The next phase…

(Today’s Author is Carol from MWM Paignton)

It’s been a funny week. Last weekend, my older son, Chris, and his partner (who live together in Bournemouth) came home for the weekend, mainly so Jess could see her Grandma who was down here from Yorkshire and to catch up with her mum too, but they stayed with us, so we got to spend some time with them also which was nice. We didn’t see a lot of them, because we had already got plans for the Saturday evening, so we kind of just saw each other in the mornings. Chris had remarked that it would be the first time he had been at home when his brother Nick wasn’t here too, so he thought it felt a little different as well. Nick is at Uni in Cardiff and so most of the time nowadays it’s just me and my other half rattling around in our house now and I miss those days of when we are all together. It doesn’t get to happen very often any more.

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All of us having a laugh in a lift in Southampton last summer!

What was strange was that whilst Mark and I are used to now having the house to ourselves, nobody else’s shoes to trip over, nobody else’s dirty washing to pick up, food still in the fridge more than two days after I’ve been shopping, that kind of thing, it still felt very odd when Chris and Jess went on Sunday. We both felt the same, although it was Mark who had voiced it, and he was feeling quite thoughtful and sad, as was I. It was hard to put your finger on it, but I described it as there being a disconnect, a mismatch, things being somewhat out of kilter. Why was that? We are used to them not being here any more, and we’re used to Nick not being here too (he’ll be home in a few weeks making a mess again anyway!) but it was a bit like a Dr Who episode when something just felt like time was a little out of step. *For those that don’t know, I am quite the Dr Who fan so apologies for the analogy if you’re not 😉

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Time feeling out of step…

When they went, Mark and I went back to our usual positions of him watching the football on a Sunday afternoon whilst doing the ironing, me getting my work ready for the week, us taking it in turns to make cups of tea and coffee for each other, and probably both of us wondering how the years had passed so fast, and what now. In years gone by, like most of you now, our weekends would have been full of kids-related stuff, like trips to the beach, playing crazy golf, football down the park, another birthday party to attend, paddling pools in the garden, picnics on the moors, sliding down water slides at Woodlands, walking round the Zoo and trying to get the kids interested in more than just the play areas and the train! But here we are, no small children, no grandchildren yet, and knowing we need to make some more new memories in this new phase but feel somewhat that we’re out of practice due to all the commitments of the past with children and commitments of the present with work.

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The boys on one of our weekend camping trips 2008

The rest of the working week saw son no. 1 Chris off on his first business trip abroad to South Korea to visit Samsung which is amazing; husband Mark off on yet another business trip, albeit just a day rather than the long haul flights abroad he has done for years; son no. 2 Nick sorting out his 2nd year at Uni in Cardiff and finalising accommodation; Jess having her 23rd birthday in Bournemouth working at the hospital (where she is training to become a nurse) without my son being there cos he’s in Korea still; me doing what I do and singing with the lovely families at music classes, along with a trip to the solicitors with my mum as she is going to be moving into a new flat soon which is very exciting as I get to help plan a kitchen and new decorations and furniture with her; and then here we are on Bank Holiday weekend and today, Sunday, it’s our 24th Wedding Anniversary! How lovely you may think, and yes, it is, but it’s also another of those moments of, where did the years go, what have we done in that time, what are we going to do going forward?

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Mark and I and my side of the family at our Wedding 1994

I have a little confession to make while I’m at it, I couldn’t find our wedding photo album! (It was 24 years ago after all!) I know it’s in a box somewhere in the loft, but I searched high and low for it and can’t yet find it, hence the only photo I have to share with you is the one above which my mum (on the right with the red jacket) has on her wall. Mum took a photo of it for me, and sent it to me so I could add it here. I know it doesn’t look like it in the photo, but Mark’s family was at the wedding too, promise! ♥

Today we are working in the garden on this beautiful day, and this evening will probably have a meal out, although in this weather, it might be a barbecue for two! We have said we will do something extra special next year for our 25th as it will also be both of our 50th birthdays within a few months of our Silver Wedding (typing that makes me go grey, ok, more grey….) and I suppose now starts the countdown to that so there is no escaping the fact that I’m getting seriously adult now! Mind you, I think that singing with you all each week, jumping up and down on the Big Red Bus, quacking like the Yellow Ducks we saw this week in Music with Mummy classes, Line Dancing with the Jolly Babies, and generally being around all of you, definitely helps keeps me young, and for that, I am very grateful.

So, phases. Each one has its ups and downs, positives and negatives, and looking back to when Mark and I got married in 1994, I feel I am a totally different person now, but everything I have done and everyone I have met throughout my life so far has shaped me into the person I am now. The world is somewhat a very different place too, yet here we are and here we all are, moving forward each day and I especially am grateful for every new day that dawns as I get older. And I’m looking forward to making some new memories for us to look back on this coming year to add to and complement the previous 24 years of the photo album that’s in my head. What will it contain I wonder?

We’ll have to wait and see.

Carol x x x

Dr Who 1

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Here’s to the future and whatever it holds…

 

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