10th June (June is For Joy!)

Made a cheesecake for my niece’s birthday as a surprise and she was delighted with it. Love making someone feel special, it makes me feel good too.

And my daughter’s friends mum rang and offered to take my daughter to the football match tomorrow evening that is an hour away, and I was dreading to be honest because I’d have had all the kids with me, so I am so delighted that I don’t have to, really really happy about that. Such a small thing and will make such a difference to us all. (There you go, someone else doing something to help me out!)

June is for Joy! #juneisforjoy

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4th June!

Yesterday I focused on the joy that I got from experiences of my day. I spent time with my stepmother, my friends, and back to my stepmother and dad.

I definitely feel much better when I see people who build me up and are positive for me.

I had a nice day, even though I was running from one thing to another and had no time in between (and was late for everything!). Then last night I was thinking about the joy of the day, and was going to post my #juneisforjoy post – but I decided instead to clean up the kitchen, so that this morning I could come down to a clean kitchen instead of having to launch into cleaning first thing today, so that is why I am late posting yesterdays Joy!

June is for Joy!

Love love love this!

I only saw this today, so that is why I’m starting this late! But it is just a lovely idea, and to be honest it is exactly what I need at the moment. Another daily reason to post something that brings joy (and hence gratitude).

It’s not my idea, I saw it on Instagram this morning, on the thefinancialdiet page – and didn’t even get to read their full post (I’m planning on going back to it!), but just absolutely loved the idea – and all day I have been thinking about keeping June is for joy in my mind, and I love it.

So I’m going to try to post a daily moment of joy here, and because it is going to be such a busy busy month, I am not going to pressure on myself to post every single day (even though I will try to) but I am going to allow myself catch up… like I’m doing today, catching up on these first three days of June!

On the 1st of June, my longest time (not oldest lol) friend came to visit with her two little children and we had a lovely day together catching up. She has been living abroad for years and years now, and has only just moved back recently. It was such a lovely day with her, and it brings such joy to me to spend time with her and even more to know that she will be around and much more accessible to me to see more from now on! We’ve been lucky if we managed to see each other once a year for the last two decades almost. She makes me feel positive about myself and my life, and is just on my level without any pressure.

On the 2nd of June, yesterday, I brought my son and grandson to the cinema. Well I didn’t actually go in, my 12yr old brought them in. But it was a birthday treat (for my April born son!) that has been getting more and more delayed so I was delighted to get to finally follow through on my promise, and I had to entertain my small two girls in the shopping centre while they were watching the movie – which was fun and difficult in equal measures, we had coffee and cake and looked in some shops….. while the baby screamed and attempted to run away, a lot. And even though it was a busy day I also managed to bake some things for my daughters cake sale (for today) which felt like a giant win because I usually have great intentions and never manage to follow through!

And today, 3rd of June, it was all about my daughter and her football. Her team won the County Championship this morning, and then this afternoon there was a fun day fundraiser (hence the cake baking yesterday!) for the whole team to go to an all Ireland football weekend at the end of the month, that they got through to go to from our county. My daughter didn’t even get to play in this mornings game, but it was a close match and the girls all played so well that there was such a sense of pride for both teams. It definitely brings joy to see the skill, the pride, the respect and the support today at the game.

Hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow with another moment of joy! It is the simple things that make life wonderful, and the idea of #juneisforjoy is a lovely way of reminding us of the small things and to notice them and be grateful for them.

When Do We Need Help with Our Mental Health?

So I’m feeling down. Like really down. Like I couldn’t give a crap about anything, and just want to hide somewhere on my own. And yet it is killing me that my house is a mess and I have so much I’m supposed to be doing. But I just can’t be arsed to do it. I have absolutely no patience. And I have a constant stream of negative thoughts running through my head.

I was at the doctor last week about something else, and I told her that I wasn’t great and that I had given myself a time line to either be better, or do something about it – ie medication.

