The shrug of loneliness has settled on my shoulders these last few days, like a dark shadow I cannot outrun.
Without wanting to wallow too long in its slippery misery, I’ve come to rationalise the reasons why this mist has descended, unwanted, into my world.
Farewells, I am not fond them at all. The who/what/when/where/why is irrelevant – goodbyes just never go down well with me. After the departure of a loved one who has been to stay, or each time I return from visiting my childhood home the ensuing week is shrouded in a fug of irrational mourning, leaving me lamenting the childish thought “why can’t everyone I love live near me? Why do we all have to be separated by so many miles?” I feel like screaming “FREEZE! Nobody move a muscle and stay exactly where you are!” (well, as long as its within spitting distance of me, but you get the gist…)
You see, I’ve recently enjoyed a four fab days of my Mum’s company. Despite H's barrage of tantrums, we experienced a laidback few days of hanging out, despite being holed up inside thanks to the wild weather. A casualty of my husband’s career, and the lifestyle choice we made means I am often left with just my toddler for companionship for the first half of the week, so having her at hand was wonderful. Now I am again alone, I feel her absence keenly.
The fact that we’ve also undergone a bit of upheaval in our world of late with the Husband’s new job, and the cessation of my old one has added to this uninvited, unintentional isolation. Life is yet to resume some semblance of “normal transition” as I muddle my way through the tasks of finding a new job (tough in this climate when you restrict yourself only to part-time), and take on the bulk of the domestic and child related day to day tasks. There is A LOT of time when it’s just Master H and I. I miss my husband, I miss our being together as a family… It can be little things, like not having eaten dinner together in the past 5 days (even though I admit one was my fault – had the chance to go to a yoga class for the first time in a month, hurrah!) that can stoke the lonely fire.
I'm still in denial that I will not be going back to my old job… To no longer have those two days of adult interaction at work, of laughter and reflection with some truly fabulous colleagues who became fast friends, is pinching at my heart. And the fact I now live two hours away from my old place of employment, it’s a little tricky to just pop in impulsively to say hi, or have a casual lunch.
Normally, I am more than comfortable in my own company (probably far more than I should be). And I completely understand the demands of The Husband’s awesome new job, not to mention the fact he is working so very hard for his little family, but it is still sometimes hard to swat away the gnawing solitude. I stave off looking too far into the future because on a “woe-is-me day” all I see are endless stretches of time that I will be trying to amuse my son, while flying solo.
I acknowledge I’ve been lucky to make some lovely new friends in our new home town and its getting easier to assimilate to this “new normal”. However my heart aches for my age-old friendships that fit me like a well-worn glove. It won’t remove the fact that I constantly wish I could drop by my parents’ house for a hit of my mum’s famous Chocolate Slice, or make an impulsive decision to drop by my sister’s house for a spot of gossip over a block of Cadbury’s.
I do realise that in the age in which we now live, its commonplace for loved ones to be far flung. Not many can lay claim to a cornucopia of familial support at close hand. And many wives endure the absences of their other halves in the (valid) name of financial security. (For the record, I am sure if it was me who was the more absent parent, I'd no doubt be complaining about that too. I am woman, hear my contradictory roar...)
So I need to be okay with this. I need to toughen up. God knows there are many more people out with far more legitimate reasons to complain than I…!
Instead I will make plans that immerse me in the present. I will cosset and covet any opportunities that come my way now that I am no longer tied to a job. I will endeavour to make some long shelved dreams come true; I will indulge my passion for prose and start weaving together a reality that for so long has been but a wispy, wistful dream. I will remind myself I have been granted a luxury to watch my child blossom before me, and be on hand to help create magical little memories together each day. And I will remind myself those I cherish are only but a phone call away…