I didn’t mean to disappear ….

…. but the voice in my head disappeared.

The voice that speaks as I read a book pointing out things I must write about, suggesting ways I might develop a post, telling me to pick up one of those useful little markers to make sure I remember particular things I want to remember.

I wasn’t unduly worried because it had happened before, almost exactly two years ago.

Back then I was the a charity finance officer, and the chief executive had, quite unexpectedly, gone long-term sick. I found myself liaising between consultants, trustees, and staff, all worried about what might happen and how we would be affected by threatened council spending cuts. With the benefit of hindsight I took on far too much. But I cared, I saw the gap and there was no-one else, so what else could I do?

The voice was crowded out, but a week’s holiday offered peace and quiet. The voice cam back, and the blog was reborn.

They kept me going – the voice and the blog – when a new CEO was appointed, when he was critical of everything that had been done in the past, when the trustees gave him a free hand, when anyone who dared to express an opinion or ask a question was frozen out.

I resigned to save my sanity, to stop my stress affecting my family, but a year of unemployment was not easy. But thank heavens for books, blogs and so many lovely people out there!

In March I finally found a new job, part-time and close to home so that I could go on looking after my mother.

It seemed that everything had fallen into place quite beautifully.

But then my mother fell ill. She went into a nursing home for a while, because she needed more care than be provided at home. And she got over the illness, but she was left much, much more frail. She still needs 24 hour nursing cover, and she is still in that nursing home.

It is a lovely home, and I think she is as happy there as she could be anywhere, but it is hard to see her weak and befuddled, and very strange to be here in her house without her.

She came to the promenade when she was adopted at the age of four, she loved sitting upstairs in her bay window watching the world go by, and she thought that she would end her days here, but that isn’t to be.

I was coming to terms with things when the practicalities hit me. I’ve been doing battle an array of forms that I need to take to the court of protection so that I can take legal responsibility for my mother’s welfare and affairs.

That’s what crowded the voice out. I’ve read some lovely books over the last couple of weeks and I didn’t have the slightest idea what to write about them.

But I’ve made strides with the forms, I’ve had a productive meeting with a solicitor to clarify a few things, and I’m confident now we’re heading in the right direction.

And today the voice came back. I was sitting outside on a bench, eating my lunch and reading a book, when it pointed out a telling phrase and a significant theme.

So here I am again!

Life has thrown difficulties in my path – and I’m sorry if I’ve gone on about them, but I needed to get it out of my system – but I have been blessed in many ways.

I love my fiance, my dog, the place I live. I have books to read – and re-read, music to fill my head, so many things I want to knit, so many lovely places to walk and spend time.

At The Water’s Edge by Ted Dyer

(this is where Briar and I went walking this evening)

But I have to recognise that I have a tendency to take on too much. So I’m stepping back from readalongs. The books will be read, but I’m forgetting schedules. Other projects will carry on, but in my own good time.

I’m going to read the books that call, that offer me what I need as life twists and turns.

I’ll catch up with comments and emails someday soon.

The voice in my head and I are back in business!

17 responses

  1. Hi: Thanks, no worries. If I didn’t see a post for a really long time, I would wonder – but I subscribe to 10-15 blogs via email and don’t notice if someone doesn’t post for a few weeks.

    And I understand – now that my “year of” is officially over and I’m newly vegan and reading new cookbooks nonstop, I’m not that psyched about blogging. Probably this will change. But I’m really trying to remember it is for fun – and if I don’t post for a month or so, that’s OK – same to you! I wish you and your mother the best – I hope she stabilizes and thrives, such a tough time for you, Ruby aka Kathy

  2. I’m glad if books were able to provide some distraction or consolation – even if they didn’t inspire blogging – but also glad to hear that your inspiration is back! Your mother is very lucky to have you taking such good care of her.

  3. I am glad you have been able to catch your breath. The important thing is to enjoy what you are reading. If you feel the urge to blog and share them with us, so much the better. Just focus on your mother, yourself, and then reading.

  4. I’m sorry to hear about your mother. We’re experiencing a similar situation with two of our parents and it’s so emotionally draining. I find the extra pressure of group reading commitments sends me into a reading slump so I’ve jettisoned them. It’s much better to just read what I want to and not worry about blogging if I don’t feel like it. Life certainly throws up some challenges!

  5. Glad to hear you are okay. I know what you have been going through, as we had the same experiences with my nan, who sadly passed away recently.

    Books have been my salvation but it does seem that I find reviewing them more difficult and the blogging has tailed off. But I know like you it will return so I am just enjoying reading the books that are calling me and perhaps not necessarily challenging me but providing great comfort. Although some have been awful!

    Take care.

  6. So sorry to hear about your mother and the related stresses. I cared for my mother through her illnesses and the heartbreak of losing her husband (and my father.) It’s very important that you take care of yourself as well as your loved ones in times of stress.

    Warm regards

  7. I’m so sorry to hear about your mum, Jane. What a sadness it must be for both of you to be apart. I’m glad you are starting to feel more yourself again – I hope this will continue and that your mum’s health will improve with time, too. Look after yourself.

  8. I was thinking about you the other day, Jane, and wondering how you were doing. It’s lovely to hear from you! Best wishes for as many good days with your mum as you can possibly have.

  9. Darlene said it beautifully, of course. I’ve also been dealing with elder care issues and know how stressful they can be. I’m glad you’re taking steps to care for yourself and reduce personal stress. Take care, Jane …

  10. So sorry to hear about your mother. My mother died last year after going downhill steadily for a while and until you’ve done it you have no idea how stressful and exhausting it is looking after an elderly person. Or how much you beat yourself up afterwards for not doing more even if you were on your knees at the time – that’s when you really need friends and family to reassure you that you did, and are doing now, all you could.
    As Laura said, look after yourself.

  11. Hi Fleur. Lovely to see you’re back and as you say, we all go through this. With me, when I am stressed I find it hard to concentrate on a book and that is difficult as I love reading so much. Looking forward to your interesting reviews again.

  12. This is a very stressful time in any child’s life — having to take over the physical details of their parent’s life, and also having to come to terms with their parent fading away towards the Door Marked Summer. It almost drove me over the edge too! It does come to an end, eventually, unlike some other crises we can encounter. Best to just take it one day at a time, if you can. And eliminate all the stress you can!

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