Again, I find myself writing a blog post for the first time in a long time. This time, though, the reason behind the lapse is not laziness or apathy. It’s the complete opposite, in fact. Some weeks ago, I made a conscious decision to take a sabbatical from social media. Here is one of my last Twitter posts:

17 Jun – I’ve decided that with vacation time around the corner and my mood at an all time low, now is a good time to take a sabbatical from Twitter

And this is a copy of an email I sent to my ENTIRE address book on the same day (names have been changed as usual):

Hi All

I’ve had a couple of enquiries about this in the last 24 hours so, thought it probably best to send out a wee email…
I deleted my facebook account. I posted a status saying I was going to and then just did it. I guess it removed my status from people’s timeline when I deleted the account.
I just got fed up with it. And I’m a bit fed up in general, mostly from missing Strawbug and I was beating myself up for checking facebook whilst she’s awake and with me, only to read endless horoscope and mafia games postings (my timeline was full of crap – not from you, i hasten to add – and only now and then did I share messages with people directly)…
Those who know me and love me (i.e. you guys) all have my email address and my phone numbers. So, I decided to revert to “old fashioned” communication (haha, as opposed to “totally ancient” communication – i.e. letter writing!) and start actually talking to people rather than posting a sentence on the internet like a project status report (although, email IS allowed – LOL. one has to wean oneself off gradually!).
Sorry if I sound a a bit grumpy, I am – Strawbug has decided sleep is for wimps and inevitably has ended up in our bed kicking 7 bales of sh*t out of us for the last 2 weeks. So we’re all pretty shattered.
Anyway. I’m trimming back my internet activities, for now, and focusing on the little time I have with my Beloved and Strawbug instead. I hope it will lead to a better work/life/technology balance for us all.
I hope you are all well. We are off on our holibobs for a week, couldn’t have come at a better time!
Speak to you all soon
2 days earlier, I posted this on my Facebook page (which is my actual account linked to my family and friends, not for my pen name):

15 Jun – I’ve decided to close down my facebook account… But you can contact me in the future by phone or by email. Thanks everyone – stay safe and happy 🙂 xxx

It was the result of what I called at the time, a “mini meltdown”. And, if I’m honest, I would still call it that.

Somewhere between 8th June and the 15th June I became engulfed by a wave of guilt, compounded by a wall of tiredness and a weight of sadness I had only experienced once before.

As a person who has suffered from medical depression (not just the kind that a bottle of wine and a giggle with the girls will cure, but the kind where you can’t sleep, or get out of bed, you can’t look at anyone, speak one word or eat a morsel of food and genuinely want it all to end) I was relieved to find that I consciously recognised that I was at a crossroads. One of the paths led to ending it all and the other, well, I wasn’t sure where that path lead, but my heart and my mind were telling me that it had to be better than the path I had travelled before.

So, I (very swiftly) cut out the distractions and tried to re-focus on my priorities. I have logged in to Twitter once since I started my sabbatical, to respond to a kind message from a kind Twitterer asking if I was OK. And I haven’t been back to Facebook at all. As you can tell, until now, I haven’t blogged either.

Although I still use email and text a lot, I call people more often than I used to. It’s quicker and easier to mail/text but it’s so much nicer to talk. I make a conscious effort to be “present” when I’m with my baby Girl and make the most of the little time that we have together. And my Beloved and I are also trying very hard to communicate and connect more often and more deeply. More difficult than it sounds, with a full time job and an almost 1 year old! We’re still tired, but the quality of our family time is really improving.

The biggest effect my sabbatical has had, is that it has given me time to think long and hard about my priorities, my needs and my wants. And I have come to the conclusion that I can do without the iPhone 5, I can do without the 6 weekly hair highlights and I can do without the 5* luxury breaks if it means I get to spend more time with Strawbug. So, in a couple of months, I’ll hopefully be working part time. Maybe even as little as 3 days per week. And for the remaining 4 days I’ll be a “present” Mummy and a housewife and I can’t wait! My “thinking” (in part, thanks to the recent local riots) has even gone as far as ruminating about moving to an entirely different country where Strawbug can grow up to value knowledge, culture, health and morality over gadgets, trainers, handbags and size zero bodies. But that’s for another time. I’m still mulling it over.

Am I evolving? or am I revolving? Either way, I don’t really care. The net result is bliss.


Sleep, Glorious Sleep

Phew! What a week!

I had my first really “critical” day at work on Monday with back to back “important” meetings – all the time feeling quite flu-ey and run down. I was set my first short, highly visible and business critical deadline since my return and I was nervous about colleagues thinking I couldn’t cut it anymore.

Then on Monday night the brothers grimm showed up for a 24 hour visit (I came down with a tummy bug), which completely wiped me out. On Tuesday night, my little Strawbug hardly slept because she was really miserable (and therefore, neither did we). We couldn’t work out what was wrong with her, poor wee scone.

On Wednesday I was playing catch up to hit my close of business deadline but pushed myself so hard I passed out about 2pm then was awoken by the nursery calling to say Strawbug still wasn’t right and could I come pick her up. Well, that was my deadline out of the window and down the lane!