My husband says that when I’m exercising I’m so much happier in myself, and of course when my weight goes down I’m happier too. So he’s trying to motivate me to get out on the treadmill, and encourage me to eat better. But I’m finding that tough. I think myself as well that if I could do that – exercise and eat better, and also journal a bit to get my thoughts out of my head and try getting some head space somehow whether to even read a book in the bath or to listen to some meditation, then I would probably get myself out of this funk I’m in.

But I can’t.

I have been out on the treadmill three times a week for the last two weeks, so that is a start, and I was listening to the meditation apps. I got the journal out, and a pen. But I haven’t written in it. So I’ve been trying a bit, but again I just don’t have enough interest.

I know I should. I know I should try try try, and just push myself. But I feel crap, I feel down, I feel sad and hollow and I just want to roll up in a ball on my own and be left in a pile somewhere.

And I really really really don’t want to go on anti-depressants again. I was on them for one year exactly, nine years ago. After my second child, it wasn’t for post natal depression, the doctor felt I had anxiety and stress management issues. And the medication helped. I felt much better after a few months, and I got back to myself. But it took me about a month to six weeks for them to settle in my system – in other words I could barely move off the couch for those first few weeks, I was so tired and lethargic. And I ballooned in weight. And I cannot afford to do that this time. Then, I was almost back at my pre-pregnancy weight from before having my son, and I put up at least a stone and a half, possibly more. This time I am back at my pre-pregnancy weight from having my last baby, but it is still four stone heavier than I was before getting pregnant on my first – which is my goal weight. I already hate going anywhere because I feel I look crap, because I’m so overweight. I think if I put on that type of weight again on top of my current weight, I would literally sink into a pile and just not move and never leave the house.

And I am not in a situation to do that. I know that I have to get up, shake it off and basically fake it – for my kids. They need to be brought where they need to go, they need to have the things that they need to do and get done, and I am the one to do it. And I am doing it. Even if its last minute and a rush because I didn’t have the energy to do it when I should have.

But I do have to do something about it – because I have no patience with them, and it is not fair. They are amazing kids. They are lovely and kind and helpful. They are just kids and I need to be a happier mama for them. And at the moment I am not.

So I told my husband a few weeks back that if I wasn’t feeling better in three weeks, that I would have to do something about it. Pretty sure that was two weeks ago. So basically next week I either need to be on the way back to myself – or I need to go to the doctor for advice, and discuss medication if that is what the doctor thinks. The funny thing is that what I went to the doctor for last week was an ongoing eye twitch, and she decided was stress related but gave me a course of treatment that has relaxers and antidepressants, in such low doses that they aren’t to help with depression but with the nerve under the eye. But even from taking them, and they are extremely low doses, I already feel even more sluggish. So it’s further putting me off taking full doses of anything that might help my mood.

But if I can’t shake this myself in the next week or so, for everyones sake I need to do something about it.

I have always been very aware of my mental health, and I flag my feelings with people, like my husband or a close friend – so that if it is ongoing, then I know that I need to do something about it. It is so easy for us to let our own mental health slip and slide, and the time goes fast. I thought three weeks was ages to get myself sorted and already we’re almost there. It is a reminder to us all to make sure we notice how we are feeling, and to make sure we make a plan to look after ourselves.

Day 30 of My Month of Gratitude

I’m a bit behind again. Life gets in the way. I know it is now April but I have had the last two in my head, but I had my baby girl in the hospital last night and it was so late getting home that it was already after midnight and into April so I said I’d finish these last two this morning!

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive
  14. Baby Smiles and Laughs
  15. Special Occasions
  16. Healthcare
  17. Being Irish
  18. Being a SAHM
  19. Chocolate
  20. Books
  21. Online Recipes
  22. Sunshine
  23. Online Shopping
  24. Grandparents
  25. Sleep
  26. Podcasts
  27. Support
  28. Community
  29. Handy-man Skills
  30. Having More Than Enough

I think all the above things show that we have more than enough of everything we could want or need. Obviously there is always more that we want to have or to do, but I am so thankful for everything that we do have.

