Wild child

“Stay wild, Stay child”

I often have glimpses into the future, futures I’d like to see.

I sometimes tell them not to. Tell them it’s rude. But lately I don’t.

Rude to who? Not to me.

To see them every morning enjoying their breakfast enjoying food. Draining every drop of the bowl with full belly’s slurps, giggles and laughter as they do so.

At some point an adult will tell them it’s rude to do so. Like their older sisters who rarely do it now. They will stop doing it. Made to feel less because someone else may find it rude.

I like to think of a future in a partners house somewhere or maybe on holiday with their partners parents sitting down to a nice breakfast.

Draining their breakfast bowls. The parents aghast and saying how rude.

The partner loving them for doing it as much as I do.

Stay wild child, stay wild.

Andy

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Miscarriage

I’ve been sat on this for awhile. I keep rewriting it. Tearing it up and throwing it away and starting again.

Miscarriage or should I say miscarriages are simply horrendous. The thing I found hardest is having nothing to show for it. Nowhere to go and nowhere to grieve. I cry regularly about the 3 children we lost. I am extremely fortunate to have 4 beautiful children. When I look at my oldest I still wonder what her older siblings would of been like. The experience and inability to grieve properly lead to a very bad depression where for almost 4 years I was at rock bottom and at the time I thought I had only one way out. To check out.

It’s often a taboo subject and parents are expected to just move on, to many you had nothing to lose and nothing to grieve.

I hope this spoken word piece goes some what to explain my experiences with miscarriage. It’s not very good and quite fragmented. I need to get it out of my head though.

If you have recently or in the past gone through a miscarriage I am sorry. Nothing will change it or make it better. But please, please find a way to live with it.

Andy.

Miscarriage

She said it with a whisper.

Thinking I’d be scared.

Her voice shakey, wondering how I’m going to take it.

What’s a matter. Is it you is it me ?

I think I’m pregnant she says to me.

All of a sudden I can see.

I can see it’s not the best time to be having a baby.

We have nowhere to live.

I have no job, nothing to give.

All of a sudden I can see

I can see a part of me is in her a part of us growing in her.

For years I’ve had nothing to see.

Friends and family talking of careers and where they want to be.

I feel like I am lost in a forest, a cold icy fog surrounding me.

It’s lifting, the sun is shining and now I can see a future with three.

She called me up and whispered. I’m in the hospital.

I don’t want to hear it I can’t hear it.

I think I’ve lost it.

The next morning as we sit down to look at a wavy picture.

This beautiful amazing moment where you get to see your baby for the very first time.

This is where it should be.

I’m sorry there is nothing to see.

We’d been so happy.

We told so many.

The words that came after hurt more than any.

Maybe it’s for the best.

Maybe it was never meant to be.

You are still young.

Just try again.

Try a fuckingain

We haven’t lost a job or our keys.

We’ve lost a life.

I’ve lost a part of me.

We’ve lost a part of us.

Why can’t any of you see.

She says it with a whisper.

Scared to be happy.

We are in a better place a home of our own.

A wage a steady good career.

We are scared and tell just a few.

Scared and worried but neither says it.

We both know what can happen.

She says it with a whisper

she doesn’t need to say it.

I’m so sad and angry with nothing to show for it.

Nothing to hold nowhere to go.

Nothing to grieve for, except the loss of a dream.

She says it matter of fact.

No emotion

We tell no one.

Both scared and numb.

She doesn’t answer doesn’t say a word as she comes out of the bathroom.

I say have we lost it.

She’s too numb

Please not another one.

What’s wrong with you.

You look so down and blue.

Nothing, I’m good how’s you.

I’m so angry and sad and I don’t know what to do.

I close my eyes every night, picturing you, how you would of looked.

The faces you would of pulled. Your little smile and laugh as I look at you.

As I walk to try and clear my head.

thinking of how to tell you. Tell you I don’t think I can be with you.

Something else comes into my head.

As I sit her down I can tell she knows this is it.

We’ve cried so much, held each other, been angry and thrown things at each other both grieving for something we can’t see.

Something we can’t let go.

Yes.

Yes, I will marry you.

She says I don’t know what to do.

I’m having contractions what should we do.

This is it, finally.

The midwife says it’s only just begun come back in a few hours.

You don’t understand we’ve lost 3 there must be something you have to do.

It’s all a blur and confusing all of a sudden you are here.

I hold you tight feeling your heart beat and smell your skin.

All of a sudden I can see.

I can see in you, I can see the three. The three we never got to meet.

I hold you and whisper

Whisper in your ear.

