• Lara Flanagan

Doors opening and closing

Updated: Feb 28


We are definitely now on the final countdown.  As I wander Mum and Phil’s house in my work uniform of socks, pyjama bottoms and fleece I have the lyrics of “The Final Countdown” running through my head.  Luckily Mum and Phil were away over the last few days.  So it did not matter if I was often stopping and doing a few wild air guitar moves and shaking my head up and down, flinging my hair all around rock star style whilst singing in my head “It’s the Final Countdown, The Final Countdown!”  Actually my hairstyle is probably reminiscent of the lead singer from Europe – his is probably more sophisticated than mine though.


Two weeks tomorrow we will be leaving Tenterfield and I actually can’t believe it.   I am battling a very bad head cold at the moment so sleep has been scarce and as a result I am probably more prone to bullshit and waxing lyrical than I am normally.   I have been thinking a lot about doors opening and closing lately.   Helen Keller once said, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”  I think we are all guilty of that, especially me.   I am an absolute artist in obsessing about closed doors and becoming dark and twisted for months about things that have happened, things that have gone wrong, or closed doors that also come in the form of shockingly bad news.  And I wonder how many opened doors I have missed.  But at the ripe old age of 44 I think I am getting better at moving on and letting go and subsequently seeing new opportunities ahead.


I ran into someone recently who was responsible for causing me a great deal of heartache in a former life.   I had rehearsed over and over in my head what I would say to this person.  I had it down pat.  I was not going to curse, I was not going to use any four letter words, I was going to stay calm.  I was going to be rational and most importantly I was not going to weep so much that my face become covered in snot.   I was very, very prepared to be awe inspiring.  


All I wanted this person to know was that their behaviour was loathsome and that karma would get them in the end.  So when I saw this person what did I do?  I did nothing.  I grinned like a lunatic, I nodded my head up and down like a deranged Energiser Bunny and I was incapable of saying anything.   Did I tell you that I absolutely suck at confrontations?  Even thinking about them makes me break out in a cold sweat.   Abso-bloody-useless I am.   As I was beating myself up after the event though I realised that I did not care.  I actually did not give a shit and was glad that my inability to deal with anything confrontational meant that I had not uttered a word.


This creature was hugely responsible for closing a door in my life at some stage.  But if I am honest with myself it was only because this little revolting nasty viciously closed a door on me that another one opened.  Right now with an impending departure for a spontaneous adventure combined with my clogged up brain and head I am realising that my life has been filled with closed doors that have provided the most beautiful and life-altering opportunities.

Divorce lead to me cooking in a commercial kitchen for the first time.  This fact lead me to Tenterfield and an amazing unplanned life in the country.  This move lead me to my home.


A diagnosis of MS opened a door that provided discoveries about food and health that have genuinely changed my life.  That diagnosis door also opened a door to me that has resulted in me writing. A career crisis a year ago lead me to the decision to go freelance.  All of these things combined have amounted to me having the courage and the freedom to fearlessly go travelling with Archie and Rissie for a year.   Doors are amazing things.  Opening and closing all the time.   They can also be used to smash people in the face when you lose your ability to speak at moments of confrontation – that happens in my imagination anyway.


Two weeks to go and only a few things left to do on my list.   Exciting news is that I am also in the throes of sorting out a 2 week house-sit just minutes away from NYC!!!   We have a few hurdles to go but at the moment all I can hear is opening doors and it fills my little black heart with joy.

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