Saturday, 10 October 2020

choosing where to look at...

Yesterday I had the good fortune of having drinks (at my place, staying safe... plus, I have an amazing recipe for G&T!) with a lady I have know for many many years but we had not been really in touch for a long time. Yet, some time ago, right after my mother died, I made a weird post on Fb and she immediately texted me to ask if everything was alright. None other did... I mean from the outer circle of Fb friends, my close friends knew. So, this gesture of hers really moved me and I invited her with great pleasure for drinks and a chat.

And as I had thought it would be, it was a very pleasant evening! We talked for hours, drinking G&Ts and nibbling (I’m Greek... drinking without eating something is frowned upon... at least for my generation, I don’t know what the youngsters do these day... god, I sound so old!) and we had so much to tell to one another! The hours passed without noticing, really! Like myself, she has been through a lot these past couple of years but she’s strong and calm and she’s learning to take care of herself and... well, I feel she’s going to be just fine! So, as I was telling her some of my “adventures” of the last year, she said to me “goodness... you went through that and you tell me about it with a smile!”... and then it hit me: of course!! Of course I’m telling the story of the sh*t I’ve been through with a smile! Because I’m still here to tell the story!! 

You see, we can choose where to look at but some times we are so tired from... well... life itself, that we forget we can. We can choose to look at the sh*t that has happened to us and let the memory of it put us down once again or we can choose to look at the fact we are still standing, we are still here and we have friendly ears that are willing to listen to our stories. And if we choose the latter, we do have every reason to smile! “Yes, friend, my life has been pretty much a wreck for quite some time but I’m still here and able to tell the story and you are here listening to my story so, yes, I’m smiling from ear to ear!” It is a choice. Make the choice to look at the (one?..) thing that puts a smile on your face, not the thing(s) that break your heart even remembering them. Now, isn’t that “better than shoes”?...

Saturday, 26 September 2020

knowing the size of your shadow

So, I have been watching this series on Netflix, “bloodline”, which is not half bad by the way, and it got me thinking...

It’s about this big, seemingly perfect, rich-ish family, which is deeply dysfunctional in a (literally) criminal way. And there’s this brother, the second oldest one, who’s supposedly the good boy, the reliable husband and father, the considerate and obedient son, the embodiment of trustworthiness and decency and honour and whatnot. And he takes upon him all the troubles his siblings face or create, all the worries and guilt of his mom, all the bad deeds of his dad, the responsibilities of his own family and job (and he works for the sheriff’s office) and basically the guy carries the weight of the world on his shoulders! Until...  nah, I’m not gonna give you any spoilers!

I kinda identify with that behaviour... I used to carry the weight of the world... I used to be the one grabbing every responsibility would come my way, no matter whose it really was, and make it my own... I used to think that all the problems of my dysfunctional family were mine to solve... and I suffered for years from this behaviour! Because, evidently, I could neither control nor solve everything! And as I was watching the hero in the series doing the same thing, I realised why he does it (and I guess why I did it too...): he does it because he thinks he casts a shadow much bigger than he actually does! And that all the mishaps of his family are within this huge shadow that he casts and therefore his to bear! He thinks that everyone else is in his shadow! And therefore he must help/protect/untangle them even though they are all fully grown adults! And they act pretty stupidly, might I add!

Well... I don’t do this anymore. I stopped some years back. I guess therapy has helped. Maybe the hero of the series would benefit from it too... Now I know exactly how big a shadow I cast and I can tell you that it is as small as if I’m standing right underneath the sun at midday! No one else exists within my shadow! Yes! Realising my insignificance has freed me from the burdens I was carrying most of my life! I’m not that important! I’m not a giant! I’m tiny! I’m an ant! I’m not responsible for everyone... in fact I’m only responsible for me (and Lucifer, as of late). So, I guess knowing the size of our shadow is important, “better than shoes” even, since it is perhaps the only way we can stop thinking others are within our shadow and stop carrying everyone else’s problems... me thinks...

Sunday, 20 September 2020

a weekend with friends

 I’ve had a marvellous long weekend! A “better than shoes” weekend! A weekend with friends!

No, obviously I did not travel, my traveling days are long gone and I don’t even know when I will get back on a plane and out of here... like most of us, I stay put, I stay safe and I protect my fellow humans any way I can during these unprecedented times. But, I decided mid-week to take Friday off, just because I needed a break and the weather was going to be nice and... well, because thank goodness I could! I slept till late and did nothing except going to the supermarket around noon, then had lunch and took a nap and then I ordered some sushi (ok... lots of sushi!) and my darling friends S and K came over for dinner and G&Ts. It was lovely! I enjoyed as always our conversation, how relaxed I’m with them because, really, they are family! Lucifer loves his “uncles” and he’s very sociable and he did not even jump on the table! That well behaved! So, all in all, a great Friday! 

Then I had a “sweatpants’ day” on Saturday, did some laundry and watched Netflix (“Ratched”, very good by the way) with Lucifer, which is always a good plan for the weekend. And with awesome company, too! Luci was a true angel all day! 

And today my dear friend E came over for a proper Sunday lunch, something I hadn’t done in a very long time! I had not seen her in ages and she had not yet met Lucifer and we had so much to talk about! Which we did while eating chicken stew with rice cooked in the sauce (it turned out delicious, I was really proud of myself... plus, there are leftovers 😉). And then we had our coffee and tea and played with Lucifer! Wonderful! A sunny Sunday afternoon with a good friend, a long chat and once again a relaxed atmosphere! And now I’m chilling on the sofa, writing this, while my darling cat is taking a nap by my side. Sweeeeeet! 

So, overall, as I said, a marvellous weekend with friends, at home, safe but also so enjoyable! It is possible! I know that we are all exhausted from the social distancing and the restrictions and the fear and the isolation but we have to keep trying, we must protect the most fragile ones amongst us and, at the same time, we must “feed” our souls with some pleasant moments so that we recharge our batteries and can keep going for as long as we must. Let’s hope not for long, of course...