Uncomfortable

When people talk about living life they often use the phrase “I want to be comfortable”, I wonder if I’m strange as I honestly don’t see life this way. 

You get one life, one chance to make an impact on this world and the people in it so how does being comfortable achieve this?

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Maybe it’s due to my faith but my heart just feels like it has to give all it has. Why love one person when you can love a hundred?

I think often of some of the great people in this world and their lives were far from comfortable. Mother Teresa lived in poverty, Nelson Mandela in prison and of course Jesus, without seeming flippant I think being crucified is the furthest thing from comfortable.

I’m not saying I am any sort of martyr far from it but I want to leave this world knowing I’ve exhausted every ounce of love and compassion my heart can hold. I want my legacy to be about people loved not possessions. 

Now don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t pass up a night at a spa for some pampering but is there anything more fulfilling than knowing you have made someone smile. Realising that someone knows that they are loved, insuring someone feels less alone. 

I get the desire to be comfortable to feel safe. Growing up struggling for money and worried about who knocked the door I get it. Yet even when money was tight my mom never turned anyone away for a meal. 

I don’t know maybe I am strange, I’m happy with that. 

Even today someone asked me if I don’t like rest, of course I do, but I also know I have one life and I want to make the most of it and I’m comfortable with that. 

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Finding your journey

For those of you that follow me on my social media you will know I have been on a fitness journey since January. A decision I made at the beginning of this year about becoming the best version of myself. To work at my physical strength so that I could care for Daniel as long as he needs me.

Let’s just say it hasn’t been the easiest of journeys, blood, sweat and plenty of tears.

It’s not actually been the physical challenges that have been the ones I have struggled to overcome but more the mental ones.

About 15 years ago I suffered an assault which effected me more than I realised. A group of young men under the influence decided that my phone was theirs. I didn’t argue, something which surprised me as I always thought I would but I didn’t. I realised that my phone wasn’t worth it, also have you ever tried to argue with someone drunk? There is no point and often adds fuel to the fire. Anyhow it seems taking my phone wasn’t enough and I was physically assaulted by this group.

To say I was a mess would be a understatement but I was also ashamed. I had left the house when it was dark only around 6pm to walk the dog not because the dog needed walking but in rage after an argument with my husband. So my temper tantrum led to me walking down our canal path into a group of drunken teenagers. Even the sight of them never worried me until it was too late.

I was injured but ashamed but also stressing how this was going to impact my girls. We were only days away from Christmas so I decided to play it cool. Yes the police was called but when asked if I was ok my answer was “I’m fine”. Well until I wasn’t, it seems the kicking I received had caused some internal bleeding, me not getting treatment caused infection which left me seriously ill and pretty much bed bound.

As you can imagine being left with a chronic pain condition isn’t great and for a long time I honestly believed my fitness days were behind me. I accepted that I couldn’t teach dance anymore and was just grateful for the energy I had and the tolerance for pain I build which allowed me to work and enjoy my family.

Yet this January something flipped in my mind. I was hungry not for the old me but the part of me that used to love pushing her limits. I wanted to be healthier for Daniel and myself and I just wanted to see if it would be possible to increase my fitness levels.

So I joined the local gym, if I could only explain the fear I felt when I went for the induction, I had asked my husband to come along with me as I was sick with nerves. Thankfully the instructor was lovely and really encouraging and the gym fell comfortable with a mixture of ages and abilities. It took me another week after that induction to return but I loved it. Then after weeks of finding the courage to ask I had my first personal training session.

This is where the mind battle really began to wage. A personal training for me, it felt insane and I was expecting him to laugh at me on our first session but he was awesome. After a deep medical discussion ( I mean yes that took a while). He started me with a few exercises and introduced me to some weights. I honestly surprised myself by how well I did and I shocked myself by how much I loved it.

I really did.

Yet my battle is far from over, every time my body hurts I have to mentally encourage myself. Changing the words “you aren’t good enough “ to “you will get there”.

But I genuinely love it, I am taking away so much from it. A new found confidence in my strength, a new love for my body and a happier energy.

I know it sounds crazy but I don’t recognise the person I am becoming in a good way. I’ve even become obsessed by gym wear and my husband brought me the most gorgeous pair of trainers because he was so proud of me and I could have cried.

Again who am I?

I guess why am I writing this and if you have followed me this far thank you but I really need you to know this.

Life can get better, you can be stronger and you can find your way even after being lost for a long time.

