Thursday, 17 April 2014

Trying to Get a Grip

Another long gap between posts!  I would be sorry, except that this time it was for a lovely reason: we have been on a much needed holiday.  It was such a gift, such a soul-restoring blessing.  We spent a week in the beautiful Lake District, followed by a week with very good friends in a secluded spot on the west coast of stunning Scotland.  And now we're back, and I have to say, I feel so much better for it!

You may remember, from November last year onwards everything had been overshadowed by the debilitating and ongoing pain in my back, hip and leg.  From Christmas onwards it did improve, but sooo slowly, there were days when I questioned if I was deluding myself.  We couldn't go out much - I just had to pace myself and focus on the crucial parts of keeping the boys fed and looked after.  It wasn't much fun at all, but what can you do in scenarios like that?  You just have to try to stay positive, develop a bit of patience (not my strong point), and look to the future - but I won't lie, by the time we got to our holiday I was feeling pretty low, cooped indoors for too long at a time with frayed tempers and a neglected home - piles of mess everywhere... and still having to deal with pain, albeit much less so than before.  I saw the GP (again), and she finally referred me to physio (I am currently waiting for an appointment), and then we went away.

Oh it did me so much good.  All of us together in an uncluttered home (holiday cottages are always so easy to tidy, without a backlog of mess), and with hubby around there were no real limits on going out because he was more than happy to drive (still an issue for me, pain-wise).  We gazed in awe at majestic waterfalls, delighted in the new spring lambs 'boinging' through the fields, clambered over castle ruins (well, the boys clambered at least), enjoyed boat trips across panoramic lakes and to islands with snoozing seals, wandered through woodlands crammed with wild daffodils, rushing streams and tranquil pools, revelled in the wonderful mix of animals at wildlife parks and sea life centres, skimmed pebbles across the glassy surface of our local loch... and took lots and lots of photos!

And now we are home, not only do I have the joy of sorting my lovely photos into a book, helping to keep the memories alive, but I am generally feeling more positive again.  The house still has mess everywhere (it is clean, thanks to my lovely friend who cleans for me once a week, but she can't sort through our piles of 'stuff'), but I feel more able to get a grip - to get on top of things instead of feeling under it all.  In fact, I have a plan...

In our 'usual' Home Ed week, our only real structure is that the boys do MathsWhizz and English workbooks/ Reading Eggs on alternating days .  I like structure, it works for me - so in my head, if they do both subjects twice a week, that leaves a day free of structure - usually, but not always Friday.  So I am going to nominate one day a week to tackle one room.  This week it is the kitchen, as the clutter on the kitchen table gets in the way of doing art projects or science experiments.  I'm trying to not expect too much - I still have limitations, and I don't want to set my recovery back - but I can make a start.  If I think about the whole house it overwhelms me, but if I just think in terms of a room at a time it feels so much more approachable. One day a week also feels do-able, rather than feeling all the time like I have to choose between my main focus being on the boys or on the house (for some reason I can't do both - I try, but it never works).

So off I go, to tackle the kitchen (Hubby's home tomorrow, so I'm not doing it then).  I'll let you know how it goes!  Meanwhile, a few photos from my lovely, soul-restoring holiday...


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