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Another 2 weeks have passed, Lockdown is in full swing, Christmas seems like 3 years ago and Half Term is coming!
I took a few days to contemplate and mull over the content of this particular blog. Previously, I have sat down with my notes and wondered what I’m doing and how to go about it, and then all of a sudden it flows and I manage to pull the cat out of the bag.
This time it was more difficult to write. I spilt paint on my notes (I know, it’s almost as bad as “the dog ate my homework”) and I’m struggling. The kids are struggling. With everything. How was I to write a blog about playing the harp when I was only just managing to get through the day. If I’m painfully honest, I still sat there at the end of the day feeling miserable, like I was letting my children down and I hadn’t accomplished anything.
Everything I had to do, work, schooling, household chores and finances…it all felt like I should be accomplishing these with ease. I do most of this day to day anyway right?! Other people have hardships that are a distant memory for me now. Other people have so much more to deal with: working in public places, loss of a job, loss of family and friends. So how can I sit here struggling to cope in sight of this? Well, the answer, I came to realise, is I have to accept that I am feeling this way and not to focus on how others are at the moment but to think of my little family unit. I needed to stop giving myself a hard time and find a solution. So I did. Half term was a week away when I came to this conclusion. I just had to get through this week of relentless Zooms and Science to be able to reset.
So here it goes, and I promise it’s not all doom and gloom.
It had reached a point where I had to admit to myself I needed a break, so I decided to carry on as best I could, fulfilling as many commitments as possible until half term. I did, just.
It was “Happy Birthday” on the course this week, and this happened to be perfect timing. In a couple of months, I could use this tune. It would be my eldest daughter’s 11th birthday and I now had something to aim for. It may be a simple tune, but with practice I could surprise her with a little mini-concert. Hopefully with more tunes by then too, it would be unique and something special from me to her. This thought alone kept me going. By the end of the week, I had made it, alive, being able to have an unrecognisable (according to the girls), slow and sometimes fuddled version of Happy Birthday. I reckon it was amazing, but there we go, the wannabe The Voice judges had spoken. Maybe it did need more work, but don’t tell them I agree, otherwise I will never hear the end of it!
At last, Friday had come, school work was done and I did a small victory dance after the last Zoom of the week. Picture this, I’m holding the cat, (you have seen her stern look) dancing about, kids laughing at me and eventually joining in, for a maximum of 30 seconds before they realised it was nearly dinner time and they required mum to stop so she could go and cook!
Half term had arrived and I had the time and space to reset and think properly. My plan was to focus on the children, drop everything else. Don’t make plans, just wake up every day and see where the day takes you. So I did. We went for walks, watched movies and had more quality time together.
By the end of the week, it felt like the cloud was finally lifting. I was day by day sorting my to-do list out. It was tough, having to mentally force myself to have the motivation again, even to do the things I love doing.
It’s funny, because after this week, I realised quite quickly that when I have a low period, I somehow forget or put off the things that help me to feel like me. I had stopped working with nature, my faith, my website and the simple everyday self-care things. I forgot to do the very things that had recently changed my path to a more positive person. The things that stopped me looking to the past, helped me look instead to the future and enabled me to be me!
The harp is a good example of this. I have mentioned before how I found it helps me escape from the everyday stresses of life. I’m so anxious at learning something new, but even though I may learn at a slower pace I want to persevere for as long as I can. When I was down I found myself less and less inclined to pick up the harp. It felt like another pressure, another chore to try and fit in.
I had to do something about this, not just about the harp, but about all the things I love doing and now was the time to do it. I was doing it! We were catching up with the housework again, we were getting fresh air and more importantly we were enjoying each other’s company again. The girls improved tremendously and I even picked up the harp, not to start a new lesson but to do anything that took my fancy, from a glissando to Frère Jacques. Anything that came to mind, just to relax and enjoy playing. So, at the end of this fortnight, I have come away with a fresher mind and I still picked up the harp, something I didn’t expect to do.
As I write this, we are awaiting the decision about whether schools go back on the 8th March and I have a new guest. I’m boarding a dog. It will be interesting to see what he makes of this funny stringy thingy!!
Until the next blog, stay safe my friends!