Sisters, Study-Avoidance & Melting Crayons

So I’m back from my trip to Sweden, and at the moment it feels like it has done me a world of good. It was simply great to spend a whole week with my sisters and their little families and just enjoy being alive. The weather was great and although we all took turns taking ill, all in all it was just really nice to hang out. We basically ate, watched my youngest nephew run around and ate some more. That is, that’s what my sisters and I did. The boys were busy digging in the garden, planting a hedge around it. And in between that we managed to watch a film, teach my sister’s dog to go on the slippery-dip and get my youngest sister and her man to understand how to solve the first two layers of the Rubik’s cube intuitively.

Oh, and my sisters and brothers-in-law gave me the super-awesomest prezzie ever; the new iPad [which I am, incidentally, using as we speak, in conjunction with my bluetooth keyboard].

I feel that this trip has really helped to reset my brain. I feel so much happier than I have in the past several months, and although I am still having flashbacks it’s nowhere near as bad as it was, pre-trip.

Since I’ve been back I’ve started a new course, and – true to form – I’ve excelled at the art of study-avoidance. I am feeling a bit unhappy about having chosen the course I have; a very basic psychology course about stuff I pretty much already know, but just want to get on paper that I do in fact know it. It’s very hard to motivate oneself to read material about stuff you already know, when the main focus ends up being trying to remember sources for future reference, rather than actually learning. That said, of course anything psychology related will always push your little grey cells into action, and you’ll realise you have thoughts and ideas you might not have had when you originally read about a specific study. In short; once I actually open the book, I do get quite into what I’m reading.. it’s just getting to that point of opening the book, which holds me back. There are always a million other things I feel I need to read; blogs, news, tweets, facebook updates.. You know how it goes.. And that’s before I’ve even got to the various iPlayer programs I simply must catch up on, not to mention the millions of YouTube clips I feel will enrich my life to no end..

I do slightly regret that I didn’t decide to do the course on the autistic spectrum which was also on offer. I would really have liked to have been reading that right now. But, I’m trying to use it as a carrot of sorts. If I manage to get through this course [ie find a way to utilise good days of fewer flashbacks, days when I have a reasonable level of concentration] then I’ll be allowed to do the autistic spectrum one after.

So, I suppose that’s all good. Especially the part where I am actually, actively, looking ahead, into the future. The last few months have been so rough, it’s been very hard to think like that, to imagine a time when things feel different, but right now things seems to have swung around for me a bit.

Also, since I’ve been back, I’ve been feeling a lot more creative. I have been working on my book, which is ever so slowly taking shape, and I find myself curious to find out where the characters will take me. And that’s always a good sign.

On top of that very specific writing, my sister and I also hatched an idea about setting up a collaborative writing site online, the idea being that you could go to the site, read something someone has posted and then take over the writing, or join in. I for one have several writing projects which I have started, but which are now mainly collecting dust on my harddrive. What you could do on this new site is to upload what you have written and invite others to complete it, or to co-write it with you. Or you might want to be someone else for a day [come on, we all have those days].. Well, you could go onto the site as a character and join in some playwriting, adding lines on behalf of your character. This is all still in its infancy, but, I only posted the idea late last night on another blog, and I’ve already had people contact me to say they would be interested in joining or starting writing projects.

Observant readers will have noticed that while I have written about how great it was to be with my sisters and how that’s really helped resetting the serotonin levels I’ve omitted to talk about seeing my father the first time in over two years. This is, of course, not by chance. In short, it was actually really lovely seeing him and his boyfriend, and spending time with them. But, knowing me, I tend to only begin processing these kind of encounters a while after getting back to the UK. So, keep an eye out and there will more than likely be an update on this particular part of my trip to Sweden.

In terms of not having therapy, well, there is no getting around it – that is still really hard. I miss my space to voice my thoughts. Of course I talk to my friends and I do my writing and all of that, but there just isn’t a substitute for therapy. Therapists definitely should not be allowed to have children! [..says the Therapist’s Daughter..] July – or whenever A. in reality decides to go back to work – feels very very far away indeed..

Anyway, me and my new iPad and bluetooth keyboard need to get to the library now, so I’ll leave you here for now.

Do be kind to yourself, and enjoy the utterly ESSENTIAL YouTube video below..

All the very best and more,

xx

I really need to try this, but maybe on a black or gray canvas, 
and just letting the crayons melt organically in the sun..
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The Happier Side of Memory Lane – An Entry About The Art of Study Avoidance

I should be studying. I really should. Should be reading about how the brain organises memory. It is really interesting, but, seriously – Wimbledon is on, the weather is great, surely it’s not right to have to sit down with books and notes and things like that? I’d much rather do other things. Like writing somewhat pointless blog entries..

Sent off part two of my application form to do voluntary work late last night. This morning a chap called back. He wants me to come for an interview next Thursday. Great! I really hope I’ll pass, because I am sooo wanting to get back to working with kids. And their parents. :)

Asked the mother of two of the children I’ve nannied for to be my reference. She emailed me back right away to say that of course she’ll be my reference. Very sweet. She also mentioned that they’re going to Switzerland, doing the same trip we did the year I was staying with them and asked if I remember patting the mountain cows.. Boy, do I ever!? Happy memories, I tell you. The girls were great. We had so much fun! That trip was simply brilliant. Sure, it had it’s moments, but all in all – very fond memories. (Just remembered that I wrote a poem of sorts in the guest book at the little chesa I was staying in in Madulain.. Might have to pull out my journal from my stay there and take a trip down memory lane).

It’s really amazing to still be in touch with the parents and children I have nannied for. I’m also in touch with the very first girl I was looking after. That was something like 14 years ago in Australia. I did lose touch with the family for a little bit, but a few years ago I got back in touch with them, and every once in a while I’ll receive a message from M., the girl I took care of. She’s now a young adult, and it’s incredibly satisfying to be able to hear about the things she is getting up to. I’m very proud of her!

In the last several years I have been doing jobs that have nothing to do with children, and although they’ve actually all been very interesting there is something very special about working with children. It’s the kind of job where the reward in many ways is almost instantaneous.

Was thinking about the time I spent in India the other day. For those of you who don’t already know, I spent about six months living and working with the children at an orphanage in a village outside a village outside a village in the Indian outback about ten years ago. Again, it was a very challenging job, but also incredibly rewarding. I probably wouldn’t opt to do it again, but I’m very glad to have had that experience. I learned a lot out there!

The one thing that does make the experience somewhat bittersweet is that I know very little about what came of the 28 children staying at the orphanage. I think about them quite often, and it is difficult to know that, unlike the children I nannied for, life may not have turned out quite so well for these young people. There was one child especially who meant – or, actually, still means – a lot to me. A cheeky but amazingly bright 3-year-old who asked me to be her mother.. Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to really be her mother I still wanted to leave something of me behind, so I wrote her a letter and left her my watch, so that she’d be given them both when she’s older. (Having a watch is at an orphanage something very special, and my particular watch had a backlight that the kids would take turns switching on and off). I often wonder if she did get it in the end, and if she remembers me.. I hope so.

Well, I’ve managed to shy away from my studies for a good half hour now. Still, I guess I’ll have to get to it.. Maybe a trip to the library will prove inspirational. At least there I can pretendto be studying..

All the best,

xx

Quick note: As you may have noticed I have re-activated the option to leave comments. If you wish to leave a comment, please do, but do keep it in mind that even if you know who I am, this blog is in essence anonymous. Cheers! :)