Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Killing The Snake

I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging front due to a number of things – some good, some not so good, others just plain trying.  One of the good things was that I managed to get away for a few days with my very oldest friends, a quick jump on to a plane from the various points of the UK in which we live, and within hours we were gassing away in the sunshine in Majorca.  It was a wonderfully carefree time in which we lived in bikinis and didn’t give a damn about our sagging bagging bodies riddled with scars of childhood or childbearing mishaps, drank what we wanted and ate when we wanted without the rigours of the school run or kids’ feeding times.  And we talked.  And I tried a gentle form of yoga for the first time, despite having an existing ankle injury before I’d even got on the plane.  And for the first time in over a year, my body enjoyed being stretched and pulled back into shape. 

And whilst I was away, sans kids and husband, they too thrived in their own little ways.  G managed supremely well as always getting the kids to and from their various activities and this year didn’t manage to poison them with burnt lasagne.  They were all delighted to see me back and within half an hour I didn’t feel that I had been away… 

But I had come back enervated and energetic and willing to try something new, and when a recruitment agent called me to ask me to an interview I thought ‘Why Not?’  It’s not that I was particularly looking for a job - I run my own small business from home- it’s just that I’ve been working from home for years and frankly I’m beginning to bore myself.  At times I think I’m going a little mad. Even the dog yawns when I try to involve him in conversation… And it was only 17 years ago that I was a bona fide yuppie, the breadwinner of the family, so I figured that a small permanent part time office role would get me right back into the swing of things.

So I pulled on my glad rags and tottered on over to the interview in heels that had lain unworn in my wardrobe for a while.  And I got on really well with the interviewer who would be my boss, and I left feeling that it would be something new and exciting.  And I called G animatedly to give him the rundown on how it went.  He of course has been office based and therefore worldly wise in office politics for an awfully long time, whereas I float in and out of offices in my consultancy, spreading equal amounts of cheer and fear, depending on the role.

I didn’t get the job.  And this was an enormous blow to me – from a professional perspective, someone else fitted the company culture and role better.  And from a personal perspective I felt rejected and dejected – this had been the best that I had looked and felt in myself for a long time, and it clearly wasn’t good enough. And that day I got a call from my medical consultant to say that I needed to have another procedure on my ankle, which made me feel a little more useless and decrepit.

And then I got a call from the school Matron to tell me that Middle Son had been hit in the knee with a cricket ball, but he was all right, a bit swollen and bruised.  I got over there in time to see him return to the game and proceed to get hit in the thigh and retire again. He woke up the next morning raring to go. He is a fabulous high jumper, but that day he jumped awkwardly in a schools competition on a height over which he would normally fly.  And as he lay there concussed,bleeding and crying, first aiders looking panic stricken towards me, my dodgy ankle suddenly grew wings, and in no time at all he was in hospital, his head glued together again, and asking for ice cream.

As we sat at home, snuggled on the sofa and hiding under a blanket from any more bad luck, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a brightly coloured object.  It was a snake, fashioned out of loom bands (that worldwide craze in which bracelets and such are created out of elastic bands).  It was, he suggested, the harbinger of doom, the denizen of despair – or as he put it, the bad luck omen.  He had found this object on the path two days previously, before all our bad luck had started. None of us had made it, it had simply appeared. He was convinced that this was the font of all our woes.

And so we had a ceremonial killing of the snake for all of our sakes.  We decided on a cremation in the garden.  And boy did it go up in flames, and it burned and burned for about 5 minutes.  And then it went out with a last hiss.

I don’t know whether it has worked. I do know that Little Man brought home the best report I have ever read.  And Eldest Son won a coveted Rowing trophy which I was there to witness. I do know that I have back a happy, healthy child in Middle Son who is going straight into a Nationals Athletics competition today. I do know that every day my sons say 'I Love You Mum' to me - whether it is before they step out the door in the morning, or with a last sleepy breath at night. And I do know that after the second procedure on my ankle yesterday it feels bruised, and battered, but a little bit better.

And as for the job?  Well, it obviously wasn’t the right time or place or opportunity for me.  But I do know that from now on I will have my eyes wide open to anything that charges (or slithers) around the corner.