Time to look forward now I think…….?

Words, words, words ……..

As anybody who knows me, they know that I love words. I love to read them, I love to sing them and I love, love, love to talk, so much that I could literally talk ‘for Wales’ at any given opportunity. It was my job to speak, to pronounce, to repeat words and phrases until the class had learnt them, then we moved on to the next one. I gave presentations, I held assemblies and could keep going for what, I’m sure the pupils probably thought, was hours. So words and their sounds and meaning were what I did. The other day, I was chatting to someone about a man who had a really good looking girlfriend and they said how he was obviously ‘punchin’. Now being an ex teacher, I thought I was familiar with most terms but this was new to me. After she’d explained that it meant ‘punching above his weight’, I knew what she meant- he was lucky to have her, she was far too good for him, another word to use and love.

Tonight is Bonfire night, a night I used to love getting dressed up warm to take the kids to the local fireworks show, gasping and ooohing at all the colours, whizzes and bangs. I’m at home and I can see the whole of the town from up here, I can see the bonfires on the estate and the fireworks display at the castle. I’ve got my favourite music on and I’m here in the dark watching it all unfold in front of me, all from the warmth and safety of my kitchen. I flick through Facebook to see what the rest of the world is doing on this night. I see photos of my friends’ kids all wrapped up with sparklers in hand, my own children posting what they’re up to, my ex colleagues laughing at what they’d done today and I was reminded of another conversation with an ex student after I’d praised her after a school production where she’d performed fantastically and completely out of character. She said “God miss, I just went for it, YOLO innit”. (Of course I knew what that one was……doh). You only live once, another fabulous phrase that gave her the courage to get out there and just do it.

Everyone else seems to be doing something, something clever, something funny, something amazing, they’re all doing something. And that my friends, is my problem. What am I doing on this chilly Saturday night? Nothing…… I’ve watched the rugby on the tv, I’ve helped P make an apple cake and I’m about to start watching Strictly, nothing that would be worthy of posting anywhere, or that anyone anywhere would be interested in. My pain levels today are just too high for me to consider venturing out, just sitting has been a problem. I have an invitation to a old school friend’s 50th birthday party but can’t go, the place isn’t wheelchair accessible and I can’t face struggling on my crutches. On days like this, I can’t help but feel low, I’m no fun to be with and I hate the world. It’s all going on out there without me, this world I used to be a part of, it was all mine and now I feel like I’m locked away from it, watching it from behind my patio doors.

I’ve got to get myself back out there as these negative words are doing me no good whatsoever. After two years of hospitals, operations, injections, scans and medication, I need to find myself a new life and to some extent, forget the old one. I have to stop looking at ex colleagues posts as they show what’s happening at school and at end of term parties, it’s not my place anymore and looking back at it is just too painful. I disappeared from that world with a whimper not a bang, there were no cards from pupils or staff, no leaving party, no words in assembly to announce my leaving, I just slowly faded into the background where I’ve stayed. It tore my heart out to know that my career was at an end, all that hard work seemingly wasted and it has been the single most difficult thing I’ve ever faced. But I’ve got to pull myself back up now and find some new words or I’ll drown and those new words have got to be future, positive, focus and the hardest word yet, acceptance.

So what do I need?

1. A car of my own with a big enough boot to fit my chair AND a hoist so I can go out on my own
2. Friends with accessible houses with car boots big enough to store my wheelchair who are willing to come and get me and take me places. (That impossible combination should be easy eh…..!!)
3. To STOP going over and over everything from ‘before’! I’m driving myself crazy so I dread to think how crazy I’m driving P!!!

Ok, hardly a demanding set of words you’d think, so let’s start this week with a more positive mindset, a new Motability car of my own needs choosing and I’ve got such a long list of requirements for that task you wouldn’t believe!

Words can be so powerful but can also be our own worst enemy, my negative ‘inner voice’ just keeps on going and going in my head and I need to finally shut it up and drown it out. Just keep saying, I am lucky, I am loved, I am lucky, I am loved, I am lucky, I am loved….. (God, is it me or do I sound like some right old hippy weirdo……..!)