Thursday, 31 January 2013

What Has Made Me Cheerful This Week? #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

What has made me cheerful this week - a great question.  The answer - quite alot.  I am linking up with Michelle at Mummy from the Heart and other bloggers who take some time throughout the week, no matter how good or bad, to find 'Reasons to be Cheerful'.
Here are mine, once you have read these, give some thought to your own week, even if you do not write it down the exercise will leave you feeling better than when you started.
* Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (#CCPW) was a huge success.  I had a lot of positive feedback and fabulous tweeters on Twitter really helped spread the word.  The really great news was several women messaged me to say that they had made a point of booking their screening.  My stand throughout the whole thing was if just one women did this it was all worth it, so you can imagine 'women' in the multiple sense was thrilling.  It was great to see such good national coverage on the campaign too.
* I spent the weekend with one of my oldest, dearest, best friends who I have not seen in person for ten years.  We lost touch a few years back, when life goes in different directions as it does but have been in touch virtually for over a year now.  We finally got our calendars together for a writing course we both really wanted to attend and made the whole weekend of it.  From the minute we met up on Friday evening we picked up where we had left off (but in nicer cars and houses) - and they say that is the sign of true friendship.
* I attended the Mumsnet hosted 'Starting out as a Freelance Writer' course at the weekend (tutor : Joanna Moorhead).  It was a wonderful insight into the world of feature writing.  Joanna broke down the myth and maze of getting ideas to relevant platforms. As well as being a great course, their was varied mix of women and it was so beneficial to have all of those minds joining in discussions and pitch practise.  I learnt an awful lot and feel very confident that this is the right direction of career for me now. 
* My services in Social Media have been procured for some actual paid work.  It isn't too much to take on at the moment as J2 is still at home full time but enough for me to get into the routine of fitting work into my routine.
* I chucked my name in the hat for a writing competition run by The Readers Digest this week.  I thought 'Got to be in it to win it' so overcome my 'I am not good enough fear' and gave it a whirl.  I am going to do this more frequently, thanks to the fantastic supplement that came with Writers Magazine a few months ago.
* The adaptions on J1's car that have been misbehaving were finally remedied this week.  It has taken four months, due to a 'delivery address' misunderstanding but it is now all working as it should be.
* We got confirmation this week that J1's bike has been ordered.  I think I can hear the 'tap tap tink' of it being built in Holland as I type.  This means we will certainly have it for when the warmer weather decides to grace us with it's presence.
I did warn you I had a lot of harp on about this week - but I thank my lucky stars I can, not all weeks are so positive and proactive so I like to make the most of the ones that are.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

January Round Up (linking up with Naked Mums)

As the end of a long, chilly January comes to a close the time has come to summarise the first month of 2013.  It is an ideal opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved, or not after all the wishful wondering that a new year brings.
I am linking this post up with other bloggers seeking inspiration to make this year a better one, for whatever reason.  Hop over to Kate at The Naked Mum and find out how you can join in.  It is a great place to find support and inspiration in the positive changes you are trying to make.
January started slow and not at all how I wanted it too.  Blighted by a flu bug from 18 December, our family was unwell for the duration of Christmas and New Year.  This, for me, was extremely frustrating as I had planned to start the year running - in the literal and metaphorical sense.
However, forced to get back up and into the swing of things once school started we all saw an improvement to our health.  Our routine began to once again take shape and the post Christmas sluggishness started to dissipate.
This of course has also resulted in my, pretty low mood, picking up and I can say that for the time left in January I feel quite a lot has been achieved.  On the family front, The Hubby and I seem to be getting on much better of late.  Not that we were not rubbing along before, but we seem to be communicating more.  Always good.
I have attended quite a lot of appointments for J1 and things that we have been waiting some time to get going, now seem to be rolling.  I know that they will continue to take time but at least I have leads to chase.
I have submitted the hours that I would like for J2 at nursery when his allowance starts at the beginning of April.  This has given me some real perspective that life as I have known it for the last (almost) three years is starting to change.
Therefore, I have decided now is the time to start laying down some groundwork for what I would like to do when life as a full time, stay at home mum reduces.  I have been given a very special gift from my Husband of being able to pursue my dream of writing and I really want to take this golden opportunity and turn it into a reality.
With the help and enthusiasm of one of my dearest friends we have worked out a new potential work-from-home job role in social media.  I am planning on learning everything I possibly can about it and am in the process of seeing if there are any appropriate courses that can be taken.
The same friend and I also attended a fantastic workshop (Starting out as a Freelance Writer) this weekend and now I am full of excited anticipation and ideas for feature articles that I could potentially pitch to a range of platforms.
I am also looking into the world of writing competitions, not because I particularly think I am of a standard that would win, but it will be a great way to practise writing to guidelines and deadlines.  It will also get me into the habit of writing with more of a purpose.
I bought a company name and web domain so that if (or if I am being super positive when) I start to make a regular income I am prepared with my own company to run with it.  Am currently musing ideas on company logo etc.
So overall I am quite satisfied with the chapter that has been January 2013 in our life.  All the usual stresses are there of course, the economical climate is as depressing as ever, it is cold, bugs are rife.  I am not back out running yet after a knee injury.  But apart from all those things 2013 has started really quite well.

