Archives for posts with tag: life

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All my life I’ve lived by the theory rely on no-one, be independent, be the strong one and look after yourself, as you get older and time goes on you do let some people in but never completely, keeping that level of trust at arms length to protect yourself from getting hurt. It is how I was brought up and has served me well in life keeping me out of harm’s way. But has it??

“The problem with being the strong one is no-one lends you a hand” M.T

Recently, someone came along and held my hand, showing me love and affection, it has allowed me to open up and share emotions that normally I would keep deep inside me and well hidden. A problem shared is a problem halved as they say, suddenly once you talk about something it seems it loses its sense of importance and its affect on you. Even to the point where you start to feel a bit stupid that you let things bother you in the first place.

Also I find myself letting go of some of that independence and dare I say it stubborness! Working together and accepting help when it is offered really does make life easier, and saying thank you instead of justifying why you should do it instead. This does not extend to the washing up though it seems nobody likes this job even if the dishwasher is involved, I know that I certainly don’t. ‘Reluctant to engage in housework’ has even been written in the divorce petition I recently received from my soon to be ex-husband. I have to say that I’m actually quite proud of that one….

The strength to stop listening to what I should be doing, and think about what I want to be doing. Indulging in good times with friends, family and loved ones, free to enjoy without guilt. The indulging part needs to have less calories now, it seems that ‘Eton mess cheesecake’ with raspberries is not very good for the waistline the fruit doesn’t count? So maybe not a life completely without guilt then.. but that indulgence was worth every mouthful!

Just something as simple as the act of holding hands to show your affection, ‘The way your fingers intertwine with another person’s is both innocent and special.”  apparentlySea otters do it. Penguins do it. Even elephants do it, albeit they have to use their trunks.” Did you know otters hold hands while they sleep so they don’t float apart…

I could conquer the world with one hand as long as your holding the other.     — Megan Smith

I am starting to realise how much I have been holding myself back, time to lose the negatives and free up the space to let in the positives. I’ve had the bad to appreciate the good and seen the sad to be able to enjoy the happy. My journey is not a simple one but worth every minute just to feel loved and protected from all the trouble that is in my world.

Stand by my side, hold my hand tight while I hold yours, to love is as important as being loved, it keeps my heart strong and my smile bright…

Thank you

Angela xxx

 

 



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Traffic Light Tree is a public sculpture in London, England, created by the French sculptor Pierre Vivant. The Sculpture imitates the natural landscape of the adjacent London Plane Trees, while the changing pattern of the lights reveals and reflects the never ending rhythm of the surrounding domestic, financial and commercial activities.

This year has been a roller coaster of emotions to say the least, for both myself and my daughter, its been a steep learning curving finding out how we feel, seeing how we should feel and deciding how we want to feel. We’ve cried, laughed and loved more than we have ever done, this has brought us closer but also created more tense times. Surrounding influences have made our relationship more complicated now but also stronger, we both get things wrong and learn as we go along.

There is a lot going on in our life these days, what affect will this have, I don’t know yet? Our life is not what we expected, but I have no doubt that these changing patterns are the right ones and we are going in a more positive direction. She is definitely developing a strength of character beyond her years but is still only ten and has many emotions she does not understand, not to mention the tidal wave of hormones that have conveniently decided to turn up around the same time. She now has a much sharper sense of wit, improved sarcasm, stronger attitude and greater awareness of life around her, she now expresses her love and emotions much more clearly if not always in my favour!! My girl is growing up and like probably all mums out there I was totally unprepared, these things seem to turn up when you take your eye off the ball for a moment.

The funny thing is as my daughter struggles with her emotions I’ve realised how little I have dealt with my own over the past few years, its too easy to get on with everyday life, and put your thoughts to the back of your mind. Some strong emotions have been in our house in the past, not all great ones. Throughout this process my character has also regained its confidence and clarity, I am very proud to say with the added title of embarrassing mother! Not to mention annoying one too, followed by much amusement on my part, especially when she gives me ‘the look’ I am happy knowing I am doing my job properly…

This all being said… to my daughter you still have to make your bed in the morning, go to bed on time, pick up your dirty clothes off the floor etc, you won’t like it but one day you will thank me! (forgive the turning into my mother quote).

In the last year old relationships have finished, new ones have started and existing one have strengthened, not a straightforward process to navigate, it feels like my life has had a good spring clean this year but this has been followed by a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I love those close to me with all my heart and am happy to show it as I know I am loved in return and confident that those few tense times are because we all care and they are a learning process about each other. You have shown me this develops a stronger relationship and deeper understanding of each other, just love me like you do…

Like the lights in the above installation our life’s are a constant changing pattern reflecting the never ending rhythm of our surrounding influences. I’m ready….

