Sunday, 31 May 2009

The Emotional Rollercoaster

It’s been a month of highs and lows and one where I kept meaning to blog but never quite got around to it. April 30th through to today, May 31st are difficult weeks for me to navigate. Anyone who has read this blog will know that I lost my father and an uncle on one night, followed by another uncle six days later, my mother three weeks later and then my step-father a few weeks after that. I don’t dread the time anymore having come to terms with my loss some years ago but there is always the subconscious at work taking the odd pop at me when I least expect it. Today is the anniversary of my mother’s passing.

Grief is a strange old taskmaster that never entirely leaves me no matter how long the journey has been from the loss of a loved one. I have come to recognise it over time and even welcome a good old sob now and again as it means I haven’t forgotten what the person(s) meant to me. But I am not going to dwell in the past or let my loss define me; rather I thank God for what is in my life now and how fortunate I have been. So, I am not at all sad today, just reflective on what my wee mammy meant to me and how with time, we could have created so many more memories together as I matured into the many ages she had traversed before me. I think I may just have missed her wisdom more than anything in my life. R.I.P mammy, I love you. So, that is a few lows and nothing I can’t manage but it is enough, along with some renovations we are doing, to render me blogless for too many weeks.

One particular high was unexpected and still leaves me with a glow of joy. Some years ago I was quite a big earner of the old greenbacks, spondoolicks, dosh, whatever you may want to call it. I also had a superb expense account but nothing that quite matches that of the thieving fraudulent and ethically challenged gaggle of MP’s that have been ‘creative’ with their accounting of late. To cut a long story short – hah about time I hear you say! – four years ago, after a marathon effort at sorting out my tax returns, Her Maj’s taxman sent me a wee note saying they owed me several thousand pounds. Buoyed with delight at this piece of good fortune I did a jig of thanks to whatever God had blessed me that day, grabbed a cup of tea and sat down to call and claim my booty.

“Hello”, I chirruped in a light and jolly happy tone to the woman that answered; a first if ever there was one, I am usually subdued and fearful when dealing with the hand that wields a baseball bat over my finances.

“Name, NI number”, she barked back at me without any kind of pleasantry or even the most basic of telephone etiquette. Miserable old bag, I thought, as her blunt and rude tone bit into my good mood.

“I’m calling about the letter you sent. You know, ref number 1234567 etc, the one that says you owe me millions!”, I joked obviously delighted in my good fortune that it wasn’t the other way around. “Okay not millions”, I said as her silence at my wee joke deafened the airwaves, “but I have in my hot little hand a letter from you that says a number consisting of five figures and 49 pence, so may I have a cheque to that value please”, I carried on determined not to let this misery-guts ruin my moment.

Tap, tap, tap was the only response I heard as she thumped the keyboard rather too hard. Must be menopausal, I thought. as the silence stretched and I drank my now tepid tea just for something to do.

“Mrs MOB”, she barked over the phone like a sergeant major, "there is nothing here to say that we owe you that money".

“But you sent me a letter saying so”, I protested, feeling my good mood drain from me quicker than blood from a severed artery or indeed pounds being sucked out of my imagined fat bank account.

“Nope, not a thing, it’s a computer or record error”, she spat back at me with what sounded like unbridled glee in her voice.

“No, surely not, if you sent me a letter then it must be true, isn’t it”, I asked in desperation and by now sounding and feeling like a child who had been told that Disneyworld had gone bust. “Oh c’mon, you're joking aren’t you? Is there perhaps someone else that could check your findings, or verify......”

“.....NO”, she interrupted far too quickly in her hurry to dismiss me. “Now is that all I can help you with?” Call that help?, Call that Help? you miserable hairy chinned old boot, I wanted to spit back at her but self preservation kicked in and I accepted a shocked defeat before thanking her – God knows why – and reluctantly placing the handset on the receiver. Himself said I looked like I needed to be put on suicide watch and I felt how I looked.

We didn’t have an accountant at that time so I knew not what else to do but to file the letter away as one of life’s little snatched moments of happiness that turned ugly.

