‘It’s the season of love and understanding…’

It’s one of my favourite times of the year and so much more magical having 2 little girls who believe in the magic of Santa!

We’ve been singing and dancing to Christmas songs for the past few weeks and our favourites include Last Christmas, All I want for Christmas is you and Merry Christmas Everyone!!

However, I have often felt that the build up to Christmas starts earlier every year and by November everywhere you turn you will see or hear something to do with Christmas. Most adverts on television are to do with Christmas, there are Christmas songs playing wherever you go, and people are posting about all their festive plans on social media.

Now whilst I do love Christmas, I can’t help but feel that with all this comes a certain amount of pressure or expectations about what you should be doing at Christmas, how much you should spend on food and presents and this idea that everyone is surrounded by large family and continual social gatherings. Whilst this may be true for some, it certainly isn’t true for everyone.

This time of year may be hard for some people due to varying circumstances…. not everyone can afford a luxury Christmas and there will be parents who hope that their children aren’t hoping for an expensive present from Santa. There will be those who don’t have family or friends, those who may have lost loved ones or who can’t go and be with their loved ones.

Yet for those people they can’t avoid Christmas (well not easily) even if they wanted to. It is all to easy to get wrapped up in our own busyness after all most of us have lots of things to do at this time of year on top of all the usual jobs.

However, it’s worth taking a minute to think about those who may not be looking forward to Christmas and take the time to reach out to them. You’d be surprised at what could make a difference to someone and how a small act of kindness can mean a lot to someone. It could be something as small as smiling at someone, wishing them a Merry Christmas, sending someone a message to let them know that you are thinking of them, asking if there’s anything you can do, posting someone a card or giving someone a gift.

I also feel that it is important to never assume that people are busy or that you would be disturbing them or that you are too busy to find time to check in on someone. I would imagine that something as simple as sending someone a message will always be appreciated, even if you don’t get a reply and we all know how easy and quick it is to send messages these days. In less than the time it takes to make a drink you can send someone a message.

I am surprised and somewhat saddened that Covid appears to have divided people more than brought people together and that there seems to be less of a community spirit. We never know what is going on for someone and now more than ever I believe it is important to look out for one another. I don’t like to think of anyone feeling sad or finding life hard and although I know that I can’t change peoples lives, I like to try and do what I can to at least put a smile on someone’s face.

What means the most to me at this time of year is spending time with loved ones…there were so many Christmases where I didn’t get that opportunity so now, I make the most of it.

So, whilst you’re putting your feet up with a glass of something or in the middle of baking yet another batch of mince pies, it would be nice to consider those around you or to check in on that friend or family member who may not be finding the festive period as fun and exciting.

In the words of Shakin’ Stevens, ‘it’s the season of love and understanding, Merry Christmas everyone!’

Dentist…

I am very familiar with the surroundings of a dental surgery and have spent many hours sat in the dentist chair throughout my life. I know a lot of people don’t like going to the dentist and some fear having dental procedures, yet it doesn’t phase me at all. I am used to having multiple dental implements in my mouth and the noises associated with it.

My recent experience with my dentist still hasn’t given me a fear of dentists but I wouldn’t say that I am happy about it.

I had a wisdom tooth taken out not long after giving birth to my first daughter and no word of a lie, dry socket was more painful than giving birth and a broken jaw was on par with this.

When I went to the hospital to see the consultant about my tooth and broken jaw, I don’t know what I was expecting, I guess at most an x-ray however I ended up leaving my appointment in tears. Apparently, my impacted wisdom tooth is rotting inside my gums and so there is no alternative other than to have it removed. I was also told the pain wouldn’t go away until it is taken out. It’s not the thought of having my tooth taken out, my gum being cut open, having my jaw broken (again) nor a chunk of bone being removed that caused the tears. It’s the fact that due to the complexity of removing the tooth (bearing in mind that my dentist thought she could remove it whilst I was sat in the dentist chair!) I have to have a general anaesthetic and I am PETRIFIED! If there was any way out of it then I would avoid it at all costs but as my mum pointed out, I don’t really have a choice if my tooth is rotting, and I do want the pain to go away.

So, I have been urgently referred and unlike most things that have been delayed due to Covid I will be having the operation in less than 2 weeks’ time!

