Could I possibly be more tired?!

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Tired puppy has nothing on me

I am so unbelievably tired of this week…of this fortnight, actually. Now that I am feeling a bit better, I realise just how sick I was last week. I still have a stuffy nose and nasty cough which feels like it’s rattling my brain, and gets worse throughout the day (it’s like my lungs get tired of working or something lame like that) I also seem to be temporarily deaf in my right ear so I get worried that I am shouting at everyone because I can’t hear them.

The sad thing is, even with a three day Bank Holiday weekend (where I spent pretty much the whole of Saturday in bed, and did virtually nothing on Monday) I still feel completely wrecked. Like I could do with a couple of days’ extra sleep. I was hoping to have a restful weekend this weekend, and celebrate my birthday on Sunday with friends and peace and quiet, but I have to supervise a contact on Saturday afternoon, I am on-call after probably the most horrifically contentious and busy fortnight of my career so far, and I can’t have Monday off because I have another big paperwork deadline which has crept up on me due to the aforementioned business [and sickness – which I am sure is connected] of the past two weeks.

(I do have Friday booked off…apart from 3 hours or so in the middle of the day where I have a meeting…but Friday seems such a long way away)

Despite being so tired, last night I had an unbelievable case of insomnia which resulted in me getting up at 1am and watching Gilmore Girls on DVD until I felt vaguely sleepy. Which wasn’t until 3.30am.

And then…I woke up this morning and checked my phone…and saw it was 8.19am! I usually get up at 7!! Cue major panics, no bath, getting dressed in about 3 minutes, shoving my hair in a messy ponytail and grabbing a banana for lunch. I got from bed (asleep) to my colleague’s car in 6 minutes flat.

But why was my colleague was picking me up for work, I hear you ask?! Well, because…as if being sick, and overworked, and tired, was not enough –

Yesterday my gearstick broke, while I was driving on one of the busiest roundabouts in Canterbury, during rush hour!!!

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I just couldn’t believe it. Only a few weeks ago I was talking to my mum and saying I was saving up to get my car serviced and sorted out – and I said that as long as it didn’t conk out in the meantime (because I have no money until the end of this month as a result of paying off my moving costs) everything would be fine. So what does my car go and do…?!

But do you know what? I am not freaking out. Actually, more to the point – I am CHOOSING not to freak out.

It would be so easy to curl up in a ball on my living room floor (or potentially in my bed which is cosier and slightly less like a psychotic break) and cry and moan and rant and demand to know why God hates me and why my life sucks and why things are so hard…and I’m not saying I didn’t nearly have a little weep about it all…but:

I am choosing to trust God; my God who loves me, and is in control, and only does good things in my life, and never gives me more than I can handle, and who doesn’t let me down – ever, and who provides everything I will ever need, and who protects me, and who knows exactly how this will all work out.

Did you know that one of the most frequent commands in the Bible is to “FEAR NOT” ?

There is no point in me worrying … because God has it all in hand. He has ME and my life in hand.

Matthew 6: 25 – 34 … Do Not Be Anxious

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow.”

 

It will all be ok…because God loves me and my hope is in Him.

-x-

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Evolution of an illness

Last Week
Monday: I woke up coughing and felt a little breathless. Thought nothing of it. Should have paid attention…

Tuesday: Felt absolutely fine but a little stressed out as Panel was scheduled for Wednesday –

Wednesday: Worked until 10.40pm, in an office with no heating, justifying my work for 5 and a half hours. Got home to no hot water, so went to bed cold and very tense

Thursday: Woke up coughing and had a headache. Felt like I’d done a boxercise class – but nope. Later in the day I bit the tip of my tongue so hard it bled for 20 minutes. Not really relevant – I’ve just never bitten my tongue that hard before and didn’t know you could actually do that

Friday: The tip of my tongue was so sore I couldn’t drink tea and it was a really sad day for me

Saturday: A chilled out day, sort of had a lie-in, went to the gym, saw some friends and watched TV. Felt like Saturdays were the most superbly glorious invention ever known.

