On Sunday I sat down to write. I wanted to document a funny week and it’s turned into a 2-parter. This one is all about facing your fears and how I do it/hope to do it.

Mike is away in Tanzania. He’s been facing his own fear of heights as he climbed Kilimanjaro (read his story here) for Team Kenya (who are changing lives through empowering and educating women). Thankfully he’s done it and is safely back down. He gets home on tomorrow morning. Yey!

It’s also my Birthday today! It doesn’t feel much like it…It was just Reuben and me, and after the initial flurry of present opening (I didn’t open a single one!) it was back to business as usual!

facing your fear

Reuben decided today was the day to address the issue of not being allowed to play on the switch on the way to school, and he discussed it for quite some time coming to the conclusion I’m a horrible person. So fun.

(If you’d like to do me a Birthday Favour please fill in this! < More info at the bottom.)

Anyway, here’s what sense my garbled mind came up with on Sunday! Let me know what you think in the comments below…

Sunday, 18th March 2018

I’m sat at my ‘new’ desk in our house on Wuthering Heights looking out the window at a blizzard. It’s f*cking March. The middle of March.

Yesterday, the snow was falling thick and the wind blowing it sideways. We played out in it until I called time – I was freezing and Reuben had stuck his whole boot in the pond to see a) how icy it was (think slush puppy) and b) how deep it was (enough).

Later we drove 5 minutes down the road into the valley and the sun was shining, the birds were singing and people were playing actual golf.

We officially live in Narnia. You really do pay for a view.

I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for Aslan. He knows how to bring spring…although it doesn’t end well for him so he probably won’t tell me.

Anyway, it’s the end of a rather strange week with some crazy news that I’m still digesting.

Mike’s been away since the 9th March, conquering the roof of Tanzania or whatever it’s marketed as. And, while I’ve really missed him, I’ve learnt a few things about myself that wouldn’t be possible if he were here…

I don’t really like watching TV at night time.

When the kids are ready for bed (they are never ready so they have allotted times), so am I. I might read or do some internet surfing, but I don’t want to be down stairs anymore. I’ve watched a couple of episodes of Bliss and managed a bit of Saturday Night Takeaway while I ate my tea and Reuben learnt how to play Mario Odyssey on Amazon (I thought Amazon was safe from ‘game play’ but alas, nowhere is). I’m just not that interested in TV.

When Mike’s home I feel like we should watch something together as a sign of unity or something. Seems a bit dumb really – let’s watch something that will completely zone us out as a way of connecting. Surely cuddling in bed, reading a good book is better?!

I lean on Mike A LOT.

Anyone who has met Mike will know he has strong opinions on most everything and his mind seems to be less cluttered. I don’t like confrontation as a rule (obviously I do have an opinion on some things, especially when it comes to me having to do something I don’t want to), so I’ve realised that I defer a lot of my thinking to him! This week I’ve had to decision-make all on my own and I’ve quite enjoyed it*.

In fact, I would say it was almost empowering. I started taking charge of other aspects of my life on Monday (with assistance, which I’ll explain below) – and I spent last week thinking about my blog and thinking about a proper relaunch! (as opposed to this trickle I’m currently doing!)

*{Having said that, thinking is quite tiring and I still want Mike to pay the council tax and sort out all matters relating to my car!!}

I am more capable than I thought.

Frankly, I was worried about how I was going to get everyone (2 kids and me) out the house by 7:45am without looking completely awful. So, I got a new routine…

  • I get shower and dressed, while Gabby gets them both breakfast (Gabby is now 11 so this really helps!),
  • Quick breakfast for me,
  • Walk the dog around the block while the kids get dressed (the house is always in sight and they can just yell out the door if they need me) – they have even come with me on one occasion!
  • Come back and put some makeup on.

And voila! I have been more put together by 7:45am than I ever have been when Mike is here.

So, as I mentioned. This last week I’ve been feeling pretty fired up!

Facing your fears – where do they come from?

I’ve been working with a friend who is an EFT practitioner on and off for 2 years and recently, I decided I wanted to do an intense burst to get back in the swing of things.

The main thing we work on is past events that shape your life, and more importantly, sabotage your dreams.

