When life got easier…

Lots of people including myself have grown up with the idea that being a single parent is a bad thing. I’ll be honest for years I saw it as the one thing I never ever wanted to be. It shaped a lot of my decisions in the early 20’s and 30’s and actually I know now that this attitude was detrimental to my own well being.

I get it, we’re taught it from a young age through the attitudes and actions of others. The media loves a story of a single mother who’s taking our money with a bigger house than yours. Teachers in school look on the child with the single parent family with pity, and your own family can have a lot of influence in this too. I see this attitude being based in the teachings of a lot of religions that form the basis of the societies in which we live. But it’s just not true. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here’s my story; at 22 I found out I was pregnant, it was scary, me just out of uni working to help my partner through his own uni course we were not equipped to deal with the impending birth of our child, and yet there we were, soon to be parents. We both worked hard to be the people we both thought we should be rather than being the people we really were. We did everything we could to give our child the best, better ourselves with little financial help, no benefits, in our student flat with reliance on my daughter’s paternal grandmother for child care. Without her help I don’t know what we would have done.

But the relationship itself was held together by traditional expectations that we had to stick together to be a single family unit, in our heads there was no other option and the tensions of trying to live up to the expectations of others and not do what was probably better caused us to break more than going our separate ways probably would have.

So here’s what I have learned so far about being a single parent;

I feel as though I’m better off financially even if the numbers say I’m not. I have control over my finances because I make all my own decisions. I may not have the latest everything, holidays or cars etc. But what I do have I know I’ve earned myself and I know where my money goes, there is never a need to justify my spending to anyone, as long as my child has everything she needs as a priority I’m doing okay.

Parenting can be easier. I have my own way, my own style and no one to conflict with it. I can just get on with parenting in the way my child needs. Discipline issues no longer become a drama, because it’s a one to one conversation with my child rather than a trial by jury.

I don’t feel guilty. Okay we were grown ups about shared parenting and maintenance, this helps and I strongly advise anyone going through a break up to deal with your personal issues and child care issues separately. You cannot use your child as a weapon, this is about giving your child the best, and both parents happy in a separate place is better than two waring parents. You should not feel guilty that it didn’t work, just feel happy that you are both still there for your child but your child gets to see the best of both of their parents.

You get time for yourself. If I was still in a relationship I would still be bargaining for time to do my thing as would he. Now I have freedom when my daughter is at her dad’s to be my own person and do what I like without the need to justify it to anyone. It’s about balance, and I actually get that a lot more now. Even if it’s a day spent doing nothing, I can do that guilt free.

You’re not lonely, when you get over the initial shock of no other adults living in your house you realise it’s actually pretty good. You haven’t got to negotiate over every decision, you have friends you can hang out with in your own time, but you also have the space to think.

You’re never a failure. Just because the relationship didn’t work you’re not in any way a failure, you’re doing this yourself, for yourself and your child. Your child will grow up to realise you don’t need anyone else to make you a success, it’s all in the attitude you have about yourself. When you decide to be happy and do what makes you happy you somehow just get things done, and that is the key to being a success.

Your career gets better. Because you’re not worrying about fitting in, because your confidence is better, because you’re determined to make the absolute best of yourself and be the best role model you can be to your child. Plus the decision to move company, take the promotion or whatever it is that follows your dream is now only your own. You spend less time mulling it over and just get on with it.

Drama is gone. I don’t know about you but for me, the biggest dramas were arguments. I just don’t have them anymore. I just don’t need to, I don’t rise to anything, it might seem cold on the surface but taking the emotion out of a stressful situation makes it easier to deal with, and without another person being the catalyst for the other (we were both good at that) you don’t freak out so much anymore, you just get on with things.

You can focus, because you’re not concentrating on keeping a relationship alive you have just your child to focus on. Then in your spare time you get to focus on yourself. It’s not selfish to do that either. You get decent quality time with your child, and then quality time for you to do whatever you want.

