Brave new world?

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Are things getting better or just more complicated?

I just signed the contract to rent my new apartment – paperwork was horrid and endless! I remembered as a dream the days when you met the landlord, they appraised you as a human being and if they liked what they saw you both signed a simple standard contract. I understand renting agents and referencing agents are safeguards for both parties, but it seems to have reached a stage of the ridiculous in expensive red tape.

Then there are the phone calls to providers and utilities where you run the gauntlet of endless answering machines then wait ages to finally you get to talk to another human.

For someone who never saw a TV set till I was five, (yes, I am that old lol!) had to walk to a phone box to make a call, found information at the local library, saw my dad repair shoes, make furniture, grow veg and cycle to work and my mum make our clothes on her new sewing machine and prepare all our food from scratch, I question which was better.

For all the medical advances – we seemed to be far healthier back then.

Communication advances – we actually developed social skills lol.

Entertainment advances – we had more fun doing simple stuff before we became over stimulated.

Mental health – most folks were pretty happy – I can’t remember ever hearing of depression or mental health issues. Of course they were not discussed so much back then. For sure they existed, but I suspect they were less prevalent. Following the trauma of the war it is surprising how cheerful and upbeat people seemed compared to now, perhaps due to the camaraderie and natural, supportive interaction of society. What we gained on the swings I suspect we lost on the roundabouts. Mental health became a doctors domain rather than being bolstered by close friendships and family.

Educational advances – more to learn, more pressure, more knowledge but far less wisdom and discernment.

Standard of living – higher for most (though not all) yet all in all I suspect the quality of life has taken a plunge.

While I applaud many of the new advances and innovations I regret the loss of much that was precious to the human soul.

“I’ve had many troubles, most of which never happened!”

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“I’ve had many troubles, most of which never happened!” Great Mark Twain quote!

That summarizes my last few weeks (during which I’ve barely posted). I might say the troubles did come, but the scary visions of what might come of them didn’t. One of the biggest was a phone call out of the blue during which I discovered my landlord had to sell my cozy apartment I’ve been taking for granted for several years. Not that there was a possibility of being out on the streets, thank God, but still it was like someone wrenched my security blanket away, my personal refuge amidst the storms of life (of which there have been many of late).

One has to delve and face one’s secret fears and mine, I realised, was possibly ending in an unpleasant, dark or uncomfortable place. Being older, an artist, and sensitive to my environment I need a clean, bright, warm, inspiring place in which to function well. I also had to face the possibility that my time in my sweet old English town might be at an end (even my time in the UK). There’s been a kind of pattern to my life and I generally end up moving every three and a half years or so for one reason or another, and I realised it had been three and a half years here.

I know it is always good, every so often, to put everything on the altar and seek God’s will in my life… could He be trying to show me something? Will this be a small change or a big change? I know the best thing one can do with change is embrace it.

Thankfully this change turned out not to be so earth shattering in the end and I hope to soon finalise a contract for a new apartment very close to my youngest daughter’s, it’s clean, light, well kept with an incredible view. not so hard lol!

The major change however was to downsize to one bedroom and also put my name on a two year waiting list for over 60s sheltered housing (cute independent studio flats) with a local church association. Looking to the future I wouldn’t want this to happen in my 70’s!

So all’s well that ends well, change happened but not the scary bit thank God!

turning the page.

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Today a new page of my life begins. In some ways it will be as it was before this last chapter, in others not. My youngest daughter and her little son moved last night to their little “place round the corner”. We’ve been working for this a long time, ever since the phone call saying explaining her decision to leave Mexico and later flying back “on a wing and a prayer” to join me here.

There have been many steps, practical and emotional, resolving issues, learning to cope on her own. I’m so happy for her she’s reached this point where she can flap her wings and fly once more, safeguarded by me and her siblings.

Yet its oddly quiet without the intermittent “mummy’s” and I’ll miss her frequent hugs and appreciation. I’ll be more free to write again, have my quiet morning prayer time without interruptions, time to chill when I want, yet I’ll miss their loving warmth. They are close by, we’ll see each other often but it will be different. Perhaps I’ll enjoy the best of both worlds, I hope so..