The message

I receive her text early in the day. I read it quickly. Time stops for part of a second.  I close my phone and I park the text in the part of my brain that means I can only go back there when I can give it my proper time.

After a 12 hr day, a presentation, two dog walks, caring for my boy with a temperature, cobbling some dinner together, putting away some washing, getting the bins ready….. I think about dealing with the text.
First I open some post. There’s one for Tes from the bank. They say now that she’s in Uni would she like to know about the right account for her. It’s my fault. I’ve still not found the courage to go in and tell them. And sometimes, I like getting post for her. 

I pour a glass of wine and get my phone out. I read her text again. 

She. My counsellor says. It’s been a while since we met, is it ok to close your file now? 

She says I can go back anytime.

I want to text. You saved me. But I know she’d say. No. You saved you. 

That’s what she’s like. She takes no credit.
She’s wrong and she’s also right. Her safe space and insight gave me hope and she taught me that answers and strength lay within me.

I’m scared to sever this tie.
I know it’s right after three years to let it go. Sometimes I’ve had as much of a break as 12 months.  Then I had to go back.  It’s taken 3 years, 5 months and about 9 days to finally feel I can let her go.  Properly.  My counsellor.  With that I wrap myself in guilt which I also know is ridiculous. 

I’d like to share my reply. I meant every word

Hi. Yes that’ll be OK as long as I know I can delve in if I ever need. It’s not an exaggeration to say that you helped me survive. I’ll never ever forget your kindness empathy honesty and humanity. That’s not just someone doing their job. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

My blog has never been to advise or to preach but I do believe in learning from each other. Good and bad. If you ever find yourself in a place where things remain heavy and blurry always ask for help, it’s not weak. It takes strength.

Love to you all this Sunday.

Xx

A piece of peace.

International Peace day happened this week on the  21st September.

Hmph I thought.  Not much peace in my life at the moment.  Waking up at 5.30am unable to go back to sleep mulling over various solutions to current life problems. Cancelling dinner plans because of having to work late.  Not running because I couldn’t be bothered and I’d rather a glass of wine due to all of this paragraph.  A proper self indulgent poor me moment.  

I sat down to write this blog and I thought what does  peace mean to me?  I often think peace for an individual is about solitude & time for yourself.  Sometimes I worry I’m not getting enough peace! Now adays you’re almost looked at as some kind of odd bod if you spend much time alone.  Buddhism encourages times of solitude (I’m not a Buddhist by the way but I do enjoy much of their strategies on life – as an aside I did go to one meeting with someone I shall not name many many years ago, during one mantra I turned to said friend and said ‘does it sound like they’re singing I want a chicken korma to you’.  Our fits of giggles were pure nerves at the time but it didn’t go down that well, understandably!)

 As I was saying Buddhism encourages solitude because if you are ease with yourself then there is nothing to fear from being alone I guess. A great place to be.

I am digressing rather a lot in this blog – as I said I thought about this word peace and what it means to me.  

I did eventually get my a*** out of bed early Wednesday morning and ran (slowly) 7k with my pooch.  Despite being out of breath I felt happy inside.  On Wednesday at lunch time my mum called over and a favourite song of hers came on the radio.  She turned it up loud (so that’s where I get it from!) and we both danced in the kitchen until the end.  The pooch joined in.  My son did not.  That moment of getting away from it all just for those few minutes gave me a free mind.  I immersed myself in a film at the cinema one night, as I chewed on my cola bottles and crunched at the pop corn and laughed out loud, my mind was feeling very stress free. Peacful. 

 I think my point is that peace can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.  Yes it can be solitude, it can be time on top of a mountain, it can be yoga or meditating but all that is not always possible in our busy lives.  

How do you find peace?

Peace for me is when I’m at ease with myself whatever the situation, dancing, laughing, walking etc etc. Anything that gives my brain a change of scene to one free of worry whether that’s a  few minutes or a couple of hours. 

It’s so important to give your mind a break from the daily grind. As the saying goes.. dance like nobody’s watching.  It feels great! 

 Happy peacful Sunday everyone xxx

 Ps  I’ll be panting my way running 11.5KM around Llyn Alwen from 9.30am!!! Wish me luck! X


Wandering mind

This sounds dramatic.  It is.  This week. It’s kind of been life changing.  Not in a huge ‘I’ve had an epiphany’ kind of way.  In lots of small ways. In ways that could only have happened because I had time for my mind.  To wander.

