Time to get a grip

I seem to have been procrastinating for some time now.  My life has been screaming at me to make a decision about my next step forward.  When I went to university the first time back in 1994 I had been very focused.  A year before I went I had written out a five year plan.  This plan was to go back to school (literally – as I sat in classes with kids aged 16-17) and take a year to get four highers in order to get a place at university.  I was told by several people that I could not do this.  They said do one higher at a time because you have two kids and you won’t ever be able to pass them if I did four in one go.  I insisted I had the ability to get an A and two Bs to get into university in one year.  To make sure I would be focused enough to do it – I got rid of my television for five whole years.  

After convincing them I could do it I was allowed to go back to school and I proved all my doubters wrong because I passed all four highers with flying colours.  I then went on to complete an honours degree in History. This was no mean feat as I had another baby four weeks into my final year and only took a week and a half out to recuperate.  I felt capable of anything back then.  My determination stuck with me as the next year I completed a vocational degree and did this having to drop three kids off at three different venues before having to get the bus to Glasgow and put in a full time shift at university.  I then had to do all the running about in reverse on the way home.  

I hardly socialized at university because there was very little personal time.  I even took my kids to university with me on school holidays so I did not miss any of my course work.  I was always tired but always happy that I was working towards a goal.  I love learning and felt that my life was moving forward.  Now though things are very different.  I still have the get up and go to do courses and keep moving forward intellectually but I have lost sight of my goal.  I have lost sight of the direction I am going in.  I feel like I am now following someone else’s dream and not mine.  I need to get a grip.  I need to get a handle on my own life again.

I have been floundering for a very long time.  I have been knocked about on the career front and am now desperate to make a change of some magnitude.  I have lost sight of the stronger person I used to be.  Life has a habit of knocking me sideways and I need to make a conscious effort to find my feet again.  

So as a result of all this I am going to do a few things today:

1) Make a list of the positives and negatives.

2) Look at my strengths and weaknesses – check where my talents lie and what career options there are for me.

3) Reassess my life now, what skills I can utilise career wise. 

4) Once I know the answers to all of the above I am going to try writing a new five year plan.  This could be the length of time it would take me to retrain in another field.

5) Write a list of all the things that are stopping me from making the final decision.

6) Look at why I have become so indecisive.

7) Make some major changes to how I live – stop procrastinating.

I feel slightly better but I think this is because I am finally giving myself the time and effort it needs to sort out my life once and for all.  I have been denying there was anything wrong.  I have been denying certain parts of my personality in order to get through life on a daily basis.  I won’t do that anymore.  

Here’s to the thought process, the weighing up of options and the putting the plan into play.  I will keep you updated with how it is going.

W

 

Last night I we…

Last night I went out with friends from work and met up with other friends as the night went on.  I had too much to drink but had a great chat, a fantastic dance and got rid of a lot of stress.  I had had a bit of a rough week and this night out was to try and re-balance my week.  Today has been spent trying to recover from the hangover that reminded me of how much I actually drank last night.  I hate getting that drunk and was a wee bit disappointed in myself that I had taken things that far.  

I spent a large part of my day catching up on some TV that I had recorded.  I made a huge pot of home-made lentil soup and some major comfort food was needed so dinner came in the shape of a pot roast.  The food went a long way in healing the nausea.  After a good feed and some rest I felt much better.  The television I caught up on was just trashy programmes that had no real value other than the aesthetic.  It was a good way to unwind and I should have days like that all the time.

I have taken this day to rest and tomorrow I have a day off from work so I will be dropping the kids off at school and going for a little jaunt into Stirling.  I am meeting a friend and hopefully going for a walk.  I don’t usually get this much me time but I am really looking forward to it.  A whole day to myself – I better not get used to this anomaly.  After my day I will be getting kids to do homework, getting them off to bed then sorting out work for my final essay for my degree in Literature.  I also have some serious decision making to do with regards to my career prospects.  

My week is shaping up to be pretty busy.  I will try to fit as much as possible into my day off as I won’t be getting another one anytime soon.  

Fix you

Some days are harder than others to cope with.  I feel like I have to be strong for everyone else on a daily basis.  If it is not my kids, it is someone else.  I regularly feed others, listen to their problems, help them get over hardships in their lives.  I feel like I am always doling out advice to folk.  Today I feel like I have had enough of this though.  I am a person with thoughts and feelings. I am not a thinking machine that can magically fix everyone.  I cant keep listening to folk whine about their relationships that don’t work, their wee marriage problems or their work dilemmas.  

