Time for the truth.

I always believed that time flies when you’re having fun. I am not having fun. Lockdown is not fun, and yet time is flying.

I have one week left until half term and I’m exhausted. I’m really enjoying my new role and I like the new leadership at my school. Work is hard though. On the plus side, it’s keeping me busy and helping time to pass.

I’d had the mildest hope of travelling in February, 1-year after I had last saw him. I think I knew all along it wasn’t going to happen. When we discussed it some months ago – well let’s face it, when I accused him of not wanting me to go – he talked about the vaccines in both our countries and the hope that we would all be vaccinated in the UK by April. Easter is the perfect time: I have two weeks off,off therefore I can spend some time with Wildcard and with my children. There’s also enough time to quarantine and be tested ready to go back to work. So, after that discussion I booked flights for the beginning of the Easter holiday.

So you see, time flying wasn’t a bad thing. And then the new variant came. Lockdown 2 came, well, lockdown 2 for teachers. And I actually felt a bit of relief: some time to get myself together, focus on my job and myself. And, yeah, lockdown means I have more opportunities to talk with Wildcard each day. I was still hopeful. I accepted quickly that February was a no go. But April, April was the time. Flights booked, Vaccines promised and time.

Sure his country shut borders to the UK. There was still time though. Vaccination was going a-pace in the UK, plus we were in lockdown and the cases were starting to fall. There was still time.

On Thursday night, hope died. An email telling me my flights were cancelled. Worse, was when I opened the app to see that all flights to his country have been cancelled for the next 6 months.

I can’t describe the shock, the pain, the fear. I sobbed.

All hope was gone. In that moment, the future was gone. There’s no way he would wait all that time and surely he wouldn’t put his life on hold for another 6 months. Another 6-months of waiting. My heart broke. There’s nothing I can do about it.

Somehow I got through Friday in work. I actually think seeing the children and my colleagues helped a little; even the mask hid my swollen eyes a little.

The moment I saw him, when I got home from work and he called me, I cried again. I told him what had happened and he laughed because he was right, again. He laughed in disbelief that I would cry over it. Which made me cry even more because it felt like he didn’t care. I do him an injustice: he’s just more pragmatic, you’re coming summer” he said. His view is that it is life and there’s nothing we can do so there is no point getting upset.

Maybe he’s right – of course he is. But it doesn’t stop it from hurting. 6-months seems a long time now, a lot can happen and of course, in my mind, it’s all bad.

I know he loves me. He tells me he loves me, he shows me he loves me. If I dare to let myself believe it and experience it without fear then I know he loves me to my very soul.

But you want to know the truth? Finally, do you want to know entirely where all the fear comes from?

He wants a baby.

And you know what else? I want to give him one. I want a baby with him. I want us to have a baby together.

Here’s the thing: I love my children with all my heart and I wouldn’t change having them for anything. But I didn’t have them because I wanted a baby with their dad.

I want to have a baby with Wildcard.

In 2 months time, I turn 41. Time is running out – hell, it probably already has – but I still had hope. In a time where coronavirus didn’t exist I imagined 3 or 4 trips to his country in 2020. I pictured him meeting my children. And provided it all went well, I thought that maybe this year we would be married.

So whilst I recognised it would be difficult, there was a chance.

This, this is the root of my anxiety. The more time passes, the less likely that I can give him a baby. Whilst young, beautiful girls swarm around him, and family members try to set him up, I’m thousands of miles away, ageing.

Sometimes I guilt myself that I should do the right thing and let him go because it’s highly likely I can’t give him what he wants.

Just stop and think about that for a second.

Finally, I meet the man of my dreams. He is everything I want, I love everything about him. He makes me feel more alive than any other man has ever done and I want to share a wonderful life with him. And I want to give him a baby.

But despite that, despite all that love and attraction we both feel …I should let him go.

He is not stupid and his job has something to do with reproduction in animals – he must know, I tell myself, he must know and he still wants me. Maybe he is just hoping as I do.

Truly, I believe if our relationship ends it will because of this, if not directly then indirectly, because of my fear and my jealousy.

So there you have it: the truth.

Cancellation of hope

He likes being right. It is something his brother told me months ago when I was drawn into an amicable disagreement between them. Watching two people disagree in a foreign language is interesting. Particularly when they both turn and attempt to draw you in to their side.

Anyway, I digress.

He likes being right. So it is naturally that when news broke that Belgium was stopping flights in and out of the UK he laughed. “And you wanted to come!”

