Hard times on planet earth

I woke up this morning feeling seriously depressed.  It has been the culmination of a long period of upheaval and change that has left me exhausted, lonely and thoroughly down in the dumps. I woke up feeling lost and when I heard my two youngest kids start to fight for the upteenth time this week I just pulled the covers over my head and lay in the darkness for an extra couple of hours.  I also have been feeling upset, confused and devastated over the way a certain relationship has come to an end. 

I eventually dragged myself into reality just before lunchtime and decided to take my kids to Falkirk to try and encourage a sense of family and togetherness.  I had planned to buy a couple of jackets for my two youngest, take us for lunch then pay a little visit to the local toy shop.  The bus ride into town was expensive but good.  I actually started to have a little optimism that me and the kids would have a good day.  We got off the bus and walked to the first store.  We were in there five seconds before the two youngest kids started running amok and my eldest son thought it would be funny to comment on every word out of my mouth and start to chastise me for trying to keep the two younger ones in line. 

I eventually had three jackets bought and could feel my head start to throb as the two youngest went ballisitic outside the shop.  I could not handle it I put my headphones in and told them we were going home and that just made matters much worse.  I walked away without looking back once.  I walked about a hundred feet then stopped with my back to them so they had to come and catch up with me.  As they got closer the two youngest started fighting again and I just had to calm down before I exploded at them.  My ipod started playing Just Breathe by Pearl Jam and I closed my eyes and let the song drift over me and it actually helped a little. 

I decided the plan of action was to grab one child and deal with that one first.  I grabbed my youngest and held him tight in a cuddle for a couple of minutes before I even spoke to him.  He actually seemed to calm down a little and cuddled me back.  Then I explained he had to behave and we were going home because him and his sister could not behave.  I then had to catch my daughter and do the same thing.  The cuddle approach seemed to work for my daughter but my son still played up so I ended up having to walk back up the town with him over my shoulder.

Once at the bus stop I just sat and held my five year old as if he was a baby and he actually just sat there and let me do it.  I actually started to feel a little better because my weans had started to calm down and I had stuck to my guns and stayed focused on the punishment so no fancy lunch or toys were had.  When I got home my body was screaming at me to go straight upstairs to bed but I made a pot roast instead.  Nothing like good homemade comfort food to restore the mental balance to my poor brain.  

My youngest is now away to his bed and my daughter will be going up those steps to sleepyville very soon.  Although I have managed to hang onto my composure today by the skin of my teeth I have felt that tears were not very far away.  My friend got on the bus with us and he asked me a couple of questions that could not be answered because I would have gotten upset.  It has been that long since someone asked me how I was in a manner that showed me they were genuinely wanting to know the answer that I cannot handle it.  I am holding onto things too much but dont know how to break the cycle of keeping everything in.  

I am now trawling through youtube for songs and psoting them on facebook and twitter because I am really bored basically.  Please let tomorrow be a better day.





Saturday schmaterday

I have had another day where I have went through a million different emotions.  I got up absolutely dreading my work and feeling sore and achey.  My sitter turned up on time for once and I got to work on time.  It was good to see my friends at work because I had not seen them for a while.  It was really good to catch up with them and before we closed up for the day we all had a good laugh. 

I have been doing my usual disection of my life and still trying to sort out where I go from here.  I am torn between chasing the way I want to live my life and the way my life seems to be going all of its own accord.  I am struggling to make that leap that I know will lead to more personal satisfaction, more of a challenging life, more happiness but more hard work and major upheaval to my home life.  Instead I am stuck in a rut, I have zero confidence, zero satisfacion in my work life and no social life.  I am just terrified that if I change everything then I wont be able to spend as much time with my kids or have enough money to feed and clothe them. At the moment this is a major worry for me.

I am supposed to be treating my kids tomorrow but finances do not look very good.  I also need to get them a few necessary things but even if I can manage to get them we will be struggling for the rest of the month.  I have been reading posts from people regarding christmas and that sends a chill running down my spine. I have so many things that need monetary attention right now that I cant seem to clear my head enough to deal with any of them. 

