Saturday, 30 June 2012

Tara's first party

June 30th 2012 - Tara's first birthday party for her school friends. It wasn't yet Tara's birthday but we decided to have one as we may be travelling later on. Tara made sure she told every child she was not yet five as they walked in on the day. No one seemed to mind as they were looking forward to the fun ahead. Nineteen children in all had a super fun day.

Tara wore her flouncy sparkly party dress, so she was very pleased. We hired a large play park which had every imaginable thing to jump and slide in it. There was also a person in a large dinosaur costume who played with the children. Actually the children punched and pulled his tail and he had to be all happy and funny..poor person. We also had 2 assistants to conduct the party, and the parents who stayed for the day had a table arranged with soft drinks and cappuccinos. Everyone was happy.

We had face painting. Tara had a butterfly painted, and the other children had everything from pirates, to superheroes and pixies. After all the faces were painted there was a sit down buffet dinner. Tara sat pleased as punch at the head of the tables on a throne!  The huge menu included sandwiches, sausages, chips, crisps, pizza, chicken nuggets, cucumber/carrot, fruits, wafers, biscuits, chocolates, jaffa cakes, birthday cake and topped with ice cream. The kids ate well, except for the fruits and veggies...obviously.

After dinner was disco time followed by party games. We had a party room with disco lights and a glittering revolving disco ball. At the end of it all Tara gave away party bags to her friends who with their painted faces were a very happy bunch. In the party bags we had chocolates and sweets, fairy/monster themed pencils, erasers, sharpeners, rulers, paper fans/pirate moustaches and eye patches, whistles and a helium balloon each.

After the party finished at 1:30 pm Tara and some friends continued partying/playing till around 3:00  when we finally went home. 

Tara ended up with fifteen presents, for which we have made out our thank you notes.

I was quite busy running around making sure everything was going well so couldn't take as many pictures as I would like. But the images are etched in my brain forever. All in all a perfect birthday. Couldn't have done it any better. At night Tara hugged me and simply said thank you Mummy for a perfect birthday party. My pleasure Tara. You are such an unspoilt, gracious and good little girl, you deserve all this and more.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Another world...

Today was my mad train journey to London to submit Tara's passport renewal form. I hadn't slept a wink at night worrying about leaving Tara with trusted folk who she is comfortable with. But I still can't stand leaving her.

The journey was easy, the passport office experience - smooth and I came back satisfied with a job well done.

What amazed me was the full on assault on the senses of our magnificent capital - London. I live in the rolling countryside in peaceful surroundings. I boarded the train peacefully, with no jostling or shoving and a few hours later, wham! The full force of the buzz and energy of London hit me as I stepped off the train. People in a hurry - everywhere. Different races, different faces but all a part of the great melting pot - London. I used the underground and then a taxi, which stopped parallel to a road full of cheering people. It happened to be Her Majesty the Queen! Inaugurating something or the other, but I was thrilled.

The dead pan faces in the underground make me uncomfortable. No eye contact with anyone is the unspoken rule. It fills me with an urge to go hug someone and ask them how they are doing! But I didn't want to get thrown off the train so I joined the others in looking into the distance at nothing in particular.

Job done, I came back home and hugged my lovely, well behaved child who apparently deserved every reward star under the sun for extraordinary good behaviour and patience for being away from Mummy for so long.

After hugs and kisses I tucked her in bed and she went out like a light. I'm off to bed too. Feels like I've just returned from another world, back to my own.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

And later today...

So Tara came back from school and we did some painting together. It was relaxing and a good way to spend time together without too much involvement. A good start of the rest of the day, ending with a wonderfully straightforward bed time.

I am a bit relieved. I have an early train to catch tomorrow morning for Tara's passport renewal in London. I get a bit anxious before any trip, but am fine once I get my newspaper and seat. Hopefully it will all go well and I get Tara's passport back in time. Then I can relax and get ready for our holiday in mid July.

