Plot twist

I often find in life people drive down certain pathways, certain they know where they are heading, perhaps they found a soul mate, took an exit at marriage or diverted to having children. They tick off the various landmarks along the way, content in a bubble of control in a journey called ‘Life’

Then there are people like me…naive enough to think they are in control until one day life gives them lemons, truck loads of the yellow fruit. As the quote goes and being a positive princess, I know you need to make lemonade out of them. Since 2009 exactly ten years today we’ve been doing just that. At 16:47 I gave birth to our daughter Gracie, the plan was to take our healthy bundle home, raise her to be a queen and use motherhood as an excuse to visit farms, play in parks and enjoy the ride of motherhood. Except, we had lemons…and a rollercoaster that I wouldn’t want the worst of humans to have to go through. Regular readers will know, we didn’t bring her home and I felt at the time when our daughters death came to an abrupt end, so to had our pathway of happy ever after.

Except, life sometimes gives you a service station and an alternative route and a mountain…a huge mountain to navigate around. The route doesn’t look as appealing and it’s not so picturesque…but some how the mountain makes you a better human, you learn, you help others and there are even a few unexpected moments of joy along the way; like the view if you make it to the top.

After a decade of our diverted path, plus a little dude that jumped in the passenger seat in 2013 I foolishly sat back in the driving seat. Ticking off landmarks and planning our future. How smug was I.

Then came the plot twist…baby three due April 2020.

Mike drop.

Not planned.

What next? I’m giving up metaphorical driving. I’m making little to no plans, I’m seeing where this huge new tunnel takes us. It looks dark and to be honest is a little scary. This time life gave us a pomegranate. We can’t squeeze it – because there are too many pips but it is so vibrant when you take time to cut it open and I’m excited for the potential of where this tunnel will take us. It’s early days but on the anniversary of Gracies birth I’m grateful for this unexpected gift.

There is always light at the end of the tunnel if you keep going, there is always contrast along the way. This is life and I’m now driving full throttle and with no road map open to where it might take us. Just like a candle on a cake, there is always light if you choose to see it.

Happy returns little angel

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Sometimes happy memories hurt the most

Very soon we will of breathed for 3650 days without our first born, our daughter Gracie Alice Rose.

As I’ve written previously she was too precious for this earth and so was given her wings early. We were blessed with several days with her and in that small amount of time created enough memories to get us through a life time without her…just. I remember every moment and each stage before we left the hospital with her car seat empty and our hearts in pieces.

At the time we were cocooned by the love of our family and friends, but also the ripples of love that travelled into our communities, work places and beyond. This experience has given me a masters in grief. It wasn’t a qualification that I was planning on taking, but I hope that my knowledge might make things a little easier when you find yourself in the shadows of grief.

People lie

Much like a pregnancy, in death people like to give advice. “It’ll be ok” “when my mum died..” it goes on. However, one wise Nanny told me “people will tell you it gets easier with time – they’re liars”. At the time it felt like Nanny had bluntly slapped me across the face, a different tone shall we say from the sympathy cards we’d received in their dozens. Alas, she was right and with this blunt truth and sudden adjustment to my thoughts, it somehow made it easier? I wasn’t waiting for the day I’d feel ‘me’ again, because ‘I’ was changed forever. With this comes several added delights, people are lying to you because they love you enough to want to make it better. to ease the brutal process. You are loved. Also, I don’t want to forget anything about that 5lb9 bundle of joy, so why would losing her get easier? Another truth is you do smile again, breathing gets a little easier and appreciation for what you had, even if like in our case it was only for days…becomes a blessing.

Break all the rules

If grief was a fairy, she would be naughty, mischievous and unpredictable – she would turn up when she liked, how she liked and make you feel how you didn’t expect to feel. Some people believe that there are steps to grief (google tells me there are seven), in reality there are actually as many as your grief fairy decides. You may think you’re through guilt and in to anger and then fairy grief side sweeps you back to stage one ‘shock’. It’s your journey and just because I’ve got my masters in grief doesn’t mean I know how you feel, what you need or how best to support you. My best advice would be to reach out to someone you trust and tell them. If they are a good friend, they’ll already know you’re crazy and love you for it, so to hear that one day your fine, the next your on top of the world and the third you’ve been wearing the same Pyjamas for a month and don’t remember where the shower is will come as no surprise. Talk to your tribe, be as honest as you can about your feelings and if you can’t put it into words, silence is best served with a friend by your side.

