Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Spending Christmas Alone...

I made a massive decision yesterday - I'm not going home for Christmas! This will be the first time I haven't spent Christmas at my parents ever. I had been unsure as to whether I would travel home for the holidays earlier in the year but had eventually decided that it just wouldn't be Christmas without popping home. However I am still feeling really ill and am struggling to keep going so I decided I would be daft to use 2 of my 4 days off travelling just so I could go home for Christmas.

Not just that, I would have to battle with the other communters returning home for Christmas on the trains (which I have done before and is perfectly ok when you feel well but not when you're ill) and then if I did go home I'd feel obliged to meet all my friends and family and I wouldn't get a rest at all. This way I get 4 days to just take it easy and try and get my body to heal itself.

I know my decision doesn't seem very festive - and for the biggest Christmas girl I know this is a shocking decision - but it just makes so much sense and I actually don't feel very Christmassy anyway - not this year :o(

I'm ok with my decision - it makes sense and I am really looking forward to just being able to relax and be quiet and not have to work to timetables and things. I'm also going to be having Christmas dinner alone which suits me fine because the way I've been feeling recently I'm not really gonna want to eat much at all anyway! Saves me feeling guilty about not eating the food someone else has taken the time to prepare!

So all in all it's a good decision - though slightly sad. I knew the day had to come when I spent my first Christmas away from home. I considered doing it a couple of years ago when I went to Germany but decided I really wanted to come home for Christmas. So it's another one of those steps from being little me to grown up me.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Local Craft Groups

Since Cherry's lovely comment on my blog a while back I've been seriously thinking of getting out a bit more. I haven't got that far - due to being so ill - but having looked at all the wonderful craft blogs around I realise that I might like to join a local craft group. I used to enjoy spending time crafting, before uni and other stuff took over my life and it would be nice to both get back into that and meet new friends in my area.

The only problem is I don't know where to look. I've tried googling to no avail and won't get a chance to get into town to the local library for at least a week if not longer (as I'm going home for Christmas next Saturday).

There must be some around - Cambridge can't be without crafters... but as there seems to be a distinct lack of crafting shops around here the only place I can think to look is the local library. I wish I knew Cambridge a little bit better...

Saturday, 16 December 2006

A new friend

I'm going out on Tuesday to meet a new friend I've possibly made - sounds weird huh?

I was online searching for language buddies when I came across a guy who is also new to Cambridge and looking for new people to hang around with (you know what it's like when you move to a new place - it takes a while to make new connections). Anyway this guy is a nursing assistant for child psychiatric patients - sounds right up my street! So we're meeting for a drink and a chat on Tuesday to see if we get on and if so it looks like I might have a new buddy to do things like go to the cinema with! Yay!

I popped into Specsavers to give them my Christmas card today and they were really busy - apparently it's been dead quiet - trust me to go and see my owld workplace when it was hectic!! But it was nice to say hi, if a bit (no, very) weird! And it reminds me I need to text my friend from the other store as we were planning on meeting up weeks ago but cos of my illness we haven't got round to it...

On the topic of illness - I pulled a muscle in my chest yesterday. Not sure whether I did it coughing or picking up a baby off the floor but it certainly hurts to cough today!! I also kept waking up in the night cos of my coughing only to find my right eye was stuck closed... turns out I have caught conjunctivitis from somebody - certainly something I wasn't expecting... but that seems to have improved so impressively during my shopping spree for Christmas pressies today that I am very thankful my body seems to be fighting back with a vengeance!!

So now I'm chilling - recovering from the exhausting shop and thinking I really should tidy my room and display my Christmas cards and put up my fairy lights and some tinsel - really get into the spirit of Christmas somewhat - before it's too late and it's gone...

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Christmas is coming too fast

I am one of the biggest Christmas freaks I know! Seriously, I was telling my dad the other day how my Aunty isn't very ebig on Christmas and his reply was "Well that's cos she's never spent one with you!" lol

I love making and writing Christmas cards, picking out and making gifts for loved ones and wrapping them thinking of how wonderful it will be to see their surprise when they see what Santa's brought them this year. In fcat wrapping gifts must be my most favourite thing of all time - I like it even more than opening my own presents hehe - in fact people usually moan at me cos I take so long opening my gifts cos I just find wrapping paper and ribbon so beautiful and exciting for some reason! Usually my parents and sister give me some of their gifts for people so I can wrap them up - I just love it!!!

However this year, what with the move and the new job and being so ill (yes I'm still ill and it's getting worse *sigh*) I haven't even finished making or writing my cards let alone sent them out yet. And as for pressies - well I'm trying not to think of that right now - gonna have to get a move on!!

