Friday, 23 December 2011

the sun stands still

I have always wanted to see the sunrise in Newgrange on the morning of the winter solstice.  One of my new loves is listening to the radio as TV is far too boring for me now, apart for the good wife and my truly insane addiction to American Pickers.  I listened to a programme on the birth of Christ and the historical origins of Christmas, in particular the solstice.  The ancient Irish believed that the sun stood still on the winter solstice.  This  is the point in the year where the tilt of the earth is furthest away for the sun and the point at which it tilts back. The ancients thought that it stood still and the sun and moon were important for them to plot the year, when to sow crops etc.

I was fascinated to hear that they believed that the sun stood still and have always been fascinated by the construction of the mound and the setting out of the passageway.   People have always been in tune with their surroundings and each year I count the days to the winter solstice as it means that my gloomy mood will soon lift with the brighter mornings.  This year I worked with the idea that the winter would not affect me like it usually does but despite my efforts it did.  I finally tuned into the reasons and hopefully next year will be different.  The plan is to spend a significant part of my day outside during the winter,  My new job in January will allow me to do that.   I discovered that I need light to flourish in the winter and I need to feel the weather, particularly the wind in winter.  We can easily fall out of tune with life if we fall out of tune with our environment.  I love to follow the tides and the cycles of the moon, the seasons and the changes of nature.

We all have dreams that we think are too fanciful to fulfill, places we would like to visit, things we would like to experience.  Yet we find ways of not doing them.  I discovered that I still hold many limiting beliefs and find reasons why I cant do things rather than ways to do them.  Today I will apply to visit the passage tomb for the solstice. The access is decide by lottery, but to quote the many sayings about the lottery, if you're not in you cant win and It could be you.  So instead of thinking I cant , it wont happen, it wont be me, its time to reconnect with the magic of luck and just try anyway.

Happy Christmas, Saturnia, Hanuka, Davali or what ever post solstice winter ritual you engage in.  :-)

Thursday, 15 December 2011

just when you thought it was all over

Just when I thought it was all over and life was now easy again I started to feel a little overwhelmed by people and events.  I decided against digging a hole and hibernating for the rest of the winter in it although my plans to line with with nice cosy things and perhaps bring my lovely warm blanket , and maybe the pets to keep me company and some nice food, a bit of Christmas cake and some books to read, were appealing I think it is better to face up to life events instead of hibernating with the rabbits.  I asked someone just as I started to get well when would I be able to take my wellness for granted and she told me never, that we really cannot take wellness for granted and need to do things that keep us well.  I started to feel like I could not cope, that things were just getting back to square one again.  This time I spoke up, I told people that their behavior was upsetting me, I stuck with it and did not accept that it was my fault that they were behaving like that or that I was to blame. We are all responsible for our own behavior no matter what our age, (perhaps maybe not babies!)  there was a time that I would have tied myself up in knots to please others but now I am fully unraveled.  

there is a point to all this and I suppose I will get to it eventually.  The point is about growth.  In order for something to grow it must have life, nourishment, an energy source and the right environmental.  To move beyond just simple growth and to thrive and flourish a growing thing need optimum conditions.  The same is true for our emotional selves.  We can grow and thrive in optimum conditions, conditions that are suitable for the type of creature we are.  I recently discovered that I am classified as an introverted intuitive according to personality testing.  This has helped my appreciate my highly sensitive nature and make good use of the traits that used to cause me to be overwhelmed.  I may pick up on lots of things others miss, rather than trying to be like them I can learn to adapt to my environment where necessary and yet seek out my natural habitat where I can flourish.  I can now steer clear of those who cause me stress and tension as I can instantly recognise them.  I have learned to plan around potentially difficult things and acknowledge that I need a longer recovery time from upsets than those less sensitive.  I accept my need for peace and quite and reflective time.  I do not apologies those those that see me lying back in my chair in the office eyes closed while I think about the problem I am working on.  I do not feel the need to be sitting upright staring at a computer screen to be producing work.  I no longer feel under pressure for not liking pubs late at night.  I fully understand the expression of a fish out of water.  
So I am off to figure out what my optimum growing environment is or perhaps I am already in it. 

