Meh!!!

Bit of a nothing day today. I didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed. In fact I slept until about 6.30am which is a good hour longer than normal. The quality of my sleep was ok. Chris (yin to my yang, or vice versa) got up happy enough off to do his CBT, bike test, or to attempt it for the 3rd time, because the ice and snow have prevented it on the previous 2 occasions. 3rd time lucky it seems as he borrowed my car after the school run and is still not back actually, it’s been 6 hours!!!

Anyway I digress, Emily (15) got up, dressed, breakfasted etc without complaint, as did Jenson (9) and Lewis (6). Ellie (17 lives with her father for many reasons too boring to touch on) had rung 82 times and sent me numerous texts and messenger messages ranging from how horrendous I am as a parent to how bereft she is about life because she missed the college bus. Lewis had my phone, it’s a a bit of a ritual in the morning. As long as he’s dressed, hair and teeth done, shoes on and good to go he can watch whatever he likes (within reason) on YouTube. By the time I talked to her (El) she was ok. Daizy (4) I got up managed to half dress, PE today so she goes in her kit, no shoes, socks or coat but hey I can do that in the car park by school, winner! She had a bit of a paddy when I did her hair but this is a daily occurence so I thought nothing of it, rallied the troops got everyone, bags, lunches, coats etc into the car and… no Daizy. She’d gone back to bed in just her t-shirt and now she needed a wee too!

On to the loo, downstairs one because it doesn’t have a hurty seat like the upstairs one?! Your guess is as good as mine, so ok hurried knickers and joggers as far as the knees while on said loo, plus socks, threw shoes and coat into car, wiped a foofe pulled everything up raced out of the door strapped child in to seat and we were away.

Emily to her school in time for breakfast club, over to Jenson’s school for breakfast club, down the hill to get my daughter Ce’Nedra (27) and my grandchildren Javiah (7) and Shiloh (3) from the bus stop and take them to their school with Daizy and Lewis.

Pull up outside the final school in the run, but at the wrong entrance ffs! Shiloh and Daizy do not want to go to school. Ce’Nedra manages to get Javiah and Shiloh to go in. Fortunately one of Lewis’s teachers was passing and took him for me or I think I may have had trouble with him, he was telling me all about the tummy bug he felt sure he was about to get.

Just Daizy then, I managed to struggle with the shoes and her new bag, by this time a teacher from her class realising I was in trouble came out to the car and took her. I ran Ce’Nedra home to do her house work and managed to get an hour of training it. This wasn’t a bad morning as mornings go. Pretty standard, on the good side if I’m honest, they’re often so much worse because more of the children have found something to moan about or the domino effect of 1 child triggering another.

No reason for Meh, just a normal morning, not a work day. Watched “Call the midwife!” and cried like a baby, I so often do, it’s an emotive programme.. But there’s something not right in my world, something is slightly off. I am uneasy about the fact I can’t get Chris on the phone or text. He is inherently selfish in the sense that if he wants to do something he does it even, even if it’s an inconvenience. If he wants something, even if we can’t afford it he has it but it isn’t like him to leave me with no car seats. I can’t imagine a 2 hour test could would take 5 even if it took 30 mins to drive the 12 miles to the test centre and another 30 home.

I’m torn between feeling ridiculous for this sense of dread and ringing the hospitals. I’m not sure if I’m avoiding the news in case there’s an accident reported…It’s my car, they would’ve checked with DVLA and have been to tell me surely. If he was leaving me, he’d have taken things with him. My mind is running all sorts of soap opera worthy scenarios. The phone rang, it was a wrong number, Mrs Clarke they were after but I felt sure it was bad news!

If he saunters in I’m honestly not sure if I’ll punch him and shout or burst into tears, then shout.

