Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Too close

Once again the feeling that terror is too close is overwhelming. Paris was a turning point for me, after which I decided it was time to look for a less cosmopolitan place to live. Then the terror hits small places and you start wondering that maybe we will now get small lone sharks instead but in the UK the police seems to be having it under control. Then Westminster. And last night Manchester. In an event any of us could be part of. 
As I make myself go out, i walk towards the Chelsea and Westminster hospital, decided to go sit in a cafe nearby, have a snack perhaps even blog, if baby S is up for it. And my mind wonders off picturing what I would do in case terror would hit. Do you call, do you text, do you run for your life, do you stay to help. A hospital seems like a pretty good target. So many vulnerable people trapped and unable to leave irrespective of a bomb. I push those thoughts away and confidently pass in front of the hospital. 
As I sit I know I want to write. As baby S finally decides to doze off, i wonder if I will ever go to such an event again. I had promised myself I wouldn't and then I found myself in the Euro finals in Paris, clearly not the most immune place. It was only after I was on my way there that I remembered why I had wanted nothing to do with the Euro games. But Portugal in the final was just too appealing. Will a singer be too appealing for me to take the chances and join in? Most likely. And most statisticians would probably add that I would be safer than just crossing the road. All well understood, but it seems that it is a compounded danger and seems to be growing. I can look both ways as I cross the road, wait for green lights, pay careful attention. But what can one really do to avoid being part of the Manchester terror?

Monday, 22 May 2017

Smartphone commute

Down the escalators, change train, wait on platform. The commute, the London commute. I am coming in the office for a few hours today so I am remembering each step with a certain familiarity that helps the nervous of what a future leaving baby S behind means. These few hours are small trials for me to cope. And this time I ventured a commute. 
As I walk with no rush and outside rush hour I can't avoid the smartphones all around me as I go dowm the escalators, walking actively almost wanting to comtradict the end of my pregnant slow commute only a few months back. Someone playing candy crush saga not noticing she is almost in the middle of the escalator, someone swiping left deleting emails, someone swiping dowm checking the news. I myself have almost exhausted my battery. Weirdly enough the smartphone commute is one of the few things I miss. Those 40 minutes for me every day, where I can check my emails, read my book, check on friends around the worls, send my Sims to work or even blog. An app for everything and everything app based. What dis we do before we even had smartphones? We would go around with books, magazines, printed maps. We would use blackberries to reply to emails and feel the empty inbox for a while as all the emails would not be able to get out until we reached the surface. God forbids we might even have nothing to do and just look around, observe, think of life or just be mindful of our own presence. I admit I don't miss that part, I still get itchy when I run out of battery when getting inside the tube. Oh the brainless smartphone commute. A piece of mental sanity. 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The book I never wrote

The book I never wrote, the book I always think of writing. Here I am hanging out strong, resiting the urge to just lay down as I suddenly feel so tired today. Went to pilates, went for lunch and I am trying to engage with my 16 weeks baby. Anyone who has tried it knows that is a hard task as you get smiles and giggles but not much more to keep you going. I resist the urge and decide to check my email. And there is an ad. One of those I never read but something caught my attention. It is the book I never wrote, the book about the experience in Mozambique, told by someone who has been in and out the last 10 years. 
My first thought is positive, I will buy it! I will make it a 2 in 1 and ask B to buy it as a birthday present. And now it has been 10 minutes since that email and it has sunk in. It is the book I never wrote. The book I started three times in different years, I believe 2004, 2008 and 2010, always with different approaches, but I never brought it to fruition. And that is only counting the books about Mozambique. My last one was so much more than that, and one that I really felt I would pull through, but then life gets in the way. And who is going to read it anyway. 
I am on mat leave and many times I looked at the different parts where i have my notes and scribbles. Many times I looked and thought this could be a good time. And then the thought goes with another feed, another whatsapp, another charity to do, another thing I have to do that always comes first. 
And I get hit by a sudden sadness. Will I ever write it. Will I ever write them. Will I ever get to dedicate time (that not in a tube or plane) to do something I have always loved? Does it even matter?

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Buggy out

Should I stay or should I go. It is the question I ask myself many afternoons. I am on maternity leave and I struggle to leave. I want to stay with the baby playing, I want to go spend time with my number 1, i want to do charity, I want to be fit, I want to write, I want to spend time with myself. 
And I just found a combination. I walked to the club with the baby but rather than wait outside the door for a class I cant really watch I am sitting in a cafe enjoying a snack and putting my blog out of misery. The baby sleeps and I got a good work out. Seems simple right?
I often debate my life choices (with myself really) but on mat leave even more. In fact by definition I should be on leave to be a mother. But I fear I may go crazy or mistreat my children if that is all I do for my mat leave. 
I want to read, I want to write. I want to have a go at being fit again, even if it does not work. I want to do stuff that I love - I gave up on the piano but really want to do some writing. And I want to work - yes I want to do charity. Should I work less as I am on mat leave? Perhaps. But it would not be me, and the only mother I know how to be is me. Wanting so many things is me. And it is ok. 
So I will have to take it and just be quick on decisions on what to do and keep my days filled with all the things that I love, including my children. Today, that meant buggy out! 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Mother of 2