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

grumpyness and other things

If there was a world championship for grumpiness I would have won it over the last few days.  Bah humbug and other assorted moans.  I did not go out last weekend.  I just wanted to dig a hole, line it with nice cosy things like rabbits fur, straw and maybe some moss and hibernate for the rest of the year.  so what to do, well the usual I suppose, what has worked before.  Today it as EFT.  amazingly after 10 minutes of tapping I was free of the stress and felling well enough to make arrangements to go out this weekend.  Well done me.  

So roll on christmas, today we bought the tree, maybe I should be less grinchlike and put it up and decorate it, not sure how much longer I can stay grumpy in the face of tinsel, baubels, and christmas cake.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Its a wonderful life- re-parenting ourselves

I have very happy memories of my early childhood but not so many of my late childhood and early teens.  Things happened that I did not understand and nobody explained them to me so I made assumptions.  I did not know how to ask or even what questions to ask.  I accepted things as they were.  That is one strategy but one that has taken me time to unlearn.  One of the key breakthroughs I had was in relation to parenting.  I learned that children, even teenagers and young adults,  need to have things explained to them.  Nobody is born knowing about life, we learn it, and hopefully we learn it in a warm and tender and loving environment.  Sometimes we do not find the love we seek from others, sometimes we do.  There is always one person who stays with us; ourselves.  It is only when we don't love ourselves and we abandon ourselves that we truly loose love.  It has taken me a long time to love myself but yesterday I found out that my eldest knows that I love her unconditionally.  Perhaps this is a sign that I know how to love unconditionally and that I am showing that I love myself.  

I often wished that some people loved me more than they did.  That they loved me enough not to leave me or abandon me.  The thing is I didn't love me enough not to abandon me.  That sentence I keep hearing form my counsellor, You abandoned You, finally makes absolute sense.  Yesterday I did not abandon myself but I nearly did.  I shall list that with my other achievements and concentrate on what I have achieved and not what others notice that I have not achieved.  

Today's achievements so far; getting up, opening the curtains, getting dressed in a nice outfit, getting the children to school with all their stuff and lunches, feeding the furry brothers (guinea pig and rabbit), getting to work on time, being pleasant and making small talk with colleagues although I wanted to hide at home and cry, completing another part of my work project, realising how to solve a problem at work, going home for lunch, and cooking a nutritious lunch, making a lovely comforting cup of tea, writing in my blog.  All these things seem trivial but then its being able to deal with the trivialities of life that keep us going.  This time last year my only achievement on that list would have been getting up, if I was lucky.  Last night I watched Its a wonderful life and this time I cried as I was so close to the edge this time last year. 

Today think about all the things you do that you take for granted and realise how much they mean to those around you if they were not done or you were not here. It really is a wonderful life. 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Today I wonder Why?

  • Who: Whose life will I touch today, and who will touch mine?

  • What: What will my goals be today, what will engage and connect me with my life?

  • Where: Where will my life take me today--both literally and metaphorically?

  • When: When will I have the most energy today; when will I find time for peace and quiet?

  • Why: Why am I visualizing my day as I am--is there anything I want to re-imagine in a more positive light before I start?

  • Read more:

    I have various things to help me when I am feeling less than my best, This is just one thing.  

    Today I wonder Why?

    Wednesday, 30 November 2011

    november photo scavanger hunt

    Thanks again to Kathy for hosting the wonderful photo scavenger hunt. This months challenge was to find the list below. I did not complete the entire list this month, but as the ad says every little helps.  Might get time to update another time.

    • a lucky charm
    • a poppy
    • a self-portrait eeeek!!!!
    • comfort food
    • memorial
    • polka dots
    • silhouette
    • something purple
    • something that lights up
    • something you have made
    • staircase
    • warmth

    A lucky find: a lucky charm

    A Self Portrait

    crow outside my office window in silhouette

    The lights of Abbeyside reflected in the pond, the harbour lights up at night. 