I’ll keep you posted

Up date, idiot husband returned about 8 hrs after leaving and telling me he’d be 4 max.. I was relieved, then maddened he couldn’t see why I was concerned #men

A x

Quandary, life, love and hope…

I hate alcohol, smoking, racism, homophobia, misogynists, bigotry, prejudice, small minded pettiness, people, life aaaaaarrrrgh!!!
Actually I don’t hate people but I hate our species, we have the capacity for such brilliance, kindness, beauty & altruism yet we wage war on each other, argue and fight over the smallest notions.
No religion advocates violence, yet it’s so often used as an excuse to hurt and condemn even kill!
Greed sees us drive other species to extinction seemingly daily. We’re bleeding the world dry despite it being the only place we have to live. The oceans used to team with life, now awash with plastic.
The ice caps are melting, indigenous species are starving, I can’t forget the images of emaciated polar bears!
Indigenous peoples “civilised” within an inch of their lives, the old ways which impacted so little on the environment forgotten and the people railroaded towards convenience, easy life and sickness from common ailments to type 2 diabetes.
Kindness costs nothing but it’s effect is far reaching. Sadly the same is true of unkindness, bitterness and suspicion. Look at Nazi Germany, once something is drip fed in the right environment negativity and suspicions grow, appalling acts of cruelty are accepted, people are desensitized to it. I’m using the example of Germany because it’s so well known but time and again for atrocities to take place people need to be accepting things that should outrage!
We should all be appalled at the destruction of the rain forests, not least because they create the very oxygen we require to live but until we’re gasping for breath it won’t be relevant.
The rich have inherited the earth not the meek!
The mind boggles to fathom how the rich got that way if they fail to see how damaging drilling for oil at the poles will be for example. You can’t eat money.
BUT I have to believe we’re better than that, I’m positive by nature, I wasn’t always but I’ve changed over time, I hope I’ve always tried to be kind but I’ve definitely hurt people without intention because I acted in my own interests without thinking of the ripple effect of my behaviour.
My husband, while naturally pessimistic has changed over the course of our marriage. Before we met he lived in quite a negative environment with a person who carried the weight of an unhappy past. Either this affected him negatively or my positivity and our children have rubbed off but either way he’s not as negative as he was then.
We’re poles apart though in so many ways, he’s an evangelical atheist, I’m quietly God squad.
He would claim he’s not prejudice but his fear of Isis and terrorism coupled with ignorance about Islam make for heated discussion in our house.
He drinks heavily,smokes and thinks he’s done some exercise if he’s walked from a parking space to the supermarket, although he does a physical job. I train daily, I’m not tea total because I drink at Christmas and New year but I’ve no need for anything to change my reality, I spent my early 20’s addicted to heroin perhaps this is why I like to be straight now but that’s a life time ago and a subject for another time. As a former smoker too I’m probably worse than someone who never smoked in the anti-smoking departments.
We drive each other completely mad. He sulks and ignores me when I’ve displeased him. For the first 4 years I’d beg for forgiveness and try to placate him, an echo of previous controlling relationships, now I apologise but only if I’m in the wrong and one time. He calms down and we carry on like nothing has happened. He believes he’s never wrong, it’s amusing now I think if it but mid row it’s infuriating. For all this neither of us is frightened to be ourselves for fear of losing the other. We have both been alone and know we excel at it but life is better together. I love him with my whole soul he makes my heart smile despite our many differences. He loves me the same way. His previous partner has been very vocal about her belief she had the best of him because she had him longer when he had a six pack and all his hair/teeth. I find that so sad because the man he’s become is kind, loving and thoughtful, a far superior human being that the angry judgmental man she left behind. I’m still attracted to him. We balance each other out.
If we can change, we’re nothing special, surely the world can too.!?

Random acts of kindness however small can change the world!

Have a great day

A x

 

But are you happy?!

As a rule I’m generally a happy person. I don’t really stress about things I’ve no control over and am happy with my lot. I’m not wealthy, don’t own my own house. My car is a 14 year old people carrier but I do have 6 healthy children, a husband who drives me round the twist, I mean really (the subject of a half drafted blog actually haha!) but he is entirely the right fit for me!

I have faith that everything’s as it should be and the sense of mind to realise things could be good deal worse.

But today I am in the worst mood, there’s a underlying anger buzzing in my soul. Chris aforementioned beloved husband had his CBT (motor bike proficiency test) cancelled for the second time this week, having driven the 12 miles to the airfield to take the flipping test only to discover it was too icy to be messing about on motor bikes (again). I waited to see if it would be cancelled again which was my first mistake if I’m honest, I should’ve just got on with it and not procrastinated, turns out he went for breakfast and that was why he took longer than anticipated. Thinking I was good to go I was trying some kick boxing training to help with my coordination which is terribly poor and trying to push the envelope out of my comfort zone where training is concerned when he came back through the door. I was only 10 minutes in! I think this was the start of it, the bad mood. I’m a creature of habit. I like to make plans and stick to them, this put me out of whack. I also like to be physically active most days, for my mental health if nothing else and it upset both apple carts.

