Hello...

Hello.
I knew at the beginning of the year that I wanted to let go of the blog. I am in a different place now and I need the space to work through a great many things. I intend to keep the archives up for a time, although I have removed the comment function.
If you have landed here - welcome and feel free to dip in to what was our life - once upon a time...
J xxx

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Daft Days














It's the end of the holidays. The decorations are put away, the greenery has been burned before it turns into goblins, and there is a just perceptible lengthening of the daylight.
Wehad a quiet New Year. It was harder than I thought. I remembered that this time last year, we thought John's cancer was stable, and we might even have another Christmas together. Sadly not to be...

But still, we had a cosy time, not moving far from the fireside. The Northern Lights put on a spectacular display for Hogmanay - better than any fireworks, and Kristine and Breagha came to visit for a couple of days. 
 
I've not made any specific resolutions - just a vague plan of things I might want to do - decorating, garden, that sort of thing. We have our big Canadian trip coming up in the summer, and the usual visits to family. James would like a puppy, and I'm a bit tempted, but I'm holding out for now. 

I'm really not up for planning too much. I still feel like I need to stay in my cave for a while. Sometimes I think that my body hasn't caught up with my head yet. I still rush around on automatic pilot, and I've had a couple of falls which were nearly serious. Luckily I escaped with only minor injuries, but I've got the message. I'm taking time this year to nurture myself - to feel grounded. 

I've been thinking too, that I'm running out of steam on the blog front. I don't want to stop blogging, but I'm finding it harder to keep going. I might take a wee step back - post a bit less - maybe just share some of my self nurturing ideas? Yes, I reckon that could work - at least it means that I will slow down and pay some attention to myself. 

Thank you all again for your loving support, and for staying with me as I try to work out this rhythm. James and I would like to wish you and your families every blessing for the New Year xxx

60 comments:

  1. Jacqui, Thank you for sharing with all your blog followers your life. You write beautifully and express what many feel but may not be able to put into words as eloquently as you. I even bought and read a book you recommended (and enjoyed). Your photography is also very expressive. I hope for the best for you and James this new year. Ellen in Pendleton Oregon

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    1. Thank you so much, Ellen. Such kind words. Glad you are enjoying the book. Reading is a big part of my self- care project, so there may be more books coming up soon xx

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  2. When I was going through a really bad time a few years some one told me that I need to look after me first so I could get me through it and be there for my kids, it wasn't a selfish thing to do, putting me first but fundamental to moving forward and they were right. There is still plenty winter left to hibernate and take things a day at a time, wishing you well in this next bit of your journey. Ps, terribly envious of your northern lights sightings, it's on my bucket list, and I keep missing the sightings here in our country x

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    1. Thank you Rona - I know how important it is to look after myself, but remembering to do it is the trick :)
      Check out Aurorawatch on facebook- they give alerts when an aurora is expected. Stand outside for at least 10 minutes - often it looks like wispy white clouds towards the North. Xxx

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    2. I'm not the best at remembering to look after me, its a habit to learn, I follow aurorawatch but we have so many hills around us, I need to just push myself to get out in the car and get to the nearest high point if there is an alert lol xxx

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  3. dearest Jacqui -- you'll be very much missed when you're not blogging but I absolutely understand the need to step away from time to time, being quite prone to disappearing myself! ;) Howsoever you go on with the blog, I'll definitely be here reading. It's a funny old thing that despite the years that have passed and how our paths have meandered, you've always been in my world. Sounds odd, I'm sure! But there you have it!

    i wish all the best for you and James for 2016 and beyond....much love xoxoxo

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    1. Hello Mel - yes we've been through a few changes:)
      I don't think I won't blog, but maybe a short pop in once a week or two. Now I've said all this, the blog mojo will probably return xxx

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  4. Dear Jacqui, I hope you will continue blogging, with no pressure for frequent posts. Self nurturing ideas sound like great topics as you move ahead with your family and mourning John.

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    1. Thanks, Terra - letting go of the shoulds and have tos feels like the way forward xx

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  5. I love reading your posts and entirely understand the need for less often. Nurturing yourself sounds a good thing to do.

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    1. Thank you for that, Beverly. Hopefully taking the pressure off myself will be restorative xx

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  6. I understand you need to step back from blogging, but I do hope you will pop in from time to time.
    I think of you and James often and wish all the best for both of you.
    Oh, a puppy! Yes, they are a lot of work, but maybe in time it might be nice.
    Much love to you my dear!

