I drove over to spend yesterday evening with Dom and my parents after having 'earned' time off after completing my presentation for Amsterdam next week for Arkin Mental Healthcare. I was pleased with what I had done.
Then I got a call to say it was off! The Dutch mental health workers are on strike next Wednesday, the day I was booked! An hour or so later I had another call to say the dinner I was due at tonight was also off! My lip was out. After a while I realised that I now have another keynote prepared, i.e. one which gives an overview of the NHS plus 'what matters to patients'. I have learnt a few things myself by researching for it so that is positive. Perhaps they will reschedule too? Today I already had two things on so maybe an early night would be better?
After watching 'Waterloo Road' with Mum and Dom I took him home and drove back to Tadcaster. It was a tough journey and seemed a long way. We all are busy the next couple of weeks so not sure when we get to meet up again.
This morning I was up early to drive down to Nottingham. I spoke to some student midwives there, a regular booking of mine. I appreciate the opportunity to share my messages with them, including treating others how you would wish to be treated but also to remember the importance of 'you'. So often we forget that we HAVE to look after ourselves first so that we can care for others. I told them about the request I had made when Clive died about buying a bunch of flowers for themselves or someone else in his memory.
I gave every ounce of passion I had! I always think that even if one of those students goes on to treat one patient in a kinder way as a result of listening to me, then it is worth it. One student said afterwards how much I had inspired them - they had been feeling disheartened after their recent exams and feelings of self-doubt had crept in. I changed that today for them and encouraged their believe in themselves again. I was thrilled with that reaction and left on top of the world.
I got back in the car and instantly sobbed my heart out! Why? Because I didn't have Clive to text and share my pride and joy with. We had a mutual admiration society together. It's not about being conceited, it's about understanding the massive adrenalin buzz you get after a delivery like that. You are so excited you could burst and want to make it last.
I called a couple of people who would understand - no reply. So I posted a pathetic line on Facebook. Within minutes I got supportive replies which really helped, then rang one of them. I have to say that is a big advantage of social networking - you can always find someone.
I also practised what I had just advised the students - 'feel good' time! 'Kylie' was put on full blast! I stopped at Woodall Services on the M1 and had a Happy Meal! A further chat with my dear friend and colleague Ann and I was on the 'up' again.
Next stop was a meeting with a 'colleague of a colleague' at the impressive Tankersley Hotel . We parted a couple of hours later as friends. I listened and advised her about a few issues and found myself sounding just like Clive. A little later she text me to say 'thank you for sharing and giving your wisdom'. I appreciated that. Clive often used to say that 'knowledge was knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad'!
Back on the M1 I had a choice. Home? Or do I go to Meadow Hall shopping centre in search of a bikini for my mini-break in the sun? I suddenly felt free! It really WAS up to me. I had no-one waiting for me. Dom was revising for his physics exam tomorrow. My planned evening had been cancelled so shopping it was.
I parked by Debenhams as a couple of years ago after I had been myself a few times to get one and returned empty-handed, Clive had gone with me, walked into that store and within 60 seconds picked out one which fitted perfectly - job done! I think I have said before how he had this knack. I could wander for hours for a dress. For shoes. For a coat. All to no avail. Then he'd come out with me a bingo! Sorted. I mooch like Goldilocks - things are too big, too small, wrong colour, too expensive, etc. etc.
I looked at the rails in Debenhams. Wrong size. Wrong style. Wrong colour .....
I looked in a couple of others. Same story. Finally In House of Fraser I found one and it was in the sale. Hooray! I tried it on. Let's just say that my bosom requires more than a knotted hanky!!
Dejected I came out of the store and sat on a bench. Yo!Sushi in front of me, Apple centre to my left - Dom's favourite stores. I saw couples together. I felt a useless shopper. I felt like a lost soul. The 'freedom' I had felt changed to a self-pitying 'no-one cares where I am'. I was tired. I was hungry. I was drained. Why am I so tough on myself?
I was about to burst into tears when, as if on cue, I got a text which simply said 'Good day?' That was all I needed!
I chatted to Mum for a bit and told her my thought that I missed someone to care about me. Ooops
I love my Mum! The lady I had met today had lost her Mum when she was only 7. That is so sad. My Mum is also a best friend too. A few times she has suggested Richard Marx songs for my blog. I came across this one tonight ...
Seems appropriate too having shared part of today with ladies who will have a big role in assisting other ladies into the magic of motherhood.
A little pep talk was just the tonic. I went into M & S and munched a toasted sandwich and answered another few texts from different people asking if I was okay ... shame on me!
I had a gorgeous text of appreciation from the lady I had spent the afternoon with and I reminded her 'remember the importance of YOU'.
As I wrote it I took note and promptly bought myself a bunch of red roses. Hadn't I told others to be good to themselves? I have to be authentic. With a renewed focus I grabbed some bikinis in M & S. Right size. Right colour. Right price. Yayyy! I went into the changing rooms thinking positively. A few minutes later I emerged. Wrong body!
Oh well, back home. I had to pass the bikinis in Debenhams en route back to the car. Oh. I hadn't noticed that spotty one before (on the end of a rail, in the sale). Oh. I hadn't seen that one with sparkly bits on before.....
I tried on three. Loved the spotty one and promptly bought it!!! I have giggled and shook my head at myself the whole way home. I could just see Clive doing likewise in frustration at me.
On reflection I have 'given' much today. My roses are now proudly on the mantelpiece, I have a new bikini which I feel good in and the contentment that I inspired and made a difference today.
Clive would have said I'd 'made it count'.
Did you make today count? Did YOU remember the importance of YOU?
I shall slip into bed now, smiling.