I stopped watching the news weeks ago. I don’t hear anything I want to hear. But I looked at the BBC website and saw it was true. New strain. Fears of how quickly it spreads.

I wasn’t laughing.

Seeing that my reaction was somewhat more sombre, he tried to cheer me up. He told me that everything would be OK and not to be upset. We knew this might happen. Well, he did. Boris’ statement of the ability to travel in tier three, however ill-advised, gave me one last spark of hope.

Tonight, history has repeated itself. Just two months before my hoped visit, his country have also suspended flights to the UK. There was only a small hope of me going in February. Now I have none.

I sent him a link to the article, not expecting him to see it until morning. He called me though, drowsy with sleep, to comfort me. He can’t understand why I get upset as he knew this would happen. I’ve got to accept it as there is nothing else we can do.

I know he is right. But it hurts and I miss him. And I want to be with him again, to feel it all again. For him to feel it all again and not forget me. Not make a choice for an easier life and forget me.

He wanted more time. Well he has certainly got it now. It doesn’t make me happy.

Lose-lose

Earlier in the year, as I cried over yet another cancelled trip to see him (there were four in total), Wild Card told me to write off this year and not even consider coming as iw as just getting upset.

But it was really hard when, just as I went back to work in September, his borders opened. It became even harder when I started to see other couples on Facebook reuniting in his country. And getting engaged or married. Or just looking happy and smug and in love.

And then, then, Ryanair started flying there which means I could actually afford to go. £20 flight anyone?

Of course, there were a couple of sticking points to this plan.

  1. I am a teacher so can’t book time off. (Yes, I know, I get ‘all those holidays’)
  2. You need two weeks quarantine when you get back to the UK. See above.
  3. He told me not to come.

Number three was round about the time when Ryanair got up and running and I joked that I was on my way, even though I knew I couldn’t (see points 1 and 2).

He told me he missed me and wanted me there, but the thought of it really made him nervous. He talked of the quick decisions in his country that could leave me stranded there, the issues with travel and how he didn’t want me to get sick and end up locked away in a hospital, unable to see him.

Yes it hurt, and yes I thought he just didn’t want me to come (which he said he knew I would think) but I could see the logic in what he was saying. I could also see that it showed a lot of love and consideration for me too.

But, yes, it still kind of felt that he didn’t want me to come.

I told him that I understood and that I would only come when he felt it was safe for me to do so.

Of course, if nothing changed, I would only be able to go again in the summer holiday 2021 – 17 months after I was last with him.

The UK went into lockdown and I couldn’t have gone any sooner anyway.

As Christmas approached, I’ve played with the idea of going for the first weekend and asking for a day working at home at the end to complete the isolation. I never asked though.

And then, there was talk that maybe the Christmas holiday would be extended to allow for self isolation. I dared not hope. Good job too, because it isn’t going to happen.

The shiny star on the tree was when I read that our Government have now decided that from December the quarantine is reduced to five days if you pay for a private covid test and it comes back negative.

A few quick sums in my head and…I could actually go. Except..

Except he still hasn’t talked about it since. When I was a little upset in my pre-menstral state last week, he told me it wouldn’t be long. The vaccines are nearly there. Maybe February or April and I would be there.

I couldn’t help myself. This week I told him about the new changes. He asked if I would travel over Christmas and when I said maybe, he said ‘where?’. I said I didn’t know.

The news of the reduction in quarantine got a ‘good’ comment.

Tonight he asked me about my Christmas holidays again and I asked if he was planning to take some holidays himself. He didn’t know, and I asked him to save some for when I would visit.

‘When are you coming?’

I replied that I didn’t know and I was waiting for him to tell me it was OK, remember?

He said it was not up to him. I’m a grown woman and I can make my own decisions. He said it was my home too and I could come whenever I wanted. Apparently I keep talking like he doesn’t want me to come, so now he’s telling me to come when I want but it is up to me to do the research and take responsibility if it goes wrong. But I can come whenever I want, it’s my home too.

I tried to say that we should both decide but he was having none of it. And he said that he wasn’t angry.

I have looked at flights. I could go. But I would miss Christmas at home. Not sure my kids would be impressed even though they don’t see me for half of it.

If I go, and he really doesn’t think it is a good decision despite what he has said, I lose.

If I don’t go, and actually he has told me to come if I want because he wants me to come… but doesn’t want to be responsible for encouraging me if it goes wrong – I lose.

