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Songs from the seagulls. Tuesday July 19, 2016

I've been incredibly low. Inexplicably. Well, ok, I think I know why. I thoroughly burnt myself out over the last couple of months and I'm now left with shards of me. This time has felt harder than others and I don't understand why. After all I have been here before. And before that. And again, before that.

I have refused to give in. I ache to give in. I don't have the opportunity to give in and that is my saviour. Today, at the beach with my children, it was empty, drizzly, but with a warm wind. The rain subsided and on the walk back I watched my youngest daughter. She is on the brink of changing into an adult but really still a child. Often swamped with inadequacy of appearance, and the pressure of conformity amongst her peers and today carefree in wellies with wild spirit hair.

It was just enough to be a reminder to me to stick to simple things. Not to over complicate. Not to be more than me. The lesson was that the best part is when life is allowed to bleed out like watercolour paint on paper. Not to harness and control and measure but to become pliable.

We leave our 3 day beach break tomorrow and I hope to take this with me.

Love from
The room above the garage.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Max Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 6:48am

Nice one. Appreciate the little things.

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 12:30pm

Hello Max, thanks for the words, love ratg x.

Belinda Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 6:53am

Hi RATG, what a lovely picture you convey with your writing, although I can feel your low mood.

I too, have felt low from burnout. I have had to give up my parents' home and packing all their items that I had to let go was hard. Some are now in a storage facility. Yet to be gone through, but not enough room in my house.
I have travelled up 3 times when I would normally have gone twice. I am just plain tired & can't just sleep it off. The negative feelings I have been overcoming are back again, though I know it is the cumulative tiredness.

Your writing was like an impressionistic painting, to me. Thank you for the message to be simple, and to take me out of myself for a moment. I think I tend to control; certainly I am attempting to control negative feelings. How can I become pliable? My feelings are certainly bleeding out.

Bless you RATG. Belinda

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 12:34pm

Helo Belinda, thanks for your words, so gentle. Pliable for me means to soften and stop being so rigid in my attempts. I need routine but can turn in sergeant major trying to squeeze in more and more. The clock is like a death nail to me, always chasing me. Being pliable means turning the clocks away and letting things happen when they happen. Good to see you, love ratg x.

Lou Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 6:57am

"stick to simple things"

Excellent and very timely advice. Thank you RATG.

Sending healing hugs your way.

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 12:34pm

You're a love Lou, good to see you, love ratg x.

Lou Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 4:44pm

Thanks RATG! Have had a BIG life change so I've been reading the blog but not always had chance to comment. Be gentle with yourself! Lou x

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 10:32pm

Is this a good life change? I hope so! X

Lou Wed, Jul 20th 2016 @ 5:59am

Thank you:) and it mostly is!

LillyPet Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 8:01am

Hi ratg, the simplicity and beauty of your blog conveys your message wonderfully. Like Belinda, I loved the depiction of your daughter, beautiful imperfections.
I'm wondering whether you are still in that low. It was so good to see your determination.
The timing of your blog is perfect for me. I have a busy few days ahead and things are far from perfect, but rather than getting caught up in the anxiety, I'll potter through the stuff and keep it simple in my mind.
Big hugs and love Pxx
Hottest day of the year in London, chilled and simple vibes to all! LPxxx

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 12:37pm

You're doing well with it LP, planning in advance that you will keep it simple is a great strength. I need to re-adopt that. I am still that low...can't shake it at all. Have already ignored the door twice as I can't bear to answer and have cried in the cupboard so kids don't see. They know I'm low and I don't need to worry them any more than they are already. It'll pick up. Have had a lot of disrupted sleep which is possibly the main culprit for the low. Thanks for being here, love ratg x.

