On Reflection

Empty nest, emptiness, moving on and ending a blog

Being of a certain age, I have read a few posts on empty nest syndrome. Typically this means you have raised children, not killed them in their teenage years, and seen them out of the house as semi or fully functioning adults. Hurrah for us. But given that my children have boarded since young, I knew I would be somewhat immune to the emotional carnage being experienced by my peers. That was until my last child left home for the bright lights of university.

Actually, his turning 18 and leaving home was against a backdrop of me, his mother, falling ill suddenly and being hospitalised (twice). Sure, I understood the momentum of his turning of age and leaving home but, truthfully, I was powerless to care about much outside of surviving two operations so I could continue to be a bother to my children. A job I love.

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On Reflection, People

Not holding out for a hero

Imagine. You’re on public transport and someone lights a cigarette, blowing a cocktail of carcinogens and nicotine into the air of your bus, tube or train.

Who are you?

(a)       the person trying to catch the offender’s eye so you can give them the most cutting of looks – before looking away quickly in case they see you giving them the most cutting of looks;

(b)       the person looking around for the red emergency handle because you know shit’s going to go down;

(c)        the tut-tutting person who doesn’t look up but needs to make their displeasure known; or

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On Reflection, Writing

On finding the culprit sucking the fun out of writing

When my children were younger, I wrote them an original story about four children. The children in the story were loosely based on them (okay, a lot based on them) and delighted their budding imaginations.

Spring forward to years later and my young people are now young adults. Much has happened in this springing forward time. The children have lost their father to a sudden heart attack, and me my husband and closest friend.

In that time, I also became a blogger and newspaper columnist in an attempt to retain much of the personality quirks my husband loved about me. Writing became a place to pretend I had not died along with him and to remain recognisable to him should he have the ability in some afterlife to be looking down (or up) at me.

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On Reflection, Writing


This week’s Post-40 Bloggers’ writing prompt is about surprises, and I remember attending an Anthony Robbins conference, a few years ago now, where he asked for a show of hands from those of us who liked surprises. Many if not all hands went up.

Tony called ‘Bullshit’ and explained most of us only liked surprises that were welcome. For instance:

  • Walking into the local supermarket to do the weekly shop, it would indeed be a surprise if all the staff were walking around butt naked covered in mud. (Imagine the mess all up in the soft fruits aisle.)
  • Or calling in the plumber to fix the small nuisance of a dripping tap to find out your newly fitted kitchen was, well, badly fitted and the whole thing needs to be re-done. Only the original builders have “dun a runner, mate.”
  • Then there’s rocking up at the doctor’s office for a pat on the back for getting your cholesterol down to within acceptable limits… to be told you have breast cancer. SURPRISE!

And I had accepted Tony’s wisdom until a recent conversation with one of my daughters illuminating that, good or bad, some people just don’t like surprises. My clue in her case was when she said:

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