X Marks the Spot

I was a little worried when Ben came back from his pre-op tests that the incision might actually be where the X was! Thankfully his forehead is still in tact!

The last few weeks, and those to come, have been a bit challenging due to health challenges; but number 1, it has made me realise how much I have to be thankful for: a loving family and friends – who have offered support and help, an amazing NHS service, apart from some blips – good health, sick pay – so Ben and I can take time to recover and of course Tesco home delivery!

The children have had to become a lot more hands on with jobs around the house; yesterday E said, whilst helming to prepare dinner, ‘this is really good as we’re learning about what it’s like to be a mummy’, which then later developed when asked to help clear the table ‘what!? I helped make dinner! I’m not having kids if you have to do all of this work!’……maybe some gratitude there on a different level? Meanwhile D has taken great delight in teasing Ben whilst he can’t see, her favourite past time!

My top takeaway tip from this week….put eye drops in eyes before the codeine kicks in, to avoid rolling around in fits of laughter (who knew eye drops could be so fun!).

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We were very kindly given a lovely bike for M, which is a perfect fit for her. This inspired them all to get their bikes out, as they all had a swap around, and hone their bike riding skills in this beautiful weather. They now all have bruises up and down their shins from the pedals.

D really persevered, even though she had to work independently, as I am not able to do anything heavy for a few more weeks. She kept trying and didn’t get discouraged, I was very impressed!

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An unexpected break from everything 

Over the past few weeks, due to a small operation, I’ve had an enforced break from pretty much everything. It’s been both a challenge and a blessing (just prove there can be something good found in a trying situation).

This enforced break has given me the opportunity to sit back and assess those things that worry me, take up my time, make me feel stressed or things that I prioritise that maybe aren’t that important after all. Stuff hasn’t got done, things have been forgotten, events have been missed and life has gone on without any major incident.

It’s very liberating to realise that actually a lot of things don’t really matter; some things really do matter and that’s what should be my main focus and everything else should fall by the wayside. Of course, I will possibly forget all of this and fall into old habits, but hopefully I’ll retain something that will offer some calm and clarity on a fraught day.

Prioritising and eliminating things that don’t offer much value to our lives, frees up time to fit in those things which add value. There don’t need to be huge changes, just little tweaks to existing routines. I found some great ideas and reminders through taking part in The Slow Living Retreat, written by Melanie from the blog Geoffrey and Grace. She shares some lovely ways to slow down and become more mindful about the things that we do everyday, which gives great returns for a more joyful existence.

I have also started to read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, and have already learnt so much from the first 2 chapters. The name of the book is based on a famous speech from Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who were, who comes short again and again,

because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;

who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly….”

I need this up on my wall to read every day! How have the messages sent out into the social culture of today become so confused, where it is considered a great weakness to fail. This is something so ingrained that it is a huge challenge in education, children are afraid to put themselves out there and explore creative ways of thinking and different theories because they don’t want to be ‘wrong’; subconsciously we carry this through to adulthood. I’m looking forward to gaining a new perspective on this area of thought, whilst I continue with my little break from the treadmill of life.

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Pretty much all of our time (except school and work) has been spent at home. It’s great that they all get on so well and enjoy playing games and using their imaginations, alongside the grip of technology!?

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It’s been a strange kind of half term, due to medical treatment, resulting in a restriction of normal activities. The girls have taken it all in their stride and enjoyed a chilled out week, mostly at home.

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