Getting my priorities straight!

It occurred to me recently, that not only do I need to declutter, I also need to simplify my life.  To clarify, I don’t mean that my life is particularly complicated – it’s not, but I do have an awful lot of things going on !

Being a lone pensioner, my time is very much my own, but through choice I have filled my life with groups, clubs, friends & a voluntary job, on top of which I need to make time for my writing & a couple of online courses. My health, not being good, means that I get incredibly exhausted very easily. I try to fight this, although I know that it’s futile – when my body decides sleep is called for, I have no say in the matter. To make life easier, I could cut back on my commitments, but don’t really want to.  This only leaves one other course of action, to simplify my home life.

I love my little flat, but little is the word! There is very little storage space, which for someone who has a myriad of projects on the go, it is certainly a challenge!  I have been letting go of  many of my hobbies, yet don’t really seem to be making a dent in my handicraft clutter!

I have taken a major step and decided to let go of a large percentage of my book collection, which, in fairness has grown to epic proportions. With every trip to the Oxfam book shop, I have to remind myself that I’m helping myself as well as the charity. I now have gaps on my book shelves, but am finding it hard to let go of many more. I will, but I want to let them go for the right reason, not in some desperate act of clearance.

Having got to a sticking point, I asked for divine guidance & got it in a way that I hadn’t anticipated………..

I was ‘told’ that my very large fish tank needs rehoming.  I love my aquarium, but it is hard work to keep it maintained. Things have been made more complicated by the fact  that the fish keep breeding!  I love seeing the minute little  fry manoeuvring between the plants, yet know that they are incredibly hard work, as it’s very difficult to clean the tank without accidentally catching dozens of tiny fish too!

This morning I walked up to town & put a notice in the pet shop window. I have only asked for a token amount of payment, which means that I will be very out of pocket!   The decision took me by surprise, but it’s one that I needed to take. It will free up a lot of space, both in my home & in my head. It is the right thing for me to do!

Writing that advert, letting go of much loved things is a test of my faith. I totally believe that I am being guided. I trust in the Universal powers, that they know & want what’s right for me.  I asked for guidance, I got it, now I must abide by decision.

How many people pray for something, yet when set some challenge, they refuse to do it. I have tried to follow my intuition ( Universal guidance) for most of my life, yet now realise that I can’t pick & choose what I’m being shown to do.

I’m not weak willed, or easily swayed, I follow in faith because I know it’s right! It would be much easier to be selfish, but that would defeat the object! This is about simplifying & learning to let go.  I’m getting there!

A successful life calls for getting priorities straight. It isn’t about taking the easy option, it’s about showing that I am willing to make sacrifices, in order to receive & be worthy of the abundance that is regularly given to me. I don’t have much money ( very little actually) but I have more friendships, serenity, joyousness & opportunities than I ever believed possible. That’s got to be worth giving up a few loved things for, after all, none of it is really ours. The only certainty is that the only guaranteed thing is that we have is the life given to us by Whichever power you believe in.

Love & blessings to you all.

Be happy,

Rosie x

 

 

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Refinding the feel good factor

Last weekend, while I was discussing the viability of a vulnerable friend volunteering in a local charity shop, I did something that surprised myself!

The charity shop in question was unable to accept my friend, as they had no vacancies in their sorting room ( my friend is uncomfortable around people.) Me being me, a conversation  ensued, with the Manageress explaining how they were in need of till staff.  I heard myself asking if they would consider taking me on!!!  I certainly hadn’t had any intention of volunteering there, especially as my role has been as a flexercise leader with older people. I recently had to withdraw from my voluntary job, as it had become too physically challenging for me , which really upset me. I’ve been trying to decide what to do, I like feeling useful but my health has to be taken into consideration.  Hence the reason why my offering my services that day had taken me so much by surprise.

As a total believer in following where the Universe leads me, I realised that this had happened for a reason, so duly filled out the application forms before self doubt got the better of me. I should mention that this shop is one of the busiest in our City, so it would be anything but a quiet job!

At 12.30 today I got a call to ask if I was able to start this afternoon -at 1pm, as somebody had called in sick. Talk about shock!  It was actually wonderful, I didn’t have chance to doubt myself, or my abilities.  I am very aware that I can be clumsy, forgetful & tongue-tied, yet my head told me that I was more than capable. Most of my self doubt has been cultivated through years of depression & anxiety, now thankfully long conquered.

Newly found confidence allowed me to say that I would be a little late, as I needed to have lunch first, which I did. Then without panic or fear, I headed to town. There was no hesitation, I entered the shop, telling myself that I am as capable as anyone else. And I think that I proved it!

It was a really enjoyable afternoon. The staff were welcoming & after introducing me to the wonders of the kitchen & toilet ( vital!) I was left with an experienced volunteer. Thankfully the shop was quiet at first, although got manic later. I have been allowed to take things at my own pace , so haven’t yet used the touch screen till or taken credit cards, but it isn’t much different than using a touch screen computer. I loved it! I am a people person anyway & found a natural affinity with the shoppers, finding it so easy to chat naturally with them all. I was surprised that I managed to sell several of the more expensive items in the locked cabinet – I didn’t really try!  Our sales figure was good, the Manageress was delighted & I felt like I’d been working there for ages!

Where were the nerves?  It was great because I was able to remain seated between customers, so didn’t get too exhausted, met several friends that I hadn’t seen for ages & shockingly wasn’t tempted to buy anything myself! Absolute Win, Win!

I am so glad that I followed where I was being guided & trusted enough, not to try & talk myself out of it.  I have never worked in retail before, although have lots of market & boot sale experience. The job entailed me doing several things that were alien to me, yet there was no mistakes or panic at all! I don’t doubt that mistakes will happen, after all, I’m human, however I can’t wait to go again. Nowadays I am eager to learn new things, life is far too short to shy away from them. 17 years of agoraphobia have taught me that!

The absolutely amazing thing is that all of this, the new courage, the enjoyment of challenges & more, only really came to fruition one year ago when I undertook a sponsored walk for charity. Until then I had always thought that I wasn’t capable. That walk was a catalyst! My life continues to improve day upon day.

Retirement has been the opening up of my life & oh boy am I enjoying it!

Thankyou for sharing my journey,

until next time, take care.

Rosie x😊

 

It’s too easy to make excuses!

I have  been having a battle of wills with my inner saboteur.  It needs to stop!

My desire to become an author has taken over so much of my time, that I find myself chasing my own tail. I want to write all of the time. I let life get in the way. I tell myself that I ‘really should be……….’ I add different excuses all of the time!  It wouldn’t be so bad if I actually did the things that I tell myself that ‘I should’. Ironically I have perfected the art of NOT doing any of the important things, I waste time, often I can’t even work out where the time has gone.

Yesterday I settled down to do an important rewrite, ready for a competition. I was exhausted, it was late, but I persevered, typing, rereading, retyping.

Then the message appeared……..

Windows 10 is reconfiguring an important update on your computer. Please save your work or cancel.

I was too busy writing, I thought that It would be alright to finish what I was doing first.  WRONG!   The update completely took over my laptop before I had saved my work.  I convinced myself that it would be safe somewhere.  WRONG!  Finally at 1.30am  the install had completed, I eagerly went to Open Office to check my work – totally gone! Several hours of work wasted!  I’ve tried to convince myself that it obviously wasn’t good enough & that it will be better at the next rewrite.  Do I believe it?  Hmm, not sure.

Unfortunately my solution to this wasted work was to spend 5 hours wandering around the town today, instead of putting my head down & getting on with the job in hand.  Procrastination in the extreme.  I do this sabotage in many different ways, for example I hate having a pile of dirty dishes In the sink, when I want to write. Simple. Wash the dishes! No, I sit down, or maybe do something else rather than do them. I don’t mind cleaning the dishes, so why don’t I just do them?   Another example, I noticed while in town, that my mobile needs charging. That was over 9 hours ago, it still needs charging. I can’t receive calls until it is done, nor can I settle to anything else because I keep telling myself to charge up the phone!  It would take no more that a couple of minutes,  yet rather than do it, I’m writing about not doing it!  For some reason this sums up my way of putting things off.  It really annoys me, yet I continue to do it.

I have been inspired to write this now because I have just read a blog about making excuses for not writing.   Is that what I am doing?  Am I so critical of my ability to create something worthwhile, that I am using the flimsiest of excuses to put off the completion of any of my writing projects?  I know the answer.  I do this a lot.  I have used excuses throughout my life, usually for avoiding something that would take minutes to rectify.  One childhood memory is of trying to avoid cleaning my teeth, or washing my hands.  My Mother would check my toothbrush/ hands for evidence of use. Knowing this, I would go to great lengths to wet the brush, squeeze some paste down the plug hole, ruffle the towel etc, which took me much longer than just doing it!  I was a child then. That was well over half a century ago. I’m still using the same, illogical reasoning towards avoiding tasks. I want to do them, I want to get things done. I want a clear, uncluttered home, allowing me to have clarity of thought yet I still make excuses to myself that prevent me from doing them.

Bizarrely I don’t do this where other people are concerned. If something needs doing for someone else, I do it as soon as possible. Why is it different when helping others?  The answer is that I don’t like to let people down. This seems to suggest that I don’t mind letting myself down! Aren’t I worth more than that?

What can I do to challenge this behaviour?

The answer is so simple –  I just need to do, rather than think about it!  I made a start recently, I installed some to do apps on my phone & iPad, to allow me to keep track of things that I need to do & allow me to prioritise my tasks.  I felt quite pleased with myself. Good start I thought.  Hmm, I now have daily messages telling me about the overdue tasks, I haven’t even ticked off any jobs that I’ve completed!

Now I could use this ineffective idea as an excuse to stop trying. I could delete the app. I could ignore it.  Or……….

I could do something radical – I could actually try again. No excuses, no delaying tactics, I could simply start at the beginning of my list & work through it. Making excuses is a really pointless exercise, something that should have been left behind with childhood.  So I will try again. I won’t give up. I have an incredibly busy life yet could easily make more time if I simply became more organised & got on with the job in hand.

Having got this off my chest, I’m going to have an early-ish night & make a positive start in the morning, after a good nights’ sleep, but first  have to put my phone on charge!!!

bye for now, take care everyone.

Rosie 😀

 

Inspiration is everywhere!

I am frequently asked where I get all of my positivity & inspiration from, the answer is really very simple -in this beautiful, ever changing world of ours, inspiration is literally everywhere!

Far too many people rush around, barely noticing what is going on in the natural world around them. They fail to notice the diversity of trees in their neighbourhood & probably have never even considered the differences between them all. Each Country tends to have it’s own ‘signature’ tree, in Canada a large percentage of people would say ‘Maple’, in England the Oak is synonymous with our countryside – ( can you imagine Britain without it?)  However, I wonder how many of us consider the differing attributes of these beautiful features in our landscape?  How about the way they move in the wind?    The Willow, for example is fexible, graceful with strong sweeping branches that sway & rustle in even the slightest breeze A tree with similar structure but very different characteristics is the tall & slender Silver Birch. Like the willow , it too sways easily, but is extremely hardy & is said to be the first tree that would re-emerge after some form of world devestaion ( although I’m unsure how this could be substantiated!)   The Oak just oozes stability. In fact all plants & trees have qualities of their own.   People make jokes about tree huggers, but it’s not as bizarre as it sounds.  If you are feeling particularly stressed, which tree would you seek solace underneath?   Most of us have a favourite.   When you consider how long they have lived, what storms they have been through, how widespread their roots & yet they need no special care. They get all that they need from the Earth, Air, Water ( rain) & Fire ( sun).  No one teaches them how to grow, or whether they need to drop their leaves in the autumn. Like all living things, they do this automatically.  Their knowledge is inbuilt, as is ours, yet we have learnt not to trust our instincts, we rely on ‘facts’, books, tutors & other information sources. Have you ever wondered why?

How does all of the above relate to my search for inspiration?                                                           When I have a problem or am looking for something to motivate me, I don’t turn to technology, I normally can find my answers during silent meditation, a stroll around the garden or even just gazing out of my living room window.  We all know the answers to our problems, we just need to trust ourselves.  Our intuition works on most occasions,             (although unfortunately it rarely works for choosing lottery numbers!)                                   How often has an idea/ solution popped into your head, only for you to dismiss it as ridiculous?  What if you’d tried it, could it have worked?  Quite frequently the answer would be yes.  Fear & doubt stopped you, you didn’t want to be considered idiotic or different.  You didn’t listen to your inner voice!   Of course, unlike trees & plants, we have the ability to use common sense too, which sometimes we need.

I use symbols from the natural world for a lot of my inspirations.  If a notice a feather, I may walk past, however if I keep on seeing them, I may ask myself what it could mean. A traditional suggestion could be that a departed loved one is trying to make contact. I see a differing idea – to me, the feather is a sign of lightness of thought, or ideas that already floating around in my head , maybe I just need to pluck that idea from it’s resting place & work with it.   If I notice a lot of drooping flowers, despite rain, it may well indicate that I need to take more care of myself, or of someone else.   If I notice a single bird flying away from it’s flock – that one is easy – it is a sign that I must follow my heart & not follow everyone else. * Readers of ‘Jonathon Livingstone Seagull’, wonderfully  written by Richard Bach will probably understand why! A single sheep, running away from it’s flock, to me means the opposite – it makes me ask myself if I am just being stubborn!                      I use similar tactics when deciding whether something is good or bad for me, if something looks bright, healthy  & inviting, I’ll eat it, if I really fancy something yet it feels heavy or looks uninviting, then I’ll leave it.  Sometimes I surprise myself by trying a food that I’ve always refrained from, simply because it seemed to call me.I haven’t been disappointed once! If I get caught in the rain unexpectedly, maybe I need to consider if I need to clear away negativity. Symbols & signs are everywhere & just like inspiration they are just waiting to be noticed. When I write, I rarely plan anything, I trust that the right words & ideas will spring into life. I allow my inner voice to speak it’s wisdom, which only makes sense to those who need or understand it.

Yes, I’m aware that this all sounds a bit fanciful & weird, but that doesn’t worry me. I’ve learnt to trust my instincts. I don’t need approval or permission, this is my life to live, in the best way that I can. As long as I don’t cause harm to anyone else, then what reason could there be for me to stop? I spent far too many years of my life toeing the line, being unhappily ‘one of the crowd’. I conformed & absolutely hated it. I felt so stifled & unfulfilled. Years later I went to the other extreme & made a point of standing out & being different. I wore dramatic clothes, huge jewellery & wore my hair very wild & long. In it’s own way that was equally unfulfilling – I ended up just playing a part, still not finding a way to express myself.

Things are very, very different now. I write about my emotions, I bare my soul & risk ridicule, but finally I am being myself! I wear my hair short,wear very bright clothes, whether they are suitable for a pensioner is open to debate! I changed from vegetarian to vegan, but in a form that I am happy with. I live a fairly simple, uncomplicated life, don’t drink, smoke or gamble, but don’t feel the need to justify my choices, why would I?   I’ve been called a rebel, but I’m not really, I just live my life in the way that seems to work for me.   I don’t mind being considered an oddball or eccentric, ultimately  I have the last laugh.I have confidence by the bucket load. Very little frightens me. I’ll have a go at most things, does it matter if I fail?

I live a very contented, uncomplicated & stress- free life. I am extremely happy with the way things are going. I now need very little & feel comlete. I rarely get depressed or upset, have a good social life & plenty of friends. What more could I possibly want?

Love & blessings to everyone,

Rosie x

Too much rushing, not enough doing!

I haven’t written a blog for a while now. Almost everyday I think of things that I’d like to write about, often I even jot down ideas or use my voice recorder ( sometimes reeling off an entire blog ) yet for some reason, I just haven’t had time to actually sit down & write!   Of course when I say that I haven’t had the time, what I really mean is that I haven’t FOUND the time!  Although not really a procrastinator, I do have an amazing knack of losing time. I could blame one of my conditions, fibromyalgia for it, but although that does play it’s part, it’s not the full story.

So what is the full story?

I could write a comprehensive list with many valid excuses for why I don’t get things done, but that would be avoiding facing the facts.  Isn’t that what too many people do when they don’t want to admit simply being disorganised?

I COULD BE IN THE RUNNING FOR THE CROWN AS Ms DISORGANISED 2016.               I am very good at planning.  I excel when it comes to writing lists.  I have a very sharp memory when it comes to the little details, the things that many people overlook, BUT…………………  When it comes down to getting things done for myself, I’m dreadful!    Things used to be very different, I could multi- task with the best of them.  I seemed to find hidden hours, where I was able to fit in a near unbelievable amount of tasks, yet still be standing at the end of the day.  I suppose that being retired has a lot to answer for!  When I had children at home, I had to keep to a schedule, I had to provide meals, do the laundry, feed the multitude of pets, as well as the human variety. Housework would be fitted in & around other things but always got done, bills would be dealt with at the appropriate time.  In  other words, I managed.  I agree that it was always a case of organised chaos, but things did get done.

Now?  I have all day to spend as I wish – & that’s the problem!  I rarely set an alarm, I wake, then get up when I want to.  I amble around my flat in my dressing gown while I follow the necessary routine of feeding my cat, cleaning his litter tray, making my breakfast & so on.  Unless I have an appointment, I shower & dress when I feel like it. There is no pressure. There is very little stress.  I don’t have to answer to anyone.  Meals are made & eaten at random times.  As for housework, the less said the better!      It’s not that I am lazy, far from it.  I keep myself extremely busy, although I do often question what it is exactly that I do all day.  I don’t watch daytime tv. I don’t languish in bed with a cuppa, or spend hours soaking in the bath.   I don’t spend hours chatting on the phone or even waste my days on social media ( although that has been known to happen)   Basically I potter!  I do a little bit here, a little bit there, always intending to get the essentials out of the way so that I can do what is important to me.   Unfortunately I potter about so much, keeping myself occupied, that by the time I decide to settle down to write or read or paint, I have used up all of my energy!

I know about the importance of keeping to a schedule but it is so difficult to maintain when the only one cracking the whip is yourself!  My doctors are forever telling me about taking care of my health, how important it is for me to pace myself. They don’t seem to grasp the fact that to be able to pace yourself, you first of all need to start!   Occasionally I wake early, get out of bed immediately, have myself & cat up & organised by 7am.  I love those days!   I have always been a morning  person, preferring to be up with the dawn chorus, it’s such a wonderful, fresh time of the day but over the past year or so, I find myself still up & fully awake at 3 or 4am. I frequently can be found cleaning the kitchen or defrosting the freezer at midnight.  Unfortunately the early hours of the morning are my creative times, in the stillness of the night is when I am filled with inspiration, when I want to write.  I have tried setting myself a writing schedule, it all looks great on paper, but it just doesn’t seem to work for me.  I know that I could become more disciplined,  but I have had a lifetime of that, now is my ‘me’ time.  However there is so much that I want to do, that I end up doing none of them.

On my fridge I have a slogan that reads ” Always be calmly active & actively calm” I agree wholeheartedly, yet I seem to rush around like a headless chicken ( bad expression for a vegan to use!)  I have been actively decluttering for well over a year now, yet I am getting more & more obsessed by it.  I turn out drawers to clear out the unwanted things that  were kept ‘in case they might come in handy one day’. I now have several empty drawers, yet piles of larger item still scattered around my home, just waiting to go to the charity shop & even more small items waiting to leap into the empty drawers.

Maybe I should give up, shove everything out of sight & blame my illnesses?

Or of course there is a really radical solution.  I could stop worrying about why I don’t find enough to spare time and just actually CHANGE MY MINDSET.                        Time spent worrying, is always time wasted.  Instead of saying that I am disorganised, I could become organised. It is time for me to take personal responsibility for my chaos.   I would tell friends to use positive affirmations, I know how well they can work.

So I will start here & now.

” I have no need to rush, I have all the time & energy that I need. I use my time wisely.”

“I have no need to rush. I have all the time & energy that I need. I use my time wisely”

“I have no need to rush. I have all the time & energy that I need. I use my time wisely”

Now I shall go into the kitchen, make a chamomile tea & get an early night. I have a whole new regime to get up early for!

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Thankyou for persevering to the end of my waffle.  Maybe one or two of you might find following a similar train of thought useful.  Apparently it would seem that you don’t need to be a procrastinator to procrastinate!

love & light to one & all,

Rosie x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

at planning

Isn’t happiness enough?

A couple of years ago, I was persuaded to join an online dating agency.  I was told by friends that I would get lonely & miserable if I stayed single. It was during the early part of my singledom, so I duly signed up. Within no time I had reservations, after all, I enjoyed my life, but never the less I arranged a couple of dates.

Tha first man turned out to be someone that I already vaguely knew. I was alright until he reached over for a kiss & cuddle, minutes after we had met. I recoiled, he persisted. We were in a cafe where I felt safe, so I politely explained that I would rather not get too ‘touchy- freely’ until I felt that the time was right. He agreed but continued. The date lasted about an hour.   I cancelled the next proposed blind date.

I had a long think & realised that I was being challenged about what I wanted out of life. There was no doubt in my mind, so happily I continued for about a year, getting more & more  settled into my single life, by then, with the addition of my furry companion, Chi ( cat)

That following year, a similar thing happened, I began to question whether I really should feel so happy whilst living alone. Again I decided to search for a suitable mate. On my profile I had been totally honest & explained that I wanted friendship which may or may not, in time blossom into a serious romance.  I met a pleasant man, we got along ok, he walked me home & was an absolute gentleman.  He was interesting. We arranged to meet again, but once back home I realised that all I was doing was accepting something that I didn’t really want, or need.  I cancelled our proposed date  & cancelled my membership to the dating agency.

I was extremely happy with my decision & thought no more about it.

However, recently I have been considering whether I was missing out by not having a partner.  Once again I logged into the site.  Almost immediately I found a couple of possible suitors & sent them messages,  once again I chose to ignore my gut feelings & decided to look for the perfect man.

Why?

One particular man seemed eager & asked me to call him, which I did. We seemed to really hit it off. We met up the following day.

The details aren’t important. He was obviously ‘a player’.   Within minutes he was declaring his love, just a short time before he began to map out our lives together. I instantly wanted to walk away. I knew that this wasn’t what I wanted.  However I knew that I also had to be sure that previous heartbreak wasn’t clouding my  judgement.  We spent the evening together, then the night – me very firmly ensconced in my bedroom alone, while he had to contend with the sofa. Give him top marks for effort!  He gave it 100%.  I think that he was either a seasoned pro, or that he had been studying the art of manipulating women. His persistence even continued in the morning.  He didn’t like being refused what he seemed to consider his right! He was out of luck!  I just wanted him to go away.  To be honest, I had enjoyed our debating & intellectualising about everything from religion to the speed of light!  ( spoiled only by the attempted groping & letching.)   I did feel a bit sorry for him, I have been married 3 times, been cheated on & lied to by experts, plus of course I have brought up 5 sons. Nothing much male orientated fazes me.

As as we parted, he accused me of being a lesbian – no surprise by that comment!  I didn’t even bother to justify my actions, or lack of them. I couldn’t be bothered!

I was due to meet a group of friends a short time later, & realised that I was smiling from ear to ear as I went into town, feeling so happy with my freedom.  The group was enhanced by a new lady, we hit it off immediately. We chatted for over 4 hours.  No innuendos, no sexual motivations, no cross questioning – just friendship……………

Since then I have been putting my priorities into order.

I love my life. I love my flat. I love my friends & my cat.  Why on earth would I want to throw it all away?

I don’t need to search for a new partner.  Maybe the Universal plan is for me to find new love whether it be male, female, black, white, human, animal or global. There are so many ways to have love in your life.  I love my family, I gave birth to 5 beautiful sons & have made some friendships that have lasted the test of time. I am so blessed by having a full & happy life, yet risked so much in search of the illusion of ‘perfect ‘ love.

I am already in love, with life!   I realise that now.

I hope that I won’t be tested like this again, but maybe I will need to strengthen my resolve if it begins to wane.      No one is above doubting themselves occasionally                                                                                            But I am certain that I will not compromise myself, just to ‘fit in’.   I won’t just ‘make do’.  I enjoy being me.  No arguments, no shouting, no resentment! I understand that many people feel that they need the security of marriage or partnership. That’s ok. But I’ve done that & it didn’t work for me.  I’m not anti man ,or anti sex, or anti marriage. What I have now, has taken me years to achieve.  I have inner peace.  I have no idea what will happen in the future, but I will accept whatever the Universe decides for me. I am happy with my decision. I choose to be happy.  I love being myself.

I wish you all the most wonderful fulfilling life, filled with love in it’s many forms.

Rosie x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No questions without answers.

Today I have felt dreadful.  There’s no point in me dressing it up – I have felt absolutely awful!

I had made plans for today.   Depending on how well I felt, I intended going out for a wander around my hometown or if I wasn’t strong enough, I’d stay at home & continue with my decluttering.   What I hadn’t reckoned on was to wake up with a banging headache.  Unusually for me, I had a very disturbing dream,  one of those that you can’t shake off!  Although not a nightmare it was quite unnerving.  I tried to return to sleep but my mind wasn’t going to play ball, it was insistent that I carry the images from the dream around with me all day. Try as I might, it wasn’t to be ignored!

After forcing myself to get up, feed the cat & follow the initial morning routine, I realised that today would be a wipe out unless I got some quality sleep.  Much to my cats’ disgust, I returned back to bed and slept and slept and slept.   I finally opened my eyes well after midday. It took just a matter of a few seconds to know that I actually felt worse, not better!  I am telling you this, simply to set the scene for my pondering.

As some of you will know, I’ve been unwell for quite a while now, which has hit me very hard, especially since I have been flying high for several months prior to this.  During that ‘well’ time,  although still in tremendous pain, I managed to have a very full & enjoyable life.  I knew that I had been pushing myself too hard ( fibromyalgia hates being pushed) so wasn’t at all surprised to have a relapse, but the severity has taken me by surprise.    Enough whinging!    Suffice it to say that a ‘well period’ feels very much overdue!

Thankfully throughout this difficult period, I have remained          ( on the whole) cheerful & have managed to keep depression at bay.   However recently I have been writing a lot,   including a book about a difficult period in my life. As you may understand, this has brought up a lot of previously buried emotions.   Add  to this my support for the ‘Time to Change ‘ campaign, which is trying to eliminate the stigma attached to mental health difficulties (please see my recent blog). and it’s not hard to see that I have had to fight the black dog ( depression) which has been snapping at my heels.  Yesterday was a particularly melancholy day,  not helped by it being the anniversary of my Mothers’ passing, a couple of years ago. All in all it has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster!

Needless to say, I felt unable to go out today & as soon as I began to do any form of activity,  it soon became apparent that that was to be a no no also! The most physical thing that I have achieved was washing a few dishes & boiling some potatoes for my meal.