I find travelling with small children stressful. But the good news is that it gets easier every year. Travelling with a baby is a nightmare. Worry about how they will manage, worry about milk and bottle sterilization, worry about the toilet , worry about the altitude and its effect on baby's ears..the list goes on and on. Our last trip in December with Tara being 'almost four and a half' was much easier, partially because we were upgraded and it was great being able to lie flat and stretch out for an eleven hour flight. Tara also discovered the joys of inflight entertainment and travelling in luxury.

Once I submit the passport paperwork I will head back late evening tomorrow. I can also focus on Tara's birthday party on Saturday and make it a memorable one for my little girl. She deserves better from her Mummy, who has not been 'there' for a few weeks. Time flies and I am aware that Tara is growing up. I cherish my time with her so much, but having lost my way recently, I feel the need to get things back on track and be the Mum I want to be.

Still fragile

I'm much better, in a fragile sort of way. My head, though pain free feels like a battlefield after the war is done. Grey smoke slowly rising from ashes, a general air of devastation after the battle. That's how I feel.

With all the fury of the raging headaches behind me, I am still wondering, "What on earth happened back there ??"

I have to go pick up Tara so will stop now, but am still a bit bewildered.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Love, love and more love

My headache refuses to shift. I've tried painkillers, drinking water and elevating my legs. Still no relief. The ache has spread to my forehead and cheekbones now and my eyes feel heavy.

At times like these, why do I forget that I can apply Reiki to myself? Why is it so easy to provide its loving energy to others and not to myself? Deep down do I believe that I am undeserving? Or that this suffering is something I should bear all martyr-like and dramatic? Tish-tosh!! If the Reiki I know and practice is anything to go by, then it is loving, healing and unconditionally available to all....including me. I put it down to laziness, plain and simple.

Saying that, the pain is so acute now that once I tuck Tara in bed, I will heal myself for a while. I need some love, and nothing provides a better divine hug than Reiki.

When all else fails, it is love that shows a way.

Monday, 25 June 2012


Sometimes when we seem stuck in a pool of misery, self doubt, lack of confidence and general hopelessness, it takes something (big or small) to jolt us back to our senses and give us perspective.

Case in point my visit to the dentist a few weeks ago, that triggered a tsunami of emotions which led to a downward spiral and landed me in a crumpled heap. That was a check up which led the dentist to suspect more ominous goings on after an X-ray. Today's appointment was a follow up to those test results. My head started aching when I woke up this morning and my heart, heavy with the anticipation of bad news.

As soon as I walked into the dentist's office, my eyes welled up even as she asked me to sit down. The Husband had taken time off to accompany me and was well aware of how I was feeling. After a nerve wracking few minutes of poking and prodding my mouth the dentist said there was nothing apparent on examination and we would wait another year to see if there are any changes to my X-ray. I didn't understand if I should be happy that nothing was wrong, or be further stressed that she wanted a follow up X-ray after one year. One whole year??!! What am I supposed to believe in the mean time? That I am fine or a ticking time bomb??

I burst into tears right there and apologized profusely for I don't know what. I couldn't even understand if my tears were of relief, or a further breakdown. The Husband led me out and hugged me silently. He took me home, got me a cup of tea and we sat down. He had to go back to work and was worried for me. After a few minutes I asked him what happened back there. He said there was nothing wrong. If there was, we wouldn't be called back after one year. But he added he was sorry that I was so anxious and it didn't matter if I wanted to cry. So I did.

By this time my dull headache had turned into a massive pounding that wouldn't subside even with two paracetamols. The Husband suggested I might be dehydrated and should drink water and try to relax. I couldn't do either and my head continues to pound as I type this.

The Husband has gone back to work, and I felt for him having to drive to the other side of the country with no sign of a permanent job contract. Tara has caught a cold, and is feeling under the weather. I have to go to London on Thursday for the passport renewal, and Saturday is Tara's party. 

Quietly, realization dawned that nothing was wrong with me in this moment in time. I shuddered when I thought what would have happened if something was found which could have changed all my apprehensions to a living nightmare. I fell on my knees and cried my heart out, this time with gratitude. It felt like some kind of a second chance. I could not waste it on negative and horrifying thoughts. If mere thoughts of terrible things which did not exist had turned me into such an unhappy person, why couldn't the thoughts of good times make me happy again ?

