Book Club

I’ve been inspired to pick up a book and read (an actual book with actual paper pages). Strangely, I’ve been inspired almost exactly at the same time from two different sources. Firstly, there was my Twitter buddy (@billy_mccallum), who’s been reading War and Peace and tweeting a synopsis of the plot lines as he goes. I never thought I could read a book as long as War and Peace, but his ingenuity with 140 characters makes the story seem very accessible. And then a suggestion from my Beloved, to turn off the TV for one night per week, turn on some relaxing music, read and talk. He’d picked up on something I’d mentioned in the passing about wanting to read more. How thoughtful!

So, I’ve started reading. As has my Beloved. Not War and Peace, but a fairly lengthy tale, and one that I have read before. A story that I love. In fact, I would probably say it’s my favourite book of all time (so far – I don’t read that much). The Count of Monte Cristo. The original (though, I’m sure even it is based on another original) tale of love, loss and rebirth. And I’m tweeting my synopsis (though not nearly as amusingly as Billy.)

Bear with me, whilst I digress a little… Another little hobby that I’ve been working on recently, is developing my family tree (more of that in another blog). The information that I am coming across is fascinating. But what really strikes me a general realisation about the world and human nature.

The story in the book, the stories I have discovered in my Family Tree and the stories I have lived in my own life, can all be threaded together by similar themes. Young love, loss, greed, lust, injustice, unrequited love, “illegitimate” children, “living in sin”, birth, death, relationship breakdown, mental illness… the list goes on and on…

But despite ideas held firm by my parents and grandparents, of things being different or better in the “Good Old Days”. They were just the same. Because fundamentally, human nature has not changed much over the last few centuries. And every generation lives through the same trials and tribulations, the same highs and lows. That’s life.

And that’s one of the wonderful facets of books. Some books offer escape, some knowledge. And many offer re-assurance that we are not alone, that someone else has walked this path before us and survived.

Another year has gone by, and what have I learned?

Today is my birthday. I’m not looking for felicitations but (as it does for many in my stage of life) today, my train of thought has hurtled out of the station and is racing to an unknown destination.

My birthday used to be a REALLY BIG deal to me. And I’ve blogged about this before. It was my one day in the year where I got to be the centre of attention (in reality, I was quite the attention seeker and so managed to manoeuvre myself to the centre on quite a lot of days). But fairytale dreams of Prince Charming, lavish gifts and generally just being adored, built up horrendously unachievable expectations in my mind (Damn you Disney/Hollywood RomComs!).

I have no expectations this year, in fact I can’t even be bothered celebrating. I told my Beloved in advance I was going to “save it up” for next year – the big 4.0. (Not really sure what “it” is – I guess it’s any amount of energy I can muster…) I also told him that I wanted 2 things for my birthday – 1) space, time all on my own and 2) a shower. I should really have added a full night’s sleep to the birthday list but I’d have to actually decant to another house to get that so, it seemed more than a tad selfish.

So, I’m sitting here feeling fresher than a daisy, alone, writing, with music playing loud and not another human being in sight. Bliss!

Don’t get me wrong – in about an hour, I’ll be bored. I’ll be glued to NurseryCam and texting my Beloved telling him I miss him like crazy and what’s his expected ETA. (Tempramental – I know. It’s just one of a long list of adjectives on the list of words that, I have come to realise, describe me to a tee :-)) 

But for now, I’m enjoying the peace and quiet and I wouldn’t swap it for an Omega watch even if you paid me. Because I don’t need the Hollywood dream anymore. I am happier than I ever imagined I could be. And it’s all because of 3 things;

1) Family – My Beloved, my 2 beautiful babies, my Parents, my siblings;
2) Friends – I don’t have a wide network of friends but I have a few close ones that reciprocate the love and trust I have for them and
3) Security – I feel secure. Not because I have millions in the bank (no where near it). Not because I have a fancy house with state of the art alarm systems. But because I feel loved. Truly loved. And I am finally beginning to understand who I am and accepting myself for who I am. And that has only been possible because I have 1) and 2) above.

How times have changed.

*The train of thought has now reached it’s destination*

A surprising day

It seems I’ve been remiss again, when it comes to regular blog posting. As ever, never enough hours in the day and still trying to find a yoga class that fits the schedule.

Yesterday was a weird day.

My baby boy was back in hospital for yet another test. Let me give you some background; when he was 10 days old he was hospitalised due to a dangerously high temperature. The Doctors knew it was an infection but could only find out what kind by performing multiple tests. Standard procedure dictates that they treat for the worst case scenario until they can rule it out. This is because in a baby that young, every second counts and they don’t want to leave anything to chance. Worst case scenario, by the way, is the big M (meningitis).

Long story short; lots of needles, tubes, invasive testing and 5 days later we had confirmation that it was a urine infection. They sent us home with prophylactic antibiotics and the understanding that they would follow up and check for any damage in 6 months.

Cut to present day. Follow up began a month ago. Urine infections in boys are not do common. in 10 day olds, very rare. So, the Doctors are keen to ensure there are no underlying issues. He’s had ultrasounds, x-rays, tubes, needles and scans – one of which sounded like there was a distinct possibility that he was undergoing the same process as Bruce Banner. And throughout it all, with a few understandable exceptions, he has remained his smiley, giggly, happy little self.

Yesterday, he was very brave. More brave than we were as usual. The process seemed easier. I can’t praise the staff at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital enough. They seemed to put us all at ease without us really noticing.

So, we had expected a traumatic day and in the end it was just uncomfortable for 20 minutes. And then an unexpected opportunity presented itself. Well, Grandma presented it.

She had changed her shift to finish earlier in case we needed her. And when we didn’t, she came over anyway. She helped settle the kids and stayed a while, sending us out into the night on our own for a little while.

So, we had a proper meal for the first time in ages. A glass of wine and a giggle. We talked about the old days and how good they were. And how, despite having not had a full nights sleep in months, having to juggle full time jobs, 2 kids under 3 and multiple hospital appointments – these are BEST days. Just what we needed.

Thank you Peanut, for being a force for positivity. And thank you Mum. Just thank you. Your love and support are infinite and unconditional. If I can be half the mother to my children that you are to me, I’ll be doing OK 🙂