Thursday, 31 May 2012

The One Where I Realise How Far I've Come

On Saturday I went on a course. It was called "How to Feel Good from the Inside Out" and Hippy Chick was running it.

I had done the course before as a half day, but after feedback Hippy Chick decided to extend it to a full day so it wasn't so rushed and people had more time to share and soak in all the information.

I always knew this was powerful stuff and I agreed it takes a whole day, at least, to really grasp the whole concept of increased self confidence and self esteem.

What I hadn't realised, until the day got going, was how far I'd come with it all.

I've had some one to one sessions with Hippy Chick. Some of them really intense. The ones after my redundancy were particularly painful. I sobbed and sobbed and let it all out then collected it all up in a big ball of frustration, resentment and anger and chucked the whole lot into the past. Where it belongs.

So on Saturday, I watched the the brave and incredible ladies who had the courage to come on the course, some of them crying, some so broken and bewildered with life they felt on the verge of a breakdown. When I saw them and recognised myself from this time last year I knew I had come such a long way.

One particular visualisation we did really brought it home to me. Without going into the whole thing it's about facets of your personality that you may have closed down over the years after negative comments. You visualise these as doors to rooms. My doors were open. Not all of them yet, but many more than ever before. I felt free to roam from room to room. I felt open. I felt honest. I didn't cry this time. 

I smiled.

I told the others on the course. I was where you are a year ago. You've made the first step. This stuff works. Keep going. It's an on going process.

But then so is life.

We should never stop growing. Learning. Challenging ourselves.

I'm not "fixed"! But then who is? I'm not sure anyone ever is and I've learnt that maybe that's ok.

A little while ago Ken's Mum asked in astonishment why I was having confidence coaching.

"You are one of the most confident people I know" she laughed.

I couldn't answer her. I didn't know. I just knew I wasn't right. I was still on the "happy pills". I had dark days. Days when I just couldn't cope. When I didn't want to get out of bed. 

"But you get on stage." she said. 

True. I lark about. I make everyone laugh. Except some days myself.

That was the key. It's not confidence I lacked but "Self Confidence".

The ability to be comfortable in my own skin. To open my doors and not hide behind a players mask.

So now I like that's there's still a long way to go because when you feel you are on the right path the journey can only be fun, can't it!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The One With The Wedding

We've had the build up.

We've had the hen do! (apologies for having only written part 1 of that - other parts to follow I promise)

So last Friday week we had the wedding.

The wedding being that of Ken and Mr Ken.

Ken is my dear friend who sat next to me for nearly the entire time I worked with her and put up with my old jokes, larking about and general lack of enthusiasm for doing any actual work for the best part of 13 years!

The woman deserves a medal.

On more than one occasion she has remarked that her now husband is like a male version of me!

A medal? She needs her head reading!

So along came the big day and Ken was very calm and collected bless her.

I on the other hand was a nervous wreck.

First of all I had convinced myself that the boy was going to scream all the way through the ceremony, meal, speeches, first dance and any other major moment of a person's wedding day.

Secondly I had also convinced myself the boy would poo just as we reached the registrar and a horrible aroma would pervade the entire proceedings. .

Thirdly I had visions of sticky little hands all over the brides beautiful white dress.

Fourthly I assumed he would do all of the above plus just as the bride and groom were about to exchange vows in a moment of tender devotion to each other, a little voice would pipe up from the back and say

"Spencer and Gordon next. DD please Mama"  in his usual Thomas the Tank engine obsessed way. DD being boy speak for a DVD and Spencer and Gordon being his favourite story.

In fact he did none of these things. What he did do was got over excited after I'd left home to go to the wedding venue, launched himself off the sofa and banged his head and nose resulting in bloody red marks on his face.

All week I had been carefully applying calendula cream to his cheeks to calm the redness of his teething rash so he looked lovely for the pictures and he goes and does that!

I heard the news of this calamity via Nanny P when I phoned her to ask Hubby to bring a needle and cotton with him so we could sew the brooch back onto Earthquakes's bridesmaid dress. Nanny P made it sound like his face was that of a boy who'd done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson and then added helpfully

"He's ever so grumpy too"

Great! An arsey two year old page boy with a cut on his nose!

You too can have your wedding ruined by my son. I'm thinking of hiring him out!

I fessed up to the bride. Many a bride would've freaked out that their cherub of a page boy had smacked his face on the morning of the wedding but not Ken. 

Ken is a star.

"He's two mate. And a boy. What do you expect? Little boys look like that. He's gorgeous"

After that I felt much calmer.

In reality, when hubby arrived with the boy (and the needle and thread - which we never got round to using) his face wasn't that bad and due to a sleep in the car on the way over his mood had vastly improved. His suit went on swiftly and with only a little wobble before we went down the aisle and one Hubs had to deal with at the end of the ceremony all was good.

I needn't have worried about the official photos as we never got one of the boy. He was too busy bombing about on the grass with the other children and running his poor father ragged to stand still long enough but at least he was happy. And thanks to bubbles and colouring books on the table at dinner he was as good as gold during the meal.

He also waited until the end of the meal to have a poo so he missed a good deal of the speeches by being back in our room with his dad having his bum changed so all in all it went off fine.

So relaxed was I at this point and so happy was the boy running about on the stage area with the other children that he stayed up long after his bedtime. He even started to do the Peter Kay thing where little boys pretend to be aeroplanes at wedding receptions - he came just short of skidding about on his knees.

My parents were invited to the evening and the plan was for them to stay until the boy could take no more then they would bundle him in the car and take him back for a sleep over at their house for the night.

The disco started. All was good. The boy was dancing, running about and generally being a two year old on reserve energy and excitement at being up an a hour and half later than his usual bedtime.

The guy doing the disco set off the smoke machine. Clouds of white mist flooded the dance floor. 

"Fire. Fire" the boy screamed. 

"No baby, it's just the smoke machine. Not a fire"

In hindsight how a 2 year old who's never seen a disco before is supposed to know what a smoke machine is I have no idea so of course it was a fire! Where there's smoke there's a fire. Usually started by Naughty Norman or that idiot Mike Flood and expertly put out by Fireman Sam.

"Fire. Fire!"  he was really screaming now. And not only screaming but due to the many, many episodes of Fireman Sam we have watched in his short life so far, screaming "Fire" in a Welsh accent.

Come in Nanny and Granddad your time is up!

The boy was unceremoniously scooped up and taken to our room for milk and pyjamas all the time screaming "Fire" as if he hailed from the valley's themselves buyo. 

Once safely and sleepily handed over to his doting grandparents, we waved him good bye as the car drove away, him still mustering up the energy to shout "Fire" at regular intervals. 

"I thought your husband was half Irish not Welsh" someone said to me later.

"He is" I replied. I didn't bother to explain. I was too busy strutting my stuff on the dance floor with a gin and tonic in my hand to go into it. 

I was just relived for everyone that the day had gone so well. 

Like a house on fire in fact!