I had a rough second half to my day and have had a wee cry for no significant reason other than I am feeling a tad lonely tonight. I got a wee hug from my two youngest and that goes a long way to making me feel better but I feel the need for a proper adult hug tonight.  I also could do with a good blether and getting some painful stuff off my chest but as usual I’m writing it down because I have a lack of a significant other to share these things with.  Sitting in my living room watching a movie with my eldest son just now listening to the torrential rain falling outside and feeling a little sad and emotional.  I have another movie to watch on my own later because it is a girly emotional film and I think I need to spend a little time purging my emotions so a good movie to cry along with usually helps. 

I like taking some time to myself to channel how I feel and get carried away in a good movie.  I have not done it for a while.  I miss movie nights with my kids.  I may try to sort one out for friday after school.  I like days when we hibernate in each others company.

I am off to watch my movie with a wee stock of tissues at the ready.


A funny old day

I did the usual school routine and was supposed to go and meet my friend for breakfast today. Instead I went for a walk to clear my head and make sense of a few things.  I ended up out walking for over two hours.  I went out to a local place called The Blue Pool which is a brick lined structure filled with the strangest looking blue water.  At the first glance the water looked like it was reflecting the trees that surrounded it on one side but on closer inspection it was fallen branches and other things in the water that you could see as clear as day.  It really was quite bizarre, creepy and strange all at the same time.  It turns out that no-one really knows what this structure is for but it gave me quite a few ideas for stories. 

I was overjoyed to find this little pool because I have been devoid of inspiration and have been struggling to break out of my daily routine and get some proper writing done. Inspiration for poetry is easy to come by but this pool gave me loads of possible ideas.  This walk had several effects on me:

1) it made me want to take loads of photos and I do not tend to need visual aids for my stories but this pool was just too fantastic not to take some photographic mementoes with me.

2) the walk was mostly uphill and I really needed to push myself to go and find the pool.  I have not faced a physical challenge for a while so today started off with me feeling invigorated.

3) I had the freedom to walk with my ipod blaring in my ears and was able to walk about singing because I knew no one was going to hear me and if they did I did not actually care.

4) I needed to get out of my own headspace for a little while, I needed to look at my local surroundings in a different way and this walk helped me to do that.

5) I seriously needed the exercise.

So when I got back from this walk I did some research on The Blue Pool and came up with loads of theories but no definitive answers as to why and what this pool is. I now feel like I am on a mission and that I have a mystery to solve.  My brain needs this kind of distraction these days. I have been bogged down with family issues and obligations as well as needing to sort my kids for school so today was a brilliant u-turn away from all of that.  I have some mental stimulation for once as i have been feeling seriously underwhelmed by the mediocrity of my life as of late.  Don’t get me wrong i love my kids and spending time with them but it is really good to have something that is just for me. My writing embodies me taking time out for myself and I need to continue with the plan as if my life depended on it. 

This weekend will be filled with spending time with my kids. It will also be filled with loneliness because I wont be able to have the planned night out with my friend because she has decided that she has other people she needs to be spending time with.  I am not feeling sorry for myself though I just feel a little sad that a friendship I have had for so long seems to be disintegrating before my eyes.  I will get through it though – I always do.

Sunday is supposed to be a day of treating my youngest daughter to some one on one time with me but I may have to take my boys along with me too because I have no childcare – especially at the weekend.  I feel a little exhausted tonight – probably due to my walk this morning.  I feel like my legs had forgotten how to walk uphill and that my hips have been knocked out of alignment.  I guess I am just getting older. 



I get so emotional baby.

Today has been a bit of a funny day I have been mega-organised but have been drenched in a sort of apathy all day.  I got up extra early, got all ready for today – got all my kids ready (I even have school stuff for tomorrow ready too) and once they were in school I just felt a bit washed out.  I think I had been waiting for school to start with such gusto that now it is here – it is a little anti-climactic.  I actually missed the hustle and bustle of a house full of kids.  Even when they have been arguing all the time.  I know that this is life’s way of telling me I need to fill this void with something else but today I just wanted to embrace the silence and try to chill out. 

I will be getting my kids into bed as soon as possible because they have been behaving better now they are back in their old routine and mornings are so much easier when they have had some sleep.  I desperately need to use this as a way to regulate my own sleep pattern.  I have been neglecting myself on the sleep front for about four years now and I cannot go on like this.  This week is the perfect time to rectify this.  I have decided that I also need to sort out a proper schedule for myself too. 

