Full Moon over Baghdad

There is something quite surreal to be looking out of the window of an aeroplane at 4.30am local time cruising at 41000 feet past Baghdad and seeing a beautiful full moon out of the window. Lights of an unknown landscape are scattered below me.

At times, it looks like we have somehow come to a halt in the sky, so it’s difficult to believe that we are actually travelling at almost 600 miles per hour.

I didn’t think for a minute when we booked the flight about the countries it would pass over on the way around the world. Bizarrely it didn’t even cross my mind, but as I look at the flight path and it takes me past so many areas that have appeared in the news over the past few years and months, it does get me thinking. But I am not worried, just thinking…

En route we have passed Germany, Belgrade, Budapest, Istanbul.

The awesomeness of this trip of a lifetime suddenly kicks in and I am feeling such gratitude for the opportunity that has been given to me.

I remembered that I thoroughly enjoy flying. The take off, being in the air, the views from the window. Where we I travel once I am on the plane all of the stress that I have felt in preparing for the trip, after the meltdown of finding the airline had cut the luggage allowance, once I had arrived at the airport is gone and but a memory.

As I continue to write we are flying on past Basrah. I don’t know what I expected to see through the clouds it looks just like any other area at night.

The world feels such a small place when you view things on the map and you remember people you have met and the places that they come from. I find myself thinking “ So I know someone from Tehran”, as though they live just up the road and I could pop in to see them.

Many years ago I had a boyfriend whose family were from Kuwait. Although I have never visited these places before, there is something that links me to them as I travel on this journey.

The hostess has just handed me a hot tortilla wrap. It was unexpectedly delicious. It is 2am at home and I wouldn’t normally eat a chickpea curry wrap at that time of the morning, or even anything similar to it but extenuating circumstances apply. Like that occasional naughty kebab on the way home after night outs in my youth.

So although I might body is starting to tire, I didn’t sleep much last night either due to last minute packing and excitement. But I dozed earlier and have awoken with renewed energy and enthusiasm at what else I will see on the next leg of the journey.

Between the snatched sleep I have been listening to Jazz and relaxing chill out tunes. Since my eyes are tired and dry I didn’t want to try and keep track of a fast moving screen with a movie if I was to have any hope of sleep.

I took a little walk around this level of the airbus earlier, since nice my hips were threatening cramp and realised that there were lots of empty seats, people camped out with legs sticking out of blankets everywhere and the poor tired baby who cried for the first two hours has finally gone to sleep. Alas I spoke too soon and the little one has started up again. It always makes me want to give them a cuddle and see if I can help. Sometimes I miss that connection from a past life as a babysitter and honorary auntie.

We have Dammam and Bahrain left on our way to Abu Dhabi and will arrive in about an hour from now. So far it’s been a lovely flight as it is just getting light and the scenery changes again we are blessed with the sunrise from the tail camera on the plane and a new day in this time zone at least. Welcome to March.

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A Million Thoughts

A million thoughts crashing through my head,

As I lay here in my bed.

Like the charge of the light brigade.

Only no one coming to my aid.

Running so fast my brain can’t catch them,

Not one flitting through and back again.

What am I thinking, is any of it conscious?

Staying put would be advantageous.

Sudden thoughts of this and that.

Wondering just where I’m at.

Thoughts are completely unstructured

Not a moments sleep that I’ve mustered

So quickly they disappear,

Will I remember is my fear.

Replaced by one after another,

As I hide under the cover.

They arrive thick and fast.

Will any of them try to last.

Taking away all hope of sleep.

Can’t even imagine counting sheep.

Are they plans, hopes or dreams.

Is not all as it seems.

A child’s voice in my head,

I don’t recall what he said.

The laughter momentarily filled the air,

But I know that no one’s there.

What to do with this onslaught,

When I am so deep in thought.

And when the storm of this has passed,

I’ll finally rest and sleep at last.

Daily Prompts – Puzzled

Tinkerbell

Playful faerie or naughty nymph,

Visits me to steal my oomph.

A poke in the ribs, or even a kick,

Whenever she arrives she’ll pull a trick.

No foreboding a sense of fun,

Shows me that she’s just begun.

A powerhouse of such energy.

Woken from slumber so I can see.

Making her point with all her might,

She won’t give up without a fight.

Occasionally I think she would

Speak to me if I knew she could.

Got me again the cheeky Tink,

Making me just stop and think.

