Nobody can place a value on our memories of our loved ones and the times we spend with our families and friends everyday are moments that instantly become memories. I’ve seen recent adverts emphasising how we don’t print photos like we use to. This is completely true.
I remember opening wallet after wallet of photographs with my mum when I was younger, after every holiday I would become so excited. We would make a trip to Johnson’s the chemist to develop our recently taken snaps, and I remember having to wait a day or two for them to be developed, waiting with excitement to see the pictures from our holidays with great anticipation.
Remembering the little black tub with the film in for the lady or man behind the counter to develop. When they were finally ready I wouldn’t get as far as the square outside the shop and to a bench to sit down before pining to see them. “Mum, Mum, can I look at them now????”
We had the best holidays and the photos brought the last week or two and all the fun we had had back to me. These memories and the photos we have in albums have become even more precious and I am so pleased I have kept every single photo in a box or album. What I am also extremely thankful for our all the dozens of albums my parents made up of photos from mine and my brother’s early years. Times that I don’t remember but that photographs portray as times and events that my Mum and Dad can look back on and I can treasure. The reality in glossy Kodak photograph paper of my wonderful family and friends.
I never tire of looking back over these moments and often venture up to my Grandparents back bedroom to look at all the memories made in my Grandma and Grandad’s back garden and in the cow field falling in cow pat. Awesome times and wouldn’t change a thing. Photos, memories we simply recollect in conservation and pictures we share on Instagram and Facebook all hold so much value in our lives. After all life is so fragile and so easy to let slip by in everyday routine.
If you can take stock, take a photo, love, love and laugh.
Is it just me or does anyone else start their day not wanting to communicate with anyone whatsoever? I do now more and more often and not because I don’t love conversations with my husband, his simple but loving sentiments such as “are you ok? Did you sleep well? Love you, have a good day!” and so on and so forth. But simply because silence offers me the chance to respond to my own thoughts before anyone else’s. A chance to be selfish, to have a brew and a bowl of Rice Krispies before officially and coherently having to address the day…. I’m not a Mum yet but I feel that I am retaining now a sense of pre-motherhood life. A life where I can still go to the bathroom in peace and come home and my bedtime reading isn’t a parenting manual. I value my own me time as equally as my time with my Husband. Time by myself or being somewhere for me helps me maintain a sense of my own identity. I know that motherhood is a blessing which may or may not come my way so as much as I’m hoping I’m blessed with a little one I don’t want to let my wonderful blessed life become tainted by worries. I’ve learnt at the end of it all we can’t control everything. Sometimes we have to simply let God’s will work in our lives and respond to his calling for us. Like millions of others who have a role which requires working with others, jumping out of bed to actively become a multi-tasking, jolly smiley person isn’t always easy. Becoming a Monday loving human being doesn’t come as easily as you get older. Starting a day knowing for the next 8 to 12 hours your thoughts and needs are going to be so insignificant that you may not be able to pee for up to an hour or even 2 because everyone else wants your attention. And as much as you would have loved to have snoozed the alarm one more time. As tired and irritated as you may feel deep inside for the first 20 minutes of your day, the desire to take on the day is still there, you have lifted your head off the pillow and seized the day. My day to day job like many requires my heart and soul. Without energy and enthusiasm I would be a half-hearted nursery practitioner and that isn’t fair on the little ones who need me to be smiley with my arms wide open to embrace their needs.
I have several roles in my abundantly blessed life. I am a daughter and as equally a wife then I leave my home life and put my nursery practitioner hat on. One which I have worn for a dozen years and still fills me with gratitude and pride. I am thirdly a friend to others. I aim regardless of my immediate lack of energy for life at 5.30 most mornings to give myself to others and love the life I have been gifted. Family, friends and my faith in God are my everything and they fill me with the zest for life that gets me through days and helps me muster energy when I feel drained. I won’t change my approach to my mornings because I feel like I’ve achieved a happy medium. I wake up grouchy and hungry sometimes but still full of love and that love and desire to give and be there for others is immediate. I love my life. Love and faith is what has got me through and what will continue to get me through.
During my late teens and early twenties I would see my own interests and opinions of being the most influential. If I knew I could do something I would want to fight tooth and nail to make it a reality even if the decision I was making was hap dash, hasty and made with no thought for the long-term affects.
My acts would not necessarily be the correct or most appropriate response to a situation.
However, during my mid to late twenties this all changed, life experiences changed my entire outlook on the world of what was important and who was important. I discovered that I am not the centre of my universe. My behaviour even if it’s desirable won’t influence everyone, it won’t always be worthy of applause, I’m no superwomen.
I no longer aim to be. Instead I want to be the best Leanne I can be. My behaviour should be an influence for the better. I have learned that we should live our lives wanting to make a difference but not for our own accreditation and sense of self worth.
Of course how we feel about ourselves will have an impact often on those we spend the most time with so of course it is important that we conduct ourselves appropriately in different social situations. In the nature of my work my influence needs to be a positive one. A decision I make should be the correct one which will make a difference for the better and for the benefit of others.
Mistakes are allowed to be made but as my responsibilities grow I have began to grow with them. As my circumstances change I have begun to reassess my impact and my role and influence in other people’s lives. I am more prepared now for my faults to be addressed and to learn from and develop from others guidance. I am more confident that I will take on board the opinions of others and want to use their views to make a positive change and learn.
