Why ‘Ghosting’ is not cool!

adult alone anxious black and white
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I thought about writing this blog exactly a year ago… totally because of the Halloween timing, but because I knew it would be hard to write, I put it off.

So, if you don’t know what Ghosting is, let me explain.

You usually hear about Ghosting in the dating game… if you thought being dumped by text was rude, this just got to a whole new level!  Maybe you’ve been seeing someone for a little while and all of a sudden, they’ve blocked your number, removed you from social media – they’ve vanished. You have no idea what you have done, no explanation… do you make an effort to contact them or not?  Maybe they’ve been run over by a bus!  But there you are, they’ve disappeared and you just got Ghosted!

I’ve also heard the term Ghosting being used when a friendship breaks down, or when you’re ‘phased out’.  I’m not just talking about an acquaintance here, or someone I would say hello to in the street… this is ‘Sister from another Mister’, oldest school friend since the age eight kind of friendship, and given that I’ve now passed the big 40… that’s a whole lot of friendship right there!

I’ve tried so many times to pinpoint when this all happened.  When did I start to be ‘phased out’.  I can’t.  There was no row, no bad words.  I just remember that there was a  point where I was always the one making the effort. Friendship is a two way street, however this road was only going one way.

Things hadn’t always been this way.  Not so long before the ‘phase out’ began, the friendship was very much a two way thing, maybe even swinging the other way. We would spend well over an hour on the phone of an evening when we’d be seeing each other the next day which my hubby would always find hilarious. We’d hang out as couples, going out for drinks and meals, spend time at our house, and she was a big part of our kids’ lives.. they adored ‘her’.

What I do know now, is that when things were very much about her ie; big birthday bash, getting married, I would be very much a part of her life. All the planning – yep, happy for me to be a big part of it!

So what changed? Maybe real life… and realisation of what is to come… or not to come.

There was one big difference between myself and ‘Ghosty’.  We’d had children (her godchildren), however the likelihood of this happening for her was slim.  Not in a mother nature’s decision kind of way – it was very much a choice thing.  And although I’ve never been told, because I wasn’t deemed worthy of a conversation, I’m sure this is the catalyst that drove the wedge between us.

So what happens when you get phased out?

For a while, you continue as you always did, texting funny stuff, trying to arrange to meet for a coffee, but those texts stop getting answered and there is always an excuse not to catch up.

After a while you start playing the game ‘lets see how long it takes before she makes contact’.  You leave it for weeks, months and then cave!  Then there would be more excuses not to catch up. It would leave any further meetings more awkward with this big fat elephant in the room.

Things that you traditionally do in the year don’t happen. Christmas presents get dropped in by others, birthday cards delivered when you’re on school run and the message is clearly given that you’re not worthy of their time.

It’s not you, it’s them…

The one thing I took from the whole situation was that it wasn’t just me.  My other friends from our friendship group were being treated similarly, I just seemed to be taking it the worst.   I also found out that I was being blamed for the breakdown of the friendship group as a whole.  Nothing to do with the fact that ‘ghosty’ was being a shit friend to all of us! I found that pretty tough to take.

What is so difficult about the whole Ghosting situation is that you don’t get closure.  You don’t get to say your bit. You don’t get to ask why.  What would I say if I had the chance? I must have gone through a conversation in my head 1000 times.  But I was never given the opportunity to say it.

So how does it feel to be Ghosted?

It’s a complete head fuck to be frank! You get to wonder what the hell you did wrong.  You get to analyse every text message you ever sent to see if it was something you might have said.  You feel hurt when they ignore you, pretending not to see you as they walk past you in the street.  You feel heartbroken.

Don’t just take my word for it…

This is Why Ghosting Hurts So Much

I know what it’s like to go through grief when someone dies, and whilst this will never touch that experience, losing your oldest friend of 30 years and not being told why is a pretty significant second place.

We shared so many memories, from dancing in my bedroom to Wham, to school discos and college parties to pop concerts and hen weekends.  You go through a grieving process of not sharing those memories with that person anymore.  You think about all the things you did for them in the past and feel bitter for how you’ve been treated.

I totally get the fact that people move on in different directions during their lives, and I’m cool with that.  What I have found difficult is not being given the courtesy of a conversation and to get closure on the whole situation.