I’ve realised how very important that is.

I spent five days in a well worn and well loved motor home (not mine I hasten to add… unfortunately!). In a field. Next to the beach. In Wales.  Apart from the visit from the proud red and cheeky Robin and some chats with Tilly the three legged jack Russell  (and her owners!) there wasn’t a lot going on. Perfect.

With my mind free of work and clocks and what to cook and where do I fit in exercise and self criticism over what I’ve drank or how little sleep I’ve had or who I haven’t seen or why the house is a mess.  It was free of wondering whether I could shave 2 minutes off my drive to work or whether I felt guilty for leaving late.  Free of 6am alarms and snatched lunches.  Free of time holding me, instead I was holding time.

It wasn’t just about relaxing, it was about the fact that sometimes there wasn’t a lot ‘to do’.  It means I stared for many minutes at one cryptic crossword determined that I could get it (I got three in the I- a record!).  It meant that I watched a film I wanted to see for a while (The Hundred Foot Journey – Helen Mirren is in it, it’s about food and it’s set in France, what’s not to love!).   It means my walks could go on for hours.  It also meant at times I stared out of the top window in the motor home and looked out at the sparse but brilliantly green hills with an occasional sheep munching grass while admiring the top of the sea bouncing on the horizon.

I watched a sheep!!!!!

So, I didn’t just watch a sheep.  I kept having ‘ideas’.  I’m not the  most artistic person in the world or the most creative, I’m not the best cook or photographer or writer but I love doing it and shouldn’t we do more of what we love?  At long last that note book that I keep in my bag got some use (it’s there for ‘ideas’) and I found myself scribbling, I wrote two articles and my mind bounced from spending time in my VW van with my pooch and sausage dog (I don’t yet have sausage dog or the VW van but I will!)… to selling potatoes from my garden outside in brown bags to neighbours.  I don’t grow potatoes and my garden looks like monkeys have had a riot in it but……. it could happen!

I want to be daring  (I’m not) and (an occasional) risk taker (not there yet). I want to try something, take up a  new hobby (I know what that is – watch this space!). 

I want to say yes when I usually say no.

Putting this into practice as we sat on the beach hiding from the elements in a warm jumper, the sun stayed stubbornly and firmly behind the busy clouds, I was beckoned to get into the ice cold sea.  No thanks I said.  I sat and watched.

What am I doing watching I thought!  Feeling brave I rushed towards the white broth disappearing around my feet. It was freezing! My whole body was saying no, yet I felt excited, I was saying yes.  It took a few minutes to submerge myself totally  and lift my feet away from the sand allowing the salty water to carry me, for my arms to swim gently. There was only two people brave enough to brave the sea  and I was one of them!

I know this blog is a bit me me me this week but I’m excited about so many things.  One  thing I’ve decided is to share my creative juices on my blog and hopefully with you too!  .  Amateur pics, attempts at exercise, good and bad recipes, thrifty hints, lifestyle, recycle and upcycling, favourite books, magazines and bargains…. ….and of course my Sunday morning blog!

Hope you’ll enjoy the extra bits! Follow me on my DearMs website if you want email updates so you don’t miss any!  Or if you don’t want any extra emails you can unfollow me too! I hope you don’t!

It’s amazing what some time away does for us.   Make sure you get your 5 mins, 5 hours or maybe even 5 days to yourself too.  Not only will you feel better but you’ll feel better about everyone around you too!

Let your mind wander xx xx

Happy Sunday 🙂

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A day

This week has been a roller coaster. 

A level results day meant I found myself on a warm Thursday morning finishing my walk at 7am with Tes. Pooch runs through the gates of the church and bears left.   She knows her way to where I sometimes sit to hold the silver teddy bear inscribed with a T as I chat briefly to the open air.

Tears involuntarily appear but are kept at bay all day.  I couldn’t help but feel hard done by, deprived. Today I felt sorry for myself.  

With that I genuinely was excited for all her friends who were starting new journeys.  But I wanted her to be on that journey too. As I said. Today I felt sorry for me. 

A person can change all of that though.  It was an exchange of messages that day that also simply said …call over if you like. I declined saying I planned to spend the evening under a blanket.

However at about 9 I decided to wander over and found myself at a mini gathering of family and friends. We sat out, giggled a lot and of course consumed a few vinos. Children played. Adults laughed naughtily. Presents were opened. Dark chocolate brownies were consumed.   