    The staircase I walk up to work( when the lift is broken!)

    something that lights up

    something else that lights up and creates a silhouette

    I decided to give myself an extension of time on the photo hunt as I like to find the pictures unexpectedly.  I noticed this one as I was leaving work yesterday.  In fact almost all of this months photos are work related.  Views of where I work and views from my window.

    Comfort food: Peppermint tea and colouring pencils, although strictly not food the tea is a great comfort in stressful moments at work.  And the colouring pencils are food for the soul.  Doing lots of colouring in at the moment.  

    Something I made: my favourite drawing I ever did, over 20 years ago, oil bars on paper.  It was great fun to do.  I just realised I took a photo of it as I was photographing paintings that a few people I know had at a local exhibition.  Maybe time to start drawing again. 

    Tuesday, 29 November 2011

    smells like deer's ass-apologies to those easily offended for the use of the word ass.

    Did you know that the body shop's white musk perfume smells like deer's a**.  Well it does apparently, to a dogs anyway.  To help me stay well  I work with scent a lot as well as colour and sound.  I tried out a perfume I have not used in years; white musk.  My friends dog was very taken with me.  I thought that it might be the smell of rabbit as I had spent a happy half hour with the rabbit on my lap, or perhaps I smelled of the dog, my x was over with her, but no I was told I smelled of deer's a**.  The dogs mammy is a qualified aromatherapist and musk is meant to replicate the smell of deer's a**.  

    There is a point to this rameishing as always.  I used to ware this scent as a teenager.  Dogs used to follow me a lot, and I mean a lot.  My dad told me it was because they smelled the fear.  Once I actually had to hide in a phone box to escape, actually I had to ring my dad to rescue me, but that's another story.  But it was not just fear that they smelled but fear AND deer's a**.  

    And here is the point: I lived for years believing that dogs could smell fear which only served to heighten my anxiety.  I ended up totally petrified of dogs until very recently and now I am free of that fear.  There was another answer to why the dogs followed me: they were attracted to my perfume.  I jumped to the conclusion that my father was right and now I know better.  This is like many trans-generational beliefs and behaviors, some are good some less so, and we need to let go of the ones that do not serve us well.

    So today think about what is it that you believe to be true? Which of your deep down fears are you feeding with the wrong information.

    Having an open mind and having self awareness and awareness of your environment and feelings helps you to stay well and thrive.  And thriving is my new goal.

    Sunday, 27 November 2011

    paradise almost found

    I decided to close my first blog, cherryblossominbloom as I had largely recovered from the worst of the adjustment reaction.  I believe that a name is very important as it conveys so much about a thing.  Our own names are not a reflection of ourselves and our views but those of our parents or the people who name us.  My eldest daughter recently changed how she spells her name and I was called by my Irish name sinead for years in school, in fact there is a chap who used to call me Liz much to the confusion of everyone at the time.  Paradise almost found is a name that represented so much for me.  In my quality world I would live in a paradise like place, with lush plants surrounded by nature, lakes and the sea; full of colour and happiness.  I cant have it all but I can have a lot of it, I can have the happiness, the color nature (but not so much of the tropical stuff).  OK so I will not be living in a mansion with 5 swimming pools but I can create a better environment for myself with a little effort.  I realised that the place where I dont have to worry was within myself.  If we are OK in ourselves it is as close to paradise as a human can get.  

    My life is far from perfect, but it is authentic, I am myself, I have learned to expressed my self and my feelings; for me that it the closest thing to paradise I can imagine.  The freedom to be as I am and to grow and develop as I decide myself, free for the voices of my past and filled with hope for the future. 

    So today consider: I were really free to choose your life, would it be the one you are living, and if not what can you do about it.   Are you following your passions in life and if so well done.

