UK

Dec. 14, 2018, 5:36 a.m.

Dave, Sleep having deserted me a bit early this morning I turned on to Moodscope. Your lovely comment to TG . . . " Enjoy the NOW . . . . Today is a Gift, - that's why they call it The Present " has just lightened my thinking. Instead of the ruminating flat thoughts which have been makñg my sleep disturbed your comments made me smile and brought forth feelings of warmth and gratitude for the here and now. - Thank you. - Moodscope, a cat and a cuppa (decaf ) perfect buffer for insomnia. X Ach.brought

Ach UK

Dec. 14, 2018, 5:39 a.m.

' brought' -- predictive text Ignore please.

Valerie

Dec. 14, 2018, 12:13 p.m.

Hello Gardener,I will be thinking of you next week.You must get sick of being told how brave you are,but it is the truth.Your comments have made me pull my socks up more than once.It has always seemed to me that fate and sependipity have played a big part in your life.Something will occur to point you on the road to the next chapter.Much Love and big hugs,***

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The Gardener

Dec. 14, 2018, 2:07 p.m.

Thanks Valerie -Anne has given me a lovely target - writing groups/holidays. Finishing post in sight, sign 4.30, WHAT a long haul, I must admit this year has been dispiriting and stressful at the same time. I've carted endless rubbish, my shop is full of stuff to be dispersed further - thanks for all your encouragement. xx

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