I am essentially a peace loving and content soul. How did I lose my way? How did I create this hell, when all around me were ingredients of heaven? 

Time to reflect, regroup and not be too harsh on myself. 

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Unwell :-(

I am ill :-(

I don't feel great, and that's putting it mildly.

I have so much to do this week, including a day trip to London to renew Tara's passport which I discovered to my horror is expiring in a few months. Many countries now require a six month passport validity for entry. We are supposed to go on holiday in July. When I was checking my passport, (which is fine) I assumed Tara's was fine too as it was issued with me. But her passport is expiring in October. Now I agree it's all my fault. As I'm not one who usually makes these kind of mistakes, I'm feeling worse...and incompetent.

I managed to get a premium service appointment for Thursday, so have to take a train to London and back on the same day after submitting the paperwork. If all things go well, I should have the passport back early July. The word 'premium' almost always entails excessive expenditure. This is just extra stress and cost I don't need. Feeling unwell doesn't help either.

On the other hand, every problem I've been handed in the last two months, has been sorted out with a bit of effort. Maybe that is the thing to focus on...hmmm..I can try.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

We adapt, we adjust and life goes on.

When I sat here today, on my space - to write, my fingers froze for a while. I always have a million conversations going on in my head. So much to say, so much to write. But today I froze. So I sat and stared at the computer screen, till my eyes lost focus and blurred my vision.

The day was fine, it rained, Tara went to school and came back, all the dinner and bath routines were done, and she went off to sleep nicely. It's been five months since The Husband went off to work in a different place. It was a bit disorienting initially, then human adaptability kicks in and now I find myself getting into a different routine without him. His being here or not isn't a matter of choice. My attitude and outlook is a matter of choice.

We have been together for fifteen years, twelve of which have been in holy matrimony. Would either of us want it any different? A resounding "NO." This situation is temporary....a few months more. Until then we get on with life. The first month or two of living apart, we were lonely, sad and had huge feelings of guilt if we did anything that remotely brought us joy. Now, it's a bit different, we adapt, we accept and we set free.

It still feels incomplete not having The Husband around. But the feelings of guilt when ordering an individual pizza or going out for a walk alone have subsided...but only a little bit. I have practised allowing them to subside...because there is Tara to consider. If I allow myself to go into self imposed denial of all of life's little joys, it would inevitably feed my loneliness and negativity, which then impacts the little one, for whom we are making these sacrifices to begin with.

So we adapt, we adjust and life goes on. 

Sports Day

It's sports day at Tara's school today. I'm banking on the rain pouring down and the event being cancelled. Terrible I know...but what can I say, I don't feel like it today.

I'm not feeling well enough to go sit on the wet grass, or take part in a Mum's race. The children at Reception year usually sit and watch as they are too small to take part with the older children. Love of sports and children aside, I really am not interested in facing either today.

Saying that...if it doesn't rain, I'd better get my 'positivity head' on, just in case.


AND IT RAINS..!!!!!!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Party Politics

We've never had a proper birthday party for Tara so have organized one for her at the end of this month. She still has a month or two to go before she turns five, but with the school holidays around the corner, we decided to have it early so all her classmates could come.

We've hired a play area, disco room, face painting ... the works. We also decided to invite Tara's entire class. I just cannot bring myself to leave out some child because they didn't invite us to theirs. This is one kind of party politics I want to stay clear of. I think almost all the children have accepted the invitations so it will be a full house and hopefully the kids will have a good time.

Monday, 18 June 2012

If only I could...

I wish..I really wish there was a way I could stop myself shouting loudly at Tara. When she pushes my buttons verbally, I try to walk away from the situation to try and calm down. But if she hits me I lose my control in less than a second and shout...I mean really shout. It reduces her to tears and she says sorry immediately, saying she will never hit again.

The peace lasts for a few weeks till she has a little moment and head butts me right in the middle of playing. The trigger is usually when we are playing rough. By rough I mean when we are laughing and throwing cushions or soft toys at each other, or running after each other playing tag. In the midst of this play, she suddenly makes a fist and lands one on me. All the playing stops suddenly and the shout emerges.