Time to move on…

I can’t lie, it has taken me a good two years (probably more) to come to terms with it and it’s not just affected me but my family too. Thankfully, I have bloody amazing friends. I make sure I surround myself with positive, supportive people that light up the room… not turn all the lights off!  I don’t have time for negativity, stubbornness and constant critique of every situation – so maybe I actually got the good end of the deal!

grayscale photography of five people walking on road
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

My advice though, if you find that you’re in a similar situation with a friend, a true friend, do the decent thing and have a conversation about it. Don’t be a dick and ‘Ghost’ them!

 

Until next time…

Love & hugs,

TOMD xxx

 

 

Find Your Tribe… Love Them Hard!

silhouette of four people against sun background
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Ever since I started my social media course last September, I have had many experiences of  ‘women tribes’.  They have come in many forms… course cohorts, networking groups, and workshops.

What I’m talking about here isn’t my usual group of friends… not my ‘girls’ that have known me forever, who have seen me at my best and my worst (which was probably face down pissed up on a pavement in Newquay!).  These are women I have never met before, who sometimes live in different parts of the country, come from different walks of life but all thrown together for the same cause.

As you may have read in previous blogs, I have recently started a course involving mindset and how you can up-level your business by getting over your fears and negative thoughts.  Last week our cohort of nine, plus our mentor Andrea, had our first Zoom meeting – posh term for ‘a meeting over the internet’!

The conversation involved how we got on with writing ‘Our Story’ (see previous blog)  and what our ‘Wins & Stretches’ have been this week.  What was so refreshing was to see how everyone was completely honest about how they were feeling. No pretence, no making out everything was great.  There were tears and fears laid out for all to see, and whilst there were apologies at first (we are British after all!) this vulnerability was so refreshing and gave us all permission to bear our feelings.  This is how you build trust within your ‘Tribe’.

I came to do this course following a workshop I did a couple of months ago.  Again, this involved women who, once they all got in a room together, realised they’re not alone in feeling inadequate, not good enough, that they can’t reach their potential and that they’re too fearful to push out of their comfort zone for fear of failure.  (Read ‘Yesterday, Three Women Changed My Life’ for more details).

During my six month course with Digital Mums, I was put together with six other women who were taking the journey with me.  We would meet over the internet every Thursday evening and talk daily on WhatsApp.  The fact that these other women didn’t know me from Adam nor I them, almost gives you permission to be your most honest… almost like a counsellor does.

During the six months of the course, we all went through the ups and downs and we were all there for each other on a daily basis… not only to get through the work that we needed to do to pass, but life in general.

Six months after qualifying, I still talk with my ‘Frida K’ girls daily and we managed to meet up in real life just after we graduated in May.  Another meet up is due soon… it’s just a logistical nightmare trying to get seven women free at the same time!

Something really incredible happens when you get a room full of women together… and I don’t mean on a Hen Night! 

On Saturday I went to a ‘Colour Me Beautiful’ workshop to support a wonderful lady I have recently met whilst networking.  I took a friend along with me and I had met a few of the  other ladies there before, but only really as much as ‘what do you do for a living?’.   However, once we all got chatting about how we felt about ourselves, there was a shift.  There was this ‘green light’ where it was perfectly OK to share our vulnerability.

With all these experiences I have come to realise, that it really doesn’t matter who you are or what your standing is in the community… we are all women going through similar things in our lives and we are best when we support each other, not tear each other down.

So, don’t be afraid to do something outside your comfort zone. Go and meet new people – whether it be at an exercise class, running club, mother and baby group, further education or workshops.

You never know where you might find another ‘Tribe’.

Until next time,

 

Love and hugs… TOMD xx

Be still my beating ovaries!

silhouette of man touching woman against sunset sky
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So, how did I come to the decision to have my ovaries removed?

Yes, you heard that right. At 37, I made the decision to have my ovaries removed… I went into hospital and had the old egg factory shut down for good!  It wasn’t quite as straight forward as that, so let me explain what happened.

I remember back in 2012 there being a lot on the news about the cancer gene BRCA1 and BRCA2 which are the genes that are recognised as the breast cancer gene. For a while there had been a lot of talk about how you could get tested if your family had a history of breast cancer and when I thought about it, this meant me!

My mum, whilst in her 40’s, had pre-cancer cells identified after a breast reduction operation – they were found in what the consultant took away (more details in my boobs blog).  My Nan had breast cancer, as did her sister.  There was only one other sister (my great Aunt) that had so far escaped.

