Taking the wheel….

img_20180212_135907_534-284299248.jpgDo you ever feel like you’re a passenger in your own life?

That you’re sat there somewhere in the middle of the bus with someone else firmly at the wheel steering your life from one direction to another whilst you’re just sat gazing out the window watching the scenery whizz by but making none of the decisions.

(My name is Kelly and I am over fond of a ropey analogy)

People hop on the bus , engage you in small talk , some stay longer than others . Some you unexpectedly find yourself getting quite deep and meaningful with. Then they hop off  back to their own lives .

It’s not necessarily one person driving the bus either. It’s events , circumstance , other people’s dramas.

It’s not you though , it’s never you and it doesn’t really occur to you to mind. You’ve no desire to march yourself to the front of the bus and take the wheel. In fact you’re often too busy people watching your fellow passengers to even notice this is what’s happening.

Ok I’ll stop with the bus now , but I realised recently that I am way too passive in my own life. I don’t make things happen , I’m not dynamic.

My life is spent reacting to situations I find myself in. Reacting to circumstances I find myself in .

I want that to change.

It holds me back you see . My reticence to make a decision about something I want and going out there and getting it leave me forever making plans but nothing ever coming of them.

Recently I went to a workshop about goal setting and it left me really motivated and inspired. You remember I wrote a list of things I wanted to do before 40 ? It’s just here but am I out there chasing them down like a woman on a mission?? Absolutely not . I sent some enquiries re dance classes but when I heard nothing back I left it. I’ve looked at my drafts of ‘The Book’ tweaked a few bits here and there but not really done so much work.

I’m not being down on myself here , really I’m not but this inability to go and grasp the bull by the horns irritates the hell out of me !!

I read once how character traits that you dislike in other people are because you recognise them in yourself. It’s true. I get frustrated by people who have things they are going to do ‘one day ‘but when asked what steps they are taking to get towards these goals there are none.I see myself in this kind of behaviour. I have plans , books and books and books of plans , but rarely do I make it passed step 1!!

I make excuses too (another irritant) I don’t have the time (yet I managed to squeeze in 5 episodes of Russian Doll last night) I probably shouldn’t be spending money on something as self indulgent as dance classes ( so knock your Friday bottle of wine on the head then!!) My blog is just a hobby. I don’t need to do the self hosted thing (Kelly you’ve been wittering on about it for bloody years just get it done!!)

The nonsense and excuses and procrastinating end here!

I’m taking the wheel!

This evening I will watch my trash TV once a good 500 words have been added to ‘The Book’ . It’s not many , but this everyday will add up.

Let’s go grab that wheel and steer towards productivity and see what a journey we can have !!

Just as a positive aside to disliking negative character traits you recognise in yourself , it works the other way round too. Character traits you find attractive in other people are often ones you recognise in yourself . That’s a nice thought isn’t it !!

Right , stop trying to distract me I have work to do!!!!

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BlogCrush week 106 – 22nd February 2019

Well….sniff…here we are …sniff..the last ever BlogCrush .

I’ve only been hosting the past few months , bit I’ve been a BloCrush-er from the off. Its been so great reading all your amazing posts and I will continue to do so because you’re all a very talented bunch.

We’re heading over to Lucy to link up again so head over to https://lucyathome.co.uk/blogcrush/blogcrush-week-106/

and let’s make it a good one !! Thanks so much for all your brilliant work!!

Kelly xxx

BlogCrush week 104 -February 8th 2019

img_20181101_200142-1306818574.jpgHey gorgeous #BlogCrush folk .

We’re having a few technological problems here currently (bloody technology!!) so if you wouldn’t mind hopping over to Lucy to link up this week that would be fantastic!!

She’s just here

Whilst I have you can I just say a huge thank you to everyone who joined in with us last week , it was a massive Blogcrush week and I loved reading your posts!!

