This week’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is Limb
This immediately brings to mind the idiom “to go out on a limb” which means being in a dangerous or unrecommended position when making a decision to do something. I have often found myself out on a limb. While on that limb I have not felt I shouldnt be there at all. It’s only when the situation is over and I look at it with 20/20 hindsight that I doubt my sanity and say to myself, “What the hell were you thinking! What sane person would do what you’ve just done?” For example when Hubby announced that Number 1 daughter was having a hard time in her marriage I said – bring her on home – along with 2 tiny babies aged 18 months and 4 months respectively. Crazy – it was an insane time – the kids were hyperactive, Mom in no position to cope, I was working full time in a demanding teaching post – at the peak of my career and loving it and now I had to return to working Mom/Gran status. Yet I told everyone how great it was to have the privilege of helping our daughter raise her kids. I hardly noticed the exhaustion, the stress and the drama of fighting an extremely tricky custody case in court. When said case was won, I retreated from the limb and felt an incredible lightness and only then realised what we’d been through. But that was not the end – we continued to help raise the boys until they were 17 and 18 years old. When they were 4 and 5 I gave up my job and only took relief positions until they were 12 and 13. Why hadn’t I stopped earlier? – the pressure was off and I had time to devote to helping them through primary school – both were ADHD and dyslexic. During that time we went out on other limbs for other reasons and for other people and only faced the consequences afterwards. Sometimes we fell off and were hurt but we always picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and went straight out onto another limb. This happened when making decisions about our lives, helping out friends or complete strangers and never did we hesitate to think – what will happen if this doesn’t work out?
Then one day we chopped down the tree, left the family home and retired to to our holiday home 230km away. Omiword – the hindsight – I read diaries I kept and exclaim to my husband – Why the hell did we do that! Were we quite mad! At a time in our lives when we should have been winding down and indulging our own needs we started over with a fresh new family and continued to live life at full speed ahead. And we don’t regret a minute of it. We survived and so did our kids and friends. But now! Now we’re doing our own thing. Now we’ve found a new tree with different limbs to go out on. Now the limbs are half as dangerous and purely for our own fun. We will continue to go out on them until they break with the weight of us and we simply can’t any more.