Resilience and Gratitude

Once in a blue moon, life not only decides to throw a bucket of rotten tomatoes at you but also

lobs a barrel of stinky vegetables,
slaps you round the face with not one but several wet fish,
pummels you, as if you’re going 5 rounds with Mike Tyson, who happens to have woken up that morning, on the wrong side of the bed.

In the last two weeks, I’ve only managed to blog twice.  Even if I wanted to blog, which I did, I didn’t have the energy to do so and all the lovely blogs I enjoy reading have been left unvisited.  I’ve not deserted you, my fellow bloggers.

When your kitchen, or should I say, non-existent kitchen has been a building site for nearly a month and you’ve been without a washing machine, you’ve cooked on 2 electric hobs and washed your crockery in the bath, you chuckle and remind yourself that it was a choice to rip out the old, for the new.

When your builders can’t read sodding plans properly… well… then you begin to get a little arsey as you think,

It’s your ‘bleep, bleep, bleep’ job to read measurements correctly!

When a venue you teach at gets flooded because of a burst water main, you have to shrug your shoulders and chalk it up to bad luck, cos, what else can you do, short of hauling sandbags around and trying to dry the floor with your hairdryer?

When you get a call from the District Nurse to say your Mum needs to go into hospital – THIS AFTERNOON – and can you drop everything and come over, which of course you do,
but you end up waiting 4 hours for a promised ambulance, before deciding it’s properly quicker to drive her there yourself,
and eventually after 8 hours in A&E, when you think your patience and sanity is going to snap – saved only by the great humour and smiles of the hospital tea ladies who plied us with tea and biscuits (thank you, thank you, thank you, ladies) –
is your Mum admitted to a ward at 2.15am in the morning…

you do begin to wonder if you’ve got enough oomph left inside you, to get up from having slipped on yet another banana skin, life has cunningly decided to lay in your path.

But of course you do, because human beings are resilient and in the face of illness and things in general going – excuse the expression – slightly ‘t*ts up’, you have to be resilient and strong, take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves and do what is necessary.

And along the way, you learn to savour and cherish

the small steps of improvements,
the kindness of strangers and hospital staff,
the understanding of clients whose sessions you’ve had to cancel,
the immense and I mean IMMENSE tower of strength that your Tall Brown Fox has been; who has gone and will continue to go above and beyond for you,

the bright burst of yellow of the daffodils you see one afternoon, that lifts your spirits.

And the ripples of blogging have also given me much needed boosts in the past two weeks, such as being featured in Links a la Mode.

Then, it was such a lovely surprise when Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots featured me on her weekly Fabulous Friday link party as one of her favourite looks of the previous week.

And Rena acknowledged me in her Blooming Jewelry post.  My Maxi Skirt Goes Biker post from January, where I styled my maxi skirt with a plum jumper, biker jacket and boots, inspired her to style her grey maxi skirt with a plum jumper as she had never previously thought to wear them together.

Thank you ladies.  You can’t begin to know how chuffed that made me feel.  And if you’re scratching your head at the word ‘chuffed’ – it’s a good thing to be!  Like cock-a-hoop, or over the moon.

I’m not mentioning these 3 blogging boosts to blow my own trumpet – heavens no, and that really is meant genuinely.  It’s merely to acknowledge that, at a time when things were feeling decidedly dark and dismal … a bit like this really ….

… I was hugely grateful for the boosts that came my way.  In the grand scheme of things, these may seem small and possibly slightly frivolous and vain things to be boosted by.  I mean, being mentioned in a fellow blogger’s post, is hardly winning the Nobel prize, is it?

and yes, there is a

they did make me smile, when smiling felt very hard to do.  They did make me feel good; just like the time when I was 15 and unexpectedly won a chocolate cake in a school raffle!

Never take those moments for granted; never underestimate them.  Take them wherever you find them, be thankful for them and enjoy them; be it in the gloriousness of nature, in the kindness of people, in laughter, in an arm round a shoulder, in the stroking of a colleague’s dog, in the taste of a juicy steak cooked by someone else’s hand when you’re too tired to cook.

My blogging in the next few weeks will probably continue to be erratic as Mum remains in hospital and Dad needs looking after. But hopefully, I’ll be able to blog here and there, as it’s also important to hold on to the things in life that help us get through the ‘pummelling 5 rounds with Mike Tyson’ times.

And I know my Mum would want that.

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  1. February 7, 2016 / 11:15 pm

    Dealing with hospitals is so trying and time consuming. I hope your Mum is faring better. Good luck with everything!

    • February 8, 2016 / 11:27 am

      Everything takes so long, doesn't it? I think that's the draining part. Thank you Susan, she's getting better.

  2. February 8, 2016 / 4:13 am

    Ugh..Jacqueline…such craziness!! Hang in there and good wishes for your mom! jodie

    • February 8, 2016 / 11:28 am

      Mad, right? And of course it always happens all at once, never spaced out! Thank you Jodie, little by little she's getting better.

  3. February 8, 2016 / 5:07 am

    Slipped on a banana skin or two, or threee and picked herself up, dusted herself off and smiled.
    Bravo! And hugs for this difficult time.
    Xo Jazzy Jack

    • February 8, 2016 / 11:28 am

      Thank you Jazzy, your hug is most welcomed! Yes, dusting myself down and moving on!

  4. February 8, 2016 / 8:45 am

    Sorry you had such a challenging period! I know, whenever it's time to make a room for something new in life… it gets messy, isn't it? I am so happy for you that you've been mentioned and appreciated by fellow bloggers, you so deserve it! Have a wonderful week ahead, lots of hugs!

    • February 8, 2016 / 11:30 am

      It is all a little messy at the moment but I'm trying to ride it rather than fight it, if that makes sense! Thank you for your kind words, Natalia. The sun is shining right now and I'm truly grateful for that. Have a great week too.

  5. February 8, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    So sorry to hear you have had such a rough go of it lately.

    Your attitude and humour will sustain you. Hang on…things will brighten up in the future.



    • February 9, 2016 / 5:23 pm

      Thanks Suzanne. It might be a bumpy ride for a while longer but humour indeed goes a long way to help.

  6. February 8, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    Amen to that sentiment Jacqueline!
    Life can throw a can of sh**t at a giant fan, sometimes but (as you say) be have to appreciate and cherish the small things.
    They are what keeps us sane.
    I send my very best and hope things improve very soon (on all fronts).

  7. February 8, 2016 / 11:48 pm

    sorry to read that you had to manage some nasty happenings, dealing with building works at your kitchen is awful, but the worst is to have to deal with hospitals! even if everybody is very kind!
    wish you go through all those sh*t with attitude! and sending you some hugs!

    • February 9, 2016 / 5:25 pm

      I'm grateful for the hugs! Send 'em my way, do. It's true, hospitals are not the best of places even though everyone has been caring. We're hoping Mum will be able to come home this week.

  8. February 12, 2016 / 1:49 pm

    Oh no 🙁 sorry to read about the last few weeks. I can imagine how it is taking it out of you too. Hoping everything is ok..

    • February 15, 2016 / 10:49 am

      It's been exhausting, if truth be told but Mum came home this weekend so onwards and upwards. Thanks for your thoughts, Claire.

  9. February 14, 2016 / 4:12 pm

    You poor thing. I really feel sorry for you. You do get everything all at once. I would have a fit and shout and curse. Yoga.. where is mindfulness when you need it?
    I hope everything will sort itself out soon (and for the best of course).

    • February 15, 2016 / 10:50 am

      Life often happens like that, doesn't it? Lots of things all at once. I've been doing lots of deep breathing recently! Thanks for your kind words, Greetje.

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