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Why worry?

January 3, 2017

So where to start?  I’ve not posted for a while but it’s not cos there’s been nothing to say, perhaps there’s been too much to say?  Who knows?  Today I’m compelled to write for cathartic reasons, so forgive my ramblings & feelings if they become too much.

We all have someone in our lives who’s the person who’s meant to look out for us, to protect us, to be there when you need them, to tell you it’s ok and to comfort you.  That person who you look to or perhaps look up to.  I guess it’s probably a different person for each of us but I think in reality it’s probably usually a relative.  Anyway, my person, the person who I want to look out for me, who I hold on that pedestal, they’re not there for me right now.  And if I’m honest, they’ve not really been there for me during these past three and a half years when I’ve needed them most, when I’ve felt like my whole world is crumbling around me, when I’ve had no-one else to turn to.

This week it’s got worse.  I’ve been in tears too many times.  I’ve felt so alone and let down.  I’m so scared about things right now.  I can’t see a solution.  I don’t know what to do.

Perhaps writing is helping put this into perspective.  Perhaps it will help me?  I don’t know but I’m reminded of some words I heard recently, why worry, it just means we put ourselves through the pain twice.

 

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Holiday ponderings

September 1, 2016

Here I am relaxing, or at least I think I am and if I’m not, then I’m trying really hard to do so. The clouds are hiding the sunshine this morning which puts me in two minds: grateful for the break from the intenseness of the past few days but also mourning the disappearance of the sun a little. It’s the last day of the holiday so I’d planned to make the most of these last few hours of summer, to soak up as much as possible, to revel in those last few rays. It’s not to be so.

Instead I’m sitting reflecting. Thinking about life. Wondering. Enjoying the cool relief from the heat. Even out at midnight last night that temperature was high, stifling, taking my breathe away. So today’s respite, although unexpected and perhaps unrequited, is still appreciated.

So I’m  lying in this pleasantness. I’m listening to that insect sound, the sound of their busyness. The sound that reminds me of being overseas. Breathing in those smells, the scents of flowers that at home make me sneeze, but here? Well here they make me smile. Remind me of the beauty of nature. Remind me of the wonders of creation. Appreciative of my surroundings. Grateful.

Grateful for this opportunity to stop, to escape the real world and to just be. This is a blessed life and location but perhaps if this was my everyday life it wouldn’t be quite so special. Perhaps it wouldn’t stir the heart in the same way? So I should enjoy & appreciate & remember. I’ve fallen in love with this haven, its wonders, its people, its sights, sounds and smells. And best of all, this life will always be here when I next need that escape,that breathing space, that idyll and little piece of paradise, where real life seems a distant memory and escapism is my best friend.

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Shattered expectations 

August 29, 2016

Fearless. When I chose that as my word for 2016 little did I know how apt it would be, almost prophetic. Today as we approach the end of August I’m having to say it to myself daily, at least. 

Life often takes you on a different path, throws curve balls at you. I can certainly say things haven’t gone to the plan I expected or hoped for. Safe to say life in 2016 is not what I dreamt about. In some respects I feel like I just haven’t achieved my potential. I almost question “where did it all go wrong? ” But on the other hand, I have seen & done things which I guess I never expected. 

Hmm expectations. 

But right now, after the most recent curveballs, I just want someone to be there with me. Someone to hold my hand, steady my back. Someone to be there when I wake up breathless, suffocated by that paralysing fear. That fear which doesn’t just creep up on me but almost runs a race to catch me unaware & make my world crumble that little bit more. 

Right now I’m scared. I’m in a place physically at the moment where life should be bliss. Views, sounds, tastes. But I’m struggling to drown myself in this utopia. Instead that nagging fear is whispering at me. Reminding me. Just when I think Yes, things might be ok, it cries a little louder & reminds me that soon life will never be the same again.
So here I am, here and now, thinking, hoping . Wishing I had someone here to just hold me tight, to be there, to understand, to be a voice of reason, of comfort, of strength. In that absence I just remind myself to be fearless. What else can I do? 