So there we have it, my conclusion on single parenting. It’s easier in my experience once you take the drama away. I sometimes used to feel a little stigmatised when people described me as a single mother, but actually I’m proud to be a single mother. Things aren’t perfect but we have it mostly right and my child is much happier in two happy homes rather than miserable in one stressful house…

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Keep It Simple Stupid!

I work in a world of tech! I love it! I am always looking at the newest ways to do things, make it quicker, more efficient and of course cheaper with the same amount of boom in the box. I love a bit of research and development, in fact without research and development we would not be where we’re at today. It’s those guys at the forefront doing the clever unimaginable things that make this world progress, for better, or for worse.

But saying that there needs to be a point where research and development stays just there. I’m not talking in the context of the whole world, more in the context of in day to day life because actually the effects of implementing the latest bit of R&D in your real world isn’t even necessary! I see this with apps all the time! Apps do my box in when they get upgraded, they always, and I mean always come with bugs. My latest IOS upgrade made my phone unusable until the patch came out. Why? Probably because someone got excited, checked it in and hit the button too quick to deploy it! Hell, okay first world problems… but still…

In my working life I’m the girl looking after proofs of concept. Exciting isn’t it? Well yes it definitely is, but there’s a responsibility placed on me to make sure what I recommend is for the good of the company and not just because I want a new toy. I am the queen of all things innovation when it comes to data, but actually when the foundations are not there to start with you can’t go pulling the crazy shit you see on the internet just because someone else did.

Today was an interesting day. I’ve been hired at a place that I really love working where there some improvements to be made but also some people who like to read all about the latest things that are going on in the tech world. And here’s where the problem lies. They read it, they play in the online sandbox, and then they want it, even though they don’t really know what it is. We get the technology fan boys too, you know the ones, they have the latest everything of their favourite brand, even though the other cheaper brand does it better.

What I often find is the implementations of new unknown technology can so often have been a hark back to that 5 year old in the shop that saw the toy and wanted it, even though they didn’t know what it was but everyone else said they had one so they wanted it too! What do you end up with? Well in my case luckily just a couple of virtual Machines, a couple of frightened developers and soon a white paper saying, it’s a bad idea right now.

So here’s what I look for when I’m picking a strategy for technology. First things first, what’s actually broken? A lot of the time it’s not broken, someone just got bored of it and wanted to make a new one. Nothing wrong with that, but is there something more broken that needs your attention, the answer is always yes.

Secondly, why are you looking at the new shiny thing? If you read about it on the internet and thought, well this could fix my problem, great, but now go back to the actual problem and think about it properly rather than build the thing because someone told you it’s the next silver bullet. So many times I’ve seen things get bought, contracts signed with no direction for what it’s actually going to improve.

Lastly, are you doing this because of ego? We love to show off, be the first or perhaps even the bigger boys have it and we want to be just like them. It’s easily done in the competitive world that is business and IT is an area that it happens the most! Very often the new thing requires new skills that people just don’t have and you’re sat with a bunch of guys trying to figure out how the hell to make this work.

Today we can automate our homes, I can make my phone tell the thing in my house to switch the other thing on to make the heating work. I can shout at the box that makes the online shopping store send me my stuff and change my TV channel. But what is the actual value? I’m not sure. When my car goes wrong I spend ages buggering about normally trying to do something to bypass the CPU because technology made my Landrover less efficient, okay out of the factory it drove like a dream but a confused CPU and you’re spending hundreds just fixing something simple! On the other hand my very mechanical motorbike can be striped down and put back together in just a few hours because the people who made it kept it simple. And here’s the message, simple is just better, we don’t make food with a million flavours, we don’t listen to music with all the notes in the chromatic scale playing all at once. And if we want our tech to work properly we have to start small and grow it over time carefully. The Big Bang approach will only have its casualties, normally my sanity.

Keep it simple stupid, is the best advice I ever had. You can write an algorithm that wipes your arse in theory, but actually it’s all theoretical and sometimes you’ve just got to stick with the tried and tested method and that is perfectly and absolutely okay… just relax…

Game face on

So it’s clearly time to concentrate on business and getting things done. Astrologically Venus is in Virgo now and that marks a noticeable change in how I’m dealing with emotions today and to be honest it’s a welcome relief. I’m feeling more focused on logic and less focused on the ethereal dreamy world of the what might be. It’s finally time to get the head down and put in the hard work.