For those carrying the gene, there was a very difficult decision to make considering whether they had surgery, or whether to have more regular check ups dependant on their chance of the gene turning into cancer

For me there was another reason why I wanted to look into this.  Mum was fighting ovarian cancer and there is a clear link between breast and ovarian cancer.  There was no way I would want to put myself at risk, especially with ovarian cancer being called ‘the silent killer’ due to its lack of symptoms in the early stages.

So, having made the decision to get our family history checked out, I went along to the GP who made a referral to the Genetics Department at the hospital.  What followed as a consultation to talk over my family history and an explanation of how our genetics work, what the process was, time frame etc. Then, with my mum’s agreement, they would need a blood sample from her to determine if she had the gene.

I then went onto see a consultant to discuss more about potential results and procedures. We discussed my family situation, my desires for any more children (NO WAY!) and what I would like to do if the result came back positive and negative.

It was explained to me that if the result came back positive, I would know for definite and could make a concrete decision on how far I would want to protect myself against cancer in the future.  If the result came back negative, it would mean that Mum didn’t carry any of the BRCA genes, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t carry another gene out there… they just haven’t found it yet!

Basically, I would be making a decision on either a definitely, or a maybe.  After several months of waiting for the results to come back, the latter was the reality I dealt with.

I was given an option to leave things be, but as there were no routine checks for ovarian cancer like there are for changes in the breast, this could be leaving things to an element of chance.  I was offered the option to have my ovaries removed on the basis that there might be another gene out there that my Mum could be carrying, therefore giving me a  50% chance of carrying it too!

After a lot of consideration, I decided to go ahead and have my ovaries removed.  My whole family were behind this decision especially my husband (nothing to do with the fact that he dodged the vasectomy bullet, or should I say scalpel!).  Whilst it seemed a drastic move, the consultant was happy to do it and happy to put me on HRT so I didn’t plummet into menopause at 37.  I’d had all the children I wanted (two’s enough for me!) and there seemed no good reason to keep them.. the ovaries – not the children!  I also wanted to give my mum (and my family) some peace of mind that I wasn’t going to have the battle she had… at least not in this part of my body.

So, by the summer of the following year (2013), I went into hospital to have my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed by keyhole surgery.  It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, but it was the best one for me and I never had any doubts about what I was about to do.  Oh, apart from when they started wheeling me along on the bed down to the Ear, Nose and Throat Theatre.  My husband asked them a little concerned ” You do realise she’s having her ovaries out don’t you?”.

I was fortunate that the surgery went well, and apart from a small infection in one of the incision sites afterwards (and I couldn’t drink for a week!!) I made a quick recovery.  The HRT I’d been prescribed seemed to hit the spot and gave me no problems whatsoever.  But not everyone is the same, so this is something that needs to be considered very carefully and monitored.

I’ve never looked back since having it done. I must admit, it’s strange not to have any kind of cycle – and I still don’t know if I have one on an emotional level (my husband would say ‘YES’) but I certainly don’t miss them.  When I’m 51, I will slowly come off of the HRT and allow myself to go into the menopause gently… like walking down a hill, instead of jumping off a cliff at age 37.

What sits well with me, without sounding morbid, is that Mum left this world knowing that I wouldn’t be going through the same battle that she unfortunately lost.

To find out more on ovarian cancer visit the NHS website;

https://www.nhs.uk/be-clear-on-cancer/symptoms/ovarian-cancer

Symptoms to look out are;

  • feeling full quickly or loss of appetite.
  • pelvic or stomach pain.
  • needing to pee urgently or more frequently than normal.
  • changes in bowel habit.
  • extreme fatigue (feeling very tired)
  • unexplained weight loss.

 

Until next time,

Love and hugs from TOMD xxx

 

Writing ‘My Story’! Intro week of ‘Get Excited About Your Life’

blackboard chalk chalkboard concept
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This week I started my Introduction or ‘On Boarding’ for my new course ‘Get Excited About Your Life’.  This is a course which will help me to look at key points of my life and help me to move my mindset to a positive place which will inevitably help my business.

We’ve had a few actions to take on for this introduction week – one being to do a Facebook Live to our group.  Now, for me it was fine as I’m a complete show off, but for some of the ladies in my group it was a real baptism of fire… and they all nailed it!

The other big task for the week was to write ‘My Story’.  No rules, no template to follow… just write my story as I ‘feel it’.  This will be used as the basis of my 1:1 sessions with my mentor Andrea.

Jeeez! Where to start with that! How long should I make it?  How much detail is required?

