Time to be Cheerful Again

In Preparation

In Preparation

It’s been a while – and I realise the year has almost finished and I have only written TWO full blog posts!

Well what can I say? 2014 has been so incredibly up and so incredibly down. I will say that this is the year that I turned 25, and then turned 30. About 5 years of aging… seems about right? Hopefully it was only mental – having a 54 year old mother who is frequently mistaken for 34 means pressure – I have some very youthful shoes to fill (sexy strappy sandals with a 5″ heel, to be precise). And the only things she credits are: sun block, excercise, and plenty of fruits and vegetables! Thanks Mum. :P

A’s due date is fast approaching. We named her. It is a beautiful name and I will tell you that it begins with the letter A. I worried that I would be falling apart this month but really – I have reached a space. Memories of my pregnancy are filled with joy, so I feel joy when I remember. Memories of my miscarriage and the months following are filled with pain, so I feel pain when remembering. I can feel both emotions fully and completely and still continue to feel and experience what is present, whatever that is. Thoughts of the future… well I have so many scenarios in my head with so many different emotions.

I take care of my health more. I’m more paranoid about pills, herbs and meds. I was never a big drinker of caffeine or alcohol but I have cut down even more now. And I feel kinda weird around 2nd hand smoke – like – the Crazy in me starts to yell out “GETAWAYFROMMEYOUAREKILLINGMYOVARIES” even though my logical brain knows that 2nd hand smoke exposure has been found to be dangerous during pregnancy when experienced daily, I think the number was about 4 packs of 2nd hand smoke a day?? YES I have checked the facts. A couple hours outdoors, around smokers, one day a week, is not going to hurt me or any unborn babies – according to the research.

But generally speaking, I am more paranoid about my health. I spent 25 years with a strong sense of trust in my own body and that suffered a major blow. I question EVERYTHING.

The miscarriage and the months following were the hardest in my life so far. I got a crash course in emotional management. That is: cry 1 hour before work – go to work and go HAM – go home and cry for another hour… or however long I need to for the evening. I actually allocated slots of time for myself to just cry non-stop… I had no idea I had that much control in me but it’s what I had to do, so I did it. Eventually, that daily schedule turned into an every-other-day schedule. Now its more like an evening once or twice a week. There were some adjustments along the road as well. Eventually I had to toughen up for my husband who was also suffering but differently. I’m not saying anything very new here but it should be said nonetheless: two different people in a relationship will react to everything differently. Relationships survive when you understand this fact and do not try to fight it. The emotional consequence of losing a baby can be equally as painful for men as it is for women. Because of our macho culture, men can feel very caught off guard to be feeling such pain after a miscarriage (not that we aren’t caught off guard, it’s just that the emotional pain is a little more expected of us), but for many men it is still there nonetheless. They may not all show it the same ways we do, but it’s still there and it still hurts.

To say work was crazy when I went back after my week off is an understatement! Whether this is coincidence or not – I have no idea. But professionally, I have grown a LOT. Once again – out of necessity, being thrown into the deep end and all. My boss resigned days before I found out I was pregnant and for the next couple months it was all easy and quiet despite being the only employee in my department. Then, somehow, I came back and major presentations and deadlines just APPEARED! I worked a tonne of extra hours that first month in order to take part in my first ever presentation as a professional. I’ve been going to fancy meetings, taking control of several projects… I have crossed several milestones in just 6 months… and I am very impressed with myself. I can even say the same for my husband experiencing the same thing! All this acheived while sorting through so much pain. I actually felt like I was losing my mind through all of this and that is not an exaggeration. Seriously considered going to therapy, however that would have meant taking more time off work as NO ONE makes appointments past 4pm. Plus, that sh*t is EXPENSIVE. Husband and I decided to tough it out with friends and family. Whether we would have benefited from therapy, I don’t know, but we have survived.

The reason why I have named this post “Time to be Cheerful Again” is because finally, I feel like my husband and I are in sync again. I feel so loving towards him and I feel so loved by him. After months of distance between us when neither of us felt much of these things towards each other, I feel so blessed to be back here again. We are not perfect, we never will be, but we work and we are in love again.

