Category Archives: Inspirational Quotes

You might enjoy this.

This is a wonderful monologue by the fabulous actress Lesley Manville.  In it she voices a lot of emotions most women whose husbands have walked on a long-standing marriage might recognise.  She does them with pain, humour and hope.

Enjoy – and if you can donate, please do.

Watch short monologues from some of the UK’s biggest acting stars & help raise money for performers hit by COVID-19

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is almost over here in Canada and I find myself, this evening sitting here, reflecting on the lessons my mother taught me.

I look back on my childhood and think of the magical moments we shared;  of Mum waking me at dawn on May Day to wash my face in the dew; of her standing behind me as we waved my brother off to work in the shipyards, the windows rattling in the wind, the rain pouring down; of her driving me down to the baker’s on Dumbarton Road to get rolls for breakfast; of standing on her toes as she danced me around the kitchen floor; of standing by the window on a Scottish island and gazing out at the full moon; of watching the deer gathering on the hills at dusk.

My mother taught me about the magic in life.

She also taught me about the hard, cold realities.

Mum was widowed at sixty-three, and lived twenty-two years more on her own before she died. Neither of us realised it at the time, but in those twenty-two years, she taught me how to survive the years after my husband abandoned me.

You get on with things. Yes, you cry and rage and grieve, but you get up and get on with things.  You carve out a life for yourself that is yours.

Yours.

Mum, you were and are the strongest woman I ever met.  You lived through World War Two, bringing up a child, my brother, never knowing if Dad would make it home alive.  And you did it.  You thrived. You were the heart and soul of our family.  Dad might have provided the home and support and money in our lives, but you gave us the support and love.  It was you who made sure our clothes were warm when we ventured out on those cold frosty mornings to school.  It was you who provided those ‘picnic’ lunches that i loved so much.

It was you who, after Dad died, walked that beach, sobbing your heart out, but found that inner strength to survive.

It was you who, at seventy-six – yes, seventy six! – years of age applied for your first job in more than fifty years – and got it, driving a jag around London. (And got two proposals of marriage in the process – which you turned down.)

Oh Mum, you were amazing.  You didn’t think you were… but you were.  You are – and always will be –  the heroine, and inspiration,  of my life.

I love – and miss you – Mum.  Every day of my life.

How’s it going?

This Saturday, April 25th, 2020, it will be exactly 5 years since that horrendous Saturday morning, April 25th 2015, when my husband came downstairs as I was making his breakfast and announced our marriage was over.

Five years.

Five years.

I thought I was over it.

And then, this weekend something happened which brought me (temporarily) back to my knees.

I had hoped a good night’s sleep would help me put things in perspective, but it didn’t.  So when I got up this morning, I wrote about it in my Morning Pages, hoping that would exorcise it…  but all I did was stain the pages with tears. Continue reading

The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse

I came upon a review of this book in The Guardian at the weekend.  It looked lovely, so I thought I would pick up a couple of copies for my grandchildren.  However, when I went to the bookstore, they had only one copy left.  So I bought it… and I’m going to keep it for myself.  I will buy other copies for my grandkids, but this one is mine.

It’s the kind of book that takes five minutes – or a lifetime – to read. In many ways it’s reminiscent of Winnie-the Pooh, both in terms of the illustrations, wisdom and the fact that it’s a book about friendship. By the end of it, I was in tears. Some of the conversations between the animals are so profound. One, in particular, given the fact that my heart – and I imagine yours too – has been broken, really struck me.

“What do we do when our hearts hurt?” asked the boy.

“We wrap them with friendship, shared tears and time, till they wake hopeful and happy again.”

Isn’t that so true.  It’s one of the most profound lessons I learned after my husband left me.  I will be forever grateful for the friends who gathered around me, who allowed me to talk and cry. And it’s also true about time. Time does heal all wounds.  There may be a scar left, but the wound heals and the pain is gone.

Or how about…

“Asking for help isn’t giving up,” said the horse.  “It’s refusing to give up.”