Have a fantastic week everyone

love

Kelly xxx

Has blogging cured my social anxiety?

img_20180212_135907_534-284299248.jpg

I’m not sure social anxiety is ever truly cured , not if you’ve always been quite a nervous person. I can’t remember the last time I got the fear though , the people fear.

I can’t remember last time the thought of the self checkouts being shut brought me out in a cold sweat because I’d have to deal with a real life person.

I can’t remember the last time I did the thing where you meet someone new and you get yourself so worked up that you open your mouth to speak thinking to yourself “don’t say something stupid ,don’t say something stupid” only to open your mouth and pure gibberish exits, making the anxiety even worse.

I’ve embraced group situations recently , even groups of strangers . I’ve socialised more.

There is of course the fact I’ve some great people in my life who make socialising fun and who believe in me so much it rubs off on me this has eased the social anxiety.

I do think though that blogging might have been the biggest factor.

It’s not as nuts as it sounds , honestly. Humour me ?

I think the main factor is with blogging I am communicating via the written word. Always my favourite. Some of my raw , honest blog posts would never have been given life if I had to say them out loud. I’m getting better but I don’t find vocalising emotions easy.

So communicating via my method of choice brings with it a freedom.

I can tell my stories without needing to speak out loud . I don’t have to make eye contact , I don’t have to scan peoples expressions to see if they’re bored yet , I don’t have to panic noone can understand my accent.

Written down I can express myself in a way more relaxed manner , that has to be a very good start.

Also when I’m blogging I’m generally talking about something I am passionate about , a little knowlegable about or have strong opinions about. This is really helpful. It means follow up questions aren’t terrifying , I can back up what I’m saying with knowledge or anecdotes.

For a socially anxious person , or me at least , being asked or put on the spot with questions or conversations you don’t have a clue about is just terrifying and horrible and the phrase “wish the ground would open up and swallow me ” really comes into it’s own.

The blogging community helps too. All the little groups of people I never would have known ordinarily. People who have been through similar life experiences as I have. People who are honest and open about the challenges parenthood , and indeed life, throw at you. People whose lives have been really different to mine , but we have this blogging thing in common and a sense of familiarity.

Best of all these blog friends and I , well we again communicate via the written word. Social media is great for that . I think Twitter is my chatty place the most but there I can be chatty girl who doesn’t get her words muddled (too much) I can be semi articulate and free to think myself mildly amusing because the restraints that always held me back ( I blush when people talk to me…like a 5 years old , it’s excruciating) are removed. I suppose as well in this arena if people think you’re a bit of a twat well they’ll just unfollow you or not engage with you , quite direct and effective .

I just realised as well ,as I’m writing I’m using the present tense .

“I blush”

“I muddle my words”

Except , and this is the whole point of the post I guess (ah come off it Kelly when have you ever kept to the point?)

I think maybe spending time blogging , building up relationships with people online. Feeling connections with people . Being free to be my chatty , geeky self well that’s had a knock on effect to my actual real life too. Dislike that phrase ‘real life’ makes me feel like I’ve made up all my online buddies. Can’t think of an alternative though. Anyway spending time building relationships via my comfy method has given me the confidence to then take that out into my world. In all the years I’ve tweeted with folk they’ve always been so lovely and positive (except that spat I had with the Male Rights Activists but they’d not be on my Christmas card list anyway so no great loss) that I feel I am able to be braver and put myself out there with people.

My blog started life as an anonymous one , but people’s reactions to it gave me the confidence to then share it with people I do know.

Putting myself out there , being just me – the girl who loves Doctor Who , Andy Murray and chips. The girl who goes to the cinema and the theatre and for dinner alone through choice because she loves it , the bookworm and the dozy human who can often be found with her clothes on inside out. Well my blogger pals , my lovely twitter folk who I’ll likely never meet all made me feel good about just being her. It’s transferred into my day to day life that confidence.

