Well hello everyone – I do hope life is okay for you in what has been such a peculiar time! I am not sure if I even still have a readership as it’s been an absolute age since I blogged! But, I am not sorry for that. I (like most) have had loads on and have found elements of life lately incredibly hard. There were some things that I realised I had to put down and shelf for a while and, for me, my blog was one thing I was happy to not think about for a while.
I’ve been in a bit of a weird place; understandably tired from what is going on now and from homeschooling my kids (which I did enjoy mostly) as well as being a little resentful that things haven’t been going to plan (I know I am not alone in that) and physically – quite unwell! It has been a lot in a short space hasn’t it?
Over the last few months I even wondered if it was time to leave blogging behind me? If it had run it’s course in my life? However, then life took some big turns and I realised my blog would be a great asset for me to record this next chapter of life and that through all seasons – it is a wonderful cathartic place (whether others are reading or not) to document my thoughts, outlooks, adventures and experiences!
And so – I shall continue a little longer (when I have the time of course!).
Baby Numero 5!
So I think one of the biggest things that has happened in life lately is the news that we are expecting our 5th Baby in the Spring. I am currently 16.5 weeks and so far baby is looking strong and healthy (such a relief). It has quite possibly been one of the hardest of the 5 physically; with hyperememis (still lingering) and an early diagnosis of gestational diabetes. I have been a trooper through it all (even during my stint in hospital – drip and various injections in my bottoms!) but, recently I have felt a little more emotional. I know it is all temporary – it is just draining and annoying and I feel weak and ill most days, which is hard when I am still working and have other kids I want to be enjoying life with.
This pregnancy has also naturally raised a few worries and emotions that come from carrying a baby following still birth, and I have had to again find ways to navigate through those harder days. Even so, I have hope this will be different and we are really excited to be having another little Smith join our crew. I can’t believe we have already made it almost half way!
An Opportunity that fell through….
One of the harder things for us recently (aside from these covid restrictions!) was that a few weeks ago, Mr Smith was offered a really really great job opportunity at an international private school in Doha, Qatar. We thought about it from several angles and lost sleep for a few days to make the decision (it was a life change after all), but in the end we kept coming back to the same conclusion – that we would regret not giving it a go – and, we felt really good about accepting it. And so, we were absolutely beyond excited to embark on expat life for at least 2 years in the Middle East!
For a couple of weeks we dreamed and talked so much of adventures, the experiences it would bring for us and the kids, of meeting people from all over the world, new foods and places to discover and generally we were just super excited for a completely different way of life for a while. However, the joy was short lived as a couple of weeks ago he received an email saying that due to covid and its effects there, the offer was withdrawn!
We were gutted! So gutted!
It felt unfair and like we are constantly missing a break in life!
It’s been quite disappointing in contrast to what we were feeling and obviously he didn’t have a job here as we were going for that. And so now he is continuing to apply to jobs (all over the UK and world – we are still open to expat life somewhere if it is meant to be) and supplying to pay the bills/mortgage in the mean time! I am trying to work a little more at the care home, though it isn’t easy due to the above!
So yeah – I hope that life feels a little more secure soon as right now it’s all so uncertain and I am finding that a little tricky! We are thrilled and happy as a family generally (life is good over all) – but a little more certainty would be really great!
Finally I made the painful and very hard decision last week to put down my counselling training for a while. I had a rather emotional supervision with my counselling supervisor who suggested it and i’ll be honest – I think I have had some grief over it I think.
It’s really hard when someone says something that you know is right but don’t want to do it because it feels hard and painful. I had a lot of fear too – fear of looking like a failure or that I was a quitter or something and so that meant that I was reluctant.
The more we discussed it though, I realised it was the right choice for ME and my family right now. I have been struggling with some aspects of it and life is (as you can see) quite full on right now. In order to honour my pregnancy, my well-being and to stop trying to juggle so much, something had to give. I had to choose to be brave and step away from it for a while and prioritise something else.
I have really loved the last few years and all I have learnt about myself and others – it has been a valuable journey I am glad I took. I have loved that with a busy life I have been able to complete all of the academic side to my training and passed it with great feedback. And, for that I will get certification for my efforts – it is something I have achieved, treasure and cannot be taken away. It is knowledge that will be taken through life into whatever I do next. However, regarding my placement and the 100 hours and portfolio I need to be a “qualified counsellor” – I am choosing to put it down – for now!
I am putting it down until there is a time I can enjoy it again and have more energy as well as mental and physical capacity to give it what it deserves. I fear I may not come back to it, but that is where courage is needed. I have thought for a while that I may use this foundation to pursue a different route to my destination. Either way, as my counselling supervisor so rightly pointed out – I will be doing the right thing for me in that season of my life. Ideally I would have been done by now and not have this difficult decision to make, but of course a lock down affected this too. I could be bitter by that (and I have been) but I am entering a new chapter now with a new baby on the way and I am more than content in honouring and embracing that. And, putting my energies into something I feel is more important right now than that is to me at the moment.
When this little one grows, who knows what I will pick up and do for me. Who knows what I will want to spend my time learning and doing? That is the exciting thing about life – we never know what will be next! If there is one thing that Autumn teaches me, it is that there are seasons in life where we have to let go of things (either for a while or permanently) and that we cannot bloom in every season of life. Sometimes it is enough that we are here doing our thing and ticking along for a while. Having a baby is a massive thing and I am excited to grow them and meet them.