LillyPet Wed, Jul 20th 2016 @ 8:16am

For sure, lack of sleep is a big factor in feeling low and tearful. I read your comment to someone that lack of sleep feels a bit unavoidable for you at the moment. My son recommended an app called Calm. Don't know if it's your thing, but if I need to, I put it on softly so that I can only just hear it and I'm off! There's nothing special about it, any quiet voice would probably do the trick! I love the smell of eucalyptus too so that near my pillow has also helped in the past. You're a sweetheart crying in the cupboard to protect you little ones. When you manage to get a good run of early nights, see if it makes a difference. Am away on holiday for a couple of weeks soon, so take care of you self and am looking forward to hearing if our sleep theory makes a difference. Big hug, love P xx

the room above the garage Wed, Jul 20th 2016 @ 11:39pm

Googling it now! Although, i have no problem getting to sleep...I just need to be in bed about 9pm to have any remote chance of feeling one step up from 'EXHAUSTED'. But that time is not practical or realistic xx.

LillyPet Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 8:07am

Ps your title reminded me that I had my ice cream snatched by a seagull on Brighton beach after a uni visit with my daughter the other week! Yep the song from that seagull was clear! :))

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 12:38pm

Ah, memories, they are the stuff healing is made of I think!! xx

S Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 8:20am

Thank you RATG, what a lovely reminder. I understand that ache to give in- I have it this morning. Your reminder to keep things simple is helpful- one foot in front of the other. Sx

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 12:41pm

Thank you S, one foot in front of the other - I think I needed to see that written down. Thank you, love ratg x.

Jul Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 8:28am

Hello ratg. 2016 has been a strange and so far an eventful year for me on a personal level but also in the political world plus the deaths of much loved stars earlier in the year. I think we said previously that there must be something in the air for many of us to feel out of sorts and not understanding why. I do love your analogy of the water colour paint. When I'm really bad with little energy that's exactly how I feel. I let it all flow as I have no means of controlling what happens to me. It can't be harnessed.I don't know when you wrote your blog but I hope you benefited from your three day beach break. I have pictures of my daughter with wild hair on the Scottish beaches and in fact the one I love most is of her and me on a beach near Arbroath. Love Jul xx

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 12:40pm

Hello Jul, good to see you. I wrote it just a few days ago...yet to lift up. I'm still doing the laundry from the break :-) I love your story of your daughter in Arbroath, wild and woolly :-) Love ratg x.

Milliecat Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 8:49am

Hi there
thank you so much for this wee blog. such meaningful images - wellies and wild hair. Yes beaches are the best for stilling the mind and then getting a good message. I am sure you have benefitted from your 3 day break. that is just long enough for a holiday i always think. Thank you again M

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 12:41pm

Thank you Milliecat, love ratg x.

Tutti Frutti Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 9:46am

Great blog. I hope you can hang on to that lesson about appreciating the simple things and that it will get you out the other side of what you are going through at the moment. And I am sure I need to remember that too.

I empathised with loads of what you said, the burnout, the 3 previous occasions, the teenage daughter but most of all the sea. I love the sea so much that I ended up just sitting thinking about your title for a few minutes before even reading the blog. I used to go to Wales a lot as a kid growing up in the Midlands and have often been to the beach (and usually loved it) in drizzle or worse. My father referred to drizzle as "bracing sea air". But I would never have had the wellies as I love the feel of the sand and paddling too much.

I also started thinking about a photo of my daughter and I at West Wittering just before she started school. It wasn't really beach weather, blowing a gale and pretty chilly. I am in a plastic mac, rolled up trousers and bare feet but my daughter insisted on wearing a little pink party dress! Both of us have hair blowing horizontal! Anyway we went paddling while my husband looked at us as I'd we were mad and it was great.

Must get to the sea again soon.

Love to all
TF x

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 12:42pm

I'm laughing at your daughter wearing her dress...why not! And a memory is made. I love the stories of beaches coming out today, it has lifted me, love ratg x.

Tutti Frutti Wed, Jul 20th 2016 @ 5:34pm

RATG I am glad some of the responses picked you up a bit but sorry to hear that you are still feeling so down. So just writing to send more hugs really. And also remember to be proud of what you have achieved for so many others of us even during a low patch by writing this blog. I can't conceive of having the imagination to even be able to start writing a blog from scratch even when I am feeling well let alone when feeling awful. Love TF xoxo

the room above the garage Wed, Jul 20th 2016 @ 11:36pm

You're so kind, popping in here with an extra hug, MUCH appreciated! Xx

the room above the garage Wed, Jul 20th 2016 @ 11:36pm

You're so kind, popping in here with an extra hug, MUCH appreciated! Xx

Anonymous Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 9:46am

I hope you do too, tRAtG. Go well.

