Sometimes I still pinch myself that I made it through motherhood with everyone pretty much unscathed. I have raised my own and other people’s children, being a mother and foster mother and at times, it was the hardest job EVER, but the most rewarding, so now, it’s ‘me’ time and I am loving it!
Today I’m having a fat day, a lazy day
A day where I can loll around
In my dressing gown
I love having a fat day
It is full bodied, full of self- love and indulgence
It starts with a lay in bed, reading
Eating breakfast and not minding if the crumbs fall onto the sheets
After a while I nod off for another snooze
I awake again, put on my dressing gown and head downstairs
I have a cuppa and maybe a biscuit or two
And wrap my hands around the warmth of the cup and my dressing gown
Tightly around me
I read some more of my book, curled up on the sofa and put the fire on
Cosy in my living room, soaking up the fullness of just ‘being’…
Later I will turn on the TV and flick through the channels until something
Grabs my attention. I may watch it for an hour or two or for the rest
Of the day until it is time, to go to bed again
In between, I will head into the kitchen and eat and nibble and pick at
Whatever I choose to eat, whatever, takes my fancy
And I won’t feel one bit guilty
I won’t feel guilty because I have spent my days, working, fetching and carrying
Raising children, keeping house, putting other people first, putting myself to the back of the queue
Except for the occasional treat.
Mums, all over the world are on the marathon of motherhood and it is exhausting, exhilarating, heartfelt and heart breaking. We fight, we fix, we do. We just do. We get on with it and we get lost in it. The girl you were, that carefree girl, before motherhood, she is gone. She is hiding in the body of the mad woman working from morning ‘til night, full of sleep deprivation, spinning plates and trying to please EVERYONE and in the process there is no time or very very little time, for her to please herself.
So now, now that my nest is empty, 33 years later, of getting lost in motherhood, I can, without guilt or remorse, please myself and have a great big fat day to myself and enjoy it wrapped up in the warmth of my dressing gown, and in the knowledge, that the job I did of being mother, was a success. My Children are a success, they are wonderful human beings getting on in the world on their own journeys, full of their own adventures, and I couldn’t be happier for them….. or me!
When the downpour comes it may change how we feel….but it doesn’t have to be bad
I don’t like the rain. It makes me feel cold and miserable. I don’t want to go out when it is raining. I hear it lashing off the windows and it makes me shiver and shudder at the thoughts of having to go out in it.
I have to go out. I need to go to work, or to the shops or to do some other errand. I grab my rain coat, pull my hood up over my head and run to the car, holding onto my hood and keeping my head in the downward position.
Quickly, I hop into the car and start the engine. The windows are all steamed up and I turn on the fan and the heater to demist them and warm up the car. Wipers come on, by themselves, smart car! As the rain gets heavier, the wipers get quicker and I wish,more and more that I was back home, in the house, in the warm, cuddled up on the sofa, with the fire on, listening to the rain instead of being out in it, or driving in it.
When I am in the rain, I try everything to keep it from hitting me. I have a rain coat. I have an umbrella. I wear a hat and sometimes gloves. I wear my boots to keep my legs dry and free from the rain touching them.
Sometimes, I get caught out in the rain and am not ready or prepared for it and then, it falls, on my head, my body, my legs, my face and then I remember…..
I remember when I was young, a child, and I loved the rain, especially if it was really really lashing down hard and pounding off the ground. That would mean my friends and I could stay in and play and dress up, pretend to be like ‘grownups’ wearing our mother’s clothes and shoes, clippedy clopping around on the lino floor, face full of make up and a couple of oranges shoved up our tops to give us our ‘bossom’. It was hilarious. There was lots of laughter.
I also remember the feeling of the rain on my face, because sometimes I would run out into it, arms outstretched, mouth open and I would let it soak me to the skin and drink it in until I was completely drenched. Then, after dancing in the rain, I would go back into the house, shimmy the wet clothes off my squeaky wet skin and step into a nice warm bath and soak in the luxury of the bubbles, feeling like the Queen of Sheeba.
It’s funny how the rain can make us feel.
It’s funny how we view the rain.
It’s funny that we forget how much fun we can have if we learn to dance in the rain…..
Sometimes we have just got to trust in the signs and take them for what they are…. believe in the magic……
So many signs in our daily lives, we can either ignore them , act on them or have faith in them….
It’s a matter of choice or a matter of chance….
They say that the Robin, little red breasted bird is a symbol of good luck, happiness and rebirth. They also say it’s a sign that a loved one is near and so it can bring lots of comfort to those grieving.
The same can be said for feathers. They are a sign that the angels are near, looking out for you and that loved ones, who have passed over are near.
