Five Things I Learned This Week – Light always shines through the darkness
Old friendships are priceless
Last year I wrote a lot on my personal blog about the different friendships I had once my ex-husband and I split up. That the people who I had expected to hang around, didn’t and I made new friends who I previously knew but had never thought of meeting beyond the odd Facebook chat/meeting at church etc.
One of the things that was noticeable was old friends getting in touch. People who hadn’t been keen on the dynamic with me and my husband so had kept their distance. The easiest way to say it is last year was a very strange year.
Last weekend I went to see some old friends for the first time in 9 months and it was just perfect. As with all solid friendships, there were long, comfortable silences, catching up and just a feeling of well-being and security from having so much history together. What’s more is my Goddaughter got to spend time with my boys, who didn’t really remember her and for that afternoon, it felt as though life just really came together. The best news of all is that these friends are moving back to my home town so I look forward to many more afternoons in the sun together.
I have two very different children
We all know that children, as individuals are unique. I guess when we think we parent children the same, we don’t expect them to be too different. My youngest has definitely put paid to that theory.
Being 1 of 5 children and having worked in a school for 10 years I know that usually the eldest child is sensitive, thoughtful, reflective and the second borns are more outspoken, less sensitive and much more likely to let you know you’ve upset them, rather than internalise things and not say anything.
My 2 fit these stereotypes down to a T. The major difference between them is the relatively carefree attitude my little one has that his older brother definitely does not share.
With my older son I can guarantee that when he goes to school he will come home with all of his possessions, neatly labeled. He won’t have anyone else’s belongings and he will have everything he needs for each day at school.
My little one on the other hand…. so far this academic year (which still has approximately 9 weeks to go) he has lost:
*school coat (brand new and 6 weeks into the school year)
He has also been through 3 water bottles in 4 weeks.
So when you’re thinking of having a website built, website review or hiring a marketing strategist, please bear me in mind and have a look at how we can work together. If anything, just to keep my little one in school uniform until the end of the academic year!
When we blog we usually only put down what we want the internet to see and can be accused of trying to show ourselves as having the perfect ‘instagram worthy’ lives. You only have to read my post about ‘nitgate’ to see that isn’t true of my writing. Obviously I don’t go into fine detail of what’s going on in our household – that’s saved for my long suffering sister and friends.
It’s not been an easy few weeks in our household (not least because of all the trips to the supermarket to replace the little one’s water bottles). The dynamics of a blended family in its infancy were never going to be easy. At the same time, I don’t think we realised it would be quite this hard. While it’s been amazing to be able to talk to friends and have their opinions on it, it’s been hard trying to navigate it without having anyone to turn to who has a bit more life experience than me.
Just as I was hitting an emotional low brought on by a very difficult week, I saw a message in my inbox saying ‘hope you’re ok x’. It was from my partner’s Mum. I had only met her for a few days last month and therefore was so touched that she messaged. I’d love to say that I received that message and magically everything was ok. Realistically life’s more complicated than that but having her support, at a time when I needed support the most has made a massive difference.
Just because I did something at school, doesn’t mean I can do it now
To say my partner is a perfectionist is an understatement. This particularly applies if what he is being a perfectionist about requires a lot of fiddly amount of detail. I am not a perfectionist and do not ‘do’ fiddly amounts of detail….. until he ropes me into whatever it is he’s fixated on.
In this case it was soldering. Something that, bar me using a soldering iron once during my D&T GCSE under the supervision of my teacher, we had no experience in.
Convinced it would be fine, after all there were step by step instructions (the most important ones that we decided not to look at until 4 hours into the project), he jumped on Amazon, purchased a soldering iron and figured it would be easy.
It was not easy. After an hour or two he got me involved (turns out, there really is nowhere to hide in my house). Convinced I could do a better job, after all, my GCSEs were only 21 years ago and I vaguely remember the one and only time I soldered something, it was easy, I pushed my partner aside.
After hours of working together to try to get metal soldered to non-metal, we thought we had it then the pesky thing fell off. In the end my partner went out, purchased another part and came up with a solution that thankfully, did not require soldering.
The moral of this story: just because you did something at school, does not mean you can do it now and when it comes to fusing metal, leave it to the experts.
When we go through dark times it’s hard to imagine a time when we’ll feel better, when life not only goes well, but feels great. This morning my friend, Lisa gave us all a reminder of this by posting that it was the 3 year anniversary of her son being diagnosed with Leukaemia. She spoke about how awful parts of it had been – Benny losing his hair (twice), him literally being a shade of putrid green and being so, so sick. All the trips to hospital, not just for chemo, but whenever he got a temperature (which was a lot of the time).
All the way through this journey I’ve been blown away by Lisa’s positive-ness and ‘go get em’ attitude. Instead of dreading chemo days, she looks upon it as an opportunity to spend 1-1 time with Benny and in 5 (hopefully) short months Benny’s treatment will be complete.
When I went through some dark times last year Lisa was right by my side telling me it was going to be ok and offering that much needed light and you know what? Things were ok. Things got better and I’ve learned to trust that dark times lead us to much better and well deserved good times.
This week really marked how much light you can let into your life when Lisa launched her membership programme, designed for parents to bring light and balance to their lives. Having watched her create this amazing programme whilst juggling 4 kids, chemo, a husband who’s job takes him overseas often and moving to the other side of the world, is just mind boggling.
It’s really shown me that success can come from the hardest of times, focus and friendship will get you through and at the end of the tunnel, the light will always be there.