I can’t win. I think he probably still thinks it is a bad idea but he never backs down on anything he doesn’t agree with so the fact that he has makes me think he does what me to.

Would my kids understand? They would spend the whole of the following week and New Year with me. They spend most of the holidays with me usually, so it is not like I don’t see them. Lots of divorced families do it this way, not splitting it more intricately like we have done.

I would really miss them, but I would be back after a week. I haven’t seen Wild Card for 9 months. But I would hate to upset them.

But if I don’t go, and nothing changes, it will be April before I get another chance.

I just don’t know. Lose, lose, lose.

Self-isolation for the single working parent.

I wake at 7am. Or, try to, that is.

I’m washed and dressed, coffee in hand and back in my bedroom by 7.45.

8am – work calls me, and I attempt to hear the meeting that is going on through loudspeaker, with three other staff also absent through Covid so most of the meeting is people repeating stuff for our benefit.

8.30 the call ends, I sigh in relief and then Wild Card calls so I smile in happiness. Ten minutes of gazing lovingly at him and we’ve kissed goodbye and wished each other a good day.

By now, my youngest is waking. We go downstairs, I fix him breakfast (telling him not to spill his cereal again), make another coffee, and then take a smoothie and my teen son’s ADHD meds to him. It takes around 10 minutes, if not longer, to get him awake enough to drink the smoothie. He won’t eat food but needs something in his stomach for his meds.

By the time he has had it and I have shouted my daughter to get up, the angst that I haven’t done enough work yet has arrived.

I quickly settle at the kitchen table and get to work whilst my youngest finishes his breakfast and watches TV.

When I feel I have done enough work to ease the guilt and fear, I then work on easing the guilt that my 6 year old hasn’t learnt anything valuable yet.

We start some school work. I set him off and attempt to carry on with my own but he won’t work unless I watch him. I shut the laptop.

After around half an hour, he then goes for a ‘break’ and I do some more work. For the first 5 minutes, I check emails to ensure I am not in trouble for not being glued to my laptop, then try to remember what I was doing before attempting to educate my child.

After around an hour, I realise that my child has been glued to a game for too long and I still haven’t seen my teens. I figure I’ve also earned a comfort break and another cuppa.

I go upstairs and wake both teens again. This time I get some acknowledgement but I still don’t have time to stay in their rooms to make sure they actually get up…I need to get my poorly educated 6 year old off his game.

Round two of primary school teaching and whilst I enjoy it and am proud of his efforts, I’ve not been on my laptop for nearly 45 minutes now. Plus, its nearly lunch time.

I applaud his efforts, make his lunch, try to load the dishwasher and empty the washing machine, grab something to eat myself and guiltily get back to work. That break was too long…

After around another hour, I realise my eldest two are still not up. I go upstairs again, warning my youngest that we will start work again soon. He groans.

My daughter mutters something probably unpleasant when I shout at her to get up. I tell her she needs to feed the pets. When I go to my son, he is awake but still in bed. He is glued to his phone. He claims, bleary eyed, that he has completed some maths homework. I don’t believe him but have to get back to the guilty seesaw of my own work and teaching my youngest. I tell him to get up even though he declines food.

Back downstairs and I realise that the dog hasn’t been out in a while. I try not to catch his eye as I open the door – he will just make me feel bad. I load the washer again as I pass, then bribe my youngest back to the table. We do some more work whilst I attempt to check my emails without him seeing. It rarely works. He’s getting fed up now.

The strain of guilt about my own work is too strong and I eventually give in to his complaints and allow him to stop. I attempt to suggest that he could watch something educational on YouTube. I get nowhere, and as I am now sporting a headache, give up.

Just as I am finally getting somewhere with my work, my daughter comes down and starts to tell me about her latest conversation with her nearly boyfriend. I’m so happy that she is confiding me but I really need to finish this task and send it via email so everyone knows I have actually been working from home and not watching daytime TV.

She disappears for a shower and I realise that I am going to have to feed the pets as she will now be hours. It’s OK though, I’ve emailed my last bit of work so I have a few minutes before anyone realises I’m not working.

I feed the pets and, because he is always hungry, give my youngest a snack so his teeth can rot as well as his mind. My teen son then comes downstairs, finally, telling me he may have done some Geography or it may have been Science. My stomach sinks but I try to stay positive. At least he is pretending to work and not having a full ADHD meltdown.

