Monthly Archives: January 2015

my soul feels a little depleted

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My journey of de-cluttering continues. I had booked in 6 hours with my decluttering friend on Saturday- and I was completely on a mission to go through my clothes brutally and clear the floor of my study! I was ready to let stuff go. I was ready to make space. I was ready to do this.

We worked really hard. I only cried once! (getting rid of a handbag that had REALLY horrible memories associated with it- but every time I’ve decluttered before, I’ve had this perverse, “I must keep this and be reminded of that pain”, kind of thinking… thankfully this time, I realised how stupid that was- but I did cry as it went in the black bag 😦 (tears of pain).

Anyway, I digress… we worked hard 🙂 and I cleared SOOOO much stuff out. I now have space in my drawers! I do not have to ram clothes in. Here is the evidence!

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I was cock-a-hoop (an English idiom!) I was soooo pleased with myself. I felt light. Free. Almost virtuous. It was such a good feeling. Of course I have been decluttering for the last year or so, but this was the big one. I( was brutal with myself and my stuff. It was REALLY GOOD!

Part of the deal with my friend is that she takes the stuff I no longer want to the charity shop. If it stays in the house- it is likely to still be there months later. I gift aid my donations to the charity shop and we have a good little system going 🙂

But this time I wanted to do something different. I had SOOO many clothes (13kg in fact) that I had the brain wave of selling them to a clothes for cash company and making back some of the money I had spent on paying my friend to help me! Normally I wouldn’t bother but as I had so much, I really thought it would be worth it.

I did still give to the charity shop all the non-clothes stuff, and there were a couple of pieces of clothes that were better quality and I left them for the charity shop as I thought they would be able to make a bit more from these items.

I had seen this clothes place on the way to work. Yesterday I and Daniel, (he happened to be in the car with me, unfortunately for me he witnessed my shame, which gave him and Gareth a good laugh). stopped at the cash for clothes place. I think you can most probably guess what happens next. The ‘charity’ send the clothes back to Eastern Europe (took quite a bit of my friendly charms to get this out of the lady). For my 13kg I got the grand sum of £6.50!!!! I knew they only pad 50 per kilo, however, I had absolutely no idea how much my clothes weighed- all I knew it was a BIG bag!

I was so embarrassed! Not at only getting £6.50- but the fact that I felt I had been greedy and look how much the charity shop could have made from all these clothes. I know this ‘charity’ say they will send them to Europe, but to be honest it was a little bit seedy in there- I wasn’t totally convinced (!).

Daniel thought it was hilarious. And of course in one sense so did I… but I was so cross with myself. Why had I done that? I didn’t ‘need’ the money to pay Debbie. £20 back would have been good- but I had chosen to pay Debbie…

I felt like my soul had been depleted. I felt really ashamed of my actions. There was absolutely NO WAY I was going to say no and take the clothes back, they were everywhere! it was just really awful. Barnados I am sorry 😦 Of course, I will give Barnados the £6.50 as it almost feels like blood money- I just can’t keep it!!!! ( I think I might be over-reacting at this point- but it’s how I feel)

But what it also showed me, and even writing this blog shows me, that I feel emotionally quite vulnerable at the moment. Today, I was meant to be running a training for another school, who were going to pay me far more than £6.50. They needed to re-arrange. The relief was enormous. I could have cried with joy. I have not slept very well over the last few days and I am just very tired. I had everything planned, but the need to be all singing and all dancing just feels a bit much at the moment. Today I have still worked all day, but from my bed with the tele on. I have to go to school this evening for a parents meeting, but I have at least not had to speak to anyone (apart from digitally!). And I realise that at the moment speaking to anyone just feels like a step too much. I am shaky.

This post isn’t really about the £6.50. It’s about reading the signs and taking action. I need to reclaim my joy at decluttering. But I’m finding the shame a bit difficult to shake. But I have to. I am now going to try having a bath in my own home… if you’ve read any of my previous posts you will know this is a big one for me.

Thanks for listening.

not sure what I’m trying to say…

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In 1998 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and I spent a long time in a very busy acute medical ward in a large London teaching hospital. That was an interesting time! Let me just say those nurses were literally angels!

It was also my first interaction as an adult with alzheimer’s disease. Joan, in her 80’s was in the bed next door to me. It was an old style Florence Nightingale ward and we were literally in very close physical proximity. She did not need to be in hospital but her family wanted her to be put in to a very well known Jewish care home and social services were disputing it, and therefore Joan was in hospital. Joan regularly disappeared. Was often returned to the ward by two police constables. And generally was a complete sweetheart to me but obviously very confused with life.

