What a weather – raining all the time. Even Darcy did not want to leave the house. I opened the door hoping that she will go out and make her business (after all she was sleeping for 14 hours!), but she looked and me, turned around and went back to bed. OK, I went to the car-port, called her and so I got her out of the house, but... she run to the car wanting to get in. “Yes, we will go to town today, but later and now you should go to the toilet!” - I told her and she came back and sat next to me. Finally I had to put gum-boots on, take an umbrella and in the rain and cold and wind go with Darcy for a walk. She does not like to go for a walk by herself, especially not when the weather is as bad as today. First I was not happy that I had to go out of the house, but at the end I think it was good for me, as we had a lot of fun and it put me in a better mood. Somehow the weather makes me contemplative and pensive, and I spent all morning thinking (and writing) about life. Probably few things which happened lately also were not very helpful.
I went to Toastmasters a few days ago. For a long time I have not seen as many people in the meeting as this week. It was nice. A few new faces, and also some people I knew quite well, but I have not seen for a while. I was surprised how much they changed. One very friendly girl, a bit younger than I am – she almost doubled in size. Actually I did not recognised her at first, but when we chatted I realised who it was. And then there was the guy – we used to laugh quite a bit together. He was always full of energy and optimism, big smile never disappeared from his face and he had thousands ideas how to improve the meetings, which he used to implement as we went. He told me that it was exactly one year since we saw each other the last time. A year...but he looked almost 10 years older. The smile is gone from his face, his eyes look sad and tired, there is not much left from the energy and enthusiasm he used to have. And his body looks... so much older. I do not know what had happened in his life, we did not talk for long as I had to go. He said, that he was very busy at work and therefore he did not have time to came to the meetings... Work alone does not destroy us to this degree and make us look so old – I worked myself ridiculously long hours for well over 3 years, under unbelievable pressure and it did not made me look so careworn. Who knows, maybe some sickness or some issues in private life effected him...
Such situations always make me think about life – how often do we think that we are immune to everything and nothing can stop us from anything. It is funny, but in reality one second can changed our life and put it upside down. On the day I had the push-bike accident and my brain was dying I did not think it could be my last day. The day was quite normal, like any other day at the uni – I was thinking about my exams coming in 10 days and studying for them... And then just one slip of the push-bike and... everything could be over (all my problems solved ;)
One day last weekend, before I talked to you, I chatted with my father on the phone and somehow he remembered his friends, the things they used to do together and which course their lives took.(Another think to make me so pensive today) I mentioned to you before that my father had a group of very close friends, guys he went to high-school with or later to the university. They stayed friends all their lives. I remember most of them as they were like uncles to me, visited us quite often, with some of them we went camping, sailing or skiing together. These guys had two things in common. One was their unbelievable optimism, enthusiasm, happiness and the unique attitude to life – lets turn our dreams into the reality, lets change the world and make it a better place, we can do it! It seemed that there is nothing what can stop them from achieving whatever they want in life. Hmm. In this point I was a bit wrong – this is the second thing they had in common (except of my father) – wives like witches. The wives would do anything to stop their husbands from having any fun. I always liked the uncles visiting us, they were fun and we could do a lot of cool things together, but I did not like the aunties, they always destroyed all the fun (actually I do not remember ever calling them aunties – the guys I definitely called uncles and I do it until today, but it was always uncle xy and his wife).
As I said my father was an exception – his wife (my mother) decided, that she will learn to do whatever my father likes to do and she will do it with him. I have never had the best relationship with my mum, we are very different and often had a lot of difficulties to get along, but I have to say, that she really loves my dad (and I think it is why at some point she was very jealous of him and controlled him all the time). She is definitely a good wife and she would do anything for my dad. So she decided to learn skiing, swimming, sailing, camping, walking for days through the mountains, as well as liking reading classic books, opera and much more (she came from a very simple workers family, my father from very high educated family). It could be that some of the things she would never do by herself, but she loved doing it with my dad.
Life went on. One of the uncles started to talk that he will not live for long – only till about 60, like his father. He started losing the enthusiasm and smile was seldom on his face. And at the end he really died in his sixties – death was the best escape from the “loving home”.
And then was uncle Vitus – he was the coolest from all of them. He was always laughing, making jokes – I do not remember ever seeing him serious. He was very much a family man. His father left his mum when he was a little boy, so typically in this situations he promised to himself that he will never leave his wife and he will have the perfect family. My father said that he talked about this already in high-school. And he had a quite good family, at least he had two great sons (they went into his foot-prints and became sailors. Now they have their own company – something to do with sailing of course). The only problems was... he married a witch. I have never liked her at all – she is so rough and tough and cold, and never happy (it's funny I do not even remember her name). At some point my father did not see him for months and then when they met Vitus looked very excited and happy. He said to my dad “I am divorcing”. They chatted for a while and my father told me now “He looked so happy, he really loved that woman. I was happy for him that finally he also found happiness in love” Nevertheless, a few month later Vitus decided to go back to his wife – his conscience or maybe the strong sense of family duty did not let him leave his wife, he did not want to do, what his father did. His happiness, enthusiasm, optimism everything was gone. Vitus was also suffering from Leukaemia, but somehow at the beginning the sickness did not affected his positive attitude to life at all. He believed that he can fight the sickness and he was very optimistic. One evening he and his wife visited my parents. They went for a long walk in the forest. My father walked with Vitus, my mum and Vitus wife behind them. Vitus said to my dad “I am giving up. I am not fighting with the sickness any-more”. My dad was surprised and said to him “What are you talking about? There are so many treatments, you still have very good chances. You have plenty of years in front of you” Nevertheless Vitus all the time was repeating “I am not fighting with the sickness any-more”. The next day my dad got the feared phone-call. His friend passed away. He was in his 50-ties... Then my father also understood that the evening before his friend was saying the final good bye to him ... He did not have to die, he choose to die as there was no point in living without happiness and without love. It was a big shock for my dad – these two were best friends since they were little boys. At the beginning my dad could not accept at all that his friend is not with us any-more. And now, many many years later he still misses his best friend.
