Hello! How are you doing? Welcome to autumn and the time of the year when I always feel the most motivated. September is the real New Year to me, when the academic year starts and it feels like the time to buckle down and get shit done.
I haven’t read back over my last few blog posts, but if you do you will see that I went through a period of emotional spiralling after the momentous events of springtime. Inevitably I crashed, and needed some medical assistance to get through a few weeks of the summer. Heartbreak and change and dealing with the aftermath of having a child in hospital are all a process, and you can’t cheat the process. Like they say in Going on a Bear Hunt, you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you have to go through it….
And I’m not saying I’m through it. Not after only 5 months. But I’m a lot further along the path than I was. The dark forest of despair and denial, the twisting roads of bargaining and the bubbling pools of anger are behind me. And the view ahead is glorious. So much freedom. So much sunshine. So much choice.
This year’s turning point for me was my trip to The Azores with a very good friend who has been through some comparable experiences. We spent 5 nights on the island of Sao Miguel and it was so beautiful. Relaxing, interesting, good weather, good food, good wine, good company. I returned feeling thoroughly refreshed and ready to embark on the next chapter.
When I was in the depths of misery I couldn’t tell what the next chapter would be, even though I could feel it simmering on the horizon. It turns out that the theme of the next few months will be adventures! Of all different kinds.
I am trying new activities and saying yes to things I would have previously refused. I tried Stand Up Paddle Boarding the other week with three friends. Fell in twice, but absolutely loved it. Very tempted to get myself a wetsuit, as I will certainly be going down to the water park to do that again. I also have a climbing session booked in so I can start using the climbing walls. And I have a list of other activities to try – new ideas plus things I have always wanted to do but haven’t got around to.
Then there is the minor detail of me needing to get myself a job, and I have made some inroads on that now that my youngest has started school full time. I am brushing up on my social media jargon via an online course. Mainly just checking that I know how to explain and describe things I have already done via my various voluntary roles over the last 7 years. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, I’m now on Instagram and LinkedIn. All for social media practice of course, and not at all just to add further screen-time distractions to my day…..
The final piece of the jigsaw is adventures with friends, old and new. I have trips and days out planned for the next five months or so and I am so excited to see new places, catch up with friends, and show old places to new people. New friends mean new music, new conversations, new points of view and new journeys. So many of my favourite things.
I haven’t completely turned my back on the old, although I can feel myself travelling further away from the breastfeeding and maternity campaigns as my children get older and my experiences broaden. But it was wonderful to see that Dr Victoria Thomas mentioned my hospital breastfeeding campaign at the La Leche League GB conference today. Even though I haven’t done anything on that campaign for a couple of months I know that so many fantastic paediatricians and paediatric nurses are picking up the baton, and change will come eventually.
Speaking of my children, my two boys are still utterly amazing and I am proud of them every single day. David has fully recovered from his surgery, and has even more energy than before (which I didn’t think possible). He rides his bike to school and actually runs around now, instead of just the fast walk he had perfected. He is starting to be able to spell, learning his letters and numbers… always such a time of wonderment, watching them absorb knowledge like the little sponges they are at that age.
And Edward can now operate a kettle. He has made both of my coffees today. So I feel as though I have reached the pinnacle of parenting. Quite frankly my work here is done!
So it really is time for new adventures.