Friday, 26 September 2014

Word of the Week

Again it's Friday and Jocelyn's WOTW rolls round.

This week I wasn't sure I was going to take part.  I couldn't think of a word that summed up the week as it's been a weird, bitty week with lots of introspection.  However today something happened that made me think so I'm using that as my stimulus.

I've never really had many friends.  Lots of acquaintances when I was younger but very few friends.  Most of my friends were people in the workplace so once I moved job I lost those friends and made more at my new job. 

Lately I've not been going out to work so have lost most of my friends.  However there was one person from a previous job who I kept in touch with and we socialised a few times a year.

I've recently applied to become a museum volunteer and had to submit some references, to make sure I wasn't going to steal the exhibits.  I submitted my friend as a reference as  she knew me over several years.

Today I got an email saying that she couldn't/wouldn't give a reference as it had been 'too long ago' that she'd know me.  This despite going to the theatre with her and going out for coffee in August!

So maybe I've got less friends than I thought .  Or maybe what I think of as  a friend isn't what others think of as a friend.

It's sad to think I've lost a friend.  And also sad that I've lost the chance to volunteer as I have no-one else to suggest as a character reference.

Monday, 22 September 2014

I had a dream...


Don't worry, this isn't going to be a hippy, tree-hugging, lentil crunching post about dreams and
dream analysis.  I just had a dream last night that's made me feel sad and thoughtful in equal measures.

In my dream I was chairing a conference and everyone was talking about their children.  They were sharing the problems and challenges young people face in the 21st century.  One mother shared the difficulty their daughter had with school grades; a father told how difficult his son had found leaving home.  There were many similar tales.

Then I was asked about my experience.  People asked me questions about my son.  As I answered the questions the room gradually grew silent.  Then someone called out 'But you're the worst of all! You're a failed mother!'

And there you have it; I've failed as a mother. My son has found life very difficult; we've tried to help him but so far things haven't gone his way, for a variety of reasons.  We worry that he's depressed; he assures us that he isn't. We try to give advice; it's not well received.  Don't get the wrong impression; my son is an awesome person, talented, intelligent to the point of pain, funny, loving, crazy at times.  But I sometimes see a sadness in him that upsets me and I don't know how to help him realise his potential.  He has so much to offer but no idea how to offer it.  His interest is in language and I'd love to see him study and work in the field of linguistics but there doesn't seem to be a path open to him.  He's also into video games and computers but has no marketable experience.  So the difficulties/barriers remain.

So as a mother I'm a failure.  I'm tempted to make the old joke 'You had one job to do ...' but that just masks the hurt I feel.  How could I have got it so wrong?  What could I have done differently?

More importantly, what can I do now to make it right? 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Word of the Week

It's always a challenge thinking of one word to sum up an entire week.  So many things happen during the week - makes my life sound fascinating, doesn't it? - that choosing only one word is sometimes difficult.  This week I wondered for a long while and then yesterday a single word rushed to the fore.  So here it is, the word of the week is ...


I've spent another week applying for jobs and getting nowhere.  I had an interview last week, thought it went well but yesterday got the 'thanks but no thanks' email.
I think I need to re-evaluate my life.  Am I destined to never work again?  Should I accept this and move on?

Food for thought.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Facebook Fail

Today I de-activated my Facebook account.  In two weeks time the account will be deleted.

I read an article on The Daily Mail website which annoyed me, upset me and prompted me to act.  The article was about someone who had complained to Facebook about a particularly nasty video on its site.  The video, which I have no interest in seeing, showed two men torturing a kitten to death. The description of what was on the video made me feel physically sick and I cried for that poor wee animal and its terrible suffering.   All of that was bad enough. But what prompted my anger was that Facebook refused to remove the video as it didn't break any of Facebook's rules!

I have no idea what Facebook's rules are.  I haven't read them anywhere or felt the need to investigate further.  All I need to know is that I can't be a member of any group which wouldn't act immediately when alerted to a vile video such as the one Facebook were alerted to.  The only tools I have at my disposal are the ability to post a comment on Twitter and leave Facebook.

Maybe it's a small gesture by one individual but it was something I had to do.  I will never forget the description of that kitten's final moments; the thought that an organisation as large and powerful as Facebook would do nothing  when alerted to this horror is a sad reflection on society today. I know nothing will bring back the kitten and I know that worse things are happening to children around the world.  I happen to believe that a civilised society cares about all living creatures.  Failure to condemn cruelty to animals is unacceptable. I have to hope that Facebook's failure to act doesn't constitute approval or acceptance of what is shown in the video but inaction is not acceptable.  Maybe they need to look at their rules again and amend them.

So I made a decision and left Facebook.  I feel happier for having done so, for making a stand, however small. I apologise to any Facebook friends who miss me but I had to act for the sake of my conscience.  

Thursday, 4 September 2014


If I curl up really small maybe they won't find me.  Tuck my head tight against my chest, hug my legs into my belly, feet crossed.

Slow my frantic breathing.  In.  Out.  Slower and slower.  One long, deep breath to steady myself, exhaling slowly and deliberately.  Now long shallow breaths that can't be heard, that hardly disturb the air around me.

Pull my limbs into my torso even closer, make myself as small as possible. Relax the muscles slightly so I can hold the position for hours, even days, if I have to.  There is no way to know how long they will be here, how long they will search for, even if they know they are looking for me.