Maybe your thing won’t be exercise though I highly recommend it for mental health as well as physical, but find your thing. We have a 60 plus year old lady in the gym who has just realised she loves boxing. The smile on her face as she punches the hell out of the punchbag is incredible.

Find your thing, try a sport, take a class, start a new hobby. It’s never to late. Find something that makes you happy, maybe it will push you out of your comfort zone in the best way.

Walking into the gym was the best decision I have made in a long time. I cannot forget what happened on that fateful dog walk but I am challenging myself to move past it. For a long time I allowed those boys to not only rob me of my phone but my identity believing I couldn’t be the same person as I was before the assault.

It’s true I cannot go back to the Sara before the assault, before the illness but who actually wants to? Life is for learning and I’ve certainly learned a lot of lessons in my lifetime. But hey they say Knowledge is power.

I don’t know where my fitness journey will go, I have no destination in mind. All I know is that I’m feeling stronger and healthier than I have in a very long time.

Who need a destination when you can just enjoy the ride?

Go find your journey now, honestly it starts with the first step and you deserve it.

My favourite day

To lay down your life for someone is a concept many of us will never have to consider.

We pray it’s never a situation we have to face.

I mean would we lay down our lives for our children our families ,maybe but for strangers?

For people that openly hate us?

Today is my favourite day of the year, a day that brings pure joy to my heart.

A promise made

A promise honoured

The truest definition of hope.

I need today, I need the enormity of the sacrifice to refresh my soul.

I need to know true love.

I need to know the grave has no hold on anyone.

I need to know I am not alone.

I am not alone.

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We need to remember what Livvy taught us.

I worry we are forgetting, not about Olivia herself but all that she taught us.

I can still see her in my mind clear as yesterday. Her blond hair that twirled between my fingers. Her cute mouth and the way it did it’s little Elvis curl.

I can hear her giggle at the silly things or the most incorrect moments.

Her teasing way towards her sisters, her daddy.

I can see it all and I’m so thankful for this but what she taught us is slipping through my fingers, through her Daddies fingers.

To make the moments matter.

This was what Livvy taught us, on the day of her diagnosis we realised that we didn’t have forever so we needed to focus, needed to revalue and we needed to make the moments matter.

We were never going to be wealthy enough for amazing trips but Livvy didn’t care less where she was as long as there was laughter in the air.

Give her a sea shore and splashing waves and she was content.

Give her a battered roe and couple of your chips and she was happy.

Give her your arms to snuggle in and she was in her moment.

Life has become a little forgetful as of late. The normal is invading into our moments a little more than I like. Laughter feels rationed and magical moments are becoming less.

I know we cannot live in a permanent state of magic but we do need a reminder of what Livvy taught us.

Daniel needs us to remember.

Yes money is tight and that always adds the extra weight upon anyone’s shoulders but money does not equate happiness and it doesn’t bring guarantees.

I want to remember the moments we shared.

I want to create new moments for Daniel.

Tropical hurricanes aside I want magical moments again. I want to laugh until I cannot breathe, dance in the rain, drink tea with friends whilst the night sky entertains us with star dances.

I want to throw Daniel into moments the Drs never imagined for him, defy odds and breathe life in deeply.

I want to remember what Livvy taught us and make her proud by being her best student.

I don’t want to forget, we all need not to forget.

Life is for living,

Living like Livvy.

I wish I had been there.

I read a post the other day describing the days of a premature baby in a neonatal unit and my heart broke. Not because Daniel was born at 26 weeks because my little fighter survived, but because I wasn’t by his side through it all.

How crazy is this that I’m torn inside by a grief, a guilt for a time I didn’t know. For a time when I didn’t know my boy. The idea of him facing what he did without me by his side breaks my heart.

The whole time before he came my son is one I cannot focus on. I cannot bare to think of the symphony of emotions he had to face alone.

I have read his medical file and my heart just tears, 26 operations before we met him. 26 anaesthetics, 26 procedures, 26 times I wasn’t by his side holding his hand.

I know it’s crazy and deep down I know it’s not my fault and I do just have to have trust in the journey but I honesty wish he hadn’t had to face one step without me.

I get frustrated when people tell me that he shouldn’t be as clingy as he is. I honestly ask them to walk his pathway and see if you didn’t want to hold on tight.

When the world has been full of procedures and strangers. Pain and suffering. When you cannot see who is picking you up tell me you wouldn’t hold on tight to the one you know, the ones whose arms to trust.

