Bone tired.

Do you ever feel tired? Not just I had a bad night’s sleep tired but bone tired? Limb achingly, bone chillingly weary.

Tired of situations. Tired of every day life. Tired of miscommunications. Tired of even doing the bare minimum.

I do. I am. Tired. There’s a poem that contains the line “If ever I wished I could sleep for a year it is now”. I relate to that. I want to do that. But I can’t. Life hurtles on with demands on my time.

Get up. Make sure the kids are up. Make sure they’ve eaten. Make sure they’re ready for school and done their homework and on and on. Ad infinitum .

And I have a household to help me. Very few of these things I do alone. But still I’m tired. Tired of checking the bank account every single day. Tired of feeling guilty when we treat ourselves to a coffee. Tired of the car not being fixed. Tired of missing church. Tired of not catching up with friends.

And then there’s the guilt. I signed up for 3 online courses I was very interested in but only managed to complete 2. The third got away from me. Tired of missing the gym and eating unhealthily. Tired of feeling crap about myself.

Guilt that I haven’t started my Christmas makes yet. Guilt that I’m supplementing some Christmas gifts with charity shop buys.

I am so fed up of feeling like this. Half the time I live on auto pilot and then I feel guilty for merely playing at life.

It’s a real pickle.

However. I’m old enough to know these feelings don’t last and are more than likely due to a nasty situation coming up next week. The cold weather and the dark rainy nights all add to the gloom.

When you feel like this, give yourself a break, as I am. You’re doing the best you can, even if that’s getting up and surviving your day until bedtime.

And lastly. Remind yourself you have a comforter who sticks closer than a brother.
This is my prayer for myself and for you.


Image taken from Pinterest.

A Salutation.

This morning, on the day allocated, we paid homage to you. It was a beautiful service. Very moving, particularly the bugle sounding out The Last Post.

But when we got to the minutes silence I couldn’t help feeling cheated on your behalf. A minute. One measly minute. 60 seconds. Is that all we can spare for your sacrifice?

It seems unjust. It screams of unfairness. You laid down your lives to protect us and all we spare is a minute to remember you. It is wrong.

I know for a fact if it were my boy, my lad who had been killed in the service of his country I would be bereft. I would be weeping and wailing uncontrollably. To never see his face, see his smile, hear his voice again, I would not want to go on.

And yet that is how thousands of people feel today. Their children, or husbands and wives or other family members went to war. To fight for us, to protect our country. And they never returned.

I cannot imagine that sense of loss. Selfishly I don’t want to.

Whatever you think about war, whether you agree with it in certain cases or are a pacifist, whether you think it is a necessary evil or think there are no winners in wars, or whether you stand somewhere amongst all those options as I do the point is we owe them a debt of gratitude.

A debt of gratitude we can never repay. Because of them we are here today. We have a future. We can try to make the world a better place, without wars. Without suffering. Without displaced peoples and starving refugees.

But until then we remember you. We salute you. Thankyou.

Don’t try this at home!

Many years ago I was a college student. Known for my chattiness, my tendency to stay up late and my proclivity for procrastination. It’s not that I wasn’t capable of working hard or of getting good grades. It was just that other things seemed more appealing.

My inclination to leave my homework to the last minute possible began at the end of high school and it seemed carried on until college.

In short, I lacked discipline.

From what I recall one holiday season we were given a project to do for college and it slipped my mind. I don’t know what else I was doing instead but it wasn’t my project anyway.

About a week into the new term my fellow students began handing in their projects. Not tiny slim files but thick bulky files of what looked like copious pages of work .

My heart sank as the forgotten project came to mind. One of my classmates was kind enough to lend me her project notes as a guide so all I had to do was a similar thing in my own words.

You would have thought this scare would have been enough of a kick up the backside to get going….. But oh no.
Tetris had just come out on gameboy (told you I was old!) so my free time was taken up with that.

The night before the project was due, yes you read that right, I sat down in front of one of the only computers and started typing. I typed and typed and typed. It was a long project. It took me several hours. I think I finished it roughly 7am the next morning. To say I was tired was an understatement.

Of course it was all my own fault. I’d like to say I’ve learnt since then. That is probably the most sticky situation I’ve been in……

The war of the carrots otherwise known as eat that or else!

This week there was a mini war in our house. Diplomatic relations were strained and peace treaties in danger of being dissolved.

It started innocently enough. We were sitting at the table having a family dinner. Roast dinner had been prepared and was being eaten enthusiastically. A dozen different conversations were going on and a minor crisis over cutlery usage had already been averted.

