comments 14

Falling in love all over again…

This morning I woke up and I was so reluctant to get up that my body hurt.

One of the reasons for my increased busy-ness and lack of blogging recently is that I have really got into exercise.  I feel quite cheated and frustrated now if I don’t do yoga, gym, run or dance each day.  This summer I lost a lot of hair 😦 It’s just a natural part of getting older, but it has got me thinking that I might not always be young, but I can be strong.

Or as Lana Del Rey puts it:

(Totally perfect song to accompany The Great Gatsby.  I always think that if she has to ask the question, then she knows that the answer’s “No”.)

My favourite exercise is the dance class that I do is every Friday, which is my friend Sophia’s 5RHYTHMs® class.  I always feel a bit self conscious when I walk in, thinking “Am I comfortable identifying as a free-dancing hippy?” but after about 5 minutes, I’m totally into it.  The music is fantastic, and leads you into the movements.  The only thing I find difficult is partner dancing, which is an interesting revelation.  We don’t have to dance together in any formal sense, just respond to the other person’s movement.  The problem is that I am painfully conscious of the question of “what would my partner like me to do?”  It mirrors the fact that I am always conscious of the way I have given way too easily to other people in the past; the only way I have of dealing with this is by turning away and saying No.  Or sometimes I give way anyway and feel bad afterwards, although this is much rarer now.  I haven’t got many ways of responding openly and easily other people’s needs.

It’s a work in progress.

The second reason for being away from my blog is that sometimes the LD#1 and I sit together, share a Malibu and coke (occasionally), and talk!  I love this.  We talk about ways she can cope with situations at school that she doesn’t like.  I’m a firm believer in dealing with these situations by working out what it’s feasible, and not feasible to ask for, and then going for it.  I really think that in most cases, people want to help, and people will respond if you ask for things in a reasonable way.  Our most recent thing is a request for teachers not to ask her to talk in class.  She finds talking so stressful.  Or as I put it in my email to the school:

“Talking should come from being engaged with a subject, not for the sake of making a noise, or to fit in with what someone else wants.”

I got back the most lovely supportive email from R’s English teacher, agreeing that it was best to work around Rhiannon’s reluctance to speak, and describing how she does it.  Apparently, she doesn’t even ask Rhiannon to answer during the register, recognising that it’s not necessary, and that Rhiannon will get there in her own time, when she is ready.

There’s a lot of talk about differentiation in schools these days, of tailoring each lesson to the different needs of your students.  But as Rhiannon put it, differentiation is not about giving people the same work and expecting them to do it differently.  I felt really moved that Rhiannon has teachers who take the time to treat her as a complete person.

The last reason for being busy is only very minor, timewise.  And no, it’s not falling in love in that way, (sometimes I wonder if I ever will again, if I can be bothered) but last Thursday we battled through 45 minutes of accident-stopped traffic to view a three bedroomed flat above a shop on Lewes High Street. Since I can’t sell my house for what the estate agent said I would easily achieve, it doesn’t make sense for us to go ahead with the house we originally wanted to buy, much as we loved its Farrow and Ball colours.  We all really loved that one, so the girls weren’t at all convinced by the idea of a different, cheaper place.  But it had real charm!  Unlike the other one, it has large windows and is full of light.  By the end of the visit, they had started choosing their bedrooms.  Me, I love the big rooms, and the idea that I’ll still have some money left over to do the bathroom and kitchen exactly the way I want them.

I am also changing estate agents, since the one I am currently with hasn’t sent anyway round to view my house for a few weeks.  I phoned them up to cancel my contract (yes, I’m locked into a horrific 20 week contract, which runs out in 3 weeks, and I have to give 28 days’ notice to quit) and the day afterwards they left a message on my phone saying, “Could you phone us back because we’d like to know whether we can still sell you a mortgage?”

The cheek of it!!!



  1. Rachael

    I think there are only two really horrible kinds of people. Lawyers and real estate agents. They both will come back as frogs in the next lifetime. Frogs without a pond.
    I am so impressed that your daughter loves talking to you and she knows that you have the ability and the concern to help her conquer whatever she’s facing. Do you think either one of us could have done that with our mothers???? No! And it is wonderful that you can do that with your daughter and I can do that with my son. It proves we are different, we did grow and we didn’t need all that parental approval we didn’t get anyway! And you will be bothered to fall in love again. Trust me.

    • It’s like another world, the one I inhabited with my parents, against the one I inhabit with my children. If you get my daughter on bad day, she won’t talk at all! But it’s very different even now from the way it was when I started my blog over a year ago. I’m pretty happy being by myself. It’s a strange new feeling, which is nice to experience.