He is hungry however, but I figure that my last email can buy me a few more minutes and at least he is eating (as the meds make him feel sick) so that justifies me making him something he could probably make himself. Plus, the cat has used the litter and my youngest is now half-complaining, half gagging. I start to prepare my son some food – nothing nutritious as his (probably autistics influenced) eating habits are awful and I don’t have time to make the two nutritious meals he will actually eat. Super noodles it is, then.

Whilst they cook, I tell my youngest to stop over-reacting (everyone has a poo) and take out the cat litter, trying to hide the fact that I am gagging too.

I wash my hands at least twice, scowl at the cat, ignore that my youngest is back on his game, ignore the clawing guilt that I’m still not working, try to ignore the rising excitement that Wild Card finishes work soon and take my son’s noodles to him upstairs. There is no way I could work if both boys were in the same room. No. Way.

I give my now-medicated teen his dinner, remind him to do ‘more’ school work and take down his breakfast dishes. I pick up the various wet towels my daughter had left on the couch, put the lid back on the squash and the butter which she has left out, and give my still hungry youngest a piece of melon and a drink. I shout up to my daughter to remind her that I have an online meeting soon and she promised to watch her brother. I silently hope that the meeting goes quickly so I can answer the phone when Wild Card calls me.

The meeting is boring and the video freezes at least twice. It is OK though as that allows me to finish and email some more work. Time efficiency. 😁 There is a challenging moment when my youngest barges into my room and demands that he stays with me. It’s OK though as I had foresaw this problem and had turned off my mic and camera. Also so they couldn’t see my eye bags, messy hair and generally stressed expression.

He leaves (bribery), the meeting eventually ends and happily, it is around the time that Wild Card calls. I fix my appearance, tactically ignore the now concealer covered eye bags and go downstairs to make a fire as the house is now freezing.

Just as the fire lights, my heart lights up as Wild Card calls. My whole body smiles and we talk as he drives home. I spend the whole conversation wishing I was kissing his lips. Never mind.

I watch him walk into his house, wash (yum) and change out of his work clothes (yummier). We chat for another 5 minutes or so and he tells me he will call me later. Virtual kisses and I love yous.

I check the fire, feed the dog then start to clean the kitchen. Again. I speak to my ex to discover that whilst his Covid symptoms are easing, he has been signed off for two weeks. The exhausted part of my brain (pretty much all of it) hopes that he makes a speedy recovery as I am sure he must be missing his children particularly as the four of us have been locked in this house now for ten days (thankfully fit and well) whilst he has been unwell and (thankfully) recovering. He says ‘we’ll see.’ Hmmmm.

Teen son and daughter are now asking repeatedly ‘what is for tea?’ I wish I knew because the embarrassing amount of online shopping I ordered has somehow disappeared even though I swear both teens spend 20 out of 24 hours asleep. After some arguing, I end up making three different meals. At least these are nutritious and homemade. I tell myself it cancels out the rubbish they have eaten at lunch.

I tell my kids that I am now going to sit in the other room to spend time with the dog who has been whining since the elder two got up and will chase the cats if I let him in the kitchen.

I feed the dog, and before I get to sit down realise that we need more wood and coal for the fire. Outside I go.

Fire stoked, dog played with (soggy toy on my lap repeatedly) and Wildcard calls again. We talk for around an hour, interrupted repeatedly by my kids (hungry again/arguing/lost something/ talking to Wildcard too) before kisses goodbye. My heart sinks as I close the phone and I try not think how long it will be until I feel those soft lips on mine again for real. Stupid Covid.

By this point, my teen son’s meds have wore off and he is bounding around the place, annoying his siblings. After interjecting repeatedly, I finally get him to stop tormenting his brother and persuade him that he is unlikely to get the new xbox anytime this decade.

I check my emails one last time to make sure I’ve not missed anything then it is time to take my youngest to bed. We cuddle, I read to him, then spend ten minutes arguing with him that he can’t sleep in my bed, he is not hungry and he can’t have five more minutes. Don’t even talk to me about getting him to brush his teeth.

I finally spend a little time with my teens. It is hard though as a) they are full of energy and b) I feel like a zombie. And there is wet washing still in the machine and the last lot of dishes haven’t washed properly so will need to be handwashed. Particularly the pans my daughter uses everyday and burns egg/beans or anything else on them. At least she cooks for herself though I wonder if I am really saving on energy as I scour the pan.

I eventually make my way to bed. I persuade myself to take off my makeup even though I can’t be bothered. I want both teens not to be up too late (I know they will be but I can’t keep my eyes open any longer).