Like that, one person changed my day. 

It made me think how we can change a persons day. We can even change a persons life. 

On the radio this week I heard about a guy who had been hospitalised for 5 years with huge mental health problems.  His life has completely recovered. What changed him? Understanding.  Listening. Believing.  Compassion. Love.

I reflected on my week and wondered had  I had made a positive change to someone’s day this week? 

I did catch a large spider for a receptionist that was about to faint!! I also made mum a filled burrito and we sat in the sunshine with a large pot of tea. Hopefully I made the new person at work feel comfortable and I’m trying to be a listening ear to a friend in need. 

The great thing about trying to make life a bit better for someone else, as cheesy as it sounds, is how much better we feel about ourselves. 

I can change someone’s day. You can change someone’s day. Imagine the world we could live in!!

Happy Sunday everyone X 

Which way?

I was walking early (again) this week.
The sun was just rising and its burnt orange body partly hid behind lit up grey clouds.  We passed the spaniel without problem but a gang of rebellious younger sheep were in the corner of the field looking quite mischievous. Their heads poked through the fence as far as they could stretch. They clearly felt that the grass was certainly greener on the other side. For pooch this gathering was too tempting and in order to protect me from these hungry animals she quickly gathered pace and began barking at them from her side of the fence. 

 She’s about 12 inches tall. She thinks she’s 112 inches tall.

The sheep for some reason are scared of tiny dog and run away. However one is a bit naughtier than the rest and I hadn’t realised this leader of the pack had managed to squeeze it’s woolly oversized body under the fence. Panic set in and rebellious sheep made a run for it down the narrow leafy road towards the village, followed by tiny pooch. After a promise of a treat pooch strolls back towards me and I get her pink lead out while we sort out this sheep situation. Pooch is far from impressed.
I walk towards the corner bearing left and see the sheep about 25 yds away, it has stopped and is staring at us trying to make out whether the threat still exists. I squash us into the hedges as I try to create as much distance as I can trying to pass but sheep decides we’re too close and makes a further dart. We’re now at the periphery of the village. I don’t have time to walk all the way back so I have to keep going, playing the game with the sheep.
Finally the sheep takes a right and decides to run into the drive of a bungalow. I quicken my step in the hope that I can get by and the sheep will feel safe. Just as I get to the house the sheep has got its timing wrong and started to come back to the gate. The sheep literally has a look of surprise (somehow) on its face and takes a quick step back to safety. Pooch and I pass without further crisis and sheep then makes a run for it all the way back to where we first met this morning.
As I walk on it made me think about decisions we make. Decisions we have to make on the spot or decisions we linger about. The fact being that quite often there are only a limited number of choices and that we either have the choice to face up and make a decision, to hide and hope the decision goes away or to let that decision be made for us.

I had a conversation with someone this week about the age old saying glass half full or glass half empty. I was questioned about my positivity. Why be positive, I was asked. It felt clear that based on what’s happened in our family this positivity wasn’t really understood. What’s do you get from making a decision not to be positive, I asked. 
These days there’s so much stuff about mindfulness and positivity that it can sometimes feel we’re being dictated to being a perfect  all practicing yoga eating kale and drinking green tea with the gaze of *smug* oozing from our perfect natural eyes. Rubbish! 

Positivity to me is making that choice to *try* to be positive.
Decisions can be tough. 

This week I walked across a park and saw a toddler with golden brown shoulder length curled hair. She held her mums hand tightly. Trusting. She looked just like Tes at that age. I was in the middle of a field and for some reason in that instant my whole body was in pain from grief. I stood and looked. I didn’t move and my brain was tempting me to stay put. I imagined briefly not going back to work and just sitting in the field until someone asked why. And then I would tell them why. Instead I decided to take one last look. Then I decided to walk back to work. 

Just like the sheep we have big and small decisions all the time. Making it as positive a one for you as it can be has to be the best option. 

May Sunday be very good to you!
Lots of love x Dwysan x

 

Village life

I’ve written about this quite a bit lately. Community. Being local. Being part of something. I think it’s the answer to so much of the sadness and problems currently facing our world. Simplistic, I know.