Sunday: Woke up at 6 to serve at church for 7. Had a coughing fit on the way to my car, and completely spaced out and forgot where I had parked. Walked 500 yards up the wrong road and had to turn around like a numpty and then walk back to where I’d actually parked – 50 yards from my front door. Whilst at church, ran around like I was 3 people in one, feeling super-sonic and then had a chat with a guy who said he was intimidated by my efficiency. Pretty sure this was meant to be a bad thing?

This week
Monday: A very strange day at work where I had zero motivation, really craved chips from the chip shop, and couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to a) open the filing cabinet and b) load the stapler. After work, had eaten dinner and put jammies on by 6pm and throughout the evening felt my throat get scratchier and my head start thumping. Gave up and went to bed at 8.30pm but woke up at 11pm and 3am and felt like death

Tuesday: Possibly the worst day of my career, having to deal with a very serious child protection case. Had a raging sore throat – like tonsillitis, except my tonsils were removed 3 years ago. By the evening I was coughing like someone that smokes 40-a-day and had to go to bed by 9.30pm

Wednesday – cough had progressed to sounding like I was about to cough up a lung, yet still had to supervise a young person leaving a placement. Confronted with a barrage of abuse – it’s hard to respond to being called an “f-ing *itch” when you have next to no voice and can’t breathe without hacking up a lot of gunk. (Lovely, I know) Couldn’t breathe, couldn’t swallow, had a fever and felt like I was made of lead. Call to NHS Direct resulted in a trip to the Out of Hours GP at 10pm. Seriously…10pm! I definitely debated not going to the doctor because it meant staying in regular clothes for the whole evening, and also because it feels silly going to a doctor (based at a hospital) and saying “My throat hurts and I have a cough” – however, Doctor’s words when he looked at my throat: “oh yes, that’s very nasty”, when listening to my breathing: “well it’s not supposed to rattle quite like that”, and when he took my pulse: “I don’t like the look of that”. Quickly handed a prescription for a double dose of amoxicillin and filled with confidence…more like convinced I’m gonna die of pneumonia. Only managed to get to sleep by hugging a hot water bottle to my chest and woke up at 3am not entirely certain of where I was.

Thursday: Everyone at work said I needed to go home. Everyone I spoke to on the phone asked if I was alright and then suggested their own home remedies to fix me. I didn’t go home. I went to a meeting, because if I hadn’t, we would have looked bad. Workaholic? Yes. Coughed my way through the meeting and felt thoroughly elegant, trying to discreetly hide the yucky gunk in a hanky or a tissue. Asked repeatedly if I wanted more water – could tell they all wanted to spray disinfectant so they didn’t catch my lurgy. Coughed so much it hurt in my shoulders – do you know that feeling? It’s so not pleasant. Finished work after the meeting at 3.30pm and was in jammies by 5. Discovered Otrivine spray and managed to sleep for 8 hours straight for the first time in what felt like ages.

Friday: woke up feeling a bit like a human again, until I woke up and had a coughing fit resulting in throwing up a heck of a lot of green gunk. (Sorry if you’re squeamish, but you made it this far) Unsurprisingly, felt pretty shockingly awful when I got to work but the day improved when my colleague did a run to the chip shop and I got the chips I’d craved on Monday! Also had a saveloy for the first time ever…not an experience I’ll repeat. Made it through the day feeling that I must now, officially, be a grown up – having made it through a fairly hellish week of work despite my body attacking me

Let’s hope Saturday and Sunday are good days. I plan to lie on the sofa, or in bed, and watch One Tree Hill and Gilmore Girls on DVD. Monday is a Bank Holiday and I really want to go and see Gatsby…which shall be my reward if I actually manage to rest for 2 whole days and take my antibiotics at the right time (I keep forgetting).

Off to bed now…every night this week I’ve been in bed before the sun has gone down and tonight is no exception.