I lie in bed, and can’t sleep. I miss Wildcard and my mind keeps reminiscing on when we together. I wonder if work really are monitoring how much time I am on my laptop. I feel bad as I haven’t spoken to my sisters again. I hope my ex is OK and guiltily wonder when he will be having the children again. After sending both my teens a final message to ‘GO TO SLEEP’. I finally go to sleep knowing this will all happen again tomorrow and wondering if I will ever feel like a good mother.

Hello…

Hello out there. I disappeared again but I am back. I’m hoping you haven’t disappeared too.

I’m sipping coffee on a chilly, autumnal morning. I love autumn. The feeling of change in the air…the colours, the warm sun and cooler breezes…the fires, dark nights and bright mornings.

My dad loved autumn too and he has been in my thoughts a lot recently. I miss him terribly.

There has been some development though. I have been on my increased medication for some weeks now and it is having a positive effect. I feel calmer. Proof of that was when I listened to a set of songs from my Dad’s death and funeral. And I didn’t cry. I was sad, yes, but the overwhelming wave of emotion didn’t crush me. I felt like that was progress…I hope it was.

Work has been ridiculously crazy. Unless you are working in the education sector, you have absolutely no idea how difficult it is the moment with all the Covid restrictions. School is a maelstrom of stress and anxiety and concern: caution, change and long long hours. Staff are exhausted. Pupils are unhappy. It’s not easy but life goes on, of a fashion.

Added to that for me, is that my school is in the process of becoming an academy. More stress. More anxiety. Rumours of job losses and change. Certain staff in school have been particularly stressed and that has made for a very uncomfortable atmosphere in meetings. Other staff are out for what they can get, maneuvering themselves into a better position and not caring who they step on. It’s horrible. I value my integrity too much for that, so I’m sticking with honesty and working the best I can.

Interestingly the Covid and academy situations have come together to create an interesting situation. At one point, five of our leadership were absent, leaving the four of us in charge without a Head or Deputy or the capacity to cover the duties as normal. We came together and worked better as a team than we have ever done. And then, the academy staff came in to help and having worked with them for two weeks now, some of my anxiety is gone. I like how they work. I just have to hope they like how I work too.

Which leaves me with Wild Card.

I’ve had weeks of things being really, really great. He’s reassured me. We’ve talked of our future together. We’ve laughed and we’ve loved.

And boy, do I love him. More and more and more. More than I thought ever possible. And it terrifies me that I feel so much. Because what I feel isn’t enough, is it? It has to be both of us.

There have been real signs and conversations that he feels this way too. Equally, some off moments. This week has been challenging as he had some issues at home and even though he said it wasn’t me, his behaviour towards me changed. It’s not the first time this has happened and I need to remember that. He told me, ‘I’m not ok, but I will be. It’s not you, everything between us is ok. You don’t need to worry.’ But it’s hard when he is emotionally distant even though he is in contact as much as ever.

Last night he was more himself again so hopefully things will return to normal. There’s still no sign of being able to get over there and it is now nearly nine months since I have been with him. It’s heart achingly hard. I sometimes wonder how this can ever work out but I have to keep positive and jeep faith that if it is meant to be, it will be.

Take care everyone.

Blue

As some of you have perhaps worked out, I’m not feeling too great at the moment.

My ‘pretend everything is ok’ generator has kicked in so I am still functioning each day. That’s a good thing I suppose.

But underneath that fake brightness is a swirling maelstrom of negativity, doubt, avoidance and confusion.

AVOIDANCE

I haven’t logged in to my work emails in two and a half weeks. Sure, there is no requirement to do so. The first week I consciously decided not to, to give myself a break. But as the days have slipped on, I’ve found I just don’t want to know. It’s just another thing to worry about – the academisation, my career….???!!!!.

I started the six weeks holiday with a plan to transform my house. Yeah, that lasted a week.

After a few months of lockdown frugality, my spending has increased somewhat. I need to get back in control before I start overspending. But I am avoiding doing it because …I just am. The situation is not helped by the following….