Its not a big hit, but I can't stand hitting! Maybe it's my problem, but the person ending up crying is Tara and the person ending up feeling guilty and one centimetre tall is I. It is amazing how a situation goes from laughter and playing to shouting at tears within a few seconds.

I don't know if hitting should be ignored a bit like some of the other Mums say they do. If they are right then it is I who needs to change. If hitting is simply not acceptable as i believe then obviously Tara must stop doing it. My shouting is obviously not stopping her from doing it, so there has to be another solution.

I wonder what it is?

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy Father's Day

At one point in my not-so-distant-past, I was against all sorts of "days". Be it Father's, Mother's, Valentine's, or any other. They were all, in my mind, a great marketing conspiracy to sell cards and gifts to an unsuspecting public.

While the same may be true, with advancing age my cynicism has gone down and my views more relaxed and embracing. In life where there are so many challenges and uphill climbs, any reason for celebration and joy is a good one. It's not about whether the value of a family member is only enhanced on one day in a year. it's about finding a reason to make one day an occasion to find joy.

So Happy father's Day!!

We have lovely hand made cards and small tokens to mark the day. Most important of all is the look of pride and love in my daughter's eyes when she woke up her father with a loving hug.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Uneventful day..thank goodness for small mercies

I think I am guilty of under appreciating an uneventful day sometimes.

An uneventful day is a good day. All things go as they should, no surprises or shocks. Just the silent whirring of the machine called routine.

Tara was fine at school.

The Husband got back home an hour earlier than usual, looking calm and relaxed.

I took in this day of uneventful normalcy and said a thousand thank yous to the Universe for it.

Let me tip toe out of this moment. I wouldn't want to disturb its 'perfectness'

Thursday, 14 June 2012

First swimming lesson

Yesterday Tara fell off her bicycle and grazed both knees and palms. There was a bit of blood and surprisingly no tears, just a tremble in her voice and quivering knees. I sorted out my brave little girl, then readied her for bed. The next day was something that Tara had been looking forward to - the first day of swimming with her classmates.

I was in two minds about sending Tara even though by bedtime the knees had all healed up and there was no bleeding. But Tara pleaded with me to be allowed. So a Peppa pig pink waterproof plaster on her knee, I relented after checking with her school.

After the last few days of Tara's fears over lunch time, I was ready to allow anything positive. Having discussed with The Husband about the whole lunch issue, we decided that I was too emotionally charged up to handle the situation so I would try to arrange a time for The Husband to have a word with the teacher. With that in mind I asked to see the teacher when I went to pick up Tara from school today.

The swim session was a big hit and a good time was had by all. While Tara was getting her things together I broached the topic with the teacher to arrange a meeting with The Husband. One thing led to another and I ended up having a short talk with her, quite competently and not emotionally I might add. In the end the teacher said that Tara had agreed to finish half of her meal instead of all of it. Suddenly Tara appeared in the room and looked mortified to see me talking to her Miss. I tried to explain to her that I was addressing her concerns, but she kept saying "Okay, can we go home?" I stood my ground and calmly asked Tara if she was okay with what was discussed, and if there was anything else she wanted me to talk about. Negative. So we all had a laugh about the swim and went home.

Things were fine all afternoon till bedtime when Tara gulped and said, "I don't want to finish half of my meal if I don't like it." I almost lost it but firmly explained that firstly she should have discussed it at school today when there was an opportunity to do so. Second, wasn't it fair and reasonable to be asked to eat half of her lunch even if it wasn't something she liked very much? No response and topic concluded.

The worst kind of ending to any conversation. Wait and watch I suppose...again.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Unsent letter

Dear Tara's school,
I have decided to write to you today because I am very, very distressed and unable to express in words my concerns about my child’s well being.

A matter is big or small depending on who is looking at it. Since Tara started school in September 2011, I have spoken to you a few times about lunch time and the impact it is having on her behaviour and emotional well being. Tara is only 4 years old and  it is understandable that I am unable to get  clear information from her about lunch time, and what is causing her so much distress.

