Confidence

Two weeks ago my confidence took a battering. I had a seizure into the road… this isn’t anything new… I made a mess of my face and damaged my wrist… nothing new… I had absolutely no warning that it was coming at all – knocked out of the ball park!

Since I was diagnosed at 11 I’ve been encouraged to be independent, careful, sensible but independent! Two weeks ago I questioned if I was able to leave the house on my own. I had to take time off work and I was starting to question if I should even be considering teaching any more. It got to a stage where I knew that if I didn’t go in, I might never do so.

E has been inundated with ‘I’ve left the house’ ‘I’ve arrived at work’ ‘ I’m home’. On Sunday I needed to get home, but the husband wanted to stay to help tidy after a meal, but he could sense that I didn’t feel confident walking home on my own.

Over this week my confidence has started to build up again and I think this is for a few reasons

  • I’ve been in the classroom a lot with new groups so have had to speak about my epilepsy, talking about it from the perspective of 27 years and the challenges I’ve overcome changes things!
  • I’ve been teaching and have therefore been back into routine which has happened with little or no hiccups
  • My friends and loved ones have listened to me when I’ve cried about being scared, or when I’ve wanted someone to essentially hold my hand. They haven’t told me I’m stupid they’ve just walked beside me.

Confidence comes from our environment and our family and friends. All of us will have our confidence knocked and will know people who have been knocked. The question is… how do we respond?

Don’t know what you’ve got until its gone

Last week our new mattress was delivered, the following morning I woke up and my back wasn’t hurting. I don’t think I’d realised that I was having lower back pain every morning until I woke up without it.

So often the phrase ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’ is used in a negative way – when you’ve lost something good – for example I’m currently typing with one finger on my left hand as my right hand is in a splint with a queried fracture! I have definitely missed the use of my right hand today and how much I use it!

But the mattress situation demonstrates that we don’t always know the negative things in our lives until we see the affect when they are no longer there.

It is so easy to get caught up in life, to accept what is happening as the norm. Yet we need to take the time to reflect, and to see what affect things are having and if we are getting back pain, we need to change the mattress, and if we can’t use our right hand for a time, then we need to be grateful when we can!

I’m having to do a LOT of reflection at the moment, I’m having to think in ALL aspects and areas of my life about things that need to go, things that need to change and things that I need to be grateful for!

I haven’t got the courage to talk through any of the things, but I’m sure you’ll hear about some of them at some point.

Exhilaration

Not surprisingly it was a tough week going back to work, mainly due to having to wake up early and get back to the routine of things. Also a medical appointment, a parent’s evening, and additional meetings.

HOWEVER

On Wednesday, on return from the parents evening I informed E that I was feeling slightly exhilarated.

It’s fair to say this is not a word that I use on a regular basis, but it’s a word I wanted to use again later in the week as well.

Why?

I was going to say I’ve been reminded of why I do my job, but that’s not it. It is because I recieved some positive feedback from parents, pupils, and colleagues.

I cannot tell you what a difference it has made, not only making me feel good (inevitable) but also giving me a wake up call to try new things, and to put in the effort because I know it is appreciated.

I really don’t use the word exhilarated lightly, but boy did it feel good, but also had a positive affect on me.

We so often take things for granted, that we don’t let people know our appreciation. I was honestly surprised at the impact it had on me this week, and am challenged to pass on the exhilaration to others.

That is the reason…

My name means ‘bright one’.

For those who know me, you won’t find that too surprising – she says modestly!

However, as far as I know that is not the reason I have this name. From what I know my parents wanted a name that wouldn’t be shortened or lead to a nickname (that really did not happen) and I also know that my Granny did not want me to have this name.

For the third year in a row I have started the Bible In One Year, I listen to it as I walk to work. So with it being the beginning of the year I’m currently in Genesis. In Genesis there is a lot of

‘that is the reason…’

usually referring to why people have been given certain names, or why places have certain names. The picture above refers to Babel, and the reason it was given that name is because it brought confusion to the people (a very succinct version).

Young children will of ten ask why, why, why? Wanting to understand, as much frustration as that brings to us as adults.

