Bite Size Memoir: It made my day and my life

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Henry Miller wrote in Big Sur and the Oranges of Heironymous Bosch ” Most everyone has known one moment in his life when he felt so good, so thoroughly attuned, that he has been on the point of exclaiming: “Ah, now is the time to die!” ”  His philosophy was based on having reached that ultimate moment when nothing can surpass it and there is no way to go but down. The reality of life will return. Bills will have to be paid, housework will have to be done.

Now as I get older I enjoy living too much to wish myself dead just because I feel good. No. Life is too short as it is and most days I can find some happening that made that particular day. It may be the laughter that came unexpectedly at an inane comment, reading a blog that left me feeling great or moved me, watching the antics of my dogs on our daily walks, getting a bit of my study under control but something, sometimes many things will make my day. One something made not only my day but the rest of my life.

I was angry and I wasn’t going to forgive my parents for moving the family to the city for my brother’s education. I didn’t want to leave the wide, winding river where we looked for platypus, played and swam nor did I want to leave all my favourite trees and shops where I knew all the shopkeepers. I took it out on my parents for the next ten years. I made them pay for their Victorian attitudes, for the move and pay for the allergies I suffered as a result of it.

Then one day as I walked down the street the realisation hit me like a bolt of lightning. My parents are human and didn’t set out to ruin my life on purpose. They did what they thought was best for us. The fact that it wasn’t best for me was irrelevant as they could only do what they thought was best. The only person ruining my life was me.


In response to Lisa’s Bite Size memoir prompt

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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23 Responses to Bite Size Memoir: It made my day and my life

  1. M-R says:

    i REALLY like both bits. Really !


  2. fictionfitz says:

    Reblogged this on Writing Out Loud and commented:
    Amazing, when writing a memoir, how tempted I have been to blame another. Sometimes legitimately, but often should do what Irene does here. The enemy is often us. We project.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. TanGental says:

    Ah the self awareness that the world doesn’t go round you. Those Gallileo moments are priceless. A timely reminder that our lives are mostly in our hands to make or break. It’s part of realising that when bad or less than perfect things happen because of others actions or inactions it is usually Vick up and not conspiracy. If only national leaders would realise that too. I must enjoyed this and the memories it triggered.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It takes some maturing to come to the point in you life where you realize it isn’t all about you. Great post Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gorgeous photo. Love that. Also, love your intro to the memoir. Great Bite Size piece. That last line got me. Very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sarah. I agree it’s a great photo. I enjoyed your article about reading that was published in ?CapeCod News. Well done. I watch next to no television as it leaves nothing to the imagination. This makes me terrified for half the time and bored the other half. With a book you are only limited by your imagination. Your brain won’t take you past images you can’t cope with when its something bad but boy can you fly when those words take you to those far off places. If you haven’t read Big Sur and the oranges of Heironymous Bosch I loved it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks! So true that you’re only limited by your imagination while reading — not by something that is shown to you. Also, it’s fascinating to me that, like you say here, your brain won’t take you past images you can’t cope with.

        It’s funny that I have more support for my reading habit online than I do in real life. O_o I have not read that but will check it out.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Charli Mills says:

    Coming to these realizations in life are momentous, although in truth they are small adjustments to our thinking. Gorgeous opening photo, so full of the light that breaks through in representation of “enlightenment.”


  7. Sherri says:

    Your photo and your words, both in your intro and in your bite, spoke so deeply to my heart Irene. I love your honesty, the way you don’t mess about and cut right to the chase about your family life, how you felt when you were young, the way you reacted to elements of your, as you so often describe it, ‘Victorian’ upbringing. I found it deeply moving and I loved the way you brought it all to those perfect last few words in realising and understanding how much your parents loved and cared for you in the end. What a wonderful way to make your day, wonderful post this my friend (or should I say, ‘sis’!) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhhhh…. Sis would be nice. I have to admit I thought twice about posting this. This felt as though I was exposing myself a little further than I normally would. I’m glad you got my meaning and understood it. Yes it was a wonderful way to make my day allowing me so much freedom going into the future to change the path I had travelled and forge ahead appreciating the many little things that make each and every day. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        You did the right thing Irene, in sharing this. I think the same after I post about my dad and other personal things but then there are other things I don’t share publicly. You shared a part of yourself that connects deeply with your readers as it reminds us all to look back at those times in our lives when things might not have appeared to be in our best interests but with the benefit of hindsight (and maturity), we realise were the best thing for us. In that way, we remember how we truly moved on and lived the lives that awaited us rather than being stuck in that endless, recriminatory cycle. Your post inspired me to remember how I felt when my dad gave me his blessing to write about him. But it also changed him: he told me he felt a part of something in my life. I was stunned by that. So you see, you had to write it my friend. And you are the wonderful woman you are today 🙂 ❤ ❤


  8. Lisa Reiter says:

    Oh WOW! Irene I love this. Thank you for sharing it. To recognise our own follies is true wisdom and you’re so right when you say a lot of people never get there. (The only pain is the potential smugness from those who will forever remain in their relative states of ignorant bliss and think they may be somehow superior!)
    You probably did very well reaching this point at I’m guessing, a relatively young age. I’m suspecting I was somewhere in my late 30’s, early 40s. The continual personal growth is what makes living on and on and on such a draw. I cannot imagine an event making me think I don’t need to see any more.
    Great intro, Lisa xx

    PS Sorry I am so late responding. Bit of a problem sitting for long at the moment. Looking forward to the physio tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa I hope your back (I’m assuming) is getting better. I know how it feels as I had a back injury in my nursing life that periodically gives me curry. I preferred a chiropractor over physio and then I found a great Bowen therapist and that worked wonders.
      As I said to Sherri, I really pondered over the posting of this one as I felt it possibly exposed me just a little more than I was comfortable with but if you can’t be honest then why be a memoirist? It had to be done. I was in my late twenties when I had my epiphany. I’m lucky I think that I did have it when I did as I don’t think I would have been alive to be talking about it if I hadn’t had it. For me it really was a life changing event.
      I’m with you – I don’t think anything could ever make me think I’ve had the best, I have reached perfection on earth I don’t want to go backwards. I actually like my day to day life with the only wish that there were more hours in the day. Maybe back then I could have taken that route.
      Hope you have managed to sit long enough to read this. Cheers Irene ❤


      • Lisa Reiter says:

        Generally I have preferred my chiropractor over any physio but I have some tethering of nerves and facia that this one works miracles on. Overall, though I need to increase my movement to win. Pedometer is back on!
        Meanwhile, it’s interesting how exposing this moment was such a biggie. You know what went on between the lines after all, but as we don’t, we’re not going to be a judge of any of that. The impact of the piece for me as a reader, is who you became. The rest is context. I think this helps me see that some elements of my memoir may be easier for others to accept than I suspect! But then we’ll see, as I’m with you on the honesty, as you know! I’m just leaving out the vitriol!
        Lisa xx


      • I have heard that said on numerous occasions that the areas of the memoir the author was most worried about didn’t get mentioned by the people she was worried about where something she saw as meaningless was a huge issue to them. Interesting how we react differently but I’m with you on leaving out the vitriol. You have to be able to move on. Cheers Irene xx

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Pat says:

    I like this, Irene, and could feel your dilemma. I don’t think I’d be happy moving away from home, either, and all the things you had discovered and come to love. Yet, funny how it dawns on us one day and we wake up to the realization of the error of our ways. I don’t know how that happens whether it’s maturity or a form of letting go. But, it sure is nice when it happens and we have those “ah-ha” moments. Way to go. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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