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 12:43pm

Thank you, and you, love ratg x.

Lex Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 11:00am

Beautiful, Ratg, simply beautiful. x

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 12:43pm

Thank you boyo, love ratg x.

Leah Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 11:22am

your blog today is what I have come to expect from you whimsical and poignant.
I am sad that you are feeling so low and have been for a while because your blogs always bring a smile to my face. I don't smile that often.
I can relate too much of your blog. hugs from Down Underxx
Are the words Scottish Beach an oxymoron? just friendly teasing!!

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 12:45pm

Whimsical and poignant is a lovely description. But I so wish I was more vibrant and uplifting. I'm laughing at the oxymoron LOL! We have a joke here (hello HO!) that goes along the lines of... I don't know why we complain about the weather in Scotland. Our Summer is magnificent. This year it was a Wednesday. Love ratg x.

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 4:16pm

Ha! We used to say something similar in North Wales!!! Horizontal rain never stopped us once we were at the beach!! After traipsing five of us down there my Mum wasn't going to give up!! We'd carry on swimming too...once you're wet through it doesn't matter if it rains!! And the rain was usually warmer than the sea! Love Bear x

Hopeful One Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 7:55pm

Darling RATG- lovely blog. They say 'manners maketh man ' , I say 'memories maketh man ' for I have seen what happens when we lose them . Sorry to hear you are in a bad place at the moment- remember it never lasts If one simply accepts it as that's how it is for now. Just for you. This bugler went to this big house belonging to the Minister on a hill . Before he had even taken two steps, he heard a voice say "Jesus is watching you and so am I" The burglar turned around and saw a parrot in a cage "Oh it's just a stupid bird" he said .he took a couple more steps,and heard the parrot say "Jesus is watching you and so am I" "Shut up you stupid bird" he said again . As he continued he was about level with the dinning table when he heard the parrot say "Jesus is watching you and so am I" Before he could turn to say shut up he heard a low growl come from under the table and a huge pit bull came out and the parrot said "Sic um Jesus"

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 10:36pm

Loving the sound of your mum Bear :-) and another great memory, thank you, I'm loving hearing everyone's trips back... Love ratg X.

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 10:38pm

HO that is class! I will accept it. Hate it. But accept it. Thank you my friend for your caring words, love ratg X.

Freya Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 1:48pm

Beautifully written poignant blog. I think some of us just seem to have fewer layers of defences and feel things more strongly, both good and bad, and are more affected by external things. But the beach is always a good place to be - freedom! xx

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 10:40pm

Freya, I think this too. A few bad things, which are not that bad, can become huge and heavy. Distorted. Thank you, I'm going to give that some thought, love ratg X.

The Gardener Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 1:50pm

Oh Belinda, clearing up, so sad to do. My pa, bi-polar and falling out with everybody had very few possessions at his death. When I went through his papers I found he had kept all my school reports and music certificates. Dumbfounded - seemed never to have cared much for me or my family. We have 38 degrees, and for those who are OBE (not a decoration, over bloody 80) energy is lacking, though important things to do. Hot spell came so quickly the alert has not yet gone out to watch out for old people. Hope someone turns up with mineral water (I must classify?) or, preferably champagne. On the blog - so evocative. We have guided tours across the bay of the Mt St Michel (very treacherous). One night the guide kept us up to our knees in freezing water to listen to the seagulls, who rest on the sand-banks. All I could hear was raucous quarreling. But the sound of the waves coming in is lovely, even better over stones. This morning I stood in the warmth of my kitchen doorway, drinking tea, looking at the church, pre 8a.m and listened to the swifts. They scream round the roof-tops in groups. Their noise caused them to be called 'devil-birds'. The hairdressers opposite, which has no opening windows has its A/C going at full blast, can hear it right down the street

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 10:42pm

Hello beautiful, I'm laughing at the thought of checking on the oldies to be sure they keep hydrated and filling them with champagne...perfect!!! :-D love ratg X.