We get comfort from these sightings and read them how we will and they may instill a level of calm within us and though we will forever miss our loved ones, it brings pleasure to think about them being so close.
I know I feel comfort and calm seeing such things and I openly talk to my friend who passed, too young and too soon from this mortal life. I chat to her as if she is there.
Today is quite a significant day, being her 6 month anniversary. My husband and I went for a nice lovely stroll nearby where we live and walked down to the lake. Just before we got there a feather appeared, floating down from the sky and fell at my feet.
As soon as I saw it, I said to my husband,’here she is, letting me know she is here, coming on the walk with us’.
We used to have such a laugh. We had known each other since our school days and were a pair of gigglers.
As we continued on the walk we went right down to the edge of the lake and my husband decided to skim stones on it as it was so still and perfect for skimming stones. The ripple affect was just lovely.
As I was busy taking photos, and openly talking to my friend saying how beautiful it was here, down at the edge of the lake, I heard a yelp! I looked back and as if in slow motion I saw my poor husband slip on a rock and go down, into the water.
He was literally in the water for about 2 seconds, a quick dunk, as it were before getting himself out.
I just stood there in disbelief and as he quickly scrambled out of the water and walked towards me, and I knew that he was OK, I burst out laughing. It was actually hilarious. I laughed so much I almost wet myself, and as if by magic, the mood was a whole lot lighter.
My husband also laughed, pleased that no real damage was done, and as we walked (he squelshed) back towards home we both agreed that it was probably Jackie, giving him a little nudge in, as she would find it so funny and she knows how much I would laugh too.
I took it as a real sign that indeed, she was there, by my side letting me know that she was there and that she was OK.
Thank you my dear, for the sign, the company and the laugh…. He is truly fine…
a little stroll does the heart good in more ways than one….. making and remembering memories
Today we decided to do the canal walk beginning in Drumshanbo at Acres Lake, walking down to Battlebridge Lock and back again to where we started.
I had walked a piece of this walk a few years ago whilst visiting Leitrim, but I remember it was raining that day.
Today, the weather was fine, dry and sunny and we met a few other people along the way, getting their steps in and enjoying the stroll.
It is a nice flat walk and not too taxing at all. Along the walk we pass through Drumleague Lock, and the sight of it brought me right back to October 1979, when I was still a girl, living in the UK.
I was on a barge trip with the school for our school tour over the course of a week, from Coventry Canal basin to Birmingham. I remember it being such great fun and my best friend, Jackie, and I had aches in our tummy from laughing. We would hop on and off of the barge at times, as it was moving and run to the Lock to open it.
One evening Jackie was washing her hair over the the side of the barge and I went to fetch clean hot water from the stove to rinse it. I also picked up another empty saucepan and unbeknown to I leaned over the side, filled it with icy cold canal water and proceeded to pour it over her head…….Well, the screams and effing and blinding were enough to wake the dead, as she ran holding her poor cold head running the length of the barge, while I was bend over double laughing and pleading with her that I was sorry and had some lovely warm fresh water to clean her hair with.
Of course she forgave me and we often used to laugh about it. Those were the days…..
Today was about making new memories with my hubby, but I love it when the ordinary things in everyday can transport us back to another time and we can relive that again and talk about it, and smile at the thoughts of it. It brings everything alive and gives a warm heartfelt feeling.
Continuing on from the lock, a bit further down the pathway was a lovely house nestled into the landscape making great use with their big windows out across the canal. To our surprise part of the walkway is also used by cars, not many, thankfully as it would be a very tight squeeze if there was two way traffic with either the car or the walkers ending up in the canal!
We came to the road at Battlebridge Lock and to the right of it was the river Shannon running fast under the bridge. Beside the bridge, a lovely quaint but welcoming pub, called Beirnes of Battlebridge sits to the right. We called in here and had a bowl of delicious homemade soup served with guinness bread and rested a little after the 8km walk, before heading back.
We finally made our way back around the loop and and now with the canal to the right of us the expanse of open fields to the left giving rise to a beautiful mountain straight ahead.
We talked and chatted and took a leisurely walk back to Acres Lake, where we started and were planning where we should go next on our discovery of this area.
The sounds of the birds singing on this journey was a joy to hear. We saw blackbirds, finches, a little wren and the beautiful Robin. The Robin always makes me smile and I am always pleased to see it, because it lets me know that my beautiful friend, Jackie, is there with me on the walk and on this journey of discovery.
We saw lots of frogs spawn in the little pools branching off along the sides of the walkway, but alas, my hubby was disappointed to not see any other wildlife or frogs taking care of their spawn….. Perhaps they were hiding away from our chitter chatter.
