Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Staying at home

It's been less than a week since I was temporarily laid off from my job. I'm still getting used to the fact that I don't know when I'll be back at work. At the moment, it feels like an extra long weekend.

I haven't gone past the driveway of my house since last Friday and that was just to go to the shop for essentials. I bought enough to last 2/3 weeks. No hoarding, only got what we need. 

Beth hasn't gone past the driveway in almost a week. She has been off school 3 weeks on Thursday and has only been with her dad and me. We can't compromise the extended family by asking them to mind her. Home-schooling has been a challenge. She is currently whinging about a headache here beside me while she should be doing her maths. We have a schedule, but it doesn't always go to plan. Admittedly, I have always wanted to home-school, but being thrown into it like this has left me at a loss. It should be:
9-10am Maths
10-11am Exercise (PE with Joe Wicks or Wii Fit)
11.15-12.15pm Irish
1-2pm English
2-4pm Creative time (different activities everyday)

That was the plan...

I'm trying to grapple with the fact that I am unemployed and not allowed to leave the house for the foreseeable and worried about my health. I am asthmatic, so naturally terrified of getting the virus. I'm worried about if I get really sick and need to go to hospital what will happen to Beth?

For the moment, I'm trying not to think about the 'what if's'. I have power-hosed the driveway, spent hours cleaning up the garden after a winter of neglect, started learning the piano, crocheting a large blanket, so much cleaning and laundry and baking and, of course, home-schooling. Distractions only last so long though.

I hope anyone reading this is staying safe at home or, if you have to work, THANK YOU!

Monday, December 30, 2019

That awkward time between Christmas and New Years

Do you find yourself at a loss during this weird time between Christmas and New Years? I find that I have too much time on my hands. I eat constantly. The house is covered in goodies and I have no will power whatsoever. Although, I have one more day of this and it's done. Come January 1st I shall be going dry and vegan for the month.

Dry January is a big thing now. I suppose people want to detox after the excesses of Christmas. I know I need to. I had way too much wine over the whole month! I have had a dry January for the last 3/4 years and enjoyed it. I usually only drink on Friday nights so it's not too hard to knock that on the head. Previously, I've had company on the dry journey, but not this year. I'll have to occupy my time creatively on Fridays.

Vegan January (or Veganuary) is a new enough concept for me. Until a few years ago I would have scoffed at the idea of giving up meat. I loved nothing more than steak or bacon. Now however, I don't eat beef, pork or poultry. I might have fish once or twice a year, but it doesn't have the same joy it once did. I was vegan for the month last January and it was HARD, but I enjoyed the challenge. Didn't lose a pound in weight (that was disappointing), but I felt good. More energy. Of course, I was taking supplements just in case.

So that is one plan for the New Year - a boring sensible one 😏

I have a few goals for 2020 (not resolutions):
Read more books (as always)
Write (ditto)
Save money
Let go of people who make me unhappy (any tips?)

Do you have goals (whoever is reading this, who are you?)? What are you willing to do in 2020 to achieve your dreams?

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Dreams don't mean anything, do they?

I woke up this morning from a very weird dream. It was one of those lucid dreams where I was aware of what was going on, but didn't realise I was dreaming.

First of all, I was in the middle of a scavenger hunt with my ex. We were a team and actually won the hunt. One of the prizes was to meet the YouTuber Dan TDM (I only know who he is from Beth). There was a party for all the entrants to the competition and I ended up sitting beside Dan as he got closer and closer to me and eventually tried to kiss me! I pulled back for two reasons. One was that I know Dan is married in real life and the other is that I didn't want to hurt my ex's feelings by kissing someone in front of him. Then I woke up.

Not really sure why my mind came up with the blue haired YouTuber. Beth sometimes watches his videos at the weekends, but I never do. I'm not sure he has much significance in the dream anyway. I used to love trying to decipher my dreams. I don't bother now though. I might be scared by what I find 😛

Is this the longest week ever? I am really looking forward to having a break from work, relaxing with Beth and catching up with friends.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Charity at Christmas

The weather here is awful. Wet, windy, dark. I kind of like it though. I love the long dark nights of winter. I actually like leaving the house in the dark mornings and getting home while it's pitch black. It's a great excuse to cuddle up on the couch with Beth and watch movies with the Christmas tree lights twinkling. Tonight was The Grinch (although I still prefer the one with Jim Carrey)

I love Christmas. I know it's not great for everyone. I thought this year was going to be a bit crap. It was just going to be myself and Beth for the day, but we got invited to Christmas dinner by one of my friends. She has three kids so Beth will be well entertained while I sit back with a glass of wine and good company.

The lead up to Christmas is always the best. The atmosphere, the lights, the cheesy music. People are more generous in December, more willing to reach into their pockets for charity. At work we are all wearing Christmas jumpers and donating to Crumlin Children's Hospital tomorrow. In years gone by, we did 'casual December' at work and put a euro into a pot every work day we wore casual clothes. The last day before the Christmas break it was gathered up and given to the Dundalk Simon Community.

