Dear Pols…

Life has been interesting lately. Actually, that’s an understatement. Life has been a roller coaster lately. Highs, higher highs, lows, long slow climbs that you just know have an enormous drop on the other side but aren’t quite sure how far the drop is, and a whole plethora of emotions. I haven’t blogged about any of it because, if I’m honest, I’m not sure I ever want to be able to revisit most of those places in the future. I do know from conversations with lots of people, though, that I’m not the first to be where I was, and I’m certainly not the only one to be in that place right now.

As you all know, I’m partial to the odd trite saying. I love a cheesy cliché, I do, and recent times have been no exception to that. Naturally, my corny catchphrase of choice of late has been “this too shall pass”. It got me thinking… It WILL pass. Of course it will. Everything does. But where will I be when events of the last few months are filed under D for Distant Memory? I guess the answer to that is that I don’t know (who does?) but I’m thinking best case scenario here, and having a word with the me who emerges from this in twelve months’ time…

Dear Pols (aged 34 and just-over-a-half),

How are you? With any luck you’ll be reading this in the same place I wrote it: at your desk in the office at home, looking out at the children playing in the garden. They’ll be bigger than they are now but I don’t expect they’ll have changed much otherwise. This past year will have been tough on them at first, but I suspect the children you see in front of you now will have adapted nicely; they’re tough little cookies and they have your (our? This whole writing-to-yourself thing is kind of weird) strength of character. It’s that thing Dad used to say, isn’t it? Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. It has been tough. Horrendously tough. Unexpectedly and unpredictable tough. But we’re tough too, and so are those children, and that’s why I can write this knowing we all got there in the end.

You’ll have learned a lot in this past year, I expect. One of the lessons I’ve already learned is that sometimes there is just no right way to handle a situation.Or, if there is, it usually comes with the benefit of hindsight. I guess everyone in life is just muddling through as best they can. Maybe other people would have chosen different ways or different paths, but I did the best I could and I hope the road I chose for us has brought you to a destination where you’re happy. I’m pretty certain it has. When I look around me now, I see the green shoots of a promising future. The clouds have been many, but the silver linings have been plentiful too and I hope they’ve long outlasted the clouds.

I’ve been working harder on being kind to myself, so hopefully I’ve made that job easier for you. I’ve learned recently to take the lessons from the times I could have handled things better, and let the rest go; chuck them in that proverbial fuck-it bucket and move on. I’ve also learned to stop taking responsibility for the way other people deal with situations. I hope that’s worked out well for you. People react to stuff in their own way; it’s not your job to work through that for them or to accept responsibility for how they feel. Nor is it your job to guide them to the truth, or to explain yourself.

You have some really wonderful friends, Pols. People whose support and love has been unending and unconditional. I hope you have the opportunity to repay that to them one day. Meantime, they know how much they mean to you because I’ve told them. You should know who your friends are by now, because I’ve pretty much figured out who’s in it for the long haul, and who isn’t.

I know this will find you in a house full of happiness and love, because that’s what I’ve been building for you. A wonderful, crazy home with laughter and fun and a never ending source of strength. You’re loved, you’re wanted and most of all you’re utterly fabulous. I know that last bit because someone we know told me. Your future is bright, and anything else will pass.

Be happy, Pauline. Let me know how it goes.


Pols (aged 33 and just-over-a-half)

12 thoughts on “Dear Pols…

  1. This is so well written and had me all choked up. I love your Dad’s expression. Your ability to look forward and be kind to yourself will take you far and hold you together during challenging times x

    • Thanks Yvette.i suppose when things are tough, we find strength we never knew we had. That said, I’ve been very fortunate to have a few really wonderful people in my life who’ve held me together. I’m incredibly indebted to them x

  2. There’s a limit what can be said on Twitter(140 characters)tend to agree with Yvette. I probably have/have had more good things in my life but it is difficult not to be hard on one’s self. Wonder what might’ve been. You are where you are and that seems in a good place. I have doubts sometimes, who doesn’t. Perhaps more because I have more years to look back on and less stretching ahead of me but that cannot be altered. Wishing you many good times ahead. xx

    • Hey you, thanks for commenting :) I’ve learned to be kind to myself because, when the going got tough, I realised very few people were going to be kind. With a few notable exceptions, of course! X

  3. Your Dad is right. They do, and they will, and you are. I’m not sure I could have gone through the roller coaster that you have and come out the other side. You have three lovely children and they will always be proud of you too.

    Now. If only I could give myself a good talking too, cos that is EXACTLY what I need.

    Love always S xxx

  4. Pauline we can only do what we think is the right thing,sometimes it does not work out.i know that from my job, But as long as we do things for the right reasons I think that’s the best we can do. Best wishes to you,

    • Thanks Eddie :) I’m sure of the decisions I’ve made, it’s just that they haven’t always been the easy option! I’m looking forward to lots of good things

  5. Trying to hold back tears reading this. It’s either that your blog/letter ignites emotions or that my other half has gone crazy with onions for the fajitas he’s cooking. Possibly a dreadful combination of both.

    I have followed your story on Twitter and blogs, and you seem absolutely wonderful Pols. You have beautiful children and your fella is a gem. But then again you know this already!

    Best of luck with your next chapters x

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