Resting up – not falling over


photo credit: Hernan Sanchez

I’ve lost my voice. So I’m resting up.

It started with a huskier than normal conversation on Saturday afternoon – while accosting a family in our local coffee shop.  (See, I’m so much braver and more social than I ever was before. Shanghai has done this to me…) I had seen the woman at school and recognised her photo from one of the WeChat groups out here – so, in the spirit of being welcoming to another newcomer, I inserted myself into her family conversation and introduced us lot… Within 15 seconds a connection was found (courtesy of hubby’s company branded jacket) – her hubby’s brother used to work for my hubby back in London.  We might be in the biggest city in the world, but it’s a small world after all.

By the time we got home, the Mariela Frostrup huskiness had some added squeaks and by the time I woke up on Sunday morning, I was little more than a whisper…

The world is clearly sending me a message. Or, in fact, a couple of messages.

Be Quieter

The little people have taken on, mostly with good grace, all that we have thrown at them in the past 6 months.  The move across the world. The lack of CBeebies. The lack of decent fish fingers (though they are voicing concern that they may in fact starve when M&S finally leaves Shanghai).  And then there are my daily questions.

I’m a big fan of The School of Life back in London Village.  And, as I’ve mentioned before, I love their boxes of questions – including this new Family version which I asked Santa for at Christmas (good lad, he duly obliged!)

So, as they finish up their dinner each night, we pull a question or two from the pack and see what everyone’s answers are… And do you know what, 5 & 6 year olds can have more interesting answers than you might give them credit for. (Littlest Pickle is usually a little quieter… but I know she’s storing up her opinions… God help us all.)

When asked if they would have rather been only children, they decided that whilst having no one to fight with would be a good thing, they would also have no one else their age to talk and play with, and so on balance… there was a benefit to having siblings.  So much so that, could they please have 3 or 4 more – to spread the love / fun / fighting…? (Um, NO.)

And then the question was: “What habit of your parents will you definitely avoid when you are older?”

And the answer?


They will not shout at their children when they are older. (I will remind them of this!)

Of all the things they could have said, that one struck home.  Yes, much like my mother before me (and much as too I swore that I WOULD NOT SHOUT)  I am a shouter.  And with three stories to the house, that’s a lot of shouting.

But today, there is to be no shouting. I must be quieter. I am quieter – with no option. There is karma here, I know it.

I know that shouting does not work. I know that it just makes them shout back. Louder. It just makes me feel like I am trying to communicate with a brick wall.

I have been trying not to shout for a long time. So, here it is. My enforced period of not shouting.  Can I do something with this? Can I make it work to my advantage? Can I learn something new? I hope so, I really do.

And if nothing else, my fitness levels should improve, as there are a lot of stairs between the kitchen and their bedrooms at the top of the house!

Acceptance – I am resting

I hate being ill.  As far as I was concerned, I don’t DO ill.

It’s tied in to the whole perfectionism / productivity / guilt thing and so I have mostly always just blustered on. I resist it for as long as humanly possible, self-medicate with cups of tea (& red wine and chocolate – very soothing to a sore throat…) and grumpily wait for whatever it is to pass.

I tried that on Sunday.  I did admit to being a little ‘sub-standard’.  I did stay home and watch Paw Patrol with the kids rather than head out to catch up with a friend. But… Hubby just laughed and asked whether ‘sub-standard’ could just be read as ‘ill’. Nope. No way. Not at all.

Except, maybe…

I’m continuing on my daily Headspace journey and on Saturday I got to choose a new series of meditation practice to focus on. I went for Acceptance.

And the question I got asked this morning to meditate & reflect on? “What are you resisting in the world right now?”

Hmmm… It feels like the universe is talking to me.

What if I was resisting being ill. What if I was just failing to accept that actually, I am ill. Just a little bit. Nothing major. But… what would it feel like to accept that? Rather than just resist it as always?

Well, after a couple of delicious cups of tea, a return to bed for a little work (but more importantly, a snooze) and a seriously tasty toasted English muffin (small treat – HUGE pleasure out here) I can say very happily and honestly, that resting up and accepting that I am ill – and therefore might just need to be a little kinder to myself right now – has been a blooming lovely way to spend a morning.

And maybe, just maybe, this resting up will stop a falling over later.  Which has got to be a good thing.

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