I've been feeling all over the place this past week - tired, excited, sensitive, impatient, relieved - a familiar old cocktail, as the final days of the Tour tick by. It really doesn't take much to set me off either - Remembrance Day was a given, I blubbed through bits of Children in Need, but it can be anything as random as a late-night documentary about the Bee Gees...yeah, it's a Tragedy, I have no emotional filter at the moment. I've also eaten my own bodyweight in chocolate.
My tolerence level has tailed off too, though that's been happening for a while, slowly eroded through the year. I have joked (half serious) that if anything was going to tip me over the edge, it wouldn't be major, but something pathetically trivial, like a hand towel, or clothes on the floor, or not shutting a door... As mad as that sounds it's the drip, drip effect of living with three little people who know exactly how to do all the things I ask them to do EVERY DAY - but simply choose not to bother. Crushing frustration would have done for me in the end!
But here I am on day 363 - can you believe it? Honestly I can't sometimes. When I look back at my day one post I remember so clearly how I felt - the heaviness, the feeling of responsibility, the loneliness, the worry. And my heart goes out to the wife who's husband takes over from mine, and all the families waiting for their loved ones to come home from Afghanistan.
As much as I'm longing for him to be back, it's a little daunting too. I've been running the show for 12 months and though I'm desperate to share the load, it's harder to let go than you might think. I want more than anything for it to be perfect when he gets home, but know from experience I can be a little prickly... Emotions are close to the surface - all it takes is an innocent comment about the kids table manners or tv habits or something like that, and out it tumbles. I can take stuff the wrong way - as a criticism of how I've been doing things. I'm writing this down in the hope I'll remember and stop myself over-reacting, because I know, just as I'm proud of him, he also has enormous respect for what I've been through.
Life is not on an even keel for either of us. And I have to bear in mind how hard it is for him coming back into my space and being a dad again. It will take time for us both to find our level and work as a team. I know that.
And then there's blogging. I hadn't a clue what I was doing at the beginning - like many things in my life I started with loads of enthusiasm and not a great deal of knowledge. I didn't tell a soul about it for a few months. I thought I'd blog about how I was feeling, and I do sometimes, but on the whole I write about other things now, other interests, because that's what I want to do, and I've actually found this distracts me from thinking about how I'm feeling. It's stopped me dwelling so much.
Through the ups and downs blogging has given me a focus. Something that's mine. There have been times, very late at night when I've wondered what on earth I'm doing, but then I sit back and remind myself of the things I have achieved this year. Like the art exhibition and selling some paintings for the first time; writing again and enjoying it; getting my 2 minute silence poem on the Forces Poetry website; rediscovering my love of crafting and discovering a new love for photography. These are all really positive things, things that wouldn't have happened without the blog. And getting one of my crafty posts featured on Mumsnet recently was the icing on the cake.
But the best bit has been you. Thanks so much for stopping by. And it does make me feel a little emotional writing this, because I had no idea how much the social side of blogging would mean to me 12 months ago. I remember reading posts about 'spreading the blogging love' when I first started and thinking, WHAT?? But I get it now, comments do make the blogosphere go round. I have met some wonderful, talented people this year, and I am so grateful to them for their support and friendship. They've helped me through a few dips along the way, and I just want to say the biggest, most heartfelt THANK YOU. I am so glad our paths have crossed.
Told you I'm a mushy old fool at the moment!
I'm going to take a break from blogging while we get back into the swing of family life. And if I keep going I'll also have to come up with a new name, because I won't be Single Married Mum anymore.
So, farewell for now, take care, and hope to see you soon xxx