Mr Ghosty McGhostface finally messaged this morning with the “things moved too fast, I wasn’t ready” text. A little cowardly but hey it’s closure and I’d rather know now than get strung along for months on end. The fact he did this by text demonstrates he definitely wasn’t the right one for me, I could have responded with a lot of things…. like “So why were you so adamant that you would be introducing me to all your friends?” Or “why even mention that your mum will love me when she meets me?” None of these were an if and I was pretty cautious in my responses to these. Along with the “I’d love to help you decorate your house” and “what kind of dates would you like me to take you on?”. To me, well, that normally insinuates that they’re starting to consider a relationship and not just seeing this as a fling, I was happy either way, but some people just can’t handle a woman who knows what she wants I guess.

As we know I love a bit of self reflection and here’s what I’m wondering… on date number one we couldn’t go into the place we were originally meeting because “An ex girlfriend that ended it badly with him was there”, looking back I’m wondering if this was perhaps just another situation like this. This guy just clearly isn’t equipped to deal with the emotional responses he creates with whoever he’s dating and so then runs away like a little boy to hide behind his X-box… yes X-box… Microsoft is so yesterday… lol…

I considered responses like “well thanks for making my Monday better.” Or “Sure no worries.” Or better still “I assumed you were dead so let’s keep it that way!” But I decided no response was actually better, perhaps a little more dignified. I’d deleted his number anyway, and all his past texts, so I’m assuming it was him… that text went too so that in a moment of weakness I couldn’t respond anyway. It’s better that way, no need for baggage.

So business suit Rebecca wore her business suit today. She was pretty calm, almost cold in her approach to everything today and actually it’s a hell of a lot better than feeling shitty. Probably not worth telling him that I’ve already had some fun since… he can really think what he wants.

Today I had the pleasure of trying to cover a massive love bite (oh my god I forgot about those! Why?) guess this is the downfall of the younger guys… here I am covering up love bites lol! Oh well, my technique on that is now perfected… I could probably be a makeup artist with the amount of times I’ve now done this lately! It’s all very well in the moment… but…

So down to business… and not that kind of business… this time the book is getting written, the blog is probably getting a revamp and suddenly Tinderella is a little too busy to worry about stupid boys who can’t back up their words! Thank heavens for that!

So back to his words “I hope you find someone you deserve” no actually, someone who deserves me will find me and will do what ever it is to convince me that they do. This won’t be creepy or clingy. I’m expecting more than a night in shining armour, I don’t need rescuing you see so that’s gonna be wasted on me. Put your horses back in the stables boys… leave your magic carpets at home! And don’t even think about that oversized fishing net!

In the mean time my hot naughty snapchat buddy is keeping me entertained with snaps that I have to leave the office if I’m to open them! I’ll probably never meet him but I’m not complaining about the eye candy, he’s quite the exhibitionist, and I’m not complaining. It’s like having my own personal porn star.

My life began at 36, two years on, good god am I having a ball!?!

Freedom Cake

So it’s the end of Monday… thank goodness that’s over! Today was a struggle to get out of bed, I dunno about you but here where I live Monday started off cold and rainy. It got me thinking about priorities in my life. Obviously right now my job has to be one of them but turning up for the 9-5 is a struggle. I don’t think, in fact I know that humans are not programmed to do this 9-5 think. Ever feel like you’re chasing your tail? Me too.

The thing is I like what I do, I love what I do! The people I work with are great, the technology I get to design is great, so what is my problem? I wonder if some of it is purely a rebellious streak that I just can’t break. The idea that I must conform, I must be on time, wear the right clothes, say the right things, not make anyone cry… blah blah… probably.

You see, having conformed to rules my whole life I’m at that point of realisation that a lot of these rules are utter bollocks. Who wrote them? Where did they come from? What are they for? I get it, turning up on time makes us all do the same thing, wearing appropriate clothing kinda makes sense… turning up dressed like a stripper could be distracting. Not making people cry, well I try not to, although the effort of having to beat it around the bush till the penny drops rather than just saying it like it is makes me want to cry sometimes. We’re all adults here right?

