Of all the pieces of advice which have stuck in my head, this has been my favourite one – to get through you need treats and distractions. It came from a very kind lady who commented on one of my blog posts, I think not long after Roger was diagnosed with cancer. I have had so many lovely comments on my writing, I am grateful for each and every one but especially this one, as it provides a feasible way of how I might possibly cope.
I think one of the best things about keeping this blog is the strength I find from the response I have. Sometimes it just takes a couple of words from someone to get me through a bad moment. I have to say, treats and distractions have got me through bad times before, not quite as tough as these maybe, but tough all the same.
I remember one time when I was in my 20s and nursing a broken heart, I spent £40 on a wash bag and my friends thought I’d gone insane. Did I need a new wash bag? No. But did it make me feel better? Of course it did! I still use it now and it makes me think of that every time I look at it. In hindsight, the thing I thought was the worst thing ever turned out not to be bad at all, quite good in fact, but at the time I thought my world had ended.
So, treats and distractions is the mantra and this time of year – although painful – is the perfect time to find them.
I have had a tricky month, what with the general festive vibes and me not feeling really quite so into them. I wrote about this in the post My First Christmas as a Widow, which I had such a mammoth response to – and also the one where I cried at my son’s nativity.
I also had some really sad news last week, as a very special lady, a close family friend and someone who I used to call my second mummy passed away. We will be saying goodbye to her this week and I know it will be such a sad and difficult day, but I’m also hoping her family feel some of the strength which I took from Roger’s funeral service.
Grief makes you tired, but Christmas makes you really tired too, or at least the build-up does, and to add another thing in the mix, kids make you tired, being a single parent makes you tired and being a single working parent who is grieving and has a poorly child makes you well, pretty tired!
So treats and distractions it is. I have been busy lining a few things up for this week and over Christmas, when I’m going to try to take things easy, probably blog a little less, play a little more, hopefully sleep a bit more and have time to see my friends and family a whole lot more.
I still haven’t done all my Christmas shopping, I just have a few things left to buy but I find it so hard going shopping so much and not buying things for myself! So I may have picked up a few little treats along the way there. Hello new dress, bobble hat and blusher… Welcome to my kitchen mulled wine, mince pies and gingerbread.
I think it’s so important for everyone to learn how to be kind to themselves, to rest a bit and to make time for the things which recharge you. It’s not always easy remembering that, is it? I know people always say it to me, but I rarely listen! Maybe this is one of the times that I really should.