Thursday, 29 March 2012

Don’t Stop Me Now!

Well three weeks ago I was moaning about time going by so slowly but then wow(!) I felt  like a car engine that has been turned on but instead of spluttering into life zoomed away at 100 miles an hour!!  Now at last I am slowing down a bit although still have lots to do.  It’s almost as if I have suddenly been given a new lease of life and I am now waking up with a smile on my face looking forward to the days ahead rather than at the recent past and letting go of the stress and drama that has gone with it.

And why is this, well at last I have got myself a council property - just in time and right on the deadline!  The council gave me three months to find somewhere to live after the eviction notice negotiating with my landlord that I could live in his house as temporary accommodation during this period.  I rose up the council list very very slowly and thought I wouldn’t be able to find a place in time.  The deadline was the 12th of March, and I saw the property on the 9th of March – that was cutting it fine!  If I hadn’t had found somewhere the council would have chosen somewhere themselves for us to live sight unseen or put us in bed and breakfast in Ipswich (a town quite a distance from here.  To be fair the landlord would have been quite happy for me to stay longer in his house if necessary.  It’s not exactly what I was holding out for, a two bedroomed house with a garden, but a first floor two bedroomed flat which is spacious, light and well decorated with a brand new kitchen and a balcony where the sunlight just streams through as south facing in a reasonable location.  It’s just right for my son and me. 
The council however only gave me a weeks’ notice to move and for the tenancy to start.  Where was I to begin, I had so much to organise to sort out a move within a week  and really looking back I find it unbelievable that I managed to do it at all, and only on one leg as well!   My son and I started working through the house begging for empty boxes from local shops and packing as we went along.  Troops were mustered in to help, clearing the cellar, and the loft packing and transporting bits and pieces during the week (as managed to get keys as soon as signed contract) – many thanks to Source for all their help.  A member of the family with a van (with me just paying petrol money) other family and members of Source and friends helped out with the last bits of packing and transporting furniture and other boxes.  Gosh it was a whirlwind of a week with all the telephone calls I had to make as well let alone the moving day itself.  My son was at the flat directing where furniture and boxes were to go and I directed at the house providing bacon butties and cups of tea – luckily we were not moving too far away.   With strict instructions from the landlord to leave as little rubbish as possible, and ensuring the house was clean and tidy, I spent the rest of the move day and the Sunday cleaning and tidying up.  The house really echoed when we left – this house that had been my refuge when I really needed it but also a source of stress and family strife and although I was very glad to go it was emotional knowing that this house had seen me through divorce, depression and cancer but which also had enabled me to make valuable new friends and contacts within its community.   

Exhaustion still taking its toll after the cancer treatment, and my broken ankle (I am still a little fragile)  it took me a few days to get over the move but in fact it really went very smoothly thanks to all the help I had.  There will boxes of chocolates and thank you cards on their way to everyone who helped soon – I promise!
Since moving in I have had a washing machine plumbed in (thanks to my Aunt who found the washing machine at a very reasonable price), had housewarming presents of mugs, glasses, cutlery etc and some funds to buy a new double bed.  I have also had visits and lifts from friends and family to shops to research and get bits of pieces (you should have seen me whizzing around Tesco’s on their mobility scooter!).  My new neighbour found a second hand cooker for me from which transaction I have now made new friend. 

So it’s all coming together although unpacking boxes is a very slow process and carpeting the flat will take a while. Curtains and curtain rails are next on my list of must haves and there are many other things we could do with as well.  I don’t care right now how the flat looks because I know it will all look better and more homely soon.  I am just happy to wake up to the wonderful sunshine we are having at the moment with the breeze coming through the patio doors, and knowing this is my home which I don’t have to share with anyone else, don’t have to make any difficult compromises, never worrying about a landlord coming round and just letting themselves in without a warning of some kind first or to being grateful to anyone for having a place to live (except maybe the taxpayers!).   In a few months, having lower living costs, I hope be able to tackle some of my debts and also may be able collect on a PPI claim from my bank account while  I had cancer ( I will keep my fingers crossed for this but not have too much expectation).  With my hair growing again, my ankle healing, my mood happy and feeling so I more energised I feel that that the future is brighter and full of hope! This is the long yearned new beginning I have needed to start a new chapter in my life and to being my own person.
 My son is pleased with the location of the flat as is much nearer to his school and friends, although for me it will add another 15 or so minutes to my journey to work.  Ah yes work, well that’s another story as my broken ankle has prevented my return.  Typically I want to run before I can walk, but right now I can’t even walk properly!  Just a little bit more patience and soon time will move on and I will be back to work fulltime wishing I was on holiday!  I now have a moonboot and am slowly putting pressure on my ankle and going around on one crutch and indeed I reached a milestone today walking to the Co-Op and back with moonboot, one crutch and bag on other arm.  On Friday I see my physio.  In fact from Friday onwards I am on a roll of hospital appointments: going to the fracture clinic on Monday and seeing my breast cancer consultant on Wednesday (who I hope will just confirm that I am in remission – will let you know in next blog).  My son also has  a hospital appointment coming up for his SVT (rapid heartbeat) which has become more urgent after having an attack yesterday taking him 40 minutes for him to calm down and get his heart rate back to normal – this necessitated a trip to A&E.  When we got there we must have looked a right sight – me with my moonboot and crutches, with a light covering of hair looking worried and in pain from having to walk to the school, and my son pale and tired from the rapid heartbeat attack.  Luckily he is OK and we do have an appointment for him at the Royal Brompton in London at the end of April for further tests.

Just before moving out from the house, I had a great girly night of curry and singing Queen Songs and really I don’t think there is “no stopping me now”!

“I'm a shooting star leaping through the skies
Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva
I'm gonna go go go
There's no stopping me

I'm burning through the skies Yeah!
Two hundred degrees
That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit
I'm trav'ling at the speed of light
I wanna make a supersonic woman of you
Don't stop me now I'm having such a good time
I'm having a ball don't stop me now
If you wanna have a good time

Just give me a call
Don't stop me now ('Cause I'm having a good time)
Don't stop me now (Yes I'm having a good time)
I don't wanna stop at all“

 I am forever grateful to my friends, family and acquaintances over the past three years- each have touched my life in a different and special way.  These people have seen me through tough times; have uplifted me when I have been down and seriously ill having made me a stronger, more compassionate and positive person than I was.  I hope that when I am healthy and well I can give a little back where I can and touch their lives and others I come across in the future in a special positive and good way as well.
“Sometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself and love yourself to become a new person.” ― Gerard Way

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”  ― Ralph Waldo Emerson“

 “When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”  ― Paulo Coelho, Brida

 “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough” ― Oprah Winfrey

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

...... and finally I am trusing God that I am in the right place at the right time:

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom,
You know our needs before we ask,
And our ignorance in asking:
Have compassion on our weakness,
And give us those things
Which for our unworthiness we dare not,
And for our blindness we cannot ask,
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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