21 May 2016

Beaches (1988)

You were doing some pottery with Daddy today so I stole some time to watch my (second) favourite film, Beaches. I first watched it with my mummy, your nana, when I was quite young and I've loved it ever since. It's a sad story but the strength and importance of the friendship dominates the film. Not the heartbreak. An insecure extrovert finds strength from her overshadowed, intellectual best friend throughout the film and the decades portrayed. The ultimate test of their friendship comes at the end and pulls them together, paving the way for the new chapter as the credits roll.
What interested me was that, at 5 years old, I presumed that you'd find it boring. You finished your pottery and came through at the start (I didn't have as much time to myself as I'd planned!) and you did not move until the end. You were utterly transfixed and I'm not sure why. With grown up content and nothing traditional to hold a 5 year old's attention I am left wondering if I try too hard to second guess what you want? Holidays, entertainment, television, play? You constantly show me that you can be entertained in many ways. You can have as much fun in an art gallery as in a soft play centre. 
At the Saatchi Gallery in March this year

I have always enjoyed human interest stories (especially about female friendship and relationships) and maybe you're the same. I talked to you about the end before it happened and offered you the option of putting Paw Patrol back on but you wanted to watch it all and you wouldn't be distracted. You seemed to 'get' the important bits and you talked to me about everything going on. You even recognised the songs as "the ones you sing to me Mummy." The ones I've sung to you since you were born. 

"Baby Mine"

Baby mine, don't you cry.
Baby mine, dry your eyes.
Rest your head close to my heart,
Never to part, baby of mine.

Little one, when you play,
Pay no heed what they say.
Let your eyes sparkle and shine,
Never a tear, baby of mine.

If they knew all about you,
They'd end up loving you too.
All those same people who scold you,
What they'd give just for the right to hold you.

From your head down to your toes,
You're not much, goodness knows.
But, you're so precious to me,
Sweet as can be, baby of mine."

Whilst I'd never have set out to watch this film with you today, I am so glad that I did. I have a new respect for your capacity to appreciate more than is prescribed to you by children's television. And to enjoy Beaches with my own little girl was pretty special for me too. 

"Be sure to keep in touch CC."
"Well sure, we're friends aren't we?"

1 May 2016

Life is tough, but so are you.....

I am 39 years old. I've never been confident about my body or my physical abilities. I've never been sporty. I've never owned a bikini. I was never good at PE and it's the only part of school that I look back on and remember, as clear as day, that all-consuming feeling of inadequacy. That was just me. 

In 2011 something else happened to me. Your thyroid is a tiny little gland which plays a huge role in how your body functions. It regulates your metabolism and without it you gain weight and feel sluggish and fatigued. The thyroid gland also controls the chemical messengers that your brain uses to communicate with your nerves. Without it the messengers go all over the place leading to depression and anxiety. Sometimes the thyroid gland slows down. Mine is defunct. Completely gone. No thyroid function at all. 

Me in 2011

So here I am in 2016. With some determination of my own and a lot of help and support from the wonderful people around me, I now cycle, I run, I go to the gym, I eat healthily and more importantly, I'm happy and confident. I've filled that void. The one that grew and consumed me in young adulthood.

I sometimes feel judged for the choices that I make now. It's a funny thing. I find that really hard but I put it all out there for the sake of the stronger feelings. The positive ones. On top of combating all of my symptoms of Hypothyroidism and actually getting good at lifting weights, running and cycling, I can also help others. I can help friends who feel like I did. I can encourage the struggling nine year old girl who thinks she can't do it at Parkrun to run to the finish with us. I can help all of those people who think that they can't do it, or don't know how to. I can show the nervous new girl at the gym how to do a dead lift. 

Most of all though, I can give everything I have to being a role model for you. You run because I run and your competitive spirit is fierce. You are determined and brilliant and I want to keep fuelling that for as long as I can. If I don't believe in myself then you won't believe in yourself. If I reach for the stars, then you will too. You can do whatever you want to sweetheart and, as I have learnt along the way, so can I. 

You completed your 21st Junior Parkrun today. You finally got your marathon wristband baby x 

"Though she be but little, she is fierce!" ~ William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream