Ten Things of Thankful ?171 (Curmudgeon)

My inner world has shrunk to one of those grey, overcast afternoons where you want to go out but can’t because the rain is lashing against the windows and no-one wants to play anyway. My desire to write has drained from whichever part of the soul has a grimy plughole, leaving a swirl of greasy scum behind, as a memory of what once was thriving, sparkling, filled with frothy excitement.

My ability to be thankful has become stunted and grudging, crabbed thoughts like ancient twisted boughs blocking the sunshine – I SHOULD be able to identify things in a way which is relatable, I SHOULD be writing, I SHOULD be joining in with my own damn hop, instead of nurturing secret, vicious hopes that it will fizzle to nothing, adding the final nail to the coffin of waysiding.


I haven’t even been taking photos – usually something I take great pleasure in – because I haven’t seen anything worthwhile. It’s almost certainly because I’ve been looking wrong. I’ve been thinking wrong. I’ve been lazy. I haven’t even had the depth of passion to properly take myself to task (I’m usually a gold medallist at giving myself a hard time) – I’ve just…lost it! Whatever ‘it’ was.

I’ve been reading a lot of books. I’ve been losing myself in other worlds, experiencing things I never could in my own one, through the power of other people’s words, and I’ve been less discontented whilst lost. I’ve enjoyed disappearing, and the lack of frenetic, which awaits me between the pages. I’ve appreciated SO much that the life I have is one which allows me to retire to bed with a book after work, and not be needed elsewhere.

I’ve been healing a lot. I never appreciated just how huge an impact the removal of two lower wisdom teeth would have, but it’s knocked me for six and I’ve been slow to regain ground. I was VERY thankful to be able to nip up to the hospital dentist whilst at the office this week, and get examined, x-rayed, and a prescription of (free) antibiotics for an infection which had set me back even further. I’m thankful BEYOND MEASURE for the bliss of pain meds, and of knowing that if I hang on, the pain will lessen and I’ll be able to continue my day or get back to sleep, or whatever I’d been involved in before that feeling of iron bars being shoved through the sides of my head, erupted again.

I’ve been struggling. I still can’t decide whether it was the best or worst timing, two days after dental surgery, to receive news that the straightforward student-visa-to-America was not an option which was open to me. It was devastating, dream-shattering, and has required a LOT of rethinking and trying to hold things lightly, and in perspective, and trust to life…but also it meant that I was so taken up with agony and living from one set of painkillers to the next, and trying to manage the far more immediate pain, that I wasn’t able to focus on it or overthink it or get worked up. It was just a thing that had happened. My hope was gone and that was the end of it, but it wasn’t my focus. Couldn’t be my focus.

So I haven’t mourned. I haven’t tantrummed or stamped my feet and buckled under the unfairness of a perfect plan going so drastically awry. I’ve resigned myself to it, with the theory that life sometimes takes us underwater but we usually bob up again in the end, and in a different place, so why expend the effort? Just keep swimming! In all honesty I might as well – as when dealing with traffic jams, my getting upset about it isn’t going to change the facts, so I might as well be as chill as possible and remain composed, detached, and get there (wherever ‘there’ is) whenever I do.

It broke my heart.

And then came the tide of churlishness, because my family, friends, and colleagues here are SO PLEASED I’m not going yet, that they’re not losing me, and that calls back into question the shaky foundations on which I wanted to go in the first place. But those foundations, riddled with guilt and hurt, stand firm, and my stymied dreams are still as set as they ever were, when first they were established.

It was a year ago. A year ago I was there, and my life changed for ever. A year ago, I experienced more happiness and contentment and wonder and delight than I knew it was ever possible for one human to contain. A year ago, I discovered I had another home.

Meanwhile, I feel I have no business writing a ‘thankful’ post. I have OODLES to be thankful for, and feel utterly mean-spirited about the whole lot of it. I have turned decidedly curmudgeonly, and my spirit has shrunk with the length of days. I am darkened, lurking in corners of the room, watching and wishing I had the *something* to step forward into the fun and join in. I am weighed down. Flattened. Crushed.