We have a fantastic accountant now, when she came on board she took up my case but got nowhere and I finally gave up the ghost and duly forgot about it until....

.......In April of this year, along comes a letter from the Inland revenue. ‘Dear Mrs Mob, H.M. I.R. owes you a five figure sum and 49 pence’ Oh for Christ sake, here we go again I thought. Bugger it, I can't be arsed chasing my tail over this one again, I decided, and went to file it. But himself had other ideas and took it to our lovely accountant. She drew the same conclusions as I had but with a sigh, offered one last time to chase it up. Rather her than me I thought, simply because I didn’t fancy another ten rounds with that hairy faced old bat who’d taken such delight in ruining my day all those years before. But in all reality, she’s probably been head hunted by a fundamentalist terrorist organisation to train their new recruits in torture and telephone techniques, so who cares eh?

The upshot is that I got a cheque about a month ago, with a guarantee that they will not come after me to return the money at any time in the future. Y’see the records for more than six years have been destroyed and as my claim was for that period, no one can prove whether that money was mine or not to claim. I almost peed myself with utter joy, well that and the ageing effects of the menopause, the joy just compounded things. I danced even more jigs this time as I kissed the cheque and himself in that order. We’d already started a renovation project on our house to sort our drive out, update the outside of the house and modernise our three toilet and bathroom facilities so this is a welcome bonus. The drive and outside of the house looks great. We now have those lovely square toilets with soft close seats, eco friendly with 3 and 6 litre flush options, and much more comfortable to lounge about on, if you get my drift. There’s something quite satisfying about being the first person ever to use a new loo. But, the soft closing seat is a revelation. You just have to touch the lid and it closes gently, but here’s the best part: On first use, after his return from the pub and needing to relieve himself of a few gallons of Guinness, himself toddled off to the downstairs cloakroom. Strange strangulated noises coupled with a few choice Anglo-Saxon words came hurtling through the door. On his exit from said room with the most cheesed off look I have ever registered on his moosh, himself enlightened me to his problem; each time he lifted the loo seat, it started closing down again before he could aim Percy at the porcelain. Crikey it must have been designed by a woman I thought as I laughed up my internal organs at such an unexpected bonus. The loo seat is now known as the Todger Trap and himself now has to adjust his position to accommodate our new purchase, well it’s either that or a mad rush to finish before all hell breaks out! Hah, result!

Around the same time as this we were in the process of selling a hideous purple suite that sat in our conservatory – got a hundred knicker for that just by telling the step-son that we wanted to get rid of it and his friend gladly grabbed it for it was in good condition – and this additional money meant we could treat ourselves to some beige leather chairs and foot-stools from Ikea. We had an expensive garden table and chairs languishing in our summer house so we moved that inside our conservatory. What with new lights and shelving, the room looks superb and has already lent itself to a few dinner parties using our raclette machines that we dragged out from storage and dusted down. We have had the most fabulous social times of late and this has made my April/May much more bearable.

To cap our good financial windfall, Himself’s pension went up unexpectedly by 25%. We hadn’t factored that in for this year and as our company has a contract with the Justice Office that pays superbly well, we are comfortable - for the first time in yonks - we've had some hefty financial demands in the past and God what a relief it is to be free of that. Himself is basking in the glorious feedback he has been receiving of late from his employers for a job well done – he does some very intricate investigations for them that requires a high level of professionalism so I am rightly proud of him. We’ve been having a mega clearout and selling our unwanted stuff on E-bay, thus generating some additional pin money. Lately with my investment income taking a bit of a battering from the latest financial crisis we thought we would have to tighten our belts a bit and put some of our plans on hold so this has all come as a relief and a welcome surprise and all in the space of six weeks or so.

But, every silver lining has a cloud and if I sound too delighted for my own good, I am reminded that life is precious and that at times there is a rug waiting to be pulled from under my feet. Something has happened of late that has made me sob in desperation and sadness but that is for my next post. I cried, off and on, for two days, picked myself up and resolved to find a solution. I’m in the thick of my research now and will post when I have a path to follow.

