I Am So Tired!

I am so tired of all this bullshit!

For 14 weeks now I have stayed at home to keep my family and friends as safe as possible. When we were allowed to we met in a socially allowed manner and did everything we were supposed to do. I have only seen my parents via WhatsApp video calling and many of my friends by Zoom chat only. I was one of many, many people who did just that – we don’t deserve medals or claps on a Thursday evening – we just need some peace and an end in sight. Something to head towards.

And now an extended lockdown for Leicester is announced and I am so disheartened. The only thing splitting me away from being inside that lockdown boundary is the A46!

The hatred, lies and bile I have seen coming out of so many quarters this week is heartbreaking. “It was the protests”, “Eid – they should have stopped at home not been out celebrating”; “VE Day conga was the thing that did it”; “All those packed beaches” and so on and so forth – each complainer targeting their hatred at a certain group of people whilst conveniently forgetting the other scenarios. I have seen talk of “the riots that took place in Leicester” and other rubbish like that. As far as I remember we didn’t have any riots in this city – just peaceful protests on the whole.

And I think they were all partly to blame for this extension – not one single factor to blame but all of them as well as so much more – the people who have no idea how to follow arrows in a supermarket and arguing with the poor young staff member because of their sense of entitlement because they are being asked to follow the arrows – “but I only want a pint of milk” – then I suggest you follow the arrows and you will get there quicker.

It didn’t help that a multitude of people in positions of authority have openly flouted the guidelines with no regards for the message that was portraying to the general public who now think “why should I bother if these people can’t”. I say guidelines not rules because the goal posts have changed so much over the last 100 days that no-one knows which way is forward any more.

I am tired of the hatred towards teachers and furloughed staff. The lies and misinformation that is being spread is awful! Teachers have been working so very hard trying to provide a sense of education to our children and they are being shot down in flames with comments such as “I bet they are enjoying the longest holiday ever”, “Get back to work and get those children back in school”, “if you can’t be bothered to teach then move over and let someone who is bothered do it”. Our teachers have worked so VERY hard trying to help families such as ours and all the others in their school circle and it hurts my head to see the blatant disregard and ignorance being touted by certain factions of the public, the government, the media – when will they start saying thank you for everything they have done!

And people on furlough? Do you think they would rather be doing the job they want to be doing on 100% wage instead of being restricted on 80%? The majority of people I know on furlough cannot wait to get back to work rather than being tarred with the brush of lies and incompetence.

I am tired of feeling this way. I am tired of not being able to work, to find any motivation to keep going……but I will keep on – even though today has had me staring down into a gaping black abyss. I will keep going because someone out there needs me. They need me to be there as a friend or a tow rope.

I am so tired of all the hate and division. 😥

 

Changing My Mindset.

Well – the post I made at the beginning of May didn’t exactly take off with my motivation. That doesn’t really surprise me as I had other things on my mind but that is ok. It obviously wasn’t my ‘thing”

Now – just saying that it is ok is actually a pretty huge thing for me. Normally I would be beating myself up somewhat for “failing” to complete something….again! However I am not doing that because something has happened.

Something quite fundamental has happened….I have learned to forgive myself.

As lockdown started I needed to learn very quickly to look at things from a different mindset or I would have completely lost the plot.

At the beginning of lockdown I was scared, frustrated, cross, angry, feeling claustrophobic as we were stuck at home; my children were going to need teaching; I wasn’t a teacher; we were going to lose all our income as weddings were postponed; we were going to lose everything.

Everything was falling apart in front of me. In a single hour on Monday 16th March I had had 3 holidays cancelled, 6 theatre shows, my scouting, days out, work and by the end of that week I also had 4 children who were going to be at home for who knew how long.

I was scared! My time line was full of fear, judgement, death and I hated it. My head went into freefall….and something clicked.

Crisis control switched on.

My brain went into the mode it always goes into when a major crisis hits. I normally dissociate and another “inner being” takes on the duties of dealing with the crisis but this time it had to be different. It had to be sustained and it had to be durable and only I could do that as a dissociation is a short term answer.

For the first time ‘I’ went into crisis management. I stayed in control and I looked at things from the flip side.

