Saturday 28 January 2023

We’ve been asked to reflect on the past year for the Writing for Recovery group so here goes.

I also managed to begin my entries on This was because my brain was so full, and it was an outlet for all those thoughts. I need an overspill space. Not only because I have too many thoughts to process, but it’s a space to put things where I won’t forget them, which I can guarantee will happen.

Finally, I’ve come to realise that not all people share my values and I’m going to lower my expectations of people significantly.  This goes against my ethos as a teacher where for the past 28 years, I’ve had incredibly high expectations. This way, I won’t be so disappointed and less angry and frustrated when someone doesn’t step up. I feel sad about that whole thing (and still a wee bit angry).

5 down to 2. Lots of sadness around animals this year. This week, my cousin had 1 dog put to sleep and 1 rehomed. Duncan’s family lost their wee Westie after 15 years, and a friend had to have her Dalmatian rehomed. Since April, we’ve lost 4 sheep from our first flock and 3 dogs. I feel like we’ve downsized. I can’t allow myself to be overly sentimental about animals, it’s far too traumatic. I now have that farmer mentality and must put up a mental wall.  We could’ve taken on many more animals but with that comes the thought of losing them and I don’t think we can keep on doing that.

My mother-in-law now lives with us so we can care for her. She’s 88.  I hope that the summer isn’t going to be as hot as last year. I feel as though we didn’t achieve anything. It was too hot to go out and we just stayed in with the curtains shut. I hope we can get some of the major building work done this year. The 2 bathrooms have arrived. The 40 boxes of flooring, new carpets and a vat of paint is on its way. Our application to buy the land is in and I hope we get a decision on that. The solar panel people say our roof is the ‘wrong shape’ for panels, so they’ll have to go in the fields. Apart from the practicalities of daily life, I’m realising that I must grab each day with both hands. I’m looking forward to progress being made and consequentially fewer things to stress about. By this time next year, I hope I’ve travelled more. Julian has promised me a UK road trip and I have a list of weird places I’d like to visit. Royal Leamington Spa, Ipswich, Bath, Brontë country, Leeds, Halifax, Edinburgh, Shetland, Fair Isle, The Eden Project, Cornwall, Cambridge, Kew, Buckingham Palace, Natural History Museum.

I’ve also signed up for loads of courses online. I’m also hoping to see more of our son, who’s just moved up to Drumnadrochit from Hawick. He’s only an hour away now instead of 5. Roll on 2023.


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July 8, 2023

I’ve done that too, sadly, lowering my attachment to animals.   We have a small farm.   Still feel like I’ve been ripped in half when they die, even those without names.


What do you teach?  I’d like to go see the Brontes’ place as well!


It sounds like you live in Scotland?   I live in Kansas, in USA.


I have read you from your latest post which I saw on the splash page of OD, to here.   You sound happiest and most hopeful here.

Am looking forward to reading more from you.   Also interested in recovery.   My 36 year old son is trying to quit drinking.   Even with a doctor’s supervision and helpful drugs he’s making a bad time of it.   I used to drink too much and be obnoxious; don’t do it any more.