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    1. Thank you Tracey - your thoughts are appreciated. I've been enjoying seeing you on Instagram every day xx

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  7. Ooohhh, where in Canada are you coming to? I'm in Calgary and if there is any way I can help/any questions I can answer, I would be more than happy to. (cprestn5 at telus dot net)

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    1. Hi Carolyn. We're staying with my sister in Ottawa. I can't wait. It's a bit far away from Calgary, I think. I can't quite imagine the distances, and everything here is so close xx

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  8. You have hit the nail on the head. 14 months into my journey without David and Christmas and especially New Year was tough. I seem to have done a lot, kept things moving forward for the girls, but I feel mentally exhausted. I sat down today, looked at a photo of my husband and burst into tears. First time in a while which probably means more time is needed for me. I love to read your posts and wonder how you are dealing with this hard journey. I wish you much strength this year. A little Welsh brown and white collie pup called Fern found its way into our lives after losing our 11 yr old collie in Nov. She has definitely bought fun and smiles into our home. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on self nurture ... and book recommendations. Love Alix

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    1. Hello Ali, I found New Year harder than Christmas - probably because we did something completely different. We forget, don't we? I was driving back from town the other week, and realised I wasn't aware of my body - I felt like a jumble of thoughts and emotions. It's not just the time since john died, but the year that he was ill, and the six months before his diagnosis, when he wasn't too great - it's all that time that I need to - assimilate, I suppose. And we just deal with it as it comes - like you - day by day, minute by minute. Let's begin to nurture ourselves xxx

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    2. That is exactly what I feel Jacqui. David was ill for just over a year and with no diagnosis until just before he died. We had a holiday in Orkney before he really fell ill in 2014 and he wasn't right for the few months before. It is a lot to work through and recover from. I work full time and take care of my daughters and know that I'm not giving myself the time I need to assimilate it all. I know that because when I stop and sit I feel heavy hearted but I can bouy myself up and get on with things.Not sure really where to start but I am with you all the way. Like you, I live in a lovely, rural place and blessed to have such kind friends and family. This has helped me no end. Nurturing thoughts, Ali x

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  9. Hi Jacqui - Wow - those northern lights are amazing. I have always wanted to see them in person. What a treat right outside your door!
    As for continuing to blog - I think if you did write about self-care and your grieving process after losing John it would be a huge help to others who are dealing with the same thing. On so many blogs, it is all beautiful photos and perfection and I think it causes people to feel like they aren't as good as the blogs they read. I think mixing real life in with your beautiful photos might make you heal some and help others at the same time. And maybe a puppy!
    With best wishes for 2016 from western Massachusetts - Kristin

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    1. Thank you Kristin - I know that it helps people, because I have some lovely messages from them. It is very humbling, and do I do want to continue telling my story. It would be so easy to just post pretty pictures as if life hadn't changed. Thank you for your encouragement.xxx

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  10. Yes taking good care of yourself is the number one priority and then blog when you feel like it, I will always pop by when you are around :-) xx

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    1. Hi San - oh it is - and I was thinking of you and your coffee on Christmas Eve - how nourishing that was. Xxx

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  11. I will miss your delightful photos and posts but understand your need to take time out for yourself. All the best for the new year.

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    1. Thanks Susan - I won't be gone too long - maybe one or two weeks at a time. Happy New Year to you xxx

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  12. It's been a while since I left a comment, but I still pop by to catch up on how things are going for you. Such a hard year of change. My last year has been an adjustment with moving from the north to the tropics. So much more than I thought it would be. If you and James need a winter break, we've got a guest room for you in Puerto Rico. Seriously.

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    1. Wow - seriously? That is so kind, Missy. I've been popping into your new world too, but using Bloglovin on my phone, so it's not as easy to leave comments. Lucia is so sweet, and life seems so different - lots of change for you too. Xxx

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    2. Oh, so glad you've seen my little Lucia! I have been enjoying every moment with her. There is a direct flight to San Juan from London now on norwegian airlines. A friend that lives here in Rincon just spent Christmas with family back in London and had her first direct flight. Give it a try!

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  13. Taking a step back to nurture yourself is a good idea. I will miss your posts, but will be checking in to see if you have anything to say.