Small points of light and hope and help have kept me going. Gretchen has inspired me to write, regardless of whether anyone sees it. She said she’d look out for it. Katia has kept writing, and kept my faith buoyed that small, beautiful moments, rendered in words, DO matter, CAN happen, and ARE lovely. My usual Lifeboat people have been in touch, buoying and boosting just by being part of my world and letting me be part of theirs. I’ve had some wonderfully supportive chats with Denise, in quiet corners, which have just HELPED. I have been WONDERFULLY looked after and nurtured by Mum and WonderAunty, and I’m endlessly thankful for their input and support and care. There are people who still read what I have to say, still ‘get it’, still care, and I’m incredibly thankful for that. There are people who know what it is to lose passion for everything, and continue in a grey fug, and I’m thankful to be not-okay in their presence, and know it’s alright. I’m thankful I don’t know what the future will bring, and that somehow, some way, I still have a dream to chase, when I feel up to it again.

I suppose, in the end, in spite of my grumpiness, I know the show goes on. Somehow. And there’s good and light and happiness along the way.

But I’m not looking. Not now. I’ve got a book to lose myself in.


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70 thoughts on “Ten Things of Thankful ?171 (Curmudgeon)

  1. my favorite sayings, ‘you can’t step in the same river twice.‘ works in both directions. The things that you had that were very good did exist.
    (the trouble with our people is that, (for us), the world’s default is ‘well no, happiness is for the real people’ and despite knowing this, we still work very hard to earn the good things and a modicum of happiness. Which is all anyone/everyone does, for the most part, except for clarks. We don’t have it (happiness, peace, belonging, excitement whatever) as an assumed character to our world/our lifes.

    Doesn’t mean that it isn’t there… hell it doesn’t mean that we don’t earn/achieve/accomplish/gain some of it… however, when it* ebbs (as it does for all) we feel it more because (we) see it as a miracle in the first place. The other two (rogers and scotts) ‘know’ that it is available to them… outsiders, by definition, do not assume that they will have anything on permanent basis.

    That being said, it’s alright to withdraw sometimes… the caveat (there’s always a caveat, isn’t there?) is that we have to accept that we have had the good/the happiness at times. We don’t even have to believe that we’ll have it again, simply recognizing that it has existed in our lives is enough. The dark part of ourselves cannot be argued with that, the exception to it’s bleak rule diminishes it’s power.
    Knowing that there has been good in your life is your authority to chill for a while, not try, not work so hard. There will be time for that later.

    * our happiness in particular, our sense of competency and worth making happiness and satisfaction our right, in general

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have, Kitt, and it’s been lovely to just be snuggled away (apart from being so tired and headachey a lot of the time) but I’m fretting to return to my ‘normal’ and I’m definitely in need of some gym sessions soon.

      Life’s such a mixture and so tricky to balance. I seem to be either steaming ahead with all guns blazing, or crawling on my hands and knees. I haven’t found a good middle-ground yet. I hope such a thing exists.

      And thanks 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I came here because I missed your words and wanted to see what was going on in your world and found that beautiful shout-out at the end of the post. Thank you ever so much, friend. It was you who lifted me up last week and I was writing my little stories and feeling like I’m posting them into a void until day after day you came back and commented thoughtfully and lovingly and Lizzily. ❤

    And now to what I've been meaning to say about your post itself. Your ability to capture amorphous and abstract feelings is as striking as ever and I know that right now this doesn't mean much. You've poured your heart into the post, as you always do, and I'm grateful for that because you always arrange even the most difficult emotions into something that is so pleasing in its creativity, yet this doesn't make things easier for you. What I really wanted to tell you is that we are not robots. Physical and emotional pain takes its toll and it's impossible to not react to it emotionally. Experiencing thankfulness the same way you did before you received the heartbreaking news is impossible, yet you showed up. You wrote your post and that is huge because you are fulfilling a commitment to yourself (maybe via your readers and blog hop participants, but that doesn't matter) to see the goodness. I copied this sentence while I was reading: "I haven’t even been taking photos – usually something I take great pleasure in – because I haven’t seen anything worthwhile. It’s almost certainly because I’ve been looking wrong. I’ve been thinking wrong. I’ve been lazy." I completely relate to the first two parts of the sentence yet at the same time I want to suggest a different point of view. You didn't see things that are worthwhile, because you're looking through a different lens right now. It's not the wrong lens, just a different one. It's darker and it brings out other things in you, like this beautiful post. This is the right lens for right now (I'm not encouraging you to stay unhappy, I'm just saying it's okay to be sad, disappointed and heartbroken when your dreams are shattered). You'll see now your lens will start clearing out with your work and the input of friends near and far. Same thing goes for thinking. As for lazy – totally disagree. Again, you showed up. You did the hop despite feeling a contradiction. You've identified the little things that made you happy and by doing so you've also made other happy. Nothing lazy about that.