I don’t know where my fear of having a general anaesthetic comes from and know that thousands of people have them every day without any issue. But bad duck is having a field day with the ‘what ifs’. I understand that it will be a lot easier for me and the surgeon if I am asleep and they have said it will only take between 15-30 minutes, yet it doesn’t stop the fear.

I am frustrated with myself that I have this fear as I know most people aren’t phased by it and would much rather be asleep for the procedure. I wish it didn’t bother me, but it does. Unfortunately, due to Covid my Mum can’t come with me. For me, the thought makes me want to cry and I am worried about how I will cope on the day.

However, I am trying my best to deal with my fear by having the strength to mention my fear when I have my pre-op and when I arrive on the day (if I manage to get myself through the door!).

It was ‘amausing’ that I have been told to expect a little bit of discomfort after my operation which is what my dentist said after she broke my jaw and so I am preparing myself this time for a few days of being off my feet. This time around I have told my counselling placement that I will be having the week off as well as college and I am making sure I have plenty of convenience food in so that I don’t need to think about shopping or cooking. Instead, I am going to allow myself to snuggle in my new Christmas pyjamas and watch Christmas films rather than try to carry on as normal. Hopefully I will be ok after a couple of days but at least I am prepared for having a week of not feeling hunky dory.

At least I get to enjoy my birthday before my operation and all being well me and my girls are going away a week after my operation which gives me something to look forward to.

I really hope that the fear won’t consume me on the day and that I can take it in my stride…I will try and distract myself by thinking of Michael McIntyre’s clip about his trip to the dentist and how his biggest concern when having his operation was having to walk down the corridor with his bum on show!!

A new normal…

The beginning of the new academic year has marked the start of going back to a new kind of normal. Before the summer holidays, schools were still in bubbles, social distancing and face coverings were enforced and hand gel was used more times a day than ever before.

I imagine there were mixed emotions when everyone returned in September, some no doubt couldn’t wait to get rid of all the rules whilst others may have felt more anxious.

For me, I was disappointed about bubbles no longer existing because I was dreading doing the school run particularly knowing everyone would be fighting for a space to park! However, as with many things in life, I have soon adapted to the new routine. It is nice not to have to wear a face mask for the school run and of course it has allowed my daughter to start school as we all know it, it’s lovely to hear children singing in assemblies and see them playing with their friends.

However, case numbers are still high here so it does feel a little uneasy, but we just have to do what we can.

Up until recently I was wearing face masks whenever I was indoors but then I have been to a few indoor gatherings lately where nobody else has been wearing them and so neither have I. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid to be the odd sheep but at the same time, if this is how life is going to be for the foreseeable future, then I feel there are times when not wearing a mask could be ok.

I have certainly noticed that more people are choosing not to wear a mask and I guess that could be down to being sick of wearing them or the fact that it’s not mandatory anymore, yet whether out of habit or still feeling a little unsure of things, I still automatically put my mask on every time I go inside a shop.

I guess part of me feels a sense of responsibility for others as I wouldn’t want to pass on Covid to my Mum, those I care about or any of the clients that I work with.

The best part of life returning to some sort of normality is being able to attend events, spend time with others, being able to make plans and of course, hugs!

I am aware that there may be another wave but it would appear that the UK government has no intention of doing an awful lot about it other than make masks compulsory again. In which case, fingers crossed Christmas can go ahead this year. Last Christmas I managed to take my girls to see Santa, but it was a socially distanced visit where they could only wave at him from a distance whilst stood outside. Hopefully this year they may actually get to see him up close and maybe even get a photo with him!

We didn’t get to go to Hull fair last year as it was cancelled but this year it is going ahead. However, I have decided that we won’t be going as despite it being the biggest fair that is happening this year (as Goose Fair has been cancelled) there won’t be any real safety measures in place and I know how crowded it normally is, therefore it doesn’t make me feel easy.  

I am definitely looking forward to living life again, I’m excited about what the future brings, and I feel that the summer gave me a chance to start dipping my toes in the water! I certainly can’t imagine going into another lockdown, I think I would find it too hard. I realise that I need that social contact (says the woman who is not a social animal!) and I have a thirst for life…for meeting people, going out and trying new things.

I guess I feel like I have found my wings and I am ready to fly!

This made me giggle as it’s true!