The weather has been atrocious for the last few days.  My kids have been soaked to the skin on a daily basis and it has left them wary of going out at all.  I have been lucky so far in as much as I do not drive and my kids have become used to the elements in some ways and are less prone to colds, the flu and other ailments because they have good immune systems.  I think the fact that we have always been queezed into small houses and lived on top of each other in some ways has meant that we have all become used to bugs that do the rounds and we manage to fight off most infections.  I know a lot of people whose kids seem to catch everything going and are floored.  

Today has also resulted in me being emotional for no apparent reason.  I have realised that I have no emotional outlet to let off steam, I have no-one close to me that is available to talk to so I have been internalising a lot of things.  I need to stop this too.  It is not good for me to keep everthing bottled up.  I have been finding that I am increasingly feeling the need to purge myself of emotions and can be seen crying on my own at night for no real reason, well no tangible reason.  I have been through a lot recently but I do not feel like that is the cause of the emotional breakdown.  Just coping on my own for so long – and knowing that I will have to cope alone for the forseeable future has left me feeling a little alone and undervalued.  So here is hoping that now I have acknowledged how I feel that I will actually be able to do something about it. 



Guest Post – Mesothelioma Awareness by Heather Von St James

Heather Von St. James

Heather Von St. James with Family

Heather Von St. James offers a message of courage, inspiration and hope to those diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer. In fact she considers herself to be a “poster child for hope after mesothelioma” as she is now a 5 year survivor of this often fatal asbestos disease. This is her story of survival and hope.

Early Childhood Asbestos Exposure

Growing up, Heather Von St. James considered herself to be a “Daddy’s Girl”. Her father was a construction worker for a large construction and project management firm in South Dakota and he would often come home at the end of a workday with “white dust” on his clothes and boots. No one in the family thought anything of the dust that he brought home every day at the time, but it turned out to be a harmful asbestos dust from many of the products that he worked with on the job.

Diagnosed with Mesothelioma 3 Months after Daughter, Lily Rose, is Born

In August 2005, at the age of 36, Heather Von St. James gave birth to a daughter, Lily Rose. Within weeks of giving birth, Heather was consistently experiencing unusual and concerning symptoms including fever and difficulty breathing. Medical tests showed fluid around her lungs and a tumor on the pleura, a thin membrane that surrounds the lung. Further tests including a biopsy on the tumor and the fluid surrounding the lungs indicated that Heather had mesothelioma, a serious form of asbestos cancer, rarely seen in someone her age.

Doctors Present Heather with Three Mesothelioma Treatment Options

Heather and her husband, Cameron, were provided with three treatment options based on her diagnosis. If they did nothing, her life expectancy was estimated at 15 months. If she underwent conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatment doctors told her that she could expect to live for 5 years. The third option was the riskiest option but also one that held the greatest promise. It involved a surgical procedure called an extrapleural pneumonectomy through the International Mesothelioma Program with Dr. David Sugarbaker at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Heather and her husband were told that this surgery would involve removing the affected lung, pleura, diaphragm and pericardium. The good news was that the cancer had not yet spread to the lymph nodes. Without much hesitation at all, Heather and her husband told the doctors that they were choosing option 3 and they needed to get to Boston.

Surgery, Lung Leavin’ Day and the First Day of the Rest of Heather’s Life

Heather was scheduled to undergo surgery on February 2, 2006. Even though the world knows February 2 to be Groundhog Day, Heather’s sister affectionately renamed it “Lung Leavin” day. In preparation for the surgery, Heather and her family gathered together, wrote all of their fears down on paper and then “transformed” them by placing them into a ceremonial fire to watch them dissolve away. This day is still celebrated each year in February by Heather and her family and supporters.

The surgery went well. After an 18 day hospital stay, Heather stayed with her parents for two months. After that she returned home and received chemotherapy treatment every 3 weeks for 12 weeks. February 2, 2006 marked a huge turning point in Heather’s battle with mesothelioma and was, in many respects, the first day of the rest of her happy, healthy, cancer-free life.

