I am back from my brief blogging holiday. Much has happened since I was last here. In fact I have a surfeit of blogging material which is almost worse than having nothing to blog about. What makes it worse still is that I'm trying to blog to the background strains of the Shiny Show (Give yourself a shiny!) because son 2 is poorly. This means hot and cold running television for him, and lots of being a slave to his whims for me.
So let's start with the aforementioned poorliness. Son 2 woke up yesterday a with a horrible cold and cough. By late afternoon this had morphed into a delightful vomiting thing. In fact yesterday ranked up there with my top favourite parenting days. Those occasions where you really wish there was more than one version of yourself or that you have several sets of long elasticated arms. Son 1 was bored, bored, bored and wanted to be entertained because he is apparently incapable of entertaining himself. Son 2 was poorly and wanted to be held. I had chores to do. It all reached a delightful crescendo at around 4.45pm where son 1 was yelling loudly that he was hungry while son 2 wanted to be held. I tried to make dinner while running back and forth to comfort sick child.
It quickly became apparent why he wanted comforting when he suddenly yelled: "Sick! Sick!" and did a gigantic projectile vom all over the rug. In a less than loving way, I pushed him so that he could continue to spew on the wooden floor instead. I asked son 1 to run and fetch a cloth from the kitchen. On his way to the kitchen he hit his elbow on something. I then had two screaming children, puke dripping off every surface in sight, stir fry burning and rice sticking to the bottom of a pan. It became a war zone triage scene. Attend to the most pressing things first. I raced to the cooker, hauled the pans offs, turned the plates off, grabbed armfuls of towels to mop up the vom, rubbed son 1's elbow on the way past, wiped up small sick child, mopped up floor, grabbed a bowl to catch further sick and sprayed liberally with dettol spray to avoid the rest of us getting sick.
I eventually managed to feed son 1 and get him into bed, I lay with son 2 catching vom for most of the evening and spent a sleepless night next to a small boy wanting a 'brink' (i.e. a drink) every few minutes. This morning he has managed toast, juice and medised and kept it all down. Hurrah. Meanwhile I've returned son 1 back to school and the all powerful lure of gogos has returned.
We spent the half term in Ireland. Thanks to my sister for having us. Ireland was sunny, windy and very, very cold. My children did their best to destroy my sister's house and we enjoyed several days on the beach bundled up in a billion layers of clothes. I used to find going to the beach wearing all of your wardrobe quite bemusing. Now I think I'd find a beach in which you wear only a swimsuit an incredible shock - and indeed revealing all of my copious volumes of flesh would be a shock for everyone else on the beach. So it's a good thing that we live in this less than tropical climate.
Two important things came out of our brief sojourn to Ireland. a) It has confirmed that I need to go on a diet and do more exercise. My sister who is part human, part stick insect makes anorexics look large so I looked like a small woolly mammoth in her company. And the fact that my trousers really don't do up anymore was the incentive I need to de-lard myself before the re-larding of Christmas begins. But this led to the second important thing b) I need to spend less time working and more time living (which includes having the time to exercise).
This is a biggie. And it might get all deep and introspective-like, but I need to get this down for posterity so that when I start to get sucked back into the work vortex, I can revisit this blog post and remind myself of what I'm really on this planet for.
You see since setting up my business, I've been trying to grow it. That's normal. That's how businesses become successful. But I've now asked myself, why am I working? What's it for? Part of the reason is because staying at home with small screaming children didn't hold masses of appeal and I wanted to do something other than wipe bottoms. And I wanted to make a bit of extra cash to spend on the occasional Emma Bridgewater teapot. But doing a good job on a few clients would give me that. Why do I have this feeling that I need to do more? I posted recently that I feel like a failure unless I'm pushing harder to achieve the next big thing. That's because I've been judging the successfulness of my life on how well my business is doing, rather than how well my life is going.
The things that are important to me are my children, my husband, my family, my community, cooking, writing, having time to exercise (even just stomping across the fields behind our house) and seeing friends. Running a global PR empire has never been a goal of mine. I'll readily admit that when I see other entrepreneurs featured in papers I feel pang of envy mingled with the inspiration to be like them. But I now know what it takes to be like that and it means sacrificing lots of the things that are important to me.
It's going to be hard to realign my brain so that I don't continually feel that I need to do more, and instead, do the things I want to do without feeling guilty about it. But I'm going to give it a shot. I'm going to continue to work - and hopefully do a great job for my clients - but I'm not going to take on too much. I'm not going for global domination anymore. I'm going to attempt to reclaim my life. And that's quite a big goal for a grey Wednesday morning.
I only have one other thing to add to this convoluted blog post. Hooray for the American people finally getting it right! I've had my children glued to BBC News 24 (in between snatches of Cbeebies) as the US Presidential Election has run it's course, trying to explain to them the importance of Barack Obama being elected as the first black president of the USA. I've never explained the concept of race to my children. It's quite a tricky thing to do as children don't seem to see different races. People are just people to them. Which is lovely. And I feel awful for even making them aware of the differences. But one day they will be able to say that they watched as the first black man came to lead America. OR perhaps they won't remember it anymore than they will the delights of the Shiny Show. But at least I can tell them that they did.