I thought I’d do a little life update. We all like those once in a while, right?
A lot of really eventful and sometimes awful things have happened to our family over these past few years and it’s something that has been on my mind recently. With some dearest friends going through their own huge changes and weathering scary storms right now, it made me put my anxious shadowy thoughts of my own past and present hardships and struggles to the back burner and focus on all of the positive things that have happened in these last 12 months for us. There have been a quite a few and for that, I’m thankful.
It’s been just over a year that Ray and I decided to become vegetarian and reduce our dairy intake (I’m striving for vegan but finding it hard to make the full jump). It’s one of the best health decisions we ever made and we’re still both feeling so good about it! We’re both eating a much more varied diet rich in colour and nutrients, I need to supplement as my body is annoying but the awful side effects we both got from dairy and animal products have all but gone. Plus, it has really opened our eyes to the treatment of living things and animal cruelty.
We started our home education journey with Sullivan just over 7 months ago now. It feels like so much longer! It’s strange how something once such a seemingly terrifying and angst-ridden step can become so natural and wonderfully comfortable. Whilst marking Sullivan’s weekly spelling test, I noticed how much his handwriting has stabilised and also changed into something he enjoys, rather than the frustration and anger writing used to bring to him. I realise he is probably behind his peers when it comes to writing due to a few factors (left-handed, severe digit and hand hypermobility, Autism) but the progress he has made with us working closely one to one in ways he responds to fills my heart with joy. I am proud I can physically see the achievements he is making on paper but I’m even more proud that he has been able to leave behind the negative emotional connections to writing (and any kind of mark-making/art) he had 7 months ago.
Regular readers of this blog will know I had been running my own business, Spotlesspinata Jewellery, for 4 years. A few short months ago I made the decision to close my business and use my time to home educate and care for Sullivan, also freeing up more time to help my eldest son Thom with his school and homework building up to his impending GCSE year in 2019. This was a really had decision to make as I genuinely loved my business so very much. I’d nurtured it through my evolving crafts and skills, I had built up a small but wonderful customer base, I’d poured so much time and energy into my pieces and also into the absolute mountain of paperwork and red tape needed to keep myself legal (huge thanks to my husband for sorting most of this as I think I probably would have drowned in tax returns and crumpled post office receipts if it weren’t for him). I also really loved having a creative outlet. To let go of that was scary. However I’m feeling really satisfied with being able to enjoy my photography hobby again and blogging both here and on Sullivan’s home education page. Being involved more in both boys’ schooling is a great way to help get some expression out there too. I’m not getting the smothering artist’s block frustration I have in the past whilst being a stay at home mum or working as an employee in previous years, which is of great relief to me.
This past year we have come to ask for help when we need it. Our home situation is different in many ways and with those differences comes the need for support. Asking for help from family, workplaces and the government are all really huge and hard steps that we’ve come to realise needed to happen for us moving forward. Sullivan is now in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (although I knew he would more than likely be awarded from speaking with our lovely Mencap advisor, it was still a shock to the system when it came back less than three weeks later all finalised). Family have been amazing at stepping in when we need a break or to be taken to yet another appointment somewhere I can’t access with my wheelchair. Work has had to be thought about too, for all our health needs. The overwhelmingly positive support received from most regarding accessing change and help for our family has been amazing.
Have you made any positive changes recently? I’d love to hear about them below.