I'm sooo far behind normal and yes I know Christmas is more than gifts - but it's the giving that I love and I am running out of time so am finding myself stressing slightly over my timeframe rather than enjoying the advent season. Normally I have most of this sorted come December the 1st - leaving me time to sing carols, decorate the tree and just enjoy myself...

I think Saturday is going to be a very busy day!!

Wednesday, 13 December 2006


After reading the most wonderful news over on Cherry's blog and how it all happened in Vienna I became very reflective about how very long it's been since I really spoke some German. I miss German and reading about the Christmas markets only strengthened my yearning for the days when I used to speak it all day, every day!

So, I went on gumtree, looking for maybe a German community here in Cambridge. No luck on that front - but I did find an advert for a language exchange network where people who want to improve their skills in one language in exchange for support in their own for someone else can advertise what they're looking for.

I was trawling through the adverts thinking "oooh she sounds interesting" and "wow he comes from Berlin - I miss Berlin!!" when I came across one for a guy who is currently living in Scotland and wanted to practise his English in return for help with German. Sounded good to me!

So I added him to my skype - thinking it'd be days before we got chance to chat, if ever...

5 minutes later I'd received a reply from him and we spent the next 3 hours chatting away - all in German... oh am I in heaven or what!!! Even being rudely awoken in the middle of the night by a coughing fit has done nothing to dampen my spirits... and all because I got to speak a little bit of German...

It's amazing what can make you happy, isn't it?!

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Day of reflection

I was gonna call in sick yesterday after having felt ill all weekend - but when I went to call in I found I had no credit on my phone *doh* so ended up working anyway... it was a quiet day and ok but I still felt very sick by the end of it so decided, after much deliberation, to take today off.

I came to this decision after thinking long and hard about pushing myself to keep going and realising that until I loved myself enough to truly take care of myself I would never get better. I have repeated this pattern in so many areas of my life for so many years - self-sabotaging my chances of healing, growing etc - because I am too low in self-worth to actually say "I'm sick, I need a break!"

I came close to it in the summer - I told my family that it really wasn't a case of "if I don't stop soon I will reach breaking point" but rather "I'm at breaking point now, I need to stop!" Of course it didn't happen - and although I have blamed outside circumstances, at the end of the day it is only me who is the cause of this. I am the one who ultimately made the decision to carry on. I was the one who decided leaving home for my sanity's sake was preferable over running myself down even more and feeling even iller.

Of course, I am happy where I am now - on the whole. I am in a job I love (if only I could stop being so ill) and live in a wonderful shared house with two housemates who crack me up constantly! But my health still struggles...

I've always been one to fall ill easily - and for the past decade it's been one thing after another (both big and small). I came to realise, with some help from a friend and some strongly worded truths, that I hid behind my illness. However much I hated to admit this, it was true. I hated being ill, but just as I received love for my academic achievements and associated love and praise with that, I also received love and attention through being ill.

It took me a long time to finally admit (to others and partly to myself) that I self-sabotaged my health for both attention and for a get-out clause. For so many years, when things went wrong I was told "that's ok, you weren't at your best". Or being ill meant I didn't have to go to school and face whatever I didn't want to face. I would even fantasise about being ill or injured just to try and escape things...

And so, even though I am now aware of this pattern of behaviour and am trying to change it, I find myself falling back into the habit sometimes. And my body is a bit slower than my mind.

Right now, I am sure I could heal myself and be much stronger if I didnt' expect to be ill all the time. I would also not create illness (subconsciously) if I could only find enough confidence within myself to know that what I do is good enough.

So, today is a day of reflection...

Monday, 11 December 2006

What kind of Love are you looking for?

Further to my post a few days ago about yearning for love, I had a discussion with a close friend of mine over on Shinin Hearts. When asked what I was truly looking for in a man, my answer gave out a lot of answers to what was actually going on.

We discovered that my dream of Love is actually more one of companionship than of a romantic and passionate relationship. And as such I am actually receiving this companionship in the men in my life. Men to me are companions through and through.

We discussed this further and how I have always imagined love to be much more companionable - someone to talk to, share my dreams with, be financially and emotionally stable with - than passionate and romantic. In fact, we discovered, on reflection of what I was saying, that I actually fear that kind of relationship.

For some reason I have an utter fear of letting go - I can't even let close friends see me cry - or even lose my temper in front of people... so how on earth I expect to let go and let my emotions and sexual responses carry me along in a relationship I do not know...

This has worried me for a while - I have never wanted the beginnings of a relationship - rather the stability of knowing someone well...

But that cannot happen - and has not and will not, I am sure...