I went to a group workshop last week ( old Kelly’s idea of hell) and I spoke and I contributed and I got to know a group of strangers because I spoke to them without worrying everyone was going to think I was an idiot…and if they did well I didn’t really mind they were strangers.

I can strike up conversations with people I don’t know without palpitations.

I sometimes even CHOOSE the tills with people at them!

The blushy girl is all but gone ( unless she’s talking to that handsome guy she hangs around with sometimes!)

Blogging has most certainly helped!!

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BlogCrush week 102 – January 25th 2019

Happy weekend everyone.

wow well I managed to escape blue Monday but this week for me has been so rubbish

How are we finding January ? Is it just me or does it seem to go on for about a decade ??

I loved the blogcrush linky waaaaayy before I was part of the team. I love the idea of sharing someone elses fab work as well as your own !!

If it’s your first time here WELCOME!!!!! Have a read through the rules then add your posts!!

The Rules

  • Join in with 2 posts:
    • 1 post from your blog (personal) – no linkies please
    • 1 post from someone else’s blog (your #BlogCrush)
  • When you add your BlogCrush (post written by someone else) to the InLinkz form, put “BC” at the beginning of their title
  • Tweet your BlogCrush (& us) to let them know you’ve added them to the linky and share their link (@lucy_at_home and @daydreamer_mum). Please tweet us your own BlogCrush posts too so we can share them for you.
  • Comment using the #BlogCrush hashtag on at least these 4 posts:
    • 1 post from Host 1 (personal or BC)
    • 1 post from Host 2 (personal or BC)
    • 2x personal posts from the rest of the link up

So that’s a minimum of 4 posts.

Don’t forget to add our sparkly new badge

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Lucy At Home UK Parenting Blogger - Blogcrush Week 89

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Us hosts are lucky enough to be able to pick a fave from the last week’s link up as our featured blog each week.

if you’re our featured blogger please take our special badge to add with your blog!

Lucy At Home UK Gentle Parenting Blogger - Blogcrush Week 89

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My featured post this week is this by chicken ruby

Lucy’s pick was here

My own post this week is one about #smearforsmear and how sexual violence can change how we feel

Have a fantastic week everyone and keep warm , I hear about is on the way….brrrrrrrr

Kelly xxx

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#smearforsmear after trauma

It’s cervical cancer prevention week and we are inundated with reminders to book in for our smears all over social media . This is a good thing , we know the Jade Goody effect is long gone . Smear test take up is the lowest it’s been for years and lives will be lost because of it .

Sometimes though there are reasons beyond a bit of embarrassment at whipping off your pants and laying legs open in front of a ‘seen it all before ‘ nurse .

If you’ve suffered abuse or sexual violence you may feel like you just cannot do it. The triggers of being that vulnerable and being touched that intimately may simply be impossible for you to even contemplate,let alone do . I know that and I understand . There are so many ‘normal’ situations that involve being touched that I simply can’t do or that I’ve had to overcome for the sake of my health. I’m not going to order you to get down that doctors for your smear right this instant or patronise you with the consequences of not doing , because you already know. Bloody hell I can’t tell anyone to do anything , I can’t even manage the hairdressers as my hair being touched is a huge trigger of panic and traumatic flashbacks. What I can do maybe though ,is talk about how I manage with smears and maybe you could try out some of my tips. Hopefully they might work for you or at the very least help you come up with a solution that’s right for you.

* Talk to your GP or nurse

I know talking about previous sexual violence or abuse isn’t easy , but if you talk to a health care professional before your smear , they’ll know your history and they can take this into account when the time comes .

I missed many , the Jade Goody effect was lost on me . Yes I knew women died but this wasn’t embarrassment or fear of pain this was a mental block that I just couldn’t overcome . Until my sister had an abnormal result with her smear and something just triggered in me that I had to do this. I spoke to my GP , all the while apologising for wasting an appointment on my fears but she was so good ,told me this was certainly not a waste and between her and an amazing nurse created an environment where I felt in control with what was going on. I didn’t even realise that’s what I needed but the professionals did.