My parents and brother are coming to visit in 5 days and I cannot wait. I have missed them more than ever, I just wish my sister was coming too but she has a dissertation to write :P so I understand completely, having been there before!

Praying for health and love through the next step.

A’s Mother.

Being Proud of Your Faith

Over a year ago… Probably around March 2012, I had a friend and her sister in my apartment. The older sister noticed all of the religious decorations that my now Mother In Law had left with us. There was a crucifix, a painting of Jesus, and a few others. This is new to me, but I loved and appreciated the gifts anyway as it really can’t hurt to have pictures of Jesus and Mary in your apartment (going to the kitchen in the middle of the night after reading a scary story feels much safer!!).

Anyway, the older sis noticed all of this and proceeded to question me about my faith. She really wanted me to say that I’m only Catholic because I want to marry my boyfriend. She also talked about how her boyfriend was Catholic growing up, but then his whole family left the church because of the child molestation scandals in the Vatican.

I affirmed that following the faith and the Bible is not the same as following the Vatican, and that although my then boyfriend and his family did teach me a lot and they are very happy about my decision, I was not becoming a superficial Catholic just so that I could marry him. They are not so close minded and I am not that shallow.

She was not convinced.

She then stated “but it is easier, isn’t it?”

I looked away and said “mmhmm.”

Because, duh, it IS easier in one aspect, but it is in no way easier on ME or MY side of the family and is in no way a reason for me to change my religion.

I suck at confrontation. I knew nothing would change her opinion, she only wanted to hear what she wanted, so I gave it to her.

This stuck with me for a good while after because I wish I had something that was somehow more convincing to say. Some of the history of the Vatican is incredibly disgusting and shameful but that didn’t deter me from becoming a Catholic, I just couldn’t find a convincing enough reason to explain why.

Anyway, life went on. I had my Lent experience and later left work and prepared for my move back to the Caribbean.  So much stuff happened but that conversation did stick with me and every now and then I would think about it.

I had spent a week in Egypt that summer as it would be my last time there before my family returned to the UK. I had plenty of time to reflect on how blessed I was to have spent so much time there over the past 6 years while it was still stable-ish. I thought about all of the people there fighting against an oppressive and corrupt government so that they could continue to live eventually in peace in a country that they love. So many people who can say that they are so proud to be Egyptian, but contain a deep desire to change their government that in many instances only works against them.

The same could be said for almost anyone. You could ask a British person “Are you proud to be British?” And the answer would most likely be “Yes!” But then you could ask “Are you proud of David Cameron?” And the answer could very easily (especially in my case) be an emphatic “NO!”

Being British is not the same thing as being a supporter of David Cameron!! No no no! Being American is not the same thing as being a supporter of Bush, Clinton or Obama! It is very easy to be one and not the other.

So why is it that some people must think that if you are proud to be a Catholic then you must also be proud of the Vatican and all of its history? Not true!! Nope nope nope! I do not support any of that scandal, I am disgusted by it.

I hope and pray that those involved in those scandals are brought to justice and dealt with by God. I also hope and pray that Pope Francis can continue to do everything he can to reform the Vatican and spread to the world what the real and true message of Christ is.

You can be proud of your nationality, history and culture without being proud of your government.

You can be proud of being a Catholic without being proud of the Vatican.

I think it is that simple.

God Bless!!

Mrs. :-)

P.S. That said, I am really liking Pope Francis so far!! I hope he continues to do a lot of good representing the Catholic faith just as it should be!

I’m Liking This New Pope :D

Was wondering if I wanted to post anything today, then I saw this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/pope-francis-good-atheists_n_3320757.html

Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics

Thank you Pope Francis, thank you Jesus!

Now I can drop a famous name next time I’m having one of these debates :D

Sincerely

Smileyface :)

My Dark Side Helps Me To Forgive

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…

My Dark Side helps me to forgive.

Or maybe I should say “awareness of My Dark Side helps me to forgive”?

I can’t say I’m an expert, that’s not why I started this blog.

I think forgiveness has layers. If someone wrongs you, you have to choose whether or not you want to retaliate.

Someone may say that choosing not to retaliate may be forgiveness… but is it really?

