on being

The landline rang today at 7am. It was a random wrong number, but it didn’t matter. I was in the other place before my eyes opened. The place of panic, hospitals and late night drives west. My stomach was sinking into the mattress  and my heart was racing while Spurs Fan answered, “Hello?”

I got out of bed and hugged my bleary eyed people. My heart steadied. It has been years, yet it may never go away. Lingering in depths, part of me.

Later, I watched The C Word, a TV drama based on the life of our late bloggy buddy, Lisa Lynch. I’d read her blog from the start, I’d bought the book, I’d mourned her loss. I’d thought I’d not be surprised by the film. My eyes dripped all the way through. Life after a terminal diagnosis: loss, family, truth, Sudocrem, humour.

lisa lynch


Lisa called her cancer ‘The Bullshit’. Everyone with poor health may relate to that. We’re not the boss of it. Being ill isn’t ‘dramatic’ or ‘glamorous’ or ‘tragic’ or ‘inspiring’. It’s dull and boring and soul sapping. It’s playing at ‘fine’ when all I want to do is hide from the world. It’s wondering if I could go to a conference in Brussels before remembering I can’t go to a concert in Belfast. It’s anxiety about managing to get people to dancing competitions and home again safely. It’s scheduling days in bed to prepare for/ recover from just about anything. It’s being overwhelmed by just about everything. It’s putting on weight because Weight Watchers requires too much thinking and exercise is beyond comprehension. It’s not keeping up with your blogs. It’s all the many ways I fail at life. It’s wanting to make an impact, to have a purpose, when I can hardly get out of bed.

‘I should’, ‘I’d like to’, ‘why don’t we?’- these become ‘I don’t want to’, ‘whose great idea was this?’, ‘I don’t even know what’s going on’.

And it goes on and on and on. For years. Relentless. Making me spend hours on Pinterest…

‘Ah, I’m grand.’

Today’s blog post was brought to you by wallowing, by thinking about Lisa, and the always wise words of David Gilbert.  Thank you for your patience.


4 thoughts on “on being

  1. Specially liked the David Gilbert link – thanks – have yet to see the C-word. Sort of think I have to be in a good mood and not in rant mode? You are as always finding and passing on things worth knowing about. Keep doing it, keep well, keep those dancers dancing…

  2. Thanks for introducing me to David Gilbert. And a great array of pins! I joined Pinterest but never really ‘got’ it. Do you give classes?

    Being on das Boot at the weekend was great. I had an excuse on Sunday for not doing, just being and reading and watching the clouds, listening to the rain and the birds, sitting in the sun. But why do we need excuses? As a friend pointed out, we are human beings, not human doings.

    1. Great post and link to David Gilbert. Totally identified with the panic of the random unexpected phone call. Believe it or not, that reaction does fade but I still ‘notice’. For me, the big thing still is the lack of post – the deluge of daily post that I got when I was responsible for my parents often had me in near-meltdown (the ‘near’ there is me telling myself I coped. Actually, looking back, I didn’t). Living without that urgency is only becoming semi-normal now. And by the way, you handle your life with a good deal of grace and passion. You are succeeding at it, tho’ I understand it doesn’t often feel that way.

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