To do list

I’ve somehow managed to make March/April the busiest time ever for myself (and Chris and Iz).  I’ve got two essays due in at the start of May. I’m about half way through both first drafts so I’m not totally fooked there yet…. I had a work presentation to sort out for a course I was doing. That’s passed now but I think I’m still yet to recover from the stress haha!  It was Izzy’s birthday yesterday so the prep for that and now the celebrations ongoing.  We’re getting Iz Christened on Easter Sunday so we’ve got about 30 or so people visiting. It’s going to be awesome but eugh tidying up!

 

I think I’ve said it a million times before that I hate cleaning, which is surprising considering my job. I’m not a housewife, even though that’s the sort of deal with working part time… i’m more of a house bitch.  I do what’s necessary and the child’s alive at the end of each day so be grateful.  It just means whenever someone visits I’ve usually rallied and managed to get the house half decent with a few tantrums and curses thrown Chris’s way.

 

Were doing alright though at the moment. I think we’re on track. It’s not helped by catching some lurgy from work or somewhere.  Iz has a cough and I feel run down and have that annoying feeling like a coughs coming on when your chest feels funny but it’s not here yet. Hopefully I fight it off.  Possibly having a bit of an IBD flare but time will tell!!

 

Im looking forward to Easter weekend.  It kinda feels like Christmas is coming. Partly because the house is also becoming full of food no ones allowed to have because it’s “for when our guests are here”, i’m starting to sound like my parents……

 

I need to to figure out what we’re going to do for a celebration cake. I thought we’d picked one but now we’re not so sure.

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Maybe a bit deep for a Thursday

I should be doing work for the 3 modules I have to submit work for in the next 4-8 weeks but procrastinating is what I do best and something has gotten my interest.  Bare with me here as this post starts off a bit odd but I get there in the end.   (It’s quite interesting some of the awkward feelings that have surfaced writing this post, I went off at more of a tangent than planned at the start)

 

I have a bit of a curiosity about death and the after life.  Not in a weird I like to wear black and sacrifice small animals way.  I like reading about near death experiences.  It all started with a post on reddit asking strangers on the internet to talk about situations where they died or nearly died and came back and what happened.  A lot of stories reach the same conclusions that there was a presence and an overwhelming feeling of love and returning to some kind of energy/light.   I was indulging in some reading on the subject last night and a couple of posts caught my attention, people said they were told to be loving, to give love as that is our purpose- to be loving to each other and don’t kill people.   I’ve been thinking since, I wonder what my life will be like at the end if I am measured in “love”.  I was raised as a Catholic so some of my beliefs growing up were the typical God, Heaven, repent type stuff.  As an adult I don’t think there is an all knowing being concerning itself with where people put their genitals and excluding people from an “afterlife” based on specific trivial things like that.  The existence of an afterlife part maybe, the vengeful judging part no.

 

So measuring my life in “love”.  I’d been dwelling on it this morning wondering what kind of person am I?  Have I killed anyone?  Not on purpose but accidentally? Who knows!  I’ve never been informed or disciplined for harming someone but you always wonder what were the chances you gave someone an infection because you may not have washed your hands that one time or something else related to the job.  I do overthink these things.   I am prone to feel guilty about anything, whether I was involved or not, it probably goes back to the  “Catholic guilt”.

 

I think I mentioned in a previous post about a friend that had become mentally unwell.  They are ok now, enough to be discharged and cared for in the community.   I was thinking about this incident of an example of what kind of person I maybe am?  My friend was in a bad way and had been in contact with me.  We worked together a while ago, we’re not best friends or anything, meet at the odd conference and ask each other for professional advice or comment if an incident occurs on either of our patches.   Something had happened that upset them and they were asking me for some support as it related to our field of work.   Unfortunately they were experiencing some psychosis so between messages that made sense I was getting all sorts of paranoid theories and weird phone calls.  I tried explaining to them to seek some help but they felt they were ok.  Others were advising me to stay out of it or block their messages as “I didn’t need that stress in my life”.  I think the guilt mentioned above kicked in as I couldn’t not do anything.  Unfortunately living a couple hundred miles away meant there was little I could do,  I didn’t realise this but mental health services basically do nothing unless you walk in yourself and convince them you need help or unless you are an imminent danger to yourself or others but then again what could I expect them to do?   I didn’t know my friends address or their particular nearest and dearest, just a vague knowledge of roughly where they lived from a description from 5 years ago.

