How I see with my left eye (minus the grid)

My youngest son’s Pre-school teacher knew me well enough to describe him s “a determined little toad”! And he still is, bless him.

Determination can be an assett, but it is not an attractive trait. I was also a very determined child. I blame the Norman and Viking genes. Nobody got in their way. Even now, my elder son sets his jaw in that determined way, says “Follow me, Mum”, and crowds part before him without pause. For a gentle soul he has a strong determined streak that has got him just where he wants to be.

This train of thought came about when I had finished converting a cushion into a neck pillow this afternoon. I nearly threw it in the ‘too hard basket’ (bin) the other day but hate to give up. My left eye sees like the graph above and my right eye can not see a straight line, so anyone sensible would simply not attempt the project. My left arm is also a problem but we wont go there.

I came across some tapestry needles and was able to thread with cotton. My stitching is rough. I used to do embroidery and cross-stitch, plus make my own clothes, jewellery etc. Today rough is ok. I will call it rustic, and it does the job. Result!

It needs plumping into shape, when I get my energy back. 

Fired with enthusiasm I rummaged in the bits box and pulled out the little rainbow cushion I had knitted. I needed to sew up the seams and the light was good…but the yarn was too thick and I remembered you cannot get a camel through the eye of a needle except with special visual effects.

So I divided the yarn into its strands, and tried threading that. After twenty determined minutes I remembered that somewhere just out of sight is a larger needle and also one of those needle-threading gizmos, so this project can go back in the box for now.

Determination on its own can be frustrating and detrimental. It matches well with devious, however. ‘Good organisational skills’ on the CV, and on resulting job references.

Nev reckoned I was manipulative, in a nice way. It went well with determination. But  being determined I would help make it go away did not stop his cancer.

Determination and friendship got me back on my feet, though feeling like one of those rolling punching toys. 

It is not always good to determine to do something. When Dad asked me to come home and help them, Mum’s dementia was taking hold and Dad had kidney failure, diabetes and blindness. In the two years since I was there things had really deteriorated. I did my best and was very gentle with them, but being the child up against two determined oldies made getting them to accept even basic care so difficult. It was soul-destroying and after four years I have still not found my former self. Any full-time family carer will understand.

My sister blamed me for everything. She who refused even to come and stay for two days too see the situation at close hand. The cruelty of she and her husband has greatly shattered my faith in myself. You don’t want to know.

She had been stubborn as a child, rather than determined. She combined it with sulkin. Shecould sulk for days, or until she got what she wanted, like skating and horse-riding lessons that my parents managed to afford. I always thought her the favourite until not long before Mum’s death, my Mother said “Pauline was always sulking.” Not how I want to be remembered.

It is taking all my determination to overcome health, emotional and physical issues in the year since I returned to be close to my family. I don’t like to get introspective so this afternoon has been a bit of an odd one.

So I will go lie down on my comfy newish neck pillow, remembering I have plans afoot for my upcoming birthday in September.

Tomorrow I have to go pick up my new replacement spectacles and I will be able to see the laptop again and continue writing ‘The Door Slams’.

I may be renewing my batteries on my new pillow but I am not taking what is left of my life lying dow.

I am determined about that!


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