I decided that I would tackle this after a meeting on Thursday.  I stayed on at the venue and made the most of the unlimited coffee and continental breakfast bar!   I powered up the laptop and started to type away.

Two hours later and I’d covered a lot of ground, revisiting lots of events in my life that I hadn’t thought about for a while, stuff to be proud about, stuff that I learned from and other situations in my life that still affect how I deal with situations today.

There was a point that I found incredibly hard to type about.  The experience losing Mum.  It’s amazing how my brain has managed to cope these last two and half years and almost put a lot of the feelings into a little filing cabinet so that I am able to function on a daily basis. Now and again though, the filing cabinet is opened and the documents come falling out… or the tears come falling down.

Being sat in the middle of a Brewsters crying at a laptop is not a good look so I made a hasty exit.

When I got home I managed to finish my story, warts and all and submitted it to Andrea.

After putting it all out there I thought I would feel like a weight had been lifted, but for a little while, the opposite happened.  I felt heavy and filled with anxiety! The following day I couldn’t catch my breath and just felt generally shitty!  Was this meant to happen after baring all in a word document?

That night I was due to go out with hubby for the night, and whilst I really just wanted to join my son and put my pj’s on at 6pm, but instead I got dolled up and went out.  I’m so glad I did.  Spending some much overdue time with my man was just the tonic (with Gin) that I needed!

Since then I have felt much better and I’m really looking forward to working through all the aspects that make me who I am and turning it into positive mindset.

The course is all about putting yourself out there, having belief in what you’re doing and owning it. I have no doubt that by the end of the 13 weeks we will all be nailing it and completely owning it!

I hope you will follow along with me on the journey!

Until next time,

 

Love and hugs,

TOMD xxx

If you’d like to more about the course I am doing – check out Andrea Callanan on Facebook…. https://www.facebook.com/AndreaCallananVoice/

 

My Mental Health Story – Part 1

Awareness of mental health in the current day is more prevalent than ever. We have so much discussion around it now with World Mental Health Day, Mental Health Awareness Week, Self Care Sunday and people in the public eye speaking openly about their struggles.

My mental health story starts way back in 1995 when I was 19 years old (totally given my age away now!).  This was long before the days when everyone had a mobile phone (unless you were a ‘yuppy’ from the city), let alone all the social media apps and the stress they bring, but at 19 years old, I suffered with anxiety and depression. Continue reading “My Mental Health Story – Part 1”

It’s time to get excited about my life!

As I write this post, I’m not exactly in the most excited mood.  I’ve been suffering literally all day with a hangover from hell which I can only put down to the fact that I’ve had two unscathed weekends away and my night out last night with hubby was my major payback.  Better to have happened here at home rather than at Center Parcs or beautiful Barcelona!

So why am I getting excited about my life?

Well, if you’ve been following my blogs, you would have read about how three women changed my life at a workshop I attended in Bristol.  One of those women was a lady called Andrea Callanan.  She made such huge impression on me (read the blog Yesterday Three Women Change My Life) and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of a free webinar she was offering a couple of weeks ago.

So, I attended the webinar with a group of around 20 women, listening to Andrea talk through my laptop screen.  She spoke about the kinds of insecurities and fears we face as women in business (saying that out loud is still weird for me!) and life in general.  Talking about why we put things off, why we doubt ourselves and how it stops us moving forward.

At the end of the webinar, Andrea explained that she was about to run a new 12 week programme called ‘Get Excited About Your Life’.  It covers;

Week 1 – Get Present  Week 2 – Own Your Story  Week 3 – Healing  Week 4 – Acceptance Week 5 – Self Worth   Week 6 – Self Care  Week 7 – Kick Ass Mindset  Week 8 – Desire     Week 9 – Intention  Week 10 – Vision  Week 11 – Planning  Week 12 – Execute, Achieve, Celebrate.

Whilst this looks like it will be quite intensive and Andrea has already warned us that it will take us to places emotionally that we probably won’t want to go (I’m sure the loss of Mum will come up more than once) but I am genuinely excited about changing my current mindset.

I literally find myself constantly swinging from a kick-ass attitude of ‘I can do this’ to self doubting thoughts of ‘I’m gonna f@ck this up’! I’m forever playing the following questions over in my mind;

Can I really make a go of my blogging and working for myself?

Will anyone want to work with me?

Can I work with companies and help them with their Social Media?

Do I know enough?

It’s true,  I didn’t jump into Andrea’s course straight away.  Why?  The fear. That bloody fear and self doubt of course. Questioning; Will I have the time? Can I afford it?  After having a night to sleep on it, I decided that it was well worth investing in myself and took the plunge and signed up!

