Thursday, March 31, 2011

Space

White space. Down time. Me time. Alone time. Time with my thoughts. Years spent in absolute silence but for the quiet knocking of my friends and family outside the world I built for myself...


“We’re here when you are ready.”

So I’m familiar with white space and down time. More so perhaps than I should be. My down time wasn’t a “healthy,” level. It was an obsessive need to be alone and cut the world out.

How times change. When I feel the need for downtime now, I drop my work and instead of locking myself away and locking the world out, I take my boy out to play football or ride bikes. He’s incredible company and for me, that is my me time now.

More recently, that has involved Chloe too. When I feel stressed or tired or a little under the weather, instead of craving alone time now, I crave quality time... with them. Both of them. Chloe and our son are my world. But there is of course still a need for time alone, albeit much less these days. Everyone needs silence sometimes or just fifteen minutes alone with their thoughts. Time to hear yourself, to listen to the contents of your head without the noise of the world going on around you.

Chloe needed that this week.

Her life has been essentially turned upside down in the past 18 months. She has gone from being someone who lived with her girlfriend of many years, so someone living a newly “straight” lifestyle, got engaged, became a Mother to a seven year old boy and got pregnant (all good things, of course). But even though those are indeed awesome things, it’s a big shift. Her life is so busy now and this week she just craved alone time.

The beautiful thing about that was that less than 24 hours later she came back feeling fresher and happier to see us than ever before.

Do you think sometimes we just have to be alone sometimes to learn to appreciate the people in our lives?

Chloe... take as much space as you need whenever you need it. I’m going nowhere :)

Space

White space. Down time. Me time. Alone time. Time with my thoughts. Years spent in absolute silence but for the quiet knocking of my friends and family outside the world I built for myself...


“We’re here when you are ready.”

So I’m familiar with white space and down time. More so perhaps than I should be. My down time wasn’t a “healthy,” level. It was an obsessive need to be alone and cut the world out.

How times change. When I feel the need for downtime now, I drop my work and instead of locking myself away and locking the world out, I take my boy out to play football or ride bikes. He’s incredible company and for me, that is my me time now.

More recently, that has involved Chloe too. When I feel stressed or tired or a little under the weather, instead of craving alone time now, I crave quality time... with them. Both of them. Chloe and our son are my world. But there is of course still a need for time alone, albeit much less these days. Everyone needs silence sometimes or just fifteen minutes alone with their thoughts. Time to hear yourself, to listen to the contents of your head without the noise of the world going on around you.

Chloe needed that this week.

Her life has been essentially turned upside down in the past 18 months. She has gone from being someone who lived with her girlfriend of many years, so someone living a newly “straight” lifestyle, got engaged, became a Mother to a seven year old boy and got pregnant (all good things, of course). But even though those are indeed awesome things, it’s a big shift. Her life is so busy now and this week she just craved alone time.

The beautiful thing about that was that less than 24 hours later she came back feeling fresher and happier to see us than ever before.

Do you think sometimes we just have to be alone sometimes to learn to appreciate the people in our lives?

Chloe... take as much space as you need whenever you need it. I’m going nowhere :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Suffocated

"18 months ago I was planning to spend the rest of my life with the woman I had been with since I was a teenager. Now I'm pregnant, engaged to a man and raising his seven year old son. It's just a bit much. I just need a few days."

And so Chloe went to spend a few days with her ex-girlfriend. Ouch. Of course ouch. But she needs down time.

I didn't communicate very well before she left and promised her I wouldn't contact her until weekend.

So just in case you read this before I speak to you... what I meant by my "erm... ok... erm...." [insert awkward silence] was;

"I love you. And I know your life has changed almost beyond recognition. You take your down time, take your white space, take your break.... and know that once you've had a few days to yourself, I'll be here. Waiting. Love you all the same."

xxxx

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Drained

It’s been an insanely busy week.


I’ve been pulling a few late nights this week getting the wheels in motion for some new starters at work. The US version of Google experienced an awesome, awesome update a few weeks ago that means websites that literally just republish crappy content have been penalised. This will be coming to the UK imminently so I have been running all manner of tests in the live version of the algorithm in Google US in recent weeks with awesome results.

My investment in four in house copywriters was a worthwhile one.

I’ve been barking on to my clients about the importance of unique content on their site. “Don’t just pull your product descriptions from the manufacturer’s site.... write your own where possible.” “Say something your competitors are not saying.”

And the latest update has had an awesome impact on the sites of clients who’ve invested the time or money doing that.

So now I’m recruiting more in house copywriters and this has means after hours interviews for the ones who can’t make it during work time and stuff like that.

Add to that the fact that we’ve recently moved house and there’s lots of odd jobs that still need doing in the house and it’s been chaotic.

Tonight I am taking the night off.

I am finishing work at 3, going to collect my son and he, Chloe and I are going for dinner and then going bowling. A night of letting off steam... absolutely essential.

In other news, my sister and her Fiance broke up this week. It’s terribly sad to see her so upset but I think she made a very brave call. If something just doesn’t feel right, it’s the hardest thing in the world to listen to your head over your heart and a brave decision.

Gutted for both of them.... but hey, sis... this will get better.

I always feel drained when I have not had enough family time and the last week or so has definitely left me feeling like that. Tonight will be the perfect therapy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Is the Sky Blue in Heaven?

‘Is the sky blue in Heaven?’
An innocent query
From one now so drained,
So emotionally weary.