Quite a few of my dad's friends passed away, but some are still alive. There is one couple with whom my father is friends since they studied together. When the couple decided to get married the reaction of my father was something like “WHAT?!! How the hell should this work”. Anyway, she wanted to marry this guy, he somehow did not care to whom he is married (he definitely was not in love with her, so nobody knows why he married her) and they got married. And it is also how my father became “meat in a sandwich”. The couple started arguing with the day they got married and after their argument called my father – first he complained about her and after she complained about him or opposite. You can imagine that my father knows what was going on in that marriage very well (much better than he would wish to know). After over 40 years of war the guy decided to leave his wife. They got divorced (being in their 70-ties...) and since a few years he has a new partner and they are happy together (Nobody knows why he waited so long, but... better late than never ;) And she... She still calls my father complaining about life and about everybody. And few weeks ago when I talked to my father he obviously had enough of the conversation with his female friend and make a comment “I have no idea how somebody could live with woman like this. When you end up with her you have two choices – divorce or hang yourself”.
Leon, the friend who lend my dad a lot of money, is also still alive. He loves adventures and travel. He is the one who, with another friend, sailed quite a lot around Arctic and other places. He wishes very much to go for holidays with my parents and travel through Europe and other continents. Leon's wife does not like anybody and anything. Actually, my parents are the only Leon's friends she can tolerate and maybe even likes a bit. She could be married to George – they would understand each other perfectly – sitting and complaining how bad everything and everybody is. Her version of holidays is: fly to a hotel somewhere in Europe, watch TV for two weeks and come back home. Sometimes there might be a break in watching TV in order to go to the beach or to some restaurant. So the only adventure which Leon has now is to listen to the stories of my parents who travel together, go camping and discover the new places in Europe. And maybe soon they will come and visit me here, so Leon will be able to listen to some adventures from another continent.
As I said, from all these friends my father is the only one who has a partner who with him is living his dream. When we talked on the phone last time my dad said to me that he wants to live a long and a healthy life because he wants to have many more days with my mum and enjoy life with her. Isn't it quite ironic – all of his friends just try to avoid their wives and some chose death as a way of escape and he wants to live as long as possible to be with his wife.
One day my dad told me also something more about marriage. He said “People are different. And the art of a happy marriage is not only to accept the differences, but to learn to like them”. I know that he is right. The problem is, that it is not enough when one side tries... Though in my case actually both sides are trying their best, at the end George is working very hard to make from me the person he wants me to be ;) And maybe being a woman I should listen to my husband and adjust to him – at the end it was my mum who adjusted to her husband and my parents have a happy life now. So maybe I should sit with George on the verandah and for hours complain how unfair life is, spend hours sweeping the floor in the shed and making sure that the shed is perfectly clean, make sure that all the tools are perfectly shiny lying on the shelves, instead of using them and making them dirty all the time. Maybe it is what I should do. Stress and worry about the little things in life, ignore the big picture and watch my life passing by. Maybe... However, I am still too young to waste my life (and probably I always will be – even if I will be in my 80-ties or 90-ties, should I live so long, as I love life ;) and I definitely do not want to end-up like my dad's friends. Therefore I think I continue being a witch, do not listen to my husband, use the tools I need and make them dirty (I will clean them when necessary) and be happy. Sometimes it can be very challenging, as it was last weekend, when I have to hide all the time and avoid him to not get into troubles. But then I go to work, catch up with you or Mark and world looks better again :)
Sometimes with George I feel as if he would be constantly polishing his shoes and not seeing that there is mud all around him. And when I say that there is no point in polishing the shoes for as soon as he makes a step they will be dirty again, then his answer is “Then do not move. Wait until the mud dries out”. But then I can see the storm coming and I try to tell him that the mud will never completely dry as there are storms passing all the time. Unfortunately he cannot see the storm as he is looking at his shoes and getting angry that I am not polishing mines. I have to protect my head from the storm and not worry about shiny shoes in the mud! He somehow does not get the point – do not waste your time on the little things, keep your head up and look at the big picture and then steer your life in the right direction.
One time when I caught up with Mark I told him that with George I feel as if I brought him to a well, showed him the water he can drink, but he does not want to drink it. Fair enough, I do not care what he does, I cannot force anybody into doing anything. But the problem is that he tries to prevent me from drinking the water. Therefore the two choices I have are either to stay here and die of thirst or walk away and look for another well. Mark laughed and said “Kind of true, just you do not need to look for another well, you already found it”. OK, he might be right – we will see what the future will bring.
I better finish now and do some work. Couple of hours and Darcy will really want to go to town – I cannot let her wait too long :) Have a good weekend and see you next week.
Lots of Wings,