There was a fire somewhere last night. The smell of smoke was thick in the air and when I opened the windows to check the fire was outside and not burning away somewhere else in the house, the street was clouded. The acrid taste made me feel queasy and I searched online to find out what was burning. For some reason, I wanted to know and was frustrated to not find anything. In a world where a news story from across the globe can reach you in a matter of minutes, it is still a reminder that there are some things we can’t instantly know just by searching.
Today is Day 10 of #The100DayProject and I am so enjoying the chance to write happy every day. Today, I am going to bed tired and feeling a bit down for a number of (trifling) reasons so I struggled to think of something to write that made me happy.
Then I remembered I hadn’t updated my Dear Kiddos blog for a while. This is a side project that I haven’t really advertised that is partly a life manual for the kids and partly therapy for me. When I am grappling with something it is really useful to turn the quandary into a life lesson. I don’t know if the kiddos will ever read these words but they help me so I guess that makes it worthwhile.
Here is tonight’s instalment: Taking Back Control
When I was really struggling with Austin and wondering why it seemed so much harder than last time (apart from the obvious things like me being older, Austin not being Evelina etc.), I realised that what was making it hard was not being in a routine. I was feeding him every two hours, on demand like I had been told. It took me months to remember that routine makes life so much easier (for me at least – not for everyone).
Every January for the past three years, I have chosen a word to focus on. Last year was Nurture – I did a lot of that but I also didn’t really focus on it like I’d hoped. The joy of motherhood sometimes means that life seems to be passing by, like you’re on a train and watching it pass out the window. You see it but you don’t feel a part of it. It’s a strange feeling.
When I was writing my previous post, I had not been feeling particularly down or unhappy. I was just exploring some of the difficult feelings that I had been experiencing from time to time since having Austin. I had a lovely response to it and for a moment, I felt strangely exposed. I didn’t mean to alarm anyone but writing my feelings out is usually how I process them.
For someone who is usually only too happy to share her thoughts and feelings, it always catches me off-guard when I realise I have been bottling things up. I can always tell when I am feeling stressed because it shows in my face. Not in my expression. In my actual face. For a few days now, I’ve been plagued with itchy eyes (rampant hay fever I think) which has made the skin around my eye red and inflamed. I have eczema around my mouth and a nasty cold sore has just cleared up (I managed to ward off two other cold sore attempts with Zovirax).
- Dr G: Medical Examiner
- Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta
- Say Yes to the Dress – Bridesmaids
- 24 Hours in A&E
Things I’ve done today
- Took Evelina to Stagecoach (drama, singing, dancing classes – she loves it);
- Raced back to get her bag which we forgot and then raced back to Stagecoach;
- Went into Leamington for a bit of gift shopping;
- Printed address labels for thank you cards;
- Did a shop around Sainsbury’s;
- Watched Evelina give an empassioned dance recital in the living room which left me in soppy, loving tears;
- Gave Evelina a quick bath and read two of my favourite stories of hers: Blueberries for Sal and Miss Rumphius;
- Sat down with tea and cookies in the armchair, watching Avatar.
Things that made me cry today:
- Being told I should provide a drink and snack for Evelina while at Stagecoach (which I knew and had rushed home to rectify in vain apparently);
- Evelina being amazing;
- There was something else but I literally can’t remember when or why it happened. Pregnancy hormones be crazy.
My first day of maternity leave has entailed a lot of waiting around in waiting rooms with a scan, a clinic appointment and a separate midwife appointment. The scan was fine – still showing an issue with Baby Boy’s kidney (which *should* be easily resolved after the birth) but otherwise A-OK; I found out I will not be allowed to go overdue because I am OLD (wahh); We saw that the boy is still a fair good size (now about 7lbs 6ozs with 4 weeks still to go); I realised how anxious I am about the birth in general.
Last time, I was totally calm about the birth but worried about the ‘caring for a tiny human’ bit afterwards. This time I know how horrible the birth was last time but am feeling pretty easy breezy about the afterwards bit (the bit that last 18 years 0r so). I rarely manage to find the right thing to focus my anxiety on, though, so I am right just this second getting anxious about all of it!!! Time for some chocolate…
Today was my last day at work before starting my maternity leave. It was a teacher training day which was actually pretty useful with a particularly uplifting and interesting session with our behaviour consultant Victor Allen who is a complete legend. He has such a calming presence and he also reminds us that above all, it’s kindness that these kids need. I also had a chance to hand over my classes to the supply teacher who will be taking my classes, at least to start with. I was of course elated to be finishing work for a year especially because it means my baby is coming and I really am very excited to meet him.
But I also left with a strange sadness: I was leaving behind this place which was my place of belonging. I was giving up my classroom. I was leaving my friends. I was leaving a part of my identity which I didn’t even realise I valued like I apparently do. So this is an end (for now).
But it is also a beginning. The beginning of our next adventure as a family. I can’t wait.
I took an Ali Edwards Storyology workshop some time ago and have wanted to participate in another workshop but have not managed to find the time. When I saw that her Week in the Life project ran during the summer break, I took the plunge and ordered the kit, knowing that this would make it much more like to happen.
Today is the first day of that week and I am really happy with the photos I have taken to document my day. I still need to work out how I am going to fill the plastic pocket pages but this seems like it will be fun and illuminating as I try to capture the ordinary for a change. It is also one of my 39 Things; I’ve already managed to do 14 of these since 28 July.