All in all, I would recommend this walk to everyone, young and old. It is even great for cycling or for children if they have a scooter. It is a bit gravelly, a little muddy in places, but good under foot and nice and flat.
I just want to say thank you for my family, my home, my best friend, who is soft and cuddly and comes everywhere with me, and for my pets I am happy and lucky and blessed. Thank you that my country doesn’t have bombs and rockets and guns and people running scared and afraid that they will be killed. Im so afraid of spiders so I’m thankful i dont have to worry about bombs. But God, can i ask you for something, could i ask that you make the fighters stop being so angry and greedy and frightening so the children don’t have to be scared and afraid and that they can just go home, with their family and maybe, just be afraid of spiders instead? Thank you God….
Moving to a new place can be scary, disorientating and beautiful at the same time, but discovering it, is amazing….
It’s not always easy moving. Whether it is moving home, moving jobs or moving from one stage of life to another. Just because it’s not easy, doesn’t mean that it is not good for us, that it is not better for us. Most often it is better to move than to stay stuck. In staying stuck, nothing changes.
How many times do we say, I wish it were different. I wish this was better, he was better, she was better, my job was better etc etc etc. In order for things to change something must happen. We must DO something.
During my life I have moved many many times. From one area to another and from one country to another, more than once. Each time there was an element of pain, washed in with an element of excitement and wonder.
I have recently done it again. I have moved to a different County. For the last 25 years I lived in County Wexford, Ireland, affectionately known as the sunny south east.
I had lived there for 5 years as a teenager too. That was a struggle as I had been a ‘City Girl’, born to Irish parents in the UK. I loved Ireland. I loved to visit my grandparents in Ireland, more precisely. When I knew I was coming here to live at age 14 I was horrified. I was not a County Girl AT ALL, nor did I want to be.
Spending my teenage years here however, though strange, confusing, difficult and lonely at times also had it’s benefits.
In our village, there was one bus a day into town and out of town. It was the school bus and if you missed it, for me, there was no other way into school because my mother didn’t drive and my dad would have already left with the car to go to work. Bonus, if I didn’t fancy going to school any given day!
As I had to leave all my friends in the UK, my brothers and I were allowed to go to the big pub/lounge a few miles down the road. It was a family friendly place and everyone from all over would go to it. It was called the Un Yoke. It hosted many big Irish named bands, like the Wolfe Tones, Joe Dolan, Philomena Begley as well as local bands. We loved it there and, having made a couple of friends on the School bus, went every weekend. It was my salvation from the loneliness.
Fast forward I returned to the UK aged 19 and then bounced back again to Ireland like a y0 y0 25 years ago to my native Co Wexford. Here we built our own house, something we never could have done in the UK. Raised our children, welcomed our grand children and got busy with work and life as everyone does.
The work life balance wasn’t balanced though and then came ill health which if nothing else, puts life into perspective. So Last year I said ‘lets throw in the towel, let’s sell up and go again on a new adventure. There is just us left now, the kids have flown.
Our initial plan was to go to France for a few years and see how that went, but serious ill health put that on hold. So we looked around this beautiful island of Ireland to find the right house, in the right setting for our needs, now.
We ended up in County Leitrim, fondly known as ‘Lovely Leitrim’. When we would tell people we were going there, aghast they would say ‘Leitrim, what the hell is in Leitrim’…….
I was shocked at this reaction. Some would say, ‘the people in Leitrim would move to live in Wexford, not the other way round’.
I agree, Wexford is a beautiful county, full of history and historical sites and beautiful beaches and a lovely quay front to walk along. It is a bustling town with some fab place to eat and drink, but it doesn’t hold the trump card on all that and so I am going to be exploring this beautiful little County in the North West and document just what it has to offer.
It is referred to as Ireland’s Hidden Heartland and I agree, from what I have seen so far, it has truly beautiful scenery, lakes, mountains, trails and even boasts the SMALLEST coastline in a County in Ireland in the little village of Tullaghan https://leitrimtourism.com/towns-villages/tullaghan/
Image authors own at Tullaghan beach….smallest coastline in Ireland
Yesterday, my husband and I did our first looped walked around Tulllacken loop. We decided to do the moderate blue walk. We took our time and took it all the beauty along the way. The weather was on our side for the most part, with only a couple of small rain and now showers.
For someone recovering from heart bypass surgery (my other half), it was just what the doctor ordered. The trail was not too steep or too difficult. The views were beautiful across to the snow capped mountain and many many little streams and small waterfalls along the route were a welcome sight.
The rush of the yellow river running by our side was just beautiful to listen to along with the diversity of the tress, the rocks and splashes of colour along the way and also a bunch of curious sheep…..
I welcome our next trek or trail and will post more about the beauty of this beautiful little County.
