Wednesday, 25 February 2015

On the Homefront

In few days our happy little family will embark on a great adventure. We are going to South Africa, husband's homeland.
We met when I lived out of a suitcase, to travel was the most natural thing. As we settled, there was less and less traveling. I used to go 'home' - the place I paid rent in to rest, do laundry, sort my bills and haircut, to relax. And now, suddenly, there was Home. And I would view travel as a means for a holiday - a whole new concept, to travel to rest and think and have some quality time.
So my life turned upside down but in the process it became normal, average so to say. Which proves that I wasn't normal in the first place and that may explain why some very ordinary things still make me nervous. I am someone who was raised by wolves (or raised by myself).

The thing is, now I am not excited at all. Traveling changed a lot, I am very glad I had my time on the road and in the air in the good old times. Before the paranoia, the 100 ml limit on toiletries, the striptease before boarding and extra one if you have a connecting flight. Airports lost their magic, their sense of adventure, even a little sense of exclusivity. Flights became less interesting as the standards dropped with the price war between tradition and no frill.

Plus there is a child. To travel with a child is different. Our child did have to short flights within Europe and did great but a long flight is a whole new level. But the most annoying part is to get into the plain. A cup with water and a pot of yoghurt take about twenty minutes to properly investigate. Not to mention the folding and unfolding of a pram with one hand in about ten seconds while the annoyed member of staff stares and people behind you tut. For child, all of it is a game and pram in the x ray, mummy being probed and daddy taking of his highly suspicious shoes is an invitation to a great run against the long curvy queue. Lets face it. Travel is annoying. Terrorists and budget airlines ruined it for all of us.

I am seriously considering only traveling by car to Europe in the future. I believe that it may actually be faster considering the endless waiting, delays and, my personal favorite, endless queue for passport control when you reach the sweet Great Britain again (without a pram as a bonus). But with Africa there is no choice, we will have to discover what happens when two people and a 22 months old decide to go and visit the friends and grandpa.
Wish me luck....

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Is it just me, or...?

...Did anybody else notice how the days suddenly got longer? With the arrival of February there is new lease of light. The afternoon is definitely longer, the morning brighter. It is bitterly cold and the heating is still running non stop but it is OK, it is supposed to be like this during winter and I prefer anything to the constant wind and rain - the soundtrack to living in Manchester.

But yup, the light is coming back to us! One day next month there will be spring!

What a long and sad winter it was. And this morning, sitting around with our teas and breakfast while having the news on, the scary main story was hammered into our hearts: one in two of us will develop cancer. What a way to start a morning. Husband and I usually comment on morning news and developments, it is one of the reasons why we abandon our dining table in the mornings. We slouch on the sofa instead for a while, before we go on with our jobs. But this morning we said nothing. We just sat there. Because it was the two of us on the sofa. Does it mean one of us will be the unlucky one? Or will our household be spared but both of our lovely neighbors will go? Statistics are cold and there are too many of them. They are meant to be helpful, but are they, really?

Few weeks ago they said in the news that scientists found out most cancers are just a bad luck. A mistake that happens to our cells while they are busy renewing themselves (so to say, very unscientifically). Dah! Of course it is, thanks. Didn't we all know it already? We are not preventing illness with our healthy living, we are trying to prevent the bad luck, the mistake. We can not prevent bad things from happening, but we must try.

However, since I started exercising to loose weight, I find it much harder to motivate myself. When I tried to diet, I was craving all the bad stuff. I would eat healthily before just because, but suddenly all I wanted were biscuits and endless cups of tea (they did keep me going while I breastfed and didn't sleep so I gained weight as the breastfeeding went down). I used to exercise a lot before I had my child, now it is so hard to find the time and it is not the same when I feel I have to do it.
 I am tired of scare mongering  statistics, nurses who never knew me sitting in front of computer ticking boxes while questioning my lifestyle, saying 'is that all?' after listening to list of activities and choices. I am also a piece of statistic. I don't know which way I will go but I don't want to feel bad for having a slice of cake or few glasses of wine with a nice dinner and friends. Do I want to live for hundred of years afraid I will endanger myself or do I want to enjoy myself and live responsibly for 80? As long as I can take care of myself I don't care how long I live. I do try to be healthy but I am a human being. Could I just go on about my life without being constantly scared by newest discoveries?

A letter came for me this week, a questionnaire for mothers of children under two. It is supposed to be a research on 21st century motherhood. And they mean to find out how to make our lives easier in the future. Beside ticking some boxes and telling them how old me and my child are they are asking me: what is most challenging about being a mother in 21st century? I don't even have time to think about it. Plus, how does it really compare to motherhood in any other century, as I have only experienced being a mother in this one. And do I want to help to create another 'helpful' statistic? Not really. Letter goes to bin and I go on with my mothering and home making.

I will cook a wholesome dinner which will quite likely contain more than our 5 a day. I will have a cake made with xylitol and coconut oil. I will drink few cups of tea during my day. I will have a long walk in the crisp cold day because the sky is blue and I want to be outside. I will exercise if I like it and I will try to sleep as much as I can. And I will not ask if I am doing enough.
My father was the mistake of cells, his life style couldn't contribute to the fast and deadly cancer that took him from us last November. Cancer was always scary but now it is personal. Yet, like with the thread of terrorism,  I refuse to let it rule my life. So statistics can go. I am too busy living today.