-x-

One day I will learn…

I am ill.

And it is my own fault. Sort of.

I don’t know if I have blogged about this before, but my body has its own quirky way of getting me to slow down and take rest. It’s like I have an emergency “shut off” switch somewhere inside me – when I reach a limit and have been too busy for too long, my body says STOP! REST! By way of enforcing rest upon me…my immune system decides to go on holiday and let whatever germ of the week is floating around infiltrate my body and take me hostage

For the past four and a half months I’ve been working mainly on Form F assessments – the process by which people become foster carers. I have never done more than 1 Form F at a time – but since January I have been working with 5 prospective foster carers. Form Fs are intense pieces of work – you ask deeply personal questions about the applicants’ childhoods and life experiences and have to draw out any insights into how they will respond to challenging situations with vulnerable children.

On Wednesday last week I took three of my five applicants to Panel, where I was questioned about whether I thought they would be good foster carers. They were all approved…after 5 and a half hours of me being grilled!

Since then though, I’ve felt so weary and awful. I feel like over the past 4 1/2 months I have used more than my allocated energy supply, and I need to catch up again. I definitely had no enthusiasm at the end of last week, and yesterday I started feeling ill. Properly ill. Raging sore throat, hacking cough, thumping headache and trouble breathing type ill.

On top of which, today I probably had one of the worst and most horrific days of my career and I generally just want to curl up in bed and sleep for several days. Preferably through til Friday, so I can wake up and feel well and enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend?

Not an option though. Work calls. However, experience tells me that unless I do actually stop and rest, I will take ages to get better. I’ll have a lingering cough, repetitive headaches and just generally feel meh (technical term) for weeks, rather than days. Common sense says take a sick day – but I just can’t. There is too much to manage and if I were to be absent, things wouldn’t get done. It sounds big-headed but it’s true – in a small company, everyone is needed and valuable.

So, I have to persevere and just wait for the weekend. I have no plans…just to rest. I am unbelievably excited…in an understated, can’t breathe without coughing, can’t cough without hurting, type way.

-x-

An evening in

Today was my first real Saturday in my house. Last weekend my mum was here and the weekend before my army of friends was helping me to move in. I was a little worried I’d go stir crazy by myself but I’ve actually had a grand day.

Granted I did see one friend and his girls as I discovered I’m too short to change the battery in my smoke alarm and it was going off all through the night last night. But that was just a short visit.

For the rest of the day I entertained myself! I went to the gym (and in the process discovered there is no quick way to walk there) and the library (2 new books!) And after lunch went to aldi to get some groceries.

My friend Karen is coming to afternoon tea tomorrow so after my aldi trip I made a cake. After all that I planned on sitting down with a cuppa and watching Grease 2…

However…I then got a sewing urge. 4 hours later I have made 2 skirts. The first was a bit of a flop as I followed the measurements on the pattern I found on Pinterest which were WRONG! But the second I did without a pattern, just making it up as I went along and I have to say I’m chuffed with the result!

You can’t tell but the fabric is actually a bedsheet that I got on sale. I think it’s a pretty pattern. It has 2 darts at the front to give it shape, french seams (cos I learned how to do them after watching The Great British Sewing Bee) and a zip at the back.

Yay me!! Another few Saturday evenings like this and I’ll have a whole new wardrobe!

Hope your Saturday was lovely too
-x-

Testimony

I am always astounded when God gives opportunities me to talk to people about Him. Today I was talking to my colleague about how good I am at packing up to move, and somehow an hour later I was sharing about my childhood/teenage years and how God saved me. It was amazing!