If you discuss your history and past trauma with your GP or nurse and you don’t feel reassured or you feel misunderstood or dismissed or not listened to then go elsewhere.

*Take a friend

Again opening up and talking about how debilitating your past trauma is can be hard , I know this . Having someone to just be with you in the waiting room when you’re tempted to just run away could be helpful though. Obviously some people (like me) find overcoming something so huge as something they can only do alone .

*Seek help for healing after past trauma

Again all these words of advice come from telling people what you’ve been through and I know that’s far from easy I promise I do. It really is the only way to truly heal though. My mental health has been screwed for years because I didn’t deal with the past and it’s not an easy thing to do but ,on this one , the ends justify the means.

*Seek alternative advice

Speak to someone at Jo’s Trust , look on their website. It’s full of advice on how to make something potentially triggering and traumatic easier. Speak to other survivors of abuse who may have their own tips . Personally I choose meditation , now I know there’s hardly enough time to get into deep relaxation as it’s over with pretty quickly but the breathing techniques that go with meditation I find helpful because I can concentrate on that totally and almost leave my body temporarily whilst folk are fiddling around with my vagina .

I guess my advice , on the whole, is talk to someone. There will be someone who can help you through.There’ll be advice somewhere that may just connect with you as a possibility. Your past has had a huge impact on your well-being already , don’t let it rob you of your future too.

I’m not being all holier than thou either here . I’m just saying I understand sometimes it’s not just a case of gritting your teeth and getting on with it because than can feel impossible. As well as my hairdresser thing , I find the dentist problematic something vulnerable about that experience. If I forget to request a female GP and have a strange man touch me doing something as simple as taking my blood pressure I can descend into to panic.

I know it’s not easy to overcome something so huge but ,for me and I can only ever tell my story , there’s something empowering in taking control and not letting the past win over my present .

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Oh b@##!cks …seems the mental health experts are right

Lovely readers , if you’ve read much of my blog or if you follow me on Social Media

(Here on Twitter

Here on Facebook

Here on Insta if you were wondering )

you will know that I have a love of chips , and cocktails and wine and sitting on my arse and galaxy caramels and junk food and being a hermit who likes to be left alone with a book.

However , I have finally after years of denial and refusal to believe the truth , have to concede that these things are not necessarily conducive to good mental well-being. I know that sucks right ?? I’ve read the guidelines , I’ve read the articles but I rolled my eyes , tutted then believed my way was best. My mental health was in no way impeded by my lifestyle I just had to wait for a mental health wobble to pass and all would be back right with my world. The mental health wobbles did pass , but when they did I wasn’t necessarily happy. I was slightly less crap than I had previously felt but not happy , not motivated ,not joyful . Just not so down.

So here I am (and please don’t mistake my Eureka moment for some kind of New Year New Me nonsense because I hate that stuff) having to concede that these basic concepts of how to deal with anxiety and low mood . Well they actually work. Can’t tell you how much I resent it !! Let’s look at it closer shall we . As always I can only talk about what helps my mental health , everyone is different.

Sleep

Anxious , low mood me is a bit on the irritable bitchy side I won’t lie . She reads the sleep advice and hits right back with “huh well that’s all well and good but you try sleeping when you can’t breath and your heart feels like it’s about to bounce out of your chest”

Thing is a good night’s sleep really does help. I can deny it no longer. I read how motivational it was to set your alarm an hour early everyday and get up and start the day in a productive manner (I’m so sorry I’ve searched and searched for the source but can’t find it anywhere)I thought I’d give it a whirl as my blog has been sadly neglected of late so I thought I could use my hour for that but I’d have to go to bed much earlier . So I have been. Not everyday , I still sometimes get so wrapped up in a book 1am calls . I’ve made a concerted effort though. It was hard to sleep at first but added to doing a bit of exercise to make me physically tired I also used meditation before bed and my brain I assume got into the habit of the earlier night.