I think tomorrow I’ll try harder and give myself a free ticket for today. Tonight I might actually get my clothes ready the night before and be a little more prepared. Perhaps this is what I partly object to. My free time being eaten into by preparation for work time when I would sort of like to turn up as myself and not worry if I’m conforming.

My dream, career wise, which I’d never really considered till perhaps six months ago is to not have a job at all one day. How long this will take Im not 100% sure. But by deciding that this is my goal I’m already putting this in motion. I enjoy the hubbub of the office yes, but I also enjoy not having to be in the office, I sort of want the best of both worlds…. the ambivert screams for balance.

Now, if I’m to get 8 hours sleep (I never get 8 hours sleep), spend 7.5 hours in the office, take an hour lunch, this leaves me with just 7.5 hours on a weekday to be myself… but, let’s face it, there’s an hour before work of getting ready and travelling, half an hour (yes I’m lucky) of getting home. Suddenly there’s not much time left. No wonder I stay up late, I’m trying to regain that time for myself.

Luckily nowadays the office doesn’t come home. I used to live with someone who worked for the same company, that was relationship suicide. You just can’t leave the office behind. Whilst yes you can sympathise about who pissed the other person off today, I found that it makes you dwell on it more and you just can’t get away from it. At least I now can and I hope he can too. Perhaps that was one of the repeating patterns I saw with the Stand In, it became a similar situation. Especially when you both have different opinions on a person’s professional ability because you see them in a different light. Or perhaps some people are just plain negative.

I’ve certainly regained some work life balance by moving company, but I still want more, or a flip in that balance to be more of a life-work balance.

Perhaps I’m asking just a little too much, perhaps I’m just tired. It is pushing me to change it though. Quite how, I’m not sure, but I’m determined that I will. 18 year old me would be horrified that I step foot in and office every day, but the office job has taught me discipline that I would not have learnt about had I not done so. Perhaps I need to take these life lessons now and fly solo. It may take a few years but I’m determined and when I put my mind to things I always do it. So today I’m committing to myself, today I’m deciding to work to live and not live to work. Some may be horrified, but I think most will agree. I don’t want to be the person who is lost at whatever retirement age will be when I get there because my work life is over and I don’t know what to do with myself. I want to be the person who stepped out and took a bow early because I found freedom. That’s what this is about, the need for freedom, I’ve had a taste of it and I like it. My life has changed significantly in the last 2 years but it’s not yet cooked. I was merely reading the recipe or perhaps even researching the ingredients to make my own. Now it’s time to start planning that recipe, because I know what the outcome should be, a cake with all the sweetness of being relatively affluent, the lightness of freedom all iced with the excitement of doing new things. The decorations will be a world fully travelled, a happy home filled with love and the outputs of a creative mind. Being rich isn’t really the goal here, but enabling myself to experience everything I can in the time that I have is. That for me is freedom, the freedom to choose what I do and how I do it. The vision is delicious, perhaps synesthesia helps there, because the colours of the rainbow each have a flavour. Now to get them in the right order to bake this cake and make it rise…

Sharing Mom Time

So the last two days we’ve been getting back to normal, this includes child care arrangements. I like that my daughter’s step-mom does a lot of the communication with me, it kinda takes some of the heat out of things and let’s face it girls are generally more organised. I have to admit initially it took some getting used to. You go from having your child as your responsibility 24/7 to suddenly having to split the time. This isn’t so bad when you realise you can actually have some freedom but when you’re communicating that with the person who was a part of your breakup that’s a tricky one and takes a fair bit of strength to put your feelings aside and deal with it all objectively.

In the first few months the days without her were awful, I would just sit alone and cry. I hated being on my own in the house, even when I was dating, the majority of my time was spent alone, I wasn’t seeing that person every day. In spite of my “Everything is okay” smile, it took time to get used to the idea that handing over my daughter to her dad was actually a positive thing and meant I really could enjoy either time with friends or just alone time. I hadn’t known how to be alone, I don’t think I’d ever really done it before. It’s quite different now. Now I really do need that alone time to do, well just stuff for myself. Sometimes I might go on a date, sometimes it’s as simple as guilt free reading books or writing time. But either way I now appreciate it. Perhaps it’s made me a little more introverted and definitely more self aware.