Things came to head in a public incident involving armed police (maybe avoidable if mental health services could do more?).  A mutual friend alerted me to the incident as the local newspaper was live updating on their website.  I instantly knew it was our friend.  I rang the police and explained everything that had happened, the phone call i’d gotten the night before at about 11pm, all of the text messages and concerns and what i’d tried to do.  I had to email screen shots of texts for evidence.  Fortunately, whether it helped or not the police got in to the building and my friend was taken away.  I got a call later that night from the duty officer to thank me and ask some more questions so they could make a decision on where to send my friend (Prison or hospital).  By this point i’d been put in contact with some of their friends and family so we were able to co ordinate our efforts and kept updating each other over the weeks they were in hospital.  We’ve agreed to keep each others details which our friend is happy with in case anything happens again.

 

I’d like to think this incident reflects that I am a “good person”.  I couldn’t sit back and do nothing.  It frightens me to think about support networks and having the right kind in place.  Could this happen to someone else I know? Probably.  I always see those messages shared on facebook about if you feel lonely or self harming contact “me” and wonder what would the friend sharing it do if someone did actually message them and say “i’m not quite right, please help me”.    I can be judgemental sometimes and do have a chuckle at some of the people sharing these things when I think I know what they’re like in real life- a bit of an arse hole, you know who you are!  (sets off reader’s catholic guilt)

 

I think overall I am an ok person.   I have a job looking after the sick, a loving family, close friends (i can’t do fake niceties and have 100 friends, its just not me), I donate to charity  now and then but could probably do more here; I keep meaning to set up a regular donation to Medecines san frontier.  I had heard of them before but putting together some work around Ebola during the outbreak a few years back I found out that they were the only organisation properly working the front line investigating and treating people from the start, looking in to their work it is amazing how they just get the job done.  There are probably reasons people have for not supporting them but so far they seem worthy of support (i just need to put my money where my mouth is).  I sometimes think about volunteering or something but local stuff I find is more about asking for money to cover costs which is fair enough.    So I think charity is where I need to look to to improving my “good person” score… maybe that and loving myself a bit more.

 

Anyone watch the good place? Wouldn’t it be weird if it is what happens to us after death.

Explaining your existence at a job interview

This isn’t going to be a post focusing on this specific issue about bubs but here’s an explanation.  I’ve been thinking the past few days about an interaction I had with a health visitor and how from a young age the perceptions of others about our bodies can have a real impact.  The gist  of the issue is that kids are regularly measured and weighed from birth.  Bubs was measured as growing a bit slowly but I’m not sure what the issue is because she’s projected to be between 5ft3 and 5ft6 which covers the range of heights of every female we’re related to.  Her weight is a little bit up for her age but she very much chubs up and grows and is then scrawny for a bit, she’s just very stocky as well.. it’s just the way she is.  We feed her ok and she is always on the move.   So of course some seeming over reacting concern from a health professional did rub me up the wrong way.  I was talking to hubs about it and I could notice bubs listening in.  I became really aware that I shouldn’t be talking about these sort of things in front of her because she’s almost 3 and doesn’t need that shit!

 

It got me to thinking about my life, the comments from family members who tell you to cut down but then shove cake under your nose and complain you’re “not eating”.  Going shopping with friends and playing down the being unable to buy anything anywhere and over compensating by buying ridiculous accessories or bits and pieces you don’t really need but somehow justify your self worth, to be fair though that’s not so much been an issue for me as I am quite confident in myself and will buy crap I don’t need regardless haha!  I started thinking about when I was a teenager.  My first experience outside of usual kid experiences when I was made to feel really shite about myself.

 

I was a big teenager but more a normal level of big but unfortunately in the days before most shops stocked above a size 12-14.   I went for the more alternative look so shopping weren’t such an issue when I lived in baggie jeans and tank tops and hoodies no matter the weather.   Leaving school and starting sixth form college the norm was to get an evening/weekend job.  A necessity really to pay for the amount of nights out and gigs I’d started to go to with my new friends and boyfriend.   Hats off to anyone that can survive working in retail but this experience probably set me on my career path now out of the sheer want of not having to go through this again.