    Happy Sunday, I am off to do some housework not because I must but because I choose to.  

    begin again

    Saturday, 26 November 2011

    false spring - real hope

    At present the magnolia tree in my neighbors garden is coming into bud.  This is in stark contrast to this time last year which was the beginning of the most severe winter in decades and I do not remember it at all.  I was deep in the throws of a meltdown, burn out, nervous breakdown, major depressive incident, adjustment reaction, call it what ever you want but I was emotionally no longer able to cope with the demands of my life.
    As I looked at the buds all full of hope and I realised the trees are just responding to triggers, mostly temperature.  I wondered if they will they use up all their energy coming into bud too soon and if they will bud again in a less energetic way in the real spring.  I chose to move here as spring arrives in Feburary two months earlier than it did up north.  I love being outdoors and although it stays bright for about another hour in the summer it did not compensate for the long winter and short summer hence the move.  Somewhere in the winding post there is a point.

    The point is we all respond to triggers, things that cause us to behave in a particular way, some are genetic some are learned and some are developed.

    So why not watch out for your triggers, awareness is a start.

    Friday, 25 November 2011

    the critical parent without:-staying with yourself

    Transactional analysis is a marvelous tool.  I worked for a while on the critical parent within, but what about the critical parent without;-  Actual parents and those who communicate with me through the critical parent style.  I had a very bad moment recently where I fell , or perhaps dissolved into adapted child mode.  I abandoned myself and was no longer in my adult.  Wow it felt good letting fly, I lost all sense of my well practised recovery tools, my NLP training, my long year of self actualisation and my newly learned patience.  I let fly and behaved like a child, I had a good old fashioned rant.  I suppose I should be thankful that I managed to get back to my adult self within an hour of the incident, but wow did it take some work.  

    Sometimes we slip back to bad ways, sometimes we let our emotions get the better of us.  When this happens I have been trained to ask myself what am I not doing for me? and in this case the answer was I was not exercising.  Then I would have burned off all those nasty stress hormones and not lapsed into the behavior of a cross child.  But there are lessons in everything.  The lesson for me in this case was to be more aware of how I react to peoples communication styles.  To be cautious in my dealing with others.  To learn new phrases and ways of dealing with those who communicate in critical parent mode,  and most important of all not to dwell on mishaps; to recover and move on quickly.  I must give myself a pat on the back for doing just that and hope that I spot it better then next time. 

    So tonight I will reflect on what I am not doing for me and when I get the answer I will do it.

    Happy Friday and happy thanksgiving to all my american friends out there. 

    Saturday, 19 November 2011

    living without anxiety

    Overcoming trans-generational conditioning is the greatest achievement of my life.  I always hated the classic interview question; what is your greatest achievement.  It was one I was never comfortable with.  Since I overcame my conditioning to be modest and not boast I could list so many achievements.  Last week my mother came to stay as my children were ill.  I was more than a little stressed about it as she tends to criticise and I used to feel so inadequate.  I have learned to expect to feel well.

    I have learned not to panic when confronted with a change of plan or difficult situation.  I have learned to accept my limitations.  I have learned to accept myself.  I watched my mother start to panic as I had no definite arrangements made for who would mind the children the day she was leaving.  I realised that it was just a small thing and arrangements could be made, there were options and there was no need to panic.  It is so nice to be back to my normal optimistic self.  The one who believed if you plan it it will happen, the one who believes that the world is full of possibilities, that there is a solution for everything.  Its nice to be well and its better to be better.

    So today why not take the time to look at the things you do well, your greatest achievements and pat yourself on the back for your efforts. 

    Friday, 18 November 2011

    Crazy on the outside - Warning

    Lots of people have crazy thoughts, which they deny or hide.  Many are just passing ideas like my tidal/wave/wind  powered desalination plant to supply water to the capital city and save our rivers, others are secret and dangerous ones which thankfully most people don't act on like murdering your wife and disposing of her body in a bath of acid.  Looking crazy on the outside does not mean that we are crazy on the inside.  For years I lived with serious anxiety, and fixed beliefs that did me no favours.  Now that I am well I don't feel the need to seem sane on the outside.  So many people look so normal and well adjusted but behind the facade they are seething with fear, depression, anxiety, and worse.

    So maybe its OK for me to look a little crazy on the outside.  