I started my Daily Dose Feel Good Cafe Facebook group to escape from the timelines full of woe. It soon dawned on me that, although I initially started the group for me, others were now starting to use it and look forward to seeing some daft jokey posts or some daft banter. Soon we had a weekly quiz, and then a bingo night and a “support” group. People were coming together under the Daily Dose umbrella and new friendships were being formed. Families were talking to each other during the quizzes, they were enjoying the activities that I had put together to fill a selfish gap for me. I was needed.

I flipped my view about the closure of the Scout hut. If we couldn’t meet at the hut we would meet online instead. Within a week we started running joint section meetings and soon we were getting average attendees of between 15-20 young people and their families. Our district camp had been cancelled…ok – let’s have a virtual “pirate” camp – and boy what a success that was.

I was no longer “stuck at home” I was now safe at home and, as we had moved last year, we were so much better off with a garden I could look out over – albeit one in need of a lot of TLC but it was ours. The children could go out into it and they helped dig out for the allotment and the greenhouse.

We were all at home all together all needing to “work from home”. So what? We had a new internet provider who could carry the traffic of 7 devices all trying to access work, school work, entertainment. We had the devices to be able to all work together at the same time. I know how EXTREMELY Lucky we are in that sense.

I had lost my theatre trips but not my enjoyment of them and we could watch “live theatre” via various streaming services….and my tickets were mostly transferred to some point next year – not all cancelled just postponed. My daughter’s Curve Young Company started the process of doing activities from home so she could also continue her enjoyment of the theatre

The biggest thing though was my approach to the children and the closure of the school buildings to all but key workers and vulnerable children. How on earth was I going to deal with that?

I organised! Over that first weekend I was ready for the children to start being taught from home but I wasn’t teaching them – I couldn’t – they know a lot more than me already in some subjects but I COULD facilitate the schools teaching them. Over the weekend the children had desk areas set up, dropbox folders readied, archive folders ready, a new printer and plenty of ink. We faced tech issues but we overcame them and I tweaked my organisation to cope with the massive influx of children to the school website which meant it crashed on a Monday morning. We gradually overcame the tech issues and we moved forwards. It was never an option for me to “not worry about it” as we were being told by countless memes and Facebook posts. My children needed to be “in school” and those memes were making me feel guilty somehow because I was worrying about it but I stood up to myself in my head and decided that we were doing it. We were going to survive.

I did have (and still do have) a fairly big problem with my eldest son but his school immediately sprang to action and daily support was put in place within a fortnight of the schools shutting down. They have been the huge tugboat in the middle of this storm and they held onto my tow rope, helping to keep my small rowing boat steady BUT they also helped me to believe in myself. No longer the neurotic, over-anxious mother that I was described as by the children’s previous school. No longer disbelieved and accused of “looking for things that weren’t there”. They believed me. They supported me and they encouraged me.

Last night I looked at the figures about how many young people had engaged with their schoolwork  (Here if you are interested) and the one statistic that hit me most was that only 17% of children currently did more than 4 hours of study a day since lockdown began. We were part of that 17%. We were “in school” from 9am until 3pm every day with a pretty strict timetable and work was being submitted to the teachers. My need for stability right at the start was the reason we had succeeded. We are still in that category and I am proud that it is because of me for the biggest part – because I ignored the “don’t worry” memes.

When our primary school were no longer able to send school work home I rallied again. Started putting together powerpoint presentations to link up lessons from the available resources: White Rose, The National, BBC Bitesize and the teacher’s own shared file. I was putting together lessons that were engaging my ADHD 9 year old son and he was happy he was succeeding. Then a small group of others also started on the same lesson plan presentation and they were engaging with it as well. I was actually achieving something good. I still am.

I know we are extremely lucky to have been able to achieve this things and this is no way a judgement on how anyone else has dealt with their own lockdown but for the first time in my entire life I can consistently say “I am doing a good job”. I have achieved something that I never would have believed possible and I believe, for the first time ever in me.

I would always shy away from self compliments thinking it made me sound brattish but this time I am going to shout it out loud.

I am doing a great job.

Mindfulness May – Day 1

Hmm – Just seen this really colourful month planner thing on the Action for Happiness Facebook Page ( here ) which got me thinking. Could I use this to try and prompt some musings? In this current climate of lockdown and fear? Of course I can – well I can try at least!!! I will possibly get distracted at some point or other – I always do but I can try!

