I seemed to have reached a few of these recently.

The end of my novel; and with it that magical time when you can dream about what it might be, rather than  what it is.

The end of my husband’s holiday; no more lazy days, long lie-ins and rambles across the field to the pub for supper and a pint, or a cheeky Pimms in the garden at four o’clock.

The end of the Olympics; and with it, the feel good stories in the press about how good it is to be British (though teachers still got a bashing, I note).

And for me, the end of an era, one, which at times, I fervently wished would end. Then before you know it, and before you are ready, it does. Just like that.

Yes, my daughter has left home*. When I go to bed at night, no longer are my family safely tucked up under one roof. No longer am I the first person she will talk to in the morning, or turn to when she is upset about school work, or ecstatic about exam results. I have been relegated. Left at home with her teddy, who, not so many years ago, she wouldn’t go anywhere without. I am cut adrift. Floundering; wanting to return to the middle, to the happy chaos of knowing what I was doing and why I was doing it, even if I never had the time.

When she got on the plane to San Pedro Sula last Sunday, she took a big chunk of who I have become with her. Instead of feeling joy in having a clean bathroom and all my clothes in my wardrobe (not hers), I am engulfed in a melancholic sense of everything coming to an end, which, of course, everything does.

Or does it? Do things ever end or just transform into new beginnings?  Or more eloquently put:

 “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Seneca

If I am too busy mourning the end, might I miss the beginning of something else? Something just as good, but wholly different to what I have known before?

The end of the novel, heralds the beginning of the next one, which will come out the way I see it in my   head – this time.

The end of the Olympics, heralds the beginning of the Para Olympics and the legacy of 2012.

And the end of my daughter’s childhood, heralds the start of a new and exciting beginning as she explores Central America and learns who she really is (and how to do her own washing).

And me, well, today I am going to mourn, shed a few tears while walking the dog in the woods. Endings are hard, even if they are beginnings in disguise.

But tomorrow, I will embrace the beginning of a life with grown up children and the opportunities that affords me.  My daughter’s life is just beginning, not ending. And, when she comes home next August, the same but different, we can begin our relationship anew, with, I live in hope, a mutual appreciation for keeping a clean and tidy bathroom.

As for the end of holidays – never a good thing, but there is always the beginning of the next one to look forward to.

What endings have you reached? Can you see the beginning, yet? I would love to hear from you.

*My daughter is volunteering in Honduras, teaching English. You can find her eloquently titled (not) blog here.

6 thoughts on “Endings…”

  1. Ju, endings are beginnings that is always true, however it seems like our brains understand that concept way ahead of our hearts! Doesn’t matter how old I get and how many lessons I learn, it still takes my heart way longer to catch up…hey maybe I’ve got a retarded heart! Time will take care of everything Ju, it always does. Have a lovely walk in the woods with Archie 🙂

  2. Endings mean absoluteness and change- and I think human nature is adverse to change. Often we don’t even want to acknowledge that there is an ending, we just ignore it and move on. How often do we even read a book and there is an open end…is it so we can engage our fantasy to write our wn or the author’s ( and publicists) way of trying to sell us a sequel 😏

  3. This is such a lovely post, Juliet, and has got me thinking about endings and beginnings. I think your picture of the ourobouros holds the secret, and that moving away from a linear conception of time/relationships/life in general is a really useful way of managing change.

    I find that paying attention to the cycle of the seasons of the year helps me to practice letting go of things- noticing the constant motion of nature helps me to move with life’s cycles and rhythms, rather than resisting them.

    And thinking of time and intimacy in terms of spirals, rather than linear progressions, also helps- there are times when I’m really close to someone, and times when we move away from one another, only to return later.

    And also, I think of those spirals as a bit like Slinkies (remember those?)- sometimes stretched and sometimes squished, so that the past and the present lie so close together as to be practically touching. I think there are moments in my past that I’ll always inhabit in some way, and be able to dip back into- and there are some that just arise unbidden- a current situation will resonate with memory, or I’ll have the sense that I could step out of my door and walk down a street on the other side of the world, so vivid is my memory of it in that moment.

    But oh dear, I thought that line from Seneca was a lyric from Semisonic! *hangs head in shame*

  4. Hi Helen, your comment about time and intimacy as spirals, really resonates. I have extreme guilt about losing contact with people I was once close to – but thinking about it your way, this is part of the natural cycle of endings and beginnings and I am going to try and drop the guilt from now on. I guess if you have to work at a friendship (i.e.it becomes a chore rather than a pleasure), then maybe it is time to accept that, for now at least, you and that person are on different parts of the stretched out slinky, but who knows when it will it cascade to the bottom of the stairs and squish up again. Thanks.

    p.s. I have been following your blog for a while, but never officially, until today. I love your mix of life and work and sociology.

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