Thank you

Thank you for been here.

x

Lose your Ego

“Youth ends when egotism does; maturity begins when one lives for others.”

Hermann Hesse

I don’t believe I am wise, however I try every day to take a step towards been wiser. To be a better role model to my children.
Different careers and life experiences both bad and good have shaped me and changed how I look and view things compared to how I did as young man.

You might be mistaken in thinking this is a given. I wish it was.
I can’t tell you how many adults I know who continue to act as they did in their youth. Never learning from previous mistakes or life changing events continually in a cycle of broken repetitive behaviour. Followed by excuse after excuse as to why they behave and continue to behave in such a way. People who have an impact on my children’s lives. Behaviours that I don’t want my children to develop. A  lot of this behaviour comes from ego. Like many in this world something we need to learn to lose.

“Stupidity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” 

With time and experience you begin (i hope) to see the world very differently, hopefully not too cynically.

I at no point expect my children to be good people because they are told to be. I expect my children to be good people because they have watched and seen myself and others behave in a way that they recognise that behaviour as been a good person, behaviour that is a standard, a standard they set their behaviour by.

Whilst clicking from one YouTube video to another I stumbled upon a video where a person set out that day to go out of his way to be as altruistic as he could be. It pretty much ended with almost everyone turning down his offer of help and advice. A video sadly i have not been able to find again since saving this post as a draft a few weeks ago.

So i will leave this one for you as a motivator.

It really captures the first reaction on the people’s faces that i myself encountered. the look of defensive judgment the look of why ?!!! would you offer to help.

Which in itself is a sad thing to see.

I decided to give it a try myself as best as I could purposely looking at helping as many people as I met that day.

(Edit-  for some reason this post saved as a draft rather than publish, everyday i have continued to offer at least one person an act of kindness. Like below i have found it a mix bag of responses)

Leaving the supermarket I saw a lady struggling with the weight of her trolley. I offered to help and push it to her car for her. She became quite reluctant and very firm in saying no thank you.

As I was walking home from the shop I saw some neighbours struggling carrying furniture into their home it began to rain I offered to help and take some of the furniture in for them. Straight away their body language became defensive and they politely said no thank you. I offered again as they looked at each other dumbfounded and again declined my offer.

Have we become so cynical that an offer of help is met with dismay and questioning the motive of the person offering help.

I believe help is always there.

The question is will you be willing to take it when offered ?

Lose the ego.

Andy.

Journaling with Evernote

“ I don’t want to live in a hand-me-down world of others’ experiences. I want to write about me, my discoveries, my fears, my feelings, about me.”

⁃Helen Keller

I have found a feeling of vulnerability since becoming a parent. Not only aware of the fragility of my children’s lives but the fragility of my life and the speed that the years fly by.

If I was to die tomorrow I’d like the children to know who I am. Not to be told your dad was like this or that he thought this about that subject and so on. Or worse, for them to be told you are like your dad. I want them to know exactly who I am ideally from sharing a long fulfilled life together.

If that isn’t an option I’d like them to know who I was and what I thought from my own words, which lead me to writing a journal.

I struggled to write a journal I would aim to write it daily. It isn’t something I am able to carry with me on a daily basis. So it’s something I would write at the end of the day.

I started well sitting down before bed and writing thoughts and synopsis of the day, slowly it became bi-daily and then weekly and eventually a chore. Trying to remember a weeks worth of thoughts ideas and events became something of homework I didn’t want to do.

I began writing down notes on my phone as thoughts came to me or funny moments that I wanted to share along with a brief daily synopsis to then transfer into my journal. This became even more of a chore and felt like it was taking up too much time copying one to the other. I looked at several apps as I always have my phone on me. It had to be free ( Tight git ) It had to be accessible to others if I die. It had to be backed up some where without a data or word cap on it. I tried several but non were as customisable as I wanted. I was still new to journaling and struggling with getting my thoughts across and brief if time was short.

Ideally you should, I feel find the time to sit in a quiet corner and really focus on the day and what you want to put down in your journal. However this isn’t always possible. So I looked for a hack a quick and easy way to journal.

Which lead me to bullet journaling.

There are hundreds of YouTube videos of beautiful and amazing bullet journals and ideas. Which as clever and creative as they were, again became time-consuming. I really like the idea of bullet journaling and the several categories and symbols you can create. You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to bullet journaling. But once again it would involve carrying a journal around with me or making notes and adding them to my journal. Again searched for apps but found none of them were as customisable as I wanted.

Whilst searching for ideas I was reminded of Evernote a place to store documents on-line and control who can see the notes and documents you post. It’s also fully customisable as I want it to be.