    Warning: The cerise pink ugg boots are just the start, its pink hair next and maybe even a zandra -rhodes-like kaleidoscopic of colour.  

    She was my favourite designer as a child, my parents worried that I would go to art college and dye my hair pink.  But being crazy on the inside I conformed and studied engineering and got a proper job.  So now perhaps its time to go a little crazy on the outside just introduce a little balance.  

    So today why not practise a little for your crazy old age and live as if not one is watching. 

    Friday, 11 November 2011

    current obsessions & new passions

    Since I recovered from anxiety I have had to find new things to occupy my slightly obsessive mind.  I suppose it is a way of making use of that type of thinking and putting it towards more productive uses, well maybe not productive , perhaps more less unhealthy than the awful broken record, catastrophic thinking, whirring round of jumbles thoughts of old.  While I was unwell my obsession was on getting better, or perhaps a better way of putting it was my focus was on getting better.  First it was kinetic art and the endless designs for automatic bubble machines(still a work in progress) oh and bubbles, then it was meditation, rock balancing, going for walks, wild flower hunting, then crochet and now patchwork, the history of roads in the county.  

    For me having hobbies again is like finding long lost friends.  I was so busy with work, commuting, and my children that I forgot about having a passion for something just for myself and my own fulfillment.  Jobs come and go, we are all indispensable (well almost) and children grow up and move on in their lives.  We all need something that is just about ourselves and who we are, someway of expressing our passions and something to show that we matter and have a place in the world.  For me for a long time work took that place.  I do enjoy looking at things I have helped to create.  I suppose when I was not working it was a very refreshing change to talk to someone new.  How often are we asked What do you do? It was very liberating not to be given a list of problems they needed help with or be given heaps of advise about what I should do in my job.  I am glad I relearned what it is to be a person in my own right.  I had become what I did not who I am.  I am glad I have a renewed passion for life.  It is nice to have a huge part of my mind devoted to thinking about nice things, places to go, new activities, instead of silly worries, anxious thoughts about my inadequacies.  I still have inadequacies but they are no longer my focus.  My focus is now on making my life easier and entirely more enjoyable than it was for those lost years.  I suppose like any newly recovered anything, whether you have survived cancer, alcoholism, depression, suicide, major illness, you look at life differently; with fresh eyes.  My fresh eyes see all sorts of beautiful things now.  Last week I noticed dew covered spiders webs for the first time in year.  They have always been there but I just didn't notice.

    So today go out and look at the world around you with fresh eyes, enjoy your passions in life and have a lovely and relaxing weekend.  

    Thursday, 10 November 2011

    futher joys of boredom

    Kids are sick, nanny is sick, i am bored and fed up.  Sometimes I forget to pace myself and then wham life reminds me to do that.  On the front page of my diary I wrote: slow down, breath, smile, just to remind myself to do just that.  I am fairly vigilant about not taking on too much but not taking on enough can be just as bad for me.  What is there to do now that it is almost winter and the pleasures of the long evenings are gone and the weather is yeuch.  Today was spent mostly yawning.  Yawning is important.  The first time I encounter a comment on yawning was from a very charming expat colleague who told me that yawning was a sign of fear or tiredness and wondered which it was, others say that it is releasing trapped emotions, so i decided to google it.  Ah yes the oracle google  but I could not get a wholly satisfactory answer.  I am concluding that it is lack of fresh air.  Or maybe it is just pure boredom of being cooped up inside all day working.  So I did what any demented mammy would do when faced with such a situation, order pink fluffy angora wool online and dream up designs of flower covered crochet blankets for her nearest and dearest and their pets, oh and look up weekend getaways to escape from her loving family.  Wish the fecking recession was over so I could squander the winter heating oil money on a trip away.  

    On balance it is wonderful to be weighted down by the trivialities of life it means that I am no longer depressed, I am no longer anxious just plain old grumpy.  Sometimes we need a little nudge to realise that we do need to slow down and be bored just to appreciate how good life can be.  Maybe I was just getting to like beige too much.  One of the best colour experiences of my life was seeing Matisse's The Dance.  I love it that it appears in this video with one of my favourite childhood songs.  

