I'm a really normal woman rapidly approaching 47 with 6 kids, 3 grandkids and a life. I've decided to blog my life from struggles with fitness & food to kids, home and everything that encompasses. Why? Because I realised how many of my friends have the same struggles, while we're all unique we're not so different in the great scheme of things and maybe my mindless information gathering may help you too
I stumbled upon this draft from a few months ago, in truth I’m not sure when I started it as it was something I dipped in and out of. I haven’t written regularly in ages for many reasons most time related but it’s still pretty valid!
Bloody hell life’s up and down isn’t it? Seriously I think you could write a pretty good tv drama from mine in the last 6 months if not an actual soap opera!
Frustrated isn’t the word today…one day fabulous, the next terrible and so on! last week was much the same. I don’t usually let things get to me but at the moment it’s such a struggle to stay buoyant..
I have faith, usually I give my worries away #godsquad and all is well but no sooner have I done that lately I seem to keep grabbing them back, #self sabotage?!
I think I know the root of the problem, or roots to be precise.
I’ve gained over 10lb in weight since September (probably more like a stone if I’m honest) a lifelong struggle with body dysmorphia has me distraught at this, I have such problems with weight gain, it really shouldn’t be a shock, I’ve been eating far too many calories and that’s the end result. #Emotionaleating
I’m struggling to fit in my usual level of training, an essential part of managing my mental health. I have tried to train 5-6 days a week for over a decade allowing for pregnancies etc #trainformentalhealth
Money!! the root of all evil it may be but it’s also a cushion for blows that come from unexpected areas! A guy in the UK won over £70million on the lotto recently, he said “money can’t buy you happiness but I’m going to try!” 😂 I thought it was a fabulous philosophy. He was on the lowest end of the tax bracket hard working, working class and I felt such joy for him, and the obvious pang of jealousy
It’s been an age since I’ve written anything, in truth I’ve been reading as a form of escapism. My usual retreat/refuge is running but my knee is sore.. Experience has finally taught me rest and adaptaion is better than perseverance. I’ve been through the gambit of emotions since my last published post. I’ve been writing another one for weeks, dipping in and out, that in itself isn’t like me, I usual write bash them out and move on to the next because blogging was meant to be almost like a diary of my emotions, a snap shot of my life so I had something for my failing memory or my children could get to know me when I’m gone.
I do love to write but life has become stressful. I’d forgotten the feeling of acute stress if I’m honest. For many years I lived with chronic stress. My personal social situation was endemic of stress, relationships that were more like dictatorships, if they weren’t physically abusive they were emotionally so or both for a myriad of reasons I accepted this. It’s only when stress is removed or depression lifts the real realisation of the physical weight of them is realised.
This time I’m aware and reading is awesome deflection, I can’t imagine a life without books. The death of Sir Terry Pratchett in 2015 was devastating, I literally only read the last and 41st Disc World book last month. I have a first edition hard back but put it off for over 3 years because now I’ve read it what?! Now he’s really gone. I’m comforted by the fact I have everything he’s ever published (baring a cook book and a quiz book) and they’re an easy re-read. You never fail to find something new. I read some Robert Rankin, who I feel with go some way to filling a void.
Anyway, this mindless mumbling is my start at something like writing again. No real topic but my disappointment in myself for failing to blog consistently, the loss of both Granny Weatherwax and Sir T P and that I didn’t keep stress at bay.
My stress is child/young adult related but so much detail would be required by way of explanation as to be an unnecessary manuscript and will keep.
Pretty good advice, as the old adage goes “smiling is infectious” just as “bad moods are contagious!”
I loathe having to change my plans, I’m a creature of habit, like to write lists,to be fair this is as much for the plan itself as for my horrendous memory.
Last Thursday didn’t go according to plan. If I’m working or Chris and I both aren’t I like to get up at 5.30am to train that way I get it done before anything can derail me. That day I got up expecting to be able to train later in the day because Chris was meant to be working. I’d already deviated from the norm, normally I’d be working in St Davids that morning but Ellie had a brace fitting at the orthodontist so I’d moved working to the Friday because she needed taking but Lewis was sent home from school unwell on the Wednesday and I had to arrange for my mother to take her instead. Then Chris didn’t work. The garage was locked and he couldn’t get hold of the owner he was meant to be doing a welding job for so I didn’t train. Such was the state of derailment I literally sat down all day!
