Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Thinking is so boring

For several years I've liked the image of the blue sky when thinking about the mind. Clouds come when they are ready and go when they are ready. No matter how many clouds are on the horizon, underneath is the blue sky. Blue sky, of course, is the still mind, the constant 'I am' that sits behind all emotional disturbances and turbulent thoughts of the mind.

Lately I have been enjoying the image of the water. No matter how many waves unsettle the water, underneath the water it is still.  To dive into the deep waters is to take a rest from the mind that wants to keep the ego always present.

To dive into the deep waters, into silence, is to stop for a time the incessant nature of the mind to think thoughts.

Without thought, stories running through the mind, there are so many gifts. The body calms as breathing deepens and slows.We have access to, for a few minutes at least, a higher form of ourselves.

Sharp noises soften. This has been my experience for the past several moments as a high-pitched drill can be heard close by.

The heart softens. Unconditional love can be felt, a connection to all beings, and self love too. There was a whisper of a settling thought that I noticed float across my mind. 'There, there, dear. You've woken unsettled. Just let the thoughts go. Thoughts are so boring.'

My mind becomes aware of what it hears. The drill has stopped. A plane is overhead. A bird sings.

Peace drapes over me like a black cloth.

The drill starts up again but it feels further away now. It is noisy outside illuminating the calm inside.

So lovely to know that with practice we have access to the still mind at a whim.

It could be said that a person seeks to reach a spiritual space. This implies a very long journey and a great deal of work with no guarantees. It is better I think, far more attainable, to simply settle into silence for a time. No need to call it meditation. Just give the mind a rest. That is all.

Close your eyes now. Breathe slowly and deeply. Let your body settle. Recognize that to not think is so delicious. In this moment, Now, there is nothing to fear and nothing to worry about.

Notice that in the peace, unconditional love makes an entrance. There is a sense of weightlessness. The heart opens. This happens very naturally in a still space. The ego realizes it has been relegated to the back seat. It sits quietly awaiting opportunities to take the driver's seat, that it knows will surely come later.

Restored, you can proceed with your day. With this little look into a peaceful mind, you will of course visit again, and again. The ego has a true competitor now.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Lessons of the past year

For many years, forever, there has been a fantasy running through my head; that there would be a man in my life who would instinctively and completely understand my need to fall under his wing in every way.

The roles in this fantasy have always been well defined and in order to hone down into that space the fantasies are often a little cruel, when in fact the role I play for him, and him for me, is anything but that; deeply loving, caring, sharing; adored and adoring. I think when we are young there is a sense of wide open space and infinite possibilities that allow for such a fantasy in a young girl's mind and for decades it refused to die. It not only survives, it thrives, even though I am in my sixties now.

It's no co-incidence that I took special note of the story of Jane Eyre as a child. Loving Mr Rochester and him loving her back was molded into the roles they played for one another. I remember feeling at great peace for Jane in the final scene, and deep peace within myself as she sat on the ground right by him, him on the seat patting her head (at least that is the way I remember the scene). It's romantic love that I attuned to even back then but also the themes of maturity versus youth, femininity versus masculinity, leader versus follower. Which is not to say that Jane didn't have a wisdom or an innate understanding of Mr Rochester that she brought to the table. I've always thought of Jane as instinctively attuned to Mr Rochester; his ways, his needs.

It's very hard to let go of such an enduring fantasy and for many years I tended to have a thought at the back of my mind -  if I can't have it all, then I'll do without. But, that thought broke down many times over as I came to see that I was attempting to annihilate out of my life my innate self. The kinky mind has been with me for longer than most of the people reading this has been alive. It's an enduring, soothing thought. It's an important part of my sexuality. It is my sexuality.

As a Caretaker type, meaning a person who can put others needs ahead of their own needs, self-care was a foreign thought.  I said recently to a small group of people - maybe 12 of us, a very safe small group - that it was only very recently, perhaps  the past twelve months or a little longer, that I have understood what self-love even meant. It's been a huge year of self discovery in that sense.

The most important lesson of the year has been that I can't wait for and shouldn't expect 'Mr Rochester' to save me; to tend to me; to lovingly dominate me. Wonderful when it comes along, but silly to wait; to pine for, to wish, to feel resentment and sorrow when there is that lack in my life.