Friday, 25 January 2013

#CCPW - Real Life : Cathy's Journey

As part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (20 - 26 January 2013) I am featuring the stories of real women who want to share their experience with Cervical Cancer.

Cathy Glynn thanks her lucky stars that she went for her cervical screening when she did, otherwise her life could have been very different.  Here she shares her story :

I have always attend my smear tests on a regular basis, so when I was called for my three yearly check some years ago, I never thought anything of it.  I can not say they are something I enjoy doing, but they are a necessity and so I made the appointment with no concerns whatsoever.

I had my test and was recalled three weeks later with a CIN3 - severe cells changes (this can sometimes mean a cervical carcinoma in situ) and an urgent appointment was made for me at my local hospital to have a Colposcopy.  By this time I was rather scared and worried about what the future held.  Obviously I did not fully understand what was being explained to me at the time.  I was so upset I could not take the information in properly.

My appointment day came and I attended my Colposcopy.  It was not the most comfortable procedure but they did use a local anaesthetic on my cervix.  After taking a biopsy they decided to remove part of my cervix straight away without waiting for the results.  They used a process called Loop Diathermy and it wasn't too painful (I even had the opportunity to watch them perform it but declined).

All I can remember thinking at the time was 'Am I going to be ok?  Will I be able to have anymore children?"  Lots of questions arose to which I did not really have the opportunity to get answered.

At my follow up appointment I was told that what was left of my cervix looked fine and that I would need to have follow up screenings every six months for the next two years.  They also told me that if I were to get pregnant my cervix may not be strong enough to carry a full term pregnancy. 

At this point in my life I was not planning on anymore children as I was a single mother with three boys to look after, but even so the thought still crossed my mind and I felt sad that this decision may have been taken out of my hands.

Three years later I met my second husband.  I had my next regular smear test and the result was that there was CIN2 changes.  I was again referred to the hospital, only this time I did not go because I unexpectedly found out I was pregnant.  The pregnancy was problematic from the start and my daughter was born a month early, but healthy. 

I was advised to have a full hysterectomy and six months later I underwent general surgery and had everything removed.  I did not want to risk losing my life to cancer.

I can not recommend enough that women attend cervical screenings regularly.  I had no outward symptoms of anything being untoward and without them my future may have been entirely different.

Cathy Glynn writes a blog called Wishful Wonderings ( and can be followed on :
Twitter @pagan500
For more information on Cervical Cancer :

Thursday, 24 January 2013

#CCPW : Cervical Cancer - Facts (via Cancer Research UK)

All of the information that follows (and more) can be found on Cancer Research UK 'CancerStats Key Facts - Cervical cancer Fact Sheet' - this is FREE to download.

How common is cervical cancer in the UK?

- In the UK in 2010, there were around 2900 new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed (approx. 8 women daily)

- Cervical cancer is the twelfth most common cancer in women in the UK

- It is the third most common gynaecological cancer in women in the UK (after uterus (womb) and ovary) but the most common in women under the age of 35

- Around 1700 cases diagnosed are in women under the age of 50 (approx 6 in 10 of all new cases)

- Cervical cancer incidence in the UK decreased by nearly half between the late 1980's until the early 2000's, but the last decade has seen an increase of around 15% - mostly in women in their late 20's.

How many people survive cervical cancer?

- Two thirds of women survive their disease for five years or more

- Survival is higher in women diagnosed at a younger age.  Women under 40 years of age have survival rates of almost 90%

What causes cervical cancer?

- Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main risk factor.  It is a necessary cause of cervical cancer

- Women with HIV/AIDS are at increased risk

- Women with a mother or sister who has had cervical cancer are at increased risk

- Smoking increases the risk

- Long term use of the oral contraceptive pill also increases the risk

Screening and Vaccination

- The Department of Health set up the NHS Cervical Screening Programme in 1988

- Screening can prevent around 45% of cases in women in their 30s.  This rises to 75% in women in their 50s / 60s who attend regular checks

- The HPV vaccination in schools was introduced into the National Immunisation Programme in 2008 for girls aged 12-13.

All information regarding stats can be accessed on Cancer Research UK CancerStats website : or by emailing

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

#CCPW - Real Life : Naomi's Journey

As part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (20 - 26 January 2013) I am featuring the stories of real women who want to share their experience with Cervical Cancer.
Naomi Willmott, 39 from Bristol is a trained Support Group Leader for Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust.  She decided she wanted to be part of a charity supporting women with cervical cancer and cell abnormalities after her own personal experience with the disease.  Here she shares her story :


In 2004, after a routine smear, I had a result of CIN3 which is the severest of cell abnormalities before they turn into cancer.  I was 30 and had two sons.  The two weeks between the result and the treatment were awful, wondering how severe the abnormalities were, thinking about living with cancer. 
Luckily, after a loop cone biopsy I was given the all clear with the cells being successfully removed.  I felt incredibly lucky and was put into the six month screening programme.  Unfortunately my encounter with cervical cancer didn't end there.
At my wedding in 2007, my best friend Sarah told me she had been suffering from bleeding and was due to see the doctor.  I told her it was probably nothing to worry about and that I'd look forward to catching up with her after my honeymoon.  Two weeks later I returned and she asked me to visit her straight away.  It was here she told me she had cervical cancer.
Sarah had been my best friend since childhood.  Both professional singers we had spent hours singing in our bedrooms.  Hearing this news was devastating, not least because it was around the same time Jade Goody was going through treatment, but I wanted to stay strong for her.
She started chemotherapy and radiotherapy and I saw her regularly throughout.  A year after diagnosis I went on holiday again and once more on my return I received a phone call.  It was bad news.  Sarah had been given just three months to live.  I couldn't quite believe it, she still seemed so full of life, despite all the treatment.  She also had two children, a ten year old daughter and a 17 year old son.  It couldn't be happening.
In October 2008, it was almost three months to the day when Sarah passed away in St.Peters Hospice.  I saw her the night before.  It was this moment I thought I had to do something to help other women going through this and  raise awareness of a disease that can be prevented.  I promised Sarah that night her legacy would continue.
A friend and I organised a charity night in Sarah's memory the following June.  We raised an amazing £8000, part of which was donated to St.Peters Hospice. I wanted to donate the other portion to a charity that dealt with cervical cancer.  It was only when I googled this that Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust appeared. 
I had never heard of the charity but after hearing about the support and information that it offered to women affected by both cervical abnormalities and cervical cancer, I was more than happy to donate our proceeds.  The money went towards their annual get together for women affected by cervical cancer called 'Let's Meet'.
I wanted to continue to support other women and so in November 2011 I was trained by the charity to be a Support Group Leader.  I now lead a support group in the South West for women affected by cervical cancer.
For more information on cervical cancer and cell abnormalities visit the Jo's Trust website.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

#CCPW : Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust

Whilst compiling my research for this weeks posts I was directed to the Charity Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust.  They have been extremely helpful in providing information, facts and real experiences to share.  I urge you to visit their user-friendly website or contact them if you have any concerns about cervical cancer or cervix abnormalities - contact details can be found at the end of this post.
About Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust
Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust (Jo's Trust) is the only UK charity dedicated to women and their families affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities.  Our aim is to offer information, support and friendship to women of all ages, to help them understand the importance of cervical screening and to provide our own brand of support if their screening shows up abnormalities, or if they are diagnosed with cancer.
About this years campaign
Along with prevention, this year Cervical Cancer Prevention Week will be focusing on symptom awareness and early detection.
Cervical Cancer can be present with or without symptoms.  Early stage cervical cancers do not usually have symptoms but are frequently detected through cervical screening.  However, there are some recognised symptoms associated with cervical cancer :
* Abnormal bleeding
* Post menopausal bleeding
* Unusual discharge
* Discomfort / pain during sex
* Lower back pain
Jo's Trust is asking women to spread the word on symptom awareness as well as visiting the Doctor is they are experiencing any of the above.  The likelihood is that is nothing, but it is best to get it checked.
Contact Jo's Trust
We have a national helpline 0808 802 800.
Twitter : @jotrust

