Yes, that’s right, you’re not imaging things, it’s not an apparition, this is truly me writing my first blog post in a very long time.
2013 was a tumultuous year. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such lows or highs in one year. What was meant to be a year full of happiness with the Domestic Prince turning 40 and me off on a mini world tour amongst other things, turned into a roller coaster of a ride. You see, the thing is with grief, it’s totally unpredictable – it’s the one emotion we’re not really trained for or counselled on growing-up. (If you’re new to the blog, this post will explain my absence from these pretty pink pages.) Up until late summer, I thought I was coping with the gaping hole in my life, and “moving on”. The acute daily pain that I had been feeling everyday had turned into more of a dull ache. Then something hit me after our trip to Singapore in September – I’m not sure what, but I felt the loss all overall again and with a tsunami force. Day to day life became a struggle and tears were always close to the surface. As the one year anniversary loomed closer, the worse I became. Things that normally gave me an inordinate amount of pleasure, totally lost their appeal. My enthusiasm for life was diminishing and in my typical coping fashion (rightly or wrongly), I closed myself off to everyone and everything around me. For much of the past 4 months profound grief has engulfed my every waking moment. I was so angry. Angry that she’d been taken from this world so suddenly and that there were so many things I wanted to say to her, but mainly I was consumed with a terrible sadness and sense of loss. Having not had any experience of losing a parent before, I had no idea how to deal with, or control these emotions and feelings, so I just bumbled along in my own little world.
Whilst I haven’t been wallowing in self-pity, I also haven’t really been living – which is so wrong given that there are probably many people out there who would give anything to live a full and happy life that I have the chance to do. The only thing I’ve managed to truly focus on is keeping to a size 10; quite possibly a miracle given my penchant for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Oreo. So, today is the start of my new year. I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m going to try and do everything within my scope to help myself live life to the full. You see, I’ve let nearly every aspect of my life fall by the wayside….from not remembering to take my medication regularly, to not being bothered to even put cream on my feet at night (they’re bordering on being super manky!) – everything has just felt too much of an effort and a chore. However, by putting down on paper my focus for the next few months, I’m hoping it’ll help keep me on track and feel accountable. Here’s what I’m going to be focusing on:
- My skin. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my skin has deteriorated. I think the stress of the last year, coupled with not taking my meds has caused me to have worse skin than the spottiest teenager. Therefore, I’m concentrating on getting back my bump-free glow. I’ve invested in various tools and potions to help me get my glow-on, so I’ll be sharing with you what’s worked and what hasn’t.
- Although I comfortably fit into size 10 clothes, it’s quite often with a victoria sponge (not even a muffin) silhouette, rather than a pancake one. Thus, I’m going to be working hard to achieve a lean and strong physique with not a cake in sight! I used to focus on what the number on the scales said, but recently, thanks to Francesca on FFK, I’ve realised it’s just a pointless number. If you have a Google, there’s plenty of examples of people weighing the same weight but looking totally different. It’s certainly helped me think about things differently.
- Reading. I used to be a voracious reader, but even something as enjoyable as a good book has somehow lost its appeal. I’ve just downloaded a new book on my Kindle and have committed to reading at least a couple of pages every evening in bed. I find reading quite soporific too, so am hoping it’ll help me sleep better as well.
- My squat challenge. I’m sorry to say I didn’t complete this challenge I set myself. But probably not as sorry as my bottom is. My lack of apathy towards this challenge can’t be completely attributed to my state of mind, but to an injury I sustained whilst on my mini world tour – how it happened still remains a mystery!
- Be more active. I might get put through the ringer by our fabulous personal trainer here in Bangalore, the infamous Raj, but that’s only an hour out of everyday. Typically, the rest of my day is a pretty sedentary one. There are so many studies out there proving that lack of movement accelerates the ageing process and is quite possibly a contributing factor in dementia that I’ve made the resolution to move a lot more during the day and to stop doing my best impression of a sloth! I’m the proud owner of a Fitbit tracker, so I’ll be donning that every morning in an effort to make sure I’m doing my 10,000 steps a day.
- Be a better friend. Now, I know I haven’t been a bad friend during this last year, I also know I haven’t been the best friend I could be to the wonderful people that I’m privileged to call friends. I’ve been quite poor at keeping in contact and just being “available” to them, so I’m going to try and change that starting from today.
I know that things will get easier in time. Friends who’ve also lost a parent and are further along the grieving process have told me this. And since passing the one year anniversary, even though it’s only been a week, things do feel a tinier bit easier. I’m not a religious bod, but I feel incredibly blessed to have beyond doubt the most incredible friends and family. If any of them are reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting up with me these last 12 months, I know it can’t have been easy.
Anyway, enough about me, what have you lovely lot been up to? I’d love to hear all your news.
Unlike before, there won’t be three posts a week, but two – sorry! There’ll be one early on in the week and then my regular Friday recipe post. If time permits, then occasionally I’ll pop up another one as a treat! If there’s any topics you’d like me to write about then please just drop me a note in the comments section below.
It’s good to be back.
With much love
The Domestic Princess