So... with this in mind I am currently considering doing something like taking up belly dancing lessons or even just normal dancing lessons, to help me connect with a more passionate side of myself. I've just got to find a class and a bit of courage now...

Saturday, 9 December 2006

To blog or not to blog - that is the question

Although I find writing here on a regular basis very therapeutic I am unsure as to whether I should simply write on my laptop rather than on the web.

I'm unsure of my reasons for blogging to be quite honest... I love reading a variety of blogs and once I had set up my blogs for my writing (which was easier than setting up a good looking website which I had tried before) I decided to set up this one so that at least if I commented on someone's blog I wouldn't be some random, obscure nobody... why the thought of being that bothers me I am not quite sure atm... I am sure I will figure it out with time.

But because of this and the nature of my ramblings I'm not sure whether it's worth keeping the blog going or not. My parents apparently had a look at it the other day and my dad told me I should be really careful what I write here - in particular he was worried about my post on daycare (which I have since deleted from the internet) because he was afraid that I might offend someone and I couldn't be bothered to argue... to be fair the last thing I want to do is offend someone - I only wrote my opinion because it was strong in my mind that day!

So for the time being I am going to keep the blog going, simply because I haven't decided whether to delete it or not and I don't want to have to go through the process of setting it up again if I later decide I want one. Perhaps the way to go is to turn this blog into a themed blog and only post things related to one aspect of my life and journal my random musings on my laptop. I'll have to think a bit more about this one...

Friday, 8 December 2006

Sick again :o(

I am sooo ill... I have had this cold for most of this week and although it has been hard work coping with the long days it hasn't been the worst... until today...

I slept through two alarm clocks somehow and woke up 25 minutes after I should have started work!! And work is an hour away!! So I called in, apologised profusely and assured them I'd be in by the time the late shift started and ran out the door to catch my bus. Only when I got on the bus did I realise I had left my snacks at home so I had no breakfast and no chance to go buy anything for my morning break.

So in my morning break I drank half a cup of tea - which I never drink but I needed something to keep me going... and then finally managed to force down a jacket potato at lunch around 1pm. I then had to work until 6:15 which was a killer... because I really do feel like crap.

My sinuses are clearing but that means I am blowing my nose every 5 minutes and it is making me a bit dizzy - I have a chesty cough and every time I cough I retch and my head shoots with pain, my glands are all swollen and my joints all ache. Add to that the fact that my job involves running between feeding, changing, interacting with and reassuring a room full of 12 babies under the age of 1 - well you can guess how fun my day was!!

My unit leader kept saying "are you sure you're alright?" "You're not your usual self" "You're really poorly, I wish I could make you feel better!" She is a darling and I love her!! She told me that if I still feel ill by Monday to not bother going in. When I replied that I felt bad because I'd already had two days off and have only been there two weeks she told me that if I was worried they might sack me not to be because that ain't gonna happen... does that mean she thinks I'm worth keeping??

Anyway - half the problem with taking time off is that I don't get paid any sick pay. My housemate didn't believe me when I told him this and almost demanded to see my contract lol. It is really crappy - cos I cannot afford to miss work unless I am really ill - like when I couldn't keep anything down and possibly like today...

My housemate keeps telling me to go back to the doctors because there must be something they can do to help boost my immune system - but my uncle has given me a load of herbs to help with that and my experience with the doctors in this area is that they believe there isn't much they can do and we should just keep going... either I've had really rubbish doctors or I'm just not strong enough to say "this is really crap I need help!"

Anyway - all plans I had for the weekend have been scrapped and I'm just gonna spend the time lazing around the house, with hot drinks (made by my housemate - bless him he's a darling) and cuddling a hot water bottle and watching seasonal films! Sounds good!

Thursday, 7 December 2006

Will I ever find love?

I am so goshdarn broody it isn't fair!! I've been broody on and off since I was about 10 but working with the babies has just upped the intensity yet another notch! I knew working with them would do one of two things - make me broodier or put me off having my own kids lol - I'm very glad the first one happened - but it's a bit of a pain...

I can't be broody - it's not fair, because I have no way of acting upon this instinctual urge, what with no man in tow (or even on the horizon). I got quite philosophical about it on the bus to work yesterday, actually.

The thing is - I've never been in a relationship. Not really. I don't consider the "online relationship" I had with a boy at 16 one - as we never met and it was purely a feeling of "omg someone loves me" that kept it going as long as it did (which wasn't long!) And as for my first kiss - well that was with my best friend at uni, who was in love with another girl entirely - and although I fought my feelings for him for so long, when he kissed me I couldn't resist and boy did that get messy for all of a few days - until my sense kicked in. Ironically I ended up supporting him and giving him advice when they did finally get together - why, I ask you!!