It's a commitment to giving up the victim role, the persecutor role and the savior role. It's akin to saying 'It is what it is' and 'We are as we are'. It's looking at the situation and seeing if there is a new way to resolve the fact that we are in fact very different people; neither better or worse, good or bad; just people whose attention is drawn towards different areas of life. It's recognizing we are equals, with strengths and weaknesses, and seeing if we can accommodate that individuality within a more fun paradigm that includes both of us being fulfilled.

We are as we are, all of us, and there are measures I can take to soothe myself when his attention is steered in another direction; to feel whole; to connect in with my intrinsic self. It's not ideal; not really at all like the fantasy that has endured my whole life, but nonetheless it feels right to care for myself as best I can; to have no specific expectations. This leaves room, I anticipate, for experiences that will satisfy within certain scenarios.

Gratitude is so important in life and I have so much to be grateful for.  I think as we age we develop some wisdom about that. A new home, a new baby, a new dress are all wonderfully exciting things in life in the moment, but so too is a great cup of coffee, the moment when the rose blooms, a cool evening breeze after a hot day, the touch of lips meeting lips; the wagging tail of a dog. There are sweetnesses in life every day if we are attuned to them.

Someone I have come to know was having lunch with Ram Dass one day (what a fantasy that is!) many years ago when she said to him, 'Well, it looks like I won't be having children'. He more or less waved her off. 'Well, there's always something we want we don't get,' he said.  Or, words like that.

This stunned her a bit. It wasn't a small thing she wasn't getting, after all. And yet, she took the point. It's the human condition to have to suffer the loss, or never to have at all, that which we covet. Ask anyone and there will be something in this life desperately wanted but not got - a loving mother, the respect of a father, the admiration of a child, to be an actress or a painter, to work, to not work, to love, to be loved, to have a mentor, to be in print. We all have our thing.

I recently read a quote of Brene Brown. 'Joy, collected over time, fuels resilience.' Like a habit of mind, when we go in search for joy, we collect it in abundance, and this builds resilience for the disappointments and sorrows in life.

As this year comes to an end I feel proud of lessons learned: a willingness and ability to take care of myself, when and if I must; pockets full of joy; resilience; promise that tomorrow will take care of itself.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Altered states

He called me into his office in which there was a bed where he could do procedures. We talked  only a moment or two. We both knew what was going to happen, in general terms, and there was no need for elaboration. I never want to know the details. I certainly don't want to look. Perhaps he asked me if I had any questions. If he did, I must have said no.

He asked me to lie down on the bed. I relaxed as best I could. Thankfully, I was soon able to attune my senses to the jazz music that was now gently twinkling out from an unseen speaker. Clever man to distract me from my own mind! I had had this procedure done once some years ago by a woman with an indelicate sensibility and it had left scars on my mind such that I was very afraid. I had focused on my breathing all the way across town in the Christmas traffic, which helped, but didn't stop my nerves from being on edge.

Lying there on my back he put a blanket across my middle. It wasn't to keep me warm and nor was it to cover me. I was wearing a summer dress just to the knee in preparation of providing access to the area that required treatment. No, I think it was to hold me in a sense, the way when I have my legs up the wall at the end of a yoga class the teacher will put a folded blanket on my heels. Weight settles a person, holds them in place.

He was in control now. He adeptly took some sort of strap and tied it around my left thigh, tight. He then put one around the right thigh in exactly the same way. On reflection, it is perhaps remarkable that this steadied me. Heavens knows what I would feel, or say, or do in the hands of someone who I felt was incompetent but I happily handed over control to him, felt comfortable and in reliable hands.

This is what I think it must feel like to be controlled by a Dominant or Top who knows, or gives the impression that he knows, exactly what he is doing. It is a perfectly normal thing for me to do and to feel, to give that control of my body over to someone who emits confidence, that they know what they are doing.

At first, I barely felt the injections, not stingy at all. I felt them penetrate my skin definitely, but he was so gentle about it that I managed to relax, to the point of a false sense of security. As the needles filled with the solution went deeper I found that I had to either focus on the music such that I isolated an instrument, the trumpet usually, and focus specifically on each note played, or else I just followed my breath, noticing the deep inhalation and then the slow exhalation .

Only once did I emit a sort of grunt, just a tiny bit of noise, the smallest of complaints. Perhaps I was letting him know that I was close to the edge.

'Let me know if it stings,' he said.