I am disappointed that almost a year on, I have made no inroads in finding out what the real problem is.  I feel that I am failing my child by allowing this issue to fester, hence this letter.

First of all a few facts about Tara. I am aware that she is a sensitive child and a slow eater. She does not have the same capacity for food as some other children in terms of eating larger volumes in a short time. At home she eats a hearty balanced breakfast and dinner. I was always keen to have her eat lunch at school because I believed it is good social exposure for her. But now I’m questioning my judgement over this decision.

It is not acceptable for a small child to cry, tremble and sometimes almost vomit every night over the last one year over fears about lunch time. I am horrified that Tara feels she has to eat her food when she feels unable to.  I would like to clarify that she is NOT physically forced by any member of staff to eat. But she feels the pressure when she is not allowed to leave the table unless she clears her plate. She sometimes has to sit at the lunch table alone after her classmates have left to play till she finishes. She is eating out of fear, not hunger and being sick because of it at home! I am not familiar with school lunch time routines so can only communicate what my child has told me.

I would also like to state that I do not agree with :

1.     Having to clear a plate if she is unable to deal with the portions.
2.     Having to be left behind by other children to finish up while they play.
3.     Feeling she has done something wrong when she has to stay the whole lunch hour to finish her lunch

In this day and age when food issues can create havoc in children as young as five, I would never forgive myself if I let my child down.

Lunch is a small part of a school day. But it is having a disproportionately large negative impact on Tara. She had been enjoying all aspects of school except the lunch hour. I let it slide as was told it might be a phase she is going through. But a full year later when my child is so traumatized that it affects her health, mental well being, sleep and peace of mind I’m afraid I cannot step back and wait any longer, and need to resolve this issue before it turns into a crisis and affects Tara’s over all development and education.

I need the school’s support and guidance in this matter. I know Tara is just another child in school, but she is my only child, who is suffering and has cried for my help.

I’m not sure how to go about it but feel the following may be a start

1.     Can someone explain lunch time routines and rules to me?
2.     Is Tara unaware of what procedure to follow to communicate to the person in charge to indicate she has had enough so she can move on?
3.     Can Tara be allowed to not finish her plate .
4.     She can then join her friends at the playground and not feel excluded
5.     If you are unable to accommodate her in this regard, I will look at a packed lunch option. It is not ideal but will resolve the issue and let her get on with what she is in school for – a good education and to fulfil her potential.

I am writing in the hope that I receive your understanding and help in this matter.

Yours sincerely
Tara's Mummy
Who will never send this letter :-( 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Doing alright..aren't I?

What a relief! Everything was fine with Tara's first day back to school. Now life can go on...till the next crisis.

Tara is a creature of routine and habit. Change creates anxiety in her. After leaving her in the school playground, I trotted off the the school office to pick up the new Summer menu. I was interested to see what had changed so much in the lunch menu that caused such a reaction from Tara. Looking at it, I noticed one...just one change. It was macaroni and cheese instead of the cheese and onion pasty.

I was annoyed, relieved, and something else... I can't put a finger on the word. I felt like saying, "Is this what you made such a big deal about?? Is this worth crying over every night"? I'm glad I didn't rain down on Tara immediately. It could be that the lunch was just a trigger point for something else, or maybe Tara being so sensitive takes a while to digest change. I keep saying everyone is different, then why can't I be more compassionate and understanding towards my four year old?

So after school today, I sat down with Tara and showed her the new menu. I explained that it was all the same except for the macaroni and cheese, and she must get used to life's little changes. She seemed to take it all in and put in her tuppence worth too. Let's see how bedtime goes. Something about bedtime unravels my best laid plans when I'm least prepared.

Today I am prepared. While waiting outside Tara's school in my car, rain lashing down, I was at peace and had time to think. First I must control my own emotions be calm, and not get too worked up about the lunch issue. Second I will explain things to Tara calmly and keep explaining till she gets on board. That's a Mum's job. I have been slacking and my 'Mumefficiency' has been weighed down by life's other challenges. I had allowed myself the luxury of a downward spiral, now I'm done and ready.