‘Yes, the sky’s blue in Heaven,
Just as blue as can be,’
I say as he sits,
His head resting on me.

‘Are there stars up in Heaven?’
He asks with a tear.
‘Yes, there’s stars up in Heaven,
The same stars we see here.’

‘Do they shine just as bright?’
‘Yes, they certainly do.
Those stars, they are Angels
Who watch over you.’

‘Is one of them Mum?’
He asks with wide eyes.
‘Absolutely, my son,
The best one in the skies.’

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Letter to a Former Me

This brief little piece started out a letter... from me, to me. But not to me as I am. To me as I was when I was consumed with anger and grief.

I'm so thankful those times have passed. :)


Tell me.
Tell me why
You want to die,
Why you lie
Wallowing in self-pity,
Sobbing over the shitty
Little existence you
Created for yourself.

Tell me.
Tell me who
Could ever love you
In the unconditional
Way you demand it.
When, underhanded,
You take hearts
And give none back.

Tell me.
Tell me where
You go in there,
Inside your mind,
What do you find
While you sit
Alone.
In the dark.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wedding Vows

Kiss me and miss me whenever I’m away,
Hug me and love me and promise me you’ll stay.

I’m in the process of writing wedding vows at the moment. For someone who puts pen to paper so often, this is proving surprisingly difficult. How on Earth can you possibly tell someone using just 26 letters how much you love them?

I won’t put anything I’m drafting on my blog (maybe after the wedding). This post is intended mostly as a brain dump and thoughts on the process in general.

It’s tough. Everything you can think you want to say seems somehow clich├ęd or not quite good enough. She knows how I feel, not only because I tell her in words every single day but because there is a certain chemistry between us. She knows it because it’s in what I do every single day, it’s in the kisses, the cuddles and baths I run for her after a hard day. It’s in the breakfasts in bed at the weekend and it’s downloading her favourite films for a weekly movie night. It’s finishing work early to surprise her at her office and it’s the quiet moments we reserve for one another when we turn off our electronics and shut the rest of the world out, just to enjoy each other for a silent hour. It’s in the air between us and everything around us.

How can you explain something that is in EVERYTHING using just 26 letters?

And so the wedding vow mission continues....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happiness Earned

You know far more than you should know
For your sweet, tender years.
You’ve felt more pain than you should feel,
You’ve cried too many tears.
You’ve said goodbye too many times,
Watched those who love you weep.
You’ve battled with emotions
And you’ve cried yourself to sleep.

But here you are, my brown eyed boy,
Emerging from the seas,
Embracing life, a child again,
Just as this life should be.

And as we watch you rise again,
And learn to be a child,
I know she watches just as close,
With proud and beaming smile.

So fear not, my son, your happiness.
It’s earned, do not feel bad.
For though she’s gone, we know for one,
She'd hate you to be sad.

That Makes Two of Us


Weathered by the years,
The tears and the fears
But babe, that makes two of us.

We arrive at this station
Misshapen, weary and worn,
But babe, that makes two of us.
You’re not in this alone.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Guardian Mum

Chloe was called a “substitute Mum,” the other day by a former friend of hers who is now incredibly critical of the role she plays in my son’s life.


“You’re just a substitute Mum and when he’s old enough he will resent you because his own Mother is dead,” she said of my son to her.

Chloe was incredibly upset.

This is the woman who gives up every free hour of every single day she has to make him happy, to make him smile, to entertain him and educate him. This is the woman whose arms he falls into when he just needs a cuddle or who sits with me as I answer questions he has. This is the woman who offers him all the support a Mother ever could. This is the woman who loves him as though he were her own flesh and blood, who would, without a second’s consideration, give her life for him. So it’s no wonder she was upset, right?

But the so called friend continued anyway:

“When you have your own baby, you’ll realise you don’t even really love the kid.”

That was the final straw for Chloe. She left and has no intention of seeing that former friend again.

Negativity seems to surround people who cannot just be happy for someone. Granted – she is not his biological Mother. Granted, she has not been in his life since he was a baby. Granted, the boy misses his biological Mother unbearably.

But who does he go to when he’s upset about it? Or when he’s had bad dreams about losing his Mum? Or when he wakes up in the middle of the night still looking for her?

He comes to me or to Chloe. He seems reassurance in her arms. He seeks comfort from her.

He calls her ‘Mum,’ not because we made him – but because it felt right to him. We didn’t even broach the topic with him. It was him – he decided that she felt enough like a Mother to him that he was going to reward her with that name.

They talk openly about Anje and how her death changed us. They speak together, Chloe and our boy, about that sad time and he is open about the fact he knows Chloe’s not his “first Mum.”

“I know she’s not my first Mum,” he told his teacher when, to my annoyance, he was questioned about referring to her as Mum. “But she does all the things that Mums do and I do all the things with her I did with my Mum so she’s like my guardian Mum.” His teacher told me he said that (cue my annoyance at him being questioned in the first place).

‘Guardian Mum.’ I like it though.

I asked him about that and he told me it’s

“A bit like a guardian Angel because Chloe came to look after me like a Mum when my first Mum had to go away.”

So to my darling Chloe.... his Guardian Mum, my beautiful wife to be.... don’t let negativity spoil that beautiful smile. You’re the best thing that’s happened to me and to him in a very long time. And it just fits. We all just fit perfectly... you, me, him and that space left for our new arrival. We work well together, our strengths and flaws complement one another. And you, my love, are stuck with me.