I think most people, if asked, would doubt their own abilities in most things, we never really say out loud what we think we are good at- do you agree?
I was never a confident person by nature, I hid from photos as a teen, I always felt like I was the ugly duckling of my group of friends and was always very quiet in social situations ( unless I was at home, in which case my Mum would vouch for the fact I can be a mouthy cow!).
However, when I look back I had the confidence to join the armed forces ( Royal Air Force- literally 30 years ago when it definitely wasn’t the norm to do so), to leave the security of my family at aged 18 and pushed myself to do things I literally had no clue I could do ( shoot an automatic weapon, do gas mask drills in confined spaces with the unmistakable effects ‘tear gas’ , being dangled out of search and rescue helicopters as a ‘patient’ and even wing walking, twice, one of which was at an international air display!).
I’m no spring chicken at 48 years old, and I have done my time over the years at making new years resolutions only to last a few weeks and fall right back into the habits of a lifetime, but with the added bonus of feeling like a failure to boot – and that’s before I now factor in a chronic illness that sees me deal with constant pain every day. I’ve certainly learned over the past 10 years of dealing with illness and pain that I have very little control of how my body will be from day to day. It eats away at any control you have over life in general, on a daily basis, let alone factor in dramatic new years resolutions like joining a gym, or getting out running or even walking for that matter. Any activity I do has a huge knock on affect that impacts what I will be able to do either later that day or for a few days after.
So this year, as with the last previous few years, I have opted for very small changes across the year that then accumulate to make a bigger change overall, without putting any pressure on myself or creating unnecessary anxiety. The changes are very small steps that creates a bit of a ripple into the year, and yet they can be totally achievable even with a chronic illness. So there will be no big New Years resolutions here.
You may have thought I had given up on my little blog it has been so long since I have posted on here, but no, I am still here I have just been having a little break.
It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about, there have been loads going on in the past few months in my little corner of the world, it is just the fact that I haven’t had the inclination to put it all on here, call it lack of blogging mojo but I have had a total break from my site although I have been active on my social media sites. Last night, however, I attended a lovely event down in Kent which got me back in touch with the blogging community. It was fun, it was nice to meet new people and get a bit of that missing blogging mojo back.
So, what has been happening while I have been away (and I do not mean the obvious political stuff that is all over social media at the minute). In my little bubble, I haven’t been active on here since attending a review for a local spa, which I have now joined myself and try and go there at least twice a week. I cannot tell you how relaxing it is using the heat rooms ( sauna and steam) there and how lovely that has been for my poor M.E/Fibro muscular pain.
There’s been 18th birthday celebrations for my eldest ( in April) before all the madness of his A level exams recently.
That’s certainly what it feels like this month ( and last month). Now I know we are not the only one’s in this predicament and that there are lots of people a lot worse off than we are.
However, it is difficult to stay positive and not panic when you bank balance literally disappears before your eyes. This month alone has been my youngest’s birthday. Something I normally budget for and this year although I frugally sourced everything it still was difficult to cover. That was because we had so many things to pay for!! There is no other way to say it but we just had loads to pay for!!
So on top of the birthday we had……
*£90 for drama term for youngest.
*£40 for an Explorer weekend camp my eldest really wanted to go on.
*£90 to have my poor ‘Gorgeous George‘ cremated after a shock unplanned pet death.
*£15 for a 1/2 day Geography school trip.
*£20 towards expenses for my eldest’s PE trekking trip.
*£70 for a boiler service.
*£150 for my OH’s motorbike service and MOT.
Ok, so we have not yet overdrawn and I know a LOT of people live via their overdrafts. That is just something I couldn’t do. I wouldn’t sleep ( or get even less than I get now!).However, we have no savings to dip into either. At the end of the day we always pay what’s owed, then live on what’s left. I am extremely frugal with food and have recently made the leap to Aldi where I have found we have been saving at least £10 a week easy, if not much more, on our food bills.
But then there is NO extra!! I mean none!! I don’t go out except for the odd coffee and catch up with friends. My OH never goes out- ever!! He works hard, tries to get as much overtime as possible and then comes home. He never moans about it, that’s just what he does. The kids earn their pocket money by doing chores- it’s not just handed to them.
I’m left feeling worse about not working. Regulars will know I have M.E and this week alone I have been unable to do anything- I mean anything! I have been hit with exhaustion that has made it difficult to function, shower and make dinner- let alone anything else.
If I worked I could help financially, I could relieve the pressure and possibly make things easier. But I cant!!! It’s so frustrating. Frustrating beyond words.
And so I now look towards next month and the run up to Christmas. Thank goodness we pay into a ‘Christmas Club’ via family, it means we get get our money back in November in plenty of time to organise Christmas.
Then I hear people saying hey are going out, going for a weekend away, buying new clothes, going for meals etc and just wonder……….HOW DO THEY DO IT?
Ok this might sound a little weird, but if you where asked a question to prioritise whats important to you on a daily basis what sort of things would be at the top of the list for you? Would they be necessities or luxuries?
I don’t mean family or good health etc which is important to all of us. I mean the selfish stuff, you know, more money, a size 8 model figure, ‘good hair’ days everyday and the like.
For me, it would be a range of things.
As you know I have had M.E for the past 3 years and it has significantly changed my life. I have gone from being a Qualified Driving Instructor with my own business and jogging 2-3 times a week. Having some spare money to spend for the family and being active with the kids. To being unable to work and have loss of earnings. being unable to do activities with my boys and spending several hours a day in bed in order to get through the rest of the day.
I struggle with anything physical. So cleaning, ironing, walking (any distance on some days) are pretty impossible without being laid up in bed the next day in pain and exhausted.
Therefore, the things that would make a huge difference to me would be things that I would class as luxuries. Yet I feel they are like necessities to help our situation. Therefore, as a priority are they necessities or luxuries?
This would be a godsend and I’m sure you will all agree that it is impossible to keep on top of. But add on to that the physicality of hoovering etc for me is just horrendous. So Mr B (who is an absolute star) does a lot of this for me- yes I know how lucky I am.
However he is a VERY hardworking man, working full time shift work with extra duties and cancelled days. Yet thinks nothing of coming in and ironing at 10pm at night! BUT THAT SHOULDN’T BE LIKE THAT FOR HIM. So for me someone coming in twice a week would improve our lives unbelievably.
Yes we all love to go for a girly spa day etc, but this is seen as a treat, RIGHT?
Well for me alternative therapies can ease the amount of muscular pain I can be in. A massage once a week would be great to ease my neck and lower leg pain. To go on a regular basis could help me be a little more physical myself without so much muscle pain.
I could think of a few more but you would really think I was a selfish cow.
What stops me then?
Well I totally consider these to be luxuries. So with things as tight as they are financially, due to not being able to work, I just cannot justify these in any shape or form.