I just hope the rain keeps falling. It keeps me grounded, happy, creative and calm. If there is one thing I can confidently say about myself is that I am very self aware. I can see with crystal clear vision what my weaknesses and shortcomings are. I have all the good intentions but fail regularly. I want to be the best Mummy I can, but fall short in my own eyes. I guess most Mummies are like me. As long as we keep trying and and never give up, inspite of lapses and failures, we are doing alright..aren't we?

Monday, 11 June 2012

Can't be with or without..

It's always the same. Having run myself ragged looking after Tara last week, having reached the end of my tether when it comes to patience, and all played out, I am preparing for school tomorrow. Alongwith a sigh of relief, there is that awful feeling of missing the little whirlwind once I leave her at school.

You can't be with them or without them. The words never rang truer (apologies for the incorrect grammar) in this instance and in so many other relationships and situations in life.

Balance is the key...and Gratitude. 

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Divorce and Separation..on a Saturday??

Yesterday Tara suddenly woke up to the realization that school starts on Tuesday and her Papa has to be back at work tomorrow. So she was trying to pack in as much as she could - all in one day.

Morning started with Papa and daughter playing in the swimming pool. This was followed by a trip home to shower off. Then they made clay pottery for a while, following which was a trip to Mcdonalds. Back home the dynamic duo settled for a Disney DVD. Then played jigsaw puzzles, and chased each other all around our little home laughing.

By late afternoon Tara was over excited and refusing to slow down. When she gets like this she gets emotional and her deepest fears surface. I knew it when she came to me with her lower lip quivering and looking sad, "Mummy, I have a question." I prayed it was nothing to do with school lunches. But today's topic on Tara's mind was children whose parents separate. It seems that Tara had recently discovered the phenomenon of separation and divorce. Uh..oh..I'm not an expert in the subject, having no experience of it in my own family as far as the eye can see.

"Who leaves and goes?"
"Who gets the child"
"What if the child wants both parents?"
"Who looks after the person gone away?"
"Why do parents go away?"


Age old questions, a tired child with a fresh concern and what a 'day spoiler' of a topic! I tried to be gentle but truthful. There were a few tears and fears, but Tara is growing up... and there will be more questions and concerns as the world of princes and princesses, and happy ever after shows first signs of cracks.

Anyway, I got it all together, we ended the day with a good book or two. For the first time tonight when I tucked her in bed, Tara asked for her Papa who she held tight and hugged goodnight,  relieved and smiling as she looked at at the two of us smiling back at her...together.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Good day out

The Husband, Tara and I had a fun day out today. We don't usually go to the shops as a family. The Husband is too busy, I'm a tad bit anxious going into a crowded shopping centre, and Tara..well we always take her out for nature rambles, and fairs over shops at any given opportunity. Thinking back we rarely went to the shops with her. The Husband loves things..gadgets, and the rest. I'm totally the opposite. I'm not into things. Tara is straddling both worlds pretty well.

I had to get usual things for the house so was dropped off at the shops today while The Husband and Tara went to do other things. When they came to pick me up, we decided to take Tara to a book shop where we first had coffee(for me), tea for The Husband and lemon cake for Tara. She was thrilled and whispered that she wanted to talk like grown ups at tea. So we enjoyed some pretty interesting conversation with Tara giggling every minute as she pretended to be all grown up and discuss "important matters". We then sat at a corner reading a few books together, then bought one book. We popped into another shop to buy some air drying clay for craft time. As a special treat we bought her a sparkly pair of pink shoes to wear on her birthday party.

Tara is wonderful in shops. She tip toes around, looks at what she likes, exchanges smiles with me and never ever asks for anything.

On the way back she was humming a song and smiling. I asked her if she liked the things we bought her. She said she loved them, but more than that loved having tea with Mummy and Papa...together.

Typical Tara. With most things in life looking challenging at the moment, whenever I look at Tara, I'm reassured that some things are going right..very right.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Here come the tears...again!!

I spoke to my father today. He sounded weak but in denial as usual. "The doctors fuss about nothing. I'm fine!" This followed by a raspy cough that brought tears to my eyes.

