The end of February is nearly upon us. This has been a hard week for me. I have a feeling that everyone thinks that because I run Embrace Happy, that my life is all sunshine and light. It most certainly is not but what I do is CHOOSE to focus on what sunshine and light there is. However, as I said, this has been a hard week for me and I thought maybe I would just chat in this post and tell you 10 random things that have been happening in my life and wrap up the month of February and move on to bigger and brighter things in March.
1) This month started with a real challenge for me. In late October of last year I started a new freelance job. It was absolutely perfect. Social media, 2 days a week from home, 1 day a week in London. I was so motivated, excited, inspired! I was really enjoying my Tuesdays in London and revelling in all that London has to offer. I felt vital and necessary again. It was the perfect time, all of the pieces of the puzzle fell into place and it was all going so very well. Then it stopped going well. In fact, it ended, effectively. I felt like the rug had been whipped out from under me and I was laying on my back on the ground looking up and wondering what the heck happened. None of it was my fault, it just happened. Such is business, I am learning. In the meantime I have slipped backward into habits that are ones I thought I had left behind. I am not getting up early to be ready before the kids, I am not “dressing” for the day (leggings & sweatshirts are back in force) and I’m not always putting makeup on in the morning. This needs to change.
2) My knees have been terribly achy and painful for a while now. When Mark and I started our ballroom dancing lessons mid-January, my knees protested dramatically by swelling up and being even more painful. Even just the walk down the road to the school hurt much less being out and about or going for a proper walk in the countryside. I decided it was time to see the GP. After blood tests (which ultimately showed nothing) and an x-ray of one knee, they decided that I have arthritis. Not anything exotic like rheumatoid arthritis thankfully but just your bog-standard arthritis. However, I am not 65 years old, I am 44 years old. There is no treatment really. At least nothing conventional medicine can do for me until it gets bad enough to need knee replacement surgery. If anyone has any other recommended solutions I am more than willing to listen because they just HURT. All the time. At night it’s worse including waking me in the night and making it very difficult to get comfortable in bed. Right now I am trying Omega 3 Fish Oil and Glucosamine Sulphate supplements but will be adding Devil’s Claw as well on the recommendation of a friend who also suffers with joint pain. What the heck?! Arthritis?! That’s what 14 years of gymnastics and a decade of High Impact Aerobics will do to you!
3) Ella and Sam continue to make me laugh and brighten every day. Sammy is loving preschool and has recently started to sing A LOT of songs he’s learned at preschool. His version of children’s classics like “The ABC song”, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Row Row Row Your Boat” are rather hilarious. He also remains thrilled when it’s a ‘Mummy Sammy Day’ when he’s not at preschool. I hope he always looks forward to time spent with me! Ella returned to school after the busy February Half Term with smiles and giggles but she’s also seemed very tired. We’re stopping her swimming lessons for now to give her another night in the week where we don’t have something to go to. We now end each day before shutting off the lights by talking about Ella’s #3goodthings that have made her happy. I love this time!
4) Dancing with the Husband! Mark and I have continued to attend the Couples Beginner Ballroom Dancing lessons at a local dance school. I am pleasantly surprised that Mark has enjoyed it as much as he has! Last week Friday, coming home from a particularly stressful day Mark told me he considered not going to dance that night but then realised that it was JUST what he needed to relax from a stressful week. Go figure! I’m actually going to be sad when the sessions are done later in March.
5) While I am on the subject of my husband, I had a real Gratitude Moment earlier this week. I had been trying to coordinate a meet-up with some friends and unfortunately none of them are available to do a regular meet-up, in part because most of their husbands work late and aren’t home to help with the dinner/bed time/bath time in order to give the Mums a night out. Now we do manage to get together once every few months, usually on a Friday night, but I was very sad to hear that several of my friends are basically solo-parenting a majority of the time. I realised how very, very lucky I am to have a husband who is home most nights by 7pm, who loves to sit down to a family dinner with us, who will do the dishes and who does ALL of the laundry and takes the time to put his son (and daughter) to bed every single night. Major gratitude moment. Life is good.
6) The kindness of friends continues to amaze me! Earlier this week a friend on Facebook posted a picture of one of the pages of her ‘Wreck This Journal’. I commented on how much I wanted that book because I have been looking at it for ages on Amazon. Suddenly, up pops a private message on my laptop. This friend was asking me for my address. The next day, the ‘Wreck This Journal’ book arrived on my doorstep courtesy of this delightful friend. How amazing right? The world is filled with lovely people like this!
7) Happy Post: This week a handful of postcards arrived courtesy of my Mom. My Mom had been on holiday in the US and I asked her to send the children some postcards which she did with zeal! They were so thrilled to receive these little thoughtful messages and I was thrilled to see their little faces light up. Something so simple can mean so very much! I got a postcard as well which reminded me of the amazing journey my Mom and I had had in the late Summer of 1998 when she helped me to move from Illinois to California. Route 66…what fun!
8) Kindred Spirits: On Tuesday I had a brilliant FaceTime chat with a totally kindred spirit! She helped me talk through ideas for Embrace Happy, made wonderful suggestions and helped me to think more broadly. It’s really wonderful when you find someone who thinks what you are doing has value. And in return, I love promoting her work and amazing products! Have you visited The Green Gables???
9) Volunteering: Today, Friday 27 February, and for the next 5 weeks, I am going into my daughter’s Year Two classroom to work with them on Happiness! I’m starting an Embrace Happy Club for 30 six to seven year olds! I can’t wait! I’ve got a musical soundtrack to share with them, a brilliant story from an exceptionally creative and lovely lady to share with them, as well as several activities to focus today on what makes them happy! This could be the start of something pretty fun!
10) Speaking: Next Saturday, 7 March, I will be speaking to 60+ beautiful bloggers about Embrace Happy when I give the closing keynote speech at Blog On Cymru (pronounced “cuhm-ree” for all my non-UK based friends). I am so looking forward to sharing the Embrace Happy message and hopefully making a difference in the thinking of the bloggers in attendance. We’re also tying this into a family get-away as Mark, Ella and Sam will be accompanying me! We’ll be driving to Cardiff next Friday, staying in a hotel for 2 nights and seeing a place none of us have ever seen before! Watch out Cardiff!
Do you have some wonderfully random things to share? How has your February been? Join in with me in looking back at the month-that-was! #embracehappy