Sunday, 21 February 2010

THE life enhancing times

Writing about the wonderful time I had dancing under the stars got me thinking about other life enhancing times in my life.
And so I'm going to indulge myself with listing some of them. I do not expect this list to be interesting to anyone else it's just for me to go down my own memory lane and pause for a moment with memories not found in photos so therefore genuine ones rather than photo memories.

So starting with dancing under the stars when I was 16.

Going out with David when I was 17 and when we'd been going out for a month having a day trip to Stratford upon Avon and admitting to each other we were in love. And the relationship lasting for the next five years.

Waiting for the post one Saturday when I was 21. Everyone wanting to know what was said in the letter. And my going into the sitting room, telling my parents not to come in till I told them to. Opening the letter and reading the unbelievable words that I'd passed my SRN. Having to read it twice and then erupting with joy.

Meeting Howard and getting married 7 months later. My wedding day was just the most wonderful day. And my strongest remaining memory is of sitting in the passenger seat going off on our honeymoon, with me holding my hand out, so I could admire my wedding and engagement ring glinting in the light.

Kit at infant school, presentation day, and hearing the headteacher announce that they had created a special prize for someone who had shown consistent kindness to the rest of the school and then saying Kit's name... result mother in floods of tears and pride.

Going down the Pacific Highway in a Winnebago from San Fransisco to Disneyland and stopping in places that I'd only ever heard read about like Monterrey and Carmel.

Alex walking round town with me holding my hand, wearing his fighting cape at three years old (an old tartan skirt of mine adapted for a superhero!)and clutching his sword and holding conversations with anyone and everyone, especially his imaginary friend Plicky.

Being brave enough to live after Howard walked out on us. So getting on a plane to London,then Boston then Philadelphia and then back again by myself with two little boys of 4 and 9 years old. And only having one wobble at Boston airport, and the boys just held my hands and told me we'd be alright, which we were.

Getting to be asked by my friend David (different man) to be Chair of Governors... me, who was completely stupid at school, suddenly being held in high esteem by a man with a PHD.

Going to Cambridge to watch Kit graduate at the SEnate house. And afterwards us running away from the formal meet and greet party and buying a bag of chips to share. To be told by Kit that this degree belonged to both of us as he couldn't have got to Cambridge without me.

Receiving the letter from BACP telling me that I'd been Accredited as a therapist, which meant that I was been seen as an equal by other professional therapists. A real red letter day.

Going to New York for the first time on 1st January 2000 with Eve and walking through Times square which was still full of billowing ticker tape from the night before. Staying in a hotel suite (courtesy of a relative of Eve's) Going up the Empire State Building at 9pm when there were no queues and it felt like being on a movie set!

Taking many holidays over the years to Portmerion, my all time fav place in the UK. Have been with the boys, have been on aunties and cousins trips (they are the best) gone with friends and a couple of lovers. Can't afford it anymore, but it remains a place of my dreams.

Going up in a hot air balloon and loving it. Going scuba diving twice and hating it with a passion. But damned proud of confronting my fears.

Taking myself to Savannah, another place of my dreams, for my 50th Birthday and it living up to all my expectations. And rereading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil whilst I was there.

Sunday lunch anytime with my boys, but particularly the day Alex told me that I was the one person who he truly respected and that I was totally responsible for helping them be the young men they are today (this was long before his troubles btw!)

Being diagnosed with breast cancer and coping over Christmas with three operations in 8 weeks and getting back to work the following March. And the subsequent emotional changes that having cancer has put me through, so four years on I think I'm a better and defiantly more tolerant person.

Affording and paying for an upgrade on a plane to Philly winter 08/09 and getting upgraded again to first class on the way back. I relished every moment of the trip it is etched in my brain. So now when I turn right I can think myself into the left turn and know what happens without needing to do it again.Unless I win the lottery and I'd never travel any other way.

Learning to be truly happy in my own skin. It is has been a lifetimes journey but now it feels that I can start to reap the rewards of liking me (most of the time!) I no longer beat myself up for not being good enough. I have changed how I relate to men, and that means right now I'm okay without one as I don't have time to get sucked into a relationship. My journey for me is too consuming and rewarding right now. But the door is not bolted merely closed for now.


Cynthia Pittmann said...

Wonderful life and times! I was touch by your life journey. So much share your joy wih much to celebrate. Thanks for reminding me!

Pam said...

I enjoyed every word of this Mandy. Thanks for sharing these wonderful moments. I think one of the many advantages of being at this stage of our lives is not being "sucked in" to situations, whether they it be relationships or other areas of our lives; to be happy in our own skin as you put it. It is also evident how much you have experienced the highs and lows of parenthood. Nothing can hurt as much or give as much joy in my opinion.All of these experiences give us so much wisdom, and the fact we got through,actually made it, often relying on our own inner strength and resources, actually sees us like ourselves for nutting it out and seeing it through.Go you! Go us! May our challenges be little ones and our joys many. Your post is touching.xx

Rach said...

How very lovely Mandy and in so many different ways. I have to admit to a tear in my eye at the end of it, very beautifully portrayed as ever..xx

Mel said...

Life enhancing, indeed.

((((((((((( the byrdie ))))))))))))

It's a wonderful life! :-)

Paula said...

Mandy, wonderful. And moving and how you grew in and with it. Your jar of stars! It is so good and worthwhile to remember. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed traveling down memory lane with you.

nitebyrd said...

This is an incredible post, Mandy! What good and some bad things you have in your memory bank.

Thank you for pulling them out for us to pour over with you. It's so nice to have a friend that shares.

*big smile*

Beatnheart said...

Loving that!! so brave and strong..thanks for being an inspiration...

Lia said...

Ah that was so lovely.
Thanks for sharing that with us all.

Much love

Sorrow said...

You are a blessing, and life enhancing to know!

Von said...

You go girl it just gets better too!!

Angela said...

Life is sure worth living, isn`t it? The good and the bad, and the wisdom we gain from it all. Have a real happy life, Mandy dear! May your wishes for the path ahead of you all be fulfilled!

Beatnheart said...

Thank you for your comment...Is so wonderful to find something that truly works for you..I remember the 70's with all those keep fit classes..not that much fun and lots of injuries!! and the quest for thinness...So much nicer to just love and respect our bodies..Stay Warm..Cynthia

kuta Kharisma said...
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miss*R said...

you are an amazing soul.. knew it anyhow but reading this has reinforced that!!

日月神教-向左使 said...