Exercise

This was the one I least wanted to be true . I’m a bit lazy . The thought of the gym brings me out in hives ,along with the idea of any kind of group fitness setting.

I have run intermittently on and off for years but more out of feeling obliged to exercise rather than enjoying it . Lately though I have been feeling the endorphin hit and finding myself , again , way more productive in a day when I’ve run or swam first thing…… annoying…seems sat on your bum isn’t terribly conducive to good mental health.

Diet

Another one that’s a absolute pain. Just leave me be with my chips and my crisp sandwiches could you !! Yeah yeah healthy eating blah blah …how’s that going to make a difference really?? Bloody does though!! I had to make a few changes to my diet for other health reasons not connected to my mental health . It’s definitely contributing though. Less sugar , more fruit (apparently fruit and nut doesn’t count ) less salt ,more veg. It’s all basic stuff right ? Basic stuff I’ve been ignoring for years .

Drink more water

We ALL know this one , and once you get in the habit it’s the easiest thing to change I think. Plus there are some super cute water bottle out there!!

Socialise

We all know loneliness and isolation are detrimental to mental health , however for someone like me who actively enjoys her own company I was always a bit conflicted by this one . I think the key for me has been balance. I can’t handle lots of people for long periods , I need socialising to be on my terms really and so there are two things here that I think are helping this head of mine and that’s a) saying no to things or events that I dont want to do and b ) realising that as well as loving my own company I also really quite like (carefully selected of course) other people’s company too!!

I don’t know what balance of making these changes have had the uplifting effect on my mental health as I kind of did them all within a short space of time. I suspect it’s probably a combination of them all. I just need to now when the next wobble inevitably turns up make sure that a family size caramel , a duvet in the dark , neglecting my diet and hibernating for a week isn’t necessarily my first port of call . Self care is of course always important and chocolate with a blanket and a book usually helps . My problem though is I’ve an all or nothing nature so a day of wallowing can easily slip into 3 days , a week. Maybe next time ….and I’ll say this fast because it feels wrong coming out my mouth (or fingers) maybe …. I’ll try a run !!!

The Top 7 Tag

Here we are almost at the end of the longest month in existence , how does January last for so long??

Anyway the lovely folk at Parenting Phils challenged me to take part in this reflective look at the past year. It was an increasingly tricky one for me personally but I’m not going to spend a brand new year feeling sorry for myself so I’m going to focus on the good parts of last year and this tag seemed a good way to do that. Onward and upwards and all that!!!

So……

My Top 7 Posts From 2018

Didn’t know whether to go with my personal faves or the posts that were most popular so have combined the two starting with my top 3 most popular posts

Affection withdrawal as an abuse tactic… conquered

I didn’t realise how relatable this post would be. Even so many years away from abuse I do still suffer from thinking that certain things that happened had only ever happened to me.

We’re all stories in the end….

A piece where I thought of the stories I tell my children of their grandparents that they never met and ponder what stories my children will tell to their children about me …eeekk

Then I became me…

A positive poat about how rebuilding after abuse can leave you pretty strong and powerful.

My personal fave posts I’ve written to add are these…

He made me

Total slush-fest as glorious first born turned 18

A plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel

A funny little tale of how teen boy the younger devised a plan of all plans to get small girl interested in the World Cup (spoiler alert – it totally worked!)

Doria Ragland and the chip on my shoulder

The HUGE chip on my shoulder about being a single mum and how a royal wedding made it a little less prominent

An A-Z of self care

Something we all need from time to time

7 Things I Loved in 2018

1) My eldest turning 18 and starting out in a career and being a proper grown up who I am immensly proud of

2) The afore mentioned World Cup.

