misdirected emotions

I am a great example of how to display an emotion completely separate from what I m actually feeling. I have written before that I can be an ostrich when it comes to emotions and feelings but I also have a knack for completely dwelling on something minor as a way to distract myself from what I’m really feeling.

Case in point: about 2 hours ago I said goodbye to my wonderful American friends. I just about held the tears back as the kids all got emotional and as they prayed for me and told me their favourite things about my visit. I felt so sad to be leaving that I wanted to tell Rachel to turn the car around and I would just stay forever!

(But of course I didn’t and I said goodbye at the bus stop with a huge knot in my tummy and a lump in my throat from trying so hard not to lose it)

So then I spent an hour on the bus trying not to cry, reading my Bible and praying and looking at pictures. By the time I got to the airport I still felt sad but I was thankful for my time with the Libbys.

Then I checked in and my bag was too heavy and I had to pay the excess fee and instead of being my usual practical self and rearranging items between my carry-ons to make my check-in lighter I just went ahead and paid the whole charge! Which left me kicking myself all through Security for not making a wise decision.

Of course, I got so frustrated with myself over it because I didn’t want to think about what I was missing with Rachel and the kids.

I really had to fight to let go of that frustration and not let it take away from the joyful time I’ve had. Seriously, I’ve just had 2 wonderful weeks with some of my favourite people and I’m going to dwell on an insignificant thing like paying a baggage charge?!

How could my heart and head be so ungrateful so suddenly. It honestly took a lot of prayer and thanking God for all blessings of the last two weeks to make me see that while yes, maybe I made a silly split second decision, but it was even sillier to let it spoil my heart.

In the end I was thanking God that he provided me with enough spending money in my purse that I could pay the charge in cash and still have enough for a Starbucks while I wait for my boarding time. He didn’t have to provide that, but He did, because He loves me.

One thing I am taking away from this experience is to always have a thankful heart even when you feel silly or frustrated with your situation, because there are too many blessings to count if you look for them.

The other thing I am taking away from this is to be more wware of what I am feeling and why. This has always been a thing for me, and I have to constantly examine myself: what am I feeling, why am I feeling that way? But now I also need to challenge myself to change my attitude if it is not right and focused on God.

Such deep thoughts whilst sat at Gate D11. I have another hour or so until my flight starts boarding so I think I will head around the concourse in search of that Starbucks!

-x-

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Flying away

Today I’m leaving to go back home to the UK. In total I’m travelling for about 28 hours…on three planes.

Flight one: Portland to Phoenix, arriving at 10.30pm
Flight two: Phoenix to Charlotte, leaving at 630am (yes I will be in Phoenix airport overnight) arriving at 130pm
Flight three: Charlotte to London, leaving at 630pm and arriving at 620am on SATURDAY morning.

I am going to be so tired and jetlagged and its worse because I just don’t want to leave. I feel like it takes me a week to settle in and then the next week goes too quickly ūüė¶ this is the hardest it has been to leave. It makes me so sad to think about not hearing the kids when I wake up in the morning, not having late night talks with Rachel…it all just makes me super sad and miserable.

I know I have people who love me back home in Canterbury and when I’m there it will be great but for now, I’m just sad to leave. Sad.

-x-

Do you have a favourite “spot” to sit in? I remember fierce arguments with my siblings when I was younger if one of us dared to sit in a seat that someone else had vacated. I love it in the Big Bang Theory when someone sits in Sheldon’s seat…because it is so true to my life.

Wherever I go I like to have a “spot” to settle in. For example, at my house I like to sit in the right side corner of the sofa…at a family’s house that I babysit there is a red armchair that is the perfect size for me to curl up in.

Here, at David & Rachel’s in Salem, “my spot” is a green rocker chair. I love it. It’s the perfect size for curling up to read, snuggling with the kids/dog, and just generally chilling out. I feel cosy and peaceful sitting in this chair, even if I do look a little bit silly rocking myself back and forth!!

Where is your comfy spot?