For example, at age 4 I was at a disco and I was given a hotdog with ketchup while “The Only Way is Up” was playing (I am literally taken back there and can vividly remember it!! When I describe it to people I can still feel the fear…) – I hated ketchup, so I gave it to my dad and went back to get another. The woman pointed at me with her tongs and said

“You’ve already had one, get out the queue.”

Lifelong fear of being humiliated and being caught out for being “in the wrong” sprouted right from there. The only way was not up.

It sounds ridiculous but if you’ve ever seen Inside Out (all my scientific facts come from Pixar), you’ll know the importance of Core Memories. From that moment on Little Hannah has been forever trying to protect me from future humiliations. I consider catastrophizing the future a top skill of mine.

I have no problem embarrassing myself, I sang a Moana song quite loudly outside the cinema last week to kill time (I was with some kids but apart from Reuben they were trying to pretend they weren’t with me). And I regularly call to my mate, Emily, outside school so I can show her my running man across the school yard. I’m channelling Sara Blakely whenever I can.

This fear is more specific, it’s about being in the wrong when I didn’t know I was. I’m terrified of it!

So, it’s things like that that happen in your formative years, some of which may take years to uncover, that we work on. I acknowledge the fear, reassure Little Hannah that it’s OK and I’m not in danger and we’re going to do this “scary” thing anyway.

This way I can move on and do some of the things I want to do instead of thinking about it and then being too scared to do it.

Please note, this is my understanding of EFT and I’m not a professional so if you would like more information on HOW EFT works, head here for a basic EFT overview…it involves “tapping” which is totally weird but totally works!

Facing your fears and moving on

On Monday, Ang set me off on a new trajectory. I’ve obviously started blogging again, but it’s been a very slow, dipping of my toe in the proverbial water.

I’m scared, what if I do something wrong without realising it? {Then multiply by the other fears of my formative years.}

But I want to revive Mums’ Days! So, Ang recommended I follow the Fletcher Method to help me readdress my “why” and develop a business plan (of sorts – more of what I hope to get out of it emotionally rather than financially. But I do have hopes of writing a book…!).

Scary stuff…But as any fears arise, I tap on them (see the link above for the voodoo stuff) and reassure myself that I’m OK and move on.

The Fletcher Method has had me looking back through the oodles of data I collected over the years. I had 6 surveys with over 250 responses to go through! Many saying wonderful things about my blog and how much they enjoyed it and what they wanted to see done differently. Proper gold dust stuff.

It made me so sad that I couldn’t appreciate at the time how many people liked my blog and all the guff I used to go on about. If I was looking for external validation, it was right there.

One woman wrote about how she’d fallen pregnant at the same time as me but lost the baby. She still followed the blog and enjoyed reading about what might have been. There were more stories like these and I found it really emotional to read so many touching comments and words of encouragement.

But, hindsight is a wonderful thing. I wasn’t happy back then and all those surveys! I was clearly searching for something I couldn’t find and you lovely lot, even though you tried, you couldn’t tell me either.

I needed this (TWO YEAR!) break to come back around to finding myself and smelling the roses.

And now, I know what was missing.

Honesty.

I was missing being able to tell the truth. I can’t bloody help myself. I’m an oversharer and I have to tell the truth. But I was scared to.

And, it’s exhausting to live a lie. Although, it was more of a ‘withholding the truth’ than an out and out lie, but still exhausting.

I had become pinocchio and my nose had grown so big I couldn’t see my computer to write anymore.

You are who you are, and who you marry might change your circumstances but it doesn’t change YOU. In the immortal words of J-Lo…

“I’m still, I’m still Hannah Jenny from the block.”

I’ve ‘come out’ about a couple of these things here (my drinking) and here (my house). And I know there’s much more where that came from…eek!

Watch this space!

If you would like to tell me what you think about Mums’ Days, what you would like to see me doing, what you thought my strengths were (…and my weaknesses!)…

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Or perhaps you’d like to write about facing your fears?

I’ve realised through the research I’ve done over the past week that much of the strength in Mums’ Days was sharing your stories. Empowering you by helping you feel heard and that your opinions matter.

That is a direct quote from a survey answer where they were asked what they like most about Mums’ Days, “We are asked for our opinion.”

We’re all in different stages of this parenting journey, and we all have different circumstances. So it’s helpful…no, it’s IMPORTANT to be hear different perspectives.