    I love you. You're going to figure this out and I believe that because you're so diligently (not lazily) working on seeing the good the universe will help. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Katia, you are amazing, and I adore you and this comment, and it so SO helps right now, in this moment, when so much despondence has just poured back into me.

      I’ve been given a tiny new glimmer of hope on the student visa front, so I’m going to put that Out There to the college director and hope so very much that there might still be a way forward with it. I only hope that in the meantime my lens begins to brighten and I can start seeing things without a wash of sadness and hopelessness.

      I did turn up, though. You’re right. I did find things, kind of. And I have been so very thankful for you, for your posts, for the beauty of them reminding me that there really are truly lovely things in this world, things to appreciate and enjoy and share. Your writing is so delightful, it takes me right into the moment and I feel as though I see it from within. Truly transporting and utterly lovely…and very much needed little moments of ‘away’ from my own reality at the moment.

      Thank you so much for your understanding and your kindness. You’re much nicer to me than I ever am, which is probably something I need to work on trying to improve at. I love you very dearly and am so thankful for your friendship and your presence in my World Between the Wires ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am SO happy that this comment transported my feelings successfully 🙂 It’s hard to be as nice to yourself as others are but this is what friends are for, to act as mirrors, alongside other things. I’m SOOOOO happy that things might be looking up with regards to the visa and away from our reality is important too. Other realities are enriching and we carry pieces of them into our own. Love you much, friend. <3<3<3

        Liked by 1 person

        • I love that idea of friends acting as mirrors 🙂 How wonderful 😀

          I have my fingers crossed for the visa but no news yet, sadly.

          And here’s to other realities embettering our own 🙂 ❤


  3. First thing I see is all the SHOULDs – and how often do you tell me “no shoulds”??? Yeah we can acknowledge what sucks and acknowledge it loudly if you want to. That’s fair. But as you say at the end – and I’m so GLAD that you said it at the end – eventually we get through to the next thing, even if we can’t quite see how that will be possible. You know I’ve been through this. Everything unfolds as it should in the end, even if it’s not quite the way we imagined or wanted. I would never have wanted Hub to lose his job several years ago. But now? I’m so very glad he did. And it has sucked every step of the way, it seems sometimes. But yet here we are, pulling surely into the light and the better. You’ll get there. Enjoy your books. Enjoy how much people there are glad you’re staying a bit longer. It will all unfold…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. I suck at shoulds when they apply to me. I’m great at handing out good advice I don’t follow 😦

      I really love your advice at the end, to try to just ENJOY what I can of what I have, and I’m really going to try to. I feel so churlish and sullen about how bad I am at wanting to be elsewhere when I know there’s so much good and lovely to appreciate here 😦 I feel ridiculous.

      But I do hope that somehow, some way it all pulls together in a great and glorious fashion to get me over there and into OKC and on a trajectory of staying. It’s where my heart is, at least for now.

      But yes…we get through, and hopefully things work out okay. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, I’ve had this opened all weekend and FINALLY got around to reading it. And although this post surely has lots of hardship and pain and tough things to wade through- I believe 100% that you WILL get through it all. You will. And you have come SO FAR and you will GO SO FAR… in time sweetie.

    Waiting it out with books and escaping there is a HEALTHY thing to do. I remember when you had other alternatives that were NOT healthy. You see how far you’ve come? DO YOU?

    You get stronger every day. And I believe in you- and for the days ahead to be an ongoing surge of bringing you new strength and GOOD THINGS. Hold on, okay?

    You’re going to be okay. Actually better than okay. You’re going to be exactly where you need to be at just the right time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so so hope you’re right, Kitty. I wonder what timing is planned for me, and though I kind of trust it, I also know that life hasn’t been kind to me in the past but also that it’s shaped me into who I am today and so maybe it was right after all and it’s all such a TANGLE!

      I just want to be in America. In OKC. I just do, and that’s where my heart is.

