I transform into the biggest of kids come December. It’s my absolute FAVOURITE month EVER. Every little thing fills my heart with joy as I start counting down the days until Christmas, swiftly followed by my birthday. I also know that it can be one of the most overwhelming months where my diary starts to fill up, my to-do list swells and I stop prioritising looking after myself. Making this list is serving as a reminder to stop, take a breath, enjoy the moment and dig out the sequins.
Marriage is a funny one to me. It was never something I wanted for myself, I thought it was nothing more than a piece of paper, I didn’t get the hype that filled my friends and I’d definitely never dreamt of a white dress. And then Al happened and now we’ve made it through our first year as Mr & Mrs Coates, which has led me to note some things that I’ve learnt in the process.
I feel a bit lighter these days. Not in a traditional weight sense, because I don’t care for that. More like the daily worries I used to carry around my IBS have lifted. I finally feel like I’m the boss of my own body, rather than being ruled by my temperamental gut.
November 12th is a tough day for my family as it marks the anniversary of my grandad’s death. The pain is still heavy in my heart and I don’t imagine that will ever fully ease but that’s ok, because I have 13 years of glorious memories that I treasure and reminisce on.
I sometimes struggle to relax, especially when my mind is bubbling away with self-doubt, anxious thoughts and bloody to-do lists. I have to be armed with a toolkit of things that I can turn to to help me feel calm, before it all gets too overwhelming.
You inviting tub of hot, bubbly, water. What would I do without you? I mean, a shower seems like the obvious answer but it’s not the same. You’re so comforting. The way you let me slide right down until my shoulders are enveloped by a gentle, warm lapping of bubbles. Delicious. Nothing makes me feel as relaxed as you do.
I’d been wanting to read Adam Kay’s book, This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, for a while and finally remembered to grab it from the airport on the way to the surprise I’d booked for the husband as an anniversary, birthday and fuck-it-you-only-live-once holiday. I devoured it over two days. Reading endless paragraphs out loud to my husband, either in horror or hilarity, at Adam’s diary entries as a junior doctor.
One of the best decisions we’ve ever made was taking Lils on from a bestie. Her circumstances had changed and she was unable to give Lils the attention she needed. Problem was, Lils was old, really old, and no one else showed any interest. Which broke my heart. Hence why she now lives with us and has done for the last 2 years.
Emma Thompson wrote a line in October’s copy of Red magazine which really resonated with me and I haven’t been able to shake it since. “I wish I’d known that success is a byproduct, not something to be strived for. The process is the most important thing.” This got me thinking about some of my greatest successes and again, what that word means to me.
Can we take a moment to talk about the fact I spent 7 days in Italy, stuffing my ginormous gob with ALL THE GLUTEN. Capitals for extra emphasis. Seriously though, I hit every single breakfast, lunch and dinner hard. I forgot about my pesky IBS and ate whatever the hell I felt like eating.