Spidey’s Serene Sunday #415 – Mothers & Daughters

“As is the mother, so is the daughter.”

Ezekiel 16;44

What an apt quote today, after the last week, Spidey.

I took Lil Princess to get a haircut last weekend and had a trim, myself. I took one picture of myself, and for the first time, it really hit me how much I look like my mum!

More occasions this week corroborated the fact, as certain little people kept calling me by the name they use for my mum… innocently saying, “Sorry, but you look so much like her!”

And my brother stated with shock, I think, at how much I resemble or mother now.

That’s not a bad thing.

Each wrinkle and line has developed through the smiles and laughter in my life.

When I look at my mother’s eyes, her love shines through as she smiles, and those little lines around the edges show the depths of her love for us all.

My Mum is a beautiful person, inside and out. It’s an honour to see her so clearly in my reflection. I notice the crinkles at the sides of my eyes, the lines beginning to appear in different places.

I hope that is what others see in me, too.

And, that it is not only the outside that resembles her but what she stands for, inside,

So, Peeps, how closely do you resemble your parents? 😊

Spidey’s Serene Sunday #414 – Smile

“Peace begins with a smile.”

Mother Teresa

What a beautiful quote, Spidey!

I’m all about the smile. That is me.

When I started uni, before we all got to know one another, I was known as ‘that smiley curly-haired girl from Birmingham’.

And, even now, you will rarely see me without a smile on my face. It may be small and contemplative or wide and manic as I navigate through a crazy day with the kids at school, but it is ever-present.

If you see me without one, you know that Ritu is broken, that day. That is very rare.

You see, I firmly believe that just the act of smiling can change the way your emotions are playing out in your mind. You can alter how you feel to a more positive direction with a smile.

And then there is the rest of the world.

I’ve always got a smile for others.

It is funny to see how strangers react, though.

A smile is the most natural form of communication, yet some people think you are a lunatic for smiling at them.

I’m not talking about a big toothy grin beaming its way to them, but just a small upturn of the lips. An acknowledgement, if you will.

A smile has started all manner of little connections in my life.

My favourite one is with John, an older gentleman. As I navigated the aisles in Asda one Saturday morning after dropping Lil Man at his football training many years ago, I passed the same faces as we all crossed each other’s paths multiple times. I’d smile if there was eye contact, but most of the time, most people’s eyes were either scanning shelves or looking down, just getting on with their shopping.

There was one man who beamed back at me every time. And after the third or fourth time, he stopped me. “Excuse me,” he said. “I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but thank you for the smiles. Nowadays, people don’t have the time or inclination to smile, and it makes a pleasant change.”

We would pass each other every Saturday for many months and always stop at some place for a chat. I learned about his adult children and wife, and he asked about my family. He met the kids on the odd shopping trip. One day, he said, “I have something for you!” He pulled out an old photo of a church and said, “You must show this to your son. This was his original school around 400 years ago!”

He asked how to send it to me, so I could show Lil Man. So we ended up Facebook friends, too! Over the next year or so, we would bump into one another and have a catch-up. I learned about his wife being ill, and he supported my blog and book release, too.

Obviously, Covid hit. Shopping trips were few and far between, but we still passed the odd message on Facebook. He lost his wife and has had bouts of illness, but we still stay in touch.

That’s the power of a smile.

So, Peeps, what are your thoughts on smiles? 😊

Spidey’s Serene Sunday #413 – Self Care

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few mintues, including you.”

Anne Lamott

Thanks, Spidey. I think we all need that timely reminder. I’m sure we have used this quote before, but it is such a good one!

There have been days, recently, when I have felt as if I am scraping the barrel to get the enthusiasm and energy required for daily life with a bunch of 4-5-year-olds, and then to deal with home life too. Oh, and as Perimenopause to the mix, along with not being able to get my HRT!

It’s not been easy, I have to say. Without going into details I have to say that sometimes, it feels like going in to work has been the calmest place, and if you have ever worked in the Early Years, you’ll realise the enormity of that confession.

Still, here I am. I’m still functioning. Still doing what I need to do.

I get asked by those of my friends and family who know the ins and outs, how I am coping.

It’s simple. To me, anyway.

There are times when I have to put myself first.

Not selfishly.

But I need to make decisions that will help me get through.

The first is to lessen the unnecessary pressures I put on myself.

I want to write. Sure I do. But with my brain not having the bandwidth to create, right now, I don’t force myself.

If I haven’t cleaned the house from top to bottom, I don’t beat myself up.

If I have had to order a takeaway or stick a ready meal in the oven, so be it.

