Losing the plot…

On Tuesday my day was back to back appointments with people and the hair salon. I found myself exhausted, as I’m an introvert. Physically as well. I’d had a good breakfast but a very meagre supper. So yesterday I made sure that I had a supper packed with calories.

This morning I had guests whom I was expecting, but was caught off guard as I was responding/deleting emails and so lost track of time. We had a lovely cup of tea in the garden and they admired many of my plants, which pleased me greatly. They are both great gardeners and plantswomen.

Then I took a shower as I felt very hot outside and now I am all cool and have responded to more emails. I have had to delete some that I was hoping to read as enrichment as a writer. My life right now does not allow time for that luxury. If you are reading this please leave a message.

I feel that in the 15 days that I’ve been without help I begun to lose the plot in the last few days. I’ve been calm no breathing problems have occurred, but the last two days I have not planned my meals well.

The photo above was taken during a drive back from Southampton. I had taken my daughter and her best friend shopping, and we found ourselves in heavy traffic and it started to pour with rain. I noticed the rainbow in my side mirror and took the photo as soon as I became stationary again. It’s a photo that brings so many happy memories. I loved driving my daughter and her friends around.

My journey is going well…

It’s been about two weeks now since I needed intervention for my breathing, and I can’t remember how long since I was in hospital.

It feels good. I am keeping my inhaler and phone with me at all times and I feel calm and peaceful. Last night I was too tired to eat, as I had three appointments one after the other with people and the hair salon. I simply flopped on my bed and took my medicine and fell asleep. My mobile phone gets a lot of traffic and yesterday I had a job keeping up.

I like doing random acts of kindness. It gives me pleasure. If you haven’t tried it, give it a go. It will enrich your life.

Looking after others…

Most of us, at some point in our lives, will look after someone whether it is an infant, child, parent or partner. Others do it as a their profession.

I no longer look after my daughter, as she is a young, professional woman whom I equipped with skills to do well in life. I miss looking after her, driving her to school, dance lessons, helping her with homework, dance costumes to sew, her sports gear washed and ready for the next event, sewing name labels on uniform and sports gear, cooking for her, giving answers to questions, discussing this that and the other. I miss her flinging herself on my bed, whether after school or later in the evening. We would chat about school, and she would rough-house with the dog. My bed moved around eight inches in 13 years due to this habit. The dog was always delighted when we were together on my bed, in this mode or both of us watching a DVD later in the evening.

Now I choose to take care of my cousin who has had a breakdown, and a young man I met when I had a mobile phone crisis on Christmas Eve, just when I wanted to be in touch with family and friends around the globe. It took three visits in all to make the correct diagnosis and upgrade my phone but I so didn’t want to part with my beloved, small, familiar phone. In the end I gave it to a friend. And now I love my ‘new’ secondhand upgrade. I refuse to buy every thing new, there is too much stuff on the planet. The young man was consistently helpful and I went in later to say hi. He began to chat with me and I realised he is full of stress and anxiety. His parents were both addicts and he had to leave home as Social Services said he was almost sixteen. His younger brother was taken into care. So his start in life has not been good. I send texts with prompts to remind him to keep trying a breathing technique, or to take a short walk and so on. I taught my cousin how to stop a panic attack. I’ve helped her to let go of stress. Every Sunday I take the young man lunch because he’s on his own in the store and can’t take a break. This ensures that I eat lunch too.

Caring for others often means caring for yourself too. If you’re making food for someone, you’re making food for yourself. If you’re reminding someone to keep trying the deep breathing, you will do it too.

I miss caring for my Dad. It was such a privilege. He gave me a good childhood (my mother did not) and provided everything I need. It’s natural to give that love back. (Not all of us are so blessed, like the young man I mentioned, whilst others throw away a relationship with a parent by causing hurt and distress through bad choices, like walking out of a good relationship because someone from the past decides they want you now). I am never surprised by what I hear about parental relationships, just sometimes surprised by whom that tale refers.

All Change

I have been without help in the house for at least ten days now, and today Sam called to say her Grandad is not well and she must put him first. So far I have managed to keep my head above water, but after talking with Sam I realised how important she is in my life. Of course her Grandad comes first.

Yesterday I went for groceries and looked at an item I was thinking about buying. I almost entered into a purchase agreement, but decided to wait. I’m glad I did as when I got home I found it online at a third of the price, in fact less, so I took that route.

When I got home I discovered I had been out for almost two hours without my inhaler. I was shocked. All my planning and management out of the metaphorical window. I have to be more meticulous. But I am realising that one of my medicines is affecting my concentration. On Wednesday I almost left a shop without paying. I was embarrassed naturally and it took me while to let my self off the hook.

On Wednesday, before the shop incident, I was on my way to the hair salon when I saw some litter. I stopped to pick it up and found my self sitting in a bush with a damp feeling under me. I had grabbed a branch to save myself, so I had swung round. On getting up I realised that I had orange coloured muck on my legs and hands. And on my linen shorts. I carry a small hand cleanser in my bag so I used that as best I could and then carried on to the salon. I told them my predicament and wet wipes were produced and a thick paper towel which I chose to sit on to have the dampness absorbed from my shorts. I was brought a cup of tea which was most welcome. I think this added to my discombobulation in the shop. Then I was told the young lady who was to do my hair had been sent home ill. I was so disappointed as I was going out in the evening. But next Tuesday I will get a complimentary haircut and blow dry.

