Monday, 26 August 2013

"It's not the despair, it's the HOPE that gets you"

I often think of this quote, it has resonated deeply on many occasions, and none more so than the troughs in the rollercoaster that is dealing with chronic illness.

Over the years since the twins were born we have coped with everything life threw at us, sleep deprivation, severe reflux, feeding difficulties, poor growth, swallowing problems, bowel problems, food allergies and exclusion diets, hypermobility, subluxing joints, pronating feet, autonomic problems.... the list feels endless at times. But you get on with it. it's not as if there is much choice! But when someone hands you a buoyancy aid you grab it. Fast. With both hands....

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Great Excitement!

I can hardly contain myself.... I am beyond excited!

What, may you ask, is the reason for such enthusiasm and eagerness? A holiday? Have I won the lottery? Secured a new job?..... None of the above. After three years of oh-so-very-patient really impatient waiting we are boarding our loft space and getting some STORAGE baby!!!!

It honestly IS that exciting. Six people and many years of stuff accumulation and even the most reformed of hoarders would struggle to cope with a couple of measly cupboards for storage. I'm not even talking about the kind of cupboards Harry Potter would have been grateful to call his bedroom, these are more the kind you quickly shove everything in and shut the door. Fast. Hoping it doesn't open again immediately.

My friends will tell you I am a very tidy person - obsessively so I guess. Ok, I admit it, verging on OCD at times. BUT for me keeping in control of my environment when other aspects of my life go spiralling out of control is my way of hanging in there, telling myself I can get through whatever it is and come out the other side. Unfortunately the flip side of this is that any untidiness/lack of extreme organisation sends me into a headspin and I find it extremely difficult to cope. Recognising this definitely helps but I have yet to find a solution except let the anxiety take its course whilst a tidy and sort - much to the amusement of those around me I'm sure.

I suspect my years at boarding school are much to blame for this need to organise and sort. We were allocated a small wardrobe and two shelves per person in each dormitory. The concept of not "taking up too much room" was drummed into us until I would panic before each term over what I might take. Whilst I'm quite sure I took this advice far too literally it had a profound impact on me to this day. Coming home from a shopping expedition is one of the most stressful moments for me - whether there will be room for everything - and whether I have too much of anything.

It has meant over the years that I have parted with items I would rather have hung on to, let go a few of the sentimental things I could really have done with holding fast to. I'm quite a sentimental person, someone who finds looking forward much harder than looking back, and someone who finds the smell, sight and touch of something old so profoundly evocative that I can be reduced to tears in an instant. As an historian I indulge myself regularly reading about and researching into the "Past"   finding some aspects more difficult to return from than others.

So what of my loft? Why am I honestly that excited?

Because apart from the wholly cathartic process of sorting through everything and "filing" it neatly in my new space, I gain oodles of cupboard space and permission to retain more. To hang on to more, retain more of the present - and exert control and order on my environment. It's better than a holiday, and the next best thing to the elusive magic wand I seek to regain a little control over the other aspects of my life - the children's health, education and future.

One of my favourite quotes is:-
"If you're not living life on the edge you are taking up too much room." 
A favourite for obvious reasons but it works for me on so many levels. Flying by the seat of your pants through an often chaotic life, but with the security blanket of a home environment in perfect order. Works for me. Lofts ROCK!!!
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