Monday, 21 January 2013

#CCPW Real Life : Mary's Journey

As part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (20 - 26 January 2013) I am featuring the stories of real women who want to share their experience with Cervical Cancer.
Mary Lewis is a Cervical Cancer survivor.  Here she shares her incredible journey with us :
It was August 2009 and my cervical smear test was due.  I went along, had it and thought no more about it.  I had just been diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis and had a bladder distension done so when a letter from the hospital arrived, I again, didn't think much about it.  Inside, however, was an appointment for the Colposcopy clinic as my routine smear test had shown some abnormal cells.  
I went along to the appointment and my Husband, Dylan, came with me.  I had some biopsies taken and the Consultant informed me that it looked like I had some pre cancerous cells.  He told me cells take years to change into anything serious.  He noted as I had recently had surgery he would book me in for a general anaesthetic and remove the cells.
Two weeks passed, Dylan and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary (we got married in 2007 after 14 years together and a 13 year old son) and all three of us went to Scotland for a few days.  When we returned on Friday I got a call from the clinic asking me to return on Monday.  The Secretary told me the Consultant wanted to have another look.
Monday came and we returned to the clinic.  I felt scared, even more so when the Consultant came to the waiting room to get me.  We went into a room with a Nurse and he told me - I had Cancer.  I didn't hear much of what he said as I felt like I was in a tunnel.
He wanted to take more biopsies to be sure and made me an appointment, with the Gynae-oncology team for two days time.  The rest of the day passed in a daze.  We rang close family and friends and listened to a lot of tears. 
I have Cancer.
I can't believe it.
Why me?
Further tests, appointments, scans (MRI / CT), bloods, x-rays and a procedure under anaesthetic to measure my tumour, followed.  I was booked in for a Radical Hysterectomy which would involve the removal of my Uterus, Cervix, Ovaries, Pelvic tissue, Lymph Nodes and the top of my Vagina.  The whole time I had Dylan at my side.  We cried together.  We laughed together.  We supported our 15 year old son as best as we could.
The day of my surgery dawned and we went to the Admissions Ward.  A few hours later I was injected with a radioactive dye into my Cervix.  This would show the Surgeon what Lymph Nodes to remove and was a procedure only used in Cervical Cancer at my local hospital and a London clinic.  It is called Sentinel and had been used for years in Breast Cancer surgery. 
I was taken for a scan and moved to the ward.  Finally I was taken to theatre.  I sobbed.  Dylan sobbed.  The Nurses sobbed!  I was whisked away to the anaesthetics room and given a sedative first, to calm me down.  The next thing I remember was being woken in recovery and being told my operation had lasted six hours.  The Surgeon had completed the whole operation via keyhole surgery.
I recovered with not many problems, but then just before Christmas 2009, I was told that they had found Cancer in one of the Lymph Nodes they had removed.  They told me they wanted me to have five cycles of Chemotherapy and 25 cycles of Radiotherapy.  I agreed and the treatment begin in February 2010.  It was absolutely awful.  Words can not describe how ill I felt. 
Now, three years on I am Cancer free, but I have been left with a few problems.  My hip has deep scarring from the Radiotherapy and I sometimes need to use a stick to walk.  To add to the Interstitial Cystitis I now also have Radiation Cystitis for which I receive a Bladder infusion every month, along with daily medication.  I am also currently recovering from surgery as my Colon stopped working, possibly because of the adhesions from the Radiotherapy.
However, I am 40 this year.  I got to see my baby boy turn 18.  I am still alive.  I am so thankful for my Cervical Screening.  If my test had been six months later I would not have survived, so I count myself lucky. 
I have met some very brave women on my journey, sadly some are no longer with us and some have advanced Cancer.
Please use Cervical Cancer Prevention week to encourage every female you know to have their Cervical Screening.  Yes, it is uncomfortable, but let me tell you Cancer and the following treatment is far worse.
If you would like to find out more about Mary and her journey please visit her blog
You can also follow her on Facebook and
Twitter @Firenze07.
For more information on Cervical Cancer :

Sunday, 20 January 2013

#CCPW Cervical Cancer Prevention Week Has Arrived (20-26 January)

Many of you will be aware that this week I am dedicating the content of my blog to raising awareness for Cervical Cancer.