      I’m glad you think I’m doing better at coping, and perhaps I am, and perhaps that is as big a deal as you say it is. I’m glad to know that 🙂

      I just hope I’ll get through and it will all come together at the right time 😦


  5. I was unclear to like ur writing or not, it’s something that wud need a little more than a like. We should have other options over just a like 😀 truly amazing that u shared. Sometimes or most of the times it is just matter of time. Take care may u be happy content and peaceful

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, and I hope it’s a matter of time. So much depends on things entirely beyond my control and that is the bit which worries me. Thanks for your wishes.


      • Lizzie I hope I don’t sound bookish or preachy, but if it is not in your control y worry. Already if it were in ur control it wud have helped as worrying over what to be done to fix it wud have come in play. Easier said than done, but my experience says it will all be ok.either we will learn to accept it or find a way out. We are designed to be survivers 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I hear you loud and clear, my dear sweet friend. I feel your pain and stand alongside you in the trenches with loving arms of support to hold you up, just as you do for me. I know I’ve been more absent as of late than usual, and I know you know why and I know you understand but I still feel crappy about it. I love you dearly and forever. Somehow we always get through these challenging times, even when we can’t see the other side from where we currently stand. So with that in mind, we shall get through this as well – together. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Plughole is my new favourite word.
    Tantruming is good for the heart and soul box. It’s a must. Get it all out. Then eat some cookies. Nap. Feel the love. Repeat if needed.
    You’ll figure it out in time. I know that this is what you wanted oh so very badly but I know in my heart that you’re going to find something fabulous. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • I so hope your heart is right. I hope so very much that this isn’t the end of my dreams because my heart just wouldn’t take that very well AT ALL. *sigh* It’s a thing which tears me this way and that but mostly I want to be close with my People in America and that’s where my heart is, for now.

      Naps have helped a lot a LOT. I’m planning more of them.

      And…plughole? What else is it called?


  8. I’ve been feeling begrudgingly grateful for life around me as well. Sometimes that tantrum stuff is a healthy way to feel and move on. Curmudgeon is a great description. Sometimes I “fake it till I make it” which is what I’m doing right now. You’ll get here. I know you will.

    Liked by 1 person

    • *hugs* I wish your time of faking it will pass soon, my OceanHeart, and that you soon feel you’re making headway.

      I guess tantrums can be a bit like storms, and clear our inner skies. I just feel so depleted with all of it. Looking at the pics from a year ago coming up on Facebook memories is just making it all the more bittersweet at the moment.


  9. Reading and healing are two worthwhile undertakings. Focus on those a bit, and then take up the fight to come to the States when you are ready. We will be here. God help us we will still be allowing immigrants by then!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so, SO hope so! Good grief. I suppose I can at least hope that being English will stand me in good stead, though it’s by no means an assurance.

      I’m gonna keep reading and healing for now. Anything else is beyond me!


  10. First- I love you.

    Next- that was an awful lot of “shoulds” in the beginning, and capitalized, too! You dislike that word so. Were you being ironic or super hard on yourself?

    The combination of painful dental surgery and utterly traumatic news is a one-two punch I’m not sure anyone can recover from quickly. The teeth will mend. The visa thing will somehow work out. In the meantime, escape through reading is an excellent plan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ❤ ❤ ❤ I'm so glad of your friendship, Precious.

      And yeah. The SHOULDs…I hate them. I hate feeling them. I hate applying them to myself, and yet I CAN'T STOP! It's one of those lessons, waiting in the wings, to be learned soon. I *knew* I was doing it, but couldn't stop, if that makes sense. It's horrid, but true. I'm no good at applying the 'what I tell other people' to myself.

      I think your description of what happened is very accurate. It was too much all at once and I've been floored. I think I'm still lying there trying to gather myself 😦 Thank GOODNESS for books.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You’ve been through the mill, haven’t you? UGH. What a shit week. We can say that. It doesn’t mean you aren’t noticing all the good, thankful things, which you mentioned. But we can say finding out the visa thing won’t work effing sucked. I’m sorry. I’m glad you wrote about it, though. Even that tiny bit helps a little. And yeah, times like this – who wouldn’t lose themselves in a book? You need that. Don’t stress about writing or finding all the silver linings Right This Second. Just be, and lick your wounds, and nurture yourself.

    *gentle hugs* ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really, truly was a VERY shit week. Well. A shit couple of weeks. I’ve just been so grumpy about the good things and I feel rotten about it, but also resentful and grouchy and just a MESS.

      You’re right – writing about it even a tiny bit DID make a difference, thank goodness. Every time I write, I think “Oh YES! I remember why I liked this…” and then I lose it again.

