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Sunset in a field, with the sky shades of blues, pinks, oranges and yellows
Photo taken by @mairead.may
Image description: Sunset in a field, with the sky shades of blues, pinks, oranges and yellows

What am I thinking? I don’t know what to write. My thoughts are even obscure to me. Am I being to personal? Too impersonal? Finding words too distance to capture my mind.

Since the passing of Dad in November, it’s has been an incredible challenge to write any thoughts. It’s as if the craft I known that gives me a sense of solace and releasing nature has somehow faded, as I find it ever harder to form sentences and orchestrate the right words. All feels too out of reach. Too foreign. But here I try to piece together some reflections, some which may be a little disjointed in places.

People say so casually, ‘Life is too short.’ ‘Life is too short’ to self-persuade to make that purchase on them beautifully decorated jeans that you keep day dreaming about. ‘Life is short’ as a bid to talk yourself in to a day off from the daily hustle and just retreat in something that gives pleasure, rather than just doing it anyway. ‘Life is short’ to banish the guilt spindle that your mind plays when you reach the end of a crisp packet. ‘Life is too short’ when you try to put out the fire over the woes you have as you try to look at the bigger picture, or try to convince someone else too to worm your way out of something. ‘Life is too short’ is said in response to just about anything to reduce ambivalence or fear over something.

But life is too short. A snap shot of time that we experience. A period of time that we forget to cherish. A time that its fragility is only made known when we have witnessed the gut-wrenching truth of this once fleeting statement.

As I write this, I wonder what Dad thought of time, how he perceived it, what he would have done differently and what he wished to do. Life and time did not play a kind hand to Dad. From a young man Dad had Multiple Sclerosis, in which consumed more and more of him over time, time that became not his own.
Dad was a proud strong Irish man, a man of the hour: whether that was in his young days and pulling tug of war (I was told that team players were always excited when Dad was in their team as a win was likely a guarantee), or rounding sheep, or, a little late, making our house a home with his initiative mind, or just feeling safe in his arms when I would crawl excitedly over to him, as a child, when he came in from work. It is fair to say that when I went to him panicked that the cover of a favourite book had become detached from its spine, it was a doddle for him fix. A strand of cello tape later and he would say with a proud smile, that he could alleviate that panic I had, “As good as new” as he handed me back my book.

This strong character is something Dad will always be known for by myself, my family and just about everyone who knew him. Time took away a lot of things from Dad, but strength was not one. He would put up the toughest fight no matter what came his way. This is one of things that truly want to honour and keep alive- the sense of focus and determination he had- as I go about my days.

The aftershocks of Dad’s passing will be forever felt, as myself and the rest of my family try to navigate this huge space that has been left. There are so many things I want to say to Dad and will want to in the time before me. Finding comfort in little things has been something so soothing. Comfort in thinking what Dad might I have said. Comfort in thinking about his laugh. Comfort in signs to tell me that he’s nearby , like the sight of white feathers or seeing robins (his favourite birds) or a blue sky or a rainbow or the moon (when I was a child I would always ask him to take me out to see the moon before bed). Comfort in memories and sharing these with others, keeping him forever alive in some way.

Loss is an inconceivable thing and something that will always feel in this vein. It is so very hard to think that I am here writing this post. I guess the thing that I can only say here is that if you are experiencing something similar, of a loss, I hope you can find comfort however small it may be.

XX

Seeing Yourself As Enough

Dear Reader,

Ever get that feeling that you’re not enough? That you’re not doing enough? That what you are right now and who you are is not enough? Well this is something that can honestly feel quite lonely and depletes one’s energy and when in such a mind-set….the hope of this turning round does not seem like a move that can be made. However it’s me who is writing this post and even though I can annoy the crap out of myself being a positive Polly and sometimes just wanting to see the volume of water that is in the glass in whatever damn way (without a psychological explanation being attached to this), it is true that this is not a feeling that is felt by a singular person- it is experienced by many.

It feels like I’ve gone off into the deep end, I didn’t mean to here but fear of not doing enough are thoughts that I have been experiencing of late. Back in May I shared on my social media that I had been experiencing pain as a result of my Cerebral Palsy, which meant I couldn’t do very much at all for a while, and for someone like me who always wants to be a busy bee this was kinda hard. Since then these aches have been on and off depending on how much I’ve been doing. It’s that knowing that I’m not doing, not continually moving forwards, which at these times are my more prominent thoughts, the insistent chatter of what I could be doing clogs up the ol’ mind. Somehow this has more of an importance than it did before. I guess it’s a classic case of when you can’t do something, you want to do things even more with the imagination running wild with ideas. Ohhh how the mind chatters!