It's strange because so many people talk to me about their relationships - as if I know anything about what they're going through... and if I'm completely honest, it hurts a lot of the time. I am a complete romantic and yearn so much to have somebody to love. But I'm not the sort of person who can just go out and meet somebody and have a bit of fun... for me it has to be a big thing...

I remember having this conversation with my sister and my dad last summer and being told by the two of them that I am far too picky and will never meet someone this way. That hurt - because I can no more change the way I feel than I can my height - I can add a few inches superficially but take away the shoes (or whatever emotional aspect the shoes represent in this analogy - I am too confused to work it out for myself lol) and I am still a little squirt!

So when will I meet a guy who I love? When will I meet a guy who loves me for me and not because I am a "nice dependable girl". Will I ever - can I just say the thought that this may never happen fills me with fear - yeah ok I'm only 22 but still - I get antsy about it...

I would never want to start a relationship purely out of need to be in one - but am I blocking out potentials for fear of doing so? Is my inexperience making me fear certain possibilities? Do I need to change my attitude to love? Damn the broodiness for bringing up all these thoughts!!!

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Back to childcare

It struck me today that my blog has become a bit random - rather than focusing on living the dream of working in childcare which I had intended it to be (though of course usually what I intend for things to be is never what they actually turn out to be so I don't know why I was so surprised!).

So back to the childcare...

Today I turned up to find two workers in a room with 16 yes that's 16 babies!!! We're supposed to be a ratio of 1:3 - so much for that - today unit 1 had 18 babies and unit 2 had 11 (unit 2, my unit, managed to meet the ratio target but unit 1 didn't!)

What annoyes us the most is that we had new parents coming in for a visit to see what the nursery was about and so we had to hide the fact that we had 6 more children than we should have in one unit... one was handed over to our unit and the other 5 sent to another room with an assistant - I mean, seriously, how crap is that?!?!?!

However there is an upside to working at the nursery - we had a staff meeting today (at 6:15pm I might add when I finished my shift at 4:45 and had to sit around doing nothing for an hour and a half!) where we were introduced to the new planning concepts and key workers schemes which will be put in place from January - this means each employee will have 3 or 4 children within a certain age range for which they have to plan activities for each day of the week to cover the 4 target areas of the government's Birth to Three Matters framework. This really excites me because it means I will be more involved in planning for the intellectualy, social, emotional and physical needs and development of a specific group of children and get to do observation work and feedback to the parents more!

Most of the assistants were unhappy about these changes, about all the paperwork involved etc - but I am used to doing paperwork - when I worked in the care home in Germany I had to document every single activity I did with any of the residents - it makes sense and I prefer it that way - it means you actively play a role in the welfare of those in your care rather than simply going along day-by-day... something that I think is extremely important in an environment such as the nursery where it is often difficult to spend quality time with all the babies. This new scheme should really help us to make sure each child receives at greater standard of care each and every day rather than simply being fed, changed and having a cuddle here and there...

Another plus is that we will soon be learning baby yoga, baby massage and baby sign-language... three things I am so very excited about I cannot begin to tell you... and not only are we learning how to do them - we are actually doing certificated courses in them!! And it's all part of the job!!

Oh how I love my work - even if there are aspects I hate - the other bits sure make up for it!

Monday, 4 December 2006

Blogging overload...

I'm in full swing - my third post in 24 hours - boy when I get going I really get going lol

I had the worst night ever last night - couldn't sleep cos I had such a sore throat my teeth ache - how weird is that?! As such when I did sleep I had the weirdest dreams. I actually often have weird draems and they're usually related to my thought processes of the time... so I wonder what these dreams are related to...? The first one I can remember revolved around me going to the doctor's for something (with my mum and little sister in tow) and finding out I was pregnant with twins (I even saw them on the scan!) The worst (or perhaps best entertainment wise) part of this dream was the fact that I kept think "how can this have happened - I haven't slept with anyone?!?!?! I was racking my brains in my dream so hard trying to think if I had possibly come into contact with any man long enough to have done anything which could have resulted in my being pregnant that I woke up thinking I was expecting too rofl!!! I then went on to dream about random things as being pulled out to sea by the undercurrent and having to be saved with a little help from a friend and also having to tell my dad that my sister and mum were going to bed at 7:15pm so they wouldn't be able to unlock the door for him when he got home - I love my dreams they are soooo funny sometimes... however after all of those dreams I was quite ready to get up at 4am rather than waiting that extra hour until the hour I had planned to get up...