NEGATIVITY

My ex husband is well and truly pi#$ing me off. He has had some financial difficulties this past year, in part through bad luck and in part through his own actions. He has not given me any money towards the children in over a year. I pay for everything. I have also lent him money that I am not going to get back. His situation recently has become critical and he and his mother and now talking about how ‘he walked away from the marriage with nothing.’ First, this house was my childhood home. We bought it at a reduced cost from my parents. I have paid every mortgage payment since then. Second, he has contributed little to the household for the majority of out marriage – one of the many reason I divorced him. Third, I took on all our relationship debt when he left. He walked out of here with a clean slate. I reduced his child payments to help him afford a house. I helped him financially to get a house. I’ve paid for every birthday and Christmas present for our three children for years, whilst he has sat and enjoyed the gratitude from them as they did not know he had not contributed. Even if I had been able to give him a more substantial lump sum three years ago, that money would have long gone by now. He would still be in this mess because he is an idiot and I am not carrying him anymore.

DOUBT

Does Wildcard really love me? Is this as special as I think it is, or am I projecting my romantic sensibilities on an impossible situation? Do I want him so much because I can’t have him? Do I want him so much because of how attractive he is? Maybe he is just after a European wife. Maybe he thinks I’m stupid and naive and that I’ve fallen for his lies.

I’ve joined a Facebook group of other women waiting for borders to open. There is no denying, there is a pattern. Many of the women are older than their boyfriend. They’ve talked about the jealousy of their boyfriend’s friends because he has a European girlfriend…that has made me nervous.

But he calls me every day, multiple times. A ridiculous amount of times if you listen to my daughter, who believes it is actually more like one day-long video chat with a few breaks in. His actions very, very much suggest he loves me. He cares for me. He knows me. He inspires me. He makes me laugh. He shows pride in me. He shows jealous and anxiety when he thinks I am unhappy with him. He shows me he loves and misses me in all these ways every day. What more do I want?

CONFUSION

So, if he really does love me… what’s going to happen? There is no sign that the borders are going to open anytime soon. When will I see him? Will he wait? Should I be holding out at my age? Should I be looking closer to home? Would that make me happier? Could I cope with losing him? Would he pursue me or just move on quickly to one in a long line of women who want him?

So, yeah. I’m feeling blue.

Doom and gloom

By rights, being as today is my penultimate day in work before the summer holiday, I should be in a good mood. I’m not.

I’m not depressed or even anxious – which makes a change. I’m just goddam fed up.

I realised this morning that I have nothing to look forward to.

My summer holiday is usually filled with booked camping trips, a holiday abroad with a friend, day trips etc etc. I have nothing.

My two week booked trip to be with Wild Card has been officially cancelled given that his government are still not letting in tourists. That of course does not help. I’ve rebooked for August in the hope things will change but the likelihood is that I won’t be going. There are too many factors that could stop me.

My relationship with him is as good as ever. We are still in regular contact every single day. Recently he has told me and shown me in so many ways how he feels without actually coming out and saying it. Admittedly, I kind of need that blunt statement of intent and feeling but the more I want it the less likely he will give it me.

It also doesn’t help that during our recent conversations he’s talked about one of his brothers taking his wife for a trip to Stockholm and the other brother and his wife having a cosy restaurant meal post-fall out. I’m jealous. I’d be happy just being in Wild Card’s house with him, going nowhere, but even that isn’t happening.

The summer holidays is stretching out before me as a bland nothing. I don’t want to go camping because I don’t want to deal with people. I don’t want to go to my beloved Lake District because it is reportedly full of people. I don’t want to spend my holiday stuck in my own home because that’s what I’ve done since lockdown when not in work. It’s all blah blah blah.

I’m going to focus on reinstating my fitness regime and working on my new hobby of painting. Even that is boring me.

I want the excitement and anticipation of travelling. I want to be in the arms of the man I love. I want to feel his love. I want to take my children places to inspire them and help them grow.

Instead? Nothing.

Teetering

I know I haven’t posted much recently. There’s a lot been going on but also nothing.

I went back to work. I don’t mind being back in work. I like interacting with the few key worker children that are coming in. I can work without disruption in my office.

But it really scares me. My anxiety has intensified at the thought of the increased risk of being in full time and the fact that my children have to be in school more and learn nothing on the few days they are at home now (their dad works from home).

I don’t agree with the decision to make us come back full time. It’s not safe yet – schools in my area are not open yet. But I spoke to my boss, made my point and whilst there was a suggestion of understanding and support there was an underlying message of ‘this support is limited:get back to work’.

The anniversary of my dad’s death hit me pretty hard too. I was a mess all weekend and cried repeatedly.

Things with Wild Card are OK. We are still in regular contact and I love him as much as ever. He was very supportive about my Dad. And you know, its probably my mental state at the moment but I’ve found that his joking has not been as funny recently and has actually hurt a little. When he realises that he stops and apologises or makes it up to me… But even so.