New Years resolutions….. full of hope for a new and better year…..
January, a time of hope, promises and resolutions, whether we say it out loud or quietly to ourselves….. a new year is always a source of contemplation. Before the year ends, we make promises that ‘in the new year’ we will do this, or that, give up this or that, be more healthy, change jobs, give more time to loved ones, give more time to ourselves, take up a new hobby, leave something or someone behind.
We go into the Christmas period with a measure of excitement and a measure of dread, for many and varying different reasons, and some can’t wait for it to be over, so that the ‘new year’ can begin and we can begin, afresh, renewed, awakened.
We look back and reflect and ask, what is it I want to do, to be, to have, to start to end, to give up etc etc. Some years may be the same thing as the previous year and we began with gusto, enthusiasm and motivation, only to dwindle, falter and be left with a sense of failure and nothing more than procrastination in that, next year, it will be different…..
Still, we look forward and we try. Does it matter that we may not complete and accomplish it, whatever ‘it’ may be? Isn’t it the ‘giving it a go’ that matters. Even if that ‘giving it a go’ is to just put one foot in front of the other and make our way downstairs and face another day.
For some people the previous year could have been so challenging, so devastating, so traumatic, that to just do that, go downstairs and flick on the kettle is the biggest achievement that they can muster, and isn’t that great! They did it, they made it, they didn’t give up.
When we pass people by in the street, in the shops, in our places of work, looking ‘put together’ and getting on with life, we assume that all is good, all is well with them. Of course they are all putting their best side out. We are all putting our best side out and for some, it is a real struggle.
So this January, no matter what your path, lets all be enthusiastic, that we made it. We can reflect, we can look forward, but lets not forget to be present, and to acknowledge our own unique achievements, no matter how big or small……
Pain and suffering, especially in grief is sometimes so complex that no matter what you do, you cannot seem to get the balance and so you just have to wait it out……
Sometimes you just have nothing to say, at least not out loud. You have plenty to say, in your head and the incessant talking doesn’t stop. You may want to say it out loud, but you can’t, or you won’t for fear. Fear of letting go of the hurt and the pain and letting the emotions take you on a journey where you do not want to go. Fear of causing hurt and pain, to others because you just can’t articulate it properly without emotions getting in the way and muddling it all up.
Like the force of a tsunami thrusting, pushing and propelling at swift unstoppable speed, relentlessly, ruthlessly and causing so much destruction and damage, but it is impossible to stop it. The carnage it will cause, is unthinkable, and so, you keep it all in, hold it down, squeeze it, suppress and restrain it.
The pain will dull woefully , the hurt will scar deeply , the emotions will become emotionless and as the carnage unfolds within, so shall you carry the burden of being the source of their misery…..
There are no guarantees of being a success, of finding ‘the one’ of being fulfilled. No guarantees of reaching your goals, living to a ripe old age or attaining your dreams.
What is it then, within us to continually seek to try, to find, to hope and to keep going, even in the face of adversity. Is it all our intrinsic resources that push us on, or are there extrinsic factors at force?
It must be both but, even with the best will in the world, sometimes, it seems like a hard battle to fight or difficult mountain to climb, and then we feel defeated.
Then, sometimes out of nowhere it seems, that all is not lost, there is another way to climb the mountain, once rested, and not all battles need to be won in order to succeed and feel a sense of hope again.
Adapt, be absent and acceptance are the three ‘A’ s that will help pull you through the rough times. Accept that there is a difficulty, stay absent, for a while, from the usual routine or the usual people around you, and soon you will find a way to adapt to the changes that you must face.
There is no guarantee that things will always stay the same. There will be ups and downs. There will be losses and gains there will be love and pain but all will not be lost and something of value will be taught.
I lost a very dear friend recently. My heart was broken, for her, her family and for me. She is a huge loss and leaves a massive void.
We won’t grow to be old ladies together. I had never even contemplated that…. She died too young, but she had a good life and she enjoyed her life to the full. She lived with love and shared her love amongst her family and friends.
So in this sorrow, in this grief and hurt and pain there has to be acceptance and life must adapt without her physical presence. Making ourselves absent, giving ourselves time and self love, to come to terms with the loss and remember the good times is crucial in the process.
There is no time limit, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. For me, I believe she is present, all around us. I talk to her, pray for her, look out for signs of her. I keep her alive in my heart, even though I miss her and the rest of the life, she should have had. Yet I’m grateful for the time we did have….
So what now? One step at a time. One day at a time, we move forward. It’s all we can do. We live, we love, we hope, we pray, we dream. We must stay humble and grateful for the time and love we shared and for all our loved ones lost to us, live on with them in our hearts…. Until we meet again…..