-x-

Spring time in Salem

Day 2 of my American trip…it is 53¬ļF today and the sun is SHINING! Yesterday we went to the grocery store and I didn’t even need a jacket, and this morning we spent a few hours at Riverfront park, playing in the sunshine. It’s so warm…hard to believe that the UK has snow forecast for next week. Off I go to enjoy the sun some more…Elijah and Hope are super into basketball right now and we’re doing lots of practice in the driveway. I suck but they don’t seem to mind!!

And another week goes by…

Somehow it is already past the middle of January. How has that happened?! So far I think January, and 2013, is doing a pretty good job, I feel like I should give it a sticker or something.

This weekend I have two bits of exciting news – that are possibly only exciting to me, but seeing as this is my blog and I can write about whatever silly nonsense I like, I will share. You’re welcome.

1) I now have two bridesmaid’s dresses, since I am going to be a bridesmaid twice this year. I dunno, you go 23 1/2 years and aren’t a bridesmaid once and then two weddings come along at the same time. I love both my dresses and can’t wait for the wedding shindigs.

2) The other piece of exciting news is that I have dates to go the USA for what could now be called my Annual Trip. March 7th-21st I will be Oregon bound to visit my favourite bunch of Americans. I can’t wait. I’ve been checking out flights for the past week or so and trying to figure out the best route. I want to fly from Gatwick since it’s nearer, but that tends to result in needing to take 3 planes to get all the way across the states. Which could be fun on the way there since I don’t really get jetlagged flying West, but on the journey back it may not be so much fun. Apparently jetlag is always worst when flying Eastwards, but I don’t know why.

All I know is that I am for sure looking forward to this trip. Even though it’s been less than a year since I last went, it feels like forever and I enjoy every minute of my time there so much that it’s basically a highlight of the year.

Oh! I just remembered more exciting news. (Again, exciting to me, maybe not to you)
Book Club is starting again! A group of us met last summer with the intention of reading The Greener Grass Conspiracy greenergrass

But due to 6 very busy schedules we never got round to organising any times to meet. So we all have read it separately I think, but over the New Year I felt that this was the year to step out more and really be purposeful in getting to know people – and by people, I mean, young women around my age/in my demographic – in the church and I decided to propose starting Book Club again.

So I think there are 6 of us, which is a nice number, although more may join. To begin with we’re going to read a short-ish book called 9781842913574

and then we have another book lined up, for afterwards.

All in all, I’m pretty good right now. It’s a nice feeling. Long may it last!

-x-

Catching up…

Well hello there. Long time no see. My fault I know, sorry!!

After I had the flu I had a lot of work to catch up with, and it took quite a while. I only had a week between feeling better and going home, which was lovely in many ways because even though I was better I still got tired quite easily so knowing that I had 10 days off was comforting. However, while I was sick I missed several meetings and lots of things happened with ‘my’ kids so it wasn’t the easy-going week that I would have liked.

But I made it! Hooray! We finished work a little early on Friday, to exchange Secret Santa gifts and have drinks/nibbles at the office, and then the girls and I moved on to a local pub. Honestly, I was a little apprehensive about it, because yes we talk while we are at work but the conversation is still kept to a minimum (after all, we are there to work not chat…though we do that a fair amount) I was worried that we would not have much to talk about and would end up just awkwardly discussing work for an hour and then all slope of home. It wasn’t like that at all! In fact, I had to push back my evening plans with Rosie because we were having such a fun time. I’ve suggested we do it every few months because it was so nice to socialise with them, not talking about work.

After saying goodbye & Merry Christmas, I went to Rosie’s and had dinner (she had saved it for me, what a love) and chats until our voices were hoarse and I realised that I hadn’t actually packed everything I needed for my time at home!

I was quite impressed with the drive home…even though it was dismal and rainy, there wasn’t that much traffic and I made it in 5 1/2 hours (I drove slower because of the rain). I was expecting it to look like this:

Congested M25 Motorway at Junction 14, Greater London, England, United Kingdom. Image shot 2009. Exact date unknown.