I usually have the patience of a saint, I usually enjoy helping people or taking time out of my day to try and help.  Today though is the last straw for me.  I have a collection of so-called friends who drain me emotionally every time I talk to them.  People who you ask how they are doing and they spend the next hour moaning about their life and really all their problems are either a figment of their imagination or a problem of their own making.  Not once do they ever stop to ask so how I am?  I am really fed up of self obsessed folk that you know when you bump into them that the conversation is going to revolve around them for a good hour.  Get a grip – other folk apart from you do actually exist.  Friendship is meant to be a two-way thing.  

I am sorry if this surprises you to hear me so angry and not as sympathetic as I usually am.  I am fed up of people who drain me, people who just want to blab on about their boring mundane life as if I should be honoured just to have them stop and tell me about it.  Today I am just tired.  I need to recharge somewhere immediately.  I just can’t take this one sided relationship any more.  If you cant handle me not being there then you need to look at yourself.  If you were really a friend you would ask about my life occasionally.  

As I am a single parent with no-one but my kids for company on a daily basis I am venting here so I don’t hold on to this resentment.  They don’t need an angry mum.  I want to scream or shout at the top of my lungs.  Instead I will just get on with things and have a great time tonight on my night out with friends from the depths of hell.  Roll on six o’clock.

W

Big Turnaround

I have had a week of ups and downs – mostly downs.  Things started picking up in the last two days though.  Today was a very busy day – getting kids to school, going to Grangemouth to see my daughter and granddaughter.  We had a great day.  I got fashion advice from my daughter and god knows I needed it.  We had lunch, a chat and loads of hugs from the lovely Urban.  

We picked the kids up from school and then all came back to my house for dinner.  It was really good spending so much time with my first born and I was amazed at what a beautiful, intelligent young woman she has turned into.  She is a shining example of everything good I have done in this life.  All my kids make me proud and happy but my daughter lives further away and it was really good to spend some quality time with her.  

I managed to lose a little weight recently and this has meant that I now have went down a size in clothes.  I was really surprised and my daughter helped me to buy some new clothes.  Some of these clothes are a huge departure from my usual attire.  I bought a couple of skirts. I don’t think I have worn a skirt regularly since I was about eighteen years old.  I am looking forward to embracing this new side of me.  The weight loss was achieved with no diet, no strict diet regime but just loads of walks with the dog, walks with my friend, walking to school and work.  Before I changed jobs I got the bus to and from work but now I am back in my home town I walk everywhere. I try to keep to foot power because the walk gives me space in between chores and errands and dropping off kids at school.  Walking has become my sanity when I am stressed out.

I am looking forward to my night out tomorrow. It is going to be a relaxed night with good friends that hopefully ends up in lots of dancing.  I love a night out that includes dancing because it is one thing in my life apart from my kids that makes me truly happy.  Kids, writing, music, dancing and walking.  That is the top five things in my life just now.  I feel like I have gotten everything into perspective since the beginning of the week.  My outlook is better, my sense of hope is stronger,  I look forward to the future and all the possibilities it may bring.  

W

You gotta have hope.

I have been in a contemplative mood all morning.  I have loads of things on my mind and am trying to sort out my feelings and thoughts.  Yesterday was a pretty hard day, my personal life had a bit of a knock and this morning was one of those days where I just wanted to curl up under my quilt and forget the day.  I am a single parent however and my life does not stop just because I am heartbroken or sad or depressed.  I still have three kids at home and they need me even if I just don’t want to get up.  

My youngest came into my room this morning and told me it was breakfast time and he has such a sweet little cherubic face that I can’t help but smile back at him.  My daughter needed a little more coaxing to get out of bed but my teenage son gets himself up and ready no problem.  I am sure that at those times when I am at my lowest point that those three kids save my life.  They are great company, have interests in everything and just keep me on a level keel when life is not nice to me.  I am very lucky to have them.

After I dropped them at school I came home and got the dog and went for a walk with my friend and her pooches.  This act clears away the little pockets of doubt that exist in my brain and leaves me refreshed and feeling useful again.  We discussed my dilemma from yesterday and she got very angry on my behalf.  This was surprising because the shoe is usually on the other foot.  The walk ended up with me feeling hopeful for the future and looking forward to a night out with work colleagues on Saturday.   

I got a surprise text message from a friend who had read my blog post from yesterday and she wanted to check up on me.  I almost burst into tears reading this because it made me realise that there are people out there who care about me even when I feel pretty isolated and alone.  Little things like this make me reassess how bad I actually feel.  How can I keep feeling low when I have these kids depending on me, friends to spend time with and friends who are concerned about me?  Yesterday I wanted to lie down for a very long time but today I want to get back out in the world.  If I can meet one nice guy then surely there is a chance that there may be another one out there somewhere.  

Yours hopefully

W

Heartbroken

Tonight I am a little heartbroken.  I don’t even know if I can put into words how I feel.  I have had a revelation over the course of a very long weekend that has affected me in ways that I never thought it would.  I seem to attract a lot of weirdos and this weekend showed me that sometimes a good guy does exist.  The downside however was that he has plans and the timing is just wrong.  Sometimes this feels like the story of my life.