Sitting there with all these thoughts was kind of like toying with someone else’s story-it wasn’t I who was living out that day, it was a character I created in my brain. A character with no flaws who navigated a flawless day-ironically, this whole idea is flawed! The thing is by participating in such creativity and building a picture of a person of who you think you should be kind of puts one into self-destruction mode, picking out parts of oneself that aren’t enough, that they should be more focussed- basically berating anything that makes one human-the mistakes, the getting things wrong, the going at a different pace to everyone else, the not living up to expectations people or even you had of yourself … the list is endless. All this obsession over what you think you don’t measure up to will only make you feel worse.

I do think now more than ever we need to be kind to ourselves as well as each other. This year has thrown everyone sideways in one way or another, yet we can find ways to tear ourselves down and tell ourselves that we should be doing more or that we’re not doing what we should be. There is no ‘right’ way to think, but if we just found a way not to be too harsh or expect too much of ourselves and be a bit more gentle maybe we would start to feel a little lighter in a world that already seems so heavy. I guess what I want to say is that it’s okay if you are not where you thought you would be, focus on where you are and the pathways that could lead from there. It goes without saying that everyone will experience peaks and trots and just because you find yourself at a low, up against a challenge, facing a flare up, it does not mean you can’t get back or that it will be like this forever. I am saying this to you as well as myself, do not let these not so great days define who you are.

There’s that saying ride the wave. Although this can seem like a fleeting statement, it actually does have some merit-stay with me here. Instead of fighting what you are experiencing and burying yourself down some dark rabbit hole, I started to realise, when I had to take a break from things that rather than focusing on whether or not I was measuring up to being enough or trying to justify to myself as to why I was not doing thing, I started think about how just resting and being more present could just help the future me: if I rest now, I’ll be able to do more later.

All my love XX

Reframing Disability

✨? And don’t be made to think differently.

Happy Magic Monday My Fabulous Ones?✨

Image description: words on a yellow-green cut out piece of paper that reads “A disability is something that you have, it is not you.” The paper is placed on a pink and green background

Stop Hiding!!

? Happy Magic Monday my Fabulous Ones?

There’s a saying never be afraid who you are. I for one am a huge advocate of this. There was a time when I would ask “ Can you not get my wheelchair in the photo?” But really what is there to hide? Why should I hide apart of myself? Why should I fear the behaviours of others?

Ignoring apart of myself will only lead to misery, to fixate on a unhealthy desire to be someone that I’m not destined to be and really who I don’t want to be. The thing is this hiding thing came really from a place of wanting rather the needing ??‍♀️ and who honestly wants to hide?-unless you eat the last sweet in the packet and you feel all eyes glare at you ??

So for the last few years I have dropped this want to hide and have allowed my wheels to be seen …and they do also say give credit whet credit is due and my chariot really does need this after all where she have taken me!

Let us not be afraid of who we are, let’s try to acknowledge all parts of ourselves . If we just try and not let those naysayers pollute our perception and force us to believe that we “should” be a certain way. Would we really want to be around these people?

Show of them beautiful peacock feathers and don’t be afraid in doing this … and just a heads up make sure no one is around as you devour the last sweet ??????

[Image description: Rebecca is sitting in her wheelchair. Rebecca is smiling at the camera. Behind her is a grass area ]

Stay in your own lane

?✨ Hhhaaappy Magic Monday MyFabulous Ones ✨?

Live life how you want and don’t be held back from doing this?? No one is living your life but YOU! Free yourself child ?????

This wonderful illustration is by @helloitskayley ?

Be bold. Be you

✨?✨ Happy Magic Monday my Fabulous Ones ✨?✨

Just an important reminder today to keep doing things for you, without the need to impress or hide behind this ? Be bold, be you ❤️

Illustration by @naturallifez?

You are important !!

✨?✨Happy Magic Monday my Fabulous Ones ✨?✨

This is your reminder courtesy of the wonderful @littlearthlings that you, yes YOU, are important? You are loved and make the world sooo much brighter ???? May you have a sun shiny day, all my love ?✨??

Create your own rules

✨? Happy Magic Monday My Fabulous Ones?✨

This is a little reminder from the brilliant @wonder_doodles to step out of conventions and do things our way ? This illustration also speaks to the child in me who was aways told to “Choose the colours for your picture “ rather than letting me just go ahead and colour ( my shaky hands would mean my colouring would over flow the lines, which did not go down well with those looking for ‘perfection ‘) , it goes without saying it took a while to like making art again, and it something now that I love!? Never be put off by or be dictated to about how to do or not to do something – make your own rules ????? Thank you @wonder_doodles for this reminder ?

Be Proud of Yourself

✨?✨ Happy Magic Monday my Fabulous Ones ✨?✨

Being proud of ones self is something I continually strive for! It used to be something I would run from and think of all the opposite things… very unhelpful! But now I am working on being proud of myself, it’s a very healthy quality to have!!

Who’s with me? Let’s kick off this week by finding things in ourselves we are proud of!???

Lovely illustration by @littlearthlings

Never Give Up

✨? Happy Magic Monday my Fabulous Ones?✨

This is a reminder from the brilliant @emilycoxhead that you ARE valued in the world. Never ever give up.???✨