resolutions.

this coming year i promise that

i’ll eat less chocolate, get more sleep,

i’ll be a lot less moody and

these promises i’ll keep.

Just a short one as I think about the end of the year and what next year might bring. I don’t know about you but I’m a tiny bit shit at keeping my New Year’s Resolutions. The amount of times I did Dry January with the intention of carrying on in the rest of the year is astounding. Of course, I did crack the drink problem eventually, but it took a lot more than a half arsed promise that I was making myself at midnight on 31 December.

Resolutions are so hard to keep and yet we beat ourselves up when we fail at them. I think that this year we need to promise to be a little kinder to ourselves. We over eat and over drink because we are stressed out and hating life. It is the immediate gratification that we are after and if we were a little nicer to ourselves we wouldn’t need it half as much.

This year, take a step back from the root cause. You may have an alcohol problem, in which case, go and get the appropriate help. But it may just be that you are pushing yourself a little too hard. Take your foot of the gas and you may find that you are only craving the drink at the end of the week rather than at the end of every day!

You can achieve so much in 2020 if you put your mind to it. But don’t stress yourself out by making some arbitrary goals at the end of this month. Follow your heart as the year progresses and see where it leads you. That marathon that you’ve always wanted to do might get done this coming year or it might not happen until 2025. Whatever the case, you will achieve SOMETHING this year and you should celebrate that as and when it comes.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

comedian.

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.

Voltaire

i sometimes think he’s having a laugh.

i mean i’m a christian and all.

i respect the guy.

a lot.

but what if this world really is a stage?

and what if we are merely players,

being pushed around for fun,

for jokes or just for bants?

i think he has a sense of humour

and we just need to lighten up.

love the life you have been given,

and learn to smile, even when you’re sad.

it’s just a game that should be played

knowing there’s no final grade.

you won’t be punished if you smile

because the one who’s in control

is just a funny guy.

pills and stuff

does anyone else take pills and stuff

to get them through the day?

to help them through the bits so rough

they can hardly lift their head

from the pillow where they lie?

let’s face it, so that they don’t die.

but really all those pills will do

is be the very end of you.

i bought him glasses today

i bought him glasses today,

to you it may seem like

something inconsequential.

don’t all parents do that kind of thing?

no, not me.

as sad as it is to admit,

i chose the bottle over the most simple of things.

i loved nothing more than to slip under it’s spell,

and leave this world that made me unwell.

i’d ignore all those things i was meant to do,

head in the sand so I could avoid the view.

but now i’m stepping out from that haze.

i’m doing it all by myself.

and whether you snort at my efforts

rolling your eyes at the fact that i’m boasting

about such a small, insignificant thing.

it really doesn’t matter to me

because i’m living my dream, of that i am sure.

today it’s just parenting but tomorrow it’s more.

that i can promise with my hand on my heart

because now that i’m sober i won’t fall apart.

today it’s just glasses that i’m lovingly buying,

by tomorrow i know that i’ll truly be flying.

I bought my son his glasses this week and it’s the first time that I’ve ever done it. We’ve lived with my parents for his whole life and they have done everything for us. Mum has always taken him to the opticians and had his eyes tested. I’ve never even set foot inside that shop because I never had to. It was always easier to get drunk and let her shoulder the responsibility.

But now we are on our own and I had to step up to the plate. I was terrified of something that most parents would just take in their stride. I didn’t know how we got his eyes tested or what to do about trying on and selecting frames because I’ve just never had to do it.

We did it though, like a little team. And it may seem like such a tiny thing but to me I couldn’t stop thinking about how I’m growing and learning after a decade in the fog of alcoholism. I feel like I’m finally learning how to do all the things that I watched other grown ups do so easily. It was mystifying to watch them go about their business when I had no clue. But now I’m proving to myself that I do have a clue! I’m doing it and I’m damn proud of that!

I’m not proud of the mess I’ve gotten myself into though. I’m in my mid thirties and I have a teenager and I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing. I feel like I’m about twelve and I’ve just been thrown into the deep end. It’s all my own fault that I’m here and that is heart breaking. But rather than be miserable or ashamed and wallow in those feelings, I choose to celebrate my little victories.

