Every day I am pretty sure I do at least one thing wrong. Most days I do more. I used to think I was alone, until I talked to other parents who were honest. Here is a place for more parents to feel less alone, and more "good enough".

Saturday, 6 October 2012

My Favourite Time of the Year

I don't really know why I gave up writing. I think, I was at a stage where the original purpose of this blog had finished, I was happy with myself again and had lots of reasons to, just simply, be alive. I was at a crossroads where I had to decide whether to stop writing or to change, develop, evolve. People were telling me I had lots to give, stories and tips to share, cooking advice (I make everything up as I go along), cleaning tips (I blag it), child-raising tips (see cooking advice)...........and I felt under pressure to organise my blog with meta tags, categories, etc. So I decided that I was giving too much of myself away, and ignoring my own advice to other people, which is to always prioritise your home life first. So I quit.

Looking back, it was the right thing at the time but now I miss it. I don't think I would be giving too much of myself away, I think rather I need to not try to make it perfect. Not organise it with meta tags and filters and categories unless I feel like it (first I would have to learn how to actually use them anyway.........). And make no apologies for that. So I'm back. But I'm not promising regular posts and I'm not promising structure. I'm not promising that every post will be useful, and many may be self-indulgent ramblings like this one. But I do promise that I shall be writing with honesty, and in my own style. And what more can anyone offer.

So, today. Today is October!! I do love this time of year. It is a funny time, between about now and February, they are my favourite four months. Yet they are also bitter-sweet and hold none of my children's birthday, family holidays, beach trips, long school holidays, garden days or any of the other things that I enjoy during the rest of the year. So why are they my favourite? I guess there are many reasons. And this may be a re-occurring theme of my blog for a few months, as there is no chance I can fit them all in this one.

It's the time of year when you can focus inwards on your family without feeling you are being rude. The nights are longer and start earlier, the weather can be unsociable, and everybody is either saving for Christmas or paying it off. More of the events organised are family ones, and you don't need to de-fuzz, tan, or wear skimpy unflattering clothes to attend!

This, however, is what also makes it bitter-sweet. Many special memories from the past are hidden in these few months, not just for me but for other people too. It can bring on a feeling of nostalgia, and it is important to remember what you have NOW, as well as remember what you had then, to avoid getting lost in the feelings. There is no need to forget treasured memories, indeed it is part of who we are and should never be lost. But it is important to remember not to dwell. I believe there is a line in Harry Potter that sums it up well, when Harry has spent much time looking in the Mirror of Erised and Dumbledore says to him

"It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live, remember that"

We are all guilty of this at times. This is part of the reason I am starting to write again, I myself have realised that recently I am constantly saying "When we move...........when the baby comes..........after my sister's wedding....................after our wedding.................when Adam finishes primary school.........when Jessica starts sleeping.............", as if these events are necessary before we can just "live" our lives. When actually, we are living them now. I am often guilty of not living in the present. I reminisce about the past, and I plan (somewhat excessively!) for the future. If I don't put a stop to this now, I can guarantee that when all of the above life events have happened I will simply find more to fill that gap. I have recently taken up knitting. When I knit, I sit and I knit something that is going to be used now, in the present. I am also working on a blanket for the baby, that will be used not that far in the future. I think this is helping me re-focus on what is happening now and enjoy the life I have.

 And there are new memories in these 4 months to remember, and indeed still to have. I met James in February 2011, which seems crazy to me as that was only last year and I feel I have known him forever. When we actually properly "got it together" is rather vague and I couldn't pin it down to one day, so I choose to remember the night we met instead, even though nothing at all happened between us and I left that night not even dreaming that I had just met the man I was going to marry. Although he did leave a good impression having waited outside with me for my taxi and offered me his jacket to keep warm. Here is a picture from that night, and with hindsight, I like it. Apparently, according to Roj, it was pretty obvious he liked me as he tidied all his room a couple of weeks later for me coming for tea, which anybody who knows James will know is rather rare ;) 

I still find it crazy to think that this was only last year.

Of course, one more memory to be made, in that vague "he's not coming til after Christmas" time that Jessica classes it as, is that the baby is due in January. As of next Thursday I will be 6 months pregnant, which has gone rather fast (and, as all mothers will know, now slows down to the speed of a snail for the last 3 months). The children are both rather excited, Jessica has developed a positively lovely interest in all babies and toddlers and is even happily giving her things away to them, and Adam is just busy telling everybody that "it's ok, we are having a boy, I LOVE Jessica but I don't think we could have survived another one of her.........", and I gently have to remind him that there is no guarantee what the baby's personality will be like. Bless, he is under the illusion that he was and is a perfect child. But, of course, in many ways his illusion is correct, as both of my children are perfect..........for themselves. As are we all.

This is a great song. When I listen I remember many many times. Some good, some sad, but all are important times of my life that have made me "me", and now it is time to have some more.