I’m so proud of this clingy I want my mom stage, because this means he knows I am always there. That in my arms he is safe.

I adore the way that when he is ill he only wants me it’s further testimony to our bond.

Mother and son.

I cannot change the past and that’s something I do have to let go. I’m just so thankful that he came to us and that his heart fitted perfectly inside mine.

The future isn’t mine to see and I will not make promises that I cannot guarantee but what I do know is that why my heart still beats I will be by his side, whenever he needs me that’s a promise.

Celebrating the gift of motherhood.

Mother’s day is a day of celebration, a day where we honour the bond of a mother and a child. The period of time you are a mother is irrelevant. Physical birthing isn’t a necessary. Motherhood is about loving someone more than yourself. Living and breathing for their dreams to come true.

I adore being a mother, from the moment I knew I was carrying my first child in my womb my heart has loved hard. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve messed up and I’m sure I still will but my children are my life, my world.

One of the hardest things I have faced as a mom is letting go, watching my children grow and flourish and become Independant and assured. Seeing them bravely love, suffer, face heartache and rejection. The overwhelming urge to take them away from painful situations, to stop them before they try. Yet as a mom I’ve had to let them be, to live is to learn.

I am a mom to four amazing daughters and one handsome son, each one so beautiful and incredible in their own right. Individual with their own needs, wishes and dreams.

My dearest Livvy is in heaven and whilst the veil of this lifetime separates us physically now. No time, space or worlds can separate the love of this Mom from her daughter. My soul craves for my girl, my arms ache to hold her. My heart will be forever missing a piece, beating with a broken melody.

Yet I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Mother’s Day is a celebration and I have a lot to be thankful for. So I’m going to hold on tight to the memories, run forward widely into the future with the knowledge that the greatest role I get to live, is that of a mother.

How blessed am I?

Dear Social media users

Dear Social Media Users

The power we have at our fingertips should be used wisely. Our words now hold so much more force than ever before. The whispers between friends are now being shared across the globe, gone is the ears of few now to the ears of millions.

Growing up I was lucky to have a wise grandad who once told me “don’t say what you wouldn’t want sharing across a room”. I don’t think he had in mind the expanse of the social media reach but I do feel the concept, the sentiment is the same.

If we realise that nothing we share on these platforms is private maybe then we will less quick to press post, less willing to share.

I sometimes wonder if it’s a good thing, the way a persons innermost thoughts are now shared so widely. How opinions that have been in the shadows are now out in the open.

I worry about the influences on our youth, the perceptions they take as reality leaving them feeling inadequate, not enough.

The cultivation of hate, the rise of right wing hate, religious hateful ideology and the vicious muck spreading of lies. All finding itself a wider audience thanks to the power of virtual connection.

Yet still I don’t hate social media, I really don’t.

It has brought into my life some amazing people. People I wouldn’t have come across in my lifetime, separated by distance or just circumstances . It’s been an incredible resource on my late daughters disability and now my son’s. I’m learning, I have learnt more than I could have imagined most that I would have never have known without this source of knowledge.

It has created communities of support, raised awareness and reached out and brought love to those in need.

But personally I think it has come to a point that we now need to be reminded of authenticity. Times gone by a journalist couldn’t publish a story without having the evidence to prove its claim yet we have only got to look at the press of the recent times to know that this is no longer the case. Smear campaigns, lies and pure fabricated hate is shared across many communication mediums.

I wonder when the ability to write any old rhetoric got confused with the freedom of speech?

I wonder when one person’s opinion became fact?

When one persons fear became hate?

Should we be policing the internet, to be honest I don’t know?

As a person in this country we do have a right to think the way we wish. What we don’t have though is the right to act upon it if it causes harm to another, if it’s malicious in its intent. If it’s to incite hate?

So maybe thats where the policing needs to be, cracking down on those who abuse this form of communication. Those who troll, bully and intimidate others. Those who spread lies and feed the evil of this world. Police those that exploit the vulnerable, predators of any nature to all to face charges of a harsh kind. Intimidation, abuse, torture of any kind physical or virtual should come with the same punishment, a hard one.

But beyond all of this we as people have an obligation to each other to remind ourselves that what we say can be heard beyond the room. That by the words we use, the posts we share we take a responsibility for the substance. We cannot say we did not know anymore, we did not realise.

Ignorance is no longer a defence.

Let’s use social media for the communication it should and can be, one of joy, one of upliftment and one of knowledge.

Be truthful and be kind.

Many thanks

Sara