Life can be a rollercoaster of emotions, and it’s not what life throws at you but how you handle it that defines you. I’ve not always been strong in my past but I’m not going to fall apart now, not when my wee pal and fur-baby needs me.

46 comments:

Kim Chandler said...

MOB May does sound like a tough month to get through but it is nice to hear you are coping well and with a little good fortune to boot. Great to hear from you again :)

Maggie May said...

Glad you are back in circulation even though you are on a roller coaster.
Bit worried about what you have to tell us in the next post! Hope it is nothing too bad.

I also remember people's birthdays & death dates etc. And today would have been my late mother's birthday. I do still miss her. keep reminding myself that she would be extremely old if she was still alive. I seem to remember her mostly when she was my age!

I am amazed that you got that money from the tax man after all. It is probably ONLY because you have an accountant, I think.

Glad you got rid of your *hideous purple settee*. One man's meat is another man's poison, I always say. Makes me wonder what attracted you to it in the first place. That is something you could blog about perhaps.

You do write a very funny post even when you think you feel morbid!!!!!

Lane said...

Firstly Mob, lovely to have you back and read about your all the positives that have happened in the last month.
But as for your 'cloud', I hope you can find a course of action and stregth to see it through. Thinking of you.
take care m'dear x

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Oh, MOB,I have been wondering where you were. Happy for your windfall. The IRS just decided that we owe them.....$14,000. I refuse to let this defeat me.

Cheryl said...

So glad you are back, you were missed! Grief is an odd journey and no matter how much time goes by, that feeling sweeps over you unexpectedly, with no know trigger (at least not one I can identify). I lost my mom and dad, and a wonderful great aunt (who was life a second mom to me), all within a years time. Then my sister, it just seemed like the grief doesn't stop, but time does ease it.

I hope the news for your next post, is not too bad. We are here for you!

The IRS drives me crazy. I got a call from Betty Sue, from Tennessee, demanding to know where my parents were. They owed a lot of money, she told me. I told them they were deceased, she was upset, not at my loss, because she was at a loss at how to proceed and "get her money." I was worried for months, but never heard from here again. I still worry, cause I don't think they let these things go. Thank God for lawyers and accountants, who take on the problem.

Sending lots of love and hugs!
XXXXXX

Gail said...

Congrats on getting your just rewards from the IR. Superb writing, the Todger Trap made me laugh out loud!

auntiegwen said...

My dear darling mobsy, I've missed you, you're in my thoughts often and as a wee Glasgow mammy I send my love to you as I know how much you miss yours xx I hope whatever's made you cry is resolved xx

Not Waving but Drowning said...

Woohoo re tax refund.

Isn't it vile that life always seems to have a banana skin just waiting for you to tread on.

I've had a period of relative calm recently so I'm on my guard now!

GG

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Certainly does sound like a mixed bag of events for you, MOB. It's always good to hear of someone having a windfall, especially from the Inland Revenue.

Death anniversaries do have a bad habit of creeping up on us when we least expect. It isn't easy but with love and support, we are always able to get through.

God Bless,
CJ xx

Crazed Mom said...

HOORAY! I am so ahppy you had some good things happen. It's about time. I am laughing my arse off at the loo story! What brand is that and can an American girl get a few of those? Muahahahaha.

Grief is odd, one never knows when it'll knock one off their feet. HUGZ

Cancer Becomes Me said...

I love the way you tell a story. Love it.

Happy you're bilking the gov't of their money. Well done!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Kim C – it’s not so much a tough month any more. It’s more that I am aware of the events from all those years ago but they evoke very little outward signs of emotion. I tend just to be more lethargic rather than sad. Life has to go on!

Maggie – I too am taken aback when I realise that my wee mammy would have been 78 on the 19th of May. I think we tend to remember the deceased at the age they died. How could we think of them as anything else? Re the purple suite – I didn’t mind it but Himself always thought it was hideous and never tired of saying so. It was with much joy that we waved goodbye to it though! God did we get fed up vacuuming it as the pets liked to lie on it. We bought it second hand from someone in the village as it seemed convenient at the time. The beige leather recliners and footstools are much more contemporary and look superb in the conservatory and with the flick of a wipe, clean up in seconds! Probably saved a week a year not having to vacuum a suite any more!

