…they just have really tiny wings
For someone like me, being on my own can be pretty damaging, especially after what we’ve been through in the last year. Too much time means too much time to think, and when you mostly go all day without seeing another adult human being there’s a heck of a lot of time for thinking. Sure, I have Freya, and she lights up every moment that I spend in her company. But she sleeps for over 16 hours a day, and she’s not exactly a great conversationalist (sorry Freya, I really have no idea what you are saying!)
I know it’s not sustainable to have a life filled with people and chatter, and that I have to learn to live with the empty spaces in my world, but when I am not active or engaged, my mind is left wide open for intrusive thoughts and memories that turn a technicolour place into many shades of grey.
That’s life as a stay-at-home mum I guess (albeit temporary until my maternity leave ends), but I often wonder if it’s just me? Is it my character that makes me unable to make it through a day alone without feeling the tears pricking at the corner of my eyes? Does everyone feel bored, sad, lonely when they have nothing to do and nobody to see? Or is that me? Am I depressed? I’m not sure.
Anyway, enough of those depressing musings! The intention of today’s blog was to recognise those people who are out there in the world making a difference to someone like me, without even realising the huge impact their actions have. Because to them, they are not doing anything special; I am sure reading this you will find the actions unremarkable. But to me, they made enough of a difference to allow a shard of sunlight to burn through the cloud.
So, here goes..
Thank you to the local businesswoman whose message was the first I saw when I opened my eyes this morning, offering a raffle prize for an upcoming fundraiser without hesitation. It took a lot of courage for me to send those requests, and it was reassuring to receive a positive response. I won’t feel so nervous about the next person I approach now.
Thank you to the school mum who stood on the corner and let me ramble on about my concerns for my son who is having a bit of a challenging time at school. You had things to do, but you took 20 minutes out of your busy life to make a space in mine. It was just a chat. But you were the first adult I spoke with today, and it felt like a good way to start the day.
Thank you to the girl in the coffee shop for not wrinkling her nose when she saw me rocking up with a pram. In fact she looked pleased to see another person; it was empty when I got there.
Thank you to the dad who popped his head in the door to say “Hi” when he saw me sat there alone, and then kept me company for a bit before he went about his business.
Thank you to the pregnant lady and her mum (I’m guessing it was your mum) who admired Freya from the other side of the room and made me feel proud of my little girl (more proud). And when I engaged you in conversation, thank you for letting me tell you about her story, and for listening and showing genuine concern for this little girl and her mum who were complete strangers to you just moments before.
Thank you to the owner of the beauty salon for welcoming me in, for showing an interest in Freya and for saying exactly the right thing; I know you must have been following our story. Thank you for responding positively to my request, you must get them all the time. And thanks for giving me advice on how I might get the best out of the campaign, I appreciate that.
Thank you to the ladies in the chemist who served me with more than what I went in for ( and I don’t mean the syringes and nappy sacks!) I am sure you think nothing of sparing a bit of attention for a beautiful baby, but to me it means the world to see her interacting with others; she doesn’t see many people. I left your shop with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.
Thank you to the hairdresser and the florist for listening to a stranger; it was hard for me to approach you when you don’t know me at all; I will be in touch soon.
Thank you to the lovely boutique owner who has always put up with my constant prattle! Your support is appreciated, and I must repay the hours of bending your ear by buying a new dress when I’ve shifted this baby weight! My chatter sent both of our babies to sleep, and I applaud you for managing to stay awake. Perhaps it passed some time for you too, I hope so.
Thank you to an old friend for getting in touch right on cue, to organise a catch up. It has been a little while; you know what happens when we leave it too long!! We will need a few dates booked in to deal with the gossip in instalments 😉
Thank you to the mum who messaged to say she had been thinking about something I had talked to her about. The links you sent me will be really useful; it was kind of you to go to so much trouble; I think you understand how big a decision that might be and how much it means to me.
Thank you to my bestest friend (I know it’s not a word, humour me, it’s an affectionate term) for giving me something to look forward to at the weekend. Wine is most certainly the antidote to a lonely week.
Thanks to all of you for taking a tiny part of your day to make a massive difference in mine. Yes, I know this is normal life to most people. You go in a shop, you bump into people, you make smalltalk, you leave. But know that the things you take for granted because you will do it with 50 people today, mean so much when you do it with me. Today my world feels a little less small.