    Happy Thursday

    Sunday, 6 November 2011

    musical moods & the joys of beige

    So much of our moods are created by our environment and our environment is created by our moods.  I am currently working on a restructuring project in my job and I had the realisation of how interlinked and iterative life is.  In the past I tried to separate out things and compartmentalise them.  Since I have learned to link things and allow all the parts of my life to flow together my life has improved immeasurably.  I like to love consciously and remember how much music helped my recovery.  

    I had to do an exercise for my therapy and my counsellor told me to put on music while doing it.  I had no clue as to what to listen to.  I thought I did not like music.  As my counselling was alot of inner child work, I decided to find my favourite music from childhood.  This opened up lots of happy memories for me.  It was only then that I realised how much I love music.  I learned piano as a teenager, I played tin whistle as a child and have a life long ambition to play uillean pipes, which I will realise one day in the future.  A few weeks ago I hear some Debussy on the radio and took to listening to him.  I have always been attracted to the more pointy and definite music of Bach but recently I have learned to enjoy the beautifully overlapping tones in the music of Debussy.  It is beautifully layered and a beautiful accompaniment to patchwork and sewing.  I have finally started work on my patchwork covers for the sofa.  Most of my furniture is cast off from my family.  My brother gave me a sofa which I never felt that comfortable on until I realise it was the wrong colour and too high.  So I sawed a few inches off the legs, not very well but average enough, and now I am making a lovely study in beige patchwork to cover it.  Beige is a colour I looked down on for so long.  Being a very black and white person with few shade of grey in my opinions in the past beige was not a colour I appreciated, like the music of Debussy it is subtly beautiful and so easy on the eye.  It creates a sense of harmony in any room and is a great backdrop to the more lurid colours I love.  

    Maybe this is a metaphor for life, in order to enjoy the extremes there needs to be an underlying sense of calm, black stone cherry and cerise with a back drop of Debussy and beige.  

    Saturday, 5 November 2011


    I logged in today to write about intuition and ended up reading loads of blogs.  I am so glad I found blogs.  Thanks everyone for your musings.  We all have something valuable to contribute to the world and now I seek to find value in others since I learned to value myself.  I have been pleasantly rewarded by having my view of the world expanded and learning that the world is generally an interesting and wonderful place.

    Happy thoughts to you all.

    As an aside I decided to paint the kitchen green and this is wonderful music to paint to on a sunny autumn day.

    Tuesday, 1 November 2011

    October photo scavenger hunt

    Thanks to Kathy at  postcards from the pp for this lovely opportunity to scavenge some photos.  As always it was fun to look through the months photos to see what I got and find suitable ones.  Boy wa it difficult this month.  I did not take quite so many photos this month as previous ones as I am finally back at work full-time and I have been too much of a wimp to brave the drizzle but I managed to find the last one; the black cat when I was unearthing some Halloween stuff today.  I thought that the opportunity to photograph a black cat would never appear.

    black cat

    Candlelit: Nothing is cosier than a lovely warm fire and the candlelight.  This was the first fire of the autumn, and the last of the Christmas candles from last Christmas.  Smell played a huge part in my recovery as it is one of our most basic senses.  Apparently it links into the most primitive part of the brain.  It can trigger lovely memories and I use aromatherapy oils quite alot now to enhance my moods. 

    Crunchy leaves:  These are my favourite trees as I spent quite a lot of time looking out the window.  The leaves have all fallen off the bitch trees but there are some beautiful crunchy ones waiting to fall off the horse chestnut and the cherry blossom.  I love walking down the track crunching through the leaves but this year it is dug up being widened into a cycleway.  I have the joys of next Autumn to look forward to and a lovely cycle track straight across the road.

    Pumpkin: I took my younger daughter and her friends to a holloween event in the local museam.  It was fun for them and I got to wander around looking at my favourite maps.  

