This week on 23rd April marked my silver wedding anniversary, 25 years of marriage and still standing.
I know its totally cliched but I really do not know where the time has gone, I mean 25 years sounds a long time and we have done lots in that time, but it does feel as though it has shot past us in the blink of an eye.
So how did we celebrate and mark this momentous occasion. Well our eldest also turned 21 recently so we decided a little while ago that we would combine the 2 occasions and have a family trip away in Dublin. Somewhere we all have wanted to visit but I really wanted the boys to be of legal drinking age before we went so we could all participate in all the typical touristy things. We chose to do this instead of having parties as we have rarely been able to afford to take the boys on holidays while they were growing up and we thought this would be money well spent as an experience rather than a party.
Therefore, the actual day on our anniversary was a quiet, chilled affair. My youngest was at school all day and then went to work and my eldest was revising for his impending exams for uni. So we knew we had the day to ourselves…………so what did we do? We booked into the Flashback cinema to see The Wizard of Oz on the big screen as its one of our all time favourite classic films!! I bet you wasn’t expecting that little bundle of excitement.
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.
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.
There’s been more sewing for me as I attended another sewing class learning more skills and meeting new people.
There’s been a lot of ‘new to me’ furniture buying and upcycling as we have started to redecorate our lounge from a modern look to a more old style/ country appearance..
There is still a lot to do as the walls need repainting and the feature walls need re-papered and some soft furnishings still need to be sorted, but the majority of the change over is done.
There’s also been a trip to Royal Ascot (which was amazing) for a friends 50th birthday.
This was something I always wanted to go and experience and I am glad they invited us to enjoy their special day- things are always enjoyed best depending on the company you go with. This was a fabulous day that I will not forget for a very long time…………….did I mention how close I got to the Queen????
Recent weeks have been tough health wise for me, I felt I was having no relief from my Fibromyalgia pain at all. It was making me more exhausted than normal and was just never ending. I finally managed to get a GP appointment and she is very understanding and finally changed my medication to a slow release morphine ( the strongest thing I have been on ever). However, the detox from the years of Tramadol onto slow release MST was just horrific for about 5-6 days in total. I have never felt so rough in my life, hardly able to hold myself up yet unable to sleep ( I was literally awake all night on the 1st evening watching films!), there was lots of nausea and dizziness and a bloody awful crushing headache that lasted days. A week or so on from there and things have settled and things are on the up and I am slowly but surely getting back to what would be relative normality for me.
Then last night was a huge milestone when my 18yr old went on his 6th year school leaver’s Prom, having officially left school and now just waiting exam results ( do not mention Edexel A level Maths………….there may well be a meltdown here!) and hopefully for him ( definitely not me) off to uni.
So there you have it! There have obviously been lots of normal life thrown in too, ( nothing is ever straightforward or stress free with older teens in the house) but for now I will leave it there.
I look forward to catching up on all the blogging goings on now that I have a little blog mojo back!
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?
I don’t mean family or good health etc which is important to nearly 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, jogging 2-3 times a week, having some spare money to spend for the family, being active with the kids- cycling and activity holidays etc, to being unable to work, loss of earnings, 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.
So the things that would make a huge difference to me would be things that I would class as luxuries- yet feel like necessities to help our situation.
1. A Cleaner– 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 my OH (who is an absolute star) does most 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 etc and 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.
2. Massage– 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- and 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 and with things as tight as they are financially, due to not being able to work, they cannot be justified in any sense!