On Wednesday night Strawbug and I slept in the big bed whilst my beloved slept on the sofa. He had to be up at silly o’clock on Thursday for a gargantuan round trip drive to the shortest meeting in history… (honestly, some Company decisions really do not make any sense at all.) And we weren’t really sleeping, more just cuddling all night because she just wouldn’t let go of me. Still miserable. Still couldn’t work out what was up.

Yesterday, we both felt a bit brighter in the morning, so off she went to nursery and off I went to work. Still playing catch up… but managed to get all my actions completed only half a day late. Go me!!

Strawbug on the other hand, decided yesterday was a day of rest and slept for nearly 4.5 hours at nursery. I wasn’t holding out much hope for last night I can tell you. And then the strangest thing happened…

My beloved got home about 9:30pm. “How has she been?” he asked. “Well”, I said… “she had lots of sleep today and then fell asleep at 7″… I wasn’t even sure I wanted to say the next bit out loud for fear of jinxing the situation but I did… “She hasn’t stirred once. I haven’t even had to put her dummy in”. Highly unusual.

So we lay there, each of us with one eye open, waiting… And nothing. She didn’t stir. Not once. Until 1am, for some milk. After which she promptly went back to sleep. And we lay there for a bit, each of us with one eye open, waiting… And nothing. She didn’t stir. Not once. Until 6:45, when she woke up singing and talking away to her teddy bears.

I can’ stop smiling. I feel like a whole new woman! I’m sure it was a fluke, a one off, a blip on the monitor. But I have to say it was a blip I needed this week. Sleep, Glorious Sleep, how I’ve missed you!

Home Sweet Home

Earlier I tweeted this: “I LOVE my home! Just love it! Love coming home to it. Love being in it. Just love it. Love it. Love it.” A slightly random statement to make and I was (only a little) surprised when the thought entered my head. But it did. Randomly. And the feeling that accompanied the thought was so strong, I just felt I had to share it.

Let me be clear. I’m not talking about my house; the bricks and mortar, about the colour of the paint (well, maybe the colour of the paint in the box room, for which I spent years trying to find a match to the prefect shade that was in my mind’s eye!). I’m not talking about the things in it, though I suppose those things help make it what it is. I’m not even sure if it’s the people who live there (namely myself, my Beloved and my litttle cat) because I feel it even more when it’s empty and quiet.

My home is not my castle, it’s my Sanctuary. As soon as I walk in and close the door behind me I feel as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I take a deep breath and start to relax, warm up, cool down, whatever it is I’m looking for; I find it here.

I’m also acutely aware that I’m extremely lucky to have a roof over my head, let alone a safe place of Sanctuary. And I genuinely thank God/Mother Nature/The Stars/Whoever is listening on a regular basis for the priviledge.

I hope that you have a Sanctuary, whether it’s your home or somewhere else. And for those who aren’t lucky enough to feel safe in their homes, or don’t have a roof over their heads, I will keep you in my thoughts and do what I can to make the world a safer place.

Tell Me Why I Don’t Like Mondays?

Yesterday was a pretty bad day. One of the worst Mondays I’ve had in a while. You’ll not be surprised to hear that I’m not a huge fan of Mondays… given recent posts on what I’d rather be doing. Would it be fair to say that most of us feel the same way?

I know I’m supposed to experience every day to the fullest and not live for the weekend. But when I tell you about my day yesterday maybe you’ll empathise just a little.

I woke up with chronic piercing pain behind my right eye and feeling a bit queasy (migraine, I think). I’d run out of migraine tablets and only had paracetemol to hand ~ which for someone who has been used to taking head pills that could put a horse to sleep, is like taking a couple of peanut M&M’s to deal with the problem. I was also running late (no surprise there!). Thankfully my beloved was working from home so had made me some nice sweet tea and gave me a lift to the station.

By the time I’d got to the office the pain had died down a bit. I logged in to find I’d invited some trouble into my work life, almost unintentionally but not quite. Result of which could be a few weeks of discomfort or no discomfort at all due to me sitting at home on the sofa having lost my job! I wait with baited breath for that outcome!!

Through the course of the afternoon, my beloved and I managed to have a spat by text message ~ poor phone was quivering under the pneumatic power of my index finger. Wasn’t even worth spatting about, I think I’d just had enough for one day.

Last but not least, I left the office bang on time, determined to get the hell out of Dodge and drag my sorry ass home. As I ran onto the platform the train was pulling out and the next one was cancelled. I waited 35 minutes in the cold listening to Michael and his ghouls, praying they would lift me out of my day of hell. Didn’t work, not this time.

My thanks go out to my friend in Mallorca who (unknowingly) got me through some of it with a story about a new Lap Dancing club which has opened on the placa of her sleepy, traditional hillside village!! And to my beloved who drew me a bubble bath when I finally got home, cooked me a lovely dinner and let me go to bed at 9pm to sleep off my sore head. Despite the day from hell, I really do have a lot to be thankful for.