Life lately has felt really good and hopeful – and let’s not forget HOT too (which side of the fence do you fall on that one?). I personally have loved it! This lush weather we have been having is wonderful, and as we are currently in the flow of the Summer holidays, it has been great to be outside in it together.
I have now finished my first year of my level 4 Counselling Diploma (well in June that was- go me!) and we have had a wonderful week in France seeing Versaille, Paris, Le Mans and the Vendee coast last week. I was moved by the war cemeteries as we passed through Normandy and I felt grateful for another lovely adventure with my love and little ones.
I have welcomed and embraced these last few weeks of life because it has been a season where I can clearly see direction and recognise all of our blessings. For the longest time I have felt quite drained and a little lost in life which has been awful. I have had a lot of personal issues (and faith crisis too) that I have needed to work through as my counselling course, and life generally caused some rather deep self reflection (which isn’t easy at all). For several months I have been carrying a lot of stuff that has been hard to process and work through, and which left me feeling delicate and often emotional. Family life was also feeling quite intense as we felt frustrated with not being where we wanted to be in life and we just hit these periods together where we feel the absence of Poppy a little more, and that is never easy either. So, whilst life feels really great now and we love where we live and each other, the accumulation of all of this other stuff just hasn’t been good and we have been struggling a lot over the last few months.
But, we have kept working, kept talking, writing, praying and figuring things out together. We have been evaluating what was working and what we could change to make life better to have the life we want and, with all of that process over the last few weeks there have been more moments of clarity along with some big changes to our direction and circumstances. As a result ,a lot of that worry and unhappiness has been lifted – leaving hope and joy in its place. We both feel more content and relaxed and hopeful for the future.
Isn’t life weird sometimes? But I love it too when you feel like you have had a breakthrough and are on the right path. You feel more empowered and hopeful of the many possibilities that may come as a result of these choices and that is exciting. So with that madness, here is a little life update of all i’ve been doing recently.
Loving – I am currently loving having time with the kids for the holidays and no school runs. I am also loving the hot weather that finally feels like real summer and chilli flakes. I know it probably sounds totally random to say ‘chilli flakes’, but they have changed my life! I love spicy things and most of my family don’t, so when I make pasta etc I sprinkle some on top for a kick and it tastes so much more delicious!
I am loving root beer from Aldi, travelling and planning adventures together and looking forward to a new chapter in September. I am loving that I have passed off another year of college and also found a great placement too to get my 100 hours of practice in.
Watching – I started watching “Jane The Virgin” back in June on Netflix after hearing someone laugh about it and not knowing what the heck they were on about. I didn’t think I would like it and also anticipated it to be something completely different and possibly not as okay as it actually is. I do however find it easy to watch and have also found it pretty funny too (and also weird in places) but I am enjoying the Spanish language and romance of it all. Jane is pretty mint and I really like her character. Overall it’s just a chilled programme to watch here and there when you want to do very little!
I have also watched “Instant family” twice and love that movie too – Its so funny and sweet and leaves you feeling all warm inside. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Motown The Musical at Hull New Theatre last month with my mum and some of my sisters and also watching more random stuff on Netflix! I really need to get back into Poldark but missed a few episodes from the last series which I want to catch up on first, so it’s stressing my out that each week I am getting further and further away from knowing what’s happening there.
Reading – I recently finished “The Unmumsy Mum” from fellow blogger (and now author) Sarah Turner. It was a really funny (albeit a little sweary too – FYI) book that left me feeling so much more relaxed about motherhood each time I read it. It is a really easy, down to earth book to read, that helped me let go of a few things and laugh about everything else in between. I really liked it.
I especially enjoyed the chapters on men and women’s roles and how we get so petty over who is worse off ( I re read it to Nath and we were laughing our heads off). And the one about letting go of the myth of supermum!
“Despite having spent many months of parenthood being jealous of supermum, I’ve come to realise it’s a bit like being jealous of Barbie and her unattainable hip/waist/bust ratio… Supermum is not real!”
Generally what made this book great was not only the chatty and humorous tone, but the whole realistic view of life as a mum/parents and how mad it can be. I liked reading about mum guilt, how we all lose it at times (and that’s okay) how others too find certain aspects annoying, and how, at the end of it all – life is actually really wonderful to be a mum!
I found myself nodding page after page and just really enjoyed the reminder that everyone feels like they’re not cut out for motherhood at times, or that your kids do random and weird stuff, but that this doesn’t mean we are failing as mother. Or that a rough day (usually when you are in the house or they turn into wild animals in the town centre) doesn’t equate to a crap life! I put it down each time I read, assured that I was doing my best, my kids are really mint and we have to do life in a way that works for us – despite the opinions of others or how they are doing it.
Motherhood is a beautiful, messy, crazy journey, just as life is and, this book just made me feel a whole lot better about it all and less of the pressure and self destructive guilt and thoughts that can creep in. I guess it leaves you felling just more relaxed about it all and an assurance that I am great – just as you are.
On the ferry home from France, I started reading “How I Rescued my Brain” by Psychologist David Roland. It is a true story (incase you havent noticed I love/prefer non-fiction) about his remarkable journey from stroke and trauma. I am 5 chapters in and it is really interesting and insightful so far and often relatable from a counselling perspective.
Listening to – Motown, Despacito, Hozier, clean bandit and Charlie Puth – as well as a whole other host of suggested artists as I often leave youtube on whilst I clean and work.
Bought – My best buy recently was certainly my cropped wide leg jeans from Next for £3. I also bought a cool orange top from River Island and leopard print jumpsuit – both from the charity shop! I am buying lots of ice cream and snacks at the moment too, to keep my gannit kids well fuelled!
Visited – These last few weeks have been great for adventures! I have been to Versaille (so beautiful), Paris, Le Mans and the Vendee coast. Caens, Dieppe, and hear in the UK – a day in Filey and Hull!! It has been great. I am yet to write about our family trip to France, but I will say here in this post that I loved the gardens at the palace of Versaille and the tiny cobbled streets of the old quarter in Le mans the most. The Eiffel tower was impressive and riding the metro fun, but Paris wasn’t what I imagined (more on that later!).
I am thankful that I have completed another year of my education over these last few weeks, had time as a family to travel and gain more clarity and gratitude for life and feel truly blessed despite difficult times. Life lately has been weird and random but also filled with celebration, lots of fun and hopeful goals! I am looking forward to more of that in August and camping next week with my pals!