Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas

Hi Everyone
I didn't enjoy Christmas very much, before I had a family of my own.  I was always so lonely.  For several years I went swimming every day, on my own at the gym, ploughing up and down the pool wearing my swimming hat.  I was an oddity. 

I was a member of that gym for five years.  I remember I used to be upset when it closed on Christmas Day and I couldn't have my usual swim.  The day seemed to stretch before me endlessly without my normal routine. 

Yet, how things change.  I met Paul at that same gym, when I was thirty, and within a year I had a child.  Within seven years, four children.  Christmas today started at six o'clock this morning in a flurry of excitement and just kept on getting better throughout the day.   It didn't enter my head to go swimming.

Although I do still need my exercise.  I took my eldest with me today to walk the dog, because the beach is so crowded at the moment and I didn't want to be out walking on my own on Christmas Day.  I had to persuade her to leave the television and the warm house and the rest of the family, but I was glad we went together - I would have been the only lone walker.  And also my daughter and I had a lovely talk as we went along, and a bit of a sing-song, and a giggle, and although the day was darkening and the wind was whipping us along and my cheekbones felt frozen and my ears were sore, I was conscious that this was a precious hour, and that being in my daughter's company was worth more than sunshine and clement weather.  We both said afterwards that we will remember that walk.

I am still gluten-free, and feel very well for it - no stomach aches for several weeks now.  Amazing.  And the sense of calm has continued too - doubly amazing.  Paul bought me some gluten-free mince pies and a gluten-free Christmas pudding, which was very thoughtful of him.  I am already piling on the pounds though, which is rather unexpected - I thought I would be ultra slim by now, considering all the biscuits and cakes I have been turning down recently.  Still, I always said I would rather be overweight than nervous - I have always eaten huge amounts of food but I think it is because of my raw nerves that I have stayed reasonably slim over the years.  And I stand by that - I don't really mind being slightly overweight, and anyway I am sure it is only temporary - everyone expects to get a bit lumpy over the holidays and it is not that hard to kickstart your body back into shape in the New Year.

I am looking forward to the New Year newspapers and magazines - I love New Year resolutions and all those motivational type articles.  I relish the idea of a new start every year, even though I know by looking back at previous year's diaries that the impetus for change does not continue for long.  I like the challenge.

This coming year I intend to build myself a real writing career.  I have decided that I am going to come off disability benefits in the New Year, which will give me the incentive and motivation to work harder at my writing, and I think this will make me feel a lot better about myself.  After all, I can't keep on about not being sick and keep collecting benefits.  It doesn't make sense.  I do feel some trepidation about how I will manage financially, but I feel that it is time now to move forward, and actually I am looking forward to it.   Looking forward to the challenge.  

Here's to the year ahead!  But first, here's to the last week of 2011! 

All the best


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