Families, Family, Inspiration, mental health, Motivation, real life, Spirt and soul, women

It’s harder when there is no plaster

I have just had the most beautiful bouquet of flowers and a sweet ‘get well’ card from my work colleagues.

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I can say with my hand on my heart that I’m never sick from work, I can tell you the number of occasions I’ve been off over the last 20 years! The odd bout of sickness, a back problem where I couldn’t get up of bed, and two occasions in the same month where I was bitten on the leg by a horse fly – I don’t think it was the same fly – it was very painful, and my poor leg swelled up to the size of an elephant!

So, when I say I have been signed off sick for 3 weeks – it will be as much a surprise to you as it was to me! ‘Work related stress’. Me? How can that be? I know how and why it happened, but I don’t understand how it has affected me this way. I’m normally the swan on the water graceful above, but paddling furiously beneath the water! I don’t get fazed by hard work, juggling lots of balls in the air all at one time. Managing multi layers of complexity in work, different personalities and their own health issues, angry aggressive and sad phone calls from customers. But of course there are times when it just catches up with you. And this is just one of those times!

At first I fought it furiously. I didn’t think I needed the time away to recharge – because really this is what it is. I thought I could manage all the additional pressures, then as the 1st day at home went on and it hit me why I was like this – I realised it would help.

I have resilience in cart loads, I grew up surrounded by parents and grand-parents who had mental health issues, and from a young age have seen the effects it has on families. I learned to manage the fall out, and how to avoid some of the issues that these health problems come with. I swore before I ever had children, they would never ever see me the way I saw my parents. My beloved mother suffering weeks and months of sadness, non-communicative and zombie like, never leaving her bed – drugged up and desolate. Crying for a ‘cure’. Then more months of shopping and more shopping. The roller coaster that is Bi-Polar. My 90 year old grandmother – repetitive counting and cleaning and hand washing, all the symptoms of OCD. Ambulances and police cars late at night, and the harrowing visits to the hospital – a place no 10 year old should ever have to visit even to see their lovely amazing father, a broken war hero with ‘shell shock’. Thankfully treatment for mental health has improved over the years, but the illness has never ‘gone away’. Many people have to suffer with OCD, Bi-Polar disorder, PTSD and psychiatric crisis. The places of treatment are far kinder than 50 years ago, the long walk between locked doors in psychiatric hospital are a thing of the past – for some. Medication and other treatments have improved. And thankfully there are now initiatives to help us to talk about our issues. My mother always said that if she had a broken arm – she would have had far more sympathy and understanding – from those who saw mental health as the unseen illness!

And for some who just need that duvet day or a long time to recharge batteries, and regroup their resilience’s – there are those who see the simple things that help get them back on that road to being themselves again.

I’m re-building my mental strength. Swimming, watching favourite TV programme. Walking in the fresh air, basically doing things for me and my loved ones.

And I’d like to think I will be back as strong as ever, to support those who need me going forward.

 

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Family, Food, Inspiration, mental health, real life, social media, Spirt and soul, Whatever

Do we truly relax?

I’ve had a really stressful few months. Both at home and at work. We are having a new bathroom fitted that hasn’t gone to plan. At all!

And in work, lack of staff, overloaded with work and ever changing priorities means longer hours and constant battles with management.

But now I’m on holiday with my better half. He is more stressed than I am as he is at home with the builders.

We are chilled in a luxury hotel. Amazing view, incredible food, attentive staff…And not a spec of dust or builders bucket of cement in sight.

Are we truly relaxed? Without a doubt!

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Adoption, Families, Family, history, Inspiration, love, New life, real life, Spirt and soul, women

Healthier babies, happier parents.

I found a book this week while clearing my loft out! It was called ‘Healthier Babies, Happier Parents. A practical guide by Specialists’ First published in 1959, which fits in with when I was born.

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What is most poignant about this book, is not so much the book itself, but the fact that in the front cover of the book is a note book with lots of handwritten pages lovingly written by my mother.

How do I know it was written lovingly your probably thinking? Surely each and every mum who is able to – takes love and care over things that concern her child.

There are 3 sets of notes. 5th Months old, 6 month and finally 7 months. It’s really poignant to me as I was adopted at 6 months old, and these notes show that perhaps initially she wasn’t sure when I would be coming into their lives. She wanted to be prepared I’m sure, and be ready for me when I arrived.

When I found the book, it was instantly recognisable as something that had been around me when I grew up, but the note book at the front brought me to tears as it was something I don’t remember and was so very personal.

My parents had always told me that I was a special baby, one who had been chosen from lots of others, and when I look at this snap shot from my young life – I know deep down in my heart I was so very much loved, and they wanted to do their very very best for me!

All the love they showered on me over the years, and the kindness they showed me at the darkest times of my life culminate in this simple book of handwritten notes produced even before I became part of their life.

 

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Families, Family, genealogy, history, Inspiration, Spirt and soul

Remembering Family.

I’m seriously into genealogy. I was adopted, but I know who my birth mother is, I met her a few times before she died at the end of the 1990’s. My father is a mystery – so far.

Last year I took my DNA with Ancestry, and when the results came back, a whole new world literally opened up before my eyes! I had connections – all be it distant – in America, Germany, Israel, Australia  and New Zealand. My continued search is another story that I’m sure you will hear about.

Why I’m writing this today, because in the United Kingdom Sunday 27th January 2019 is Holocaust Memorial Day. For many of us, this is something that we have read about, learned in school, and have seen at least one of the films that has been made about the events that happened in WW2.