In every aspect we have more than enough of everything – when it comes to basic needs like heat, clothes, food, money or further needs like entertainment and love – we are surrounded by so much. We really have more than enough. We are so lucky, and I am so grateful for it.

Day 20 of My Month of Gratitude

How are we on the 20th March already?! Wow, the month is flying by.

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive
  14. Baby Smiles and Laughs
  15. Special Occasions
  16. Healthcare
  17. Being Irish
  18. Being a SAHM
  19. Chocolate
  20. Books

I love reading. Reading has been an important part of my life since I was a small child, and I still love reading and I am so glad that my children also love reading.

Reading has always been my safe place, the place that I can escape off to. I feel that books helped me through my childhood, and that they opened my eyes up to different lives and different types of people. I am very understanding of different views to a situation and try to help people look at things differently, and I believe a lot of that came from reading so many books throughout my life.

One of my favourite things to do is to get in to the bath with a good book and just sit in total uninterupted peace and quiet reading my book. My husband knows that when I say I want a bath that I really mean I want to lie in the bath reading my book for about two hours.

I recently had a friend comment on the fact that I had brought along a book in the baby bag when I was meeting her. She was jokingly insulted that I thought I might need a book because seeing her would be boring. I told her I always have a book with me, because you never know when you are going to get five minutes of a chance to read – for example, the person you are meeting might be five minutes late, or Q’s football training might run over by five or ten minutes. Or even the car might break down and I might have to sit for an hour until someone gets there to fix the car.

I get genuinely involved in people’s lives in the books, and often I would find myself thinking about those people a few weeks later as if they were real people and wondering what they are up to now. Crazy I know. I like light enough reading, as I don’t have the concentration for much more, and I tend to judge a book by the cover – if it looks good I will start reading it, I will rarely read the blurb on the back. There was one particular time in my life where I was going through a few issues with a really good friend and I was hurting badly – and at that time I had to run through the backs of books because I had to check whether there was likely to be a theme of friendships or betrayals or loss in the book, because if there was I just couldn’t read it because I couldn’t escape and my mind would just keep going back to my issues with my friend. It was the first time I think where I had to chose my books carefully and make sure that reading them wasn’t going to turn into a negative experience.

I am really grateful for having the escape of books all through my life, I could say I am thankful for the fact of being able to read at all, or that I have free access to so many books without censorship – but the bottom line is I am grateful for books, and the fact that there are so many books out there and so many still being written.

Day 19 of My Month of Gratitude

Just realised that this one isn’t on my list, and I really thought it would be up on the top of it lol!

  1. My Husband
  2. My Children
  3. My Step-Children
  4. My Step-Grandchildren
  5. My Family
  6. My Friends
  7. My Home
  8. Our Utilities
  9. Our Health
  10. Education
  11. Coffee
  12. Technology
  13. Being Alive
  14. Baby Smiles and Laughs
  15. Special Occasions
  16. Healthcare
  17. Being Irish
  18. Being a SAHM
  19. Chocolate

So, I love chocolate! And I often think about the fact that I am so lucky to have such free access to it. Yes my head does actually think like that. I sometimes think about war times, or floods or other crazy situations which hopefully will never happen to me, that would mean there was no access to the things we take for granted. And coffee and chocolate are both up there!!

I’m really trying to lose weight at the moment, and I am so motivated about it at the moment (less than two weeks until the first of our occasions of this year) and I am happily sticking to healthy eating at the moment. But I factor in having a little bar of chocolate with a cup of tea in the afternoon after the school run every day. (Actually I haven’t even had my after school bar in the past week because we have just been so so busy, that we are not even coming home in a proper routine after school!)

I want to lose weight in a sustainable and maintainable way, and I am never going to give up chocolate so I’m not going to do it for a while and then crumble altogether a little bit down the line. I also have mini bars of 85% cocoa dark chocolate bars, and I can pick at half of one of them when I’m struggling between meals, and I feel like it helps with the chocolate hit.

I love chocolate and I am grateful for the joy that eating a bar of chocolate can bring me! And I think when something can bring you happiness like that, it is important to be grateful for it!