 

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It’s time now to let go of the idea that I have any control over my life and to go wherever it takes me. To keep those that I love close and to keep showing them how much I care about them. This week started so well an amazing lunch by the sea with good friends, relaxing and happy. Followed by some fun kids time with an inflatable day at my daughters school we set up for about 500 kids again in the sun. Nicely finished off by dinner out with loved ones. Life is going well, I’m surrounded by some amazing people  who I love and who offer the same unconditional love and care in return.

Then one of very many scans I’ve had over 9 years came back with a few abnormalities this week.  Ok that’s not disastrous just needs more detailed tests right? Until I started getting a few aches with it and told my oncologist this. She has always been very paranoid with me the slightest hint of anything and they are down on me like a ton of bricks, looks like I’m gonna get a houseful of them in the next few weeks! A big dose of steroids on Tuesday an urgent MRI on Wednesday and results confirmed 2 hours later i have a small amount of secondary bone cancer in the top of my spine with a lymph node infected in my neck. Turns out the tamoxifen that has served me so well the last 9 years is no longer doing its job so well. So here we go again get the pic and mix of drugs and treatments out time for a shake up, time to try something new. A bit of radiotherapy, new hormone tablets maybe throw in a bone strengthener! Oh and a pet scan and biopsy ok I can deal with that I trust the people around me to do their best for me. Just don’t expect me to enjoy it…

Where to start??? From sitting there at diagnosis with my boyfriend, speaking  to my dad? 1 hour conversations with friends on the phone checking to see how I am? My daughter was 1 last time I had to deal with any of this she is now nearly 10 and very much more aware of what’s happening. I am negotiating this new territory as best I can but I suspect this will be the biggest hurdle of all to help her with many emotions she doesn’t understand and let’s face it neither do I. What is just plain annoying though is I was supposed to be on a plane and a beach this weekend enjoying the warm sunshine with an amazing man who came into my life 3 months ago. The care and love we have enjoyed together the last few months has been inspiring, Allowing my confidence and character to return back to its full strength thank you. Sorry it looks like our fun plans will be a bit smaller for a while, good excuse to up the budget though later as we deserve it.

I have no idea what the next few months has planned for me some great, some not so great probably. I put my faith in the hands of my care team and will do as I’m told. Surrounded by all the people I love who know some days this will wind me up and I may use the odd swear word here and there. But most of the time I prefer to enjoy myself with others and indulge in the normal madness of our  day to day lifes to some loud music and remember nobody knows what the future holds. Time for cake and maybe even a cheeky spa break!!!

 

Love Angela xx

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ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices are governed, there is nothing that will threaten your happiness….” Gerald Rogers. I have spent too much time and energy in the last few years focusing on the negatives and how to try and fix them, I am now realising the best way to do this is to focus on the positive and the more positive things will step forward in your life. At the beginning of this year I let go of my marriage I cannot fix and I don’t feel bad about it, you can try to fix a bad situation but there comes a point you have to accept it is not possible.

Its amazing how when you split from a long relationship you realise how many people around you have done the same, people you saw in the street now have a story to tell, advice to pass on, its no longer an issue at school,  my daughter is one of many children whose parents have separated. Being able to talk to those who are further down the line than you offers invaluable advice to help you negotiate the tricky process of ‘co-parenting’. The process is not easy you split up for a reason so it doesn’t mean suddenly life will be a bed of roses apart, communication can prove complicated. However now it is limited to a ‘need to know’ basis making it simpler at least, still currently working out this area of my life but in time let’s see what happens.

Part of embracing the positives is not to dwell on the past, look forward after the end of a marriage life is now what you make it and nobody can stop you. You are responsible for your future, as scary as that is the opportunity is now out there to create the life you want, that independent, confident, happy, positive and caring girl is now finding her way back into the world. I now laugh a little harder, my smile is a lot brighter and I find myself smiling for no reason. Its another experience in life that you can learn from and gain strength that it will develop your character and make you a stronger person.

There is someone out there who will make you feel special and think you are amazing just the way you are! The heart is full of hope and that’s the way it should always be…

Here are a few quotes from a beautiful article by Gerald Rogers somethings we should never forget…

Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. Be that man that would OWN HER HEART and fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for her. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman

Don’t be an idiot…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid..

Be willing to take her sexually, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.

Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

Never stop growing together… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

Don’t worry about money. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.

Love from me xxx

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Your life can only head down the wrong path for so long, until events take over and life corrects itself, something puts you back on course and leads you in a new direction. This is uncomfortable to start with, then gradually as you embrace the change, and discover the spark you used to have, life begins to take on real meaning and you realise that those around you who walk the journey with you are there because they love and care about you and you realise how important they are to you.