DA59DF98-1D7A-4A2C-85B9-00D524D77D96

Day 1:

48B24A0A-9DD4-4A29-894A-9388126E733A So then? What really matters and why? This should be easy – and in theory it is – my family – they really matter to me because I love them unconditionally and they are awesome if frustrating at times.

But – is there more? Ok – that sounds ungrateful and I am completely confused in my head so this may ramble more than usual.

What really matters? Being needed. I need to be needed. I need people to need me to do something – whether it be hold them when they are upset or cheer them on when they are on their winning way. I need to be needed because if I am not then what is the point in any of this? If I am here to just solely ‘be’ then there is no reason.

Especially in these strange and scary times – I need to be facilitating the home learning for my children to the best I possibly can, printing off what they need, finding them printables to practice their letter formation, to hug them when it gets a bit too much and to enjoy their company when they are telling me their latest ramblings about Minecraft

If they didn’t need me then why do I exist?

Now – I know they need me and I know that this is my current purpose and I will keep on going for them. Every thing I do is with them in mind sometimes to the point of my own detriment BUT if I stopped – would they stop needing me if someone else can do it for them instead? 😦

I Miss…

With this Coronavirus lockdown I miss so much! I know it means we are staying safe but it doesn’t mean I am not allowed to miss these things.

I miss my Cub pack and the Cubs;

I miss my Toddler group and toddlers along with their carers;

I miss my work and the couples whose weddings we would be providing a service for;

I miss my own time when the children are at school;

I miss being able to stay on top of my work because the children are at school;

I miss my friends and family that I can’t nip around or can’t nip to see us;

I miss being able to just get in the car and pop out;

I miss going out for lunch;

I miss hugs – goodness how I miss hugs!

I miss the school runs (yes I do) and chatting to people at pick up time;

I miss the innocence that we had before;

I miss my holiday;

I miss my theatre trips.

 

😥

Back To Normal

Back to normal?

When this whole Covid-19 thing is over people say they want to get back to normal but what really is that?

And why?

Why do we want to go back to a time where inequality was rife? Where the people who have literally been keeping the country going – the key workers – were classed as unskilled? Where money matters more than family?

Do we really want to go back to that normality? Where community was only practised by a few? Where gratitude for the “dirtier” occupations was sneered at as opposed to applauded?

Personally I hope we don’t go back to that normality. I don’t want to go back to the normality of a dog eat dog world where those less fortunate than ourselves are shunned for some reason.

We managed to find accommodation for the homeless (albeit notwithstanding the problems that that brings about)

We managed to look out for the elderly and the infirm – and as a priority not an afterthought.

We looked out for the mental health of everyone not just a select few.

We started to appreciate that money and fame isn’t everything. Of course money helps but it will not prevent something as deadly as Covid-19….no matter how much you have or how well known your face is.

I don’t want to go back to normal. I want to help be part of creating a new more caring normal.

Caroline Flack – My Musings

Facebook Post 17th February 2020

 

Right then…..it’s a long one. If you can make it to the end…..I thank you.

I have watched the tragic story of Caroline Flack this last couple of days with an enforced kind of detachment but with my brain doing its usual churning of thoughts.

I didn’t really know anything about her, not ever having watched Love Island or anything with her in it (that I was aware of) however I did see her name on the news recently when it was mentioned that she was no longer presenting Love Island because of the case being brought against her for domestic violence. Again I don’t really know much about those circumstances but I have read a few tweets and comments about the case and have had those thoughts musing through my overly crowded mind…..and now it is time for me to try and put them in some order.

Firstly….domestic violence is WRONG….in any shape or form and from anyone – male or female. It is wrong and should never be tolerated…..

However….

It was still, as far as I can make out, to go to trial so, even if she had abused her partner she was still innocent until proven guilty…..and this is my first bone of contention.

There is such a culture these days of “name and shame”, scam artist, blame game and trial by internet. Everyone (the keyboard warriors) has an opinion on someone’s guilt before being aware of all the facts, of both sides of the story, and everyone simply has to have a say (I am using the ‘royal’ everyone by the way not making a mass generalisation).

The reason we have a judicial system in place is to discover the facts of a case before a decision is made for innocent or guilty. Only by listening to and investigating the facts do we get to the truth.