And the second is to make time, even if it is only a short while, to do the things I love.

So I’ll read (lots, as you know). It may only be for a few minutes a night in the week since I am physically and mentally exhausted from work, but I’ll make up for it on the weekend.

I’m exercising, for me.

I have my weekly soak in the bathtub.

I try to meet with friends, away from the family, once in a while.

I’ll spoil myself with a little gift.

Because I need to feel that I am worth it, too. Only then can I get through everything else.

So, Peeps, what is your favourite form of Self Care?

#SoCS Feb. 4th, 2023 – Perfection

Linda’s SoCS prompt…


Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “perfection.’” Use it any way you like. Enjoy!

Do you strive for perfection?

Always seeking satisfaction
Of that perfect photo
Or the perfect word
The perfect recipe
The perfect song heard...

Or is good enough, enough?
Will it get you by?

Do we need to lower standards
To decrease the pressure
And ease our mental health?

Perfection is a thing of beauty,
When it's presented to us
by Mother Nature

It shows perseverance
If we achieve it
By ourselves

Some things, yes,
They have to be perfect

But some can slide
Don't give yourself the stress

Ritu 2023

Spidey’s Serene Sunday #412 and #JusJoJan the 29th, 2023 – Exercise

We’re doing an amalgamation of posts here today, with Spidey (with his newly spruced-up graphic!), and Linda’s #JusJoJan, together!

Welcome to the daily prompt! Today is your twenty ninth prompt for Just Jot it January 2023, and it’s brought to you by Wendy. Thank you, Wendy! Please be sure to visit Wendy’s blog to read her post and say hello. And follow her while you’re there, if you’re not already.

Linda

Your prompt for JusJoJan, January 29th 2023, is “Exercise.” Use the word “Exercise” any way you’d like. Have fun writing!

“I am wonderwoman!

I wonder where my keys are.

I wonder why I went upstairs

I wonder where my mind has gone

I wonder who will annoy me today.”

The Hot Flush Club

Thanks, Spidey. That quote kinda sums up my life right now.

Perimenopause is a painful thing, my Peeps. I know many of you are experiencing it at the same time as me.

Some have been through it, some are approaching or not near yet, and then there is the other half of the population who don’t know what happens to the women in their lives…

One minute your missus/mum/sister/friend is as she usually is. The next, you have a screaming banshee/blubbing mess standing in front of you, quite possibly fanning herself as she negotiates a hot flush or scratching her skin/unmentionables as the dryness is driving her insane. Or she is looking at you without a clue in the world. Why was she even there? What did she come to say/do?

Welcome to the World of Perimenopause!

Did you know that Menopause – that big word that we have bandied about forever actually only lasts for ONE day?

It is Perimenopause that is the killer, as your body begins to negotiate the withdrawal symptoms of hormones slowly seeping away from your body, rendering you a loon/monster/incapable. (Or none of the above, if you’re lucky.)

Then once you’ve hit a whole year without a bleed… that day, that ONE DAY is Menopause day.

Then you are in Post-Menopause, where you might still feel weird things…

But apparently, nothing is as crazy as that ‘peri’ part.

So I began my initial journey when extreme tiredness was unexplainable, I was snapping at my family, my joints were aching for no reason whatsoever, despite all investigations being undertaken. My weight crept up despite me trying so hard to eat well, and lose it. Sleepless nights, fitful sleep when I got it, cold sweats, and what I now know were hot flushes.

Then I started to feel this brain fog. My thoughts were unclear. And I could not remember the simplest of things, despite being in the middle of a conversation about the same damn thing! It came to a head when I was forgetting the names of the children in my class.

My Boss is brilliant. She is a headteacher who is going through the same right now. I have several colleagues who are too. We spoke at length. And I was convinced to go and speak to the GP.

I did.

And they first tried to send me off with antidepressants. (A common occurrence when misdiagnosis is happening due to GPs not actually having enough knowledge of Perimenopause.) I am the least depressed person around!

But I persevered, and we started our journey with HRT>

Can I say that I am feeling so much better. There are still things that aren’t perfect, but I can remember more, and I feel a little less tired, and that is a good thing.

I take special vitamins, too, and I have embarked upon an exercise routine, set by my son, to help build my core strength, and hopefully feel better all round. And I try and take my 11k steps every day, too.

I am also very open about what I am feeling. As long as my family know what I am going through, they can support me through it, as I support them through their own ups and downs.

It’s a ‘give and take’ game, life. Don’t you think?

So, Peeps, anyone want to share how they have coped with the dreaded Change, whether as a woman, or a male watching someone else go through it?

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