We have thought about the week, reflected upon it separately and together and come to some interesting conclusions. Some of them did not become absolutely clear to me until last night, when the girls rang us, as their mobile phones had begun to work again as they were close to the UK coastline.
We have missed their physical presence, their chatter and their liveliness about the house; we miss their news, being part of their lives and being with them in the day-to-day. On the other hand, we have enjoyed the rare time to ourselves. It has been a change, but not one I would like to continue for longer than a week! We are going to be able to wean ourselves off their presence gradually over time, and that is as it should be. As they become more independent, and move more fully into their own lives, we will be forced to re-think our own to some extent.
However, I have had a revelation about my stress levels and it has indeed come as something of a shock to me: when I am here with only someone who has physical difficulties [the FH], I don't mind doing everything and I am glad of whatever he feels able to do to help*. When the girls are here, and I am trying to get 101 things done, I feel frustrated that they don't see that I could do with some help, and that raises my stress levels somewhat. I get cross with the arguing and the reluctance to help and to contribute that I see in them, and that makes me angry with myself that I haven't trained them better!
Our eyes have been opened this week, and I see that we could have a more relaxed way of life if more hands were lifted to contribute, and it seems that September brings a new beginning, and one that we should take advantage of in more ways than one.
*[The way that the FH helps is sometimes a blessing and other times a challenge. Yesterday he offered to help with the chutney making, and said he would skin the tomatoes and peel the onions. The tomatoes were fine but when he peeled the onions, he did 2.5kg instead of 2.5lbs, which is quite a difference, so I have frozen the excess in two-onion portions.]
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