And so I was home, for 6 days. It’s the shortest “Christmas holiday” that I’ve had, but on the whole it was nice. Christmas Day was really chilled – we slept in til about 9, then opened stocking presents (from “Santa”) and had breakfast – pain au chocolat and brioche, yum. I went to church and my mum put the turkey in, and when I got back I took over the cooking. It’s the second year I’ve done the dinner and it was so much fun. I honestly really enjoyed it. My mum’s best friend and her mum came to join us for lunch and the afternoon. We opened presents from Mum before lunch, and presents from each other after lunch but before dessert. Since lunch was epic, we didn’t actually eat dessert until 5pm! And then we had supper at 7, watched the Christmas soaps, Call the Midwife and Downton (which I just summarised for my friend Maddy and I still cannot believe the ending) and went to bed.

It was probably the most “grown-up” Christmas we have had (we never leave presents that late!!) but it was really nice. I have to say though, it did feel like Christmas ended quickly – like we only had the one day. I can’t really remember what we did on Boxing Day, but I don’t think it was anything extraordinary. It was chilled, and quiet, I guess. There was lots of rain – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20830618

There are loads of floods in Devon and Cornwall right now, and the rain just keeps coming! I think we had one fully dry day, the rest of the time it was heavy showers, very windy and not really very nice. It’s hard to be joyful when it’s so dismal outside. When I was driving down, I got about 2 miles from our village and the country lanes all had little streams running down them…then I came to a dip in the road and the water was (not a word of a lie) 1.5 ft deep. There was a minibus in front of me and it drove through (stupidly) and the water was above the tyres. Not a chance, buster – I thought it was a stupid risk to take, especially after I had been so cautious on the motorways, so I turned around in the lane and went another way round, only to have two of the other lanes blocked due to flooding. In the end I had to go right back to the main roads and figure it out that way!

Fortunately Canterbury seems slightly drier than Devon – at least for now. I had to come back on the 28th because I took over On-Call on the morning of the 29th. I’ve had a few calls but nothing serious. I’m back to work on Wednesday, but have had a lovely few days so far and have lots of fun planned for New Years’ etc before Wednesday comes and I’m going to make the most of my first Canterbury New Year and hopefully will start 2013 on a high!

-x-

Flip that frown upside down

Today started out as a REALLY crappy day.

A few days ago my dad called my sister to say he was going back to Afghanistan in 2 weeks, to take up his job at the Airbase in Kandahar. My sister told my mum, who told me. I didn’t get so much as a text from my dad. And then yesterday, I spoke to my mum who said that my sister had received a text from my stepmum saying my dad had flown out “a few days early” and was already in Afghanistan.

Cue heartache. The thing is, I’m not upset that he’s there. It really makes no difference to me whether he is in Plymouth or Afghanistan – actually it could be that it will be¬†easier now he’s there because there is an excuse for having little/no contact.

What hurts is that I didn’t even get a call to say he would be leaving, and nothing before he decided to fly out early.

I had such angry, horrible dreams and woke up in such a bad mood that I had to cancel plans with Eleanor because I knew I would be terrible company. I just needed to spend time with Jesus. And I cried.

We’re talking ugly, hiccupy, big tears¬†crying. I only ever seem to do that over my dad.

It’s a complicated relationship.¬†No matter how crappy a dad he is, I always hope that something will change. And then when something like this happens, even though every time I say that I won’t be surprised, it feels like I’ve been punched in the stomach.

I hate that it upsets me so much, because I feel like I should be used to it right now. But no matter how much I pretend that it’s ok that he doesn’t call, text, or really make an effort to¬†know me at all, I still feel like a lost little girl when things like this happen.

But after a call to my mum and time with Jesus, listening to worship music and praying/crying for a while, I felt a little better. Tasha and I went to my friend Karen’s because her parents were having a get-together with people from church and I was reminded that while my biological family are, for the most part, pretty rubbish (immediate family excluded) …

I am blessed to have an absolutely amazing church family.

It was so much fun, I think I’m actually bruised from laughing so much. We ate, drank and were merry – and I spent time chatting with people I didn’t know so well before. We even played board games, it was just genuinely the exact thing that I needed. I am so thankful for a God that knows what I need… at a time when I was feeling heartbroken (for the thousandth time) and desperate, he takes me to a place where I can be comforted and loved.

Just what I need.

-x-