I’m excited for the future for my hopes and my abilities to achieve my aspirations. I have developed such admiration and love for people who I have known for just a matter of years in some instances. Of course my love for my family and friends grows ever stronger and each and everyday I wake up thankful for all God has blessed me with. I have a faith I have held on to through the darkest of times and I have hope for the future. I want to continue to strengthen in character and give the very best of me, a Leanne who sees the good in others and seizes every opportunity handed to me to give my everything in everything I do.
Life has dealt me some tough times, times that have caused me to feel weak, defenceless and quite frankly a let down to myself and my loved ones, but the same times have caused me to reassess and take stock. I wouldn’t be as strong and as determined as I am today if it wasn’t for the times that have caused pain and taken me out of my comfort zone. I’m less fearful of the future because I have know how resilient I am and how much myself and my family can deal with. This is very much down to trust and faith that God has a plan for each of us and he protects us through all of life’s storms.
So today I feel proud of myself and of my family and friends. I feel thankful for those who have taught me lessons, have helped me to find myself and seen the best in me and the worse and still loved me. So now I want to live my life making the best choices which haven’t been simply for my own good or in the interest of me. I want them to benefit those I love and care for but also those I don’t know. Loving thy neighbour and seeing the blessings God has given me and my family. Finally I want to thank God for my gifts and the ways I can use them to benefit others.
Sometimes we don’t feel quite as strong as at other times, I’ve learnt it’s ok not to be ok and it’s healthy to stop in the hectic ness of everyday routine and take stock of your emotions, make time for yourself your feelings, worries and anxieties and set realistic goals so you can feel you’re making progress and healing. So often we make feel an obligation to be strong, to be brave, put on a front and mask the pain and uncertainty we may feel when we wake each morning and have to face a day. Each of us go through a drastic change in our life at some point some more frequently than others. No one person or families ordeal is the same and we shouldn’t feel that we should put ourselves in their shoes they wouldn’t want you to go through the pain with you because they feel guilty enough without making it consume another’s emotions and life. Just one event or change in circumstance can change your life for life, whatever change in life we are going through we are dealing with at our own speed in our own way and the journey we make in dealing with these experiences and the involuntary impact they have on us.
If anyone sees any similarities in coping mechanisms after loss as me they may be feeling a combination of guilt, regret and remorse… guilt for still living and giving life and happiness a go, regret for not being able to go back and make changes, say the words of love and compassion you failed to say, or unsay the harsh words or enter in to the final argument or disagreement you had. Resentment and regret for what was said or left unsaid in those final occasions together are only natural… these feelings will cause anger and fear for the future state of yours and your family’s existence. However from my own experience you will find that a natural progression through loss is a gradual realisation that through a narrow gloomy tunnel of sorrow a beacon of hope will emerge and in time overcome the darkness. My loved ones would want me to live, love and laugh again. I hope in time that all those who are reading this take some reassurance from my words and find comfort in their memories and loved ones.
When you get to a stage in the here and now when you can look at your life and all your achievements even at the most testing of times and be thankful for everything that you have that’s when you know you are content with life as it is in the here and now. Being able to be satisfied for all that you achieve in your day knowing that you give the best of all your time and energy. After all life is a gift that’s why it is called the present, that isn’t to say You don’t want to achieve more it’s saying that You value the person You are at this moment in time, that in spite of anything you feel you don’t have you are appreciative of everything you do have.
You have set out goals for today and the weeks to come. Your strengths are set to make you the best you can be. By all means be a little hard on yourself but for the purpose of becoming a stronger more defined you who only wants to turn negatives in to positives and weaknesses in to strengths, flaws one might call them as an opportunity to better yourself and for making you see where You can become a better version of the yourself that is when you know that you are content with where you are in your life, all that you have in your life and and love everyone who makes your life all that it is!
That may be former friends who have taught you lessons and family and friends who teach you the true meaning of loyalty, love, respect and care for each other everyday.
I am finally in that place after 12 years of adult, working life and fully see now the value of every single moment I am alive and breathing. I will have down times when I want to give up and burst in to tears but at those moments I will do my best, pinch myself a little harder and give myself that bigger nudge to be the best Leanne I can be.
It’s been a fair few weeks since I last blogged and in that time I’ve been processing a combination of feelings… from moments of absoloute joy to times when I’ve felt low, sad and wallowing in self-doubt. I know full well though my life is full of blessings and I’m surrounded by so many people who love and care for me. However feelings of self-doubt, inadequecy and uncertainty about whether I am capable of achieving my aspirations have led to days when it takes twice as long to motivate myself and show appreciation. This doesn’t fill me with pride because I have been through tougher times. But we all have to work through our feelings in the hope that us dealing with them head on helps us to make steps forward to become happier and more appreciative of what we have and our resilience to deal with everything life throws at us. However I’m coming out the other side after a good three weeks or so weeks of positive outcomes has led me to lots of positive thinking and changed my whole mind set.
I’m my most content and secure when I’m surrounded by those who know me and my potential, those who regardless of the mistakes I make know how hard I try. For me this isn’t self-pitying behaviour. I work through these feelings in the hope the result is that I approach my days more positively and resourcefully. I’m finally getting back on an even footing and I have so much to reflect on and be thankful for. I’m blessed and I want everyone who matters to me to know how much I value them.
It’s time to stop being afraid of what could go wrong and and start being excited for what could go right. Life is all about grabbing chances!