As someone who has had previous long term agoraphobia, I am very mindful about not allowing myself to go down that road again. Now, especially since I have felt so exhausted, I have been staying at home most days & have been concentrating on my writing.  If I’m honest, I’ve quite enjoyed being a hermit, but in my circumstances it is a risky strategy!    Since not being able to do much else today, I decided to sit & write, except that falling asleep again was all I managed.  After my 3rd or was it 4th nap?  I gave up the idea.     As many people know, when you create a void, something needs to fill its’ space, in my case it was a churning brain, firing questions at me.  I began to worry if I was getting mentally unstable again, but quickly dismissed that idea. But then I reasoned if it wasn’t that, was I being punished for something?  By now getting into dangerous territory, I gave myself a bit of a shake & looked  at what has actually happened.

Yes, I’ve been unable to go out much,  which has had a knock on effect of my spending being reduced. Positive outcome!

Yes, I’ve been forced to take a lengthy absence from my voluntary job.  I found this devastating, but it has helped me to see that when I return , not only will I be more physically able to work,  I will be able to re-evaluate  quite what tasks I should & shouldn’t take on. Resulting in a decision to make a slightly different work schedule. Positive outcome!

Yes, I have missed many groups & clubs.  Result being that I had realised how much I had been burning the candle at both ends.  I needed a rest.  I knew it.  I ignored it.  Now I can see that as a pensioner, with a variety of medical problems, I should prioritise & concentrate on what I need to do, rather than what I want to do!  Life won’t grind to a halt if I withdraw from one or two activities. Life will go on, as will the clubs without me.  Positive outcome!

Yes, I’ve had a lot of spare time on my hands.  Result being that I have used that time decluttering  my home, making it a much nicer, airier space.  Definite winner all round there!

Yes, I’ve had to let a lot of people down, something that I hate doing.   Resulting in being able to catch up with overdue paperwork & also old friendships via social media.  Positive outcome!

Yes, I have been unable to buy fresh food. ( someone does get me essentials).   Result being that I have been forced to use up food from my freezer & store cupboard ( or black hole, as it often seems!)  I have also invented many simple, tasty & nutritional vegan meals & snacks for myself. Some of which I will at some point share on my sister page http:// Rosieways,  howdidisite.com . My kitchen cupboard agrees it ‘s definitely been a positive outcome!

Being unable to do everything for myself , I’ve had to swallow my pride & ask for help.  Result being a lesson in humility that I badly needed.  Positive outcome!

Finally for now, Yes, I have been unable to keep up with housework, laundry etc.  Result, first of all – does it really matter?  Mainly though, enforced resting has given me plenty of time to write, write, write & write some more.  I have wanted to dedicate more time to creative writing, but never found much spare time. In the past few weeks I have actively written more than I would have thought possible. I have created a writing routine. I have sorted out my writing books into one place, easy to find & use.  Have found many interesting websites to aid my muse & have entered a couple of competitions.  Positive outcome!

Although I already knew about not being given questions ( & hardships / challenges ) without being given the answers  (or solutions)It took an enforced rest to help me actually take notice!

The end result to all of this episode will hopefully be a much more relaxed schedule with more ‘me’ time, more space for creativity & maybe even a healthier bank balance.

I certainly have a lot to be grateful for.     Namaste X

Love & Blessings to you all.

Rosie X

 

Having second thoughts?

A couple of days ago I wrote a blog about my experiences with mental health.  Although unintentional, I was actually a lot more forthright than I had intended.  I’ve had quite a reaction to this blog, some saying how stupid I have been to be so open, other, my far the majority, have welcomed & thanked me for my honesty. Well, I’ve reassessed my thoughts about the wisdom of that post & have reached a very definite conclusion – ALthough a little embarrassing, I DO NOT REGRET WRITING IT ONE TINY BIT!

Mental health problems are very diverse, affecting a wide range of people. the range of illnesses affects everyone in many different ways. There is no one pill to cure all. In many cases it is a very long road of trial & error. Depending on the type of mental health problem, some people recover reasonably quickly, some never recover.   Everyone is an individual. One thing that most people have in common is the fight to be recognised as a normal person with an illness, not some freak of nature. This is something that needs to be addressed.

I will continue to speak out…

Rosie