So today, I hope that you can also really bask in the nice feelings you get when you do something that either frightened you, or just plain bamboozled you. You deserve to enjoy every victory, no matter how small. For some people it might mean running a marathon while for others it might mean just going to the shop or doing a shift at work without crying. We all have our battles and nobody can tell you that yours is insignificant. You are loved and special and I say a prayer for you today if you are struggling with any of these issues.

Much love,

Rachel xx

my son shouted at me today and this is what i felt

He shouted at me today.

Not loud and boisterous words,

But words delivered short and sharp,

Designed to hook their barbs inside my heart.

I don’t blame him though.

It’s hard to shift and change in life,

And being angry’s part and parcel of the slide.

It’s me who needs to handle this with grace and love,

And all the things I never got.

Later on that night

He came to me and held me tight

And in the kitchen, there we stood,

A decision made to heal our wounds,

Rewrite the past that’s caused this pain.

Between us we can start afresh,

Weather the storm that’s not abating,

Surviving the feelings that are inundating.

Words have power but love is stronger

And we’ll stay standing just a little longer.

Today I went to the bus stop to collect my son. He has a long journey because we have recently moved from my parents’ house which is much closer to his school. He has lived in this house since he was a baby and so this change has been hard on him. Add to this the fact that he hasn’t seen his nan in months and now she is starting divorce proceedings; it has led to a very stressful time for both of us.

So, anyway, I went to collect him and when I asked how his day was he snapped at me. It was out of character and it made me go quiet. I feel bad about everything that he has had to go through and see this year and it makes me feel like a terrible mother when I know that he is hurting.

He came to me afterwards and he said he was sorry and we hugged. I want him to feel that he can vent his anger when things are hard because I was never allowed to do this and it’s been really damaging in my adult life.

He’s on his computer now. I have no idea if he’s happy but I have a feeling that there’s a lot of hurt inside. All I can do is love and forgive. He does the same for me when I’m venting.

I hope that this poem can touch a few hearts. I’m sure there are mums out there that have been through a turbulent time and had to shelter their little humans from as much as it as possible. I sometimes just need a cry to get through it and that’s what I’m doing as I sit on the sofa and write this poem. Keep strong if you are struggling, and hug it out when things get super bad. A good hug can fix anything that’s hurting.

Much Love

Rachel xx

legacy: ugh, i feel like time's running out

ugh, i feel like time’s running out.

how can i make something built to last

in a world that is moving so furiously fast?

what can i do that is intensely new?

that’s remembered by those yet to be born,

that cannot be scrapped or crumpled or torn?

the answer, i think, lies in the heart.

i need to be kind and make an impression,

free from hate and all that aggression

that hurts our society,

sweeping us up in a wave of pain

that cripples our hearts and never will wane.

better to build something bold and new,

cherished until death by just a few.

fame and glory will fade when i’m gone

but love and charity and caring compassion

will never ever fall out of fashion.

the seeds i sow will take their root,

so i’ll make them flowers i’d like to see

in a world that’s still here long after me.

I’ve been thinking about legacy a lot recently. I know it’s morbid but every time I have an ache or pain, the first thing that runs through my mind is that it’s something serious and I mustn’t have long left on this planet.

Of course, none of us know exactly when the end is coming so we do really need to think about the legacy that we are leaving behind for our children and their children.

As I’ve watched the news recently, it has become more and more evident that nothing is set in stone anymore. The money that we make and accumulate and the property that we hope to pass on can be taken from us in an instant. It’s terrifying, but it’s in these moments of fear that we really get some clarity on what’s important.

I think that there are a couple of things that we can leave behind that are much better than property and money. The first is the things that we create, artistically. Paintings and pieces of writing and sculptures and films and crochet blankets. Everything that is an artistic expression is like a piece of our heart that we have poured out into the world. These are things that are personal and even if they are worth nothing to the world at large, they are irreplaceable for the ‘few’ that I mention in this poem. Think of a painting done by a three year old at nursery. His parents will put it on their fridge and love it forever when it has no value to anyone else. Sure, the paper may disintegrate into nothing but the love that it represented will never be wiped out.

The other thing you can leave is something that will grow and help others over time. Even helping once or twice at a shelter or food bank is helping that thing to grow and just think of all the people that it will help over time. Our good actions are like ripples and they just spread without our awareness. All we are responsible for is starting that process.

