Sunday 28 May 2017

Running the Half Term Gauntlet

Now, to clarify, my little man is still relatively little so at least I don't have the added pressure of entertaining cynical, disinterested in everything, know-it-all, self centred, selfish & just plain mean teenagers. But.... half-term is still the equivalent of swimming in shark infested waters with bloody cuts on your arms and legs. And here's why.


Apparently guilt is not a feeling that exists naturally within the human body's natural chemical makeup. It is an entity that we apes with extra capacity brain power decided to invent because someone, somewhere clearly thought it was a good idea.

As a parent you generally feel guilty about something 99.99% of the time and it doesn't matter how many times people tell you you're doing great, parenting is hard and at least you only half filled the recycling with wine bottles this week - you still feel like a total failure.

Half term is meant to be this magical break from school where children get to spend 100% quality time with a parent of their choice doing super awesome fun stuff all the time and eating yummy scrummy food all week. Those with rich parents will be swanning off somewhere fabulous. The rest of us will be desperately scrabbling around on Woucher & Groupon trying to find money off deals that actually work financially to at least give the kids some kind of treat.

I barely remember what happened last week, let alone what happened in the half terms of my childhood but I do know that much of my school holidays were spent on my grandparents farm in Wales and subsequently upon the Welsh coastline. Very fond blurred memories.

This week I have planned several excursions - going to see the dinosaurs at Crystal Palace Park (free), going to see the helicopters & aeroplanes at the RAF Museum (free), going to one or several of the City Farms (free), going to the seaside on the train (40 mins, train ticket) and possibly doing the old faithful and going to feed the ducks in the park. Luckily for me picnics are a big thing at the moment so if we pretty much sit on any outside piece of grass and I produce a peanut butter sandwich, crisps, pear & flapjack - I'm on a winner. And yes it has to be those four things.

Still it's only a week right? It's not like if I don't tire him out he won't go to sleep in the evening or that even if we're all bone weary at the end of the day he's still going to bounce out of bed at 5am ready to play. 'Mummy - come!' The dulcet sounds of trains being shushed up and down laminate flooring is so loud. It's the downstairs neighbours I feel sorry for. Except they have 5 kids so maybe not.

Monday 22 May 2017

Saying Goodbye

Losing a loved one is always going to be hard but does it actually get easier or do we just get numbed to it? Or is this sense of c'est la vie just our mind's way of protecting us from exploding into a thousand little pieces?

My Nana passed away last week. We knew it was coming. I mean obviously we didn't know the exact date and time but we knew this admission to hospital would be the last despite the valiant rally that had us all hoping against all hope that maybe, just maybe she would come home again. It's a really difficult topic to think about, to talk about, to share your thoughts about.

When my Grandad passed, seven years ago this Christmas, I was more involved with the ending. I was physically there for much of the decline. It is terrifically painful to watch your beloved family member decline before your very eyes. It was my first real death. I didn't handle it very well. Grief it seems was too massive an emotion for me to process and locking it away in a box didn't really work. I would spend hours with tears rolling down my face and simple, everyday things like travelling on the train became these immense undertakings with so many possible outcomes, I couldn't possibly account for them all so I became panic stricken and immobile. I had some counselling. I'm not usually one for talking your feelings but on this occasion it seemed to really help.

Now I have lost my last remaining grandparent and the generation line has moved up one. I am no longer third gen - now I am second. It is an incredibly sobering thought and has really impacted upon me that life will continue to steamroller along at its own, predetermined pace and you can either make the most of each and every second or you can waste your precious time and allow it to fritter through your fingertips.

I have had so much going on in my life recently that I don't even know whether I've realised that she's gone. I mean, I know she died. But I don't think I've realised that she's gone. Since my Grandad passed it seemed to me that we lost a large part of my Nana at the same time and, to me, my relationship with her was never as strong or as vibrant as before. In the beginning it was incredibly difficult for me to see or talk to her on her own so I cannot imagine what it must have been like for her. We still had some great times though - discussing recipes and the latest craft project, the various TV programmes that we all watched, who we thought was going to win Bake Off and of course chatting about her Great-Grandson, my little man.

My Nana taught me how to bake, she instilled within me the importance of a cup of a tea and biscuit in bed first thing in the morning. Both her and my mum brought me up to appreciate the importance of good food and looking after everyone. I shall miss her dreadfully. I just hope that when the reality hits that she's gone, I'm ready.

Sunday 7 May 2017

Dropping the Ball

You know that feeling you get when you're so on top of things you're like a lean, mean, efficient machine? I haven't felt that for a while but I have been there. Everything is in perfect harmony and your to do list is done. You're on top of the world.

Then something happens and you drop the ball. It might be that you relax and accidentally forget something or you decide to just not do x for one day. Then y, z, q, p and r all fall as well. And as quickly as you try to scoop the balls up, new ones fall down. Very quickly it's a case of losing the will to do anything as the whole damn lot feels like way too much hard work.

Being any kind of self employed means being highly motivated on a daily basis. Going that extra mile every single day to achieve maximum efficiency. I managed it from Dec 16 until the end of March 17 and then I hit the biggest wall I've ever seen in my life. It hurt. It knocked me out for a month. April was a total bust. I dropped balls I didn't even know I was juggling.

So now I look at the tasks in front of my and it seems like an insurmountable mountain. Everywhere I look indie author friends are kicking butts and taking names doing amazing things - great work guys. Am I intimidated? Yeah, a little bit. Am I finding it a little hard to get motivated? Yeah, a little bit. Do I hate blogging about it because I don't like coming across as a moaning murtle. Yeah, a little bit.