My oldest daughter (27) moved home with her partner and kids a few weeks ago, I’m finding that hard too, not in the practical sense. I take her children to school with mine, collect them with mine and all is well with the world. My oldest son is 9 and has gone to play with his nephew (7) today, I dropped him off while Emily (15) has drama. He was a bit reluctant to go at first because Javiah is on an Xbox ban but having dropped him there, taken Em to drama, picked up Ellie’s (17) wages, and friend and dropped them back to her house (she has lived with her Dad for the last 2 years but stays whenever she feels the need) I bought some paper for art, bread and chocolate spread for sandwiches and took them back for the boys he was happy enough. I need to pry Jenson away from technology as often as possible or he’d literally sit in the same space on the sofa for the rest of time with YouTube on the tv and tablet at the same time!

The same goes for Lewis (6) and Daizy (4) in my day tv was going to give you square eyes, there’s a proven correlation between hours watching television and weight gain over the generations (I won’t be using the Harvard reference system or any other btw šŸ˜‰) now it’s mobile phones, tablets pcs etc.
At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old fart. When I was young we went out to play, in the street with our friends, on our bikes, to the park, we came home when we were hungry or the street lights came on. No one could check up on you, call or text, if you were late you were in big trouble.

I don’t believe any more terrible things are happening now than they were in my day. I remember my mother telling me stories about men talking to her and her sister when they were young (they’re in their 70s now) on the tube to school, trying to grope them or peek at their knickers while climbing trees. She said matter of factly they were men damaged from the war, my grandmother told them not to talk to strangers and stay together so they didn’t and they did. Today there’s so much more publicly about these things, we want to keep our children safe. In my mother’s day it was inconceivable the abhorrent things we now know happen. If a child needed to go on the train unaccompanied you just asked someone in the same carriage to watch them and tell them which stop to get off at. Social services would take a dim view of that now!

I live in the UK, we have Brexit to deal with, don’t get me started on that farce! A homeless population we should be terribly ashamed of but no-one is bombing my country at present. Education is free, health care is free, social housing exists, free money is provided if you’re unable to work for whatever reason. Real contentment has very little to do with money (although a lotto win wouldn’t go a miss) I might be moody but my spirit is content and grateful.
Have a wonderful weekend folks A x
#Happy #contentment #grumpy #middleaged #gratitude #family #life

Sugar free February!

For the third year running I’m doing “sugar free February for cancer research. I seriously don’t know anyone unaffected by cancer on some level.

Personally both my parents had it, my mother fully recovered from bladder cancer a few years ago, caught early she barely lost her stride. My father passed away when I was 6 after a battle with a sinus/brain tumour. Despite initial positive indications following radiation it eventually came back to claim him. My step father had bowel cancer but is fully recovered, both his mother and Aunt had it too (also making a full recovery,) although Bessie was found to have a brain tumour years later which was to be her undoing. His sister died 5 years ago following a decade long battle with cervical cancer. Another of his sister’s had to have a kidney transplant following cancer. I should stress I’m not supplying a wo is me list, death comes to us all, it’s the only certainty in life and the majority of these people I wasn’t in close personal contact with.

My mother’s best friend died of breast cancer when I was 21, that was traumatic, she was like another mother to me, it was her & her family we (my brother and I) stayed with when my father was in hospital having treatment and also them I lived with when I was at college in Oxford after my mother had remarried and moved to Pembrokeshire. With Nuala I was at an age where it hurt, not to say losing my father didn’t hurt but I was six. He’d worked full time as an architect in the next county, spent the best part of a year in Bristol having treatment or in Sobel house hospice dying so I was accustom to his absence.

Some families it runs through like wild fire, whether something in their genes or an environmental/social ingredient we’re unaware of currently. I believe while we’re beginning to gain insight we’re yet to know the true implications of our impact both globally on the planet and physically to our health with pesticides, pollution, poor diet, genetic engineering and who knows what else.

So wish me luck, although day 1 was easy in comparison to Veganuary, that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I cheated about day 28 (cheese.) I take my hat off to vegans, just for managing to consume enough calories to maintain muscle mass without being the size of a barn. I gained fat mass and lost muscle over the month. It will come off, I generally default to a norm when I’m not obsessing about food another topic entirely.

