Saturday, 31 January 2009

i read a beautiful post by Wendy over at Hedge and Hearth about our Crone years. It really made me stop and think about where i'm at in my life. In some ways i'm not going to be there for a while, my youngest babe will be 8 next week so i've a good few 'Mother' years ahead of me yet in that respect, however at the other end of the scale my oldest babe will be 23 in march so i've been doing this job for a while now! I used to think that these terms were literal, you're a mother until your babes are grown, whilst you can still bear children you couldn't become crone. So how does that work now? I 've not reached menopause yet but i can no longer bear children, so does that make me Crone? Confusing eh? When i first started along this path i thought everything was clear cut in definable chunks (how little did i know then?) Now i can see that there as many pathways as people to walk them and nothing is written in stone. I don't believe in a dividing line any longer, all the edges are blurred, like an oil pattern in water, beautiful but always changinng. Nothing is ever fixed or solid. So how do i see these things now? Hmm....

I for one used to dread the thought of my crone years, old age was something to be feared. Now i'm not so sure. I can see the wisdom of many years being useful, keeping the stories for the younger ones to learn, finding that our skin is dryer, our hair loses it's colour and the medal of the crone years, grey hair sets in. For so many years this was something to hide at all costs, age was something to disguise as much and for as long as possible too.

So why is that the case? Why should we hide the wisdom that the Crone years brings us? We'll have raised our children, set them straight and out into the world their own lives to live. Should we then hide our shrivlled faces and our tired bones? Are we something to be ashamed of, our useful lives done?

No, this will be, finally, the time to think of us. All our duties will be done, the future, for the first time ours to own. For so long our lives on others revolved, our husband, children ,making our houses a home. We'll finally sit and read if we like, make plans that we won't need others to approve. This will be OUR time, we can focus that time on the things that WE want to do, throw caution to the wind and be finally free. Our lives are full of wisdom and love, we have so much to give, years of knowledge to share, a lifetime of experience to pass on. It's up to us to make our lives how we want them to be, go out and be proud and finally do what we WANT too, and at long last, not what we NEED! xXx

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

I'm not american, but i do feel american politics affect my life over here in the U.K. I, as a general rule, don't watch tv, only listen to the news on the radio and have a general allergy to politics and all the lies that spew from that area of our lives, whether we support the policies/politicians/party or nay.
Yesterday, however, i decided to turn on the tv to witness this historic moment in world history. As I listened to this man, saw the incredible crowd, the hope shining on everyones faces i have to admit, i felt optimistic too. a little glimmer of hope slowly began to flicker inside me.
I know that politicians are well versed in the art of speaking for a long time without having much to say, it comes with the territory. Despite this, however, this man had a lot to say. He didn't put a whitewash over it, he said that times were going to be tough before they got better. There were very little rose covered titbits given out to sugarcoat the truth, it's going to be a long, hard slog to get back on your fee again and undo the damage that his predessesors policies had done. No carrots dangled before the donkey to give a nation some kind of hope that would always be out of reach.
Yesterday i felt hope, not just for a nation but for the world. If your new president does remain true to his ideals, does keep his promises and continues to fight for what he believes in thn i really do believe that this world can be a better place for us all to live in xXx

Sunday, 18 January 2009

If only........

I visited the lovely Aimees' blog (CageFree Family) today and was once again struck by the generosity and just general kindness of ordinary people. They've had a run of poor luck over the last couple of weeks and found themselves stuck in a hotel for a few days as the heater on their Rv has gone on strike. She was feeling a bit sorry for herself with all the holdups and everything, not to mention the pain she was in caused by trying to be supermam. So out they trudged, also feeling a little concern with regards to their bank balance.

So, they decided to do a bit of shopping at whole foods as for xmas they recieved a $400 voucher for that shop. However, on entering the shop they didn't grab a trolley and do a supermarket sweep in 5 mins flat, instead they decided to donate their gift to the charity. All of it. Despite their concern regarding their own finances, the fact that they could've easily found useful purchases for this amount and they don't have a regular income right now. not only did they donate all of their giftcard, they added to it with $100 of their own limited funds, so that 2,000 kids're going to get fed. How amazing is that? To me, this shows what we ordinary people are capable of.

Of course we can't all manage to feed 2,000 kids on a regular basis, but we CAN all do our little bit to try and make a difference. It's also the example we set for our kids. They see us behaving in a certain way, so they copy it. I doubt that very many of us are mega money millionaires - if you are, all donations gratefully recieved! Lol! - but clearly none of us are on the poverty line either, if we were, we wouldn't be online would we? Here in England i'm classed as the bottom of the ladder but there's no way that i'm poor. We have a roof over our heads- and it keeps out the rain!- we live in a beautiful place, we have food, warmth, basically everything that we need and even some of the things that we want. It always amazes me when people complain about their lot, whilst wearing the latest clothes and gold jewellery, trainers that cost upwards of £80. How can they be poor? Poor is not having enough to eat, no money for medicine for your sick kids, sleeping under corrugated sheets at night on a hard stone floor. We most certainly are NOT poor.