And then yesterday, it all got worse. I came home from work and was called by my ex. His housemate has suspected corona. My kids were there this week but are with me at the moment. We all need to self isolate.

I’m sure all of you will understand the crippling fear that took over in that moment – the thought that my children could have corona, even my ex could, I could.

Let’s just add a bit more stress though. Let’s add my work suggesting that even though my children are with me and need to isolate, I don’t need to so could come to work. Which mean I leave them at home alone. Which means if they have it and have given it to me, I then pass it on to people in school.

I’m losing all faith in our school’s leadership and that is not a good thing.

I called my doctor and he suggested some time off work for my anxiety (not going to happen) and an increase to my anxiety meds. He gave little advice about the corona other than my kids need to isolate and ‘as a twacher’ I am ‘intelligent enough to work it out and make a decision’. Thanks for that Doc.

So, I have told work that I wi isolate with my kids as I am not leaving them home alone. I will get us tested if anyone has symptoms. And with that, I will leave my anxiety teetering until my Med’s kick in.

Corona change

It’s Thursday so I probably shouldn’t be thinking about this yet but, hey, it’s what I do.

I may, or may not be back in work full time on Monday. Being honest, I started this half term week with the understanding that I am back in work full time from June 1st. Since then, I’ve been in school, spoke to the Head and was told ‘it is up for discussion’. And then yesterday, the local authority published a report saying that despite government instruction, Lancashire does not yet meet all the requirements to reopen schools due to the levels of Coronavirus. So, who knows?

The point is, things are changing every day. I’m not political but there seems to be no clear direction, no leadership: ambiguous comments built on ambiguous comments. I can’t believe that, even though hundreds of people are still dying every day here, we are being told that we can ‘stay alert’ but go out when Wild Card’s country is still in complete lockdown with under ten people dying a day. They’ve had under 200 people die in total. And they are still in lockdown.

But, thinking about change with the forever-changing possibility that I am back in work, I’ve considered how life has changed for me.

I’m exercising. Regularly. I know, I can’t believe it myself. It started months ago with a free 30 day subscription to an online exercise site. And then I just took some of the exercises and started doing my own thing. Each time I do the routine I add more repetitions or a new move. I’m now up to 30 minutes three times a week. On top of that, I’m walking for 30 minutes most days too. That is a big deal for me. I haven’t exercised that much or frequently since my early 20s. It probably needs improvement but, you know what, I’m proud of myself. I actually have muscles – definition – in my legs.

Talking of which, I haven’t put any weight on over lockdown. That is another achievement. Due to my gluten intolerance which was diagnosed last September, my eating habits completely changed and I dropped a significant amount of weight very quickly. I wasn’t eating properly though and that couldn’t be sustained. I was upset that I’d stopped losing weight at first until my best friend pointed it out – I’m eating properly, no longer denying myself anything (apart from gluten) and yet I haven’t put any weight on. I still need to lose some weight which is why I am increasing my exercise and have started to log my food again. But no weight gain is good.

I have had a face skin care routine from August last year when a friend introduced me to double cleansing. (I may have a slight obsession with face products now). But since lockdown, I’ve been much better with moisturising my whole body – I exercise, shower and moisturise. Similarly, whilst my relationship with Wild Card has ensured that I wear make up everyday, not just when I’m in work, scrolling through Facebook Watch videos has taught me a few tricks and my make up looks much better, more natural. I hate the whole ‘Instagram plaster your face until you look like something out of Star Trek’ look (sorry girls) but I’ve found a happy medium now.

Talking of happy mediums, I’m afraid I am not one of those people who took lockdown and completely transformed their house. I kind of thought, if there is a chance I could get corona and die I don’t want my last days to have been about painting the living room. But my house is cleaner and more tidy and I have organised and sorted through a few key areas. My garden is also looking better but not finished. I’m OK with that.

I have been reading a lot more though. I love reading, always have, but the last few years have seen pockets of reading and longer periods of not. I was just too tired. I’ve read lots of books since lockdown and I’m loving it all over again.

Being a teacher and therefore a key worker, I have worked over lockdown. I’ve been going into school a couple of times a week and setting and checking work each day. But there has been balance too. Yes, my job is very important to me, but my family and health are more important. It was hard at first – guilt plagued me – but I’m slowly finding a better balance between it all: work, home, family, me. Of course, this will all need re-evaluation when I go back to work.