However, do we really think about, or explain the reason why we do things? I have found it fascinating listening to why things are the way they are.

Maybe this links in to some of the other things I’ve been pondering lately, and we shouldn’t just do things because that’s what we do, but we should be able to say ‘and that is the reason…’

I’ve had a long day, and I’m tired – and that is the reason I’m going to go to sleep now goodnight!

Taking time

Why are we in such a rush? Instant society.

For those who follow me on social media you may have been eagerly following the journey of our magi as they travelled across the piano to the fire place, until today they reached the manger.

Today the Church celebrates Epiphany, the arrival of the magi, but their journey had been so much longer, and there was so much studying before they even started the physical,journey. All of that time, was worth it, to reach that final destination and to be a part of a story we still tell today.

I have known my husband for over 17 years. In fact, this month we will be celebrating 17 years since he finally asked me to go on a date with him.

This year he bought me the most perfect presents for Christmas, my favourite perfume, a book of games from one of our favourite quiz shows, a cushion for the sofa because I keep falling asleep on the sofa due to my new tablets (and in my favourite colours), and a book – because he knew I would like the cover (that’s another blog I’m sure).

No hints were made, apart from possibly the perfume, he just knew what I needed and what I liked. He knows me.

All Relationships are hard, they take time, to develop to understand.

Everything takes time…

The question is are we willing to give it?

What change?

Are there things that always get on your nerves? Things that drive you crazy?

I imagine the answer is yes, as I haven’t met anyone yet for whom that isn’t the case.

For me at the moment, the ‘thing’ is me!

E got a rather bizarre text this morning telling her that I didn’t send her an email last night. The email was written when I couldn’t sleep, but I never sent it.

Throughout the last few months I have been one of those people posting photos of beautiful autumn leaves, but I currently feel like the one in the photo above. Holding on, recognisable, but broken, and not complete.

This was essentially what the email to E was about, it really wasn’t a happy email – and I didn’t come out well at all.

E did tell me that I could send her the email, but I deleted the draft. Why? Because when I read it this morning, I realised there was nothing that anyone else could do, it had to come from me.

This was then confirmed twice throughout the day, at lunch when the mother in law shared some advice she’d been given that when it’s the same thing that is ‘getting’ to you then how are you going to change the way you approach it. And then through the joy of social media an alternative version of the serenity prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.

It is very easy to come with excuses for why I am not the person I think I should be, medications, brain issues, changes at work, but the only one who has the capacity to change my approach to the things I don’t like about me is… me.

I, however, am also so aware that although I am the one who needs to recognise the problems (possibly the most important), and make the changes. I am not alone. That leaf may look battered, bruised, and broken, but there is still that element of green, of life because it is attached to the tree.

I may feel weak, but I have been promised that I can be changed through the power of the Holy Spirit, should I choose to ask.

The Lull

I’m a bit lost.

I’m slightly overwhelmed.

I’m… well… I don’t really know.

Social media has been inundated with people’s accounts of the last decade, which, not surprisingly gets you thinking. My decade… my year… so much must have happened and yet… it also doesn’t feel like it – especially when looking at friends.

Then of course there is looking forward to the next year, the next decade… often there is a sense of what could be occurring, where things could be heading… but I’m at a loss. In terms of health, work, and other areas I’m very aware of how unsure I am of what is going to be happening.

So I find myself in this weird lull, trying to snap myself out, and failing miserably. The definition of lull is a period of inactivity, and I can promise that’s what I’m accomplishing at the moment. Maybe because I don’t know what is to come, and because I feel I need to accomplish something (other than the lull).

In the summer one of my A-Level pupils gave me a book – ‘a year with C.S.Lewis’ – its as if I talk about Narnia a lot in my lessons! Anywho, I read the first reading today. The readings are short, manageable, and meaningful. This was more of a present than I realised.

I get overwhelmed easily, and I feel like haven’t accomplished much easily as well. I need to not focus on the last year/decade and not focus on the next one but take each day making it manageable and meaningful.

Relying upon those that provide me with strength and power when I can’t find it for myself