You remember who you are, what is important to you, being yourself again feels amazing, suddenly you are smiling more, finding things funnier, food is tastier. You start to look around you and realise what you have and how lucky you are, you let go of the negative parts of your life, it is no longer important to focus on what is missing, what you should have, what it should of been. This empowerment impacts every aspect of your life and at times can be a little overwhelming, I fully appreciate that somedays I may look a little stupid walking down the road smiling.

It’s not selfish to make your life the best it can be because that’s when you are truly allowed to shine. For me that mean’t letting go and moving on from a marriage that was making myself, my daughter and my ex husband very unhappy. It doesn’t make either of us bad people, we are very different people to when we met, we both made our mistakes but if we had to change so much to fix it that’s not fair and impossible. Life has now moved on we are creating new plans and it is proving to be an exciting adventure and journey of discovery.

I have no idea where I will be or what I will be doing a year from today but I intend to have fun finding out… watch this space… I would not be where I am today had it not been for all the amazing people around me right now thank you very much xxxx

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Friday 13th October 2006 was the day I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer so as you can imagine I am not happy about today I narrowly avoided walking under a ladder outside a shop this morning… and as you all have read about before I am now separated from my husband after 22 years and its Valentine’s Day tomorrow!.

How do I approach this weekend? Its not really my style to hide and feel sorry for myself so I am feeling much more fight than flight today. I have been out for a refreshing (or freezing depends how you look at it!) 7 mile bike ride this morning, I have bought myself my own flowers and this year got what I like and Fifty Shades of Grey tickets are booked for the weekend with two very naughty friends.. you know who you are! So that’s the sex covered this weekend (on screen). Valentine’s Day this year is all about the one I love my gorgeous and amazing 9 year old daughter who is proving herself to be a very caring, intelligent and perceptive young lady, I aim to be the same in return.

It is time to accept that in life pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional and embrace the fact that this is my time. Downloaded some fab new tunes and am free to enjoy playing them very loud on my new Sonos system, which I have to say sounds amazing and has saved many a down moment by filling the house with the beauty of good music. Yet to decide on dinner which will be all my own choice too hooray.

Not all positive though… not impressed putting out the rubbish in the rain every week and am seriously sick of washing up.. but I accept this is something I cannot change. Its not fun waking up every morning on your own without a cuddle, this has now been substituted for a hot water bottle….

This is a quote my dad has always told me:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference – Reinhold Niebuhr

I am able to now define my own life, be myself and not endure the criticism and expectations of others, its my life and I intend to live it my way, I will love others and be loved. For all those out their lucky to be in love enjoy everyday like its Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to tell each other how important you are to each other, and show it. If you need to ask someone if they love you and their response is ‘I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t love you‘ hear alarm bells…

Fifty shades here I come…

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How are you?

How do you answer this question when you have or are living under the threat of Cancer that may return. An innocent enough question, politely requesting about your wellbeing.. But its one that I dreaded for a long time as the honest answer was not pretty and probably involved a few choice swear words:

• Cancer has changed my life completely and now I have no idea if I will ever be ‘me ‘ again?

* Feeling awful from all the surgery and medication that life currently throws at me

• Frustrated that my body makes no attempt to keep up with my mind

• Fed up that I don’t know if I will still be here in 6 months time

• Upset that I can’t run here there and everywhere with my daughter as much as I would love to and show her the world.

• Or just a general rubbish, awful, crap etc

Did I say this of course not, nobody wants to hear the truth about how you really feel and I don’t want to tell them either, I don’t want to be miserable to be around, I have always been a relatively positive person and chatty and happy to see people and talk about our lives. I still wanted people to know me as this person. However I would not lie either just be selective with the truth and developed a range of brief carefully worded phrases in response to this question as follows:

• Not too bad thanks (for ok days)

• Been better (for really bad days)

• I’ve just been to (recent holiday, day out or visit) have you been there? (full change of direction technique)

• How are you, you look really well new hair? (just don’t answer the question)

Its been 8 years today since I went in to hospital to have a stage 3, grade 3, large Breast Cancer tumour removed and 4 years since they removed a Brain tumour, with other various surgery and treatments in between. I’m feeling reflective today, where am I now? Are these disguises really necessary anymore, I know that my answers to this question are no longer necessary to hide my thoughts. I have dared on a few occasions to say ‘ok, thanks’ and even ‘good!’. I may even dare to think what I may do in the future.. maybe become a graphic designer again? best not to get too excited just yet!