I haven’t been able to get back on track though, I’m assuming from previous experience it’s not because of the deviation of plans but the lack of physical activity.
My everything has suffered from not training. We’re designed to be active, this sedentary life style is quite literally killing us. I’m not suggesting exercise is the be all and end all to everything health related but it seriously can’t hurt. My mental health very definitely suffers if I’m not active. I don’t even mean balls to the wall HIIT or heavy weights but simply getting in those steps or cleaning the house. It’s amazing how much better I feel having got my heart rate up, even a little. In the 6 days since then I’ve only physically trained 3 times. I believe it’s having a real effect.
Today I got up ready to go, as a rule I train at least 5 days a week but today I changed my mind, I know I’ll feel better, even got weights and kettles ready but talked myself out of it. ‘Everyone’s sleeping, it’s half term, Chris has a days work, (it’s been in short supply if I’m honest.) So I’ll definitely do it later, blah blah.’
I checked the bank at 5am when Lewis woke me, did a few quick calculations and panicked. February’s a short month for some reason everyone likes to take their cut on 1st, there’s other stuff going out tomorrow and “panic”… I know once I’ve trained it won’t seem insurmountable but at one and the same time it’s a motivation sedative, the anxiety in my throat and chest, almost like nausea is crippling.
I haven’t been so inactive since I was pregnant with Daizy, she’ll be 5 this year! Although this is in no way a scientific study it’s interesting to note life’s not been interspersed so often with this anxious, stressed, unhappy feeling until now despite very little being different, actually there’ve been much more difficult times financially and on a personal level and yet I took them in my stride.
I have no doubt once Chris has left in about an hour I’ll do something, probably some kind of resistance training with a yoga type finisher and it will restore me to default but it has taken this period of mindfulness to both motivate me and show me the necessity and significance of exercise in the quality of all areas of my life.
In my opinion people should move more, it can’t hurt if you start small and build up slowly to prevent injury but can very definitely help!
I watched an advert doing the rounds on Facebook yesterday, it was for a South African beer I think. It resonated with me.
The story is basically a group of strangers giving their first impressions of one another from photographs.
Pretty much all the statements they made were negative or judgmental, now obviously this was a beer advert and may or may not have been genuine footage and if genuine might have been edited so only negative examples were included but it made me think. These people made statements about one another not realising they would meet. Whether they would have made different comments had they known they would need to justify them is unknown. It being an advert, they talked it through and hugged it out.
What surprised me was my own reaction. I didn’t question the negativity at all, the only thing I found unusual was that all the black participants made the statement that the white ones looked like racists. Then I realised the advert was South African and that seemed to make sense. But there in itself is my own naivety, and judgement coming out. Ok Aparthied was more recently overturned than say segregation in the US but what do I know about it, about either of them? Yes Rosa Parks and the bus seat, Martin Luther King and the civil right movement. Nelson Mandela’s 27 year imprisonment but this is history I learned about other countries. I’m from the UK. Of course we have our share of racist idiots but we didn’t have that level of separation. The slave trade was hidden from us way out in the colonies, we didn’t want to think about it!
I hate racism and prejudice not just the stereotypical white on black crap but all the other nonsense, Welsh v English, West Indian v African, Pakistani v Indian and religion bashing, no religious text preaches violence, this negativity in all things is wearing. It’s devoid of intelligence to dislike a person based on the melanin content of their skin, their religious beliefs or sexual orientation. My skin colour has no baring on my personality, what I get up to in my head or my bed has no baring on anyone unless I’m sharing it with them.
This doesn’t mean I’m not judgmental though however much I’d like not to be. We make snap judgements about people, all day every day we make up our minds based on their appearance, weight, accent, job title, you name it.
We want to fit in somewhere, find our tribe, belong! That’s human nature but why does this mean we revert to them and us mentality? Surely you can fit in without berating those in another demographic.
Why can’t we all just live and let live? Better still helped one another. You can go out of your way to enrich the lives of others without costing anything financially. You loose nothing by helping another in fact you gain from the experience, emotionally, spiritually. You might make a friend, change a life. The expression one candle looses nothing by lighting another is valid for human interaction too.
