And as we knew it might, the ceiling fell apart again. And as is the way, I damaged a disc and couldn't stand up straight. And because it's December, the boiler stopped working so life became chilly on the outside of our bodies as well as the chill that runs within mine.
And of course the pipes burst in the ceiling again and I found myself up a ladder, on the phone, holding a bucket to the ceiling, wearing nothing on my bottom half (don't ask... save yourself and don't even imagine!!), chatting casually to Selene in the call-out centre and confessing that I was shining my own private moon, praying nobody would look up at the lit window but hoping that as it was almost midnight I should be fairly safe.
And it came to pass that it was silly season. The first Carol concert came. And it was whipping a storm. And the traffic lights at the second set of roadworks within a month on the same part of the road had failed. My daughter had been chosen to sing the solo in front of hundreds of people. I screeched up like Starsky and Hutch, dropped children at the door, drove to the next available space two continents away, and ran through wind and rain as I like the look 'storm damage' gives my cheeks. And I ran for my life into the concert.
And then the change began.
A seat had been saved for me so I could see my child's face as well as hear her voice. The predictable concert brought enormous stability and reassurance in a time of tumultuous challenge. I sat with my family... including my daughter's dad and we revelled in the utter joy and pride of the moment.
And so I was reminded that another Christmas was coming and that again it could be a rocky ride. But this time is different. I am not resisting the ride. I am accepting it. And by doing so it has become more pantomime and less horror story.
The things that matter are never the things we fret over, the things that matter can't be bought and paid for, can't be cooked, wrapped, worn or consumed. The things that matter can only be felt and so I encourage you to ask yourself "What do I need to feel?". And then find a way to feel it.
The room above the garage.
A Moodscope member.
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