Wednesday, 11 January 2017

New Year, New Beginning

Just a few months ago, after a summer hiatus I committed myself to being regular about blogging again. And then, the cat got run over and ended up with a broken leg and surgery. An awful lot of taking her to and from vets appointments as well as adapting our home and lifestyle to her recovery. Just when it was all coming to an end, no more cage, no more confinement, no more pins through her leg ... my husband broke his ankle. And yes it all began again, surgery, hospital appointments, adaptation. He spent 8 weeks in plaster off his feet, 8 weeks where there was only one driver in our household oh and one person to cook, clean and wash clothes, build fires, haul logs... the list could go on and on. 

Oksa sleeping
Cat recovery means a lot of sleep

Frank's leg
The cast

On the positive side it's been a validating experience for me. Many of the things I've been doing are things I do a lot of anyway but some of them were definitely Frank's jobs before. Things like the log pile, a lot of the driving, the bins. And although it's been tiring it's also been great to see how much I can do and that we can adapt and function through difficult circumstances. 

Stacking the wood pile
The logs when they arrived - luckily Frank was still on two feet!

Perhaps the most important achievement personally was driving to and around the UK. Having only passed my test in March I was really nervous about the amount of driving involved and particularly the idea of driving on the left. My first reaction was to declare it was impossible and start looking at how to cancel our ferry plans and take a plane. I was very determined to spend Christmas with my family but really scared about the idea of driving. Well in the end taking flights was so complicated and expensive that we were faced with driving or staying home. Thanks to my husband's belief in my abilities and my determination to go we took the decision to drive and really it was fine. After years of thinking I might never drive, I am so pleased to have nailed this skill. It was also inspiring to see that with determination I can do things, even things I find difficult and frightening - something I really needed reminding of.

Kids with Uncle Chris and Anthea

Children in wonder with their Christmas cracker hats.
Definitely worth making the effort for - Christmas with family.

So we were forced to slow our lives down and do things differently and just like every other time this has happened to us, I can honestly say that while difficult at times, it's been a rewarding and enriching experience. Having only one driver meant we let some activities go for a while, and Frank's lack of mobility also meant I took my youngest with me a lot when normally she'd stay home. She loved our sculpture class and the class loved her. Luckily she is a cuddly kid so didn't mind everyone kissing and making a fuss of her. It really made us feel so welcome as a family and offered some much needed moral support. 

More time at home gave everyone a chance to rest and rediscover all the things they love doing together which has been great for family dynamics. Sadly slowing down didn't stop us all coming down with a very bad dose of the flu before the holidays. And while it was horrid at the time, the after effect of this illness and our recent experiences seems to be one of those developmental leaps that kids take sometimes x3. At the start of the year the children seem calmer and more able to co-exist and find solutions. We've begun having regular family meetings and even our smallest (4) is taking big steps, going to sleep on her own and playing by herself with a lot of imagination more and more. 

Frost on the Hibiscus
Winter in the Garden

All in all these hard times seem to have done us some good and it's a new year now and the cast is off! There are going to be a lot of physiotherapy appointments and sadly the cat still has a limp but really there so much to be grateful for. We're all ready to start this year enjoying the calmer activities that rhythm the last few months of winter and kicking off lots of new projects and new ideas. Here on the blog that will mean the return of twice weekly blog posts. One will focus more on writing and inspiration and the other on family and homeschooling. I hope you'll enjoy reading!

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