Life, Death & Everything in Between.
Just like buses when they all come along at once, it would seem that life can sometimes be just like that too....calm for ages, not a lot happening followed by total and overwhelming craziness.
I've been blogging for 5 years & I blog fairly consistently, most days and even when I'm away on holiday...but life has overtaken me this past month.
I could feel myself going under with it....and I had no choice but to let it take me.
We moved house last November....into the house that we had inherited from my in-laws, the house that my husband had moved into as a teenager.
It's a lovely house, a Victorian terrace....everything - and I mean literally everything - needs work.
It's quite a project.
I always knew it would be a challenge, one that I went back & forth on.
Two years ago I said that there was no way I would move into this house.
Never say never.
We are at stage 1....for which we are awaiting planning permission.
We have a great architect, I am doing my research....I am so ready for actual work to begin, hopefully it will all start in late April.
All our furniture is in storage, lots of making do is going on....most days I have my positive head on.
First world problems, as they say....good ones to have but still challenging ones, and the work hasn't even started yet!
Next week my daughter will become a teenager.
Thirteen years old.
I can hardly remember my life before her but you cannot believe where the years go & how quickly this time comes around.
I read an interesting article recently which talked about ""Moods & Meltdowns - the workings of the teenage brain"...fascinating stuff, particularly since my daughter has over the last 6 months or so, become the archetypal teen....you think it won't happen to your child, but it does....
One day we'll look back & smile, not just yet though ;)
I always felt that I pretty much breezed through the toddler years, I had easy children, pretty good sleepers, non-fussy eaters who reached all their educational milestones without any trouble whatsoever. Primary school went along smoothly, happily, just as it should.
Sleep-deprivation was my only challenge....and that eventually passed.
It wasn't that I ever felt smug or over-confident or that I had all the answers....but I did feel that I was doing okay & I felt in control.
Oh, how quickly that feeling can leave you....and over the past year, I have felt more & more bemused/confused/bewildered with my eldest child!!
Never have I felt more challenged, more unsure....this seems like not only the hardest part, but also the most important since suddenly she is a different person & the thought of her leaving home at 18 for Uni seems to be approaching rapidly
(and there have been some days recently when I don't mind admitting that I am already looking forward to that!)
There has to be some kind of irony in the fact that just as I am gearing up to impart my best pieces of wisdom, she invariably not only doesn't want these little gems in fact she wants no conversation at all! She wants to be left alone.
She's not the daughter that I was....in the same way that I am not the daughter that my mother was.
Different times, different expectations, different family situations & also different personalities.
I have had many discussions with my own mother recently about various issues that we have been having with my daughter - both specific & general issues - and it's been fascinating & quite revealing.
On paper my daughter has a much "easier" childhood than I did, but I think these are challenging times to grow up in....life is fast, people are judgmental, it seems that everyone has an opinion & isn't afraid to voice it & everything is commented on, liked or stuck on a screen.
Social media, is it a good or bad thing for today's teens....discuss?
Thanks to the mobile phone, school doesn't end at 3.20pm & resume at 8.25am the next day, it continues every waking hour, there's no let up.
My daughter is permanently attached to her mobile phone, it's been the cause of umpteen arguments....she loves it, I loathe it.
I have a mobile phone, I text frequently....but equally, I know that a face to face conversation with someone who is a real friend is better every single time than an exchange on social media.
I want her to know the importance of genuine contact & true friendship....
a text is simply an add-on, it might contain real feeling, but generally only if the foundations of a friendship are already there, it's not necessarily a basis for building a relationship.
You have to already know & understand the sender in order to read the tone of the words accurately & with understanding.
It is also extremely easy - and tempting - to say things from "behind" a screen....
words that in real life, you might think but never actually utter.
Houses & children....patience required, at times in bucketloads.
This past week I have started walking again, a 3 hour round walk across Hampstead Heath....I love the Heath & the sunshine only makes it more beautiful.
I've been feeling under the weather & am aware I need to be a little kinder to myself....one life, one body & all that.
I've started with green smoothies in the morning & am eating better.
I have also booked a couple of trips, travel is always a good thing.
Next on the list : more sleep!!
My beautiful grandmother Muriel died last week, just a few days after her 95th birthday.
She had been bedridden for some years & had had Alzheimer's for about 18 years but she was a wonderful nanny to me who gave me some of the happiest times of my childhood.
I'm going to write about her in another post because there are some lovely things about her that I want to share.
There's something special about the grandparent-grandchild relationship, it's unique in a lot of ways ....I consider myself truly fortunate to have had the most wonderful grandparents, Muriel was my last surviving grandparent and I miss them all.
I miss them in a good way though because just as a happy childhood never leaves you, neither do the best grandparents.
I read a great quote this week which read
"si non va bene bene, chiamare tua nonna"....if nothing is going well, call your grandmother.