The first interview, I’m not sure why I applied if I’m honest, I’d applied for a sales assistant post in La Senza.  In all honesty I had just joined the recruitment office in Lakeside and had my CV sent out to any shop looking for a young sales assistant to exploit for £2.19 an hour.   I turned up in black trousers and a white shirt, looking quite “neutral” as advised by anyone that had given me interview advice.  I hadn’t bought underwear from the shop before but I knew they stocked “my size”.  I arrived and informed a sales assistant that I was there, I got looked up and down in shock and quickly ushered out the back and left for what seemed like a very long time (no I wasn’t just being nervous).  Eventually someone walked past and I asked where the person was that was supposed to be interviewing me.  I got ushered across the shop to another shop to be met by a lady that took one look at me and had the most disgusted look on her face.   She asked me a few questions with a really shitty tone in her voice, by the end I got fed up and just confronted the issue and said I could see that I wouldn’t be getting the job and said something along the lines that defended my existence.  I got told some crap about not being the right fit for the brand and asked why I thought I’d be able to apply for a job there, did they even do my size?  I laughed it off and said she must not be a very good sales person for a bra shop if she can’t even size someone up.  With that I left and said I’d never shop in their shop ever again, insert a few expletives and references to her character flaws… I weren’t proud of being a mega bitch back but hey she started it.

 

The second interview was for SCHUH.  At 16 all the 18-24 year olds working there as “managers” and “supervisors” seemed so grown up and worldly.  They seemed to hire interesting people that showed their personality and style so I was so pleased with myself to get an interview….. eugh… group interview…..  One of the questions was to pick a shoe that reflects you and explain why.  I remember choosing a skate shoe, I can’t remember if it was an Etnie or an old style Vans trainer.  I was in to the “Grunger” style so was able to come up with some spiel about how it was “me”.   The thing is these trainers are big, stocky and relaxed.   There’s nothing like a grown arse man essentially bullying a child….  half way through my thoughtful explanation that was meant to reflect me and be empowering I got asked was it like me due to the shape.  I laughed nervously in the middle of a room full of people all staring at me in awkward embarrassment as I was being fat shamed by a supervisor who carried on making comparisons between my shape and the shape of the shoe.  I managed to deflect and left the interview after a while as I realised that I weren’t going to get the job but also I didn’t want the job.

It all ended well as eventually I got a weekend/evening job one Christmas and between my money for dinner at college/pocket money I was able to do the things I wanted.  I eventually went to uni and became a nurse and am now advancing well in my area of expertise.  I get the odd pity party and comment about my size and shape but it’s complicated as these things so usually are and I’ve learnt how to shut these conversations down or lead them the way I want them to go.

I’ve never bought underwear in La senza since (not that I could now haha).  Sadly I still occasionally buy things from Schuh but mostly only when there’s a Sale on.   I guess we all have to go through things like this in life. I just wish people weren’t so shitty to each other.  I just hope I can bring bubs up to be confident and accepting of herself no matter what shape she will eventually be!

Better late than never

So i’ve not started the year with any of that new year new me rubbish but maybe that’s why I find myself feeling ill for the second or possibly third time this month! I lose track…  if I were a dog my owners would have said  i’d “run away to a farm” years ago..  What  bought on this bout of self pity?  MIGRAINES!!!!  They seem to be a monthly or bi monthly occurrence at the moment.  This one started sometime Wednesday and feels like it’s just about going which is good as I have work tomorrow.  I’ve slept a lot and now feel annoyed at my day off being used up by it.  I need to go to my GP and see if I can get anything prescribed for it, i’d mentioned it to my GI doctor but after telling him my drugs weren’t really working and him writing down that they were and telling me they were I don’t think he was really listening.  Something else to add to the list for the GP, it seems near impossible to change hospitals once you join one- unless you’re moving across the country.

In other non whingey news.  I’m starting uni next week to do my degree top up.  I was going to go straight for a masters but the funding has changed meaning i’d pay and have to fit it all in.  I didn’t fancy the added stress at this stage so when a free degree was put to me I figured why not! It will be added stress anyway but a level I’m more familiar with.  Fortunately I only have to take 3 modules I think due to having done 2 already so 2020 i’ll be graduating. As a sweetener to be allowed to move my work days around I said I’d do things in my own time which will be interesting but at least another excuse not to do housework haha!