Lexi Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 2:43pm

Morning from across the pond RATG! I always love to see your name. What a beautiful post. My daughter and I are getting ready for our 3 days of beach. I have been stressing about it only because my extended family will be there too and it can be so chaotic and draining. Your blog has reminded me that it's my vacation too, and to steal away time just with my daughter and myself, to walk the beach, pick up shells, go for a bike ride, not worry about what others think or if I'm doing the "right thing." I too am learning how to let go. And I find that after too much I do need that day (or two) when I don't answer the door, or the phone, or even go outside. Perhaps another day alone with your comfortable bed and some yummy foods might be what you need. xo Lexi

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 4:19pm

Hi Lexi, I really hope you manage time out, from the extended family whist you're on your holibobs! I bet when you and your daughter make time for each other and just go off, others will wish they were doing the shouldn't have to be at everyone's whim or beck and call. Have a fab few days doing what you want to - on your holiday! Bear hugs x x x

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 10:43pm

Ditto little Bear! Enjoy, and I hope you feel free. Love ratg X.

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 4:28pm

Hi RATG....beau as you can see your lovely blog has triggered fun and fond memories :)
I suppose I need a little control so that I can give myself time to just be or to do the simplest of tasks to feel I have accomplished something and then to rest.
Hoping the washing, ironing etc doesn't feel too huge a task and just brings back beachy memories!
Have to go now and slide off my settee before I melt into it...I am an oil-slick-Bear!
Big Bear hugs...xxxxx

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 10:45pm

An oil slick :-) I feel a coconut milk and honey ice lolly coming ratg X.

Skyblue Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 4:35pm

Your comment to Leah wishing your blogs were more 'vibrant and uplifting'.... Ah ratg, many of your blogs have been just that, and many have been like today's blog: soulful, deeply satisfyingly soulful. And you've made me realize how I long for the sea and for the message it always has. As for feeling inexplicably lower than usual this time around, don't you think it may be the state of the world and how it weighs heavily on each of us? It really is 'too much with us' these days. Have fun with the laundry; I find it really therapeutic getting things back to domestic order after a trip. Thanks so much. xx

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 10:48pm

Order definitely makes my head feel better! I can't seem to get any free time to bring about the order I need, that's the frustrating thing. Your words are so lovely to read, thank you much, love ratg X.

A View from the Far Side Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 7:45pm

I echo all the others comments, a very evocative and beautiful blog. It's interesting that others are feeling unsettled too. I wonder whether it's due to a lack of sleep as I wake up so much earlier these days - often only averaging 5 or 6 hours. I love the early mornings, but I hate that I feel so ratty a lot of the time. Or maybe that's just my true character ;-).

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 10:53pm

Hello, I read that it's more important to sleep early and that waking early isn't a bad thing. The nervous system replenishes between 10pm and 2am I if you can get to bed at a good time, I don't think your early start is a problem. I could be asleep by 9pm and health comes on in leaps...but it's just not happening just now. Not least because my kids are now older! I'm familiar with feeling ratty, that's me. Thank you for your kind words, love ratg X.

Maria Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 8:27pm

It seems to me that when I tend to get "high", my husband tends to kill that.

the room above the garage Tue, Jul 19th 2016 @ 10:55pm

Hello Maria, how does he do that? It doesn't sound like that supports you... Love ratg X.

Tutti Frutti Wed, Jul 20th 2016 @ 6:01pm

Maria If you are talking about a bipolar high then I think my husband reacts in very much the same way. I think it is because my illness frightens him. I wander if it could be the same for your husband? I tend to find that he orders me about eg "lie on that sofa and listen to classic FM and don't do anything else until I get back" and refuses to tell me stuff like how long he is going to be because "I don't need to know". (I admit that I could have my facts a bit screwed up here as, almost by definition, I am a bit out of touch with reality at the time. The questions i ask are also probably not very clearly phrased and may be repeated several times/ too fast to be comprehensible.) But frankly when I am high I tend to find it's a relief to get away from my husband and into hospital. Another thing I find really frustrating are the rare occasions on which my family decide that I must be high when I am not and say i must be ill when i do something fairly normal like rant about the telephone company failing to fix my phone line etc. I am not sure if either or both of these is what you are referring to but hope that some sympathy (and perhaps feeling your pain) on this one is of help. Love TF x

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