Putting ourselves first

Again I am mindful that my blog has been neglected and inactive…how did that happen?

I found myself recently saying at a meeting ‘I run a blog.’ Then realising that I hadn’t actually been on it!!’ A good friend said how she had missed my daily rants and that I was always so good at posting every day, sometimes several times a day. So what has happened to silence the rambler? Life, basically…  busy learning new skills, helping others and gaining continued life experience improving my own life skills and…very sadly  a family bereavement.

Working with the elderly is also very demanding albeit terribly rewarding too and being with people at the end of their life recently has proved a reflective time. As we know when somebody dies we re-evaluate our own life and mortality. Memories of other loved ones we have lost creep back in and whilst it can be upsetting releasing that associated grief is actually a good thing.

To be perfectly honest the family bereavement had affected me deeply – whilst I know from my own training all the stages one has to go through – I found myself stuck emotionally and some days going through the motions…all perfectly normal. In comforting others in the unit (who were also bereaved) my own grief was being shelved…also common.

People come into our lives and some more than others definitely leave their imprint on our hearts.  So here I am returning to making time to do the things that I previously enjoyed and sharing advice and lessons learnt to help others is high on the list. I always know when I am not writing and ranting I am not my true self.

To all those who are recently bereaved it really does get easier as we begin to come to terms and accept that our loved one is no longer ‘with us’ but they remain ‘with us’ and fondly so in our mind and our hearts. Remember our loved ones would want us to carry on doing all the things we enjoy and making the most of our lives. Don’t forget to be honest and tell somebody how you feel and avoid saying ‘fine’ when actually you want to admit you are struggling.

Yesterday I enjoyed some distance Reiki and found myself more energised and had a productive day -so sincere thanks to Papu Jordan.

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Neglected blog…saying goodbye

How on earth did I stop blogging? After such good discipline and never running out of things to say/write?? Was it just the lead up to Christmas madness, family and work commitments? Or was it a frame of mind following a family bereavement?  Normal service is now resumed and yes I have lost to say still….

This week our family said our goodbyes to a very special man who died before Christmas and who had touched so many lives. He was a gentle man and a gentlemen and always showed a keen interest in his family’s lives and shared joy in their achievements.

My great family member’s funeral was a celebration of the things he loved, enjoyed and supported -classical music and Shakespeare sonnets. He had insisted on donations instead of flowers to Help the Heroes which spoke volumes. We left the chapel to ‘Bring me sunshine’ the funny Morcambe and Wise song. This reduced me to tears with fond memories of my mother doing her funny mimic dance of the daft duo and my singing the same song with my beautiful dementia client, also sadly no longer with us.

Attending a funeral obviously makes one reflect on our own lives and the many things we feel we still want to achieve. Best not to have regrets but to insure that even our most difficult or seemingly negative experiences give us an opportunity to learn something new, or find our more about our own character and what we can do to improve our outlook and how we react and interact with others.

Remember: The cost of loving somebody close is of course grief and as I often write we keep them alive in our minds and hearts.

Anti-bullying

I know most people are against any type of bullying but to deny it exists we are all kidding ourselves. Even when schools have strict policies these are not always enforced and this is far often down to the fact the child concerned has been too afraid or embarrassed to tell anybody that they are being bullied.

A while back I donated an article to Innovate My School’s website and for ease of reference and time the link follows – my message and advice still apply.

http://www.innovatemyschool.com/industry-expert-articles/item/1670-how-schools-can-tackle-cyberbullying.html

Children carry the memory and trauma of being bullied right into adulthood and thankfully we are now all talking about it and increasing awareness and have support charities to help our children through the sad experience.

 

 

Curiosity and Positive Attitude

Yesterday’s ‘Times’ featured an interview with the amazing Dr Edith Eger a survivor of Aushwitz  by Ben Hoyle in which her positive attitude towards life is contagious.

She is quoted as saying of her time in the camp ‘they could not touch my spirit’ and similar phrases I often heard my own mother and mentor say. She speaks about prison and freedom  ‘prison is in your own mind and the key is in your pocket.’ Never a truer word said and how we can all apply that to every area of our own lives and challenges we have to face.

She confirms that ‘curiosity saved her’ and curiosity is something we should encourage those around us to apply on a daily basis to improve our perspective and widen our horizons. Talking to new people and taking a different route to work -try something new and feel the benefit. Having a positive attitude can help see us through the darkest of moments life is precious and should be celebrated.

Customer Service

I realise I am an old fashioned girly but I am always impressed when I receive good customer service. Years of working as a quality consultant and researcher excellent service is never wasted on me.

I suspect like many people who work from home office their computer/laptop is their life line and we can’t all be IT experts so when things go wrong it can be very stressful. I am mindful my laptop has seen better days but when it crashed recently I was lucky enough to enlist the help of Shak Khoda from Herts Computer Care based in my village (Redbourn). Shak thinks long term when dealing with his clients and that will always get my vote.

Shak was able to get my laptop up and running and reassure me that all my data was indeed still safe on the hard drive. Not only did he give me great service he also helped me identify the right new laptop to invest in. What I like about Shak is he takes time to talk to you in language that non-IT people can understand, during my visit he gave me  good practical advice. Reminding me to be mindful not to just focus on the data storage but look for a product with reliability, consider the processor, ROM and the hard disk techonology. He also warned me about the pitfalls when purchasing Microsoft Office…to look out for ‘deals’ that are only a trial and/or subscription but to opt for the lifetime 1user option.

I would have no hesitation in recommending his service especially for those self-employed business colleagues who feel vulnerable with little or no IT knowledge -we can’t all be experts in everything. When writing advice articles for entrepreneurs I always recommend to engage the services of experts when necessary…and let’s face it our computer is the  heart of our business so look after it.

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Graduating

I had an amazing day Friday watching my daughter Graduate at Gloucester Cathedral. Obviously I am a very proud parent of all that my own child has achieved but it is great to be part of the educational ceremony and experience all the young minds being congratulated in the presence of their loved ones and of course their lecturers and fellow students.

Watching their excited, and for many, nervous faces as they take part in the procession was magical. It was good to finally meet my own daughter’s lecturers who put so much effort and focus into their respective areas of expertise and genuinely want their students to succeed not only in their degree but in their future careers.

For any students just starting their first year of their chosen degree, my message would be, enjoy the journey, focus but have fun the time will fly past and before you know it…it will be your graduation day too.

Remaining calm and a Mother’s Love

I often write about remaining calm and using one’s intellect rather reacting with our emotions and yesterday I applied this mantra to myself.  Anybody who has attended a First Aid Course will know that if we do not panic but have a course of action we will be able to be of far more use and apply successful first aid treatment.

Somehow I managed to shut my thumb in the car door…the pain was unbelievable and I experienced what we mean when we say ‘my legs just buckled‘. Thankfully, I could hear my Mother’s voice saying, no shouting, ‘concentrate open the car door’ which I did and regained my composure and prevented a more serious injury. I had to drive to pick up my daughter from the station with a throbbing thumb and once home wrapped it in ice. It throbbed for the remainder of the day and I was thankful for the reminder not to panic from my guarding angel.

This is not the first time my amazing mother and mentor has come to my rescue and as we approach her anniversary and the prospect of celebrating a milestone birthday I continue to realise she hasn’t left me completely and she never will.

My kindle book ‘A Mother’s Love’ is available from Amazon

 

Mother-s love (1)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annie-Manning/e/B005XXYJL0