The difficult arrangement dates are always birthdays and Christmas. My first Christmas alone was the hardest ever. I spent the whole day on my own avoiding the fact it was Christmas at all. My ex and his partner had my daughter till the evening and I couldn’t help but feel like I’d been punched in the stomach with loneliness whilst I imagined them all being happy in a new relationship, the jewel in the crown being my daughter whilst I sat and watched Judge Judy because I simply couldn’t do much that day and that was pretty much the only thing on TV that didn’t remind me it was Christmas Day. There were lots of invites to friends, but I just didn’t feel right celebrating and so hid for the day. I’m actually okay with Christmas alone now, I might actually quite like it.

One thing I really had to work on was putting my emotions aside when it came to splitting the time for custody. None of us wanted the whole court stuff, and I feel as grown ups it really shouldn’t be needed. I hate people who play games over child custody, I actually believe it should always be 50/50 where possible. Let’s face it, you both made a baby and should therefore both muck in. The hard part is when your child decides they don’t want to see one parent or the other, this has happened to us once, I’m half expecting it to happen in the opposite direction at some point so have already coached myself that if this happens I will just have to give my child the space she needs. Teenagers get so much stuff confused, it’s hard enough with the amount of pressure from school, mine also has diabetes so it’s just extra angst to manage and sometimes it’s tricky. You just have to stay incredibly positive, even when stuff is just plain shit. Holding it together is what matters most when there’s a crisis. Although there are days when you just feel so alone and that no matter what you do it will be wrong. The only way at that point is good old intuition.

The Birthday subject came up today. My daughter’s step-mom had added some reoccurring calendar invites. She hadn’t done it on purpose but one had booked through my daughter’s whole birthday weekend. I have to admit my initial reaction in my head was “who the fuck are you to tell me if I can see my daughter on her birthday?” Obviously this was unfair and reactionary and I replied with a “can we ask My daughter what she wants to do and we’ll go with that?” She was apologetic I hadn’t wanted to make her feel bad, but appreciated that she recognised it may have accidentally struck a nerve, and I know this must be really hard for her. I mean let’s face it, kids normally get a much rougher deal from a step-mom and this one actually cares, my daughter really likes her and this is such a good thing. I’d hate to think of my daughter being uncomfortable with her step-mom and my ex having to choose or the whole thing being difficult. Yes that’s a bitter persons dream, but I’m a bigger person, and mental health for everyone involved comes first.

It’s funny, as a mother your child being born is a day you will never forget. For me it was that feeling of elation of giving birth naturally, totally compus-mentus, able to breath a full breath of air for the first time in months felt like I’d just run a marathon. That tiny baby (the first baby I’d ever held in my entire life) delivered straight to me as soon as she was out looking up at me with those silent wondering Little eyes, we bonded there, I met the person I’d carried for months not knowing yet who she was or who she would be until that moment. I will never forget that my daughter didn’t cry as so many anecdotally do, she just stared up at me, almost with curiosity and I stared back just so astounded at what had just happened.

Initially when my daughter got a step-mom, I was so worried I’d be replaced, so worried she’d be better than me, not tainted with the depressed mom stuff I had going on. But then I remembered I gave birth after carrying this child in my body. I breastfed this child for a year. I certainly wasn’t perfect but I did my best as a mother. No one can replace that. My daughter now has a mom and a step-mom, if we work together to make her happy then surely two strong female role models who work to get the best for her, is better than the ex and the replacement who are fighting for the crown… nobody can win that game.

Back to normal

With a bump I hit normality today, my alarm going off, me snoozing it for a full forty five minutes every nine minutes until it really was time to get my lazy arse out of bed. Oh man! Oh why? Monday morning blues on a Wednesday!