I am now the mother of 2. Almost 7 weeks and counting. And #2 is as hard as I thought it would be. Sleepless nights feel harder, breastfeeding schedule feels harder, crying for no reason feels harder. The only thing that may not be as hard is guilt, as you now know, with the benefit of a 4 year old, you are potentially not the worst mother in the world.
Tonight I come back to writing as tonight is a real mother of 2 day. After so much preparation for the charity gala, I had hoped life would come back to normal today. Ok, so there is still tidying up and follow ups but overall somehow I believed things would be more in control. Oh naivity of an unusual optimist. C started being sick yesterday, required my full (now split) attention today and now exhibits a wonderful 39.6C fever. I feed the little one wanting to be cloned again and have my clone just watching over her rather than having to almost hide in another room to avoid contagion. 
I struggle not to feel guilt on this one, 2 months ago I would have taken my pillow to sleep on the floor next to her, today I had to send B. I guess that is why there are 2. I go back to my admiration for single parenting. But I keep the monitor on, just so I can keep an eye, or rather ear. 
Being a mother of #1 changed my life in many ways, some of them nocive to my health. I wonder what mother of #2 will do.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Life Chart

Today at CBT I was asked to plot my life chart. I knew some basic ones - potentially my highest and my lowest, but was interesting to try and plot 35 years into a piece of paper. I labelled the years under my age. 
I was sure on the lowest: 2015. The year where everything was fine and nothing felt right. That was easy. I even knew the date - 18 July 2015, the day of my 34th birthday.  I did have the relative question on where to plot the lowest. Is my lowest zero or just average. Will my lowest a blip when i try and do this chart at age 60?
I quickly moved on to what i rationalized as my second low, at age 15. Interesting enough, despite the havock of my father leaving at age 15, it did not feel nearly as bad as last year. Is it distance from the event? Can't tell. I can't pinpoint what I felt that made it low, how I dealt, was hard to connect with it. Generally, my feeling was the point would have been much lower had I known how the secondary effects would last through to today. Wow I might have really needed therapy then. But when it happened it was an isolated bad event rather that just became business as usual. If I remember feeling bad? Yes. But I did not feel abandoned and alone, I guess my life was still evolving to being able to digest such emotions. 
I then fiddled with the pen to come up with a childhood line. I remember it to be happy, but again memory fails me in how I should describe it. So onto grown up life. 
The climb as I moved to London was an ascending one, with only some blips in isolated segments of life. My job becoming a career, a break becoming an MBA in Harvard, a little gesture dream becoming a proper charity, meeting B and chosing to grow old together. 2011 and 2012 have to be the peak of this ascension. I must admit, I started by putting 2013 when C was born as the peak but most likely that was just because I should. Having a child is happy no doubt, one of the most special moments in life for sure, but the year around it may be nothing short of overwhelming. So i decided on 2011 as the peak year, with 2012 a close second. 
She asked why? I had trouble saying it, I am not even sure myself. The reason I learnt not to rationalise and explain why I feel sad sometimes (to avoid the risk of feeling worse), would probably lead me to also not explain why I feel happy. It was a day where I cared only about myself and B and was overwhelmed with joy to be able to sustain any other worries for longer than 5 minutes. Despite all that happened along the way. And we lead our life like that for a while. Worrying less, focusing on what we wanted to do more. We don't do that much. That is what I can't point. 
I don't think she was too happy that I had trouble connecting. I was not avoiding it, but I found that happiness is even harder to explain than unhappiness, even though it would most likely help me understand what drives happiness in me!

Friday, 18 November 2016

Flying with time - or not

I usually fly by, potentially faster than time itself. As I started expecting #2 I tried to go into lower gear and let some things drop. I don't make it to the office at 7 sharp, I do no start up work, I recognise my brain can not process charity accounts every night, I dont tender to C's every cry at night. I thought I was doing pretty well. 
As time went by I realized how tired I was and how my body was refusing to fly. It started to wear me down, how much I was uncapable of doing. In time I accepted age and everything else would not let me fly by pregnancy the same way as before. And I just had to accept it. 
I was getting there, in the middle of agreeing a house move at 7.5 months pregnancy. And then I was left out of boss. I only have 10 pct more work but I have 200 pct more pressure and lack an un-measurable amount of support. And I am going away in 2 months. And I can feel the baby going against my sitting on the computer position multiple times a day. I am struggling again, but again I accept I can not do more. It kills me but I also know this new awareness rejuvenates me. It is part of me. A new vision that allows me to see limitations as a natural element rather than a painful flaw.
I am still dealing with the body limitations and learning how not to let them bring me down, especially as they are often unpredictable or sudden. But I feel like with small steps, i could even take a few assisted flights.