I opened up an email a few weeks ago from My Heritage. a genealogy site that allows you like many others to build up your family history.  Quite an innocuous email, names I didn’t recognise. I clicked on one of the names to see if the snippet of information could lead me to some other information I already held.  It said the girl had died in a concentration camp. When I looked at her parents, it said the same. This information was like a  jab in my heart. These unknown people who were in my history somewhere had died in the most terrible way I could imagine!

Of course I never knew them, and I have no idea how they are related to me. It was only up until a year ago that I imagined I could be feeling this wave of sadness today.

Our history is so much more than a birth, marriage and a death certificate isn’t it?

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Families, Family, Inspiration, loss, love, mental health, New life, real life, social media, Spirt and soul, Uncategorized, Whatever, women

My life

Looking back on the story of my life, I see a time punctuated with love and laughter, with sadness and joy.

From the poor childhood filled with green and grey memories, the grass and the slate, the rain and the rain!
A life filled with loneliness and rituals.
Sickness and long corridors. Crying and sadness.

Lifelong friendships made on bus journeys, new experiences, and places.
Others lifestyles, and others laughter.
Finding love and loosing love, finding it again – only for it to drift away as young lust does.

A change of life, a change of culture, change of pace and language.
A change of love, a father figure who was anything but an ideal role model,
and thankfully never a father.

Memories left behind, together with the bruises and what little hope there was of happiness.
Anger and rage, rules and rebukes.

A knight in shining armour, a prince who had shared my memories before.
He who gave me back my hope and love, unconditional and everlasting love!
And in return I gave bricks and mortar and sunny times.

A time of sadness, a time of loss again and again.
The ones who loved me in a sea of others, stolen away without saying goodbye.
Without being able to share my hopes and telling that better life story I’d planned with my prince.

Stolen love and kisses at 1am gave milky smiles, not once but twice.
Tiny hands clutching at hair and sleepy eyes, and the smell only new born have.
Blue and blue double trouble!

Lasting memories of A&E and adventurous toddlers.
Nuts and bolts, falling off logs and stitches, diving for alligators, snails, M&M’s and runny noses.
Each word conjuring up a memory of boys and daily life in the household! Words when said, run like a film clip in my mind of those events.

Chaos and bike chains, swimming lesson, dirty football boots.
Discovering difficulties and challenges, jam and pizza.
Mundane and regular.

Summer holidays with kites, camping and caravans.
Rain and sun cream all rolled into one. Lasting friendships made – for 10 days.
Dancing and slush puppies.
Family holidays under the dome, ducks and deer, silently watching the apples and the bread through the glass of a cosy warm chalet.

 

A time of horror.
Of long train and bus journeys, of sadness and pain.
Innocence gone in the blink of an eye. Scars carried like armour, making him strong, but still so very innocent.

Driving and cars. One, two, eight or is it nine?
Young love, innocent and gentle. Shared beliefs and dreams.
Counting the years, counting the homes and now counting the babies.

A time of joy. Of long train and car journeys, of happiness and new experiences.
Hard work, and new technology.
Missing the long and lean boy sleeping on the sofa, mixing with the rich and elite, a new life experiences, built on hard work.

And now in the autumn of my life, I look back on this colourful patchwork of events. Some with sadness, most with joy.
Each nugget of memory lodged in my heart to bring out in conversation with family and friends.
Not too dissimilar from other’s lives, but my memories never the less.
Each day, each year, each smile, each tear punctuating hours and years.

It’s not over yet, more memories to have I plan and hope.
More holidays, more sun, less of something.
Lets see!

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Families, Inspiration, real life, Spirt and soul, Uncategorized, Whatever, women

I see a different me.

I wonder how many of us have the same feelings. That we are moving forward, but somewhere part of us stays back in the past when we were young without a care in the world. I often say to people, my body is 50+, but my mind is still 19. Dancing the night away, drinking a little too much, laughing a little too loudly, and staying a little too long.

 

I know what my chronological age is, but my mind thinks I’m someone else. It doesn’t see me as the lady of mature years, who often has a back problem, who suffers with her hips, and who has to colour her hair to cover the grey. It hasn’t quite got the hang of the crow’s feet and the worry lines around my eyes and my fore head. And for that I’m very grateful. The shadow I catch walking alongside me on that warm summers days, is mine. It’s slim and lithe, purposeful and dare I say elegant. It’s certainly not the description I would use for myself.

 

And the young person who dances to the rave music, waving her arms in the air. She was around in the 90’s, she joins me often when my favourite music comes on the radio, and we spend a while dancing the time away. I catch a glimpse of her in the kitchen window, or in the shadow of the fridge. She keeps me going, she makes my heart feel young, and all the time she is willing to follow me on my life’s journey it makes me feel happy and contented with my life now and in the past. We have been together she and I, 30 years of loving the same man. We both had babies together and she carried hers in the shadows, while I rocked mine in the light. But I would see her holding the hand of her young son, and hear her comforting words, in those same shadows. And I often thought how like mine they were reassuring, and gentle. We have walked the same path together, me getting older, while she has remained young and fresh. She watches over me like a guardian angel, and when I see her – she often give me a sideways glance of reassurance. And that is why I love that shadow of mine who follows me trustingly and with dedication

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Families, Family, Inspiration, New life, real life, Spirt and soul, Uncategorized, women

Mums of the world unite

Mums of the world unite. In love and hard work, through the pain of child birth, or the tears of a child. Your not defined through the reproduction of offspring but the late nights with hot foreheads or scuffed knees. Maths homework or growing food and the collection of water together. Through feast and famine, through blood or love.

Mums of the world stand united with hearts of love and arms of support.

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