I have a tendency, perhaps everyone has a tendency to try to predict the end of discomfort and there reached a point where I thought it might be over. Yet I noticed, even in the moment, that I wasn't invested in that ending. I wasn't preempting anything and I was correct not to do so. He had located somewhere else he wanted to inject and I was quietly pleased in fact that he wanted to be thorough. I knew he would decide when it was over and this was a settling thought.

When he had finished with an injected site he would pull a little on my skin, in the gentlest of ways, perhaps just as a Dominant or Top might apply pain, and then pleasure. I remember thinking that, or something like that. It wasn't a time for logical thought, just feelings.

When he was finished he undid the straps and then he wrapped my legs in bandages. Later that evening just before bed when I undid the bandages I found cotton balls with specks of blood attached with light tape, perhaps a dozen of them. I wondered when that had happened, when he smoothed over my skin after each injection or whether he had done it all at once at the end.

Silly, isn't it, that I was wide awake and yet I have no knowledge of that part of the procedure. But in times when someone has control over us, we go into another space. If there is a procedure being performed, or magic, a sadomasochistic experience, our chances of remembering everything are very low. We are in an altered state.

It's a quiet space, that space inside our heads when thoughts settle and sensations come to the fore; when we notice the beating of our hearts, the breeze on our skin, the delight of a string of notes of a musical instrument, or the sound of a voice steadying us.

For me, it will remain an eternally unanswered question; why on earth would somebody not want the experience of letting go.

Monday, December 4, 2017

This day

 I have less connection with the past. I don't see this as a bad thing. I sometimes have momentary glimpses of my former self, glimpses that come to me, seemingly out of nowhere. I'll remember wearing a bathing suit at a younger age, when the children were young, and how I felt in a particular moment. I'll remember being even younger in a bathing suit at a public pool and the feeling of being so incredibly hungry after a day of non-stop swimming. I'll remember biting into food  and thinking nothing ever tasted as good as that fabricated meat roll that they served at the kiosk.

I remember, just now, feeling that I was pregnant for the first time and going to the doctor in the early afternoon of a work day and being told, yes, I was indeed pregnant. I remember the surge of joy. I was 28 years old.

In some ways the connection between my younger self and my current self is my children. I remember a flight attendant asking me if I had children and I said that my eldest was eight. I remembering wondering at that moment where eight years of my life had gone.

When he was born it was the most wondrous thing that ever happened to me. In fact, he wasn't a beautiful baby for a few weeks, since he was delivered with forceps due to the emergency that ensued in the hospital. But, I'd sing to him and coo to him as if he was the most magnificent baby that there had ever been in the history of the world. My mother recognized immediately that he looked squashed but I saw no imperfection at all and she didn't let on for many months that I had been in a dream space.

Fast forward to today and he is getting close to 33 years old. It still stumps me, where time goes. It is so interesting that he doesn't seem to have caught on that I have aged with him. That's nice really, that he sees me as eternally young.

In a way, and an important way, I am neither young nor old. It is a part of the meditative practice, I suspect, and a lot of spiritual reading, that I connect more and more to that part of me that has no characteristic that can be defined by age, or a changing body, or even a changing mind. I can't always connect to that part of me that is love itself, unconditional love, but more and more, I can.

Perhaps another way to put it is that I feel closer to a world, a life, a state, that one might call Acceptance, the suchness of things.

Certainly, I associate less and less with my thoughts. They come and go, of course, but I'm more inclined to notice them, rather than feel that they are mine. 'Oh, that's interesting,' is a thought I have quite regularly as the thought enters and plays out before it finishes and is replaced with another thought.

The hardest part of the day, and it has been this way for a long time, is first thing in the morning. I realized something this morning, that I often forget that this difficult part of the day can relate to allergies, sneezing and stiffness that relates to the weather. Over and over I have to remind myself that hay fever and the like induces an  agitated feeling that is best medicated.

Yet, it is more than that, I think. My husband is a night owl and in order to have him get as much sleep as possible I'll put off preparing for the day, having a shower and dressing. This works against me. I have to keep reminding myself that it is best to get up and get ready for the day; create momentum. We've talked about that and he encourages me to day what I need to do.

I'm very aware that there are less days ahead than those that have gone. I've very aware that those who were my age now when I was young are gone to God. Time takes us all. I don't think of this as a troublesome thought but I had a thought earlier, and noticed it, that I want to see my grandchildren. I want to meet them. I am hungry to meet them.

