It always feels like the things I hold out against most vociferously are the ones I end up obsessed by.
I never wanted to live in Scotland. Didn’t feel I belonged, didn’t think there was ‘enough’ here for me. Now it’s home, and I wouldn’t live anywhere else. (See also, The Archers)
The same has come to pass with … Yoga. I couldn’t stand all that hippy, bendy, breathing stuff. What a piece of nonsense. And so expensive!
I was wrong though. Wrong about it all. Through my lovely school friends, I discovered Yoga with Adriene and can confirm that Adriene is not paying me to tell you that she is wonderful. She does not need my rave reviews, she has over 3 million followers. I am hooked. Folded.
AND I can touch my toes for the first time in twenty years!
The alarm went off at six, because it always does. My precious writing hour. It used to be my only writing hour, between six and seven in the morning.
But today I just – didn’t. I was going to. Then I was going to get up at seven, get the kids to school. Be a mum.
But today I just – didn’t. I didn’t even ask Mr HB if he could deal with them (he never asks me!). I just stayed in bed, and he got the message. I would normally wake when he got up, then stay awake.
But today I just – didn’t. I went back to sleep, and only woke up when the ‘have you got your coats?’ reached the top of its crescendo. Then my favourite, special feeling – how the house fills, settles, feels, once everyone leaves for school.
This week I have been thinking about … snow.
I haven’t had a choice about it either way!
Snow. Then sun, replaced by snow by sun by snow.
Snow drifted to knee height at the front door.
Snow keeping us in the house, keeping Mr HB away.
Snow stopping all travel – snow giving us the first red weather warning for years. Snow silencing the roads, burying my car a little more every day.
Snow pulling a sledge with kindling and children in it (no, hang on, that was me.)
Snow bringing a whole village out onto the streets – ‘there’s still milk in the Spar!’
Snow filling a village pub on an otherwise normal Thursday, for cake and tea.
Snow, and post after post on our village Facebook page offering help to those in need.
Snow: reminding us of our amazing community.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. I do. Not having to drag everyone up and into clothes, persuade them that, yes, they do need to eat something before the school run. Days when the To Do list includes ‘go for a walk’ and very little else. And then, it’s tipping down rain so, oh dear, what a shame, we can’t do that either.
However, for me – and the cat – the peace and quiet today, on the first day of term, was awesome, in the truest sense of the word. It was a bit of a kerfuffle this morning, and no one wanted clothes or breakfast, but from now until 3:15pm all I can hear is the sound of the extractor fan, the odd car passing in the lane, and the tip-tapping of my fingers on the keyboard again.
I realised today that I got back on my bicycle six months ago.
I used to cycle twelve miles a day – commuting by bike. I’d never been so fit, before or since…
Last summer I finally did it: started dragging myself, my bike, and the kids out.
I was going to hold myself accountable (by putting it on Social Media) for exercising every day over the Christmas holidays. Thank goodness I didn’t –
There were two days when it was raining beyond the protection of any outdoor wear.
There was a day when my Mum was staying and feeling unwell.
There was a day when I was feeling unwell.
And of course there was Christmas Day!
But I did go for a walk, or a cycle, on the other days. I moved. I’ve started some yoga. I’m doing my tiny best.
Years and years ago, an advert came on the TV that spoke to what I had been trying to do in a small way ever since I came back out of hospital after psychotic episode two. Piecing myself back together, explaining why it was taking so long, meant I had to talk about my mental health.
I’d never wanted to hide what happened – I’m an oversharer, in case you didn’t already know – but I didn’t realise this was a bold choice at the time.
Two weeks ago, I was invited to meet with See Me to talk about writing for them. The organisation has loads of active volunteers who are doing all sorts of cool stuff all over Scotland – but what’s missing is people to write up, share and champion this work.
I’m excited. It’s a perfect fit for me.
Gratitude: easy to remember
first-world, privileged snowflake bubble
I float about in. If I
started counting my blessings
we’d be here all day.
Gratitude: easy to forget
on a day when
my brain fires negativity
at me, I’m tired,
the kids won’t co-operate,
there are no clean school shirts in the house.*
Gratitude: found in the
Love and family,
home and identity,
food and fire
space to be, create, live.
Gratitude: found in the tiny of the tinylife.
I changed my screen wash
(blessing no. 458972, I have a car!)
put in less water,
The result? A transformation!
A clean windscreen – not smeary, dusty,
or the dirty of
‘I hadn’t noticed it was always dirty until
it was clean…’
Like when you clean your glasses – and a whole new world appears.