The Optimist

Barn’s burnt down, now I can see the moon.

It’s been a funny week – sad and a little surreal and it’s impacted on people I love very much.  One where you’re reminded how very fragile and very precious life is. I’d spent much of the days stomping around like a pissed off bear (ask my girls for verification, I’m sure they’ll come out from behind the sofa soon) but three phone calls from separate people, no connection to one another, telling me that you really and truly must make “every second count”, that this life is “not a dress rehearsal” and the things that keep me awake at night have been put neatly into perspective. You just can’t ignore this kind of thing, even if you’re displaying more animal than human-like tendencies, destroying all in your path.  I feel very chastened, I do know this stuff, I’ve never taken my good fortune to be here and in one piece for granted, so like a born again optimist I’ve decided to  1. drink gin and 2. re-frame and find positives in the stuff this week that’s annoyed me.  Like this:

That picture in the Daily Hate of Nicola Sturgeon and Teresa May, two globally powerful women at the top of their game, discussing issues that will change ALL OF OUR lives. And what were they judged on in that rag? Their legs. Their fucking legs.  OK. The positive? We are talking about it, we are discussing it, we are seeing how utterly ridiculous it is.  Keep talking, keep challenging, keep the dialogue going until we no longer have to. I wish we didn’t have to but we do.

Bracing myself as the week draws to an end and I’ll be waving my girls off – still getting used to this one, it’s tougher than I thought it would be. I struggled to find a positive here but instead of rattling around without them I’ll go away too.  Because I guess for the first time in my motherhood I have a lot of freedom, so I’ve said yes to a road trip and a gig. And it feels good, especially as I haven’t organised it.  And I can loan my cottage to my darling friend who could us some head space, hygge and peace right now, my little place is good for all three – well it is when there’s no kids there, and no me there too.

Going for a run in an old pair of lycra running tights that were missing the drawstring?  No positives for me but maybe some for anyone in my nearby town pissing themselves at me holding them up and running like there is something seriously, seriously wrong with me.

My best friend flooding my bathroom – really flooding my bathroom. “Sarah, DO NOT COME IN HERE!” Well, if you look at it another way my floor got a really, really good clean.  It didn’t need it but that’s cool. It was actually pretty funny.

Wearing my heart on my sleeve. Ah, I’m guilty of this always, not just this week, though even by my standards I’ve excelled myself this week.  This is a tricky one. I know that it’s seen as a weakness, a flaw.  But I don’t agree.  Protect yourself, don’t be vulnerable – or you’ll dream of foxes attacking and eating you, take it from me that’s one mo-fo of a dream, but please, just say what you feel.  Making breakfast this morning Elbow were on the radio, Mr Garvey imploring a (very, very lucky) woman to “fall in love with me, every single day” listening to the lyrics, this got me thinking.  If hearts were not on display, out there in the open in their raw state then we’d have no songs, no poetry, no books, no art, no stories – well no good ones that speak to us anyway. Life would be cold and unspeakably sad.  Ironically, for a woman who believes in baring the soul one of my favourite books is Kazuo Ishigaro’s Remains of the Day, about a man who does the very opposite, he hides his, and all his feelings, particularly for the woman he loves, who he wants to be with.  In line with the stuffy conventions that he lives in (he’s a butler) and for fear of rejection he buries his heart so deeply that the woman, believing that her affection is misguided and he doesn’t love her, gives up on him.  It’s a beautiful, frustrating book, but it’s so very sad.  I want/need a life where there’s love and emotion, where there are songs and stories that speak for you, when your own words fail.

Brexit. Nope sorry, nothing positive here.

There’s a beautiful silver crescent moon in the sky right now, a new moon.  Go out and look at it, tell someone you love them – you never know when you may not have that chance again, make your wishes, but count your blessings too, there are so many to count. I promise you.

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