Happy Saturday.

A x

#life #sugarfreefebruary #middleage #cancerresearch #cancer

Weight gain, perceptions & middle age spread!

I’m at a point in my life where I’m trying hard to learn acceptance. Acceptance of ageing, all the daily imperceptible changes that added up to change that youthful smooth skinned girl into this middle-aged crepey skinned woman!

I’m struggling and can’t pretend I’m not. It didn’t happen over night. A lot like gaining or losing weight ageing is a bizarre process of perception. Possibly because we can’t see ourselves from the outside as we do others we build up an idea of how we look in our head’s. Only catching a fleeting glance in mirrors, windows and other reflective surfaces here and there to add more details (new hair colour/cut etc) not taking in the real picture every time we see ourselves.

I wonder if people surrounded by mirrors all day like hair stylists, clothes shop assistants or double glazing agents have a different view point but for me at least; I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t have a lot of time and don’t wear make-up or have many mirrors in my immediate environment but I rarely actually study myself. When I do ‘poof’ 10lbs heavier 10 years older seemingly over night!

I’ve documented my struggles with my weight, but a brief synopsis: I was a short, chubby, muscular girl when the fashion for women was tall and lean, after my first child I was obviously still short but quite slim my mind like that of many people who’ve lost weight still believed I was fat.

Most of my adult life I haven’t had a weight problem I’ve rarely gone above a UK 12 (US 8) even at the cuddly end of my personal spectrum but my mind has tortured me. When I’m at a point where I should be happy I’m always striving for better. On the one hand I can look and see improvements and am happy but at one and the same time I can see what else I could/should change/strive for.

I’m driving myself round the bend. I know I should be grateful for genes that haven’t let me get morbidly obese despite times of comfort eating. I’m strong and able to train effectively for functional fitness. I’ve Improved in the sense I no longer see training as a punishment for eating but as something I love, that’s entirely for me and an antidepressant to boot. But even the guilt at my lack of gratitude can see me comfort eating.

This body has been knocking around for 47+ years, in that time it’s been through a window seriously damaging a wrist and requiring extensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy,been addicted to drugs,all be it a lifetime ago, been home to 6 small humans over the course of 23 years, gained weight, lost weight,run hundreds if not thousands of miles, lifted weights, torn ligaments, strained muscles and repaired itself. Logic tells me it’s in remarkably good shape for all that but and this is the hard bit, 47 years have passed, I’m not getting any younger and baring a lottery win (I have the cosmetic procedures to do list) I’m stuck with this crepey skin, middle age spread is looming. If I wasn’t happy at 30… I’m getting older nothing is going to change that in all other areas of life I am positivity personified, the challenge as ever is to learn to live with myself, my ‘failings’ and be content and grateful for the privilege of life. A x

#ageing #middle-aged #middleage #life #perception #weightgain #middleagespread #gratitude

Death cafe!

I had to nip out earlier, breaking up a bit of a duvet day if I’m honest, on the radio was a discussion on the concept of Death Cafe’s, now I must say I haven’t Googled an explanation and came in on the tail end of the conversation but I gather the idea is to provide an environment where it’s socially acceptable to discuss death. This got me questioning if there was a need for such a thing but as such a thing appears to exists that essentially answers the question!

To me death is the inevitable conclusion of existence, it’s sad and I appreciate the sense of loss and sadness for those left behind but it is the one sure and certain end for us all. That is not to say I don’t believe in an afterlife and am unashamedly God squad but it quite another topic and even if I’m right or I’m wrong and there’s nothing to follow, we will all die.

Now I’m unsure if this is an unusual standpoint or the result of losing people in early life but apparently my late father had a similar feeling and expressed as much to my mother at the demise of my grandfather, his father, before I was born. My mother seemed to think this was odd but I totally understand. Interestingly my father had lost his sister Marjory when he was young an event his mother never really recovered from.

In any event death and dying still seem to be a taboo subject. Parents quite rightly try to discuss the practicalities of their deaths with their offspring, funerals, wills and so on all too often only to be shushed possibly because we find the idea of the loss of our parents abhorrent. Jokes are made about death to lighten the mood. Genuine conversations about death make us fear our mortality or that of our loved ones. I’m personally not afraid of death it’s the idea of leaving my children without my input and love that I fear

I have personally lost my grandparents, father, twin brother and some close friends but it’s very definitely not something I discuss often, people are uncomfortable with the emotions that surround death and loss, again probably for the reasons stated earlier and pain, while I don’t fear dying I certainly don’t relish the idea of dying in agony.