Jumping up onto the bed,

Trailing hand upon my head

Not worried by her I have no fear,

Just letting me know that she’s near.

She dances round the room so bright,

Leaving behind her a trail of light.

Bounces around and off the wall,

Hope she doesn’t break and fall.

And with this chaos I often gasp,

Which makes me stop to ask.

Laying here I will often yearn,

To find what it is I have to learn.

As I lay in my bed wide awake

When darkness leaves for daybreak.

Sprinkled a little faerie dust,

So that in her I will trust.

Again I will check at my side,

For my ever present little guide.

Playful faerie, my Tinkerbell,

Skips off again without farewell.

Daily Prompt – Sparkle

A Shooting Star?

As she lay down to sleep, her eyes closing from tiredness.

She asked for her angels to protect her and her loved ones. To keep evil away so that they might be safe and happy and they gain rest and recovery from ailments and worries.

She can see flowers, as though someone has scattered them above her, burgundy and white but she is not sure what they are.

Once again the buzzing of the nerves through her body, like a telephone ringing in her leg. Starting at the toes and radiating up the leg. The wake up call as it were. Does she have a direct line to them she wondered. Do they answer my call in this way?

She was shaken just once but as though two hands rest on her shoulders, were vying for her attention.

Just as she wanted to sleep. Ah insomnia my old friend, so you are back again she thought.

So she waited, willing for sleep to arrive and as she did so it began. The swirling lights on the inside of her eyelids and all around her as she breathed slowly and rhythmically and tried to relax. I think she knew what to expect. This time green mixed with blue, white and gold. Like her very own Aurora Borealis happening right there above her head, a long awaited dream coming true.

Opening her eyes she was not surprised that as before she was wide awake again. Suddenly no longer tired, the body momentarily invigorated by the experience. It happens again and she can still see the lights above her. Reassurance that I did not dream it.

The dog awakes from the other room, not excited by this spectacle, he does not run to look. She does not even know if he sees it or senses it. He takes a leisurely drink and comes to settle at her side just as the light show ends. But she cannot sleep and neither can he, he returns to the darkness of the next room huffing gently that his own sleep was disturbed again but not really knowing why. He will be back when it has settled down. As her body cries out for he sleep and let it wash over her, like the waves of tiredness, rest assured he will be there a furry assistant watching her back. As she drifts off and she looks up the reassuring image before her, that of two hearts in the doorway, beating and pulsating where once was darkness stood.

Some time passes and some sleep is gained before swallowing hard as the noise of piano keys crashing is in her ears. This sudden noise a rude awakening as she is awake once more but comforted by the breathing of the hound who has returned to the side of the bed she realises the message is loud and clear, that love is strong and all that matters.

And after staggered sleep she wakes to the blessing of being able to welcome another day, the sun rising on the new horizon colourful and bright and offering her new hope. Thanking them for the comfort they bring her on the darkest night. The gratitude that she holds for these special moments, the thoughts that she has been part of something special. A shooting star perhaps, flying through the cosmos on its way to somewhere new. A new galaxy to explore, reborn with new light to shine.

Daily Prompts Horizon

I Breathe.

Cross legged on the floor deep in thought transported to another place. Outside in the open. Breathing in the damp air and scent of leaves, wood, moss, mist around me.

A feeling spreads throughout my being. I am safe. As I breathe.

A sense of calm floods over me and around me. The sounds of the woodland around me, the soft carpet of moss under me, trees for support and cover. Mottled sunlight through bright green leaves, the blue of the sky beyond it. Filters on another world. Birdsong, insects buzzing about their business in a far off place. Water rushing past on its way to somewhere, to quench a thirst and replenish.

And I breathe. I breathe it all in. Drinking in its beauty and simplicity. The ability to cause profound happiness just by reliving a moment in time. When all was right with the world. No call dragging me back to reality or something else that needed to be done.

Just time and space to sit and think.

A private spot.

Nothing else required of me just my presence.

And I breathe.

As it pulls me, lures me, lulls me.

Spreading joy and happiness into every pore, light from its source, peace to my soul and love in my heart.

And I breathe…

Daily Prompt Evoke

A Conscious Decision

This year I have made a decision that I will not document in my diary what the symptoms of my illness are day after day. Like so many other times in my life, I followed the advice of a Doctor who told me that I should keep a record of the changes to my health.

As I think about it, my health dominated most of year and I see that as a direct consequence of recording it. It consumed me.

How was I feeling?