This is a thought, a thought about the future, a fear. We all have our fears, not that they do us much good, unless it is for purposes like getting out of the way of a speeding car and that sort of thing. I'm troubling myself about the future which will most likely have no relevance to my fearful thought.

I think there are times of life when we struggle for awareness at all, such as when I was young, and times like now when I feel a strong need to absorb all the change that is going on inside of me. Meditation practice for children is probably an excellent idea, but it wasn't part of my childhood. I suspected there was more, more than I could see at the time, but maybe all young children suspect that in some way.

Now, for me, it's not unlike a pulling away of people at the end of their lives who develop a deeper understanding of this life. I'm not pulling away from life as I've seen people do who are ready for life to end but rather I'm so awed by life that I need time to simply observe it. To this end, I feel a bit alone. I can't talk to anyone about this, quite simply, no-one. Where would I even start?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Deep waters

The suchness of things is that anxiety has been my companion for a very long time. I'd fight against it in various ways. Mainly, I'd push through it. It compromised performance in situations like exams, for sure, but I still sat the exams, didn't allow it to topple me.

Once a mother, anxiety seemed almost a natural way of life. There was the children's health to consider, their happiness, doing things in the right way. Being an empathic person, I'd see the situation through their eyes. I didn't ever want them to feel that as their mother I'd fallen short, so I'd go the extra mile. I actually worried about whether the snack I sent to school was okay, or if the children were doing the right activities. I sweated all details.

One summer I registered my eldest son for a 5 day program in a sort of park. I think they called it the Indians program, or something like that. He wasn't happy about this, begrudgingly got out of the car, as 8 years old can do, making their mothers feel so guilty. When it was time to collect him they were doing some sort of pow wow gathering of the clan and I thought to myself, 'Oh wow, I think he was right, it's kind of cheesy.' But, the thing was he adored it and couldn't wait to get back there the next day, hurried me up so he wouldn't be late.

I say to them every so often, 'It's impossible I always got it right. If I did or said something that has damaged you please talk to me about it.' They've told me the odd thing, mainly laughing about it as they said it, but I think the report card is pretty good. They still write me the most amazing statements on birthday cards.

I'm not entirely sure how I made it through bringing up four children and being plagued with crippling anxiety, but I somehow did.

Nowadays, I've more time to myself, though there is still plenty of work to do and places to go. As time goes by I relish the days when I can be silent. I think there is peace to be found in silence. Silence gives the ego a rest and gets us in touch with the inner part of us that is peaceful; that part that is free of worldly identity and roles. Silent, I am just me, pure consciousness. I notice the whir of the fan, the air that moves in and out of my lungs, the light touch on the tips of my fingers as I create these words on the screen.

With a sense of acceptance now, with a stronger sense of the Now, I am much more able to access peace, which is for me a non anxious space.

I can make the excuse that we have had a ridiculously hot November which has probably slowed most of us down but the truth is that I have felt less inclined to run about and less inclined to do work of any kind than I ever have before.  The shirts to be ironed are mounting up!

Already I see I must get a 2018 diary to fill in all the appointments and plans being made, some of which I am very excited about. Yet, it's a commitment to noting time which doesn't suit me at all right now. Honestly, if I could escape to the mountains for months and stop counting time that would suit me very well. There is so much happening inside of me, I want to soak in it. i don't  want to have to note the day of the week or the time of the day.

On Sunday I had the good fortune to attend a silent day retreat. We walked in silence and sat in silence and sometimes we talked, not a lot of chatter but an opportunity to pose a thought to the group, one at a time. It was a nice taster, an aperitif, for a week long silent retreat I will do next year.

I noticed that on return to home it was a nightmare for my mind. There was dinner to prepare, and extra people to serve that had dropped in. Then, my son brought home a rowdy crowd. I simply had to escape to my bedroom and breathe slowly for 5 minutes. There was no transition from the retreat space to a loud home space and it felt to me like everyone was on steroids. We don't realize how loud it all is until we dive into the deep waters inside.

Perhaps it is no co-incidence that I got on very well with my maternal grandmother when quite a few other people found her inaccessible. After a very busy life both as a mother and a businesswoman she craved the life of the keeper of a lighthouse. I got that.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The present moment

For November, I don't think it is an overstatement to say that we are in a heat wave. Unless I had scheduled my surgery in February, I don't think I could have chosen a more inappropriate time to be wearing supportive panty hose.