Lane – ta hen. It has been a good month for positives. My other problem – only time and some effort on my part will tell.

Kathy – Oh God, what a big amount of money to have to pay. No wonder you feel down about that. All the best – refuse to pay!

Cheryl – The stupidity and insensitivity of the IRS chasing you about your parents beggars belief. You hear of stories like that but never believe them. I am really fine, no tears or mega sadness, just a bit lethargy but not all the time. We are busy with our renovations and I’ve been writing the novel, so it isn’t all bad!

Gail – the Todger Trap made me heave with laughter! I have never minded the loo seat being up as I think men must get annoyed that we never leave the seat up!

Auntiegwen – Ta hen for such nice words. I haven’t resoled my situation yet as it might be one more of management more than cure. Doing a lot of research for the mo though.

NWBD – not too many people get money back from the taxman! I am chuffed to bits. I hope your relative calm continues.

Crystal – I’m concentrating on the really good stuff as there is nothing to be gained from reliving the old heartache. It happened and mostly it is well gone in the past. I remember them all fondly as that is how it should be.

Crazed Mom – the loo seat really is a hoot. We had no idea that the seat just doesn’t stay up – just thought it was the lid that closed! You must be able to buy a soft close loo seat in the USA! Go get one, great talking point at dinner!

CBM – oh you are so positive. You are a hero in every way. I am pretty much upbeat these days but life is sometimes there to try us. I have never felt so good really.

Lori E said...

I almost missed this post. You are on my list but I guess I scooted past you. Welcome back to the land of the blog.
Hip hip hooray on the windfall. Found money is a great thing.

Eliza said...

You made me laugh out loud, i loved the todger trap. I hope you find a solution to your next post.

Daryl said...

Oh I am sorry, I know how that sort of stuff works .. in my case its November .. all in one week .. bad time.

I am here to say thanks for visiting my blog ...

LittleBrownDog said...

Oh, MOB, you have had a time of it. Firstly, I'm pleased to hear about the money and getting one over on the hairy-chinned old boot. And secondly, where d'you get hold of those soft-close square loos? As I share my abode with three beings of the male persuasion, one of those would go down just swimmingly here, and I need cheering up a bit. But lastly, I'm concerned to hear about your cloud. Your life sounds as though it's very rich with ups as well as downs - I do hope you find yourself with the strength and support you need. Thinking of you. xx

Lady Fi said...

Wow - what a rollercoaster. I'm so very sorry to hear about the losses of loved ones, and happy to hear that you had some luck come your way.. although by the sounds of it, not so lucky for his lordships's todger!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Blimey I think l'll stop bleating, I am a glass half empty person on the inside and I must try and put that to rights..

thanks for your comments and visit...

fff x

Casdok said...

Wishing you all the best to find your path, as i am sure you will.

i beati said...

Great thoughts and you are right about grief. after awhile you start feeling safe - pow right in the gut. We are strong sandy

Robynn's Ravings said...

This is such a rich post it's hard to know what to say. Your loss of family in such a short time seems almost insurmountable and yet you prove that to be untrue. And I agree with you that tears are a testament to those we love. I still miss my sister and it's been over 35 years. But I'm GLAD I miss her. It keeps her alive within me.

So VERY glad about the windfall (hard-earned though it was)! And your "Stories from the Loo" had me convulsing and calling for Grizzly so I can watch him wince at the Perils of Percy!!! ROFL!! (He hasn't gotten in here yet.) I want one of those contraptions!

My imagination is working overtime about your other concerns but not knowing details won't stop me from sending prayers for you.

Thank you for stopping by my place and making me feel so entertaining. I don't hold a CANDLE to you. I LOVE to read you.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Lori E – It is surely a great thing to beat the taxman/tax terrorist at his/her own game is it not?! I was certain that the money was mine but they always insisted that even though they said it was that conversely it wasn’t!; An organisation with a split personality.