The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse by Charlie Mackesy is the perfect book for any occasion – happy or sad.

If you’d like to find out more about the artist, check out his Twitter account.

And buy the book.

Please, if your heart is hurting – or even if it’s not – buy the book.

Sleepless Night of the Soul

I rarely have of those nights any more. You know the ones I mean… where no matter what you do, sleep refuses to come and your mind tumbles wildly through the night hours. Not like in the early days after my husband left me, where night after night, week after week, sleep was elusive and, when it came, filled with painful dreams. But I experienced one tonight.  And now, here I am, at 5am, sitting at my desk with a cup of tea, staring out onto a dark bleak snowy landscape waiting for the dawn to break and banish the night.

It makes sense why it all came to a head tonight.  It was Valentine’s Day on Friday and all that online gushing about how wonderful other people’s spouses or partners are can kind of get to you after a while.  And then on Saturday I hosted an annual winter party that for fifteen years my ex and I hosted together, so perhaps it was only natural that he’s been on my mind a lot.

When I couldn’t sleep tonight, I picked up my iPad and started scrolling through my Facebook page.  I came across a quote that made me  immediately think about her.

Yes her.

You know who I mean. Continue reading

Blue Christmas

Christmas can be hard.  I have a friend who was widowed 18 months ago, and she is struggling this year.  Although being widowed after 30+ years is different to being divorced (her husband didn’t choose to leave her) I believe the grief is similar.

‘Just get through the first year,’ people, who had never experienced loss, advised me.  “Get through that first birthday, anniversary, Christmas, whatever, and it will get easier.”

Little do they know.

That first ‘everything’ you are in shock.  It was the second one that my friend – and myself – found the hardest, because now it’s ‘real’.  This is how it’s going to be for the rest of your life.  He’s not coming back.

But let me assure you… with time it does get easier.  The holiday season is always going to be difficult with the memories it conjures up, but over time, things will get easier.

So… I have a project for you to make next Christmas a little better.

  1. Get yourself a large bowl or jar  – decorate it if you wish.
  2. Cut out 52 pieces of paper about one-and-a-half by two inches.
  3. Roll each up into a little scroll and tie it up with ribbon.
  4. Each week in 2020 write down something good that has happened to you that week and put it in the jar.
  5. On either Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve 2020 open them up and read these new happy memories.

Wishing you peace this Christmas Season and every good wish for 2020.

Take Your Time… But Persevere

I was at the beach recently.  A storm was coming in.  The clouds were dark, the waves wild, the wind blowing.

Hard.

It was exhilarating.

I found a sheltered spot, wrapped my coat tightly around me, my hair blowing wildly in all directions, the taste of salt sharp on my lips, and watched.

I watched the water, and the clouds, but mostly the seagulls.

They were an inspiration.

One tried to take off. He flew low to the beach, then was beaten by the wind and landed again, quite ungainly.  He waited a few minutes more, then tried to take off again, flying low… low… mere inches from the beach…until he got the wind beneath his wings and soared.

Another hung almost static in the air, beating her wings but also getting nowhere. She dipped down, searching for another wind, but finding none, landed on the water’s edge.  As she did so, a wave came in and knocked her off balance.  She staggered a little, then straightened herself and plodded onto the beach.  She waited a while, then like the other gull, took off again, staying low to the beach until she too caught the wind beneath her wings and rose into the air.

They weren’t the only two struggling.  All the gulls were fighting the wind… but they kept on going.

And it seemed to me the perfect metaphor for what it’s like going through those first weeks…months… years after a divorce.

Get forced down to earth again?  Take a breather.  Rest.  Don’t force yourself back up immediately.  Find your balance,  then take off.  Stay low at first.  Don’t push it.  Take your time till you feel more confident, then spread those wings.  Catch the wind.  Yes it might shove you around, but land again – even in an ungainly fashion – if you have to and start over again.

But keep going.

The storm will pass.