No proud mom school uniform Facebook posts with neat hair and a school tie were achieved, a. Because no school tie is in existence in this household, she needs a new one and had to buy one today… but they had already run out and well, b. neat hair is asking just a bit too much of little miss grunge extraordinaire herself. So we left it. She really isn’t that bothered.

I rifle through the wardrobe to find something office suitable, just about get my act together, scrape back my hair into a high ponytail and there’s how today is going to go. Papering over cracks today, making the best of shakey foundations till the day is over. It’s okay though, this is the first day back after just over a week of well earned rest, tomorrow will be better. I get in to find everything I left behind in a state of stasis, not so bad I guess, at least is hadn’t been meddled with which is normally worse.

I was not a people person today, I felt cold, the weather is so cold compared to the too hot temperatures that I’ve just left. I’d decided I should show off my slight tan on my legs so no tights… error… aircon made me freeze today! I guess I can’t win, tomorrow I’ll be more prepared… Winter is coming… winter is here if you trust the aircon in the office.

It was good to get back on the bike and zip to work though, and even better to get on the bike and zip home, plus my biker gear is warmer than the dress I wore to work today. Thoughts pass through my mind about how the hell I can become a millionaire tonight so I don’t have to do this again. I consider just becoming a Deliveroo rider so I can get paid to ride my bike all day… yes I know that’s a stupid idea…

I get home to puppers and daughter and life is instantly better. Daughter tells me about evil RE teacher, puppers show me how well behaved they’ve been, well apart from the tub of Ghee butter that the Malamute just ate… and the discovery that the Abominable Andrex Puppy has also stolen the toilet roll… but hey, they’re forgiven because of their waggy tails.

Life is okay, actually life is awesome even when you’ve just come down to earth with a bump. If you look for the small stuff, for me the fact I had enough ingredients in my cupboard to magic up home cooked food, the fact the shop is only 2 minutes walk from my house when I needed to run out and buy emergency loo roll… discovery happened via the shouts of “Mom! There’s no toilet roll!” And because I was slightly organised yesterday my favourite jeans were washed and dried ready for me to get out of work clothes and into more suitable “not doing much” gear.

I award my self a badge of achievement today for no audible C words and only one F word in the office. I managed to keep my inside voice in mostly… And also my genius rendition of the Little Mermaids song reworded to “I wanna be where the people aren’t”. Getting my peers to all spend the day humming Belinda Carlisle songs because I entered the office singing “we dream the same dreams…” just because…

It’s sucks that it’s only half seven at night and the light is fading already… Winter isn’t quite here… but if there’s an Ice Dragon on its way I will be sailing to a far off land till winter is gone.

So as I dream about sunshine, butterflies and not having a day job I consider my options for the evening, I recon my best laid plans can well just wait… the gym won’t cry if I don’t attend today, the supermarket can come to me when I can remember to put in this online order without wandering off because it’s boring. Tonight we are just relaxing, not worrying about stuff and living till the weekend which I’m hoping will be lazy. It’s been just over six weeks since I stopped antidepressants and I’m actually feeling just fine. It’s just over two years since the split with my daughter’s dad and I feel heeled. A bad day now is not really a bad day when I put my daily grumbles into perspective. No system crashes, no need to hide from my thoughts, I think the damage is fixed, the cracks I papered over today we’re simply tried eyes bags and greasy hair, that’s a hell of a lot better than the broken soul and the cracked mind held together with the “Trust me I’m okay!” Smile that was present only four months ago. The sparkle is back and I’m ready to seize the fun in even the dullest of days. Perhaps this time Tinderella is ready to do this living life to the fullest for real, guess you’ll just have to watch this space…

Mind blown…

Sometimes you just get to a point when you have a serious case of information overload and you need to sit in a darkened room to process everything for a few hours. A bit like the time before the digital age when film was processed in the dark so that nothing else could pollute the film before the developing fluid had done its job and made the information, the image, that the light had burnt in that short few milliseconds of exposure a permanent feature to last forever.