    Heritage: This is my favourite old map.  Part of my job when I was younger was to go to the British museam and look up old maps to find the geotechnical history of a place.  I would be looking for streams that changed their course, and any other relevant feature, eg  filled in ground or reclaimed land.  This map is by Charles Smith and his accompanying book is a wonderful history of the area. 

    Witch's hat: made by my favourite 6 year old at the halloween event at the museum.

    Sunset & Fog: It was only when I went to look through my photos that I realised I had a shot of Tramore from the Saleens  at sunset and in the fog.  It really is a now you see it now you don't moment.  I think these two were taken around three weeks apart and probably in almost the exact same spot.  This is a wonderful location for birdwatching if you are so inclined and a place I love to stop at and just unwind.  

    Graffiti: I happened across this one day while I was particularly grumpy on my daily walk.  You gotta smile at this. 

     River: Well more of a stream but one of the few river pictures I took this month.  I got particularly lost on my way back from Sleady while dropping my daughter to her friend and realised I was going north instead of south when I drove part this grotto.  Loads of these grottos were built in 1954, the marian year, dedicated to our lady.  this is a particularly spooky one as it is in a very damp and shaded area.

    Eerie: Although I do find the grotto a little eerie, I have always found the particular style of 17th century castles very eerie.  Sleady castle is one of those.  It was apparently built by a chieften for his wife in an attempt to win her back but in the end it was taken from them in the wars of the 1640s.  Not being a great historian I dont know how much of that is true.  Suffices to say my 11 year old told me the story. Btw I should have turned left instead of right at the castle.

    Golden: Last but not least I caught this amazingly golden glow one morning on the way to work.  I had never seen such a weird glow over the harbour before so I stopped to take some photos of it. It was quite surreal. 

    Friday, 28 October 2011

    everything will be fine

    One of the factors that helped me recover was seeing a woman with my symptoms on TV explaining how you could overcome a variety of nervous illnesses with a programme called Recovery Inc. I immediately sent away for the books but could not read them until  last night.  Thankfully they have a website and wonderful online meetings so I learned the tools there.  This morning I realised that for many people the training in recovery tools is something they don't need because their parents taught them those techniques as a matter of course as children.  My parents did not know them and they did the best they could with what they had.  I realised that I can now help my daughters since I have the tools.  WOW finally I feel a good enough mother.  I never realised I had so much doubt about being a parent but it is great to know no matter how old I get I can still learn and I can evolve.  

    So today acknowledge your successes, praise yourself and remember everything will be fine if you let it be. 

    Thursday, 27 October 2011

    love the life you live

    Hanging Heart Plaque

    I went for a wander around the shops this evening and came across the quote" live the life you love "
    on a wooden heart in Next.   I have just finished my weekly counselling session and am now moving to fortnightly sessions, yeah me, so I went for a quick wander around the shops before going home.  I was reflecting on how far I have come in the last year.  Today I set a meeting with for the 17th of November and it took me a few hours to realise the significance of the date.  It was the official first day off work with my episode.  Almost a year.  I had a meeting with my work mentor, who is now training to be a life coach and I am his guinea pig so to speak.  Generally I don't speak about my episode with my colleagues except in a very matter of fact way but today I shared my experience of memory loss with a few people.  

    My memory has almost fully returned.  I have been able to think clearly and analyse data for the first time in ages this week.    I really was having a reflective day when I saw the wall art (so named by Next).  I keep phrases like that in my diary, they are cliche, but i love kitsch and cliches are my kind of philosophy.  One I refer to all the time is:what would I do if I were really in control of my life.  I add to it from time to time.  so far I have all the usual stuff; work part time, move house, get a bike, play music, dance, save money, get a cleaner. loose weight, be happy.  but tonight I added one more, Live the life I love, Love the life I live.  