Faith, Gratitude and a Strong Will to Live are Keys to Healing

Heather Von St. James’ story of survival after a courageous battle with mesothelioma is an enormous inspiration to the entire mesothelioma community. In this video clip below, Heather talks about her mesothelioma diagnosis, surgery at the International Mesothelioma Program and the healing process that continues today. In addition to the outstanding medical care that she received from her doctors in Boston, Heather indicates that a strong faith in God, the help and support of family and friends, a strong will to live and a strong sense of humor were key ingredients to her healing process and to her story of survival.

Today, Heather’s goal is to continue to be a beacon of hope for those suffering with mesothelioma. She continues to speak on behalf of the International Mesothelioma Program and Dr. David Sugarbaker and was recently a keynote speaker at the International Asbestos Awareness Conference sponsored by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.

Back to school

Two of my kids went back to school today and my eldest son goes back to school tomorrow.  I am overjoyed at the prospect of having some time to myself.  I am glad to be able to spend soem time on poursuits that make me happy. If I am happy it means there is more of a chance my kids will be happy.  I have been spending the last couple of days trying to spend as much time with my kids as possible. It has been good to spend time with Morgan doing girly things like doing her hair and her nails. She has seemed a little happier today because of it.  We are hoping to have a mother – daughter day on sunday so I can go and treat her to some craft materials.

There was a thunder storm as my kids walked back from their childminders this afternoon and my wee boy was absolutely devastated when he got home.  He has now insisted that he be inside every time we have another thunder storm.  All three of the kids I have left at home were soaked to the skin when they got back in the house.  It was good in one way because they all came in and got out of their school clothes and none of them asked to get back out of the house.  I like it when we have days where the weather dictates that we must spend some time together.  Usually it means that some family time was overdue.

I am really looking forward to tomorrow.  I have my writing plans to get underway. Today when I had dropped the kids off at school I came home absolutely exhausted.  I lay down on the couch and woke up several hours later.  This deep rooted exhaustion was due to the stress of getting kids kitted out for school on a very restricted budget, the lengths I have to go to as a non driver to get to the shops I need to go to,  I had spent over an hour with two kids yesterday waiting to go to the shops. Not a good experience at all.  At least now it is all done and finished with for another year. 

Tomorrow I need to get up extra early so I can have a shower in peace, then I have to get my eldest son uo for his shower before getting the younger two up for school.  By the time we leave to get to school I will have already out in a few hours of graft.  Is it any wonder when i do have time off that I usually spend most of it sleeping.  I need to break this habit because free time now has to be spent wither writing or decorating.  Both of these options are now crucial for my sanity.  I am fed up living in a building site and I am fed up ignoring my passions too.  Writing makes me very happy and I finally need to address the issues surrounding this. 

I also go back to work on Thursday evening and I am not really looking forward to it.  My work holds no joy for me anymore but I need to keep my job.  Lets hope I make up my mind soon about my change of career. 



Just around the corner

My kids go bck to school this week and I have sort of been having a internal run down to this week. I have spent the last seven or eight weeks mentally preparing for this week. Now it is finally upon me I have started to feel quite excited. Getting the kids ready for school takes a lot out of me. Shopping for uniforms and other school paraphernalia has been all-consuming for most othe summer. On a budget like mine i have to stagger my purchases as and when I have some money. Mercifully I managed to get everything done in time. 

I cannot dare to set pen to paper just yet. I need to know my kids are settled back into class and make sure their needs as far as school, homework and their home life are taken care of. As the only reliable, responsible parent in their lives I have to be the one constant in life that they can rely on. I feel the weight of this duty on a daily basis but with this comes great pleasure at watching them grow in chartacter into the superb individuals I know they can be. 

As my kids are getting older it means I have a little more freedom to follow my own path. As much as I do love and cherish all of my children – I have come to realise I need to love and cherish myself because no-one else will. I have to start making plans for myself. i do not want to get to the stage where my last child is about to leave home and I fear being alone and deserted. I want to know that I have been living life as fully as possible. 

This week marks the first step of that process. This week starts off a whole new chapter in my life and at the moment i feel refreshed, in control and am feeling very positive about my future and that of my kids. I hope this positivity keeps up.


Better late than never

It is 5.37am and I cannot sleep. Part of the reason why I could not get to sleep was because I had not gotten around to writing my blog post for friday. I have started to feel like I have forgotten part of myself if I do not write this blog on a daily basis.  Although I may have forgotten to write on the blog – I had in fact been writing properly at home so I do not feel so bad about it today.  This blog has become like a daily meditation for me where I can sift through thoughts or process my day or just get rid of some pent up feelings.  It has helped immensely in my mental health and my physical health because I am using my reasoning to discuss or deal with feelings that would normal fester and uset me.

