Musings and Snoozes

Trust the Magic

What a strange 24 hours it’s been. Final day of a very odd year at work, root canal this morning, all sorts going on in my friends’ lives, my period unexpectedly arriving, strange dreams last night, making new friends today. I almost feel as though the whole year can be summed up in these last 24 hours! At the end of it all though, I always come back to the same thing. Coffee. 

I’m sat in Starbucks, which is my favourite place to blog because everyone leaves you alone, supping very carefully on a coffee (did I mention root canal?), before picking up the pooch and heading to mum’s for a very quiet new year’s eve. 

And you know what? I feel quite good about that. At first I was scowly that any new year party plans would be scuppered by the aforementioned root canal, but actually I’m going to take it as a lesson and a way to carry on into 2017. Not with more root canal (I hope!), but with more quiet, more calm, and more looking after me. I’ve talked about it several times, but the last few weeks have taught me that I have little choice if I don’t want to burn out completely, and it’s time to start taking notice. 

I’m a great one for new beginnings and despite the fact that I celebrate Celtic new year in November, it’s impossible not to be caught up in the end of one year and the beginning of the next. I feel a rather large amount of hope, not full on “this is going to be my year”, although I of course hope it will be, but just a peace that things are good, that they’re falling into place, and that despite all the roller-coaster ups and downs, that I’m happy. 

My Dad showed up in my dreams last night. He only ever appears when I’m at my most…on edge, I guess. He’s never there to give me advice or anything – don’t have any illusions of him appearing to tell me great truths and prophecies – but he’s just there in the background. Once he was on a train waving at me, last night he stood by a gate smiling as I drove past. Always fleeting, but always just enough to remind me I’m ok and to wake up with a renewed sense of optimism. 

And so that’s how I feel about 2017, a renewed sense of optimism and of purpose. And if that means starting out curled under a blanket, quietly seeing in the new year, then that’s fine by me. 

Happy New Year everyone. I wish you all the love, happiness, peace, and fun in the world ūüôā

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You can do anything, but not everything 

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve been a bit rubbish at keeping in touch and seeing friends this year. I’ve struggled hard with balance, with looking after myself vs doing too much, with wanting to hide away a little. Plus the practicalities of being a smidge broke half the time. 
I want to fix it, to change this year, but I’m bright enough to know that I’m not suddenly going to recover and find boundless energy. If anything, with studying for my Masters, it’s going to get worse not bette, but I want to try and manage my time and my energy more wisely at least. 

So that’s part of my aim from now. And it does start now. I don’t want to say from new year, because that gives me too much leeway to screw it up in the next few days and start 2017 in a bad way, which is the worst thing I could do. 

And so with that in mind, I am currently resting in the spare room at Jon’s parents. I know I’ve hit the limit of my energy now and need to just lie down, let the fatigue do its worst for a bit, and rest my aching body. Doing this, instead of driving up to see friends tonight, was a good idea, and it means the time I will get to spend with them tomorrow will be so much more valuable after the rest. It’s a hard one for me to accept, and probably hard too for many of my friends who may feel like I’m putting them off or not making enough of an effort. 

But I know I have to focus on the positives and I also know that contrary to all my doubts and anxiety, my friends are my friends for a reason, and part of that is they care about me. So while I realistically know that I’m not going to get to do everything I want to or see everyone as much as I’d like, if I can make it work just a little bit better then the precious time I do have will be so much the better for it. 

And so that’s what I’m doing, starting now. A very Merry Boxing Day to you all, from a very restful pooch and I. 

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Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise 

And so Yule is finally here. The longest night has passed and finally, after what always seems like an eternity, we head towards the light again. And quite frankly, that’s pretty much how I feel about most things right now. 

Anyone who’s spent more than five minutes with me will know how much I love Christmas time. I can’t put into words what it is, I think it’s that feeling of togetherness and shared celebration that I love, even if it’s just the collective ways in which we all moan about it sometimes! But this year I have to admit, even I’ve found it hard to be quite so excited, or at least as wrapped up in all things festive as I usually am (pardon the pun). However the day after Yule officially started, my first day off work for the holidays, and probably the first time in months I’ve even considered relaxing,  I am now finally starting to feel it. 