My 10 year old daughter is a definite carnivore. I honestly think she would consume a whole pig or chicken by herself if we let her. So she had eaten the main part of her meal and was left with a few desultory carrots.
Usually I’m fairly relaxed about what the children eat but for some reason when she pushed her plate away with her vegetables unfinished I saw red.

“Eat your carrots “. ” No” came the reply. “Come on sweetie, just eat some of them for Mum”.  Cue lots of head shaking and verbal protestation that somehow resolved itself into me agreeing she could just eat 3 of the leftover carrots.

Picture the scene now. Reluctant child (who it must be said has a little reputation as somewhat of a drama Queen) loads up her fork with one of the carrots, immeasurably slowly lifts it to her mouth, takes a tiny bite and starts to gag on it.

This is where I lose my patience and accuse her of trying it on. Her eyes fill with tears as she attempts to eat the carrot again and dramatically nearly covers the table in vomit.

For some reason, perhaps because my mum is visiting us and I’m trying to demonstrate I’m a good parent, I stick to my guns and refuse to back down. She will eat those 3 carrots or stay there all evening. My mum wisely says nothing.
Now neither of us is getting our way. My husband tries to back me up and reiterates she needs to eat the blooming carrots.

She has now worked herself up into a state and we have reached carrot stalemate. We really need an unbiased delegation or the U. N to sort this one.

In the end I’m so cross I issue an unnecessary ultimatum, she eats the carrots or she goes to bed. She flies up the stairs in tears.

I look ruefully around those left at the table and murmur “well that went well…..”.

Of course like many things in the life of a parent this situation was smoothly and amicably resolved.

A few minutes later I went upstairs, pulled her on my knee, dried her tears and had a proper talk with her wherein she disclosed she doesn’t like carrots. They make her feel sick. I replied I was trying to get her to eat a healthy diet and she needed some vegetables to achieve that and we compromised by her eating a few more potatoes instead.

In hindsight things never needed to have escalated so far. I don’t feel I was wrong in trying to encourage her to eat some healthy food but I was wrong to lose my temper and make such a big deal about it.

But that I think is one of the big things you learn in life as you get older. To pick your battles.
What needs to be a big deal and what doesn’t. And obviously I’m still learning that!

Through the looking Glass.

When I gaze into the looking Glass
And glimpse the scenes therein
I gird up my jealous heart
Put on a stoic grin.

For looking Glass life is splendid
And no one’s ever sad
And no one’s ever lonely
And no one’s ever mad.

For many many years
The looking Glass was my ideal
The grass was always greener
Although it wasn’t real.

Everyone loved everyone
In just the way they should
And people’s dreams were always kind
And their motives always good.

But mirror life can not sustain
The aching soul inside
The heart must play it’s own refrain
And own contentment find.

Solidarity or Dislike?

The recent news that Facebook is to add a dislike button to its site has left me with mixed feelings.

Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook   says this button has been long requested and he is now in a position to say it’s being worked on and a test rollout is due very soon.

In his eyes this button will be used to show empathy or solidarity to a Facebook friend when they experience some kind of tragic news.

Often, when browsing my friends posts on Facebook I’ve wished for such a button. In those times when words fail me and I long to administer a virtual hug this button would just about suffice. To say “hey, I’m with you. I love you. I support you”. I dislike what you’re going through.

The pitfalls I feel are that Facebook can be a breeding ground for envy and this button is open to abuse.

Mark Zuckerberg says he doesn’t want this button to become a vote down on people’s posts but I fear on some occasions it will become just that.

When I think about Facebook I have 2 schools of thought. Either people post about how wonderful their lives are or the polar opposite. It’s like a mask we pick up when we log on to our social media sites. I often stray into the first category.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy Facebook. I love my friends and family and I want to know what’s going on in their lives. I’m just not sure I want the power to dislike their posts. What if I’m in a bad mood one day? What if I’m feeling malicious one day? A friend posts something. In a split second I dislike it because I’m feeling cantankerous and that friendship is on rocky ground. The old “my  finger pressed the wrong button”  excuse will only wash so many times.
Then what about the trolls who pop up on Facebook and give people grief? Some of them must be itching to get their fingers on such a button. Yet another way to torment their victims.

In summary I’m all for this button if it’s used correctly and kindly to show solidarity and empathy but not if it’s being used to bully and belittle people and that’s what we need to guard against.