Blog posts on Lynsey The Mother Duck for this week aim to encourage women to have a cervical screening; to share experiences of women that have been touched by Cervical Cancer; to promote the facts (information from Cancer Research UK) about Cervical Cancer.

As I have gone about collecting information for this week, I have been amazed, stunned and saddened by the amount of people who have contacted me with gestures and words of support because they have had a personal experience, be it themselves or a loved one of this disease.

I say the same thing to them all.  If just one women gets herself screened - that perhaps would not have done - it will all be worth it.

Please read the posts of the women who have been brave to share very personal experiences and feel the emotion for them that I did.  Read the information about signs to look out for and make yourself aware.

Cervical Cancer can be detected early by that one quick screening.

Will you be that one women that makes our week?

Lynsey The Mother Duck would like to thank the following people for their contributions to the blog this week :

* GRACE Charity
* Jo's Trust Charity
* Cancer Research UK
* Mary Lewis
* Cathy Glynn
* Naomi Willmott (Jo's Trust)

Image : Grace Charity 1109997                    Image : Jo's Trust 1133542

Friday, 18 January 2013

What Has Made Me Cheerful This Week?

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart
With predictions of an 'Arctic Drift' all over the news channels I am grateful that I can write this blog post from the comfort of a warm home.  That we have wardrobes full of warm clothes and cupboards stocked with food and drink.  I pray that those that do not have such luxuries, can find shelter and be safe.  I take my hat off, to those that volunteer their time and effort to making that a possibility.
I find at this time of year I often think of how I can help homeless charities.  When the bitter winds blow and it becomes even more apparent that we are so very fortunate in many ways.  Then I feel a tug of all charities.  They are all so worthwhile and all trying to raise funds to help fantastic causes - that ultimately are all as important as each other.
Then I realise that you can only do so much, and in the end you generally opt for the ones that are close to your heart due to personal experience.  You become even more grateful to them because you can relate.
Most of my readers know that I aim to help disability charities, with particular interest in specific Cerebral Palsy ones, as my eldest son, J1, has CP himself.  I have a special interest in supporting Great Ormond Street Hospital, because not only was my late, beautiful cousin Lesley treated there, but many of J1's friends from school also receive help from them. 
What I revealed recently is that I also support gynaecological cancer charity GRACE after my own abnormal cells scare when I was younger.  It is this last one that will be the focus of my blog for the next week. 
It is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (20 - 26 January) and I am cheerful because I have been able to pull together a great set of blog posts to raise awareness for this very preventable disease.
My one ask of anyone who regularly reads my blog, or who has just stumbled across it, is if you haven't been for a cervical screening recently, book it and go.  If you have, encourage your friends and family to do the same. 
Cervical Screening picked up my CIN3 abnormal cell changes just in time and I was able to have the treatment to remove them.  That five minute appointment saved me from cycles of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and operations.
That is a good enough reason to pick out to be cheerful any day of the week, not just this one.
For other 'Reasons to be Cheerful' posts (#R2BC) visit the hop over with Michelle at Mummy from the Heart.  Find inspiration to pick out something to smile about in this very cold winter month!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week : 20-26 January

A few weeks ago I wrote a very personal post - if you would like to read it you can do so here
It was about my 'near miss' with Cervical Cancer.  How a random act of changing doctors, and it being noted that I should go for a routine, five minute screening potentially saved my life.
I often bang on at my friends and family about ensuring they go for their tests.  Of course they do not want to go, who does, but for the few minutes of mild discomfort, what it could save - YOU - means so much more.
Cancer charities work tirelessly to raise awareness of preventative actions that can be taken against the disease that is Cancer, no matter what kind it is.  Some are obviously easier to detect than others. 
Cervical Cancer is one of those.  Cervical Cancer Prevention Week will commence 20 - 26 January 2013.  I will be dedicating my blog to raising awareness about it for that week. 
I will be sharing the experiences of women who have been touched by Cervical Cancer.  I urge you to read their stories, and mine and then make that call to book your screening. 
I will be featuring articles with guidelines of potential 'warning signs' to look out for from charities.  I urge you to familiarise yourself with these signs and then make that call to book your screening. 
I will be sharing details of charities / support groups for Cervical Cancer for anyone that feels they need further information.  I urge you to appreciate what they do and then make that call to book your screening.
If just one women is moved enough by anything they read on my blog next week to make that call to their doctor, it will all be worth it.
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 20 - 26 January 2013.
You can find out more about all Gynaecological Cancers at the charity website GRACE

Saturday, 12 January 2013

What Has Made Me Cheerful This Week?

