Talk About Cheesecake

Musings, meanderings and meditation for my mind.


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Enough is enough

I asked the other day when it was ok to stop trying with a relationship, be it with a friend, family or a partner.

After another week of wrestling with this question from a personal point of view, I have decided that this is it. The last stand. The final gesture.

I have not made this decision lightly. I have tried valiantly for months to resurrect a friendship which has grown awkward and inelegant with time, frustration and inconsideration.

I do not for a second think this is one sided, that there is one person to blame, or at fault. I expect both sides in this spat feel as let down as the other. Who knows who threw the first spanner into the cog of our friendship, who was the first to feel dismissed by the other? As the years have gone by, so have numerous little digs and comments that rankled but were put aside, only now to be resurrected in the game of ‘she said, she said’.

However, the time has come to accept defeat. For now.

It is time to settle back, concentrate on other aspects of my life, other friendships old and new. Expand my horizons, branch out.

They say time is a healer. Maybe in time this rift will become repaired. But like a scab it is best to let it heal over rather than to pick at it.

Time out, time for a rest, time for a change.

There is a feeling of relief in making this decision. Sadness too, but relief in giving myself permission to stop feeling responsible. To stop trying.

So the gesture has been made. If it is taken up, then all is not lost.

But if it is not, then I will relax and know that I did at least try.


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A word on virtual friendships.

This is a post I have been meaning to write for some time. This is a thought or two on friendships.

Virtual friendships.

When the internet first burst out of it’s box however long ago the idea that we could all chat with complete strangers was bizarre. Forming friendships with them was ridiculous. Certainly I never imagined that I would  spend more time chatting with virtual friends online than my real life companions.

But somehow that is what has happened.

Seven years ago I searched online for a forum about becoming a mother. Being pregnant was an entirely new experience, the things happening inside me were exciting and frightening, the future an unknown entity. As anyone who has been pregnant knows there are questions we want to ask. Not just the obvious medical ones – how is the baby growing, what is giving birth like? Little questions. Embarrassing questions about bodily functions for example.

I found a mums group where all of us nervous expectant mothers were due in the same month. Which was great as it meant we were going through the same changes at the same time. I joined in under a pseudonym and began my first forays in to chatting online.

To start with there were probably a hundred or more women on the forum. Some left, others joined. Over the nine months of pregnancy there were of course arguments and trolls. Even online personalities clash. But at the core of the group there were a number of continuous posters who became individuals in their own right. They stood out. I began to remember details about selected members and to have chats and laugh at jokes. Much like building a relationship in the real world we got to know each other by sharing experiences and parts of our own personal histories. Without ever actually knowing the basic information of the girls real names. After all, this was a public forum.

Our babies were born. We shared birth stories. Our babies began to grow and we told each other about their first teeth, their first taste of food. My forum friends and I discussed first birthdays and first steps.

And then along came Facebook and everything changed.

I cannot remember who first brought up the idea of having a private group on Facebook. At first it was a worrying idea, to join in with my given name and allow my virtual friends access to the real me. After all I may have been sharing intimate personal details with complete strangers online for about two years but they didn’t actually know who I was.

I umm’ed and ahh’ed but in the end the group was set up and I joined in. And there they were. The actual names and faces of about 25 of the loveliest women I have ever met. Or not met, as the case may be.

We have had a few more people leave us over time. But that’s ok. Having virtual friends means that dropping them if you want to is easy. No embarrassing encounters over shopping trolleys or awkward silences at the school gates.

What is left is a group of the most supportive women I have ever known. We don’t all agree on everything, of course. There are different viewpoints on politics, child rearing, breast feeding, education. We discuss all sorts of topics in our private group and it’s ok for us to disagree, to explore different ideas and have our own opinions.

One of our ladies lives abroad. The rest of us are spread out across the UK. Some of us have met now, physically. Some of us haven’t. It doesn’t matter. We come together in our virtual meeting place for a coffee and a chat. If one of my friends has a problem they can ‘talk’ it through online and the rest of us are supportive. If they want a rant, we can join in and rant with them. When they feel sad, we take time to cheer each other up. Between us we have a variety of work experience in different fields we can use to give each other advice. While we still talk about our children, we went far past that a long time ago.