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One Word 2016

February 20, 2016

It took me a while to choose my word for 2016. I had several options floating around in my head but they didn’t quite seem right. I kept looking at them & thinking and not committing myself. Then I thought of the word fearless and I knew it was right for me.

Since I chose the word it’s actually already helped me. I’ve been faced with situations when I’ve felt scared or apprehensive and I’ve remembered my word & said fearless to myself and it’s given me that source of strength.

So why fearless?

I think the first thing that came to mind when I thought of the word was the angel talking to the shepherds, telling them to fear not: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people (Luke 2:10 )

It struck a chord. Am I afraid? Why am I afraid?

Joshua 1:19 says Be strong Be brave Be fearless You are never alone

I think I need to remember those words. Sometimes it seems like I am alone, that I’m locked up in my house alone, that no-one else is there, that no-one else is bothered what I’m doing right then. When you stop & think like that though, you become afraid, afraid of the future and what lies in store, as well as being afraid of the present. That’s not a good place to be. It’s not a good way to feel.

Interestingly when you turn to the dictionary definition of fearless it says “showing a lack of fear” “brave”. It doesn’t say without fear, it suggests not showing fear. I think that’s something that I’m quite good at doing. I don’t tend to tell people when I’m afraid, I bottle it in, I carry on regardless or just hide myself away and try to avoid whatever the circumstances are that are causing that fear.

Fearless tells me it’s ok to have fear but to be brave and intrepid. So that’s what I’m striving to do in 2016, to remind myself that I’m fearless, that I can carry on, that being afraid doesn’t have to rule my life or dictate what I do or how I do it. That no matter how afraid I may be that I can carry on living in spite of any fears.

Fearless is not the absence of fear, it’s not never being afraid, it’s being able to push ahead despite those storms and challenges, and emerging the other side of them.

Postscript, I love the urban dictionary definition for fearless

“Strong willed. Heart of gold. Beautiful inside and out. Able to push through the storms of a shattered heart, broken spirit and tattered body emerging twice as graceful and independent then before. A truly gifted woman with a gorgeous soul and a dreamers disease”

I am fearless
I am strong willed
I have a heart of gold
I am beautiful inside and out
I can push through the storms of my shattered heart, my broken body and emerge twice as graceful and independent as before

 fearless

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Challenges

February 6, 2016

One of those “challenges” was going around online recently, this time challenging all the mums out there to post photos of themselves with their children, saying what wonderful mothers they are.  Seems harmless enough right?  Wrong!

I know people were accepting the challenge in good faith, taking it as an opportunity to say how proud they were of their children, how much they love them, what fantastic parents they are.  But for me, it was really hard to see.  I know people didn’t mean to hurt me but seeing endless streams of mothers & their children really hurt.

Don’t get me wrong, I love children.  Whenever friends tell me they’re pregnant, I’m genuinely happy for them.  I enjoy spending time with them & their children and seeing photos of their offspring at different stages of their lives.  But it still hurts!  I guess I’d always imagined my life with children around me.  Imagined what they’d be like, what we’d do together, how it would be.  I thought about happy times & outings with my own parents and recreated those memories with my own children.  But the reality is, it hasn’t happened.  I haven’t met someone with whom I have been blessed with my own children.  It’s not going to happen now.  Children will not be part of my future.  That’s a hard thing to come to terms with & all the fortunate parents out there can never understand that. They don’t see that hole, that void which grows at times.  In a way it’s a kind of grief, a grief for something which I will never have.  It’s something which I’ve come to accept, I guess I have to, doesn’t mean I like it though.

So when I saw all those photos appearing in my news stream for days on end, it was painful.  It was a visible reminder of something which I perhaps bury in the ground & try not to think about.  It’s not easy to put into words eloquently, but suffice to say, it was tough.

It seemed incredible that I would be alone with these feelings, after all I’m not unique, there are so many people out there without children, some by choice, some by fate & despite desperate & determined efforts to change their situation. There are those out there who have lost children, who have been through unbearably painful experiences and to whom their childless states must be a daily challenge to their own existence.  My own situation seems rosy by comparison, but all the same it’s hard.