    I live in Saskatchewan which is one province closer to Ontario. That isn't saying much as we would still be a distance away (like about 2500 kilometers).

    God bless.

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    1. Thanks Jackie - I will still blog - but I'm taking the "have to get a post out" bit away from myself. I'm really looking forward to seeing your country xx

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  14. Happy new year to you Jacqui, although I would miss your posts, don't feel guilty for not blogging regularly, it should be a pleasure after all. Your photos are so beautiful that to be honest, even the odd postcard is still lovely to see. I hope you enjoy your self-care year, and we would love to hear how you are getting on. x

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  15. That last photo is particularly lovely. I hope this year brings you good things, and the time and space to look after yourself well.

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  16. I dream of seeing the glow of the northern lights one day, perhaps this summer when I visit the daughter and son-in-law in Edinburgh? Would be a thrill, for sure. I'm not blogging as much these days as life is rather full of responsibility and blogging is visiting with friends. Thanks for allowing us the privilege of walking along side you and lifting you in prayer as you and James adjust to the new normal. A happy and blessed new year to you both. :)
    xo Lisa

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  17. blogging should be fun. Not a chore, if you need a break, then take one, a long one. Or just do your postcard thing once a week, every other week or once a month. It is your blog and a reflection of you. I love to read your words but I would love for you to be reenergized!!! take care of yourself :)

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  18. Take care of yourself, nurture yourself as only you can and we will all still be here when you are ready.

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    1. That is exactly what i was going to say - we are not going anywhere.

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  19. Dear Jacqui, the beginning of a new year, with each day giving us just that tiny bit more light, is a natural time for contemplation. Some of us have had much unwanted change in our lives during the past year. Each of us will find our individual way through new pathways.

    Sometimes, it is very good to have some quiet; other times a bit of "noise" can be a comfort.

    As always I send you and James all my best wishes. xo

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  20. Dear Jacqui, do listen to your inner voice! Find the balance that you need and everything else will fall into place! I will look forward in anticipation your next post. I too live in Canada (Manitoba) and see that you will be in Ottawa. My 2nd favorite city to be sure! :) Love Ottawa. If you ever find your feet landing in Manitoba, my door is always open! Much love to you and your wee boy. Dianna

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  21. I've read that this year is going to be time for seeking inner peace and solitude, to take stock and be just in that moment and enjoy the simple things of the home and family.
    Wishing you peace and fulfilment in all you do.
    Best wishes
    xxxx

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  22. From Margie in Toronto - All the best to you and James in 2016 - and if you need to step back a bit every now and again I'm sure everyone will understand. I always enjoy your photography so will always check back in whenever you have the time.
    I hope that you will enjoy your visit to Ottawa this summer - have you been there before? It's a lovely city - I've been there the past couple of summers and really enjoyed the visits. I usually take the train - it's between 4 and 5 hours from Toronto but I find the train relaxing and always enjoy it. Yes, distances on this side of the Atlantic are a wee bit different. A friend and I took a Fall trip to the Agawa Canyon up at lake Superior and it was an all day drive and then 4 hours on the train the next morning to get to the canyon - 2 hrs in the canyon and then 4 hours back to Sault Ste. Marie - drive back o Toronto the next day. If we weren't willing to travel like that I'm afraid we'd have to stay home! One day I hope to get far enough north at this time of year to see The Northern Lights - your photos are amazing. Take care of yourself.

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  23. Time to heal is definitely what you need, I will miss your beautiful pictures and words but totally understand. I have posted about healing today too for very different reasons. Enjoy the slowness and the world around you.

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  24. take care, we'll be waiting for you when we have the energy to come here, until then look after yourself x

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  25. Thoughts from Mull Jacqui.. take care. x

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  26. Fantastic photo of the "Fir Chlis," the Dancing Men. I wholeheartedly support you in taking time for yourself and only blogging when it is the right thing for you. I agree that your body is needing time to catch up, and is trying to tell you so. It sounds like you are perhaps needing to practice being grounded? I often live in my head far too much. Gardening, or just being aware of my feet on the ground as I walk really help me be more balanced. When I need to work on being more grounded I notice I literally fall / stumble, and my knees start to hurt. I mention this just in case it's helpful - ignore if not! Much love from us to you Xox

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    1. Makes total sense, Christine. I am working on it - not much scope for gardening yet, but soon hopefully xxx