There are enough resources in the world to feed and clothe every one of us but the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, that isn’t natural selection or survival of the fittest, it’s greed!
To save the planet both in a literal sense from the extinction of species to global warming and a moral stand point for the prevention of conflict, genocide and the heart braking necessity of economic migration we need to stop the psychology of ‘them and us’..’mine, mine, mine! And work together or there may not be a world left for us to fight over!
Supposing we don’t destroy the planet before hand and I have some serious doubts about this given over 75% of adults aren’t modifying their behaviour at all despite being the first generation to be aware of our detrimental impact on the place. I’ve been thinking about advances in technology.
When I was growing up in the UK in the 70’s and 80’s we had a black and white television about the size of the average iPad (other tablets are available) with 3 channels, you tuned it in like an old fashioned radio by twisting a knob, it had an ariel like a wire coat hanger, indeed you could use one if the original was missing. I still remember the excitement when the neighbours from no 24 (we were at 7) bought a colour tv. It was a brown wood effect box with press buttons that could be pre-set to store the channels.
Music was played on 12 or 7 inch records or on tapes. We’d record the top 40 hoping to omit the voice of the dj over our favourite tracks. And if we failed to find a new one when it was time to record carefully placed celotape over the tabs in the top of a pre-recorded album we’d had enough of.
Then came video so you could record television too! Betamax was beaten to the punch by VHS. Video cameras became a thing, almost immediately tv programmes like ‘you’ve been framed’ or other shows that caught ‘hilarious’ situations on camera arrived. Seriously undermining society in my opinion but I digress..
We still accessed books for knowledge not Google and turned pages, there’s nothing like smell and sound of the crisp paper of a new book or the soft touch of a well thumbed favourite read. Now I admit I myself read more articles on screen than newspapers.
At school there was 1 computer, up stairs by the dormitories, we never used it for lessons. Really it was the property of the sixth form boarders, who learned various algorithms to scroll the names of their latest crush all over the banks of computer screens in Oxford city centre at the weekends.
Just think of the advancements made since then! By the time I was working in a solicitors in 1993 Word Perfect (blue screen, word processing) was making way for Word for Windows, (I don’t pretend to know anything at all about Apple Mac.) A mouse had stopped being something you caught in traps for eating corn stores or infiltrating your larder cupboard and was something entirely different. Computers went from being complex with F keys and binary code needed for even the simplest of tasks and were now becoming more accessible. People were sending documents via fax machine rather than the need to wait for the post, DX or telegram. The world was moving faster than ever.
I stated this blog to begin with because I love to write but with no idea what kind of blogger I’d be (still fairly unclear tbh!) what I’d post about or how it would evolve but primarily to document my year. (I have a New Years Eve birthday and benefit from being 47 all year with no frayed edges of days or months) and in the event of my demise so my children could get a snap shot of who I am and have been as a person. This was important to me. My father died when I was 6 after a short battle with a brain tumour. I know very little of who he was. His siblings were a good deal older, my cousins a similar age to him but they weren’t close to my knowledge and although she tried hard until their deaths or she moved to Pembrokeshire whichever came sooner my Mother couldn’t force us to have a relationship with people with which we felt no connection. There’s no-one else to ask about him except my mother and to get a rounded idea of a person I feel it’s necessary to get various view points for a clear picture. I feel I missed out in some way, a father’s unique love and perception of his daughter and all that jazz and to know if I am like him, would our out look have been the same and so on. This blog is a little bit of who I am. Daizy my youngest is only 4, Lewis 6, Jenson 9, Emily 15, Ellie 17 and Ce’Nedra 27. I love you kids, you are the best of me, just in case you’re reading this after the event!
If we manage to carry on long enough without destroying the planet I imagine there will come a time when we can translate peoples thought waves. We’re already able to get microchip implants for identity etc. (I kid you not!) Will there be a time when you can upload all your thoughts, as simply as your spotify playlist. Will we be able to upload our memories, the essence of who we are on to a chip. Like an autobiography on a very personal level. Will there come a time when we can upload another person in our mind and truely know them? Perhaps, but until then my children will have to make to with my blog.
