Firstly, before I delve into my usual rambles I must offer you a heartfelt apology. I am so sorry that I have been absent from this little space. There I was merrily updating you on my life then COVID hit and I went AWOL. It wasn’t an intentional break. I can offer you no real excuses. I have been very tardy with my updates and I do hope you will forgive me.
A Reflective Mood
On reflection I suppose I felt I needed a little break from this blog of mine. It had become somewhat consumed by all things cancer and I knew I needed to step away and heal. Life in lockdown was a bit of a revelation for me. I expected to hate it, but I didn’t. It was even lovely, not all the time, but a lot of the time! It gave me space to properly grieve last year and as a result, I finally feel I am moving forward. Another clear scan down and I am starting to believe that I can do this, that I can live with the fear.
I also wanted to use lockdown and summer to focus all my energies on my family. I feel immensely guilty for what I put them through last year and I wanted to be there for them. To be honest lockdown was probably something the girls could have done without after the trauma of last year but we eventually found our groove and it was just really nice to spend time with each other without the usual pressures of playdates, school, clubs and homework. When the world stilled to a stop as a result of COVID we felt extremely fortunate in a lot of ways. It gave us all time to breathe again.
Exploring And Decorating
I was slightly worried at the start of the 6 weeks holiday how I would fill the weeks that were yawning ahead. Jersey is lovely but we are a very small island. Would I run out of ways to entertain the girls? Thankfully, the sun shone for the whole of the summer. We spent the days exploring the cliff paths, finding secret coves, paddling our feet in the sea and discovering new honesty stalls. It was a simple summer, but it also has to be one of our favourites. When the sun shines Jersey is pretty amazing.
We also finally ploughed ahead with decorating the house and sorting the garden out. We moved in two years ago and the plan had been to start updating the house after 6 months of living in it, but then cancer showed up at our door and everything was put on hold. It felt so good to finally be throwing colour on the walls. Plus, we have sorted out the overgrown garden and Mr C installed some decking in the now cleared corner of the garden. We spent the summer enjoying our new sunny corner of the garden and having barbecues. We borrowed a projector from a friend, Mr C made a screen and we had our very own outdoor movie night. It was a real highlight of the holiday, snuggling under blankets under the stars, munching on popcorn as we watched the movie. We even attempted to grow some of our own vegetables. We managed some very small carrots, spring onions and tomatoes. All very wholesome ;-).
Now the girls have returned to school and I find myself in an empty house again, a little unsure of what to do next. I find myself questioning what to do with this blog. I want to continue to use it to raise awareness of bowel cancer, but, on the other hand I also find myself wanting to flee all thoughts and memories of last year. Before cancer hit I was working freelance for a large company. However, everything has changed. My boss has left the company and I very much doubt I still have a job there with COVID and all. I find myself pondering what I should do now. Previously, a lot of my self-worth has been tied to how I financially contribute to the household. Now I feel a slight shift in that way of thinking but then I also feel a sense of shame (is shame the right word?) that I am effectively a stay-at-home mum. Unfortunately, finding a job that would allow me to do the school runs, be at home for the children after they finish school and be here for the school holidays is impossible. Believe me, I have looked. I took the decision to walk away from my career when Youngest was a baby as it felt like I was barely seeing the children and Mr C and I decided something needed to change. I loved being a stay-at-home mum, but I still missed my career and bringing money in and that’s how I ended up working freelance. However, when I was working from home I would find it a juggle to manage my work when the children were at home during the school holidays. I’m incredibly lucky in that I don’t have to rush to make a decision at the moment and for once I’m enjoying having the space.
Fundraising For British Red Cross
For now, I am enjoying building my fitness up. I have lost the weight I put on during cancer treatment and that has helped me feel that I am back in control of my body. I’m also feeling stronger and my bowel seems to have settled down a bit more. Walking before I eat seems to have helped with the bowel pains I was having. I’m spending September raising money for British Red Cross. I have pledged to walk/jog/slow crawl 150 miles and you can sponsor me here if you would like to – https://miles-for-refugees-2020.everydayhero.com/uk/emma-54. It’s good to have something positive to focus on and to know I’m doing something productive and helpful.
Anyway, that’s my attempt at a round-up. I’m still here and I’m still moving forward. But enough about me, how have you been?