What makes a friendship? If it’s spending time together, we do that. In fact we can chat every day, even if we just pop in for 5 minutes. Which is more time than I get to spend with my ‘real life’ friends. Shopping together – we do that too, online. Sharing worries and concerns, having a laugh, moaning about husbands, families, worrying about children. We do all that and we can share a virtual hug too.

Is this a way of life today – are online friendships becoming more common? Is it all we have time for now in our busy lives. I don’t know if our group is unusual in how close we became or if this is becoming ‘the norm’.

This is what I do know.

Seven years ago I met group of strangers online and now I am pleased to be able to call them my friends.


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The Ultimate Desire.

I have been pondering over this week’s writing challenge for a couple of days, whilst I tried to decide where to begin. After all, surely if I had one wish I would have to make it a great one. Something life changing or awe inspiring. Something so big it could impact on the globe.

World peace.

No, that doesn’t feel like me. I mean, sure, world peace would be amazing. It would benefit millions of people, not just those in our own military who are out there risking their lives, separated from their families. Not just the families of the military, small children growing up without their parents. But it would be amazing for those families living in war torn countries, for women living in fear every day of being attacked. I wonder how women living in those conditions manage to find food for their children or put clothes on their bodies.

Which brings me to . . .

Ending world hunger.

Now that would be a wish worth making. I am in awe of the people who live in poverty stricken, famine ridden countries. Mothers who walk miles every day to obtain a bucket of dirty water to try to keep their starving children alive, who fight every day to find just one mouthful of rice to fill their empty bellies. We take so much for granted and I am often disgusted by the greed and waste of our society today.

I wish that I were able to make that wish, but I am too selfish for that.

So something more personal then.

Would I want to be a millionaire? If I won the lottery and had all the money I could ever need, what would I do with it?

I could buy the best house ever for my parents and send my kids to great schools. I could finish all the renovations on our own home and add a pool. Indoor. With steam room. I wouldn’t have to work, so would I have more time to be with my kids. Would being uber rich satisfy me?

Of course I don’t need oodles of dosh to spend more time with my kids. But somehow between working, cooking, keeping the house habitable and washing clothes, it seems so difficult to find time to play games and be silly, to have fun. So I am constantly feeling the guilt of not being the best mum I could be or should be. Perhaps I wish I were a super mum.

Constantly feeling like I am lacking in being a great mum is just one of the failures that batter at my confidence every day. I fail at being a world renowned success in my career. I suspect that this may partly be because I still don’t know, at 34, what the career of my choice would be. What do I want to do with my life? Should I wish I were a success?

I fail at being the best friend ever because I am blunt and impatient and feel it is incumbent on me to point out the ridiculousness of my friends actions and not just accept that it is their life choice to make without my judgement. I fail at being a perfect wife because I can be grumpy and snarl for no reason. Should I wish I were perfect? How dull!

Or beautiful? A perfect figure without lumps from over indulgence. Pert boobs, no longer pulled down by childbearing. Thighs that could crack nuts (I don’t know why I would want to do this, but I hear it’s the thigh to have). Legs that go on and on. Long silky hair, less frizzy and uncontrollable. Do I wish I were a stunner? Not really. That’s not my dream, although a few tune up’s here and there would be acceptable.

Would I like to fix mistakes from my past? To go back and change the actions that, although long ago, can leave me feeling shame and embarrassment even now. Or to ‘know then what I know now’ and do it better this time?  I wish I were a teenager again? Shudder. Definitely not.

I wish I were more  . . .  imaginative? So that I could be an amazing writer, an award winning novelist. More caring? More patient? More daring? Stronger? Braver? Maybe I just wish I were more!

Can one wish make all our dreams come true? Can we change one thing about ourselves and improve everything in one go? In today’s consumer driven culture of always wanting more, what is the ultimate desire?

I think . . .

I wish I were . . . 

Content!

 

 

Written for the DPchallenge!