Well today I’m at that point. The film in my head is full, it’s ready to be processed and if anything else gets in there the information is only going to get polluted and the useful information lost. There will be great pictures I need to keep forever, and those awful ones that I wonder how the hell they got there and will need to put aside, then the mediocre almost useful but only in context memories that I should keep just in case.

As a typical ENFP according to the Myers Briggs theory of assessing your personality, I’m an extrovert, looking at the world in an intuitive way, assessing the information through feelings and perceiving the actions I need to take rather than making solid plans. I’m actually a borderline extrovert/introvert, yep an ambivert! This means I flick between the two, so when the info gets all a little bit much I have to shut the doors to my brain and calm it all down before I can communicate again, or I tend to have a bit of a melt down.

Today the information overload hit me at about 11am… actually I think the information overload has been building since Monday, then with little sleep because sometimes I go through cycles of insomnia I haven’t had chance to turn my brain off and give it a good rest. These are the points where I really have to prioritise who I communicate with to make sure I don’t accidentally upset anyone and also cause myself damage in the process.

Here’s where the trouble with tech comes in. We are always contactable because we have mobile phones. I have had to train myself to ignore messages when I am not ready to process that info. But of course with that comes the guilt. Some people just can’t help themselves, they have to check that, last seen or read receipt when actually I’d rather they didn’t!

Luckily you can turn this off now for a lot of things, but it’s a bit obvious when you do. I have learnt not to care. People who know me well will understand and people who don’t will just have to try… perhaps they don’t deserve the privilege of that read receipt anyway…

The benefits of modern day life bring with it their own new issues. There is constant information but perhaps little thought. There’s the ability to contact each other 24/7, documentation of every moment which is great when it’s your baby pictures or that post about the great day out but when it’s your latest mental break down and you write a post, then that’s the bit of documentation that can be used against you. Having been hauled over the coals over something trivial for this by a previous employer I’m very careful about how my social media is connected to my personal thoughts and actions trying to keep my professional life and personal life separate.

I’m not in any way ashamed that my mental state is sometimes a little unstable, I would like to meet a person who doesn’t have that issue. It’s how we project that information and whether we know how to get help when things aren’t quite right. I’m just over a month off my meds now and actually haven’t had a crashing low yet. It’s liberating that I know I’m doing this all myself now and it’s also reassuring to know that I can cope now even when things get stressful.

So the darkened room, well not too dark right now, I’m looking at the ends of today’s August sunshine and reminding myself that sunlight is good for me. But the processing time as I write today’s post is helping me to calm down and sort the spaghetti of thoughts into something more manageable. I’m not going to beat myself up for feeling a little stressed. Today I’ve been dealing with research and development for unknown technology, the tech itself hasn’t been stressful but the need to reassure, answer questions, facilitate communication between people who are not naturally communicative has been a little testing. That and the discovery that my daughter has left her passport with her dad less than a week before we go on her own holiday, meant that slight worry set in. I had been worrying that he may decide to withhold it after my daughter spent a period of six weeks not wanting to see him. So I did what I felt best and called him. This put my mind at rest. Whilst I didn’t think he really would have done that the thought crossed my mind and the worry was hard to put a stop to so calling and sorting it was another thing out of that tangled brain of mine and one less worry to process.

So with issues dealt with mostly and home a bit disorganised today after starting to get things ready for a holiday, I’m deciding to take some time out of it today so I can come back fresh tomorrow. Gone are the days of pushing myself to absolute breaking point, putting every other person’s needs before my own, my daughter is fed and happy having had a nice reuniting hug after her time away with her dad. It’s time now to just let those thoughts process and get them organised and happy again.

It’s good that I’ve learnt to do this and recommend to anyone who asks to take that bit of time to just sit there and do nothing and remember to feel absolutely no guilt at all! When we give our everything all the time, people expect that level of service all the time. Sometimes we need to take that time back for ourselves, because very often the taker wouldn’t even give that a second thought, but sometimes they need to learn to self smooth, because when you’re fixing everyone else, who’s going to fix you? “Learn to fix yourself” is my favourite bit of advice I’ve ever been given. So today I’m processing the memories in my mind of my day, and fixing it good so I’m fully prepared for the next one…