 

Bubs is is growing more each day and is like a proper little kid now.  She is 3 soon and keeps telling me she is having a Gruffalo cake and party.  I’m not really sure what to do about this as she has friends at nursery and playschool but they don’t seem to do birthday parties,well unless we’re really unpopular and not invited heh!  I was wondering about a family/friends party but i’m not sure who would come and how people would fit in to the house.  Hubs said we should take her away, i’ve pointed out we have to do that anyways as bubs has been begging us to go to flamingo land since we went last year and we still need to see everyone.  My bro called it the Birthday parade.  My parents had the right idea having me and my bro in August!

I’ve been thinking of a couple of side projects to fit in as a hobby around work, uni and life.  You can self publish books on amazon now and i’ve some ideas.  Ones a kids book but it’s tricky sorting the illustrations but my dad has said he can help there.  The others a fun book which my bro said he’d give me a hand with.  I don’t want to give too much away as this is the first time i’ve ever spoken about these things outside of about 5 people so we shall see…. it’s out there now so i’ve got to do it eh?

I need to get better at blogging more again as it does make me feel better.  I feel happier already just putting a few things down and laughing at myself.  I need to learn again to not take life so seriously as I have been lately.

 

Parent guilt

I feel guilty (but I think that’s a default position for a mum). Bubs has a tumbling monkeys game, basically kerplunk but monkeys. I hate it….. she loves it. Every day she drags it out of her toy box, I have to clip the cheap plastic tree together and put the sticks in under the watch of my shouting toddler over lord. We then put the monkeys in the top and she proceeds to pull it apart in ten seconds and shouts the dreaded word: More!!

She decided to go “swimming” on the floor earlier and kicked bits of this game everywhere. It did cross my mind what if I accidentally broke it somehow but would it really be accidental? Deep down my brains probably thinking stomp on the damn thing! Then I feel guilty because it is nice that she gets such joy out of things and I am sounding really mental with my hate for this toy. I think the last straw today was trying to put it together between being used as a human climbing frame and trying to put the sticks through holes that somehow never seem to line up!

I’m not feeling that great today, I thought I was coming down with something last weekend as I had a sinus headache/migraine. I’ve gone through the week feeling tired and thought I’d managed to keep it at bay but I am feeling rough. I’m finding the parent struggle is real at the moment, I just hope I manage to remain relatively not sick the rest of winter as I’m getting off to a bad start so far!

I have been given the opportunity to apply for my top up degree on a funded course. The form has been interesting to say the least, especially as I’m not feeling 100%. I misread a 4000 character limit as 4000 words and had a panic of how does anyone waffle that much in a personal statement. After asking a friend for advice I realised what I’d done haha! I’ve also got the tendency to be rubbish at spelling, I’d put roll instead of role throughout my application and managed to even make the same mistake in an email at work much to my colleagues amusement. Fortunately hubs spot my mistake and I put it down to not feeling right and being a bit stupid, I don’t know why it never seems to stick in my brain. Fortunately my references have come back glowing which has given me a nice boost :).

Grandad

Not written for a while but felt like I wanted to today.

My family reminded me earlier it’s been 15 years since my grandad died. I usually eye roll when I see declarations of sadness on my Facebook wall for dead grandparents with overly emotional posts about being with the “angles in heaven” (yes that’s a deliberate spelling mistake) but today I thought I’d do what I do best and be a hypocrite and write a blog post about it. My grandparents were Irish and lots of their ways have passed on to the family, I was just eating some fruit loaf with bubs (funnily enough an Irish fruit loaf) which made me think of my grandparents as it was something my nan would often have for us to eat.

So a lot has happened in 15 years But it doesn’t seem that long ago. I’d just started college when my grandad passed away, he was on holiday in Ireland visiting family. Like all 16 year olds I was busy and didn’t manage to go and see my grandparents before they left. I felt bad at the time but figured we’d see them when they got back, for some reason my nan nearly always returned with home made bread and/or apple pie from various family members. One year she got me a “kiss me i’m Irish” teddy, the tag had made in Leigh on sea written on it which now I’m older I find funny as it was made about half hour away from where I lived at the time. We got a call one evening from my uncle who had gone with them to say grandad had died. I’d just started going out with hubs at the time, he’d gone home but came back and took me out for a walk and a cry. We sat at a bus stop near his house and just chatted whilst I cried, it’s a real sad memory but also a little bit happy as although such a long time ago it was a point I realised just how much of a gooden hubs is.