I hope that you are already working on your legacy. You don’t need to even know what it is, just pumping those good intentions out into the world could be building something that will be great long after you are gone.

Much love,

Rachel xx

Haiku: Hollywood Drama and the B word

I’m relatively new to the world of haiku so I’ve been playing around with the format quite a bit recently. The thing is, I can’t seem to use it for anything serious or meaningful. All I want to do is write something fun because it’s just too short to do anything else. I’m sure there must be other people out there who feel the same? Am I right?

Anyway, here are two of my early attempts. The first is called Hollywood Drama and the second is all about the B word. Everyone in Britain will be clicking away from this post immediately but imma gonna go there anyway….

Hollywood Drama

Brad met Jen and then

He made a film with Ange and

There were lots of kids

The B Word

Brexit is real fun

Politicians tend to lie

I am lying too

What a dumb bloody question

“what are you wearing?” they asked

as i marched through the crowd of glamour and glitz.

dumbly, i looked down at the gown that i wore.

“a dress,” i said, feeling deflated.

why would they ask?

does it matter if i wear

a thing that i plucked

from the rails of forever twenty one?

does it matter that the blusher and lipstick is on?

i wish so bad that you would learn to see

that rather inadvertently

you’ve missed a golden opportunity

to open up a conversation

that would give you a sort of indication

that the world at large, it wants to hear,

less about the stuff that’s so nonsensical

and more about the things we loathe

and that we love and that we fear.

that’s what pulls upon the strings

that hold our hearts in place.

that’s what reaches inside our soul,

shining a light on all that is dark

making us squirm and scratch at the skin

until nothing is left but a thing that is raw,

the clothes that you asked about all tattered and torn.

so now it is time that i make you a pledge

if you ask where i bought the shoes on my feet

or who was the person that coiffed my hair

i’ll say something smart and incredibly deep

and i’ll do it with style

and courage and flair.

I saw this thing that was said by Jennifer Lawrence and just had to write something about it. It made me laugh and get angry all at once which is what all the best quotes should do. Nothing should be entirely black or white if it’s going to make us think and open up a lively debate.

On the one hand, asking her what she is wearing is the standard question we expect to hear on the red carpet. It’s what the designers put the dress on her for. But then she kind of has a point. Are we worrying too much about the things that shouldn’t really matter at all?

We are living in a world where so many people have depression and anxiety and so much of it is because we are scared that we are not good enough. There is a deep black hole inside some of us and it could be filled if we started asking meaningful questions. Better questions than “is the dress you are wearing really expensive and highly sought after?”

We should be seeking kindness and fun and a desire to love; this is what will make the world a nicer place to live in. I hope that today you spend a little less time judging people by what they are wearing, what job they do and what car they drive and a little more time getting to know the real them and what makes them tick.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

science.

today i dropped a piece of toast, buttered side down

and it made me think of gravity and that clever guy,

the one who had an apple fall upon his head.

i wondered if he really knew, if he had a fucking clue

what it was that made it fall from its place within the tree.

the toast would fall no matter what,

it didn’t matter whether science

could stake a claim in what it was that made it fall.

we’re all just trying really hard

to pull together all the pieces

and make some sense of what is going on.

so i picked it from the floor and dusted off the fluff.

today i learnt what science really is,

it’s just a way for clever people

to put the world in little boxes

and give them each a name.

I had a conversation with my son about science and religion today. I think that the two coexist and I think that this Tim Minchin quote sums it up quite well. As humans, we are naturally very curious and the world is a confusing place. So it makes sense that we would want to understand everything about it. But we never are going to understand it all. It’s too huge for us to even comprehend, but science helps us put labels on the bits that we’ve explored.

Helpful, but my piece of toast is still going to fall face down so……

Much Love,

Rachel xx

fruit.

When I was a kid, I was a swimmer,

I trained so hard and yet I had so little talent.

I’d watch on as the other girls did half as much as me

And yet they reached the dizzy heights,

Whereas me? I just didn’t seem to have it there.

But when I did well, it wasn’t taken for granted.

It was savoured, each and every morsel of it.

I still look back, all this time later

And marvel at those little gems of time

When I had my moment in the sun.

Patientandkindlove 2019