There are many reasons why I write this blog. It all started with people encouraging me to do so, and as I enjoy entertaining people through writing I thought I would give it a go. I’ve received loads of really lovely comments and messages over the last couple of years and I appreciate every single one of them, but still, every so often I get a crisis of confidence and wonder what on earth I’m doing and should I pack it all in. Then someone will say how they enjoy it, how it lifts up their day, how it made them laugh, how they can identify with some element I’ve touched on, how I keep it real…. and it reminds me to keep going. It makes me live in the present, it makes me view things from a different perspective and think about how I can incorporate it into a piece of writing. It makes me appreciate life and makes me stop and smell the flowers. Life is so hectic, I write far less frequently than I used to because of time, but this Sunday routine of reflecting on the week that’s been does me the power of good. So thank you to everyone who keeps reading and commenting and thank you to the kind lady who on Friday told me it was the highlight of the week was to read my blog. I promised her I would try and write something uplifting and I hope I do. (on a lighter note, also thank you to the lady who enquired after the condition of my foot following an incident wondering if I would ever walk again after treading on a cookie cutter. Dramatic? me? try it for yourselves guys, you’d be in agony too. To Tell The Truth….)
Orkney has reached that short season where it looks like we are sponsored by the colour yellow. Daffodils line the walls and verges of every road and home. Everywhere you look is a mass of colour and it’s so heartwarming for those two or three weeks that it lasts. It really is a glorious mass of colour and a segway into warmer months and the begining of wild summer flowers.
People really do see it as turning point from Winter to Spring and spurred on by the good weather I decided to start digging over my borders in the garden. I was going great guns, having made the decision to start with the hardest part first and work my way up to the easiest. After a few hours I had made good progress, until I woke up this morning and could barely get out of bed I was in so much pain. Obviously, I use different muscles for digging than I do swimming. Never mind, I’m sure it’s done me some good. Orkney Beef and Peedie Meatball helped. And by helped I mean they sat outside in the sunshine watching me. Thirsty work!
Earlier in the week I had to take a day’s annual leave in order to drive Orkney beef to and from hospital as he would be unable to drive himself following minor surgery. This means I was forced to take a day off in the middle of the week, mooch around the shops and cafes, go for a long swim and sit in the library reading a book for several hours in the middle of the day. As you can all imagine, it was the most terrible time and shows the true depths of my commitment to supporting my husband. I came away with a cafe hot chocolate, a new tablecloth,(adult goals accomplished right there) a finished book and several more to start reading. As I’m sure you understand, I hated every sacrificial minute of it.
Whilst I was having this most dreadful time of solitude, peace and quiet with my nose in a book, one of my least favourite things to do ever in the world, a former colleague and friend came up to me and whispered ”would you like a cup of tea?” (I used to work in the library, I have always loved them) two minutes later I was enduring my sacrifice not only with a cup of tea but a Creme Egg too, thrown in by another colleague and friend. How treasured I felt by the simple act of someone making me a cup of tea nad handing me some chocolate. Small acts of kindness go a long way. Can you challenge yourself to pay it forward over the next few days? *note: It doesn’t have to be tea and chocolate but’s a good place to start if you’re short on ideas.
This week over the space of just 24 hours I read ‘I let Him Go’ by Denise Fergus. It’s the story of James Bulger who in 1993 at the age of just two, was brutally tortured and murdered by two ten-year-old boys in one of the most shocking murders to happen by children themselves. I remember it happening 25 years ago. In her book, Denise explains how she let go Jame’s his hand in order to take out her purse and pay for two pork chops for tea. In those few seconds, James had wandered out the door of the butchers and been lured away by the two boys and led to his death. A minute later CCTV footage shows his mother running out of the shop and turning to look for him. She turned one way to search, the boys had turned the other, thus sealing the fate of little James. Denise has spent the last 25 years thinking about the ramifications of that decision and the what ifs. We’ve all done it. I’m sure every parent has at some point let go of their child’s hand or momentarily lost them in a department store, felt sick with worry and overcome with relief when they reappear after a frantic search of what feels like hours but is usually just a minute or two. My heart wept for this woman, who simply let him go for a few seconds. As our children get older we have to let them go in order to enable them to thrive and become independent. This is an extraordinarily painful process. Letting them go and allowing them to make mistakes. As a mother, I want to hold on to their hand and prevent them from ever having to be lured away by the world’s ups and downs, but it’s simply impossible to do. So when they make mistakes (as they all do) it’s important to try and turn it into a teachable moment for them and us! I have a very dear friend who I can talk to about anything. So busy are our lives that it’s usually just a quick catch during my lunch break at work! But those times are special. I messaged her this weekend with a discussion about the topic of parenting and was I getting it right? Was I getting anything right? She responded with a list of ‘my kids have done worse than your kids’ stories as well as stories of sensible friends making mistakes in life and things turning out ok. As I read her message I laughed out loud. We really all are in this together, I thought. I thank this friend over and over for continually grounding me and keeping me sane. She knows who she is, and if she hasn’t worked out it’s her then I’m going to insert a private joke so she can work it out, because she’s beautiful and her hair is lovely and not greasy or anything. 😉
So I’m going to leave you with a beautiful quote I came across this week by Anne Lamott as it seems rather fitting for things which people I know and love are having to deal with, and include myself in this.
Hope Begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch, and work. You don’t give up.
I’ll see you all back here next week. Have a good one, and kind lady I spoke to in the week, I do hope it was uplifting for you!