Our house developed a month long party atmosphere , alongside lucky flags , lucky shirts and all other kind of superstitious nonsense , when the kids get older though they are less likely to want to hang out with you and for all those England matches we were there all together in frenzied excitement ….and it very nearly came home

3) A cool mini break to York with youngest 3 . It was so lovely to get away together and York is my fave place so lots of fun and happiness

4) Teen boy the younger smashing his gcses and starting college . SO great to see all his hard work paid off in his results.

5) A fabulous night out with the girls watching Matilda at the theatre.I bloody love a musical but long term readers will know my theatre trips are often a solo activity. This time my daughters joined me for a gorgeous meal then a fab theatre trip.

6) Continuing to be surrounded by amazing people . My inner circle is verry small but I’m very lucky to have in it amazing humans such as my sister and fantastic friends and even soe handsome guy (how did that happen?) Speaking of which…

7) The best date ever

Handsome man -check

Beautiful city – check

LOADS of theatre – check

Fab Food – check

Amazing company -double check.

It Was Amazing!!

7 Things I’m Looking Forward To in 2019

1) Doing more writing on that book that I’ve tinkering with for about a thousand years

2) More theatre , I’ve already seen plays I fancy seeing in my fave small theatres.

3) Some more mini breaks with the kids , hoping to build on our York trip and explore elsewhere this year …dependent on children’s social life and who wants to go where at any given time.

4) A return to Edinburgh Fringe , my happy place and soul feeder

5) More lovely dates ….see above …I’ve bought a diary and everything!

6) Grow my blog. Stop treating it as a secong thought and put some work into it.

7) Taking dance classes …been on the to do list years this year it shall happen

7 other great bloggers that you should check out and that I challenge to complete the Top 7 Tag!

The Mum Conundrum

Reflections from me

Liberty on the Lighter side

Herding Cats

Parent Bear

Bellissimamma

Lisa Pomerantzster

 

 

 

BlogCrush week 101 – 18th January 2019

Happy weekend everyone.

We had a bumper BlogCrush last week and we’re so grateful to everyone joining in. It’s so lovely to read everyone’s brilliant posts !

We’re so lucky to have such a lovely community here and BlogCrush and we so appreciate you amazing bloggers who join us here making it such a fab place !!

How are we finding January ? Is it just me or does it seem to go on for about a decade ??

I loved the blogcrush linky waaaaayy before I was part of the team. I love the idea of sharing someone elses fab work as well as your own !!

If it’s your first time here WELCOME!!!!! Have a read through the rules then add your posts!!

The Rules

  • Join in with 2 posts:
    • 1 post from your blog (personal) – no linkies please
    • 1 post from someone else’s blog (your #BlogCrush)
  • When you add your BlogCrush (post written by someone else) to the InLinkz form, put “BC” at the beginning of their title
  • Tweet your BlogCrush (& us) to let them know you’ve added them to the linky and share their link (@lucy_at_home and @daydreamer_mum). Please tweet us your own BlogCrush posts too so we can share them for you.
  • Comment using the #BlogCrush hashtag on at least these 4 posts:
    • 1 post from Host 1 (personal or BC)
    • 1 post from Host 2 (personal or BC)
    • 2x personal posts from the rest of the link up

So that’s a minimum of 4 posts.

Don’t forget to add our sparkly new badge

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Lucy At Home UK Parenting Blogger - Blogcrush Week 89

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Us hosts are lucky enough to be able to pick a fave from the last week’s link up as our featured blog each week.

if you’re our featured blogger please take our special badge to add with your blog!

Lucy At Home UK Gentle Parenting Blogger - Blogcrush Week 89

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My featured post this week is our unconventional Christmas I think it can be a brave thing to just do your own thing round Christmas time. This was just a lovely sweet post.

Lucy’s pick was saying goodbye to the dummy

My own post this week is one inspired by a book about objects we love.

Have a fantastic week everyone and keep warm , I hear about is on the way….brrrrrrrr

Kelly xxx

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