02 Apr What I learnt in March
March has been a good month. A month where I have been able to get back out into the garden, and no one has had any sick days off school. As I walked along the beach in Anglesey this week I thought about what I have learnt this month.
- Criticism is hard. Public criticism is even harder. This month I set up a Facebook page for my blog and as a consequence I seem to be getting new readers, which is great. More people I don’t know in real life are reading (hi!). This has been exciting and slightly nerve-wracking. It would appear some people are more willing to engage about the things they disagree with, rather the things they agree with. And I have had a couple of comments that have felt a bit like a rebuke, a slap in the face. At the point of contact, the first thing I want to do is to slam back at them, to craft a witty reply that makes the person critiquing me look stupid. (A bit of an ugly, if understandable, quality). Thankfully I have restrained myself from doing this and, in the first occasion, a lovely friend defended me online in the most gentle and non-reactionary way, and in the second occasion after an hour or two I realised the person critiquing me was right, I had made a systematic error throughout one blog, so I thanked them and did a re-edit on the post in question. I will assuredly make more mistakes, and offend and disagree with more people (if I’m not I’m probably doing something wrong). But I have decided now, at the outset, I am (going to try to be) okay with that. I am not going to respond straight away. I am also going to do my best to not let it eat me up. If this blog is participating in a conversation, I am keen to hear from you, whatever you think. So if you have any thoughts or comments, please do get in touch via Facebook or in the comments section at the bottom of this post.
- Two out of three ain’t bad. We were in Anglesey with the kids for a few days and it felt as though one of them was always in a bad mood, kicking off, not impressed, generally being a pain in the arse. The moments when all three were at peace and happy have to be noticed and enjoyed because, most of the time, we are just happy that two out of three ain’t bad.
- I suffer from travel sickness. The past two weeks have been busy. Good busy. Swimming gala and friends for dinner busy. Lunch with extended family and trips to the theatre in Manchester busy. But busy nonetheless. I have been keeping pace, enjoying the speed and the activity. But this pace isn’t achievable all the time. After a while I start to feel travel sick. I have to slow down, to remember that break-neck is not a pace I can maintain for long, even if it is while taking part in lots of things I love. Once I realised this was what was going on I had a self-designated ‘quiet’ day, where I took every easy option available, ignored the kids as much as possible and crochet took precedent over reading – there was enough going on in my brain without trying to cram more in. This day had a stabilising effect. I re-calibrated and allowed the forward momentum to slow to a halt. It felt good. I am rarely good at noticing when this is happening (quite proud of myself on this occasion) and am wondering whether a monthly ‘quiet’ day might be a good habit to introduce.
- I learnt a new skill. At 36 I am now able to skim a stone. My husband has always been the champion at this, and I am in no way going to be stealing his crown any time soon, but I can at least join in now. My most impressive skim so far stretched to four bounces (not sure on my terminology here, but I am sure someone will correct me). Not bad.
- Some fact I learnt. Sheep can jump really high. Much higher than they look like they should be able to. The ones that invaded our garden managed an impressive leap over the barbed wire when my 6 year old chased them out (I have him in training to be a sheep dog). Also, dogs have elbows (a fact, it would appear, everyone except me knew).