Those of you who've been here before know my opinion on xmas, just a quick gentle recap for any newbies amongst you i I HATE XMAS!!! - but this year the pressure was even greater than usual, like most people the belts needed to be even tighter than normal, the prices were shooting up whilst incomes were definately not. I asked the smalls what they wanted, explaining that the list couldn't be very long.(**in our house we still have one believer,Little Miss R, young Master B has got it sussed but was warned on pain of death and other nasties not to let on to his sister what he knew - a barbie coat for school was one suggestion, lol!- The deal is that mam has to send money to santa, anyone who lives far away sends their gifts to him to deliver, there's nothing for free unless you've been absolutely super duper good with bells on and even then it's only one small thing 'cos there are too many kids in the world for all the swag to be for free. It also helps explain why some kids have hundreds of pounds spent on them and some don't, a harsh lesson but one we all need to learn**)

They spent some time pondering the swag options, a lot of time hidden by the argos catalogue, Master B was in his glory here as he was'pretending' to be excited about santa, being such a wiser and older brother it gave him a sense of maturity, keeping the secret from the'little kids'. It's so old you know,being nearly 10,( double figures!Gasp!) there was also quite a bit of muttering and hushed conversations rapidly stopped as i entered the room. Finally they came to me with their lists. B knew he was going to spain with his dad so i'd had to get him a passport and new clothes etc, books, lots, a watch, two actually, a wallet and some dvds, Little miss R wanted a skateboard, a watch, a couple of cds and some makeup thing. They showed me their lists and hovered around for a while whilst i read them. "We know we can't have all of these things but we've put more so if you can't get one there's always something else" -not daft my kids let me tell you!- " but the most important thing we want isn't in the argos, it's on the telly". i gulped and did a quick mental search to see if there was anything under £50 advertised on tv.i drew a blank. I took a deep breath ans said "Well, you know kids the toys that they show on the tv..." i was going to say 'are VERY expensive' but was cut off by them saying " No mam it's not a toy, we want to do something else". I was speechless for a moment, then they proceeded to tell me all about their plans, what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do it.

So now Master B is the sponsor of a bottlenose dolphin that goes by the name of Sundance, who swims in the Moray Firth(scotland) and sometimes the Solway Coast (where we are!) how lovely is that? Little Miss R is the sponsor of a collie dog named Spot, who has one blue eye and one brown eye. I was choked. The icing on the cake is the gift that they 'got' me. A monthly donation to UNICEF, to 'feed the poor children' is what they decided that i needed the most.( of course i have to pay it, they didn't get as far as that concept but that doesn't matte one bit). I'm pretty sure i've not felt prouder than this for a long time.

If a 7 and 9 year old can see past the hype and think to do something nice at xmas why can't most adults? My kids're not perfect -far from it - they wanted toys too, of course they did. I'm pretty sure that if all they recieved on xmas morning was their respective sponsorship packages there d've been tears and stropping all over the place. BUT - and this is a big but, they did stop for a moment and think beyond their own needs and wants. My kids don't know we live on the 'poverty line', pah, a load of s**t in my opinion, they did know that they weren't going to get x boxes or plasma screen tellys or anything like that as money was very tight but they still stopped to think beyond themselves. These are our kids, our future.

Sometimes when i think about the future it scares me. All the fighting, suffering, starvation, poverty, greed and all that is wrong in this 'modern' world that we live in. Every day the news brings more sadness into our homes, it's gotten so bad that we hardly flinch at the news another kid has been stabbed, a postmasters son was shot, another buisness has gone bust, another bank has gone under. We just shrug and maybe even pause for a minute but then carry on with our lives. It's the age of 'it's nothing to do with me' when people see others breaking the law and say nothing for fear of reprisals, 'i'm allright Jack' when more people lose their jobs, another buisness goes under. As long as it doesn't affect our imediate lives then we just walk on by. Not painting such a great picture here am i? ....

Thankfully, at this point, something that the lovely Leanne over at Somerset Seasons said to me springs to mind here. I'd left a comment on her blog thanking her for helping me to see the little part of the world we live in through different eyes. She said that"The world is full of colour Sarah, if you just take a look." How right she is! Instead of thinking about the bad, think about the good. If two little kids can think about others as well as themselves at xmas, then anyone can. We're ALL capable of doing something, however small. Recycling your waste, using proper shopping bags instead of carrier bags, buying fairtrade tea bags, sponsoring a child, anything. It ALL counts. Never think that it's too small to make a difference. Everything counts. We can show our kids that WE, you,me our neighbours, anyone and EVERYONE can help. it's just that first step, the one that starts the journey for you. Once you've taken that you're away,AND, let me tell you, you'll feel great. We don't have to fund another wing for the library or start wearing sackcloth and ashes - unless you really want to of course?! - to make a difference either. It doesn't matter if no one else in the world knows what you've done, you'll know and thats all that counts. Just imagine what it'd be like if we all did just one thing! then another, then another........

Monday, 12 January 2009

Here's hoping, 2009.........