I’m also aware how lucky I am to live in this beautiful green village where the church stands proudly bearing over us.
A quick preamble to the following narrative about an hour in my life this week, I feel it’s right to say I am not continually  living an idyllic life of pink roses, aprons and home made bread. My week is full of hurdles like everyone else. For the luxury of living where I do I get up at six am to walk my pooch because I travel 2 hrs to work and back. I’m tired most days and you’ll see me often scraping some film from a plastic tub because I haven’t had time to cook something ‘proper’.
But… The following is my morning routine most days and I think it perfectly captures this rural life that I fell in love with very slowly over the last 40ish years.
6am.

The socket by my bed isn’t working and I haven’t had time to get the electrician out.  Therefore when the alarm clock goes off I spy it through one tired heavy eye while quickly understanding that as it’s plugged in ‘over there’ I’m actually going to have to get up to press snooze.

Three snoozes later I’m up. I take a look at the weather and though I see it ever day I look at the hills and trees taking up most of my bleary look and inside I think wow. It’s beautiful.
Beautiful.
I brush my teeth in my small colourful bathroom and find some light blue walking socks. Pooch starts to get very excited recognising this familiar routine. I put on my boots and pink weatherproof jacket while deciding which route to take. I end up taking the wrong one. We wander up the empty lanes apart from the sounds of the birds and cross over a field using the public footpath. Unfortunately a large black cow also has decided to share this path with me. We make eye contact and I don’t fancy my chances so I take a slight detour to the nearby fence. I throw pooch over and the attempt the barbed wire fence myself. Barbed wire 1. My old jeans O.
We carry on over a small bridge and I stop to look at the river which is rather noisy as it’s just started to rain. Hood up we carry on past the farmhouse where the brown and white spaniel stares as usual prowling, tail up with a protective snarl and the woman in the house smiles from the open door while reassuring said pooch. A man closes a gate and waves as he goes off to work. I see him often but I don’t know him.

A farmer on his quad bike races past and shouts hello as we make the final bend towards home. It’s only 7 but the shop is open and I hear customers chatting inside and the local farmer is delivering bottles of milk. Yes, bottles! A man I know parks his car after picking up his morning paper. I tell him his right brake light isn’t working. He doubts me so gets in while I stand and look. Yes I say. He thanks me.
I’m wondering about breakfast and whether I fancy the usual muesli with added cranberries, cashews and raisins when I pass the tiny egg shed. It’s a recent addition to the village. A duck blue cupboard full of fresh eggs, quail eggs and teacups with pretty fuchsia plants. There’s  no shopkeeper. Just an honesty box. Despite having no money I take a box of eggs and pay the £1.30 later as I drive to work.
When I get home I feed the hungry pooch and also the noisy birds who have also quickly got used to my morning routine. They shout until I’ve filled their feeder with colourful food  Breakfast is delicious as two very yellow yolks adorn my plate. I sit in my tiny conservatory and…..well I’m writing this! As I eat and drink perfumed earl grey tea, I watch the birds dance around their new seeds and in the background I hear sheep, the faint rumble of a tractor and the breeze sweeping through the trees.

And that’s all.
Rural life. What’s not to love?
Happy Sunday everyone X X X

Are you OK? 

5 minutes from my week.

We know each other but not that well.  We can never meet for just five minutes. There’s always too much to say. I’ve had a niggle about you for a while although our contact has only been through email and one meeting,  something was missing.  No light in your eyes.  A smile that wasn’t true. I’d ask if everything was alright and you quickly reply yes, referring to how work is busy and with that deflection put an end to my concern. 

We met again this week by chance. As usual you were scurrying from one place to another.  We chat with your smile firmly in place. You laugh at the right time and nod in the required places. But you’re not here.

I know by now without doubt that something wasn’t ok. That you were drowning in worry. That you were only just hanging on to your act. 

I gently put my hand on your arm. I look straight into your troubled, tired eyes. 

Are you OK?

You’re about to lie. 

Are you really ok?

I ask again.

Tears balance on the tips of your lids. You shake your head ever so softly. You walk away.

I follow feeling a little guilty.  I hadn’t wanted to upset you. You stop and we hug. You tell me briefly what’s actually going on behind your forced smiles. With that we arrange a social meet up and you text later to thank me for seeing through your performance.  For asking if you were ok. Really.

It can be difficult to be direct.  It’s a risk. What is there to lose? To be told another lie or to mind your own business. To gain you can be an outlet to someone in need, to give a voice to pain, to listen. To give time. To provide hope.  

They’re only 3 words but they could change someone’s day.

Happy Sunday everyone x x x

PS  apologies for lateness of blog I’ve just moved and am currently hanging around a house with WiFi trying to send it!!