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There’s a slug in my food bowl …!

I have been having problems sleeping lately. Between a busy brain and a cat who wakes me at 2am because there is a slug in her food bowl, it’s been tough to grab some complete shut eye. Despite my best efforts to ignore my furry friend, I always end up staggering out of bed, curse and swear under my breath as I impale my feet on various cat toys, bang my shin against chair legs and then trip over the other cat who has decided to join the protest against said slug in food bowl. Slug now removed, food bowl washed and refilled, where are the hungry cats? Yep, back on my bed fast asleep.

Despite my whinging I am going to miss this when I move to the West End of Glasgow. These furry pests, cats not slugs, have been a huge part of my life for the last few years. No matter what is going on they have a wee routine that I am going to miss being part of.

But change comes whether we like it or not, and we need to cope with that. Things that have been constants have to be sacrificed as we adjust to what life’s hand deals us. Almost 6 years ago I moved to this Cottage to live with my sister so that I could afford to go to University. Now, about to head into my final year as an undergrad, I leave behind the fluff monsters, family and slugs to move to what a friend called my “spiritual home”. With every box that gets packed, memories appear with all the things I have gathered while living here, from cocktail sticks to movie posters, maps of mazes to a broken hourglass that’s leaked pink sand all over the carpet.

(A pic of sand dunes is much better than one of broken glass)

Cleaning up said Pepto Bismol coloured sand, I kept hearing that line “like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives”. Life, like those sands, shifts constantly and so, therefore, must we. Whether it is a metaphorical slug in our food bowl, the proverbial yes Doctor I will finally change my lifestyle, or a recognition that you need to start wearing slippers because if you walk through a house at 2am barefoot you will stand on something sharp, every now and then we need upheaval. We need to turn the hourglass upside down.

When I sat watching the seabirds on the beach at Ayr, it struck me how adaptable they are, adjusting their flight to match the wind and tide. When we flip that hourglass we do the same as we struggle, sometimes in the dark, through life’s minefield of cat toys! We scream quietly into ourselves so as not to wake anyone, we lie awake wondering if that broken plastic ball has punctured an artery, but perhaps most of all we think, we struggle, then we eat two bars of chocolate, cry, use up another box of tissues and pack four more boxes.

Tom Hiddleston (any excuse to mention Hiddles) once quoted Confucius …

“We have two lives and the second begins when we realise we only have one”

Sometimes we do need to flip that hourglass but, for me, it’s important not to sit and watch the sand run through it. This one life is here right now and there are too many fabulous and, yes, challenging things out there to spend time worrying about the sand running out. I made a conscious decision a while back to stop looking at the hourglass and to step back from searching. I have always been a firm believer in karma and the if it is for you, it won’t go by you mantra, apart from that it is exhausting continually searching physically and emotionaly. Believe me, as someone who spent weeks looking for a flat then when I decided to stop looking two came along at once. Sometimes, sorry Bono, you have to stop the “still hasn’t found what I’m looking for” and just feckin’ live your own life.

So I am off to stick a bright pink Barbie plaster on my foot, pack more boxes and remove the fly that at 3am is now doing the backstroke in the cats water dish.



This blog is partly taken from journal entries that I wrote during counselling sessions, and written in memory of an incredibly special woman who, recently, was my counsellor during one of the most challenging times in my life. Rachael encouraged me to let go of so much negativity and anger, as well as supporting me in person when I needed her. As I searched for answers to the “why me” question she helped me focus on the fact that sometimes there are no answers to that question, and that the exhaustive search is like a continually spinning hourglass that never stops moving. If we stay still, let go of the search, then life becomes much easier aka if it is for us, it won’t go by us.

She will be much missed by her family, friends and “clients” but knowing you have someone like that on the other side is such a blessing.

Rachael, the heart is still open and I have loads of those “emotional bandages” in my bag to use when it breaks. Thank you for being there and rest in peace my friend!

G ❤️🩹

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