Joan loved dancing. In the hospital they have a grand piano in the lobby. With my fiancé at the time, we would take Joan downstairs, I would play the piano and she would dance. I think the nurses were relieved when we took her out and she helped me whittle many long weeks in hospital. (Incidentally, my maternal grandmother had severe senile dementia, but hers manifested in her never speaking to me. I can honestly say I have no recollection of ever hearing her voice. ) Joan was the exact opposite. In many ways the disease manifested in her coming overly alive as opposed to the silence of my grandmother.

I often returned from the bathroom to find her lying prostrate in my bed. For some reason she would also steal my clothes and I would see my spotty green jumper disappear as she went on a runner.

My next door neighbour, June, 84, has also been recently diagnosed with severe dementia and Alzheimers. Unfortunately she is becoming increasingly aggressive and demanding. But she has also started going through my rubbish and taking it in to her house. I threw out a ripped/ broken coat. It has now appeared in her hallway and she swears blind that she has just bought it from the shop. I throw out boxes for recycling and she takes them in.

As my title says, I don’t know why I’m writing this blog. I haven’t got anything particularly insightful to say. But every time I see my coat in June’s house, I think of Joan. A fear tries to grip me that I will end up like this- which maybe I will or maybe I won’t… but I again am humbled by the cycle of life.

June is a big part of my life currently, and I need to try and keep my own sense of self with her, which I find very difficult. With Penelope we have been exploring how to extricate myself from enmeshed relationships and grief that threatens to overwhelm me. We are discussing the importance of remaining separate. Remaining a person in my own right. Keeping myself separate and whole. Things I find so challenging. Maybe the gift of June to me, is that as other enmeshments are prying for my attention at the moment, just maybe June is a safer place for me to start practicing.

I can only offer nothing but my sincerest sympathy to those who find themselves looking after loved ones affected by the ravages of alzheimers.

Thanks for listening.

a lovely moment

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My running continues 🙂 and I had a couple of moments this morning that have really encouraged me…

Firstly the context! The app I am using is Couch to 5k in 8 weeks. My friend Florence who knows a  lot about running said that was far to quick for me- I was very happy to agree!  (Incidentally, I was talking to someone else a couple of days a go and she did Couch to 5k in 4 weeks!!!…that is giving it some!)

I am really happy to go slow and low… the long burn… consistency… safety… so I have chosen to repeat each exercise, taking my journey from Couch to 5K in 16 weeks.

This morning, on the repeat of the exercise from two days ago- it felt easier… how cool is that!!! I am hurting, but I still think it is new to running hurting not disease hurting. But it was definitely easier.

Secondly, as I was thinking about the 16 week time scale, I mused as to whether I should try and find a 5K run to join in about 4 months time. Yes, I could… but I had that moment of freedom of remembering, it is about the process for me not the goal. I don’t feel the need to have an end goal at the moment. My goal is to run every other day. Nothing more, nothing less.

I want to shout it from the roof tops… TODAY, I, Hepzibah, 43, 5 ft 7 inches, female, overweight, unfit, not been able to run for 18 years,   WENT FOR A RUN….  I WENT FOR A RUN… I WENT FOR A RUN… 

However, before I get carried aaa y with myself- I went out with my friends dog, Terri. Her owner was concerned that the dog wouldn’t be able to keep up with me. I assured Anthea that Terri had nothing to worry about. In fact, when I started running the dog had to slow down as my walking is faster than my running… which made me laugh! Paula Radcliffe need not worry… however, Hepzibah needs to be very proud.

I leave you with the cutest dog…Terri

Berri

Thanks for listening.

vision, motivation and confusion

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I have been on a Visioning Workshop all day today. It has been a good but tiring day. Like journaling, I have been taught visioning by http://www.annbeazer.com and it originates from Lucia Cappchione in California.

I have done vision boards before. I had pre-decided my theme that I wanted to do a vision board on. But I also tried to be open to any other ideas that came up in the moment. However, the issue became that I was torn between my theme… the one I had originally thought of or my new ‘aha’ moment. It has left an unsatisfactory feeling. I don’t like things not being resolved. I like clarity! And today I don’t have it.

I went for my run after the session. I am in the depths of West Sussex and it is SOOO dark. I am very pleased I took a torch with me! This is the inspiring quote from the app for this run. I have decided I should try and read them before I start… it might encourage me!

I need to sleep on things and maybe tomorrow will be a bit clearer.

Thanks for listening. IMG_0565

the process not the goal

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I do not set New Year’s Resolutions. I never have done. And I have no desire to change that! Gareth and I were chatting about this last night. I just don’t see the point. But also, I genuinely prefer to live an intentional life daily. There is nothing magic about January 1st. There is nothing that I can’t decide to do any day, whether it be March 24th or August 5th.