If none of the above resonates with you, remember ‘what do I know?’ and people are liars. However, if it made things a little easier then in our family we call that a ‘Gracie steps’, tiny steps to progress.

If you’ve been affected by any of the content in this post, please speak to a loved one, your GP or perhaps speak to the wonderful people at The Samaritans (UK) 116123.

Alone we can do so little, together we can achieve so much

Quote from Helen Keller

Perhaps it best to begin where I am now. Sat on the side at the swimming pool whilst the Mr guides the little dude to improve his swimming technique. This allows me to type away and have some therapy time. Where we are now, getting more done.

Last week was a catastrophe of disasters; from work, complexities in childcare, getting back to a routine, the Mr having to be away for longer than I’d like – thanks Pakistan air space, little dude having a school trip…put it this way as a tribe we dropped plates this week and the juggle reached a climax and strain that was unrelenting. However, now out of the dark and into the light, we made it. We achieved so much thanks to the support of our extended tribe. A combination of friends reaching out, wise words, a Tunnocks tea cake left on my desk, the Mr’s Mum extending childcare beyond anyone’s expectations…that’s a wealth you can’t put a price on.

The flowers are for her. I can’t work full time without support. The kids at school can’t thrive without my support…we as a family need our extended tribe, we need to raise others up and in turn are held up by others.

If you too have had a year, month, week or day of darkness and you can see a glimmer of light then however small the light is bask in it. Thank those around you, appreciation is lost if we don’t seize it in the moment. We achieve very little alone and isolated, life is fuller with others by your side.

Words are free, it’s how you use them that costs you.

Quote by Anon

I may have spoken about this before but Pen from The Single Swan mentioned in a comment the other day that she picks a word for the year ahead, bizarrely that day the bestie and I were on the phone and mentioned that our common word for 2018 was ‘accomplished ‘ (sounds so joyful on the tongue). As a woman who loves to set intentions I thought I’d select a word for 2019. As I began to think about what I wanted from the year and searched through my bag of goals, ideas and plans I very quickly decided on a word and it scared me to my core.

Achieve.

As I type the word I feel a sense of burden, fear and that perhaps I’m taking on a word that’s out of my reach. However, through this blog I have learnt that nothing changes unless you are willing to step out of your comfort zone. I also don’t need every moment of every day to be an achievement and with small adjustments as the months roll I can take steps that suit my pace. That said, some of the goals I will achieve will need me to step way beyond my area of comfort. Upon reflection it’s a word suitable for success and the challenge that comes with achieving. Take for example my first challenge…the puppy I rescued. She is a ball of chew and needles from her teeth to her sharp claws. She has no boundaries (we are trying to teach her them day by day, she is teaching us that rules are made to be chewed) and although she’s also a bundle of cuteness, I know training her will be a challenge but also an achievement.

Next, I will be moving this blog away from WordPress and to my own site…any tips totally welcome as http and widgets brings me out in a cold sweat of confusion and doubt. However, by taking the leap will mean I can add a new aspect to the site which I really want to do…details to follow once I’ve worked out the ifs, but’s and all the words that come with achieving this mission.

Other things I’d like to achieve will help me to love my home a little more. It’s a nice house but as I’m not a fan of the word ‘nice’ this speaks volumes about my feelings to the building we call home.

2019 will also be my daughters 10th anniversary. It blows my brain to think of all the things she could of liked and become. We don’t celebrate her birthday or death but I’d like to mark her decade with a gathering or event…again, any ideas welcome as this will be another emotional challenge to our journey to achieving a positive life without her on earth.

Join me through my challenges and achievements via this corner of the internet and why not pick your own word…if like the quote suggests we pay a price, let it be life changing for the better.

Happy New Year.

It doesn’t matter how slow you grow as long as you don’t stop

Quote by Confucius

This quote is in my favour as it offers hope. At four foot eleven with size two feet, growing isn’t my specialty. I often think I was sneezing or distracted when they were handing out the growing genes.

However, I also know my journey through life is about to sprout new stems. Each year I need to prune the dead wood back and watch new buds form.

This year I’ll be irrigating a few new cuttings. I plan to create new plants of opportunity for this blog, my passions and family life. We will see new places, taste new food and grow mighty and tall (metaphorically speaking).

Upon reflection I guess new year is also a time to look back at things you can improve on, things that didn’t go to plan and learn from the errors of the previous year. Don’t drag dead wood into new seasons with you.