Eliza – I love the Todger trap so much too! What a result!

Daryl – the thing I have discovered in the blogging world is that there are many cases of heartache, some totally dwarfing my own circumstances with breathtaking unfairness and sadness. I wish you well for November and I love visiting your site – New York is a place that is so vibrant and you make it come alive on your page.

LittleBrownDog, Ah you are always so very empathetic in your comments, thanks for that. Re the soft-close toilet seats. I got them on Ebay – not sure if they only come with square designs though but worth a look. It is quite unusual to go into a loo and find the seat and the lid down! As for my other problem, I am keeping my fingers crossed as I continue to research and try out solutions recommended by research papers that are published on the net.

Lady Fi – His lordship’s Todger was never in danger of the lid/seat snapping shut on it! He’s just annoyed that he can’t pee with the seat up anymore!

FFF – nothing wrong with being a glass half empty as long as there is another full bottle around to rectify the situation!

Cadok – my situation doesn’t mirror the severity that many others are living through but it is one that brings a lot of sadness to me.

I-Beati – I think that’s life eh? You get on with the sad stuff eventually but the odd sad situation can dredge up buried feelings that you hoped had been locked away.

Robyn’s Ravings – Hope your Grizzly wasn’t smarting too much at the idea of a similar fate happening to himself! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and so sorry to hear that you lost a sister all those years ago. Time dulls some of it but the old subconscious kicks in when things get a bit low I suppose, or do things get a bit low because the old subconscious kicks in? Who knows, I suspect that it is both.

Have a superb time with your cousins – your post on the booze bottles was pure brilliance.

GoneBackSouth said...

Oh MOB I can't believe I've been not reading you for so long! Emotional rollercoaster is the right way to describe this post. Delighted to hear about the cash windfalls (in this day and age costs seem to be going up and income seems to be going down for so many people).
But now I'm worried about your bad news. Hope everything's okay.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Well MOB, catching up with you has been a marathon, and you've obviously had some big ups and downs. I vividly remember reading about all your sad bereavements last year around this time. It's tough, but you seem to be getting through with typical courage. As for your (eventual) financial good fortune - well deserved, and hopefully much enjoyed. M xx

Working Mum said...

Welcome back and make sure you focus on the positive! I think you can take a moment to revel in your good fortune. And it's so nice to hear a story where the tax man has to give it back! Enjoy.

Who's who said...

Tough times sweet heart. Nevertheless, you always make me smile.

DM

Deb said...

Hi MOB ~ I am just returning from a blogging break and I had to run over to see what you have been doing. Sounds like you have been on the roller coaster ride of life - make sure you buckle up! Glad you finally got the check but I am concerned about what else you are now dealing with in life. I will be back soon to check on you. Take care.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I'm so happy for you I'm wetting myself too. What wonderful news and what a great time for it to come, MOB.

Sally's Chateau said...

I'm sitting here quietly thinking what a lot of grief you had to contend with in so short a space of time but admiring your ability to cope. I think the new look in the conservatory sounds lovely and I hope you have many happy evenings under the stars.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

GBS – oh it is so good to hear from you again. You have been missed and glad to see you are hosting a new blog so I will be along soon.

A Mother’s Place - swings and roundabouts as the Scots tend to say!

Working Mum – I am enjoying the windfall and the extra freedom it brings and yes concentrating upon what can be done rather than what is impossible!

Who’s Who – ah what a nice wee message to leave me, Thanks DM, it is much appreciated. As ever your posts give me the biggest chuckle too.

Deb – so you and me both on a blogging break eh? Sometimes we just need to recharge the batteries. Thanks for popping by.

Coffee – It couldn’t have come at a better time eh?!

Sally – we have been lucky to get a bit of sun this year and the conservatory is a real joy to use now. Watching the sunrise is a lovely peaceful event sitting back in our new recliner chairs. It is truly lovely room where peace reigns!

Stinking Billy said...

Hello, sweetheart, just to let you know that I am back. x

aims said...

Not when your fur baby needs you? What?????

Oh MOB. Please don't break my heart again. I still don't know how to handle it.