I spoke to The Husband today. There was a setback at work when the new job plan was postponed to autumn instead of spring. He attempted to sound upbeat, but I saw the weariness in his spirit. More tears filled my eyes when I was in the bathroom alone.

I spoke to Tara today. She said she was trying to be brave about school, but was finding things a bit tricky. She smiled at me, saying, "Never mind Mummy," patting my head as I placed in on her little brave chest and pulled her close. Tears welled up in my eyes.

I spoke to myself and the frightened little person inside me who hasn't forgotten about her dental visit at the end of this month to discuss something "not right" spotted in her mouth. The "me" inside was scared and trembled at the thought of seeing the dentist. There were no tears left for me today.

What does a person value most in life?

a)Health - ours and our loved ones
b) Job security - not to make millions or even thousands to stash away in the bank, but just to make ends meet and lead a respectable life

I can't think of any more things. How strange! Both those areas of my life seem to be under attack at the moment. I refuse to give up on my belief that even if the worst should happen, it is for the best (in some larger scheme of things I'm not aware of). My prayers are simple, I don't ask for specifics. I always ask to be blessed with what is good for my family and for me. If that good wears the cloak of suffering around be it.

Once the last of the tears falls out of my eyes, my vision will be clearer. I will regroup and begin again.

Two times lucky? Of course not!

Attempting to recreate a perfect day usually ends with disappointment. Fully aware of this fact I packed up the family for another trip to be one with nature.

The response to my idea of this trip was more obedience than enthusiasm. I hoped that would change as we went along. The drive in the car to our destination started with sunshine, but grey clouds joined us along the way. When we reached our destination, the heavens opened up giving us no chance to have a walk let alone a climb.

Turning back, with Tara starting her questions of "Where are we going? What are we doing?" did not help. Halfway home, we got stuck in a traffic jam for three hours! That was it. Lesson learnt...again. 

Will I do it again? Of course! We live after all, in hope. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

And life goes on...

When I was typing the words that ended my previous post, I had a sense that I should enjoy that moment for as long as possible, because life rolls on and on. It doesn't wait for us to enjoy and savour the good times, neither do troubled times (usually) last forever...though it may seem like that at the time.

Sure enough, waking up the next morning with a phone call that my father's health wasn't right re-enforced that thought. What then is the point of clinging to good times or destroying oneself during the bad?

My parents are the central being of my existence. I started my spiritual journey with one purpose - to strengthen and fortify myself to survive the inevitable physical separation from those that brought me into this world. Over time, that spiritual journey gradually unfolded like petals of a lotus, revealing many more aspects to understand and appreciate. As I write this, under severe strain at not being near my father, there is battle between what I should feel, versus what I really feel.

There is heavy rain outside. But today's Rain looks restless as it batters the glass pane, attempting to break it and come rushing in.

The Husband looks pre-occupied. Issues...(not his fault) have cropped up at work, and have put a dampener on his hard earned holiday as phone calls fly between home and work. It actually started the very next day after he got home, and are continuing every single day.

Tara is happy to have her Mummy and Papa at home. She went to the cinema for the first time yesterday, and had nightmares all night. The Husband said she had enjoyed herself during the movie. She looked pretty scared when she got home, remembering the scary bits instead of the fun ones. No different to us grown ups then. And life goes on...

Monday, 4 June 2012

I climbed a 'mountain' today

I climbed a 'mountain' today. Okay you can call it a tall hill. But I did climb one. It was cathartic. This is what I saw when I reached the top. Breathtaking!

The past few days have been an emotional roller coaster what with one thing after another dragging me down. This morning I got out of bed, and out of the blue declared, "I'm going to climb a mountain. Does anyone want to come along?" A resounding yes from the Husband and Tara, and my spirits soared.

I live in one of the most beautiful regions of England. Natural beauty abounds less than ten minutes driving distance away. What was I doing searching for emotional release in the confines of my house, when I had the arms of Mother Nature waiting outside to envelop me??