    As I walked out of my councellers house into the pitch dark I saw the stars shining intensely.  There is a new moon and a clear sky and tonight was the best stray night in ages.  I am so happy that I can walk out into the lovely frosty night air and be happy to be alive and to love the life I live.  It is around a year since I look down the other way; off the edge of a cliff not so far from there and wondered if I would die or just be injured if I jumped.  The incessant worries and panicked thoughts were just spinning around in my brain until they took me over completely to the exclusion of everything else.  I thought that my thoughts were reality.  My life is not so different now but my attitude is and so is my confidence, self worth and self acceptance.  I also know that my feeling are not reality, feelings are not facts as they say in recovery training and much of life is just trivialities.  So much of how we feel is due to how we perceive things.  

    I never understood just how much we do create our own reality until I look a little step away from it, well maybe a medium sized step.  Now instead of worrying if I am living up to other peoples standards I set my own.  I have learned what it is to be average, and very nice it is too, I have learned how to listen and how to express myself.  All in all I am giving myself a very well deserved pat on the back.  We only get one life ( depending on you philosophy or religious views) we might as well decide to be happy as be miserable.  

    So give your self a pat on the back for just being you and love the life you live. 

    Wednesday, 26 October 2011

    new beginnings

    Today is one of those beautiful late autumn days.  There was a fabulous sunset and the tide was so high it started to flood the road.  This brings with it the most wonderful fresh air and smell of the sea.  I finally got to go for a nice stroll along the sea shore tonight for the first time in a week.  There is a new moon and it is a good time to renew and being.

    I have been thinking about beginnings for the last few weeks.  I got the opportunity to fully evaluate myself and my existence during my episode.  Mostly I came to realise the importance of the small and beautiful things that were around me and how I loved nature, my family, and myself.  My return to work made me realise that I love that too but perhaps I need to learn to balance things.  As a mother I am learning more about my role and the fact that children, no matter what their age, need a mothers guidance through life.  Part of my job as a mother is to help my children make sense of the world, not easy if you cant make sense of it yourself.  This is perhaps the reason that I get such joy from the simple things now.  I have given myself permission to be myself.  Somehow I think I am entering another stage in my development as a person.  So this week we have lived on pizza and thats ok as it was more important for me to de-stress and stay well than to be stressed trying to cook proper dinners.  I have yet to order oil because the door to the back garden is stuck and needs to be fixed and that is ok because we can light a lovely fire and stay warm.  The things that are important to me right now is that we made it through last week as a family unit, both daughters had medical appointments and we had a family event.  We survived it all and even had some fun.  Life is all about balance and this new beginning for me is not about trying to balance on a tight rope way up in the sky but to balance with my two feet firmly on the ground.  Finally I am beginning to accept that life has ups and downs and balance is all about returning to a state of equilibrium when we get too far out of kilter.

    It is never too late to begin again, whether it is a diet, a career, a family, a hobby - whatever you want.  We can always start again and learn to balance by taking those wobbly but determined baby steps.

    Tuesday, 11 October 2011

    and now for something completely different

    I am fortunate to have a lovely job (well most of the time).  There are some very good bits to my job and one of them is that I get to wander off around the county and while doing that I get to see lots of places and meet people with interesting stories.  I was on a bit of a fact finding mission today and ended up at the end of a pier, it was hard to describe the unreal odour that greeted us.  I looked over the edge to see where it was coming from and saw many parts of fish, but very strangely the huge grinning heads of many monkfish.  Weirdly enough the pictures do not adequately capture the eerie creepy look of the disembodied heads of a monkfish which I decided to photograph as the eerie photo for this months scavenger hunt.  The local fishermen use fish offal for bait for the lobsterpots but clearly lobsters are not attracted by large grinning disembodied heads.  I have included the view to the left of the pier for balance. 

    not so sure why he is grinning

    The view towards ferry point waterford

    I am sure I will find something eerier during the course of the month  perhaps this is just too gruesome for inclusion in the final one.  Looking at monkfish and other weird and wonderful things in the english market in cork was a very cheap day out for my eldest daughter when she was young, and when the Queen visited Cork last May she was just as entertained by the wonderful Pat O' Connell in the English market

    Cork - The Queen visited the English Market in the city

    I suppose today's words of wisdom are look over the edge, you never know what you will find.