I dwelled upon every change and duly kept that record. But why? What good did it do? Did it give me the reassurance that it was all happening when the doctors didn’t listen? No it didn’t.

In fact it made me feel worse, it was putting a huge negative right at the forefront of my mind day after day.

I think the final straw, or nail in the proverbial coffin for this behaviour was when the Neurologist I had been referred to for seizures, wrote me off without further investigation because his first thought, that I might be epileptic was proved wrong. He did not delve deeper into what was causing worsening seizures night and day. He simply decided that he did not need to see me and the nerve pain and shaking must be caused by a trauma or psychological issue in my past.

It upset my partner greatly and it really made me wild. So I trusted my gut instinct and had a chat with my GP about the painkillers I’d been described and that the seizures had begun at exactly that time. I asked for an alternative and changed them. You’ll never guess what, I have not had a seizure since then! Sure I still get shaky and have nerve and joint pain. But not one of the three consultants or the two Doctors thought that the painkillers could be the cause, they would rather blame some issue in my past for it all.

I’m not denying it I do have to accept that last year I was sick, very sick for quite a lot of it. I’m not completely well or miraculously healed at this point in time. But and there is one, I am determined to turn a corner and improve whatever I can even if I have to take one small step at a time, even if it is all via small steps it really doesn’t matter, as long as I keep going. Along with my nature of being a positive thinker at heart after all of the knockbacks I am trying so hard to return to that state of mind.

So I am dragging myself kicking and screaming into this new year with the determination that things will indeed be different and better and my good health will once again return and the opportunities await me and I will see them in time and grab them.

I will not wait for this to happen now, or for doctors who last year failed me at almost every turn, failing on both diagnosis and treatment. I have decided that from now on, it is down to me to make improvements.

I have had to make the changes. As someone who lacks self confidence I am naturally reluctant to change so have to be pushed. I am grateful at such times for the driving force that is my partner by my side. He often wonders if I would do anything new without him. Of course I would, it would just take me longer to get off the ground and I might not see it all through.

But I am working on that. I used to have a “self destruct button” as he put it, where I would take silly risks, or not think things through before jumping in to something with both feet. He has taught me over the years to think things through beforehand. As a consequence we talk about almost everything especially if it is likely to affect us both. It not only makes us stronger but saves a lot of heartache.

So this year I would like my lovely new fresh blue diary, a present from my sister. To contain happy thoughts. Things that I will achieve. Items that have come our way. Wonderful things that we have seen, or done. Great experiences and pleasurable moments. So that at the end of the year, or even part of the way through it I can read it for inspiration, love, gratitude and so many other wonderful things safe in the knowledge that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to do with my life. Live it and love it.

It’s my birthday tomorrow which always gets me thinking about the future.

I am not dwelling upon the past or an increase in my age, for that is just a number. But I am grateful for the wisdom that comes with each year that passes as I grow older. For what the previous year has taught me, the lessons and the challenges I have overcome and the things that make me, just me.

Letting Go

It is that time of year, the very last bit where we cannot help but to take stock of the year that has been and think about our hopes for the new one that’s coming.

What we wish to let go of, the old habits the things that no longer serve us.

And so it began on the early hours of this morning. The brain dump. You know those snippets of thought which do not give a clear picture, they are just random things flying around my head. A thought here and there which doesn’t make sense and then is gone forever.

Letting go.

So what am I letting go of?

Firstly, the thoughts that I am a sick person. This is a big one, I know it to be true but it is not who I am, therefore it should not shape me.

In the past few months I have got nowhere, it has held me back from living a life the way I want to and although I have rested the body and the mind I have felt defined by it and that should not be happening. I have relied upon Drs to find and treat the cause of illness and they have failed me, pushing me from pillar to post as they tell me that it’s not what they think it is, whilst not finding out what it actually is that has made me so suddenly and inexplicably ill. I do not fit in their box. So they have left me out in the cold to fend for myself and all that time has been wasted and I am left doubting my sanity and my longevity.

I am Me.

I am still the person I used to be, but I have grown. I have awakened parts of me which have been sleeping. Hidden from view for so long I had forgotten that they were there underneath all of the other stuff that has been going on.

I am still a loving, caring, partner and friend, daughter, mother. I am a great listener and confidante. Someone who offers careful advice when it is sought. Who will happily teach what I know to others if it helps them. In return I ask for consideration, for care and occasionally thanks for my efforts. It does not make me a bad person, I do require validation to know that I am not wasting my time and know that I am doing the right thing.

