A Housewife’s lament…

Washing up still in the sink,

nervous sanity on the brink.

Breakdown bearing down on me,

a heavy weight they can’t see.

Sighs and cries are inwards kept:

can’t remember, when I last slept;

restless legs all night long,

tossing turmoil, mind all wrong.

A terraced trap surrounds for years,

losing courage, learning fears.

Identity crisis imminent,

unused brain now sediment.

Do the washing, clean the floor;

when that’s finished, there’s always more:

feed the kids, walk the dog,

when that’s done, clean the bog.

Wash the windows, make them gleam,

I’m going mad, I want to scream,

but there’s just too much stuff to do,

multi-tasking by one not few.

Make the breakfast, clear the side;

demands keep coming, I want to hide.

Do the shopping, make the tea,

“if there’s time love” pamper me.

© Liola Lee 2007

This was written back in 2007 or thereabouts. Housewives are often underrated but in reality they hold the home together. I was clearly feeling a little undervalued back then. I guess we all feel like that sometimes. 


Today is the day …’The ‘M’ Word

I often wonder if it is just women of my age that feel like this or whether women in general do. How do I feel? Well, if I had to be specific I would be unable to say with any degree of certainty exactly how it is that I feel. Generally, I feel out of sorts, under par and running on empty for most of the time which is why each day I affirm that today is the day when I will begin again. I’m a morning person and feel at my best in the mornings which is probably why I make all my affirmations upon rising unless of course I forget and then remember later. By women of my age I mean women who are of a certain age in life having reached that stage where everything changes for better or worse depending on how you perceive such things. I am of course referring to the ‘M’ word. Here I am talking of the menopause and not menstruation or motherhood yet on reflection all these ‘M’ words have played havoc with my hormones and at times hell for those who live with me. In truth the ‘M’ word or menopause from here on in has not yet happened. I am still having periods, although this last few months they have been irregular and unpredictable. It seems I am at the peri menopausal stage; at least I am if I am to believe everything that I read, and if what I read is true then Wow!! Lucky me!  Not only can I look forward to irregular periods, the absence of which can mean I have reached the menopause or worse still I could be pregnant; I can also expect hot flushes, night sweats, memory loss, weight gain and facial hair not to mention mood swings, tears and flooding, and I do not mean wetting my knickers, although that too may be likely at some stage. On the issue of flooding please do not ask, just think about it for a moment there, and you will get the idea. Of course I could be one of those who do not get any of these, and sail through it with calm composure and smug serenity. Yeah sure…and pigs might fly, as the saying goes. I have never been one of those women who do anything by halves so why should I start now? I am most definitely one of the in for a penny in for a pound brigade.

I shall have another cup of coffee now, making it my third and most likely my final coffee of the day. There are occasional days when I do down more than my stated maximum of three but those tend to be few and far between nowadays as if I go over the limit I develop terrible uncontrollable tremors with shaking hands, and an intense stare or maybe glare, and I start gritting my teeth. My usual ritual is three. Sometimes I stop at one or even two, and it has been known on the rare occasion for me to abstain altogether but today is not one of those days. I am sure if I was out working in the general population that I would do things differently. I have not always been an ardent coffee drinker, that came later and with practice. I use to be a tea drinker in the mornings. I did not have my first cup of coffee until I was 19, not for any other reason other than I chose not to before this time or at least I think I chose not to or maybe my parents had made that choice for me, and I just went along with it because I did not know anything different. Anyway, it is not really important why I drink coffee, I just do now but once I start it is hard to stop. I wish I could stop drinking coffee altogether as these days it makes me go wee all the time. I catch myself pausing yet again at the prospect of another day spent procrastinating on how to change my life. 

Life is so strangely cyclical. At least it is for me. I am sitting here in my semi detached cage, where I have been held captive by my own self imposed limitations for the last six years and a bit. I chose to move back here some years back now, I was not forced to; it was my choice, albeit not solely my decision. The strangely cyclical thing is that I now live almost directly opposite to the house that I grew up in, and here I am some 26 years later living right back where I started. I always thought that going back would be a tonic, somewhere to heal and gather strength. Turns out that it is not such a great idea to go back in time. Of course it’s good to reminisce and remember but trying to recreate, recapture and rekindle moments from our youth can be hugely destructive for some or all even.