I would like to describe myself as a generally calm person. In fact, I often do! If I’m having a good day or if I am in a situation where I NEED to appear positive a.k.a. job interviews, meeting new people, bla bla bla… I describe myself as someone who is “calm” and can stay “calm” in many situations.

This doesn’t mean that I won’t walk away and spend the next 3 days plotting my imaginary revenge or re-playing countless witty comebacks or even cat fight techniques that I should have thought of hours/days ago.

That’s right, I am not a calm person. I am VERY passive-aggressive!!

But on the outside, I really do look like I have forgiven the person! I look like an angel. And oh, don’t I wish I was :'( sadface.

And no, in my grown up years I can say that I have never gone out specifically with the intent of acting out revenge on an annoying acquaintance/friend/loved one. But I have on many occasions “slipped out” an action, word, face or whatever to portray that I really am not happy and that if I were a little more gutsy, maybe I would have thrown a real temper tantrum and thrown my dinner plate all over said acquaintance/friend/loved ones face!

One thing leads to another, bing bang boom everyone hates each other and we are all throwing imaginary dinner plates across the room.

SNOWBALL.

I’m making it sound funny, but it’s not. Relationships, families, communities, nations have broken down this way throughout the history of humankind. Sorry if I sound like someones Mother right now but hey, it is what it is.

I often think I am good because I haven’t retaliated, I have shown “forgiveness”.

But in the end it always comes out.

Those darn emotions get the better of me again :-s

So, anyway, My Dark Side had a (few) big snowball fight(s) and I’ve had time to recuperate. It is The Thorn In My Flesh. It is there to keep me from being conceited. It is there to remind me that I am flawed, I am weak, I am imperfect. I am reminded every day that I need to forgive or else I should not expect to be forgiven. I am reminded that this is something we all go through and that this is something we all need.

This helps me to forgive much more wholeheartedly than I ever have before.

The very freeing thing about this which I am sure has been said before is that forgiveness makes love so much easier.

I can’t stress this enough to anyone. It allows you to give knowing that what you get in return may not be immediate or perfect, but that’s O.K. because we all have our Thorns to deal with and you are going to be a part of the process.

I don’t think this is something I would be able to feel or understand without having to deal with my own Dark Side.

So there we go. My Dark Side helps me to forgive.

“…my power is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

A little elaboration for you :-)

Quietly thanking God for this, although not rejoicing just yet. This was a friggin hard lesson to learn and I still can’t get it right as often as I should. SMH!

Yours Thankfully,

Smileyface :-)

Small Victories: Taking My Own Advice

I have this new trick I’ve discovered. It’s fairly simple but it works for me.

I like to think that I am a fairly good advice giver, particularly when it comes to relationships. I give good advice by trying to relate to the various people involved in whatever dilemma is being presented to the person I am advising.

My issue is that I am not very good at taking my own advice.

I know I can’t be the only one!

I get a kind of “fight or flight” adrenaline feeling where I believe I have to do whatever comes to my head first to get away from the situation at hand. This gives me absolutely no time to really think about how I am going to handle anything. All I am looking for is a quick way out whether that is :-

  • Defeat: Agreeing with something I really don’t understand.

or

  • Victory: Fighting until I feel I have “won”.

Dealing with anything in this way leads to a pretty hollow result, and chances are that when I deal with something in these ways it is never really finished. Whatever the issue is, I feel it hovering over my shoulder until My Dark Side decides to jump out again and restart the entire cycle.

So recently when I was presented with one of my own dilemmas to deal with I took a moment and thought to myself “what would I tell someone else to do if they were in my situation?”

Sounds simple, but it actually worked!

This was a few weeks ago, and I can’t remember what the actual dilemma was. All I remember was that after I took a few moments to reflect inwards and take the advice that I would give to someone else in my situation, everything just felt much clearer. I also felt like I had finally overcome a piece of My Dark Side that had been bothering me for a very long time! These are fairly small things, but the end result when coming peacefully out of a dilemma is a feeling of true victory. This brings confidence, an ego-boost, harmony amongst all involved (at least for a little while!) and in this case a few very happy days :-D

The fact that I am a pretty emotional person means that I do really appreciate small victories!

Tillah Willah

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