This will be our first Christmas in a house that I actually own (or will own when payments are paid!). My very first time, as an adult, where I’m not renting. I am not wondering ‘can I put a nail in the wall to hang a decoration?’ ‘Will the landlady discover we have a dog?’ ‘Will the landlord ever get the dishwasher fixed?’
This Christmas, as Diana Ross sang: ‘It’s my house and I live here… ‘
But there are a gazillion things that need to be fixed. Over the past weeks, I’ve had the plumber and electrician here - again! The electrician came, said little, did the work, charged a fortune and left. The plumber arrived in a bad mood and quite literally cursed his way through the work and then proceeded to break not one but two parts of my boiler. Cue more cursing. Then he had to order the parts and he is yet to return. While he was here, I was trying to work and keep the dog from chewing his ankle. But the plumber’s dark mood, cursing and his litany of medical ailments really got to me. I felt drained when he left.
A dear friend of mine has been going through cancer treatment this year. During her chemo, she decided to be proactive and get her garden sorted out. Her neighbours recommended a local man and along he came, huffing and puffing about his hard day. She, like me, is friendly and offered him a cup of tea. Their talk turned to the American election and she quickly realised that garden-man is a Trump fan, a racist and a misogynist. He shouted at my friend, ending with the words: ’I hate people like you’ and stormed out. She was in bits. I was furious on her behalf. I wished vile things on this man for upsetting my beautiful friend.
I have another lovely friend who hired a cleaner to make her busy life easier but the cleaner turned out to be a manipulative, nasty man who made her life far far more difficult. It took my friend some time (and money) to end the arrangement. When she finally blocked his number, the relief she felt was immeasurable.
I was telling all this (and there’s more!) to a wise friend of mine. She said her very first question on getting a recommendation for a tradesperson is: ‘What energy will they bring into my space?’ so she meets them first before deciding. And she will send them home midway through the job if she feels uncomfortable.
My home = my space = my sanctuary.
Is this a metaphor for life - especially for those of us who suffer from mental health issues? Should we ask ourselves: ‘What energy is this person bringing into my life?’ ‘If I’m having a bad day, maybe this person is not the one to ring… who do I need to talk to today?’
It’s all self care isn’t it?
Something I’m slowly slowly learning…
Salt Water Mum
A Moodscope member.
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