Another year older, but not wiser!

I should not complain, many people are denied the privilege. I got married on my 30th birthday so this year is my 52nd birthday and 22nd wedding anniversary, where does the time go to?  As well as being my birthday and wedding anniversary the date has become significant in other ways down the years. On my 35th birthday I found out I was pregnant with my daughter following IVF treatment.  This year my now 16-year-old daughter took her last GCSE and left school too so it was a busy and emotional day. Next year Father’s day is on my birthday, so another emotional one.

We were lucky with the weather and had a quick picnic in the park. Even with a birthday in June you can’t guarantee good weather (My 18th Birthday was very hot, but the day we got married was quite cool and windy and it rained so we didn’t get any outdoor photos). Later we went to an Abba themed meal and show, it was brilliant, but I am still recovering! It has made me really dizzy from the noise and totally worn out. The day was as much for Emily as me, which is why we chose the Abba event, she is such a fan. Abba formed in 1972 so I grew up with their music. My favourite song is Winner Takes it All, but it makes me cry! It’s a very powerful song. I once wrote a blog post relating it to ME! Emily knows all the songs off by heart, I only know the keywords. All the songs have great tunes and lyrics.

I have just seen there is an 80’s themed dinner show in September and a Christmas one, they are great , but hard work. There are some lunchtime performances too, but I always go to bed after lunch, so not much use for me. The evening ones keep me up way past my bedtime, oh dear I sound so old!! I am sure I am 52 not 92!

In the weeks leading up to my birthday/anniversary (and also Christmas/New Year) I find things very difficult as it marks the passing of another year where I feel I have made no progress and that life passes me by.  I feel I miss out and have missed out on so many experiences over the years and feel that I am running out of time. I haven’t been able to work since the year 2000, which is now a very long time ago.

Emily has just finished her GCSE’s and is try to work out what she wants to do next.  She has conditional places at colleges to do A levels, but can’t make a final choice until she gets her results. I feel like a bad role model and despite having two degrees to my name, most of the time I cannot understand anything she is doing.  I feel like I live in a different world to everyone else.  I am desperate to do some special activities with Emily once she leaves school as I feel I have missed out on so much of her growing up, but it is only possible now that she can push my wheelchair and communicate with people for me.  It is not much fun for her, and no 16-year-old thinks it is cool to be seen with their parents let alone one in a wheelchair and that cannot hold a proper conversation.  I do feel that having me as a parent has affected the way people view her.  At parents evenings I had to ask to see teachers in a side room rather than be in the noisy and overwhelming environment of the school hall.  School have been good in facilitating this, but it makes us stand out like a sore thumb, which is the last thing I want for me or Emily.  I just want to be able to fit in and be normal and the same for her.

I find not being able to work soul destroying, I am only 15 years off retirement age now and have no income or independence.  I do know many people who have worked hard and been able to retire in their 50’s, whilst I wonder and doubt if I will ever work again.  I don’t know how to accept that I will never work again and be at peace with it, it still feels so wrong.  I also have no idea what to do with myself as everything feels such hard work and my concentration and stamina let me down. I was told in my PIP feedback that as I do craft activities and do drive therefore I cannot have concentration and cognitive issues, try telling my body that!! It’s awful and takes all day to get so little done.

I enjoy craft activities and mainly make greeting cards.  I have a website, but they don’t really sell as I don’t have the time and energy to promote as well as make and I think cards are going out of fashion and other people making much higher standard and intricate designs.  I have a few friends who sometimes buy from me, but other than that I have to give them away! I spend more time looking for ideas than actually making things!  I always have a huge list of things I want to make and never get around to most of them.  I lose concentration very easily and make lots of mistakes so get very disillusioned.  I always want to be productive, but rarely get much made and feel bad as other people seem to produce loads.  I am currently taking part in an online craft market, but I have only sold one card, whilst other people have sold loads and I get really upset.  I can’t win really as I get upset if I can’t sell things, but then get in a panic if people want me to make things and worry about letting them down. 

I wonder what being 52 will bring?  In reality I don’t suppose much will change, life will plod along and I will plod along with it.  At our wedding we had the song “One more step along the world I go”, which many people may remember from school.  Ironically it was written in 1971, the year I was born.  Lyrics here for those who don’t know it  We do keep taking the steps,  “from the old things to the new” , travelling “through the good and bad” and finding “courage when the world is rough”.  I have done more than I think I have, but it all feels like just filling time, rather than doing anything worthwhile or meaningful.

And on that note I have to end as I am exhausted and need to rest. I have to be able to drive later as Emily is going back to the Gymnastic group she helps at and of course it is the one day that Rob is not around.

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