Beth had a great idea to use our advent calendar as a way to save up for charity. We have twenty five little white and red buckets that hang on a string at the back door at Christmas. Everyday we are putting a euro in and giving to charity at the end. We will also be giving some Smyth's vouchers to one of the homeless charities here in Dundalk. Over ten thousand people are homeless in Ireland now. That includes children. It could happen to any one of us. There, but for the grace of God, go I.

Beth and I may not have a lot, but we have more than most. Count your blessing this Christmas and help out others (if you can).

Is it me or is my tree lopsided? 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

To sleep, perchance to dream

I haven't been sleeping well for about a week. I get to sleep OK, then I wake up at 3/4am and can't get back to sleep until it's nearly time to get up for the day. Friday night was the worst. I lay in bed unable to relax. My heart was going crazy and thoughts swirled round my mind. I guess I was a little anxious about the kids Christmas party at work yesterday. I'm still quite new there and a lot of them are 'old timers' in the place. The company has been going since the 1980's and I'm there since February...

Anyway, I knew my little lady was going to find it difficult. She's not a fan of crowds or loud music and there's was lots of both. We spent most of the time up in the sales office, her sitting at my desk, taking sneaky trips downstairs to fill up on sweets. When she was suitably sugared up, we went back downstairs and I managed to talk her into going into Santa. She also got to pet the magician's rabbit (have no idea what happened in the show) and got two balloon animals. Result!

After the party we took a trip into to town to Roe River Books for her to pick which books she wanted for Christmas. It's one of our traditions. Santa brings the presents and I bring new pajamas and books. She chose three Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. She read a few from the school library, but they didn't have the whole collection. I actually wasn't aware how many there were. I also got her the next Harry Potter book. I read them to her because I wanted to read them too. We're almost at the end of Goblet of Fire. I had planned to get myself a book too, but I couldn't find anything I really wanted and Margaret Atwood's new book is still in hard back. I'm not a fan of hard back books, too clunky to read.

Last night we stuffed our faces with sweets and crisps gleaned from the party and watched Ralph Breaks the Internet. I dozed off on the couch during The Lego Movie and we eventually went to bed about 11.30pm (always late bedtime on Saturday, although it's not worth it with the grumpy head in the morning). 

I was up this morning at 8am doing laundry. Had to wake the little woman at 9 as we were catching a train to Belfast for the day with my mum. A bit of shopping and mulled wine later and we were home for more laundry, dinner, bath and bed. 

And there it was, my weekend. Blink and you've missed it. I miss the blissful days were I would drop her to school, go for a coffee and decide what to write. Those days are long gone. I needed money. I couldn't be a starving artist with a kid. So I work 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. I pay the bills. I go on holidays. I save as much as I can so that someday I'll have a place to call my own... but, I so desperately want to be a writer. I need to push myself harder. No more excuses. I can sleep when I'm dead.

Very complimentary graffiti in Clarke Train Station toilets

Friday, December 6, 2019

When you don't know what to do

Yes, I know I said I was moving to another place to write my blog, but I wanted to come back to something familiar. I had such big dreams for the new site and my new venture, but, as usual, it fizzled out. I lose interest in things quickly, probably the reason why I've never really excelled in anything. I wanted to. I had so many interests, HAVE so many interests. If only I could become an expert in one and make millions. Well, maybe not millions, just enough to be comfortable.

I am on my own again with Beth. After four years in a relationship, it's over and I am alone (well, not completely alone!). It's strange, like fitting into an old familiar glove. I get up, I rush around the house, get Beth to school and me to work. I come home, eat, do the usual mum stuff. Go to bed, wake up and do it all again. Nothing feels too different. Then Friday night comes and I'm standing in Tesco with my chest getting tight and tears threaten to fall. It's hard to breathe. I grab a bottle of wine, frozen pizza and go home. 

Don't get me wrong though. I'm not lonely or regretting the situation, but it's hard to push away the feeling that this is like everything else. This is another thing I didn't complete. There were plans to buy a house, maybe even extend the family. Now, it's back to two with no hope of owning a house or having another baby.

So, when you don't know what to do... when I don't know what to do... I write. I put personal feelings in a public forum. I make up stories about imaginary people, trying facial expression before putting them into words on a page (seriously, if anyone watched me while I'm writing I'd probably be hauled away to the funny farm). 

Here I am, a single mum again. Less than two years to 40 (oh God). 'Slightly' overweight. Underpaid (although not overworked, thankfully). Still wishing my dream of being a writer would magically happen. STILL not finished my third book (will it ever be done?). Drinking too much (sure it's almost Christmas). Mum to a ten year old beautiful ball of sass with a heart of gold. 

What will happen next? The possibilities are not endless, but they are plentiful.

Beth and me at our town square

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Starting Again

I know it's been a while, but for anyone still following this page I'd like to re-direct you to my new website - www.thevegetarianmammy.com

I'll be updating the new page rather than using this blog so I hope you'll join me there!