Today, I allowed myself to rest almost completely, not just physically (although I fully enjoyed staying curled up in bed until early afternoon), but mentally too. Every time guilt took over that I should be doing something, I gave myself a talking to that for one day at least, it didn’t matter. Consequently the house still looks like a bomb’s hit it, I am not miraculously a size 8 after going to the gym, nor have my presents magically wrapped themselves. But, I do feel ready to face the world again. 

So in a burst of “yeah, I can do this”, Jon and I tackled the supermarket for Christmas food shopping this evening. I was under strict instructions not to channel Dad’s spirit in buying enough food to last all year – a task I semi achieved, in that we only have enough to last us six months maybe. But what’s Christmas without too much food, right?! And I didn’t actually murder anyone who got in my way with their trolley, or stood in front of the exact thing I needed off the shelf. So kudos to me I think. 

And so now I feel that little bit closer to the big day. And a little bit more like things will be okay. It’s been one hell of a roller-coaster in the last few months, but I’m taking a break, and more importantly, giving myself a break. If you need me now, I’ll be in the corner, singing Christmas songs and welcoming the light back where it belongs.

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Sky above, Earth below, Peace within

OK, let’s just stop, and breathe. Just for five minutes. Tell myself it’ll all be OK, and that there’s an end to all this crazy stress and anxiety. 

I’ve been putting off blogging for a while, mostly because I’m so overwhelmed that I haven’t been able to manage much more than “gaaah” or “uggh” for a few days now, and they don’t make for the most interesting of posts, let’s be honest. But maybe if I try to empty my head a little, things won’t seem so bad. 

And actually, let’s get one thing straight here, things are not actually bad. Yes certain things are stressing me out -work, not feeling ready for Christmas,  study – but nothing is actually bad. I have incredibly amazing friends and family, work is only challenging because of certain relationships, not the work itself, and by the wonders of Amazon Prime and the joys of the Internet, Christmas will be more than fine and everyone will get a present. 

So I need to cut myself some slack, be kind to myself, accept that most healthy people are bloody shattered at this time of year, doing all this while being ill is actually quite an achievement in itself, and I should be proud of what I manage to do, given certain limitations. 

I spend so long making sure that no one sees how ill I am, that I can forget myself, and I probably need to acknowledge it a little more. I reached breaking point at work this week and it wasn’t until I put into words how I felt and had someone actually say to me “Laura, you’re incredible” that I took a step back and realised that if other people can acknowledge it then so should I. Of course reaching that realisation meant I burst into tears but hey, even that’s therapeutic sometimes.

So here I am again at another year end, and I have a lot of changes to make come January . Priorities need to change and I probably need to acknowledge myself as one of those priorities. But equally I’ve come a long way in the last 12 months and I should remember that. Just because the last few weeks have been hard, it doesn’t negate all the amazing ways in which I’ve achieved the rest of the year. 

And so that’s what I’m going to go focus on. Five minutes peace to sit and reflect on this year and how far I’ve come. I deserve it.

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Breathe in, breathe out little girl

We went to church tonight. Essentially my mum and I can be found at any given church in a ten mile radius that’s offering Christmas carols and mulled wine. Neither of us are in the least bit Christian, but we have no shame. 

And actually, I love it. I don’t think it matters what you do or don’t believe, a church is, and always should be, a safe space. The building, the people, the candles – it’s a peaceful escape for a couple of hours. 

Plus of course the carols, which is precisely what mum and I go for. There is very little in this world that music and singing can’t fix as far as I’m concerned , and after a pretty tricksy day dealing with migraines and anxiety, I came away feeling a whole lot calmer and ready to face the world again . 

So now I’m in bed, trying desperately to cling onto that calm and peace, as I get ready to fight my way through another week of deadlines, appointments, and what feels like a whole heap of uncertainty. 

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