Mostly, when I garden (much like life) I make it up. Sometimes I cut back a little too hard, things die, things emerge and grow in places I didn’t plan them to. Mother Nature has a way of guiding everything to perfection…just keep growing, however small those buds may be, you never know how amazing the flowers will be when they flourish.

Worry means you suffer twice

Quote by Newt Scamander.

  • Warning, I’m doing that thing again where the need to write pulls me out of my bed (even with freshly laundered sheets) and on to the floor in the office at the back of the house with the glow of my Macbook for company and a beauty salt lamp by my side. (desks have always felt a little too formal for me and I’m grounded on the floor; even if its a little draughty), so please forgive me if what I write is waffle.

I often write on the topic of happiness, perspective or self care. There is usually a silver lining or positive perspective to sparkle up this corner of the internet and worry isn’t my friend. I don’t invite him/her to my celebrations, neither does she/he make my Christmas card list (frankly, since having a child and working full time anyone who receives a card from me is truly blessed). I avoid negative people, conversations and situations. We don’t watch TV in our home, the news (web or paper version) are non existent. Yet still I am totally aware that the world we are part of is out of control. That plastic consumption is ridiculous and that banning plastic straws has probably come a little late in the day. That power, money and fear are still the driving forces. That scare mongering, praying on the vulnerable, greed and selfishness are growing much like plastic straws on our oceans seabeds, that stress is increasing, that happiness is often ‘sold’ in a misguided manner… I know this. It shakes my bubble that I work hard to create hard every now and then, its sucks the sparkle and actually at times has taken my breath with it.

Worry is the new fear (I’m not sure how new is new). We worry about worrying in between moments of ‘what if’s’ and ‘could’ ‘should’s’… the list is long. In education bullying is old hat, self diagnosis of anxiety and depression are on the increase amongst our children, as a species we are lost and drown our sorrows with drugs and alcohol (usually through those blooming plastic straws) and what I guess woke me from my comfy bed is a request, to ask you too to build a bubble, a cocoon of kindness and self care, to not engage with the negativity described above. Contrast is necessary for us to thrive, I can’t promise you can fully cut it out. Think of my request as a new detox regime – no fancy products needed, no 90 day money back guarantee required, in fact it won’t cost a penny. I’m asking because worry can be such a positive tool – it lets you know when you’ve lost balance, it reminds you that you care…but never give it the power to allow you to suffer twice.

If you can’t do this, then please at least stop using plastic straws.

The Saturday session #52

Week fifty two, the clocks go back GMT this weekend and its finally not summer time anymore, seriously – I’m cold. Light the candles, the fire and why not the heating as well…fluffy pjs, hot chocolate in a favourite mug…I AM READY. Hayley my cohost picked an awesome featured blogger for #thesatsesh this week, click here to see who she went for. Mine is better, seriously even Hayley wanted to pick her.

Pen from The Single Swan who often writes about her twinkle of a signet had our readers (well defo me and Hayley) in tears. Her post that I selected is about the metaphorical umbilical cord that follows child birth and never leaves. Pen has a talent for writing about relationships, there is brutal honesty cascading from each word. So, grab yourself a tissue and give it a read. Even if you haven’t got a child – read it anyway, honestly its that good a post. Pen is a writer that never lets me down with great content thats relevant.

Once you’ve clenched your thirst for wonderful writers, then join us yourself by clicking the blue box at the end of the post and of course refreshing yourself with the rules and regulations of #thesatsesh linky. Thanks for taking the time to join us or rejoin us. We really do appreciate and strive to create a community of variation and quality.

RULES

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  • Grab a badge Please do add #thesatsesh badge. You can do this by copying and pasting the badge code into the text/HTML area of your post within your publishing platform and its located in my side bar for your ease.
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  • Comment sit back, relax (its the weekend after all). Please use #thesatsesh and in usual linky etiquette comment on one of each of the hosts posts, mine and Hayleys, the post before and after yours. If you comment on more, that would be wonderful but FOUR is more than enough
  • Following the rules means you may qualify for our featured blogger announced weekly, plus this linky is run by school teachers so detention for anyone that doesn’t

OPTIONAL EXTRA: Come and play in our IG community by using #thesatsesh for photos of your weekend or perhaps connected to a post you’ve linked. Follow us on Instagram @fridgesays and @mission_mindfulness_blog and we will keep up to date and follow you back.

 

Everything is figureoutable

Quote Anon.