Please in the future if someone you know has cancer and you are going to ask ‘How are you?’ Try ‘I saw this amazing cake this morning so I bought you one I thought you would enjoy a treat!’…

One particular recent comment by my husband sparked by the fact that when he came home I hadn’t done the washing up has not been particularly helpful. Our house does not look perfect, it is decorated and clean, but not always tidy which with a daughter and husband frankly will never happen. The implication that somehow I should be the ‘perfect housewife’ I resent, if I was I would not have any time to be good at anything else. I like the fact that when you turn up at a house when it doesn’t look perfect and tidy its comfortable and easy to relax. Except if the parents in law are coming and then even the cat will be polished.

I haven’t even started on other subjects like being good at parenthood, as soon as you get the hang of a baby they turn into a toddler and then they go to school then hormones kick in and then exams and independence, it is impossible to be a perfect parent if you are always playing catch up. In our lives today we are a success if we have it all: career, house, kids, husband, social life, money, car, friends and so on… I haven’t met any one with the full set yet any life has its flaws. I try to get each aspect as right as I can some prove more difficult than others.

 

This rant on my blog is to say in a very random world with demands on my life constantly changing I will do my best as often as I can but some days it just isn’t happening! Perfection is a constantly changing and unobtainable goal that is impossible to achieve. We should never lose our ability to be ambitious and we should all aim for our goals in life but accept it is impossible to achieve perfection in every aspect of our lives.

So to my husband, the house is clean, often tidy not always. The washing has been done but will rarely get ironed. Your dinner is ready more days than not. Homework done. Shopping done. The cat is fed. You will not starve, freeze, have empty cupboards, dirty clothes or mismatching socks.

I will never be your perfect housewife xx

 

 

Bob Hoskins life lessons relevant to us all…

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Quite often my blog is written about my own experiences, thoughts and opinions. However sometimes you come across the words of another which touch your life and relate to your world so much you would like to also share them. Particularly the ‘life lessons’ written by the late Bob Hoskins to his daughter which she has shared on Twitter/Facebook in the last few days. I lost my mum at the age of 21 to Breast Cancer and to this day I carry her words and love with me and appreciate every bit.

My daughter is now 8 and I feel my most important job as a parent is to encourage her to become a happy, confident, independent young girl hopefully ‘lady’ but if she takes after her mother this may be an ambition too far! Trying the best that I can to set a good example, I think 80% of the time is probably a good realistic aim…

Here are a few of Bob Hoskins words that touched me,”words spoke so often to encourage, comfort and reassure”:

Laugh. There’s humour to be found everywhere, even your darkest days there’s something to have a joke about.

Be yourself. If someone doesn’t like you they’re either stupid, blind, or they’ve got bad taste. Accept who you are, you’ve got no one else to be.

Don’t worry about other people’s opinions. Everyone’s a critic, but ultimately what they say only matters if you let it.

Whatever you do, always give it a good go. Don’t be afraid of failure and disappointment.

Never, ever, ever, ever give up. Keep on punching no matter what your up against.

Love with all your heart. In the end, love is the only thing that matters.

The full text is available on HauteHoskins.com

Too often we get wrapped up in life and its worries, until events in our personal lives make us realise what is really important.. to love others, ourselves and feel loved…

 

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Finally, a recent documentary by Kris Hallenga has given us an insight into the life of a younger person with Breast Cancer. When Kris Hallenga was diagnosed with aggressive, terminal breast cancer at the age of 23, she decided to channel her fear and anger into changing the way young women, the medical profession and the rest of the planet see and treat breast cancer in young women. This film is about the sheer strength, passion and indomitable spirit of Kris Hallenga as she battles her illness and tirelessly promotes her charity CoppaFeel! – an energetic and fearless awareness-raising campaign dedicated to making sure other young women and their doctors are made more aware of the risks. ‘Dying to live’ on BBC3, next showing 2am Friday 18th April and then on iplayer shortly after.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03zf3tg

Sadly information for a younger person with Breast Cancer is very limited and you are often surrounded by women over 45 who have a very different life to someone in their 20’s. I emailed my thank you to Kris, her response is below…

Hi Angela!

How are you doing? I have read a few posts on your blog – it’s a great blog!! thanks for sharing it with me. You share many thoughts and feelings I do. 
And yes, it was really important for me to finally get the story of a young woman with breast cancer on TV, something we never see. I strongly believe it’s a completely different disease for people 40 and under, women who have not had kids, not married etc. We have completely different issues. But I am navigating my way through them all as best I can. And you seem to be doing a good job of that too.
I hope you are enjoying this sunshine. 
Big love
Kris

 

Please check out the fab charity Kris has set up reminding all young women to check your boobs!

http://coppafeel.org

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Help! I'm a stay-at-home mum

Be inspired, fulfilled and hold your heads high, stay-at-home mums!

ovaryandout

Great highs, the depths of the lows and why at age 7 do I still have to remind my daughter to say please!

Great highs, the depths of the lows and why at age 7 do I still have to remind my daughter to say please!

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