There are two people I know who have been accused of the most horrific crime (in my opinion) of child abuse. For those of you who know me and my back story I was a victim of it myself and have been teaching my own children about the subject since they were 4 because forewarned is forearmed and I hope this knowledge will help prevent them from ever having to go through what I went through but I digress (as usual). Due to my history, if I thought there was ANY truth in the accusations there is no way I would consider being in the same building with them, especially not with my children, but investigations were carried out, the claims were shown to be completely inaccurate or fabricated and the pair were both vindicated. The reason I mentioned this is because, if their accuser had gone public with it on the many platforms of social media these people would have had their whole lives completely ruined by the “no smoke without fire” syndrome, make them pay, hang them up by their genitals kind of comments that are made in circumstances like these….despite the protestations of innocence.

Remember the Big Brother case involving Roxanne Pallet? Where she accused him of punching her and abusing her? If those hundreds of cameras hadn’t been there Ryan Thomas’s life would have been over. One false accusation and he would have been fired, vilified and could have ended up in a similar position to Caroline Flack.

Caroline Flack, along with so many others, made mistakes and the media pounced like the pack of starved painted wild dogs that they are. They tore into her and continued a tirade of vile stories despite her not having been found guilty. They have done it to so many others…a regular favourite of theirs is Katie Price, another Meghan Markel, and people lap it up, they tweet obnoxious comments, threaten them with wishes of them being raped, hurt, killed…..the internet trolls, fuelled by the current international emboldenment of “free speech” and the complete lack of regulation of the media.

The lack of people’s ability (read inclination maybe) to fact check before sharing or commenting results in people being endangered or taking their own lives because they have been accused of having done something or incorrectly being someone else (one of Jamie Bulger’s killers example). They were hounded, “named and shamed”, accused, lied about and threatened……

And now another life has been lost and the hypocrites and haters are out in equal measure. Many holding the “she beat her partner up and deserved what she got” line (remember she was still innocent) and, even if she had….that is what our judicial system is for. It may be a flawed system but it is one that we need to work on changing for the better….and not by taking it into our own little vigilante hands. We need to be better than that.

The media who attacked her now running with “here is a number if you need support against suicide” are the very same media who lie and spread front page hate about so much and, when found out, put the tiniest of apologies in the dregs of page 37. There is no accountability and the results of the Leveson enquiry, the lessons learnt, have been consigned to the sewers of the gutter trash press.

Another life lost resulting in post after post about how tragic it is, be kind, show love……and whilst that is an amazing thing to be seeing…..why does it take a tragedy like the death of Caroline Flack for it to happen?

I am proud of many of my friends who preach and practise the “be kind” thing on a regular basis but there are so many people who are only posting about it now it is “trendy” somehow. I do appreciate that often people don’t share things like this for their own personal reasons and they do practice the kindness and help people in their own quiet way……the people I mean are those who will share this advocating kindness but will then share a meme villifying someone like Greta Thurnburg or the youth of today protesting climate change, a post about how immigrants are stealing our jobs or comment about how.a celebrity can’t possibly be depressed when “they have everything”. These are the trend jumpers. The ones who don’t actually believe what they are posting.

The real challenge is if they continue that onwards and start spreading kindness. I really hope they do but sadly I don’t think it will happen once the “Flack effect” has passed…..just like the wain of smear tests after the Jade Goody effect passed.

Kindness can take many forms. Complimenting someone on their hair/shoes/children’s behaviour or manners; holding the door for someone; talking to a parent whose child is in meltdown to offer them a word of support to let them know that not everyone is watching them thinking them a failure (been in that position so many times); scan your contactless over one of the homeless collection points around the city; offer to buy a drink for a homeless person without expecting any reward back; help someone carry a bag of shopping to their car.

Kindness doesn’t need to cost anything at all but a kind word can be the difference between life and death…literally. I have been there and it was only the cyber presence of my friend who talked me out of it, kept me in the moment and stopped me doing something awful. It was her kindness and time that kept me a survivor of the black dog with a 100% record of survival…not matter how dark the night,

Kindness…..a word, smile, cyber handhold. Making the offer of help (even if it isn’t taken up) makes a massive difference to someone who may just be hanging on by a thread.

Be the difference.

Be the change you want to see and don’t just jump on the sympathy bandwagon for a few days then forget about it.

And in the words of one of the most inspirational people I know, “make the rest of your life, the best of your life”. Carry that through to help someone….anyone….at least once a day.

Be kind.