I love this picture and am seriously contemplating having it as a tattoo, the script, not the scene building etc but that would be pretty cool thinking about it now!
I’m a bit out of sorts lately, can’t remember if I’ve said this before or simply meant to, my memory is shocking, to be honest it has been since I had my first child 27 years ago. I could look back at previous blogs to check but where’s the fun in that? The same people don’t usually read my stuff anyway so who’d know? Certainly not me, because of the memory loss thing aha.. Seriously though, it worried me enough to see my GP about it having been meaning to bring it up on previous visits but forgetting, no joke! She tells me it’s a symptom of peri-menopause and did I want some blood tests to prove it? I’m thinking no I’m 47, of course everything is winding down. For Neolithic man I’d be over double the average life expectancy. Pretty damn old for a Tudor too.
The idiotic things I’ve put my body through sometimes I seriously marvel I lived to see 47. For as long as I can remember I believed I was fat. I’ve said before I blame the ‘feel the burn’ Jane Fonda generation for my mother and her friends obsession with diets and dieting. That and the ever-changing fashion of the ideal female (and more recently male) body type.
I should point out some of the time I was plump, from the age of about 11 when puberty struck. I started my periods at about 10, which was a shock but my mother coped admirably with it considering she hadn’t even contemplated their arrival for a few years yet and as such was completely unprepared; I was being looked after by her friend the night it happened so by the time I told anyone it was a Sunday morning. The UK still had strict laws about opening hours and she had to drive 10 miles to find the nearest chemist that opened on Sunday to dispense prescriptions. From then to about the age of 19 when I got pregnant with C I had a good amount of chub going on. The fact my best friends were tall and lean while I was 5′ 2″ and stocky all played in to the insecurity!
Kate Moss, Jodie Kid and the like, grey eyed and willowy all be it fainting from hunger! Coin the phrase ‘heroin chic’ and you have a generation of anorexic girls who don’t have the discipline to diet or the self-control to starve but they heard all about heroin. Olivia Channon, an MP’s daughter overdosed at Oxford, (my home town.) The information was there in the hind brain, if such a thing exists, your subconscious knows, “heroin makes you thin!”
Fast forward past some trauma, a few lecherous interactions with a middle-aged family friend who should’ve known better than to grope the budding breasts and crotch of a fatherless girl who loved and looked up to him. Rejections from boys who didn’t know how to take a filter-less blunt (these days probably considered mildly autistic) oddly attractive, (but plump so you couldn’t admit it to your friends) girl. The memory still lingers. The Cambridge liquid food diet worked for a bit but weight rebounded. Only cereal and toast, worked for a bit. You name it as long as that sweet taste was still on the menu. Weight was armor from men who’d abuse but paradoxically fat was the worst possible thing you could be. Everything in life would be fine if I could stop biting my nails, be thin, get a tan (picture the skin of a red-head on a mousey pale eyed girl) and just have friends to laugh with.
After I had C I wasn’t fat, size 10 (US 6) probably but that perception of myself remained. I felt big, even at my biggest I was probably only a size 14 (US 10) although not gargantuan at 5′ 2″ it was larger than Kate Moss and I was muscular, although in fashion now in the 80’s and 90’s I wasn’t fitting in to a box anyone wanted. I remember C’s father buying me some clothes in a size 10 and the genuine surprise and confusion I felt when they were loose. Even then I couldn’t believe I was slim. When we were first together one of his other conquests had said “you’re leaving me for that fat blonde?” I was on the bigger end of my personal spectrum then but he was daft enough to repeat it! And as I said reality never really caught up after I had C, this was just another confirmation of my obesity, in truth I probably only got thinner life was fairly toxic and chronic stress does that to a person.
G was, um…shall we say generous with himself! Something I’m not the least bit bitter about now, he’s been dead for the past 10 years, for the 13 before that we were not together we’d only been back in touch for about 3 years before his death. At the time we’d become good friends again without that weird sexual tension you can have with someone you find intellectually compelling but with whom that chapter is long finished. He collected women. He wasn’t particularly attractive physically, he’d lost an eye in an incident as a child, which he was terribly insecure about but had an air of such confidence he could make anyone believe in him, I often thought he should’ve become a politician and not a drug dealer.