© Liola Lee 2010

‘Today is the day’ …was a collection of musings I wrote during the Peri menopause years. It’s spoken in the first person, and was based largely on my journal entries written around that time. Journalling is a wonderful way to express this, that and whatever else needs to be said whether aloud or silently…

Today is the day…My catchphrase

Today is the day…’ is fast becoming my catch phrase. Every morning or at least almost every morning, I announce these words upon waking, sometimes to my husband and sometimes silently to myself when I think he’s fed up of hearing me repeat them yet again.  Sometimes I determine not to say these words at all because if today does not turn out to be the day that I hope for then I will not feel as though I’ve failed, and let myself down. Each day as I see it, is a new beginning, a time for me to forget the mistakes of yesterday and start afresh today. Mondays are the best as that’s a new week too but any day will do. Only thing is I’ve been saying this for years now and I’m still just plodding on but each day when I say it I really do mean it. Perhaps each day is my groundhog day which is why I say it each morning silently or otherwise. 

Today is the day when I shall get back on track with my health and fitness, lose weight, stop drinking wine because it’s making me fat, and refrain from anything that has even the remotest amount of caffeine in it. I shall not get angry, I shall not cry, I shall not lose my temper and I shall not let the little things in life get to me nor the big things either. I shall not be negative but will try to stay positive at all times. I shall endeavour to practice mindfulness at all times. I shall be mindful of what I put into my mouth and even more mindful of what I let out of my mouth. I shall take care with my thoughts and even more care with my actions. I plan to make every minute of every day count and live each day as though it were my last and of course to be present in the here and now living the moment mindfully or at least as mindfully as possible. At least that tends to be the general plan on most days. My list reads something like a revised edition of the 10 commandments only there are more, although I hasten to add that I have not killed anyone, not yet anyway. That said, maybe I’m being a bit too hard on myself and I do rather fancy a coffee, just a small one or maybe three… just to give me a kick start, so perhaps today is not the day to give up caffeine…just everything else.

© Liola Lee 2010

‘Today is the day’ …was a collection of musings I wrote during the Peri menopause years. It’s spoken in the first person, and was based largely on my journal entries written around that time. Journalling is a wonderful way to express this, that and whatever else needs to be said whether aloud or silently…

The Butterfly Effect…

We go through many changes in life as we find our way. For some of us, it is as simple as going from ‘A’ to ‘B’ for others of us, myself included the path is not so straightforward. We may find ourselves going one way, and then with no warning things happen, and we find we have to change direction. Sometimes it is our choice, and at others it is more because circumstances have changed, and we need to readjust and change our route.  We do not always realise that it is the journey itself that holds the key. We will reach the destination eventually, whichever route we take. I think, and maybe you do too that everything happens for a reason, and sometimes we have to follow a certain route to discover something about ourselves or life. Life unfolds exactly as it is meant to for us as an individual. We do not always see the bigger picture until later but ultimately, everything happens for our own good…I think. The Butterfly is a wonderful and beautiful symbol of transformation. The image shown here is of a Monarch Butterfly. We saw these when we were on holiday in Tucson, Arizona as they were migrating to New Mexico.

© Liola Lee 2018

Lost Boy

Lost Boy

Where are you son? Where did you go?

Are you lost? Do you know?

Are you safe or in danger?

Someone you love or just a stranger?

Do you care?

Can you see?

Beyond your world, outside your ‘Me’?

Are those voices in your head,

Once expelled, left unsaid?

Now returned, now to plunder,

Progress threatened,

Storms and thunder.

Clouds returning to your sky,

Life-less travelled,

You want to die.

Feel alone now, on your own;

Mind-made prison, man-made locks,

Treatments fail, mental blocks.

© Liola Lee 2007

Today is World Mental Health Day. For the first time ever a Minister for the Prevention of Suicide has been appointed in the United Kingdom. Let’s hope that this goes some way to helping address the issues and challenges that some people face. Any one of us could suffer from mental health issues at some stage in our lives that send us into despair. Of course only time will tell. There was a time when there was a stigma attached to admitting that you faced issues/challenges to your mental health. Thankfully, in recent years we as a society are beginning to talk more about mental health. That said, we have a long way to go as there are still so many people suffering in silence, who feel lost, afraid and feel they have no one to talk to. We need to listen more, and we need to talk more about mental health, and be more open about it. The following is a poem I wrote over a decade ago  about someone very close to me who suffered from serious issues which affected his life for a long time. He has come through those issues with help and support but there were times when he did not know which way to turn. Remember, just because you can’t see something, does n’t mean it is n’t there. The poem is called ‘Lost Boy’ and I hope it resonates with some of you about this truly important issue.