Having not been home on Sunday I expect to find a floundering postman outside the door, crippled by the weight of his cargo. I will help him up, offer him tea, and we will work together to push the front door against the tide of admiring cards inside.....
But back in the real world the time away from routine has been largely useful in offering a mental pause, time to reflect and plan rather than solely reacting to life. I've made some big decisions and the time is coming to turn thoughts into deeds. Some are private, yes, friends, I am finally getting to grips with this whole over sharing thing, but some are simple life changes such as committing to clean eating, yoga at least twice a week, working in a realistic capacity and turning the tide on bankruptcy.
But if you thought for a moment the fates were allowing me some time to bolster myself with a 'go girl' or similar cheesy and cringe mental state, fear not. Ladies and gentlemen I bring forth the hilarious bluntness of my niece and nephew. On the first day of my visit, I met them while wearing my wig as i wasn't sure what they had been told, if anything.
"I know why you're wearing that wig," says my niece, fixing me in a death stare. "It's because you've got C-A-N-C-E-R." She elongates the word to ensure it has maximum dramatic impact, asks me why I have C-A-N-C-E-R like i've been careless, and if I'm going to get better. On the second day of meeting up with them, and by now quite certain they were underwhelmed by my previous wigishness, I settled on a silk scarf look (all the while lying to myself I am as chic as Kylie Minogue). I needn't have bothered. I thought I got away with it. We wandered around the shops for a good hour and no one talked of anything other than the usual pleasantries. It turns out they were waiting for a more captive audience. On sitting down for lunch in a busy pub, my niece says very loudly, "why have you got that scarf on your head? You look like a pirate. You look silly and everyone in here will be looking at you and know you've got C-A-N-C-E-R."
My nephew, who up until this point has remained mute on the subject, joins in. "Yeah, you do. People with cancer always wear scarves like that."
"But I have got Cancer," I say. "Why does it matter if people know that?"
They're not done with me yet. "What do you do for a job, Aunty Marianne?"
"Well,I don't work at the moment because.... (my niece jumps in with "because you've got C-A-N-C-E-R")....because I'm sick"
"But what did you do before?" Asks my nephew, who likes an answer.
"I write stuff," I say, thinking this was vaguely true once but seems like a long time ago now but thank god they're kids and don't know....
"That's not a real job," they say almost in unison and with vague confusion and disgust.
"no," I say quietly, "you're probably right."
I'm the youngest of four sisters but the cheeky two wouldn't let me go yesterday without informing me they think I don't look like the youngest.
So it's time to grow up. To make plans for when I am better including getting a proper job. This in turn brings with it a new set of challenges. Such as learning not to say "for Christi's sake, couldn't this have been an email?", learning how to speak one's mind professionally rather than answering "what do you make of this?" With "it's a f@cking waste of time," and absolutely not wrapping up the bosses desk and its contents with Xmas paper when he insists on keeping you at work over the holiday period despite all the people you trade with being closed.
I took an online career matching test and it came up with marine commando. I can't even swim and that's not the only reason I am not suited to that role.
So it's really time to grow up and i haven't got a clue how to start.