The first #R2BC of the year for me.  I hope to be able to write lots of these positive posts throughout the course of 2013 and join in the linky with Michelle at Mummy from the Heart, all round fantastic blogger and Reasons to be Cheerful founder and host.
The months of January and February are probably the hardest time of year to try and find positives.  Days are long, dark and cold.  It is harder to get out and about with the kids.  Even harder when you are trying to find indoor activities that are suitable for a lively 2 year old and a disabled 9 year old.
Work places seem to become more stressed and cash flow tight (isn't every ones?) in these months, which add pressure to home life.  Balancing and juggling become the order of the day.  Money, time, patience levels.
But all these things make it all the more important to spend five minutes finding some positives out of the week.  To help lift the spirits and see that in actual fact although it may not feel like it, progress has been made.
So, for the first of many for 2013, here are this weeks Reasons to be Cheerful :
* The flu virus I have been suffering with for almost a whole month finally seems to have left the building.  Although I still have a bit of a cold and the last of the sinus infection I have more energy.  Which has come in handy as school started back this week.
* We have been on time for school everyday this week and not forgot anything requiring further trips back and forth, one goal started to be achieved!
* We seem to have fallen straight into a good routine, both getting up in the morning and after school.  It feels nice to have some routine back.
* The book I (and other fellow bloggers contributed to) #100 Little Words has come out on Kindle.  I felt quite choked up showing my mum my words on her Kindle.
* I have to start researching for a Freelance Writing Course I am undertaking at the end of the month.  I am doing this course with one of my oldest school friends, who I haven't seen for 10 years, double excitement.
* The Hubby and I have barely seen each other this week so we have a lovely family time weekend planned, with a few home DIY activities.  We have decided although we can not afford to do much at the moment with our holiday coming up, we can do some de-cluttering and jobs 'we keep meaning to do' and start gathering ideas for a bit of home improvement.  We have a beautiful house and are not making the most of it's potential.
For other #R2BC posts hop over to Mummy from the Heart.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013


The first post of 2013.  It was my intention to write one much sooner than this.  But four long weeks, of a flu virus saw that plan, and any other plans actually scuppered.
It was four weeks yesterday that I noticed the first symptoms of feeling poorly.  Little did I know it would knock me off my feet, both physically and mentally for a month.
So Christmas and New Year were not the best and most fun we have ever had, especially as my mum had contracted the same virus therefore all our joint plans and preparation went so far out of the window they were a mere speck on the horizon.  But we made the best of it for the children and I certainly intend to make up for it at the end of this year.
Being under the weather for a length of time starts to take its toll mentally though.  The mind became willing to get up and running way before the body.  Then frustration kicks in and negativity, and it is all to easy to become glum during this cold and dark winter months.
So how do you stop that?  How do you manage to smack on the brakes when the path you are pausing at the top of is long and slippery?  For me, it was the fact that my family and home still needed me as much as ever.  School started back, pack lunches were required, uniform needed to be pressed, the school run tackled.  J2 still required entertaining whilst the house work needed tackling before it became an insurmountable task.  The Hubby still needed support, with news of a further operation being required and, as it is for most people at the moment, work stressful.
Those job roles need to continue to be fulfilled by me as a mum and wife.  As long as I have them I will have motivation.  I may have low spells, but I pray I can always keep that thought as my priority over feeling the pull onto a negative speeding train.
Once I started to feel better and felt I was again starting to get on top of my game, starting to regain some control, other things have come back into focus.  The urge to write.  The need to get my notebook and write down story line ideas.  The enthusiasm to get back out exercising.  Action planning for our Florida trip.  Fighting for J1's voice to be heard.  Finding myself and setting some personal goals now J2 is becoming a little less demanding and I can see some light at the end of the Toddler Tunnel.  Getting together with The Hubby to set out a five year plan...
So maybe I wasn't able to start my self planned 'great year' for me and my family on the first of the month as I had hoped, but that shouldn't put me off.  It shouldn't put anyone off.  Changes and positive steps forward can be started at any time.  It is never to late, or the wrong time. 
I am linking this post up to the new and improved former Groovy Mums, now NAKED MUMS, a forum by Kate over at Kate on Thin Ice / The Naked Mum, supporting just those things; changes; moving forward; positive steps.  If this has inspired you check out Kate and the other bloggers who are trying to make a great year happen.