In Evernote you create notebooks with these notebooks you can create stacks.

As seen here

You can see that I have created several stacks.

With stacks Evernote always puts them in chronological order.

So ensure you number them in the order you wish to have them appear.

Each stack is basically a list of notebooks. Within these notebooks you can add unlimited amounts of notes. Again they show in chronological order. I always put the date as the title so they show in order of latest entry.

Within each stack I have notebooks with my customised categories.

 

 

Daily journal.

This is my everyday journal. Not always a written journal sometimes it can be a photo or photos that I have taken of that day.

Reflection.

This is a list of philosophy and poetry that have struck a chord with me. It is always growing and I will often go back and re-read it.

 

Books to read.

This is a list of books I have read and yet to read.

 

Selfish wants.

This is an unusual list.

It’s a list of material things that I would buy if I could. They are not huge items. It’s things like a watch, trainers, camera etc. Things I could afford but it would mean pulling money from one area to another. It’s things I can do without to make sure it’s spent on the girls. It’s more of a backwards reminder for me, to remind me what I am happy to go without.

 

Places to see with the girls.

This is a list of places and things that I’d like to see and do with the girls. Something’s are ticked off and if they are a description of where, when and what we did with photos is attached to that note.

One very good feature with Evernote is the ability to search via keywords. So if you have a particular day or trip away for example you can easily search it out.

If I struggle for something to write that day I always refer to my journal ideas and questions.

Journal ideas

Feeling proud today.

Internals rather than externals.

Thought for the day.

Mood of the day.

Failed/ struggled with today.

Something nice for someone today. “Altruism”

Trained today.

Brief description of the day.

Hopes, adventures and future plans

I also decided to become organised and adult a little.

I have a finance stack.

Within this is a list of monthly bills. Outgoing’s, dates and the amounts etc..

I also have a notebook where I can scan receipts and store them for safe keeping. Warranties etc.. fortunately, touch wood, we haven’t had to buy or replace any large items or white goods.

But it’s handy to have if we need to.

I should add a caveat here that this isn’t sponsored or paid and endorsed by Evernote. It’s something I use and found extremely useful.

Do you use a journal?

If you have any tips or ideas to use as a busy parent please share in the comments.

Andy.

Fun

“I have learned that you can go anywhere you want to go and do anything you want to do and buy all the things that you want to buy and meet all the people that you want to meet and learn all the things that you desire to learn and if you do all these things but are not madly in love: you have still not begun to live.”

―JoyBell

I love my family and as much as I moan about them and the trials and tribulations that comes with it I wouldn’t change them for the world.

At times it becomes almost unbearable and you just want to run away to a time before.

Which lead me to writing this spoken word piece. Time is something that is I un-negotiable. It’s a fixed set amount. I have to be at work at a certain time to a certain time. The girls have after school clubs they attend they need taking to at a certain time. The baby goes to bed around a certain time to save our sanity the next day. This leaves little time to catch up with the wife. Be able to work out. Catch up with jobs around the house. To have any alone time. To be able to find time for fun. Fun selfishly just for you.

Fun

Fun.

But at what cost.

Fun things for you to see and do.

Just you.

No partner, no kids.

No wife and kids coming along too.

Fun.

Fun things to see and do.

Just for you.

At what cost.

Kids screaming they want to go with daddy too.

A wife who complains she doesn’t get the quality time she needs with you.

Fun.

Just fun.

Just for you.

Some time alone doing just what you want to do.

Sitting and relaxing when you want to.

Turning left instead of right because you want to.

Something catches your eye wandering over to look and explore a little bit.

No rolling of eyes as you suggest it.

No screaming I need the loo, me too and me, me too.

Sometime alone doing just what you want to do.

Exploring the world and shops in your little town like you use to.

Peacefully wandering and looking at what you want to.

Coming home, turning on the crap that you want to.

No screams of I’m not watching that.

Escaping to listen to your favourite music.

Relaxing and meditating.

Closing your eyes and feeling the music run through you.

Prodded in the head and asked what are you up to.

Can I listen.

Can I watch pig on your phone.

Peppa. Peppa ringing in my ear.

Fun.

Oh What fun.

Fun at what cost.

Escaping without the guilt.

Asking if it’s ok if you can go see this.

Like a teenager nervously asking to stay out with friends that your parents don’t like.

Reminiscing of the fun you were use to.

Getting up when you wanted to.

Leaving the house for anywhere and nowhere just going because you wanted to.

Now to have that fun it comes at a cost.

A cost.

A cost that you always have to ask yourself.

Is it worth it.

All this fuss.

Just to go.

To go and have some fun.

Andy.