My grandad was a great man. He had a lovely Irish accent and smoked cigars (not the big kind). He somehow managed to raise 8 kids and put up with 12 (I think) grandchildren. For some reason whenever he walked in to a room when us grandkids were there he’d say “Boo” . Not in a way to make us jump but it seemed his way to say hello, though a couple of times when I was up to no good he did make me jump with a “boo” . He had to pick me up from school once as I was sent home sick with flu or something. I was about 14 or 15 I think. He would always be extra concerned after that about how I was, my nan once said it was because I reminded him of when my aunt was seriously ill with lymphoma as a teenager. I felt bad for being a source of worry but it felt nice to be treated as a bit more special (I was the only female grandchild living in England to).

He always loved to tell a story and had a knack for it even if there were a few tangents… we used to go to church every Sunday with my grandparents, afterwards we’d go back to their house for tea and toast. Grandad would put on “Irish music” which I guess was Irish folk music mostly and us kids would go nuts until we were taken home. My grandparents house was like a second home, I remember being about 13 or 14, fat and awkward of course. I’d taken my best friend (who fortunately still is even with shit like this) to my grandparents for a visit and to wait for my dad who’d gone in to town. We were sat at my nan’s table and my grandad rushes over with a grin on his face and shouts “two fat ladies!!!” As if he’d come up with the best bingo related joke ever. My mum quickly said “he means me and Nic” to my bestie to try and do some damage control but it was too late. Of course my mum decided to regale this tale to my besties aunts and uncles at her wedding which involved me through clenched teeth saying not the right time or place mum!

I feel a bit bad for bubs sometimes that she won’t grow up with grandparents around the corner like I did. As a school age child I probably got to see them daily as they helped with the school run when my mum worked and we’d always impose at the weekend to. As I got older it was probably at least weekly, after grandad died I made an effort to see nan more, we had a nice Saturday routine where me and mum would take her shopping and then we’d have sausage rolls or fruit loaf and tea, not sure how we managed to keep the shopping ok in the boot of the car as we’d always stay a good hour or so!

I am so proud of my grandparents and grateful for the time I had with them. They bought us all up to have pride in our Irish heritage. I’ll be honest and say I’ve never been to Ireland and I know I need to go, I’d love to see some of the places I’ve been told about. I did a 23 and me dna test a couple of years back and score highest on being “genetically Irish” which I didn’t know was quite that specific but I filled the bar. Oddly 0.1% Native American or something like that.

Maybe I’ll have a Guinness and watch some father ted tonight…

Sometimes the unplanned days end up being the best

Sometimes the unplanned days end up being the best.

I’m on call this weekend which means I have to carry a phone around with me waiting for people to ring for advice or to be called in if any wards require closing due to infection and can’t be dealt with using the usual spiel. I end up a bit neurotic about the phone going off and being “accessible” when I’m on call, I don’t know why it just always seems to leave me with an annoying anxiety that stops me enjoying myself. Worse so in my old job as I had to travel further to respond and we weren’t given as much flexibility about what we could deal with over the phone instead of in person…

But today has been different!! I’d planned with hubs that we would just go in to town, maybe treat ourselves to breakfast out, do the weekly shop, buy bubs a treat for doing well on her reward chart and then come home and feel guilty for avoiding housework. Instead we ended up at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The carpark to the shops was rammed full with cars queuing so hubs suggested we go to the sculpture park as there was something he’d been desperate to see and although I wasn’t wearing the right clothes and footwear for outside in the rain he’d let me sit inside whilst he went to look around.

When we got there it had stopped raining, we got something to eat and I decided to not be a grump and join hubs and bubs. I’m glad I did as the exhibits we looked at were awesome. Bubs likes the Giuseppe Penone art, he’d done some work with trees, we ended up coming home with a stick bubs wouldn’t let us leave behind! We also got to see the Roger Hiorns copper sulphate exhibit which was amazing and what hubs wanted to see. I’m glad we did it.

We then did the boring weekly shop but bubs livened it up by insisting we let her help. We’re home now and pottering about. I’m off the clock in terms of being on call until tomorrow morning. I feel like we’ve had a really nice day together, not that we don’t usually but after us all being a bit under the weather with a cold this week our impromptu day out has left us all feeling happier for it.

I’ve spoken to hubs about a holiday plan for next year after major jealousy seeing my cousin at Disney World during the Halloween season, he’s not said no so even more reason to be smiling!

Tomorrow should be a good day to if I’m quiet on the on call front. I love it when we weekend well.