But I didn't - I used that time wisely to think things through and I realised that I don't need to stop dreaming of the future full stop to live in the now - I simply have to organise (so to speak) my dream list - into dreams for the future and dreams I can live right now... so that's what I'm gonna do:

In fact - let's start with the ones I've already done/am already living...

Have Lived

Live in another country - done in 2004/2005 in both Germany and Russia
Volunteer - done in Germany (old people's home) and summers '03/'04/'06 (week long camp for disabled girls)

Living Now

Work with children
Live in Cambridge
Publish my poetry and children's stories online

Dreams I could live now

Improve my knitting/crochet skills
Take up photography
Exercise more

Dreams for the near(ish) future

Move into my own place
Find a partner (this is a must for my sanity - lol - and for some of the dreams for the future)
Go on holiday
Improve my German

Dreams for the future

Have a family
Publish my work in print form
Live more ecologically minded
Learn to dance
Put music to my poetry (either by learning to play myself or working with a musically gifted person)

Dreams I have which might never come true and which I accept (just about lol)

Be organised
Be a tidy person

This list is a work in progress - it is really good to look at my dreams this way - it helps to see what I have already achieved and what is actually achieveable now - so I spend less time dreaming of it and more time living it... the exercise of writing the list also helped me to look within and really work out what it was that I really wanted. Anyone else fancy trying it?

On another note - I can't quite decide what to do with the look of this blog... it seems a bit plain to me - I like having it more personalised - but I just don't know what to do with this one... any ideas?!

Sunday, 3 December 2006

On the way up

I'm feeling better - both physically and emotionally...

It's amazing what a difference a couple of days and a change in perception can do for you! Just being able to get a decent meal inside me and being able to go back to work and not feel like a completely useless person gave me chance to really think about things...

I am far too hard on myself - I am the first person to admit that... I am often told I am not proud enough of myself and that I expect way too much - and it's true... the worst part of it is I don't only expect too much from myself but expect just as much from others as well!! Hence I am always disappointed...

So I began shifting my perception the other day - trying to let go and relax and realise that life is for living rather than worrying about the future... Easier said than done, I am breaking the habit of a lifetime!

It helped that I bought a fantastic magazine (called Psychologies) whose main features this month was perfectionism... and so much of what it said made sense to me - not just because it was logical but also because I had come to think the same things in the past myself.

The best part, for me, was realising my skewed perception of "doing one's best". At uni I often had people saying to me "it doesn't matter what you get, as long as you try your best" or my parents saying "we know you have done your best and worked hard!"

For me "doing my best" meant doing the best I could possibly do which included working myself into ill health and stressing about not getting the top marks as I *should* be capapble of them - if only I hadn't taken that break to watch that film or had been more organised with my time blah blah blah...

I've come to realise that actually "doing one's best" means doing the best one can do whilst having a life and enjoying it - if that means prioritising and giving oneself a break to watch a film or meet with friends for your sanity's sake - then that is what your best is...

So those phrases, which were said as encouragement at uni, actually used to instill guilt and anxiety within me for the fact that people thought I was doing more than I was... when in fact I was most likely doing more than anyone ever expected me too... I was comparing myself to an ideal which nobody could ever keep up with...

To the same extent, as an intelleigent person, my achievements in the academic field were where I got the most praise - and hence doing well became so important for me - for I associated it with pride, praise and love... so I stuck with something I absolutely hated just for that... or rather something I used to enjoy myself became something I hated as the standards were raised for I could no longer reach them as easily as before and my life became one big stress-fest...

Such was my thinking and it hasn't changed overnight... I recognise these patterns within myself but old habits die hard and I still find myself falling into the traps - hence my absolute depression of last week (which is a recurring trend and one I plan to break).

So yesterday I had planned to tidy my bedroom because a) it was a mess and annoying me and b) I was ashamed of it and feared someone seeing it (for I have always received negativity from my mother about my untidiness and as such I feel deep shame related to it). But instead I chose to try out a couple of recipes for Christmas cookies before making them as gifts for people... I had a whale of a time - made a complete mess of myself and the kitchen (lol) and felt good for the first time in ages... this is what I needed - time to be me and enjoy myself... and it gave me even more time to think about what *I* want rather than what I think others want of me...

Today I am gradually tackling my bedroom because it is annoying me - I want a tidy room for me! And I feel good - although the nursery setting at work is not always something I agree with (something I shall post about later) I love working with the children and coming home and having time for me! This is something I need and is long overdue... I have all the time in the world to achieve my other dreams - and I have achieved far more than I ever dreamed I would in just a few short years... some of which *I* wanted but most of which I thought was impressive and would look good...

So now I'm trying to live for me and it feels good...