I know these aren’t real words, but so much of my vocabulary that I use is created in my head, this spoke to me.

When I was younger I really felt that once you became an adult you had the world worked out, the pathways would open like some sort of ‘open sesame’ then on you plodded. Well either I wasn’t listening when they were handing out maps (highly likely) or the routes of life are more unknown than I had thought.

Problems, often cascade from no where. They arrive on my doorstep in envelopes of large bills that I wasn’t expecting, a car can collide into my rear and phone calls and more letters are required. The health of loved ones can be shared in a text or conversation and then hospital visits and worry ensues… or you can breath.

I know, breathing doesn’t actually pay the bill or fix a car, but it does allow your brain to process the issue from a grounded place rather than in a state of emotional turmoil.

Often when I’m faced with an issue that I can’t figure out how to solve, changing the activity I’m doing or distracting my brain with something I enjoy often means I come to a conclusion far quicker.

It sounds crazy, I realise to say ‘don’t think about the problem you can’t stop thinking about’ but honesty it works. My dear friend couldn’t conceive, her partner and her stopped trying whilst they saved for IVF…with the pressure removed she conceived and gave birth to a health bundle of new born.

When you ‘let go’ of tension magic happens; money flows from places you didn’t know existed, friends help out in ways you didn’t know they could…issues that you just couldn’t work out become figureoutable.

It’s not exactly a map to adulthood, but it is a magical step on a smoother pathway. Enjoy the journey and remember all problems are generally solved eventually, if you lack confidence then give this a read because You can, end of story

Own who you are

I’m not sure this post is for you today, perhaps it’s more for me. However, I invite you to write your own with the same first and last line.

I am enough

I am a woman

I am a teacher

A partner, fiancée, lover and when the dirty laundry is on the floor – a hater

I am a mummy

My womb grew two beautiful souls

My heart has learnt to love and recover

I feel grief but it’s temporary and it passes

I am confident but I falter

I am healthy and I count my blessings

I am a friend

Somebodies neighbour, friend

A driver

Writer

I am grateful for all I have, good and bad. They teach me more about who I am, who I want to be and how I can be a better me.

I am a daughter, cousin, a niece.

I am Lucy and my name means light.

I love yoga, crystals, high heels and sunshine

I love beaches, watermelon, tea and peonies.

I love cold champagne, essential oils, books and crisps

I am loved.

I am appreciated and…

I’m always enough.

Sometimes the days pass and the years fly by, as an adult we lost who we are. The costumes we juggle from day to day consume us, my teacher cape engulfs me and my mother hat swallows me like a praying mantis. This list of ‘me’ is only a glimmer but I found writing it helped me to be grounded. Like you, I’m not one thing, I mean more to some than others. Having a senses of self allows me to appreciate all I have…pick up a pen and discover that you too are always enough.

We see what we want

Quote by Lauren Miller

Today I woke up and I did my morning routine. Its been a routine for a couple of months now and it took a while to get going as I thought only single twenty something youtubers could have them, but also I needed to stop making excuses like my son will interrupt me or I’ve got to much to do, I guess like the quote suggests I needed to see what I wanted.

I go downstairs and make a cup of alkali tea. I return to bed to meditate and then I write in my gratitude journal and set my intention out underneath, whilst sipping my tea.

It works for me. It means I’m in control of my day and since doing this I’ve noticed that I accomplish my intentions for the previous day and that makes me feel good. In total it takes about 25mins from kettle boil to journal and at 5yrs old I’ve taught my son not to disturb me if my earphones are in (I use a guided meditation in the Morning) sometimes he quietly snuggles next to me and sometimes he forgets the rules about earphones and wants to listen too or is excited about telling me about his latest crocodile dream. That’s okay too…

Do you have a morning routine? Mine took a while to come together, it needed to be simple and one that could be interrupted by family life. For example when I went down to make my tea this morning, little dude asked for his breakfast a little earlier. So I made his food at the same time as my cuppa. Ease and flow help me to accomplish my routine, whilst also not over complicating my morning.

I set intentions because life is too precious not to accomplish something every day. Sometimes they are about work, family, my blog, self love or well…anything. The other day me and the little dude had a rare day together, so my intention was simply to stay present and focus on him. I may have focused too hard as the little monster snuck off in the afternoon for a nap because I’d wore him out.

Do you set intentions and have a morning routine? It really helps me to see what we want…or are you too busy to see?