At 20 I found it so torturous it was physically painful. The fact I wasn’t enough nearly broke me. My parents had waited until they were married, my mother because she was and is a committed Christian and my father because he had an irrational fear of venereal disease. So I thought he was being cruel. Later having lived a longer less sheltered existence I understood it wasn’t about me at all, it was all about him. We talked about it once; his harem after the pain of living through it was a memory; he found people interesting, enjoyed sex but it wasn’t about the physicality. He said when he’d got them he didn’t want to hurt them and didn’t know how to leave without doing it so he just kept them around until they got bored and drifted off. I believe it, at that point he had no cause to lie about it. But the feelings I had about it from 18 – 24 while we were together made me question what was wrong with me and it always came back to my weight.
Although Olivia Channon had died at university in Oxford about 5 years before. Heroin wasn’t common place in the town then. People smoked solid and grew their own weed without the benefit of hydroponics and heavy cross-pollination of today super skunk which has reduced the protective element of cbd and increased the psychoactive thc to levels that are so seriously damaging brains. Lsd was prevalent, Ecstasy although common was a comparatively recent phenomenon of the previous decade or so. Free parties were still taboo often run by new age travelers, not to be confused with gypsy travelers or traveling show men. These were the evolution of hippies, bored youths in their gap year or private school kids in their droves who wanted to experience off grid living. They and the revelers vilified and heavily Policed. At this point if heroin was found on the traveler site’s the other travelers would club together and run them off. But it was coming!
A friend of G’s had encountered it. He was already smoking if not already injecting but I was blissfully unaware. They would go to London to get it, he was in and out of the shared house I lived in with my daughter, I didn’t question his activities if I did, he had so many other places to go and we didn’t see him at all.
One day he turned up with a bag of it, and asked me to keep it for him, I did, it was idiocy because he obviously intended to sell it, he thought it was something I’d encountered before I’d never told him I hadn’t wanting to appear worldly. I smoked a joint with him and was sick for hours. I didn’t try it again for years.
Sadly G had a taste for it I’m unsure if he was already using heavily at this point or if it was recreational my poor memory coupled with his secrecy and time passed is such I don’t remember the timeline but a family tragedy I don’t feel it’s my right to go into left his son disabled. Heroin was his crutch. I spent a good deal of my time in the hospital with the mother of his son who was a friend and before I knew what was happening he was an addict and dealing to fund it, he’d previously dealt in solid cannabis and acid so it was just progression, although before this, it had never been from our home.
Looking back it’s not even like a memory but so distant it’s almost like a film I watched or a book I read. I can honestly not tell you why I ended up joining him. A culmination of many things, the desperate existence we were living, the fact he took all my money to fund his habit. I lost my job at a solicitors because he would show up randomly, looming. L his older daughter ran away one day with the pressure of living at hospital and trying to go to school from there, she was about 8, so I walked out of work to meet her knowing she would only be walking to our house. She was going through so much with her brother ill. I was very unreliable from a work perspective although not using drugs at that point and that was the final nail in the coffin. After the funeral of the woman who had been another mother to me I dabbled again. I just wanted it to stop for a moment, the pain. Again I was very sick. I didn’t do it again for a long time. It’s a wonder I persisted at all because of the nausea. In some sick way (no pun intended) it was a connection to the man I thought I loved with my whole soul in the way you do with your first adult obsession.. And there, in the back of my mind, heroin keeps you thin!
Fast forward some years, I was way past love, even past the hatred and resentment I’d felt for him, now I felt nothing. I only used enough to stop any physical symptoms and stay thin. My daughter was 4, we’d lost our home due to the shenanigans and were living in a flat. He’d gone back to the mother of his other children because “their need was greater than mine” now L was finally back home from the hospital and head injury trust. Of course the area was better for his dealing now our house was no longer available too! I was still his but he was unkind. I went to my mother’s in Wales painfully thin and bruised and could no longer deny what was happening. When I got back my friend came to find me. She had moved to Reading the previous year. I really believe God sent her and I ran away with her, leaving everything but C’s possessions. J had 2 children of her own and only a 3 bedroom house, so I slept in her living room C shared a room with her daughter. I span him some line about him coming when we were settled but I was never under any illusion I was running away.