Coincidentally, this post dropped in to my inbox this morning. http://goinswriter.com/failed-resolutions/#disqus_thread

Very timely!

I’m slightly apprehensive about mentioning this next thing so early in the process, as I do not want to set myself up to fail in everyone’s eyes, but it is pertinent at this time so here goes.

I have started trying to run. I have not physically been able to run for the past 18 years!!!! But I have always fantasised about being able to run. I mentioned to Florence yesterday that I want to run a marathon, (I think I need to modify that slightly and say a half marathon is nearer the truth. It seems so much less brutal. Less likely to lose toenails and nipples!) Sometimes I see people running and I feel a bit of a longing inside to join them. It seems so virtuous going for a run! Freedom. Solitude. Space. Fitness. Benefits for my mental and physical well-being. Weight loss. It’s all very appealing. But the issue is, I can’t run!!!! (not just a mental block, I do have some physical limitations that are slightly contra-indicated) But I have decided to not let that get in the way of me starting. It could be that I will need to accept graciously that my body is just not able to run, but I will make that decision after 2 weeks of at least giving it a jolly good go.

I am quite a goal orientated person, so the Goins post really helped me to get things in to perspective. I don’t know whether I will ever be able to run a Half Marathon. I hope that in 4 months I may be able to try a 5K…I don’t know. But I do know that I can embrace the process and leave the end product to something outside of myself.

My intention is to run 3 times a week. I am using a Couch to 5K app. Patrick, who has run a marathon before told me to take the pace really really slow. To be honest, I’ve not long finished my run and I think a caterpillar could run faster than I was, but I’m moving! I also decided to repeat the same sequence as 2 days ago, and Daniel always tells me with my cooking… low and slow… It hurts. But I think it is a new to running hurt as opposed to a flair of my symptoms.

I really didn’t want to go out in the cold and dark this evening. It has been raining all day and I was really wanting to chicken out! I am very familiar with that feeling, when everything inside me has not wanted to leave my bed or my house…But sometimes it’s all about the first step. The hardest step. The bravest step. The most important step. Even if I never run again I have done 2 runs this week… that really is quite incredible. Another thing to add to my, I thought that was impossible, but here I am doing it now, list.

From the app…

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Thanks for listening.

more thoughts

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I have had a good day. I’m feeling a bit precious from overindulging last night… but I’ve had a pottering kind of day, with people around if I want- but also the freedom to make space if I don’t. (Thank you my friends, well done me for expressing what I need)

I’ve been having some more thoughts on what I did differently last term. One of the reasons I love blogging is that it gets me thinking, which I really appreciate.

1) I’ve been better at taking moments out. Instead of working at 100% from the moment I wake until the moment I crash- I’ve taken moments and minutes when I’ve needed. Sometimes at school, I’ve gone to the local cafe for a hot chocolate. Sometimes at home, I’ve gone for a walk. Before an evening engagement, I might read for 15 mins. Nothing big and life changing- but small things that have made the daily rhythm more spacious. Big tick. 

2) I can’t believe I didn’t write about the caravan!!!!! Of course, the caravan, and everything it gives me I’m sure has been a big factor in managing life more skilfully. Sadly, I don’t have that opportunity next term- but the essence of taking time out- doesn’t need a caravan- I have a perfectly adequate log cabin at the bottom of my garden! Well done girl. 

3) I’ve stripped back my activity level. Most evenings I am in- very unusual for me. I knew I needed to do what I needed to do to get through, and reducing my evening events has been one of those things. This has on the whole worked well, but I need to be very careful that I do not end up either isolating myself or becoming a very dull girl! Tick for thinking about my body. Need a better balance with this for the sake of my relationships. 

4) I’ve tried new things. I’ve upped my bravery stakes. I’ve felt more able to face my fears. This can be range from things like 3 days ago, where I put on a crash helmet that covered all my face. (I panicked at the feeling of claustrophobia, but I persevered and had a great time go-carting) to having had two baths this term, just for the sake of relaxation and self-care. (One being today!). Both times I’ve been in other people’s houses and my friends have been around. I know this has helped me feel a lot safer. I’m not quite so safe in my own home unfortunately but I can work on that. I’ve also had to do really scary things for me like interact with groups of women at a Head Teacher’s meeting. Something which I find very intimidating and also slightly nauseating! Big tick and smiley face… you’ve done a lot. 

Next term is shorter than this term, and won’t be my first term- so I’m trusting that if I managed this term, I can do next term!

Thanks for listening.