Tuesday, 19 April 2016
When the Going Gets Tough
Our house move is very nearly complete. Just one final legal document left, which will be signed in a week's time.
To say it has all been an unmitigated nightmare, would be understating the facts. Were I to write about our move, which has taken a year and a half from beginning to end, I would have about three volumes! It has, temporarily at least, taken years off our lives, and we are both very under-par. Even as I write, we are awaiting the results of Dan's latest MRI scan. This is a bi-annual event since his cancer was first diagnosed, and whilst we are relieved that he is being so well monitored, it is a time fraught with apprehension. Especially as he seems to have so much lower backache at the moment, although we suspect it is more due to all the unaccustomed heavy lifting than anything else. At least we hope so.
I remember when we first began TTWD, I used to wonder how people coped with life's little difficulties. How they managed to balance dealing with stressful events, while maintaining their chosen lifestyle.
I know that everyone deals with these things in their own ways - ways that fit in with their lives - ways which suit them as a couple. But I thought I might write a little about how we have coped, in order that anyone else encountering these bumps in the road can see that we are way from perfect, and that every now and again we have a falling apart, just like the rest of the population.
What I have discovered, is that I am a very emotional sort of person. I can cry for England, at the drop of a hat. I don't particularly mean to, and I don't particularly want to, but it is just a part of my make-up. I am not the type to bottle up my feelings. I let them show.
You can read my face quite easily on most occasions - unless I have a particularly irritating salesman trying to sell me something at a price far in excess of what I think it is worth - then I develop what Dan refers to as my 'poker face'.
I laugh out loud on a regular basis. Very loud. I smile a lot. I see positives even when surrounded by negatives. I have a wicked sense of humour. But the flip side is that I am equally unable to keep those tears to myself, and when accompanied by shouting, they do not go down well with Dan.
Over the years he has become adept at handling my outbursts. He knows, for example, whether a situation is serious enough to warrant a proper crying jag, or not. There have been several proper crying jags this past year and a half, I can assure you, but probably twice the number of tearful and snappy episodes, which don't really help anybody.
So how does Dan deal with me since we started our journey of TTWD? (He walks a fine line, I can tell you.) Frankly, he is nothing short of a hero in my humble estimation. Life with Ami is never dull!
We have relaxed into our brand of TTWD a bit like you would relax into a soothing bubble bath.
You know that "Ah!" moment when you slide gently down into the warm water and fragrant foam with lots of little flower petals floating around you and the steam rising steadily, all your aches and twinges melting away?
At the start it was a case of learning how to do it. Nothing came naturally. Each step forward was gained by studied repetition, and a bit of trial and error. If something didn't suit, we would try something else. It took quite a while to 'lie back and let go'. We even had a regular 'spanking morning' - and we stuck to it.
Dan took a lot of convincing. Spanking wasn't something he was initially happy about. But he stuck manfully at it - with a little pushing from me. (The times I was told not to lead! Well, I have a message for those out there who told me that - without my initial 'suggestions' and 'engineered encouragement', I wouldn't be here now, chatting away, and without them I wouldn't have made the good friends I have made since blogging.) Because eventually something amazing happened. Dan took over.
He pushed me back into the support role, and took over the steering of the ship.
I have noticed that as time goes by, I lean on him more and more. I not only actively ask his opinion, but I genuinely listen to what he has to say. I no longer sweep him aside and disregard any options he lays before me. I give his suggestions consideration. Then if I decide to go my own way, I explain to him why I am doing it. It makes life so much calmer and more harmonious.
One of the snags of going through a time of stress is that TTWD can become severely affected. In your head you want to spank/be spanked, but exhaustion overtakes you both. Sleep is more important. Spontaneity goes out the window. Even everyday swats disappear into the mists. All you can think about is getting through the day.
On the whole Dan has been pretty good, but I have noticed that spanking has become less frequent in the Starsong household. However, this is where Dan's HOHiness comes into its own. When he does spank, he has this tendency to spank longer and harder under the misguided apprehension that I need it. Pfffft!
These are some small snippets of recent spanking conversations:
"Because it's Sunday, we're going to play 'Name the hymn'" he informs me. "If you get it wrong I will spank you till you get it right."
"Why do you always spank so fast?" I ask. "Other wives maybe get ten, or twenty hard spanks, but they get pauses, and little rubs in between."
"I prefer to spank hard and fast," I am told firmly, though after twenty or so he does pause, rub and make jokes about how the colour red suits me. Then barely pausing for breath he starts up again.
...I begin to sniffle - "Let it out, let it out. That's right. You know you'll feel better if you do."
"Ow! Dan! Ow!"
"Fetch me the big nipper, Ami. I like it best of all. It always has the desired effect." Spank, spank spank. "I love the aerodynamics of the little holes. That man on the market certainly knew what he was selling, didn't he?"
"Well, Dan, enjoy it while you can. I'm going to burn the bloody thing on the fire!"
"Yes! Thighs are definitely the thing! I certainly get a reaction from you! Do you remember how teachers used to swipe across your thighs years ago?" I can almost see Dan's wolfish grin. He laughs. "They go very red, very quickly."
I am almost throwing myself off his lap.
"Beethoven's Fifth must've been made for husbands who spank."
"Get over the footboard, Ami, I am completely fed up with this attitude of yours." Whack, whack, whack. "Don't you dare clench." Several sharp swats on the tops of my thighs - I try to stand up and am pressed firmly back in place. "You can be such a bitch sometimes. I love you and I won't have it." Whack, whack, whack.
"I think it's time I spanked you, don't you? You are getting way above yourself. Get an implement. Your choice."
It will be a good thing to get back to normal. We are steadily sorting out boxes and finding places for our stuff. But we have sent so much to charity shops and even donated quite an amount of furniture to the local children's hospice to put in their monthly sales. I wish we had decluttered years ago!
We are having our kitchen refurbished and a wall knocked down, plus an Aga fitted. So the heart of the home is at present like negotiating a minefield. It will take time as we are having our kitchen units made to fit, but hopefully it will be finished by the summer.
We also have plans in to knock down the existing garage, and build a master suite, plus have a new garage and some decking. But that will take longer. We live in what is called 'a conservation area', right in the middle of a village, so the planners are hot on any alterations or new build. Our existing bedroom is perfectly adequate so we have no need to rush. It's important to get things right as no doubt this will be our 'lasting abode'. After all the problems we encountered with this move, neither of us want to move again in a hurry!
I no longer have an office, just an antique bureau. I will probably get some sort of laptop eventually, but am managing with Dan's computer and my iPad. However, I have tried several times to write a post using the iPad and not been successful, so forgive me for being rather spasmodic. I am completely unable to insert any pictures using my iPad. I carefully saved a load of images but it solidly refuses to transfer them across to my blog. If anyone knows how to assist, you would be a star. Otherwise I will persevere with Dan's and I truly hope to get back to normal as soon as I can.
I would like to thank those people who have emailed me over the past year and a half. I have had some lovely emails from complete strangers, and I am so glad you enjoy my blog. I will always do my best to answer your emails.
Finally, my new book, The Midnight Geese by Sarah Coltman, is making its way through publishing at the moment. I will let you all know when it is ready to make its appearance. Moving is definitely not conducive to writing books.
Until next time....many hugs.