So, we've reached March.
I always see it as a pivotal time of the year; I feel that spring's almost upon us as the long, dark days of winter are slowly retreating. The garden's gradually awakening and so are we.
Well, sort of.
I had an appointment with an endocrinologist on Tuesday. It was a Big Deal. I'll tell you why: I've waited for over four years to see someone on the NHS after literally two decades of feeling unwell. Having chased my tail by seeing lots of doctors, undergoing numerous blood tests, paying to see someone privately (I could only afford the one appointment), and desperately trying to figure out what was going on: websites, books, a herbal practitioner... Let's just say I went along well prepared.
The lovely consultant I saw told me I've got Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). I cried. Not out of fear or despair or anything like that. It was a relief that after so long, I had an answer, and that it isn't normal to feel so exhausted and be plagued by many, many symptoms.
Apparently it takes 3-5 years to feel properly better. But you can feel better.
And, ever the optimist, I'm already working on that. It'll be a combination of diet, physiotherapy, CBT and - most challenging for me - pacing myself and working more balance into my life. I can do it. I will do it. For Joe as much as for myself.
And I'm grateful that I can function pretty well: getting up in the morning, getting Joe off to school, running the house, building this little business of mine. We've had some pretty severe knocks over the past few years (which have no doubt exacerbated the CFS) but the fact is, there are many people who can't do the things they'd like to.
Gratitude is important.
So, without wanting to dwell on that: March. Days of bright sunshine, sleet showers, blackening skies and everything in between, all thrown at us seemingly at once. The house is either sea bed gloomy or bathed in dazzling 'golden hour' light.
Our days seem to follow the same crazy mix of extremes: quiet moments when I can read or get work done sandwiched between the mad morning rush and Joe's return home again, when it's all about the endless questions (still), baking, planting seedlings, making bird feeders, reading school books, requests for dens and jigsaw tournaments.
Of course, this week is a celebration of books and reading. I went into school this morning to read with Joe (it was actually supposed to be for grandparents but he had to make do with me). It's lovely to be in the classroom. We got through three fairy tales and the little ones sang a song about the story they've been reading in class.
After lunch I'm planning a little walk around the village with my camera. Although it's just started lashing down again, so who knows?
I'm so glad it's Friday tomorrow. Between car problems (too dull to go into, but it's been very annoying), seemingly endless school requests (themed costumes for tomorrow, sponsor forms, drawing competitions, toast money, homework etc), getting to the hospital and back in time for Joe and all the other stuff - well a few days off the treadmill will be most welcome. I'll have my work cut out trying to slow things down. But this time it's not really optional.
I need to find a new way of getting these things done which doesn't compromise my health and wellbeing. I can do it. Somehow.
Finally, my first article (and photo) for Creative Countryside is now in the online journal.
Wishing you a restful weekend once it arrives!