I wasn't wasting any time. Everyone dressed up, I packed a sandwich, juice and water for Tara, and off we went. The car was parked slowly near a small pond without disturbing the wild ponies and sheep who watched us get off the car. Then we walked, and climbed in the still silent surroundings. Soft grass yielded under our shoes, craggy rocks bore our weight as we strode purposefully on. We stopped for a hug a and a chat and to take in the spectacular views all around us. It is not an was breath taking.

The silence was only disturbed by the sound of our steps, and the grazing and grass pulling sounds of the lambs, sheep and ponies that we passed. Upwards we went till we reached the top. I raised my arms up to the sky, while Tara clung to my legs. It was as if she understood how important this moment was for me. I felt deep gratitude for everything at the summit of my little mountain. Gratitude for what I have, gratitude to my little family for supporting me when I expressed my idea of climbing, gratitude to Nature for filling me with the joy one can feel when standing as one with it. I opened up my heart to the Universe and released to it every issue, every concern and every prayer I had in my heart, and a weight lifted off me instantly. Everything would be fine.

The climb down was more relaxed, as if the important job was complete and we could amble down as we pleased, with pretend slips and falls that made Tara laugh out loud. We made our way to a nearby pub and had a lovely family lunch, with a double helping of ice cream for Tara. We were tired when we got home. Tara was quiet, so I got her bathed and ready for the day. I made sure I massaged some baby oil on her brave little legs that supported her Mummy without a single whine or whinge all day. She said, "I look grumpy but I'm not...I'm just tired...very tired." Dinner finished, bed time story told, she had to be carried to bed, and soon she was asleep.

The Husband and I had a cup of tea each and are ready to go to bed too. A perfect end to a perfect day.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Different Perspectives

Isn't it strange how two people looking at the same thing from from two different perspectives see different things?

The weather forecast for the week here in England says 'Rain'. A collective sigh of disappointment engulfs all the Mums and Dads who are anticipating a week ahead trapped indoors, or having to spend money on indoor play areas to help expend their children's energy.

On the other side of the world is the state of Kerala, in India. Families sit together in party atmosphere, peering at the sky in eager anticipation at the first sign of the great Indian monsoon. A season of thunderous rain, that is vital for the farmers and is celebrated across the sub continent with excitement. Many a love story has been set to the back drop of meeting in the first rain of the season.

So the event is the same. Rain. But perspectives are formed out of individual experience. For an island nation constantly battered by rain, it is no great joy, rather a bother to gather things up and run indoors when the raindrops fall. For a hot, climate where the sun beats down for months on end, it is the summer heat, extreme and harsh that is oppressive and rain - the welcome respite.

I was talking to a friend's son, (a self confessed sun worshipper) who in his gap year travelled through India during the monsoon season. It was fascinating to hear how even he got caught up in the joy and excitement of a massive street party when the thunder clouds rolled into the southern tip of India.

There are many other things on our planet which are are looked at differently by different countries. Expecting uniformity of experience is always a recipe for disaster.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Unexplained tiredness

The last couple of weeks my body has been speaking a new language. Exhaustion. I'm not doing anything different, except a bit of exercise. I use the word "bit" loosely, because a few gentle stretches and a 10 second jog don't really count as a "bit" of exercise... do they?

I'm tired when I wake up in the morning. A shower props me up for a while, then I'm weary late afternoon again. Could it be because of the stressful state of my mind at the moment?

I have allowed myself to slip into a stressful state. I feel I need to go to that place and "feel" a few emotions, rather than nip the feelings in the bud by drowning myself in positivity as I have trained myself to do. Does that make sense? I have a metaphoric dark, heavy load in my chest area that needs to lift. Almost like a bit fat grey raincloud needs to shower rain in order to dissipate.

Half term is upon us. My mind wants to do things with Tara but my body is begging for priority. I am very relieved that The Husband has a few days off along with Tara so I will have respite. I just hope I can keep guilt out of the equation. Guilt for not letting The Husband relax during his rare and well earned time off...time he needs to recharge and prepare for his stressful job.

Have to go now. I have to take Tara to her swimming lesson early tomorrow morning.