Sitting on his leather sofa in front of the fire and surrounded by the contented snores of sundry animals, I pause to consider what this year has meant to me, to us, and who has been a co-conspirator and fellow traveller along the way.
Two main themes leap out at me as lie in His arms in the limbo land between Christmas and New Year. Those of endings and beginnings, the Alpha and Omega of life if you will.
Many of you will know, indeed will have so kindly offered support through the last year of my dad’s decline and his death in late September. There is no getting away from how hard a process that was. Whilst it was happening I often floundered, one moment, raging, one moment caring, next regretful. I begged him to be the man I saw him as growing up, God-like in his ability to make things right, indefatigable, present. Often I wished he was different to the man I knew, capable of change, appreciative, humble in the face of loss, noble in the face of suffering perhaps? Instead he was his own worst self, irritable, manipulative, bereft and angry as he slipped into a world of pain, loss and humiliation, no longer able to do the things that gave his life meaning and increasingly not caring. Seeing my dad cast adrift from life in this way lanced the last vestiges of childhood from my blood.
I am changed by this.
Life, however is not.
It continues, expanding and contracting through time regardless of how much my world has changed and so even as my dad was dying another part of my life was growing. My LDR relationship moved into the world of visits, holidays, shared experiences and plans for more to come. With this has come the opportunity to grow into vulnerability and honesty, with the expectation of being met by the same. Weekends in a field with shared goals and aspirations have shown us both the power of our connection and how it functions around others. Holidays with hour after blissful hour of nothing to do has enabled an ease I usually struggle to experience. Life begins to open up in front of me at a point that the opposite is happening in many others’ and I am grateful.
I am changed by this too.
These changes have been reflected in my blog and twitter account and many of you won’t be surprised by what I have just written. Because of this I need to say thank you to those who have held my hand in the quiet of the night, stood with me in the middle of the storm, and raised a glass to celebrate with me at its end. I want to particularly mention a few twitterers who have offered me comfort and solace and the opportunity for a dirty martini and cake this year.
You have all helped me more than you will ever know xx
Also thanks are due to all of you dirty bastards (affectionate term ?) out there that like and retweet my #SinfulSunday posts every week regardless of quality, adherence to the prompt or bad timekeeping.
I am truly grateful x
My blog list of friendly and supportive bloggers and readers is greater than I deserve given my limited output this year. To those running memes, competitions and prompts I salute you for your contribution to a community that does its best to be inclusive regardless of gender, inclination or geography. Those of us who are not based in London can at times feel left out however, what I know is that this is never intentional and that means a lot to me.
Your support and my inclusion in lists has helped me to become more secure.
I have learned that I am not good in writing competitions and such like, access to my creativity is not a given and I fear failure too much for it to be a positive experience no matter how grown up about it all I attempt to be.
I have also learned that my output is not easily categorised (mostly by me if I am honest).
This is not to say that I won’t seek to be challenged, this is the lifeblood of a healthy creative after all. But i commit to encouraging myself rather than castigate myself when I fall short. Life is too short for self inflicted pain. I joined in the Smut Marathon this year from a misguided desire to push myself and in so doing not to focus on real life issues. This won’t be happening in 2019 as my intention is to focus on what makes real qualitative change in my life.
Please take time to look through my list of followed blogs. I will update this regularly and you may find new and slightly left of field content there.
I wish us all the very best for 2019 which is shaping up to be iconoclastic politically and personally.
Good luck to us all!