It honestly started off by talking about my mad packing “skillz” – we are looking at moving our agency offices to a new location and we are all excited about packing things up. I told my colleague (let’s call her Beth because typing “my colleague” will get very annoying) how much I like sorting/labelling/tidying. “Beth” joked that she needed me to come and sort her house out, with all her kids’ toys etc and I explained that my tidying/organising side first came out when my mum and I would sort out all our toys/clothes and things for 50/50 sales at a local church (like a boot sale but 50% of what you make gets donated to the church)

“Beth” then asked me if my mum went to church…and it all went from there! After an hour of talking, openly about my life, I left to go out on a visit and I was just so struck by the things I had shared with her. I love how God provides such great opportunities to share what He has done in my life. Even though I am a sinner and screw up so many times, He continually gives me chances to talk about Him and in doing so I am reminded of what He has done – how far He has brought me and His complete and utter love and grace in my life.

I am so thankful that I got to share with Beth today – simple things that show how powerful, merciful and loving God is.

So, rather than type it all out in a blog post I am adding a little tab to my blog – one just for my testimony. I already have an “about me” but that’s all random stuff like favourite colour or place etc.

The testimony tab will be about my favourite thing of all – my favourite person – Jesus. Feel free to have a read – or not. I hope that me sharing this will bring you a little closer to knowing how AMAZING God really is.

-x-

May

May has arrived, and brought Spring with it. I am so happy to have sunshine and blue skies back in my life! My new house is across the street from a church, which has beautiful trees in the churchyard, and out the back of my house just beyond my garden is another one. In just a week it’s gone from barely green to bright and lovely. No matter where I am in the house, if I look out the window there’s a tree. And we all know I love trees 🙂

I can’t believe I’ve only been in my little house for a week. It has felt like home since day one. This weekend my Mum has been to visit, since it’s a long Bank Holiday weekend. We’ve been very busy – we went shopping, and to an interactive exhibition by the Philharmonic Orchestra at my University, we went out for tea and pastries, and tea and cake, and dinner with my brother and his girlfriend, we read books, we went to church and to the garden centre, and to Dunelm Mill where we bought a rug and curtain for the house, and then to lots of shops to buy plants for the garden – we did all sorts! Lots of little adventures that mean nothing to most people but oh-so-much to me.

I am so tired now…Mum left a few hours ago to drive back to Plymouth and I have just crashed out on the sofa.

It was so lovely to have her here. I love spending time 1-1 with my mum. Yesterday and this morning we cleared my garden and planted things. We pulled down so much Ivy that 2 bricks came out of the dividing wall and I got a little scared. I mean, I like my neighbours (a couple I know from church) but I don’t really want to share a garden…or lose my security deposit. So we left some of the Ivy there and just tidied up around it.

Tonight I am going to see Olympus Has Fallen with a bunch of people from church. There is a cinema about half an hour away called the Carlton, and it is the most delightfully quaint cinema I have ever been in. It reminds me of the very old Odeon that used to be in Plymouth City Centre. My dad would take us there to watch Disney movies and other kids films. We saw Mighty Joe Young there, and it was the first film to make me cry.

The best thing about the Carlton is that it’s only £2.50 on a weeknight! It’s £3.50 on weekends and for an extra £1 any day you can upgrade to a “lounge seat” (not that I ever have) and even though the popcorn and sweets are quite overpriced, even when I went to see Les Mis and paid the online booking fee, and bought popcorn and minstrels, I still spent less than £10. You can barely get change from a £10 note when you go to see a film at Ashford Cineworld, or Canterbury Odeon, or Westwood Vue. The Carlton has so much more in terms of character too. It’s in a very little seaside town and only has three screens, with the max seating probably being 300 people. Teeny tiny, but sweet and wonderful. I’m looking forward to it.

In the meantime, would you like to see photos of my house? Of course you would, because it’s very exciting. Except, I’m sorry – because you can’t. For some reason my laptop will not let me upload any pictures from my phone. I could upload to a new post if I used my phone but it takes so much longer to blog from a smartphone.

Oh heavens. First world problems or what.

I feel like I need a nap. I certainly need to change the load in the washing machine (it stopped 1/2 hour ago) Doing nothing for a few hours is just what I need after a very busy and full weekend of wonderful nice things with my mumma. Hooray for May.

-x-

ps. Pictures as soon as I can!