I went home with the shop incident en route and had a shower, washed my hair and dressed and stayed cool until my friend came for me. I had a great time at an open mic poetry night in Salisbury. I read two of mine.

So I made two new friends that night and now I feel more confident about reading aloud.

I need to be more disciplined about my checks when I go out. I need to be more aware that a medicine is affecting my concentration. Checklists. I need one at my back door.

Head above water

I now carry a small bag with me around the cottage and garden. In it are my inhaler and spacer (a small cylinder that my inhaler puffs into and I then inhale because my breathing is too irregular to use an inhaler alone), my cell phone, and my purse in case I decide to go out. Doing this saves me energy and allows some spontaneity. It prevents unnecessary journeys upstairs or downstairs, and prevents me from panicking.

Panic is my downfall. If I’ve left my inhaler somewhere, looking for it increases my likelihood to need it even more. That can result in needing an ambulance.

I am a governor for our local ambulance service. Local is not quite the word. It covers southwest England- SWAST. Only twice have I needed to raise a concern. Paramedics are awesome people. They are heroes.

I help them by being a good manager of my health. But sometimes when the post comes, garden needs attention etc I feel as though I’m only just keeping my head above water. I always seem to leave something somewhere, but not my little bag.

Serendipity

Yesterday morning my kettle would not switch on. After a few moments I realised the unit had tripped, so I pushed up the thingy on the consumer unit, and made my cup of tea.

A couple of hours later, after having taken some lunch to a friend, my trolley (the mobility buggy I use to get around) was losing power. I could not understand it. Then I realised that when my kitchen electricity had tripped the power to my trolley on charge had stopped. My trolley is plugged into my shed which adjoins my cottage and is on the same circuit as my kitchen. My trolley stays under my porch, but moisture affects the converter which sits on my kitchen window sill outside.

I was hoping I could make it home but I was at a snail’s pace and then I noticed a young couple beside me and I asked if I could be pushed. They asked where I was going, and I gestured forward and said that even a few yards would be a great help. They started pushing and I asked where they were going. The Quay, they said. I live by the Quay so they took me always the way to my gates and to my back door. As we went along, only a few hundred yards, we chatted and I explained that it hadn’t dawned on me that finding my kitchen tripped would mean my trolley would not have got a full charge.

When we were at my place I got a plastic bag and tape and the two of them made my converter as watertight as possible. Then we sat in my garden and chatted. It started to rain. Big, fat, juicy drops of rain. At first I did not move as I was so pleased. Then I realised that not everyone sits in the rain, so we moved indoors and chatted some more. It turned out they were on their way to have lunch, now a very late one, so they left, promising to call when they were next on the Quay or High Street.

Today, my trolley has no power. I don’t know why. I’ve tried to phone the places they work, but as yet no response. But all is well, as this enforced stay at home has given me rest and time to get things done. I know I will hear from them.

What do you see?

Looking at this photo most people think of a bee and the danger of being stung. I see a flower feeding a bee, being pollinated and more bluebells being formed.

It’s our point of view. The place from which we look at life, events, relationships etc. A little while ago someone I thought of as a growing friendship threw our relationship away in the belief that I had behaved maliciously. I had done nothing of the kind, but had inadvertently given three separate pieces of information to someone I thought I could trust, and they pieced that all together by watching ‘likes’ and comments on social media, then saw an opportunity to punish the person who threw my friendship away.

It was not their place to do that. It caused me a lot of pain because they broke my confidence and my trust. It caused pain to the person who was no longer my friend.

A lot of bad behaviour started being directed at me. Stuff was thrown into my garden, I found myself subscribed to stuff online, and other things. So the police were involved and other agencies that help keep our neighbourhoods safe. But one important agent was lied to about me and was not told of the behaviour of the person who lied. So I asked Michael Ebsworth to explain to the agent the truth, otherwise I would have to take legal action.

Mr Ebsworth told me I was blackmailing him. What? I was dumbfound. To ask someone to tell the truth to avoid legal action is not blackmail. Is it?

I guess it depends from where you are looking. In law it is not blackmail, the police and courts are always saying do this otherwise….whatever.

So glad it rained!

Yesterday it rained, much needed water drops fell on my garden and watered my flowers and plants. I was delighted and was leaving the supermarket when the first drops fell. I laughed with pleasure, and expressed it to a passer by, who smiled.

A friend was waiting in my porch when I got home and she helped me put my groceries away before we made a cup of tea and sat to chat. Yesterday was such a different day as nothing unexpected happened. I simply went from one task to another, not tiring myself, just paced and relaxed. Another friend joined us for dinner which we all prepared together under my guidance. Afterwards, I realised my second guest had never tried humous, sweet potato, or avocado. And didn’t eat any. Oh well…

All the time taken in preparing the meal and the rain which had become a downpour prevented planting new plants but the evening was lovely in a social, family type of way.

So I am ‘looking after’ a couple of people in my life who are having a tough time with stress and anxiety. I have chosen to do this because I care about them. This week though I’ve had requests to intervene from others who get paid for their work and I’ve realised I need to state (again, because it’s happened before) that I need payment, either in kind eg household jobs or gardening or financially. I need a text response that says The Doctor Is In or The Doctor Is Out. To take on others’ problems with no notice is an emotional and physical drain. I need to watch this so that I am not taken advantage of.

Who tends to benefit from your career path without giving back to you? How do you address this. I’ve always loved helping people so I find I can be drained before I realise. Ideas please…