  2. It’s great that your daughter can talk to you about things like that. You must be a great mum. And bummer about the real estate agent. Sounds like you’ve made a good decision in seeking a different agent. You just know when you view a place whether it’ll be right for you don’t you think? I get a feeling almost the moment I walk through the front door.

    • Talking about feeling right or wrong, the estate agent felt wrong from the outset, but I was too busy with other things to bother going elsewhere. With the house we just viewed, it was covered with stacks of paintings and had a funny smell, but I still felt, I could do X and Y with it, and then it would be right. How are you settling into your place btw?

  3. I wondered how things were going for you house-wise and I have to say, this flat sounds wonderful, love the sound of all those light-infused windows. Hope your new estate agent is, how shall I say this nicely, more proactive…and how wonderful that you and LD#1 are spending time together. I have always enjoyed times like that with Aspie D and still do, which is how we navigated all those difficult school years – we kept talking. And she had just the same, every teacher she ever had tried to urge her to raise her hand and enter into classroom discussions but she detested the thought of having all eyes on her when doing so she kept quiet. Some teachers were better than others about it and it’s good to know that your daughter has such a wonderful English teacher. This will help greatly. Hope you sell your house soon…can’t wait to pop in to your new pad 🙂

  4. Sounds like you are enjoying life! I always love reading about your relationships with your daughters! It sounds like you are such an excellent mom and like you are starting to get to enjoy your girls as people and friends. I don’t think it’s an easy transition but it sounds like you are doing a great job of encouraging your girls to be the people that they are.

    I am envious of the fact that you have gotten to the point with exercise where you don’t feel good unless you get it in. I never get to that point. Although after a couple weeks of post-wedding madness filled with sugar and booze and carbs I’m currently enjoying a spinach-carrot-apple-cucumber-and-orange smoothie and that’s making me feel more like an adult.

    Good luck with the house situation! Always a good sign when you start imagining what it will look like actually living in the space.

  5. Ooh estate agents! They’ll be the first up against the wall, come the revolution. I’ve never even HEARD of one that did a bang up job of selling houses (I actually believe that every part of the house selling chain is designed to frustrate and distress buyers – I’ve no praise for conveyancers, either, or mortgage advisors). I’m really glad that you’ve found another place you love, though. That’s great. As for partner dancing, I hate it! Years ago Mr Litlove and I went to a tango class for a while. I thought I’d be dancing with him, but no we all had to swap partners all the time, and I found it as much fun as pulling out teeth. It’s sort of… too intimate, somehow! And finally a big cheer for your daughter’s teacher. What a great attitude – just right!

  6. Denise, I love how you are going back to the gym or going to the gym, whichever. It has to make you feel better. The other thing I love, is how you are making time to be with your daughter, working with her (I am sure you always have been doing that) and emailing the school and getting such good feedback. All is so gratifying and will continue to be, after she leaves home. (I reap benefits now that mine is gone and I just bask in it) Thirdly, I wondered about your moving situation as we have been out of contact slightly. Some, on my part and you have your reasons too. I am glad you have a firm grip on what to do (letting that agent go) And you are still in your “old” house. I know when the right one comes along………

  7. I came by to check out that you were okay and was relieved to see you are thriving. Exercise is the way to go – I believe – as it helps to keep me fit and well without resorting to tablets. Keep at it.
    On the house selling front you have my sympathy it is such a horrendous time of will they – won’t they? All you can do is grit your teeth and wait.
    I loved the paragraph about you sitting and talking over life with your daughter with a wee drink in hand. As I have learnt from previous posts your daughters are lucky to have such a great mum to fight their corner with them.
    Best of luck with all aspects of life,

  8. Lots of light, big rooms, saving money? Sounds good to me 🙂

    Thumbs up for standing strong against your real estate agent. AND of course for dancing and having fun!

  9. Falling in love with exercise is a great idea! It happened to me a few years ago.

    In fact, right now, I have to run because we’re packing for lunch and going for a long hike in the woods (my favorite exercise!) And we just joined the YMCA, so we can swim regularly this winter.

    Lot’s going on in your life–but it sure sounds like you’re standing strong in the face of it all, and living well. I’m so glad that your daughters’ teachers are good teachers, and not like your cheeky, self-serving real estate agents.

    • Good to hear from you, Tracy, and to know that you are off to do something lovely. Hope all is going well. Big hugs!

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