I am letting go of the victim inside, as I said to someone recently, that is in the past. Long gone and I have dealt with it and the fallout. Again it does not define me for that is not who I am. I have been victimised for the past few years and had some of the darkest thoughts of my life whilst I struggled to deal with the fallout from it. That is not who I am. I want to move on from that now is the time. I have battled it and the depression which comes in that package and I want to move on. Stronger from the experience not allowing it to hold me back any more.

I have done my grieving. For the Loved Ones we have lost, we cannot bring them back. Only the memories remain, sometimes a tear will fall and catch me out, but I will not wallow in the depths of grief or dwell on the circumstances which caused the loss.

Too much time has been spent dwelling on the past. The past is gone. It is time to move on, metaphorically and physically.

There is a whole world out there that I have yet to see.

But I don’t need to see all of it. Some of it the way that it is run, the damage that is being done to it and the people that are hurting each other in it, are not what I need in my life. I owe it to myself not to be drawn into this first hand. I have figured out that I annoy always strong enough to cope with the fallout.

As with so many things, I need to protect myself better. I need the connection with the earth that surrounds us so I am planning to spend even more time in nature and learn more about my foraging journey, it has taught me so much in the past year alone, given me medicine to heal my body and options with which to feed my family. I will grow more in whatever space I have, plants to nurture and care for us.

Friends and family. Over the past year, I have taken time out when I needed to. There have been times when the only people I have seen or spoken with for weeks have been my partner or my mother. I love the bond that I have with them both, but just sometimes I need other people in my life too. There have also been times when their company has been more than enough for me and I have sought, or even craved silence and solitude. They have often fought to understand that, but have given me space nevertheless. I want to see more of my friends this coming year, the ones who are still there or me and haven’t fallen by the wayside whilst I have been ill. The ones who care enough to make the time and effort that is needed to maintain a friendship. The ones who are not phased by my strangeness, the new things I want to try and still embrace me for it. My sisters and brothers, not bonded by blood but by shared interests, a love of life and all that it holds for us.

So as I attempt to let go of all the things that no longer serve me, a decluttering of the mind, body and spirit. I am starting to feel as though a weight is starting to lift.

The light that surrounds me, I need to let it in, it can only shine if it has a power supply. That has to be me, no one else. I have to make that happen.

I want to inspire again. Teach again, be a mentor to others. Share knowledge and help others grow and heal.

I think that in doing so, I will also be able to heal, for I am not yet complete in that process and do not have to do that alone. With the support of others so much more is possible. I do not have to fight things alone. I am not alone, there are people dealing with the same problems, probably also thinking that they are having to deal with it all themselves and that is not the case. Someone out there knows your pain, they also might know how to make it better.

Divide and conquer springs to mind. Divide the problem and we will conquer it. As they say a problem shared is a problem halved. Although that isn’t always the case, it can often help so talk to people, if not in person then at least online.

So what am I looking for at the end of this year?

Closure on so many subjects.

I do not want to take the things that have ruled me relentlessly over the past year into the next one. I’d like to say that they have no place in it but as many are still work in process, I think the key is not to let them dominate.

There are things which are yet to conclude, but the wheels are in motion, which means that I am not standing still, helplessly waiting on others to do as they should.

Next year I have to go out there and get it, whatever it may be. Grab the bull by the horns and steer my life in the direction it needs to go. To make progress, however small the steps at first. It is important for me to remain moving, not get set in the concrete caused by fear or trepidation.

I don’t yet know how, or what. But I do at least have my why…

If it is all left to chance, then there is a lack of direction and that easy come easy go doesn’t really suit me of my needs. I like the reassurance that there will be provision for what is needed. Food on the table, bills getting paid and flying along by the seat of my pants is not the way forward for me. It’s too stressful, it has caused more arguments and upset in the past 12 months than we have ever had. So I need to fix that and I need to do that soon.

I have been the breadwinner over the past few years and to take an enforced step back from that has caused such strain that I have often felt broken and helpless. Flailing around drowning when we should be treading water. So if I am well enough to find a job, if it pays the bills then I will give it a go. If it is an unqualified job, with no responsibilities then it will be less stressful and I may be ale to rebuild myself to management level again at a later date. Physical capability might not yet allow me to follow my business dreams but I will hold them in my heart and mind and if I can start as projects or hobbies then I can build on those skills for later.

They are my dreams and I will not just give up on them. So I intend to follow some of mine this year.