I don't usually 'do' new year resolutions - it's like (potentially) setting yourself up to fail before the months out, which doesn't bode well for the year, in my case anyway - so i've made a few promises or list of aims of things that i want to achieve - or stop! - this year.

Since i've been disabled i 've found myself on a number of occasions making plans to do something or go somewhere only for this to be prevented by my back being bad on that day. It's so infuriating! The thing is that often there's no warning, one day i'm up and pottering about, albeit slowly, then the next Bam! back to bed for you madam. I've lost count of the number of plans that have gone out of the window due to me being unable to get out of bed, Grr. The kids're so good about it, they understand about mammys back, it's been nearly 5 years now so it's all the two youngest have ever known really, but of course sometimes we do get tears of disappointment.

As i've said before it took me a long time to adjust to this new lifestyle, i was always ready for the off, camping, festivals, visiting friends, going to the beach, walking the dogs, we did it all. It's only this last year that i've really been brave enough to try some of these thngs again, with the help of good friends i've been camping, to a festival, days out, all in the last year. Now that i've actually attempted these thing with success the world's my oyster! - well, the U.K. at any rate! It took a change of mindset, kind of a reverse way of thinking really, once i'd mNged that it was a lot wasier. Instead of focusing on the negative bad stuff i've realised that if i look at what i CAN do instead of what i can't -yeah, DOH! really! - it makes life much more enjoyable. HOW did it take me nearly FIVE years to see what was in front of my face??? In honour of this epiphany i'm ready to take the next step, forward planning. in no particular order here's my list of hopes and aspirations for 2009......

1) Get out of the house more regularly, even if it's only to drive to the coast and sit reading my book for a while...
2) start to take better care of myself. I used to always do my nails, wear makeup, generally look after my physical appearance more.
3)Start baking again.
4)Enjoy cooking again, as opposed to just making a meal.
5)Go to Glastonbury this year, the place not the festival, too commercial these days.
6)Visit somewhere i've never been before.
7)Go camping.
8)Learn a craft, either knitting or crochet.
9)Lose some of the weight i've gained caused by my inactivity.
10)Stop being uptight about my home not being as tidy or organised as i would like it to be.
11)Have a clear out! Those amongst you who pop by frequently will know that this is an ongoing battle for me but a girl can hope eh?...
12)Just be more positive about life, that sounds easier than it is!
13)Do more stuff with the kids, not just stories at bedtime and videos in bed when mam's ill, get them out more and do a project together, something different than the usual stuff we all do every day.
14)Try and spend more quality time with the kids individually, one on one is sometimes difficult to achieve here in the madhouse.
15)Decorate at least some of the house, i need to change my surroundings to help uplift my new found enthusiasm for life.
16)Spend more time with my family, part of the getting out more, my family live further south than me.
17)Be a better friend. I don't think i give my friends enough attention, when i'm feeling down i tend to isolate myself, becoming incommunicado, which is pretty selfish behaviour.
18)Learn to be more accepting of my situation, stop beating myself up for the plans that go awry, focus on the good things we can do.

That's as far as i've got for now. hopefully i'll add more as they come to me.

I just wanted to say that recently i've found some lovely ladies on blogger who i've found inspiring and one lady i already admired has gone even higher in my estimation after finding more out about her situation.

Aimee over at cage free family, what can i say. this lady has taken the courage of her convictions, sold up or given away everything they own and have gone on the road with her husband and two kids. i've recently discovered that she has fibromyalgia (i hope i've spelt thar right), a terrible illness that causes chronic pain and extreme exhaustion. This lady is amazing and i feel honoured to have met her.

Leanne at Somerset seasons, this lady has renewed my interest in poetry, something i thought had be killed off by A'level english literature many years ago. Reading her posts shows me our home through her eyes and helped me start seeing in colour again.

The gentle FaerieMama over at Creating my Own Nirvana. Anastasia, this ladys 16 yr old daughter, was originally from russia and her lovely maa travelled to Siberia to collect her fro the orphanage there. Hers is a tale of laughter and tears and immense love and courage. I was touched by this littlefamily from the first post i read.

Jackie over at mothering nature. she lost her husband last year and stiil manages to be the best Mam a kid could wish for. people like her make most of our petty problems seem just that, petty. Her courage is astounding.

There are so many who seem to manage everything with aplomb, i'd've been tearing my hair out and/or chewing my nailsdown to the quick if i faced half the things they do! i love visiting you all and always try to leave you a comment in thanks for sharing your day with me.

So, there you have it, my aims, hopes and dreams for 2009, a bit late i know but anyone who knows me would tell you i'm habitually late for everything, no matter how hard i try to be otherwise.

I just wanted to end this post by saying thankyou to everyone out there on blogger. You have no idea how much finding you all has inspired me to take a look at the world again. I look forward to catching up on all of you and i love it when you leave me posts, letting me know what you think. It makes me happy to see that their are ordinary nice people in this world, no matter where, who live like i do, trying to lead a decent life, stepping lightly as we go. You mean more to me than you know......