Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Instructions

Ruth’s never-fail instructions for being verbally tactless, particulary useful in all potentially embarrassing public situations where nervousness ensures the ability to say the wrong thing out loud for everyone to hear is voiced only too naturally…

Step 1: Open mouth

Step 2: Insert foot.

The end… 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Instructions

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Bellyaching About Bellyache

Yesterday I had my three month check up with the doctor regarding my new healthy eating regime and the effects (or otherwise) to date on my decidedly dodgy digestive system.

Since I went for my first GP appointment nearly five months ago now, I’ve had an ultrasound scan (showing gallstones and a fatty liver) and both a colonoscopy and gastroscopy (showing a squeaky clean clear bowel and an inflamed stomach) and have been ultra-careful with what I’ve been eating. Low GI, low fat, low sugar, no citrus, less spicy foods, and no red meat at all – and definitely no comfort eating.

So, yesterday I was able to report back that my acid reflux (causing my stomach inflamation) is loads better, partly thanks to my medication and partly thanks to my change of diet – woo-hoo! So that’s a major improvement, no burning pain and no constant regurgitation after eating absolutely anything – result! No idea if my cholesterol levels are any lower yet, but further blood tests will reveal all soon enough.

And of course however great it was to know I don’t have anything nasty going on like bowel cancer (runs in the family, so a potential genetic predisposition), the colonoscopy didn’t answer the question of why my overall digestive system is still so problematic after all these months – no great improvements there. Oh, and my agitited, agitating gallstones are still giving me all kinds of grief too.

Apparently my next step after all these tests and change of diet is a referral to the gastro-intestinal clinic to see what they decide is best to do to help me feel better. My GP has suggested that I may have Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well as my irritated gallstones, because my ongoing description of the pains I’ve been feeling account for both conditions, but that remains to be seen.

In the meantime I’m just bellyaching about bellyache because I’m finding it’s wearing me down, feeling uncomfortably bloated at best and curled up with sharp spasms at worst. And me and my toilet bowl are becoming far too attached to each other – a passing acquaintance with a perfunctory daily visit is quite enough; two, three or four times a day is just a tad over-excessive in my book.

Hopefully the gastro-intestinal consultant will be able to help me find some kind of workable solution for now and on into the future, because if I do have IBS too it seems the stress of pretty much constant bellyache might actually potentially be creating even more more bellyache for me… Grrr…

OK, rant over for now – aaand I’m off to the toilet again… sigh! 😦

Busy Doing Nothing

So far I’ve been studiously avoiding this week’s prompt word of ‘busy’… but not because I’ve been ‘too busy’ to write a post about it…

‘Busy’ conjures up for me all the restrictive oughts and shoulds of constant and visible busy-ness prized so highly in our Western capitalist consumerist society, and feelings of shame that by that reckoning I’m not worthy of comment in that regard. It’s not that I don’t do busy – I can (and do) still have periods of extreme busy-ness in my life. But at 55 I also have plenty of prolonged periods of rest and relaxation, those magical spells of mental and physical time out from… well, from all of it really.

I’m tired of having to justify myself to others who respond judgementally to what they consider my lack of involvement in the treadmill of modern life. I mean, I did that for years – for decades – out of necessity. I brought my three kids up as a working single mother, and now they’re all grown up with families of their own I can choose to work part time and be a (rather lazy) housewife the rest of the time. And I don’t see my lack of rushing around in the rat-race as a negative thing – for me, it is a truly positive choice.

The whole ‘work/ life balance’ thing is a bit of a 21st Century theoretical buzz-word just now, but not many people actually consider what that means in practice. The reality of achieving a successful work/ life balance will in all probability look different for everyone – in my experience it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all concept, because people want different things in life. But the important thing is it always has to be about balance. If you always prioritise the importance of work over life regardless of personal circumstance, then where’s the balance in that?

For me, I’m considering the concept of work/ life balance over my entire lifetime – I worked hard to do well at school, leaving at 17 with a good education, then got married at 18 and had my three children before I turned 22. I had a very difficult marriage and got divorced from their dad then worked a combination of part time and full time while bringing them up as best I could. After my children grew up I studied full time for a degree, then worked full time again for the next decade while paying off my student loan. I’m re-married now, and my husband and I have paid off our mortgage so we are embracing a kind of pre-retirement limbo-lifestyle.

People (usually working people, actually) ask me a lot what I do with my time when I’m not at work, as if I’m being somehow over-indulgent and selfish in allowing myself so much ‘free’ time. Well, I do a bit of housework, and a lot of reading, photography, colouring in, walking for leisure, enjoying nature, cooking, watching TV, blogging, thinking… so in a way I do have a busy life, but my style. Busy too enjoying family relationships to an extent that hasn’t been possible in years, invaluable with ageing parents and young grandchildren in the mix.

Honestly, I really like my life this way, quiet and unassuming and relatively easy compared to how it used to be. I don’t need pity from high-flyers for not being a career-minded go-getter like them, that’s just not me and never has been. OK, so I have a good degree under my belt yet I choose to work part time in a local pub – so what? I could go back to working for bigger bucks in central London again with all the stress and responsibility that goes with it, but why the hell would I want to do that? Been there, done that, happily wearing the T-shirt with my jeans every day instead of being all trussed up in ‘smart business dress’.

Roll on retirement, that’s all I can say, then I can legitimately start being busily retired and to hell with having to explain myself to others… and I honestly, genuinely, really truly can’t wait! 🙂

Something to Chew Over…

Actions to do with eating and digesting seem to occur quite often as metaphors in the English language. We swallow down our disappointments, get our teeth into difficult tasks, find we can’t stomach distasteful things, are sick of other things, digest information and are accused of having verbal diarrhoea if we talk too much. Something to chew over on a Saturday morning… 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Chew/ Choo

Nanny and Pops

What a picture of love looks like to a seven year old! Our eldest granddaughter’s portrait of her doting grandparents 🙂 She says we each have half of the same heart over our heads because we love each other with one love, and the heart in the middle above us has wings because love flies all around us all the time… ❤

Photo a Week Challenge: Grandparents

Tory Party Leadership Contest: A Proper Food Fight

I was half-listening to an informal TV interview held with a group of Tory Party members of the public this afternoon about their views on the two opponents in the current Tory Leadership contest, when one woman said something that caught my attention and really made me smile.

She commented that Boris Johnson was a bit like the sugar rush of an ice cream sundae, all frothy and fun while it lasts; but Jeremy Hunt was more like a boring cheese sandwich – dull but with far more long-term nutritional substance (or words to that effect!) 🙂