      BUT. Losing myself in books has been brilliant and something I’m going to try to continue for the forseeable future. Life is more manageable when it’s someone else’s, in pages, in my hands.

      *HUGS* ❤


    • *grins* I’m glad you think that. I found some perfectly wonderful, wonderfully perfect things for your glitterbomb today. I SO can’t wait to send it soon 😀

      And yes. I will write. THANK YOU for your part in making me feel I can, again.


  12. I’m glad you wrote this TToT, Lizzi. I’m reminded just how much I enjoy reading your writing:)
    I don’t want to hear another word about “nurturing secret, vicious hopes that it will fizzle to nothing” or I may have to fly across the vast, scary ocean and shake you out of any thoughts of abandoning your own hop 😀
    I have enjoyed our chats in the quiet corners. They helped me too:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad our quiet chats helped you too, they’ve REALLY kept me going this week. Truly.

      And. Ugh. I know. I love this hop, I love this community. I love the dedication of those who’ve been here since forever, and I love the inclusion and welcome extended to those who’ve joined along the way. I love being part of it and I guess my problem is that I took myself away from it and lost the connections. I want to get them back. I miss them.

      And thank you! I’m really happy (and a bit amazed) that you enjoyed this so much 🙂


  13. My aunt died early in the week and I felt blocked, as far as writing goes, because her whole life was such a mystery to me, so many unanswered questions that will never be answered. I couldn’t sort all that out. No writing. I usually take the week off of writing on my blog these days anyway, but the grey clouds were covering everything in my mind for a few days there.
    Sorry to hear you had such trouble with your teeth being removed like that. Sometimes, something that should be quick and fairly simple turns out to cause all the problems. Yuck. Pain and infection are not good at all.
    Things feel so chaotic this autumn. I just want to get to November, to find out once and for all who will win the presidency and this wait makes me anxious. I can feel that everywhere. Nothing is settled. Hope things start looking up though.
    You can’t expect to be so upbeat and positive about this TToT all the time. It matters a great deal to me, but you’ve been doing it quite a while before I ever started. Not sure how long these things last. I may always do it, no matter what others do. Thanks for getting things going and we realized you were taking a bit of a break and would wait for you, whenever you might be ready to return, but I didn’t know when that might be.
    Those books you’ve been reading sound divine though. I need to read more myself. I always say that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There never seems to be enough time to read. I think I’ve only managed it because I haven’t been going to the gym, where I’m not ready to be bouncing around with my sore teeth just yet *sigh* I’m sure it will all change again soon, once I’m better. And OHMIGOSH do I ever need to get better 😦

      I’m so sorry you were blocked by your aunt’s death, and that you have so many questions whirling, yet to be answered. Can your family supply you with the information? Did she have friends you could ask? *hugs* Such a hard thing when the last goodbye is so final and just feels unfinished.

      YES to this autumn being chaotic. That’s a brilliant way of describing it. I’m sure things will settle more, one way or another, once the presidency is decided, but oh BOY is that a concern. I’m planning to enjoy every second of my time in the US in November, because I’m worried I won’t ever be allowed back again 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  14. This place is a mess right now anyway. It might even be a good thing to steer clear of here for a while. Most of our country has gone completely insane.
    Still, I feel your upset. & Ugh wisdom teeth…
    😦 *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It is true. Sometimes the best thing to do when pain and disappointment have got us grumpy is to get lost in a book. BTW, what have you been reading? grand and magical adventures with dragons and unicorns, faeries and giants? I would recommend “The Tearling Queen” by Erika Johansen – none of the above creatures and beings, but some well placed magic and a young woman becoming a true queen of a troubled land, It is book 1 of a trilogy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OOoooooh that sounds good! I’ve just finished the Arthurian trilogy by *forgets name, but they’re very famous and wants to say Mary Stewart but isnt’t sure*

      I’ve had books from the library which I’ve been enjoying as well. I gave up on Beijing Coma, which I had hoped would give me some cultural knowledge and perspective on what happened at Tiananmen Square BUT it was boring and couldn’t keep my attention and it was HUGE and felt sloggish, so I gave up and have switched to The Thorn Birds, which is apparently a classic I’ve completely missed! It’s good so far.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Was that Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon? I’m trying to remember the author of another series that starts with the Arthurian time and follows one character, a soldier, through the wars of the Saxon conquest. Eventually, it will come to me. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

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