I have a bit less than a week to go and it's an interesting study how one gets through testing times. First, one hears that surgery is advisable. I am quick to make the date. If something needs to be done, I don't put it off. I don't like hearing 'we could do it later' because then I have to think about it over and over again. So, booking in was easy.

Going to the hospital was no problem at all. For maybe two seconds when they put the oxygen mask over my head I felt some nerves. I took maybe three breaths and that's all I knew.

Underestimating how tired I was the next day I continued on with the events listed in my diary. I went to school in bandages and to town the following day, when I was allowed to take off my bandages and shower. One can't alter easily one's nail appointment. My nail technician is the best in town and there are dozens hungry to take one's spot.

The point is that I got through with incremental thinking. 'Not long before I can have a shower.' Only a few days more before I don't have to wear the stockings at night.' 'Only ten more days before I can take them off altogether.' 'Today I will wear the stay ups under a dress, that won't be so bad.' 'Today I will wear the toes in tights under exercise clothes and go walking.' I tried to find the positive in the day and kept the night close to my mind. Not enjoying the heat nor the stockings, I am having a love affair with the setting sun. As much as possible I stay in the present moment and deal with it.

In my younger years I made the mistake of saying in hard times, 'When will this end?' In this way, I held onto anxiety awaiting an outcome that sometimes never came. This created a great deal of unnecessary stress. Rather than bowing to reality, accepting it, I tensed up and held on, almost like holding one's breath when breath cannot be held for longer than several seconds. It's an exercise in stupidity to wait for a better day rather than enjoying the day one has right now. Better days may well be ahead of us but to delete the possibility of happiness today in the face of adversity is to miss an opportunity.

I can't put a date on it. I don't know how long I am talking here, but it feels recent that I have noticed a wonderful sense of ease within myself. If I had to put a date on it I would say that there was a drop into ease when I began to listen to the podcasts of Catherine Ingram who describes her 'living meditation' way of life. It resonated because it was my underlying goal. I just didn't have the right words to describe it, here or to myself, but she gave me permission almost to live in a way that I had always wanted to live.

In two days something will take place in our lives that will, or won't, make a huge difference. I am hopeful that it will take away a great of anxiety and that it will enable us to breathe a huge sigh of relief. I am hopeful that my husband gets the result he would love, but if it doesn't pan out quite like that, life will go on. I am not holding my breath. I do admit to the thought flashing into my head of the moment when the project is put to bed, but I also have the image flash through my mind that it might take a little bit longer. I have rehearsed that thought out loud with my husband and I think that has helped him too. Whichever way it goes we will go through it together. I am living moment to moment, at ease, thinking when I need to think but then returning to a non-thinking state, not unlike an animal, or perhaps an object.

I used to wonder exactly what people meant when they said that we are not human doers but human beings. I recognized the difference but I was still operating so much up there in my head, I hadn't reached an understanding of what it was to be a human being. Like my dear little dog, I take life as it comes these days, neither thinking about yesterday nor worrying about tomorrow. I live in the present moment. It's divine there.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Reality

In spite of the fact that going through hot days in tight support hosiery isn't remotely comfortable, I've been quite content. I don't go out in the big, wide world more than I have to, but I have enjoyed my days at home. I have tolerated my ghastly tight stockings. That's the best I can say about that. I hate them with a passion.

Oddly, I have had trouble sleeping beyond 6 am,which I think relates to some hay fever. Some days, I work away at tasks until I am tired enough to possibly nap and it was like this yesterday.

When I woke, refreshed, it was time to get ready for a 'Sound Healing' meditation that I had registered for. Just before I left I opened my husband's study to say goodbye and only had to look at him to understand he was upset. I asked him what was wrong and this opened the floodgates to his frustrations with other people; what mistakes they had made; their incompetence.

I listened for a few minutes, and made the executive decision to proffer some advice, rather than just listen and nod, as I mostly do. This was my frustration taking over from what I know to be a better practice: nodding agreement.

'Going over the history of the thing isn't going to do any good. Let's just solve the problem. They'll need to attend at both times. It is their mistake.' (Don't worry that the dialogue doesn't make sense without context. Just notice that I already said too much.).

Giving advice isn't really a good strategy. Maybe it is, but one only knows this later, when one realizes the advice was taken. In the moment, it tends to make for more commotion, more energy that has to also be put out.