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  27. Jackie. my husband died in June, I found your blog soon after, I have found comfort in your words I wish you well if you do decide to not blog anymore and I will think of often Lois

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    1. Hello, Lois - thank you for those words, and I am grateful that you have found the blog helpful. I won't be stopping the blog, but I have stopped putting pressure on myself to keep updating. I have found such a supportive community gathering around in this very space, and you are most welcome. I am sorry your husband has died, and send love and prayers to you xxx

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  28. I found same thing after I lost my husband some 15 years ago. The things I used to do and enjoy became an instance of "I no longer have my heart in this." Perfectly normal now I know but not then. I just sat and thought and felt so out of place in the normal world. But gradually the "spark of life" as I call it came back to me and life became a little more bearable. Take time to step back and assimilate all the changes you've gone through. It is a necessary event to do so. But later on, I hope you'll feel it is time to reconnect. And the world "auto pilot" is soooooo very correct.

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    1. sorry for the typo - - not "the world" but the word....

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    2. This is how I felt as well, Kay. My first husband passed 11 years ago very suddenly. We had three young sons. I would go to lunch with girlfriends every Wednesday and I'd listen to them make their plans for the future and how they needed to paint their bedroom and complain about their husbands. This is all "normal" stuff when you have a spouse but it all changed after John's death. I stopped meeting them for lunch soon after. So much changes but new doors are opened. There's a plan in all of it. We just have to trust and allow. God bless. xoxo

      ~ Wendy

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    3. Oh, me, you surely hit a point I should have mentioned/did not. The other married friends, specifically, women who prattle on about their husbands and all that. Such things as "we are going to the beach next weekend" or "we went to the play last night" or "we" this or that. I felt like someone was slowly stabbing a knife into my heart with all those remarks, as innocent as they were. And those who complained about their husbands? I wanted to much to say "you may complain now but when he's gone....etc.". I kept my mouth shut and told myself "don't ever do this again." Was invited by a neighbor to go to lunch one day along with a couple of friends of hers and all one of the friends could talk about was someone they knew mutually who had married several times and "well, she buried him and that is number 4" or whatever. I was totally amazed at the lack of sensitivity friends of mine showed at that time in my life. So I found that making friends with other widows or divorcees or perhaps some singles was my best bet. It was not a good time and I pulled way back and really dropped some old friends because of that. And to think that now after 15 years, I can recall such hurts so vividly.

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  29. I so vividly remember those days, weeks, months after my first husband passed. I felt like my feet were not on the ground. I gave myself permission just to go with the flow when it came to what I wanted to accomplish each day. Some days I felt like doing a lot and other days I felt like staying in my house and all of us in our pajamas all day. It took a good while for me to feel like my feet were firmly planted on the ground again. For some it takes less time and for others more. Nobody can tell you how long this process of grieving should take. Listening to my inner voice was what helped me the most. Keep doing what you're doing, Jacqui. One day at a time. I truly wish I could give you a hug. xoxoxo

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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  30. As always, you write from the heart and it is beautiful. I wish you and your family much joy and peace and rest during the coming year. I'm not sure where you are off to in Canada but if you are anywhere close and would like to visit, we'd love to have you come. I have just begun a whole new blog with a different focus as I too was feeling pressured to write. Now I am hoping to write when I feel like it and to write about things that are important to me. I have appreciated your blog so much and your honesty has been so real. Thank you. ~Alison

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  31. Happy New Year Jacqui. Look after yourself, do what you need to do to keep yourself safe because these are still such early days in your loss and your grief and your deeply changed world. Blog as little or as often as you need to. Stepping back and giving myself permission to blog once a day or once a year depending on how I felt (closer to the latter as it turned out) was one of the best things I could have done. It was starting to feel like such an obligation and life's too short for too many of those.

    Also, I'm for puppies. There is nothing better than puppies. xx

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  32. Jacqui, I just wanted to let you know how much I love your posts. I don't comment much, but I come to "visit" you quite often. You are a wonderful story teller and I admire your photography skills. I will miss seeing you as much, but you do need to take care of yourself. I just wanted to wish you a happy new year and I pray that this year is filled with healing and many, many blessings!

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  33. Sending you a massive hug. Xxxx

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  34. Our favorite island. A perfect place to bring up children www.mark-mural.blogspot.com. I had cancer in 2006, our heartfelt best wishes to you and your family.

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  35. I've been checking. Hope you and the young man are doing ok.

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