And you know what? Despite the sometimes tumultuous ups and downs, I’ve been able to sustain a long distance relationship with Wild Card. I mean, how difficult has this situation been and yet we are still together, still loving each other. Yesterday, he told me I am his life. That’s a big statement from him – he’s normally about actions rather than words – and it has really touched me. 😊

So, how has this situation changed your life for the better? Remember, every cloud has a silver lining.

Intensity and Finding balance. Or not.

Time for a Wild Card update. ❤️

As you can probably see, whilst the daily discover prompts were an attempt to diversify my writing a little, many of them still end up being about him… Sorry about that.

Truth is, this relationship is consuming me. I’ve never felt like this before, for so long anyway. Everyone gets that intensity at the beginning of a relationship, I get that. But I’ve know him now for six months. And for about five and a half of those we have video chatted every single day. And for the majority of those days, it’s for hours (culminatively).

So, yes, it’s intense.

Since lockdown started here, we have adapted into a new routine of sorts. There’s still the morning text message – usually from me now as I am up first due to the daylight saving changes. This is often followed up by him with a videochat – I am in the car with him as he goes to work or we have a chat as he lies in bed having just woken.

Most days, I’m also with him as he drives back home and goes to the shop or when he gets home and is sanitising everything. I quite enjoy being propped up on the bathroom mirror, watching him wash. 😁

We will then part ways whilst he eats or rests etc. Within three hours there is another videochat and then usually one more when he is having tea with me propped up at the dinner table as he eats/drinks with his family.

All the time in between I’m thinking about him. Yes, really. As the hours pass by, I get more tense until he calls (usually) or I cave and call him. Yesterday for example, I called. He laughed and said “You missing me, or what?” and then said that he wanted to call me but I got there first.

No, there’s not much to talk about. There’s the usual catching up of ‘news’ which as you can imagine, never takes long. There’s always a bit of joking and teasing on his part and laughing/ mock sulking on mine. Sometimes I am with him as he listens to music or when he goes on to his roof terrace to watch the sunset. Sometimes I am just there and we don’t talk. And I don’t care. I just want to be with him and I’m guessing, as he is mainly the one to call me, that it is the same with him.

The LDR advice I’ve read has always been to ensure you carry on with your own life and try not to let the relationship dominate. Erm, I think we are both finding that hard, I’m not sure why. Is it just the situation? Is it the intensity of our feelings? Is it because this is still a new relationship? As this is my first LDR and pandemic 😳, I have no point of reference. Finding balance is difficult, no matter what though. I just want to be with him.

Sure, life still goes on. I’m still doing housework and feeding my children. I’m doing school work. I’ve even done some gardening and extra cleaning etc. I speak with loved ones on the phone. But he is always present in my thoughts.

We still have ups and downs, but mostly ups. It’s hardly surprising with the amount of time we are together (would I be on the phone to him everyday for 3-4 hours after six months if he was English? I very much doubt it.) and the fact that we are going through this vile corona situation. And, yes, we are still getting to know one another.

Our main issues are the same although we are getting much better at discussing them – insecurity and jealousy.

I still have moments of doubt. I can’t believe that he is interested in me. I know he loves me, I feel it. But what if I love him more than he loves me? What if I think this relationship is more serious/connected than he does?

My darkest thoughts, when I allow them to surface, are one of the following: 1) I was wrong all along and he is just after a marriage visa. 2) He’s just playing me and has a number of girls on the go. 3) He does love me but will find someone else as he doesn’t feel as strongly as I do. 4) Coronavirus is going to make this too difficult and he will just give up and marry someone locally.

Believe me, if I allow myself to, I can find/twist untold amount of evidence to prove all three.

But I can also find evidence to the contrary:

  • He calls and texts repeatedly, every single day. He has no time for anyone else, at least to the extent he calls me.
  • Daily, I am with him when he is with his family. Culturally, that is very significant.
  • He tells me he loves me, every single day. He sends me e-cards, videos and memes at important points.
  • He spends a significant amount of time every day just making me laugh and smile. He is daft and silly. Just for me.
  • Almost without thinking, he talks about when I next visit, like it is a given.
  • He’s there for me when I need him. He cares. He won’t end a call unless he knows I am happy.
  • He puts up with my insecurity and jealousy. He talks me through my bizarre thinking. Only sometimes does he get frustrated.
  • He gets jealous and insecure himself.

So, that’s where we are up to. I’m in love. Seriously in love. And every day I hope he feels the same way.