I’m doing so well with this… Hmmmm. After feeling inspired by Sara-Jayne in September, I missed October. I like to think this is with good reason, we left the country. Temporarily. But it’s probably more a reflection of how poorly I’m planning anything at the moment. But! Whilst a couple of days late, I’m taking this as a win. I’m writing. So this is Life Right Now: November.
And yes, we started the month in Hurghada. And yes, it was everything we needed it to be. People kept asking where we were travelling to whilst we were there, of our plans to visit Cairo or the Pyramids. No, no, no. I needed a break. Over the course of 2018 my annual leave had been delayed and disseminated. All in the understanding of this. A week out of the country. I wasn’t planning on doing anything apart from making a dent in my reading pile. And I’m so glad that the trip was a success on this basis alone.
It was Tom and Seb’s first time abroad, and whilst Seren will proudly boast of her previous trip to Greece, she was 15 months old, so I’m not convinced. We learned a lot in the experience. I remembered what a crap traveller my husband was, and suddenly realised I was solely responsible for four individuals, rather than my original assumption that two adults were taking three children on holiday. A benchmark is set to remember for future holidays.We returned from our break and everyone hit the ground running. I had thought the children might need to miss the first day back after half-term, but two out of three were super eager to get back to it. So three of three were promptly sent to school. Mr J was also back to work, so I found myself with a day off work with no clue as what to do… so, of course, I spent time reducing the emails in my inbox. Pffft.
From a relaxing start, this month has been everything but.
I wrote about work this month, the first time in a long time. There has been the culmination of a number of vacancies, alongside my need to do my own job well. And then throw in the “mood music” which has been in place since last November. December will offer more clarity on the likely end-date of my team’s jobs. It’s super rubbish to be so motivated by work, to know my organisation will be recruiting my replacement. Rubbish because they’ll be better than me solely based on where they live. And that’s my selfish take. The same is true for every member of my team.
Moving onto better things. My three gorgeous ones.
There’s never anywhere to start with Seren. Needless to say we continue to clash and love in measure. I find myself in awe of myself for raising such a strong, independent child. Whilst completely frustrated by the strength and independence of her outlook. So, if she is happy with how she dresses why should I complain? If she doesn’t mind that her hair is becoming dreadlocked, why should I?
In better news, her conviction in wearing her braces, means that almost a year to the day her orthodontist recommended she only needs to wear her appliance at night. And that shows the difference between her and me. I didn’t like my brace so I hardly wore it and needed it for years. She wanted a brace, found out she hated it, but wore it everyday as the quickest way to no longer need it. I know. She’s right.Seb remains too tactile and highly strung. It can be tough to be cross with someone who has so much love to share. But his and his brother’s obsession with WWE is proving too much. We decided to move from football to boxing as an after-school activity in September in response. But it’s not worked out as intended. Needless to say any form of physical contact is now banned from our home.
Tom remains Tom. I’m absolutely loving his continuous curiosity. Whilst I could probably do without the accompanying 534 questions. But yes. On the whole. It’s good. In the back of my mind we’ve got an appointment with the hospital before Christmas about medication. And this is helping in more difficult moments.
November saw me helping out with the boys’ first Beaver Camp. I am finding it increasingly difficult to be working away during the week.
This mummy guilt is twenty-fold. Firstly, my mum and dad are away for a month visiting my brother, so spinning plates has a few more challenges. Then, my boys are clearly embracing mum guilt, and whilst in the past the response “it’s what mummy has to do to keep her job” has felt true, I know it’s not the case. I’m at the why bother stage, whilst giving too much of a damn.
So, in the most comical of circumstance, I find myself wanting to make the most of our weekends. So, of course I volunteered to help out. It was great, although I did end up being a little selfish- my offered extended to the point we put the Beavers to bed and then from the point they awoke to leaving. My bed transpired to be a necessity.And this is what November’s taught me.
The importance of self-care.
I continue to be blind-sided by life.
It’s been a year since one of hubby’s friends took his life.
I am reminded at how the strongest of us need support as they make their way through mental health illnesses.
And I try to figure out whether it’s my introversion or anxiety which is most in the picture, as FOMO is replaced by JOMO.
I wrap myself up in family because work has drained me.
And I know it’s wrong.
I wonder about what kind of friend I am.
Does airing or listening to my woes do anyone any good.
I sat with my friend this week, the friend who lost both his parents in the space of this year, and I realised we didn’t talk about it.
I worry about people’s mental health alongside my crapness to raise direct questions.
And I don’t know how long this balance is possible.
The good news, I have three weeks off over Christmas.
And I have been creating a new reading pile.
Oh, and it seems Father Christmas may need to deliver a piano (WTF!!) so the playroom may need a makeover.
For all the perfection. For all the faults.
We keep working at it.
Improving. Living. Loving.
November’s been a tough one.
December is the start of understanding how I’ll look forward.