I'm not too shabby at noticing my internal reactions now and what I noticed was that I was immediately quite shaken inside. It wasn't that a mistake had been made, something not at all out of the way when multiple people are involved in a project, but rather it had brought on verbiage instead of problem solving and action. It can baffle me and confuse me. It's not that my husband wouldn't attend to the issue, but rather that I had difficulty understanding, as I always do, that he needed to unload his frustration on me. This is me denying reality.

I reached a point where I said that I needed to go and I'd be back soon with dinner. I was disappointed to go off to the Meditation feeling discombobulated but I was proud of myself that it was minor to the way I might have felt in earlier times where I might have put off going at all at this point.

Certainly, the thought still comes, 'if only he weren't so emotional and wordy', but I didn't let it derail my enjoyment of the session in any way and I was proud of myself for that.

On return, he still needed to go over this matter with me; still needed to air his frustrations, but I accepted that, 'This is the way it is. This is the way it is. You have strategies in place to deal with this best. You don't need to be upset that he is upset. It will pass.' I talk to myself in this way, settling myself and accepting the reality of the situation.

I made the salad, cooked the salmon. The frustrations began to lose hold over his mood and he even showed me later in the evening some plans for another project of his that he was clearly pleased about. His delight in this progress was obvious. I was proud of him that he could 'let go' in this way, even if just for a short time. This is the way it is. The moods ebb and flow according to the vagaries of the outside world and an inside world that alerts him to all the possible things that could go wrong.

For many years, I struggled and struggled in how to be happy living with a person who was so emotional, so wordy, so prone to moods that seemed to change with the wind and yet so willing to take chances that made me feel most unsettled. Some days he'd go off moody only to have a perfectly high functioning day whilst I had trouble shifting my low mood from the exchange. This was a big learning curve, to snuff off the moods of others and see it for what it was; their problem, not mine.

I would talk to him, explaining as best I could that I felt that he was "dumping" his worries on me. But, it's not something he has ever understood. He is not complaining about me, but to me, he would say. What was wrong with that? Interestingly, he's not the only man that has said that to me, as if they look at me and see a willing place to park their worries; as if I have the strength and fortitude for that.

It's still not a perfect score but most of the time I am now able to deflect the worry he expresses to me, worry that could lift a moment later, worry that is quite likely only in his head. He talks his worries out loud and this seems to be how he processes his worrying mind. It is what it is.

Ideally, that is, if I had the sort of life that would be perfect for me, I'd be left to live in my little bubble of happiness, noting the beauty of the natural world, creating in the kitchen, in the garden, through expression of my personal self, and passing on my contentedness to other people.

My husband likes to make the argument that he provides for and protects me through his handling of worldly matters. It's a fair argument and I can't deny the logic of it. I don't have an ambitious bone in my body, for me. I won't get to my death bed and regret the absence of a career.

Apples rarely fall very far from the tree. A few days ago, I had the opportunity to have a discussion with my oldest son about how he sees his future. He is with a girl who he will most likely marry and they will, most likely have children, he told me. He seemed not entirely passionate about this likely outcome and I expressed that thought to him.

'Like I don't have enough people to be responsible for,' he said in his blunt way. I laughed. 'Is that the way it feels, darling? (He rose fast in his career and does already carry a lot of responsibility.) 'I'm happy to go to work and make the money, but I think she'll have to be a stay at home Mum. She can have a little business from home, but I don't want to come home at the end of the day and listen to all her career worries.'

I was smiling away. I didn't stop the flow.

'I had just come home one day last week when the phone rang and it was Mike (the boss). 'G'day', I said to him, "I just walked in the door.' 'Do you feel like walking out again?' he said to me. 'Well, he has kids,' I said, 'it was probably still bath and feeding time. He was projecting his life and feelings onto you.'

'Yeah!' he said, 'I realized at that exact moment that Dad used to sit in the car when he came home and listen to the radio. As a kid I noted that but now I know why.' 'Yes,' I said, 'he was avoiding all the hub bub of family life. It's what guys sometimes do. Why walk into all that chaos when you can listen to the radio in the car. Some guys at  Daddy's work in America stayed at work late for this very reason.'

We were both laughing.

It's no co-incidence that I was a stay at home Mum. It is what we both wanted and what worked for both of us. Everybody needs their time of peace. Nobody finds it easy to change. It is what it is. Those who recognize and accept this do best.