As you may well know, it’s been five years since I got ill. Each summer, my symptoms improve, at least a little, and this year there’s been a definite improvement…as long as I avoid tea. Many people say we wouldn’t have won World War Two if we hadn’t had tea. Generally, I can see why. For whatever reason, it makes my symptoms flare up, yet two or three times a week I stretch upwards to the top of the kitchen counters and gently pull the tea, hidden there by my husband so I won’t drink it, off the top so I can have a delicious, milky cuppa.
Moving on, the point is that I’m doing much better and because of that, I’m really putting some effort into getting out and doing more. I’ve signed up for the Longleat Glow in the Park run (http://www.glowinthepark.co.uk/uk/venues/wiltshire/) this September, I’m exercising regularly and a whole lot more besides…
This afternoon I finally took the plunge and had the Keratin Straightening Treatment. Thankfully, there are no photos available of what my hair looked like at its worst, when I was still in school, but suffice to say, I’ve dreamed of straight, manageable hair my whole life, so I’m hoping it takes! I say ‘hoping’ because for the next 72 hours (until 1pm Thursday, precisely) I cannot let it get wet, tie it back, clip it back, tuck it behind my ear…inconvenient but 100% worth it if you’re a woman who spends hours every week on her hair! I’ll report back.
Scrapbooking! Okay, this one has a geeky reputation but it’s very popular these days. Crafting centres like Hobbycraft hold scrapbooking groups on a weekly basis, with support from those with a wealth of experience in the area. There are multiple benefits to this craft, from the obvious (a way to lovingly display important moments in your life) to the less obvious (stress relief and helping those with Alzheimer’s). Again, it’s something I’ve meant to try for years but just began trying. It’s actually really rewarding and if you haven’t tried it, I really recommend it!
Volunteering at the local RSPCA. I have returned as what some of my co-volunteers call ‘The Book Lady’, but I prefer to call myself a Cat Cuddler. Essentially, I go in once a week and spend a couple of hours with different cats, either giving them the attention they want or helping them adjust to human contact if they’ve had a troubled past. There are a LOT of kittens at the moment. A LOT lot of kittens. Many. Anyone want a kitten!?
We’ve been re-doing the spare room! A friend suggested over a year ago that our spare room was wasted as a bedroom. In three years it was only ever used once. For one night. In the meantime, I had dozens of books languishing in the computer room, alongside a large quantity of other hobby equipment. The friend suggested we turn the sizeable spare room into a hobby room. So…we have two desks, two floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and a large swivel armchair arriving on Friday. It’s going to be soooo cosy!! I can’t wait until I’m curled up with a cup of tea (shhh, don’t tell Rich) a book and a cat on my lap.
On top of this, I’ve been working out three or more times per week…admittedly mostly so I can eat freely in Italy, but hey-ho, and writing more.
As anyone with a chronic illness knows, there’s no guarantee that my current energy levels will hold, so it’s important to cram in as much living as possible while I can do it! More importantly, it’s about fun. Too many years were spent in a job I hated, with colleagues who largely disliked me, feeling too trapped to enjoy life. Right now, I’m making up for lost time. I’m going to go quad biking and rifle shooting. I’m going to run through Longleat outfitted in neon accessories. I’m going to eat my way around Rome and I’m going to record it all in a scrapbook.
After all, what’s the point of life if you’re too afraid to live?