Snowbrush said...

"a five figure sum and 49 pence"

Whoa. Lucky you. I do good to get a three figure sum.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Billy – hello sweetheart yerself! So very glad to see you back blogging, you were missed. I tried to get into your blog – it keeps throwing me out! I’ll email you instead now that Crystal has given me your address.

Aims – I know how much you love your cats and how you suffer with the loss of them. I truly understand what you go through. My wee furbaby is facing a bit of a challenge and I will write about it soon.

Snowbrush – welcome and thanks for your comment. Yes I was truly astonished at my luck of a five figure sum. It made my year!

KC said...

MOB, I am new to your blog and love your writing and humor. I am from Utah, USA and find the differences in our speech amusing and charming. I started at the beginning and have read to your current post. Did you write your book? I am confused if the husband you write about now is the same man you wrote about in your original posts.
Thanks for the great blog and the laughs.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

KC - welcome and thank you for such nice commens. The husband I have now is not the same man. I am writing the book now and am quite excited about it. It's a struggle at times but I am ploughing my way through it.

Bless you for reading from the beginning! You must be crossed eyed by now!

KC said...

MOB, Thanks for the nice comments on my photos and also for taking the time to answer my questions. I look forward to the book and further posts on your blog.

CG said...

Thank you for dropping by my blog! I really enjoyed reading yours and can really relate to you missing your mum!

Daphne said...

Interesting blog - I'm glad I've found you and I'll be back!

French Fancy said...

What a long and interesting post. I am also an 'adult orphan'and I bet like me there are occasions when you just long to be able to pick up the phone and tell your mam something. There is not a day goes by when I don't think about my mum for a moment and just yearn for her (she died about 12 years ago); likewise I miss my dad (he died about 3 years ago).

Unless you do not have parents I don't think anyone can understand what the feeling is like. On the one hand you know that you don't have to go through horrendous times again of illness and death. There is nobody that can really tell you what to do anymore. That is the positive side of it - but we both know what the other side of it is.

You really went through it though - with such intensive loss over such a short space of time. I cannot begin to imagine how you felt at the end of it all.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

KC – your photo’s are amazing. It was a pleasure to visit you.

CG – welcome and thanks. There are so many of that are missing parents. Sad but inevitable.

Daphne – thank you. I shall pop over and see you too.

French Fancy – sad to hear you have lost both your parents too. I agree there are some positives – if we can call them that – such as never fearing the phone going in the middle of the night again as that part is all over, (except for fear of something happening to step-sons), and then never having to worry about them getting any older and how to take care of them from a distance. Once the grief becomes manageable there is a certain freedom of never becoming a carer and being able to get off and do things that may be unthinkable if they were still here, infirm and relying upon you. Oh God, I almost went under with the grief at the time and it took quite some time to get to grips with just breathing but I got there in the end but not without some collateral damage. It truly was just too much to bear in one go but as with all things in life, you go under or you survive.

DJan said...

MOB, enjoying you so much I just had to tell you so. This post made me laugh out loud, twice! My life has just taken a turn for the better, having found you. Going through your own blog list might make me a little crazy, but I know where to go when I need a little pickup. Here! Thank you for your continuing presence in the blogosphere!

Smiles, DJan

Grandma Nina said...

I just was introduced to you through DJan and it's so nice to meet you. You are so funny and entertaining. But I'm already worried about you. your good news was so good, but what's the cloud?
We're at the same place with the menopause thing and the forgetfulness, etc. so I'm feeling your pain already. Hope it's not too bad or threatening. I'll be following.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Djan – oh thank you for being so kind in your comments, it is very much appreciated. I can’t promise I will always make you smile on a visit here but I do my best!

Grandma Nina – thank you for being so kind too with your comments. The sad news is something that I am dealing with and fingers crossed it will be manageable for my wee doggie. More on that in a few weeks. Time for some laugher in the meantime!

Suburbia said...

So interesting to read this after the week I've had. I count myself very lucky. Thanks for visiting me recently :)

Spit and Glue said...

I flippin love you! Your newest fan, Keri ..