Here we are in July and the weather is scorchio! June was a pretty eventful month, although I must admit to having to look through my Instagram feed to remember what we got up to, we were busy as ever and have all had a few adventures.
I’ve been stepping up my exercise as I’m training for the Leeds 10k next week, so I’ve been making myself go on longer runs to get used to the distance. I love running for the time it gives me to think things through, as well as the chance to burn off some energy and get rid of some stress. I have to remind myself of this every time I do a 10k and loathe every step of the final two!
A few weeks ago I took part in my first dragon boat race too, an idea conceived after a few shandies with work mates after last year’s 10k. We managed to get a team together and pull it off looking almost like we knew what we were doing, coming I think a respectable fifth place overall.
As well as getting on the water I got in it in the early hours of the longest day, going to Ilkley Lido to see the sunrise for the second year in a row. It was such a buzz, the water is colder than cold but makes you feel invigorated and I was in such a good mood all day afterwards.
It hasn’t all been wholesome sporty stuff, we had a lovely weekend away with friends and I’ve had a few nights out too. Balancing this life with two kids on my own means I need to have breaks and go out with adults to stay sane! I adore my little ones and we are an incredibly close and loving family, but I really value having that time when I can just be Jules, do things just for me and shake off a bit of that responsibility.
I definitely didn’t feel like this so much when Rog was alive; it’s a feeling I think that comes from grief, from taking so much on and from my home life being so much down to me.
I often feel guilt about this but I think it’s come down to survival. Who can live a healthy life like that without having some breathing space where the pressure is off for a bit? Not only that, but most of the time once my children are in bed, it’s just me with no one to talk to, to let off steam to or to have a laugh with. If I don’t book that time in to go out with friends then I end up feeling really low and things just spiral down!
Here I am, getting rid of some of that guilt again! Guilt is something I wrote on my paper and burnt last week, in a new moon ritual I’d always wanted to try. Sounds crazy I know, but have a read and see what you think first – you never know, the universe may just be listening to us!
Sam and Flo have been busy this month too – Sam going away on his first cub camp and Flo preparing to make the move from reception class to year one, something which she is so excited about. Stating the obvious here I know but both of them have grown up so much in this last year, and make me feel like a very proud mother.
As you can see from these photos, our colour schemes and Sam’s England top, we’ve been out watching the World Cup and seeing England do well for the first time certainly that they can remember. Sam is not a massive player of football but he likes to watch it – especially the goals! – and I’m trying my best to answer all his and Flo’s questions. I think Flo was the only person in the pub who cheered when Panama scored in their 6-1 defeat to us the other week!
Sam sat drawing his favourite England and Liverpool player Jordan Henderson (see his artwork below) and Flo pretended to be a stingray and played with someone on the next table’s dog when they’d had enough of the footy. They’re pretty easy to entertain in a pub given a lemonade and a packet of crisps! World Cup parenting at its finest.
July will have its own celebrations but also its challenges. Flo turns five in a few weeks, and days later it will be the third anniversary of Roger’s death. I always struggle and am hoping this year I might get an easier ride. Anniversaries are funny things, you never know how you’ll react until the day comes.
We’ll carry on loving the heatwave – sorry British summer – though, and hope it lasts through the school holidays too.