For whatever reason it can be very hard to discuss death, it’s affect on us whether it’s the loss of a loved one, our own mortality or the idea of or journey towards death. Harder to broach the subject with those whose death will affect us most.

So while death cafes initially seemed a peculiar notion the more I think about it, the more I find the idea of talking to a stranger who can empathise because of similar experiences or whose attitude and viewpoint to death is similar to mine or vastly different and can challenge my perception the more intriguing I find it and believe it could be some thing therapeutic.

#deathcafe #death #dying #taboo #foodforthought #life #middle-aged

Paradoxically me!

It only takes one person to change your life: You (Ruth Casey)

I’ve documented, all be it silently because no-one read it, my struggle with body image. The road to fitness back to inactivity and back again (6 babies yada yada). I firmly believe motivation for all things begins in your head, I say all things and I mean it. “If you believe you can you’re halfway there” to quote who knows how many cheesy memes and possibly half a dozen love songs. In my case this is true in everything from essay writing when I was at college (sports science degree class of 2009) to my first run of the year the day before yesterday (2.5 miles/25 Jan 2019)

Not just motivation but everything is perceived in the mind this is where reality lies, everyone constructs their reality from their experiences, their perceptions of every event are different to yours but no less valid. My experience has taught me the right mind set before any activity from that run to writing this blog can change the perception of the event and the ability to achieve it.

I hadn’t run at all in 64 days (thank you fitbit!) I’d got to a point last September (2018) where I was running up to 5 days a week and enjoying it, aforementioned 6 kids won’t/can’t follow haha! I have a dodgy knee but regular strength training, utilising the treadmill and increasing the duration of road runs slowly had seen me pain free over 10+ miles but then my Grandchildren came to stay for a few weeks while my daughter was unwell, the treadmill died and if I’m honest the weather got bad so I used the previous 2 reasons as excuses not to get out so often and suddenly 4 months have passed and I’m back to 2.5 miles. Still pain free, this should be cause for celebration but there’s nagging doubt to my ability sat on my shoulder the mindset isn’t so positive and a run I should easily manage became something else. In September I knew I could do 3 miles, I was still in the warm up, now I’m not so sure and immediately everything becomes harder.

When I first started to blog, I just wrote what I thought, the words flowed I didn’t care, I hardly ever had to pick up where I left off, finished published and got on with the day so didn’t run a critical eye over things. Because daily blogging isn’t so easy since my daughter came home with the kids, I stop and start, have to read over to know where I was going with it and the process has changed. It’s no less therapeutic but it’s different because my mind has moved on from the thoughts when I started to write the post.

I look back at life and realise if I had just spent some time being aware of my contentment or stopped in my diet and fitness goals to be happy in the place I was, not striving for the next few pounds off or miles on, I might not have been happier but I’d have been aware of my achievements. In the same way while losing weight or when the tape measure shows a decrease in size, on the way down one place is an achievement that makes you happy, the exact same weight or measurement can be cause for distress if it is in the other direction having gone beyond. We are alway moving the goal posts.

So many times we equate happiness with a certain weight, financial position or marital status but once we are there we realise the rest of life is just the same. We are not magically happy because we moved to a more suitable area or reached a goal weight. All our problems are not erased because we got married etc and yet we continue to kid ourselves that the things we fixate on are important. I look back to the most content I was with my physique and although I was impressed with what I had achieved, I was still striving for something else, something more. Now I look vastly different, not bad for my aged but certainly not where I was then and think I would be delighted to look that way. The truth is I would still be striving for more, I will only get less fit as I age. At 47 I am well past my prime but somewhere in my head I should still look how I could have looked at 27 if I had just bothered.

I am both at the same time happy to be in my late forties, with the crepey skin on my neck, smile lines and a wisdom that comes from life experiences (I do so want to rock this aging lark) and fighting with life long body dysmorphia and negative body image. I hope there comes a time where I embrace who I have become, wrinkles and all. I am definitely at a point where I train for my mental health and functional fitness not for the way I look (a start) but for now I am in constant battle with the paradox.

Happy Sunday A x