I know it is early in the morning but I actually feel well rested, very refreshed and ready to start my day.  I am having a few hours to myself and it is truly blissful.  I have some things I will write down in my actual paper journal – maybe ideas for a poem.  I have some articles to cut out and save because they hold some personal significance or they have some aspect that I would like to research or dissect in some way.  I have been feeling as it comes ever closer to the end of the school holidays that I am ready to deal with any problems, any hitches that come my way.  I have become more open to the possibilities that my future has.  I have finally cleared away enough of my personal clutter that I can see a bright, useful and productive future for myself.

I am having some behaviour issues with a couple of my kids.  I have devised a plan to try and sort out these issues before they turn into a major problem.  I am well aware that I have to keep on top of these things before they get out of hand.  My life may be a war zone for a few weeks as my new regime starts to settle in but hopefully things will all work out and we will have a much more harmonious household.  I am really tired of the outbreaks of tension between my two youngest kids but the time to deal with it is now.

In my personal life things have gotten back to how they always used to be.  It is just me and my kids now – like it always has been.  I have missed us working together as a team and I would like to get back to that.  I want to make sure that I give each of my kids as much personal attention as possible.  Many things have happened over the course of the summer and I feel that I really need to take charge, make time, stick to my guns and renegotiate the road that I and my kids are taking.  As a single parent certain things need to happen for life to have some normalcy. Structure and routine are fabulous ways to let your kids know you love them and keep you sane at the same time.  School life is a perfect way to balance out their day and ensure they get enough sleep.  I also need to make sure I get enough sleep.

On that note I think I may go back to bed for an hour before al my kids get up.


New start


I have made some mental progress today. The day when kids go back to school is coming ever closer so my thinking hat is on and my plans for the future are starting to take shape.  I lay in my bed last night and wrote for half an hour and things seem much clearer in my head.  I have a little time to get my writing hat on.  I still have to sort through and categorise my earlier work. I have now got materials in place for keeping track of my writing.


The younger kids are in the bath and they will be getting sent to bed once the dirt from today has been washed away.  They  are supposed to be going to visit their dad tomorrow morning so I will have a little time to collect my thoughts and hunt down my poetry, stories, journals and plans.  I have not felt this focused for some time. I think it is because the kids are going back to school that they and I will have a routine and I can take control back of my own future.


I am putting myself first – well that is the plan. I will try to keep a hold of this positive, optimistic outlook. I think it is about time that I stopped letting fear and other complications from keeping my creativity in check. I hve worked my way through much bigger difficulties. I have managed to survive and my kids have flourished despite many hardships.  Today is just as good a day as any.


I am feeling physically and mentally strong today.






Self reflection


I have been going through a three year period of self reflection. This has shown me a few home truths about myself. These mini epiphanies have been illuminating in so many ways.  I have come to certain conclusions:

1. I am a world class procrastinator.

2. I have many qualifications but have no clear path in which to utilise this knowledge.

3. I have clear goals I want to achieve but let fear stand in my way.

4. I have crippling low self-esteem.

5. I have a very poor motivation at the moment as opposed to the fantastic motivation I used to have.

6. I am going through some sort of prolongued mid-life crisis.

My realisations were not all negative though:

A) I am intelligent enough to think my way out of my predicament.

B) I am blessed with a fantastic imagination and if could just make it past my crippling fear then I could maybe carve out a whole new career for myself.

C) I have the loveliest kids and grandkids on the planet and they are a constant reminder that I have already achieved something wonderful with my life.

D) I am a good friend to have (especially in a crisis) and would go to the ends of the earth to help out a friend in need.

E) I am interested in growing and learning new things. I am open to new experiences, meeting new people and enjoying life in general.

I have many new plans to try and improve how I feel about me. I also have plans to work on getting past my fear (mostly taking things one day at a time) and pushing boundaries. I always feel good when I am surrounded by my family so I will try and surround myself with those who mean the most to ne.  Most importantly I have plans to get a writing routine. This will begin in earnest when my kids go back to school. I owe it to myself and my kids to follow my dreams.