Foolishly I thought I’d be able to find a Dr to prescribe me methadone, there are many other drugs available to opiate addicts now but then methadone was the only real solution. Boy was I wrong. Before a doctor could take anyone or prescribe anything they needed to be refered by one of the drug support agencies. Funding was limited, waiting lists were looong, appointments were like Willy Wonker’s Golden tickets!
I have never known such illness, J my friend did everything for C at this point, I will never forget her kindness, it is not the only time she has come to my rescue but that it a story for another time or this blog will become a book haha. One time I caved, a friend drove miles from Oxford to Reading to deliver me something but in the end I had to go thorough it if not for myself then for C. It took about 3 weeks to get back on my feet by then I was tremendously weak from the lack of food and vomiting. I remember walking to the shops only about a mile and a half but I had to get a taxi back.
I’d like to say my struggle with addiction and body dysmorphia ended there but they didn’t. The chapter of G and Oxford was over. I don’t regret any of it other than the hurt it caused others. Life is a lesson that shapes the person you become, sometimes the same thing needs repeating over and over until it’s fully appreciated, you missed the point or there were many things to gain from it. Experiences, however painful help you to grow, if you can use those experiences to help others, I believe you should because then the pain and discomfort weren’t for nothing.
I’ve been feeling a but wobbly of late! No not a lack of yoga although my stiff muscles are painfully aware of that 😁 Reason for this peculiar mood? No idea or at least none I’m aware of.
Chris and I don’t have much work..self employment means you live like a king or a pauper, there seems to be nothing in between but that’s pretty standard and I’m long enough in the tooth to know it will pick up.
I’m struggling with a new acquaintance, which has lit a candle if not actually shone a light on other areas I’m not comfortable with.
I’m sure we all like to think of ourselves as kind, forward thinking and accepting, for the most part I believe this is who I am but we’re multifaceted and there are equally personality traits that are less attractive and more difficult to admit to.
I feel uncomfortable now just thinking about it, not quite a ball of ice in my stomach or a nauseous sensation in my throat but something in between that brings to mind shame or guilt.
If I’m completely honest I wonder if my difficulties with this person are because they remind me of things I don’t like about myself (aka Sigmund Freud.) Initially when someone else was a bit scathing about them I fought their corner, to be honest this is my default. (I always put the other person’s point of view across to the point of being really irritating but if I can possibly see the good or a positive spin I will and do.) I thought perhaps they were trying a little too hard having moved into our community. They’ve been everywhere to quote Johnny Cash, done everything. They interrupt even the most mundane of conversations, something I know I’m guilty of and also the thing that irritates me most about my husband too incidentally.
Sometimes I feel God has sent this person to highlight the least attractive things about me, my husband and our relationship to show us what we need to work on and to remind me that I don’t actually like everyone as I often assume.
You can be pleased for the success of another person but also envious because you’re not as successful. It’s possible to be both content in your own life and still desire a lottery win.
I admit I’m jealous of people who win tens or even hundreds of millions, in a “hmm I bet I’d be more altruistic than them! Why do they deserve that? I’m not proud of it but it’s human nature. I live under no illusion that vast wealth comes with it’s own unique problems. If we ever won that kind of life changing sum I’d want to help, I already know what I’d do to try regenerate our community for example and help those less fortunate but where would you start? There are so many worthy causes, where do you stop? No matter what you won it could never be enough.
Then you have the arguments it would cause. Obviously I’d want a house, car and to investment for my children, help my friends and family. I’d want a business. Chris on the other hand would want cars and stuff! I’d want to create business that could sustain themselves and be run by people that used the services they provide.
I’d like to quietly help and write, I’d love the time to write and train my mind and body. He’d like to spend loudly and rub people’s noses in it 😂
You’d have people coming out of the woodwork trying to exploit you for greed or genuine need. Who would you, should you turn away?
Just as absolute power corrupts, maybe vast wealth pollutes too, when you have little or just enough contentment is found in more than possessions and money. Does greed seep in once money is readily available, once you have it do you give your all in the fear of losing it or in the pursuit of it? Forgetting to stop and enjoy?
I’ve no idea but happy as I am and I really am very happy with my lot, I wouldn’t mind finding out 😉