Sunday, 18 July 2010

The biological imperative

I spend a lot of time with pregnant women and mums with small kids. They are my friends and I am happy for them. I love meeting their small people.

A conversation with a newly pregnant friend last weekend has rather unexpectedly thrown me into a tail spin. The usual chat about how she was feeling and the like, turned into a reflection on her motivations. She is the person who told her husband a few years ago that she didn't want kids. A conversation with her GP about her age (35) and her fertility got her thinking, and she changed her mind reckoning that it was better to to go for it, have a child and unexpected adventure than always wonder 'what if....'

Being a women can be strange. Our hormones help us measure the months and years that pass. They play with our emotions. Tears can come over nothing, and it's only a day or two later it dawns on you that it was simply hormones that made you weep or shout. It can be simultaneously reassuring to know why you were upset and unsettling that invisible inner forces can have such a strong influence.

The tail spin has come because I suddenly realise how old I am. Of course I know. Of course I understand that my fertility is dwindling. But somehow, this one conversation brought it all into stark reality.

I sometimes think I want a family and sometimes think it's ok I don't really. I suspect I talk myself out of the idea because current circumstances suggest that it is unlikely to happen.

My body is screaming at me. Screaming at me to procreate before it is too late. Those pesky hormones and the biological imperative are begging me to pay attention. No matter what I want or don't, right now what I don't have is choice. Without a father, there will be no children.

My body screams at me every day and there is nothing I can do to silence it. I can only listen and wait.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

It is raining

Tonight I should write about my father's fall, his seizure, the four stitches in his head, swollen lip and the fear in his eyes as he tries to orientate himself. I should talk of calming him, whilst being so scared of losing another piece of my dad but it is raining. Properly raining. The kind of rain that part of me wants to go outside and dance circles in.

There has only been a little thunder and lightening.

It is the kind of rain that has inspired me to make cauliflower cheese and light candles in the absence of a fire. My flowers look starkly dry and lifeless in comparison. I buy myself flowers, cheap and wasteful, but that's a whole other story.

It is the kind of rain which bounces and thunders on the sides of old canvas tents whilst you huddle inside and tell tall tales.

It is rain that compels me to watch it. Sheets and ribbons of water. Unpredictable and beautiful.

I love weather. I love watching it from afar. Clouds coming in, mist descending, rain approaching.

Weather takes me back to so many places and moments that make up my life. From being snowed in in the remote Highland wilderness to the smell of soggy woollen school duffel coats and freshly washed summer pavements. Weather has inspired me, scared me and given me memories that are suddenly vital and present.

Tonight I am reminded of watching rain, whilst I am warm and dry, on a different sofa. I am reminded of Knoydart.

It is a remote peninsula only accessible by air, feet or boat. It is one of my favourites places in the world and hosts an extraordinary community.

I am lying on a sofa in my long johns in an otherwise empty bed & breakfast. The log stove is lit. Music plays, is there whisky and tea? I am reading and watching the winter rain make its way across the sea loch and hills outside.

I am lying on that sofa with Andy (the ex and Morocco companion of earlier tales). We are one at each end, legs entwined. Chat breaks through the staring and day dreaming.

It is the beginning. It a moment of promise, anticipation and connection despite the dreary, cold day.

I am transfixed by the weather and I am happy.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Normal service resumes

First of all, it's reassuring to know that people are interested enough in my ramblings to stop by. More importantly they're kind enough to take the trouble to let me know when things have gone awry!

A big thank you to Kim and Vextasy for flagging up my blog's technical issues which I managed to solve as much by accident than by design.....offers of help were greatly appreciated also,


Monday, 12 July 2010

End of the Line?

I think I'm going to give up on the Canadian.

I like him. He's good company, intelligent, attractive. But – the 'but' had to come – he's just a bit hopeless.

He seems to be more interested in his sport and blokes' outings than me. He should enjoy those things, but there needs to be a bit of room for me.

I love that he has a life and passions, even if I don't quite understand them. We live an hour apart and are both busy people and somewhere, in the midst of the chaos, effort and time have to be made to find out if this thing's got legs.

I need consistency and support, and I'm not getting either of those things. I have spoken with him about how we can find the time in amongst a busy summer schedule, without nagging, and it doesn't feel like he's trying. We have a wonderful time together, but little holds us together in the gaps.

There are very few people in the world that I've connected with at a deeper level, thought I could love for the long haul. Each time I've f**ked those situations up out of fear or not coping. I'm finally finding my feet and feeling properly on top of my life for the first time in years, despite windows of awfulness. I am open to a relationship that is healthy and balanced. I've really tried with this one to not rush in, or run away and it seems, for once, I'm not the one who's destroying an opportunity.
I am thoroughly pissed off because I feel like he is leading me on. He is, at best, being bad mannered. I trusted him, and he's being crap. I hate the thought that it might be over and I have to start all over again.

I haven't made a final decision and maybe I won't need to, it could just all fade away....

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Dementia Unit - Quiet Room

Sitting in her chair trying to pull her socks off, she cries 'Mum, Mum Mum, Mum - where are you? MUM!'

She is a grandmother, who knows not her own children. She only wants the comfort of her mother. She is lost and confused and angry and scared. A child in a wizened, elderly form. It is heart breaking.

Her 'house mate' my father, however, is silent.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Does anyone?

Sometimes I just want to cry and I don't know why.

Is it that I have an old university friend and his very happy, lovely fiancé staying and being excited about weddings. And, I am wondering if it will ever be me?

Is it because the Canadian is off and away for the first of three or four boys weekends away that I'm not part of and I'm wondering if there is space for me in his life, and if he's willing to make some room for me?

Is it because I've left my house guests for a couple of hours to go and see how my poorly mother is? Only then to watch her struggle to eat, struggle with pain, struggle with being sick before I sort her out and she sends me off before she then calls my sister for help and advice? Is my offering not enough?

Is it because the parent who I turned to when the chips were down doesn't know my name any more, and probably doesn't know I am his daughter?

Is it because amongst all of these things, I just want someone to come home to, someone to put my needs alongside theirs, someone to wrap me in their arms and tell me it will be ok? Can the Canadian do this?

Is it because amongst people I have known of old that I am reminded that they have found someone to hold their hand along the way and I am still trying?

Is it because amongst all these people in my life, I am still lonely? Perhaps.

Is it because I am just struggling along doing what I can, and wishing it wasn't so? Probably.

I miss my Dad and I miss my Grandpa. I miss the friends and lovers left behind through circumstance, unnecessary arguments and life changing tack. Does anyone miss me?