Tonight I am a little upset, crying a bit and feeling like this is a pattern that keeps repeating itself.  I know though that tomorrow I will wake up and get on with the rest of my life.  I will take a couple of days – write a few poems – listen to some sad songs – maybe watch a sad movie.  Then I will accept the way things are and get on with life.  As I have said before – one thing I have in buckets is hope.  I will acknowledge the hurt and pain I feel at the moment but then I will try to move forward. 

I am actually thankful that I have had this experience because I had been beating myself up about always picking guys that are wrong for me.  I am forty now and probably 90% of them have turned out to be not very nice guys.  This is the second time in my life that a guy has actually made me feel like a better person.  So I will go forward with hope and a better idea of what a good guy is made of.  

W

Not good enough

Today’s post is about the worry that has plagued me throughout my life.  There has been a nagging doubt following me around for a while now.  This doubt is that I constantly feel like I am not good enough.  This translates into several areas of my life.  Work, relationships,my abilities as a parent and probably most things I do.  I think it stems from lots of places.  I grew up in a house with so many people in it that I felt insignificant for many years.  I also was brought up a catholic and you are brainwashed to feel guilty about everything.  I have either made bad choices or have been really unlucky in my choices of partners.  

Most of the guys I have been out with over the years were out of work, alcoholics with very low self esteem and jealousy issues.  The worst offender was the father of my three youngest kids who used to take his frustration at life out on me by constantly belittling me.  This did not seem so bad at the beginning because I hardly noticed it.  At the end of our relationship though it was almost all he did all the time.  I think I have misplaced my self worth because I felt like I was never good enough for him.  The person I was at the beginning of our relationship hardly resembled the person I was at the end.  The good news is that I am no longer that put-down single parent.  The more time I spend away from him the better I feel about myself.  For a while it seemed that any time spent in his company drained all the energy out of me.  Now that I can see him for who he really is he seems to be diminishing by the second.  Every time he comes to see the kids he seems smaller, more insignificant and tiny.  I feel like one day he will be small enough to fit in my hand.  I also feel like this is the opposite to my strength which seems to be taking a nice swift walk up the side of a mountain.  I breathe and sleep a little easier every day now.  

As a single parent I have felt guilty for my kids not knowing their dads or not seeing their dads or for their dads being unable to face their responsibilities.  I used to try to over-compensate for everything especially at christmas and birthdays.  I used to half kill myself doing extra hours at work to keep us afloat or just to afford the necessities.  My kids very rarely get a treat, in fact I can’t remember the last time we did anything that cost money.  I have however made it my mission in life to tell my kids how much I love them everyday.  I work because this hopefully will give them a good work ethic for later in their lives.  I learn something on a daily basis because with learning comes understanding.  All I wish for my kids is that they are happy and healthy and find some passion in life that makes them feel good.  I hope I have given them tolerance, compassion, patience and enough individuality and guts to help them make informed decisions about their lives.  

On the work front another possible move forward has presented itself and I was torn over the idea of whether to go for it or not.  I keep thinking that I should give up already – that I won’t get anywhere where I am now.  Then I got to thinking; should I make the fear of failure stop me from attempting to make a career for myself?  I don’t know if I have been scuppering my own chances because of thinking negatively about work all the time.  I have decided that I will take this one chance on me.  I will try my hardest to get an interview for that job.  I deserve to give myself a chance.

There is an upside to this story though:

1) I am aware of the damage I am doing to myself by feeling like I don’t deserve good things to happen to me. So today I am going to get ready for my next step.  Tonight I will be getting my essay in order and making a list of what I need to do for my final essay for my degree and gather information I need to apply for that job.  

2) I am aware of the wrong decisions I make when it comes to boyfriend material so for now I will take some time to work on me. Learn to like myself a little more, spend time with people who value me as a friend.  I will stop letting people I can’t change from having an influence on me.  

3) I am aware of how I have built up an image that I had to keep up with everyone when it comes to providing for my kids.  My kids do not need things – xbox, playstations and other machines are just that.  I need to give myself a break.  My kids have love in abundance, food in their bellies and are clothed and have a roof above their heads.  My kids know that I would do anything for them and that they mean the world to me.  I need to give myself a break and accept that I am actually quite a good parent.  In fact I would go as far as to say that I have done a wonderful job raising my kids so far.  

I have been really lucky in the last couple of months as I have realised what a great bunch of friends I have.  I have also met a couple of people too who have given me faith in my own strength and my own self worth.  I have been learning to take time for me, do something that makes me happy on a regular basis.  I have been taking time to tell myself that I am okay as I am.  For the time being I am putting me first and it has been refreshing so far.