I read another blog post online which seemed to sum things up much better than I could ever do, so I encourage you to read it, to think about how other people might be feeling.  I don’t begrudge you your happiness, or your photos, I just ask you to stop and think next time.

 

 

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Groundhog Day

February 2, 2016

groundhog_daySo today is Groundhog Day.

Some of you might be thinking, what’s that? Some of you might be remembering the film – I know that’s what came to mind when I heard about it on the radio this morning, and this post will focus more on that element, but just for accuracy purposes I did look up Groundhog Day online & found the following explanation on Wikipedia:

“According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its den in the tree on this day, then the spring season will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into it’s den, and winter weather will persist for six more weeks.”

So there you go, groundhog day refers to animals & weather, bit like cows standing up or sitting down in the UK in summertime I guess.

But anyway, moving on to the real reason for this post ….

On the radio this morning I listened to this guy talking about how we so often sleepwalk through life. I guess many people are often trapped by the daily grind of routine, not really thinking about what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. People get so wrapped up in their own lives that they effectively live in a little bubble, safely ensconced in their own lives, away from many of the realities of the “outside” world. Sometimes that might protect us from the grim happenings & hardships out there. But do we really need to be protected from them? Should we not be acutely aware of what is going on & perhaps trying to make a difference? How else will things change? What’s that phrase, if it’s to be done, why not you?!

Perhaps we need to step off the autopilot pedal every now & then and move onto manual. Take stock of the world. Look at our own communities, our own circles & try to really see what’s going on. Perhaps we are the first step in making that difference, the difference that might really change things for the better.

The expressions are endless:
Take time to smell the coffee;
Walk the walk, don’t talk the talk;
Step out of your comfort zone
and so it goes on ….

On a personal level, each of us has far more than we even realise. Only when we face our darkest days do we sometimes understand that. The interviewee on the radio talked about how we shouldn’t be defined by that awful day or event, that we need to find the essence of our own happiness and to focus on enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

I know I’m guilty of not doing that. Sometimes it’s really hard to see what you have when there’s something you want so much that it tears you up inside or when something so unbearably painful has happened that you just can’t seem to get over it & move on. I’ve often said that thinking isn’t good for you! By that I mean, we can dwell on things too much, rather than looking at life gratefully, embracing what we have and enjoying now, the present.

In our 21st century world we’re surrounded by messages all day, every day. Messages telling us that we need specific things to be fulfilled, be those products, experiences, relationships. We’re, perhaps subconsciously, nudged towards materialism, told that we need these trappings to be happy, that we’re not complete without them. In reality the happiest people are those who appreciate what & who they have around them in their lives already, be that family, friends, a home, food on the table, flowers in the garden, raindrops in the park, and the list could go on.

We all have so much more than we realise, more than we even need. Perhaps we should all create a list of those blessings and endeavour to make each day amazing, to smile and to appreciate those little things daily.

I think I’m inspired to go home & watch Groundhog Day this evening. I’ve read it’s credited as being a very spiritual and even Buddhist film. Interesting. I think I’m going to watch it in a whole new light from now on, and at the end of the day, that’s the only way.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Einstein

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Christmas memories

December 26, 2015

The Queen mentioned in her speech this year that it is always hard for someone “celebrating” Christmas the first time after losing a loved one. True.

This year was the third Christmas & it doesn’t seem to get any easier. At times it’s possible to enjoy the day but there are times when it’s just not right, that person should be there, and it’s tough.

Mum wasn’t forgotten today. She was talked about. She was remembered. But she wasn’t there. I have so many memories of so many Christmases, in fact all the ones in my life before three years ago. Memories where she was so poignant, so integral to Christmas. From outting up the tree, decorating the house, writing the cards and even making the Christmas trifle. Nowadays it just seems wrong her not being there for these key moments.

This evening I lit a candle she gave me & I remembered her again. Those happy happy memories of Christmases past will always stay with me. Happy Christmas Mum x

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