#itsoknottobeok
#bekind

Children In Poverty – “Their Own Fault!”

Facebook Post 19th June 2019

 

Just been reading a post from my local newspaper about the children in poverty and the fundraising to try and help feed them.

The comments section is full of sickening comments such as “if you can’t afford to feed them don’t have them”, “should have used a condom then”, “they are nothing but benefit bait”, “should stop taking drugs then and feed the children”

The sweeping generalisations of people these days is heart breaking and so indicative of why this country is so broken.

Circumstances change. I know people who have had their privately rented house sold out from under them – working parents – and have been unable to get enough deposit together to find another property so have gone to the council to ask for housing. As a larger family they need something bigger than the emergency temporary accommodation they were put in. It isn’t their fault they find themselves in this situation….it has been forced upon them but no the “shouldn’t have kids if you can afford them” brigade don’t look at the circumstances.

My ex husband was punched on a night out….one punch….it ended up with him having a head injury and he nearly died. He was off work for months whilst he (thankfully) recovered and then it was a gradual return to work. We were lucky we had friends and family who rallied around but we could easily have found ourselves homeless once the insurance payout period stopped but the keyboard warriors out there wouldn’t consider that. My friend who had to stop work because their daughter contracted leukaemia…..to look after their daughter and stay at the hospital with her…..”just benefit bait” idiots would have had a field day because they are so quick to judge without even sparing a second to consider that circumstances change.

I am very lucky that I have managed to surround myself with people for whom kindness is a thing but sadly we seem to be in an ever decreasing minority and the hatred keeps on growing.

Even trying to debate with these keyboard warriors isn’t even a thing because they get abusive, the name calling starts -snowflake, libtard, treehugger – I have had it all but do we stop? Do we just accept the inevitable and say that there is no point?

We are going to Hell in a handcart and it is being facilitated by the media and the people in power and I fear it is going to end with violence eventually…..and probably quicker than we realise. 😭😭😭

What on Earth is the way forward?

My Heart Hurts!

Facebook Post 15th March 2019

My heart hurts.

49 dead in New Zealand.

Rocket air attacks launched in Gaza.

A mother of a three year old found guilty of her murder.

Knife crime on the increase.

Hatred on the rise.

The link to the video from the shooting on National newspaper websites (one of the right wing ones of course).

The “President of the Free World” tweeting a right wing website rather than offering condolences.

My heart hurts.

What world are we creating for our children? What is the legacy of us as a species? Death. Destruction. Fear. Hate.

Crying in my heart.

😭😭😭😭😭

Growing Up Too Quickly?

Facebook Post 23rd February 2019

 

I have just seen a post for a young lass who has gone missing…only 12…..and, as with many of these posts….I cannot fathom how they are the same age as my little lady.

So many of them are wearing full make up, nail varnish etc etc and I can’t get beyond they are only 12. Maybe I am just getting too old and miserable now but why do our children seem to be missing out on childhood to be young adults so early? They are still babies in the grand scheme of things.

Maybe it was because I was never and am now not bothered about make up.

I dunno…. stay young kids…..for as long as you can…before life grabs you and shakes it all up. Be children.

Btw….this isn’t a suggestion that only kids who go missing do this…..I have seen it with so many.

Always Here

Facebook Post 9th December 2018

It’s that time of year.

The time when the decorations go up, the alcohol goes down and friends and family gather together for sharing and exchanging gifts. It should be a beautiful time

But

There are people out there, friends of ours, who may not have that opportunity.

Loved ones passed on and no longer able to share a hug or a tipple or say “I love you” – whether that be years ago or very recent.

Family and friends lost to the politic of life….where a relationship was just too brutal to continue so you part ways…but it doesn’t mean you don’t think about them occasionally.

People we know who are still with us but locked into a world of their own through illness such as stroke or dementia.

Those who cannot afford to heat their house let alone buy presents…if they even have a house.

Christmas is one of those times where the hardship we face is highlighted even more than the usual.

Christmas is a time for us all to take a step back and spare a thought for those lost or struggling. To just think for one moment about how conflict in every day life is making life just that bit more difficult and separating loved ones.

To anyone who is struggling, finding life difficult for whatever reason or in need of a cyber hug or to sit on a cyber wall next to someone….I am here – sending love, warmest wishes and strength…..especially those who have lost recently. Always here if you need me. Xxxx