Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Catch up

This past year has been one of firsts and I’m quite overawed in a way that I’m now where I am, 18 months after making a life change it took me so long to find the courage to make.

Almost 22 months – I have just worked it out.

My old life seems so long ago, yet it feels like just five minutes since I moved back to the North East.

We are now pretty settled here. It took Dot longer than it took me, but she is getting there. In the last few months she has been happier. She is doing wonderfully well at school, working really hard and I’m proud of her. She has made friends at school, but is also happy in her own company – something many grownups can’t achieve. She is a complete You Tube fan (I don’t get it, it’s a teenage thing) and idolises You Tubers in the same way I did David Soul, or Leif Garrett.

I found a good job as a copywriter and for the first time in many years I’m in charge of paying rent, household bills, doing the shopping and the gardening (worse luck). I’m still freelancing a little, too.

We now have three dogs and two cats – when we arrived we had Rosie Raditt kitty only. She is now nearly 20 years old and shows no sign of being ready to leave us yet.

About those firsts. Some are perhaps silly, some are more important, but all are mine. I have put air in my car tyres, had to deal with a flat tyre/AA emergency, taken my car to several garages for repairs, sorted a leaking shower, cut the grass in both the front and back gardens, entered a poetry competition and overcome my fear of white sauce.

Ever since we made soup in cookery at school from a roux and mine tasted of raw flour, I have avoided making any kind of roux-based sauce. That is more than 30 years of conscious avoidance.

Then Dot asked for macaroni cheese. I did it. It was one of my most satisfying firsts and it was bloody lovely. Not raw at all, but creamy, no lumps and very, very cheesy.

So what had I been so hung up about?

Fear is a limiting emotion. It sounds silly, but it was the fear of making a roux that kept it off the menu for more than a quarter of a century. It was the fear of change that stopped me from moving on for so long.

The amount of time I wasted, I could kick myself now.

I never saw my life turning out like this, would never have dreamed it would do, but it has.

Sometimes I miss my old life, friends down south, the place I used to live – only to be expected after so many years there and I understand that. However, I’m happier now, I’m content and I’m proud of myself for finding the strength to change my lot, rather than just sit and moan about it.

Here’s to many more first in the coming months and years – and to having the strength and purpose to deal with them.

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