Sunday, 21 October 2012

Life is fleeting

As we recover from the sudden and unexpected death of a dear friend, and this morning helped their husband into an ambulance after a fall - life seems so very fragile. I often teach about enjoying

I had started writing the above, when the news came that our neighbour had not made a recovery, and we were again in mourning (and shock) for the loss of someone very close to us. It has been an incredibly difficult four weeks as we have been shocked by the loss of our wonderful neighbours, a genuinely lovely couple that we have grown accustomed to seeing every day. Naturally our loss is very different to that of their family, for whom we have tried to be supportive.

While I have been working on appreciating each moment for the joy or learning that it provides - which has been going very well - it has been another challenge during this sad time to reflect at the end of life on how we look at a long span of time. Both our neighbours were in their 80's, and we had only known them for about seven years - it has been fascinating to learn more about their lives and to appreciate that each moment will then add up to something much more significant.

I teach on a course called 'Coping with Loss' and was able to use the resources for my own situation, and to improve and amend where necessary. Death raises such complexity to life and my main challenge has been in how to discuss the situation with two toddlers in appropriate ways, while trying to answer questions and not scare them. This challenge is ongoing, for the first time it's come into their awareness that hospitals can't fix everything...

The positive outcome is that celebrating a life allows us to focus on the overall good and not each individual moment - food for thought.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Magical Moments

I think the most important thing I've learned from my mission to appreciate what I have is that time sometimes just stops, and I can ignore the hurlyburly of living for long enough to breathe in the wonder of just being alive.

Today was that kind of day, we decided to have a family day out and just 'be'. It was almost a silent agreement between as us, there were no tantrums, few tears and hardly any biting - it was bliss. We laughed, went on a bouncy castle and just enjoyed time together.

Having said all that I had managed to put the washing machine, dishwasher and tumble on before breakfast, so normality still reigns!

Here's to an equally serene Sunday...

Monday, 24 September 2012

I'm back!

Well it's taken a while, but reading some of my own handouts and pulling myself together, as well as recovering from a virus means I'm now fully back in business. It's been a very busy few days away and then straight back to work, but I'm still feeling that life is good and I'm very lucky to be living it. The mission to manage my time better is still a work in motion - today it's taken until half ten at night to get to writing this (which I consider me time) and I've still not done much else on my list... But, a list is just an aide memoire and if I focus on what I have achieved today all the necessary things happened: kids went to nursery, I went to work, dinner was provided and all are now safely in bed.

Today I was talking about moving our focus from the negative to the positive, and making that a conscious choice in our everyday lives to boost confidence. Yet again, I need to practice what I preach - and it works!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Old dogs etc

Well, it turns out I'm more of an old dog than I realised. I've spent the last two weeks reverting back to my old ways of wasting time, feeling frustrated and out of control. I'm fairly sure it's triggered by stress at work, which has led to illness which has just made me want to hibernate from the world for a while.

I think there is a place for listening to your body, and taking some down time can be very beneficial, what I'm not good at traditionally is finding the right time for me to come 'back'. My natural inclination is to avoid hard work - however you can't take a day off from being a mum, and I've been so amazingly happy with how my mission was going that I want to get my mojo back asap.

I've taken some time (not by choice, but by medical need) to stay in bed for two days, and much as I would like to stay there for at least another week, I have to be up and 'mummy' tomorrow, so I plan to use the day to spark myself back into control. If I didn't think it would hurt I might even slap myself.

I was so frustrated to find myself having wasted two hours of my life in front of rubbish TV, and I was a bit shocked how easily I feel back into old habits that I feel more need than ever to savour every moment life gives me. When I think of all the things I complain I don't get to do, like read a book, that I could have done for TWO WHOLE HOURS! Even if I'd watched something on TV that I liked!!!...

So, I can learn new tricks, there's life in the old dog yet...

Monday, 10 September 2012

long time, no blog

It's been a nice reason not to have updated the blog for a while - lots of me time! My mission was taken to a new level as we were away for a few days without access to the internet (which is surprisingly relaxing), to go to the Paralympics and to celebrate my birthday.

My precious new appreciation of time made each day more magical. We stayed with family, so there was support all the time, and the need for my hour a day was less urgent. I am grateful to have spent some of my 'hours' with important people in my life, and doing things I valued (not laundry!). When we realise the importance of living each moment and taking what we can from every experience even little things can become such a blessing.

Now back in the real world, I felt overwhelmed by stress yesterday before returning to work. I was about to wish away the holiday, as it's stressful when you return, but managed to stop myself - remember the moments and breath again.

Take a deep breath - it's a busy week!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Little by little

I'm almost back to normal, well as normal as ever... I've decided not to consider being ill as 'me time' as although I did have lots of extra support, I was really poorly.

Today I managed to get my 'hour' - but in little tiny five minute sections, it was a 'bitty' day by any standards, but somehow having the rain beating on the windows and being all safe and warm inside was rather lovely. Having been very busy with visitors and visiting in the morning, the afternoon was chilled out and I managed to get quite a few useful jobs done. Little and often can work well and being productive can feel relaxing in a strange sort of way.

All that said, with the evening all to myself I've managed to get absolutely nothing done! I've been putting off writing an article as I haven't quite got it right in my head yet, but the deadline is looming and I was planning to get it done tonight. My excuse for now is that I'm watching the Paralympics Opening Ceremony, which is just wondeful to feel part of. Some things are worth pausing to enjoy - this is one of them.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Back on Track

Apologies for not being on 'mission' for a few days, I've been quite poorly, so virtual and real socialising has been on hold.

However, as an attempt to gain a bit of the mission, and to feel more 'me' I did treat myself to a trip to my lovely hairdresser. Having a bit of colour added to the ever increasing grey, and a good chop back into some sort of shape did make me feel more grown up, and more myself. The time it takes to complete had the added bonus of forcing me to read for two hours - a rare and beautiful thing! I'm reading The Hare with Amber Eyes at the moment, which does require a good length of time to get into, I'm enjoying it more now, but without that long stab at the beginning I might have not bothered as it lacks a certain something at the beginning.

Not much more was achieved in terms of me time - I'm not a very good patient, so being ill hasn't been easy. I'm very lucky to have good friends and a wonderful husband around me, 'me' time takes many forms as I've discovered, sometimes it's just about taking medication and not doing things!