Over these next 12 weeks this course will help me get over these insecurities which in turn will help me to plan and building my blog ‘Tales of a Mother’s Daughter’ and set up my VA and social media training business.

I really look forward in sharing this journey with you and passing on the things that I have learnt… and it all starts tomorrow!

Until next time,

Love and hugs from TOMD xxx

Barcelona with ‘The Butch Girls’!

I know, you’re thinking who on earth are the ‘Butch Girls’? It sounds like it could be some female wrestling tag-team (might have to Google that!).

Let me explain. ‘The Butch Girls’ are my wonderful group of school friends that still keep in touch and do stuff together 31 years after first meeting at secondary school.

I’ve come to learn that this is actually quite unusual, to still be in touch with girls from secondary school. And whilst it’s true that we have been in and out of each other’s lives, especially during our 20s, these girls will undoubtedly always be in my life.

So, why are we called ‘The Butch Girls’?  We can’t really remember where it came from. None of us are particularly masculine or as the name may suggest, that we might bat for the other side (or is that the same side?!).  I remember the reference ‘Butch Girl’ first came up at my 18th birthday party… a long, long time ago!  It seemed to stick and we’ve been ‘The Butch Girls’, ever since!  I suppose if you happen to see us strut our stuff to Tina Turner’s ‘Nutbush’ it might explain it! It really is something to behold!

Anyway, this weekend was time for our annual getaway.  I worked out that it’s our eighth year now of doing something together.  It started when three of us went to visit one of the ‘Butches’ who now lives in Germany back in 2011 and it carried on from there. We still make Germany a bi-annual thing and visit somewhere different in between – this year it was Barcelona.

Now, I’m not going to give you a blow by blow account of what we got up to in Barcelona – most of it is the classic ‘you had to be there moments’ and we certainly had plenty of those; I’m certainly not going to try and recreate them on a blog.  However, I did want to share with you my thoughts on this Spanish city.

We stayed in the Gothic quarter of the city in an apartment which was a stone’s throw away from Dr Stravinsky’s Cocktail bar  (just for reference), which actually took us three nights to find as it was so well hidden!  It was a perfect location and I recommend staying in this part of the city if you can.  Lovely bars and restaurants are close by along with the wonders of the food market and great shopping.

What can I say about Barcelona. It’s so colourful and beautiful… and crazy-full of little streets that you can get lost in.  It’s literally like something out of Harry Potter – you get easily get lost in these interconnecting alleys within the Gothic quarter and with my hideous sense of direction, I was just glad there were five others with me who knew their way better than I did!

If you go to Barcelona, I totally recommend grabbing a bike from one of the many hire shops as a way to see the city.  We took ourselves down to the beach and cycled along the promenade stopping at a couple of bars for food and drinks, and then more drinks.  The sense of freedom felt amazing and so much fun… once you get out of the crazy streets and are able to use the cycle lanes without the fear of crashing into someone!

We learnt during the weekend, whilst sitting with a man in a cafe (we don’t normally sit with men in cafes, but there was only one table left and we kind of gatecrashed it!) that the beach in Barcelona was man made before the Olympics in 1992 to make the city more interesting.  They certainly succeeded – it doesn’t feel like you’re in a major European city when you can you cycle to sea and sand just 10 minutes from the city centre. So, if you like sea, sand and sun with your city break, this ticks all the boxes!

You can’t go to Barcelona without visiting the famous Gaudi Cathedral.  I have to admit, I’d never heard of it before (architecture isn’t exactly my forte) but this ‘wonder’ of a cathedral is mind blowing! You could literally look at it all day and still find new things. There are mixtures of so many different styles, some beautiful, others odd and some bordering on ‘Vegas’!  It has never been finished, but when it is (somewhere around 2026), it will be the tallest of its kind.

Barcelona shopping certainly has something for everyone.  If you’re after department stores, you can find them down on the rowdier Las Ramblas, or you can take in the beautiful boutiques which are found in abundance in the Gothic quarter.

On Las Ramblas you will find plenty of tat and weird stuff if that’s what takes your fancy. My particular favourite was packets of plants and flowers that will grow to look like genitalia! Nice!  Whereas if you fancy a little accessory treat, like a new bag or scarf (like I did!) then you won’t go far wrong with the little shops that can be found in many of the winding alleys through the city centre. I’m actually a really lazy shopper but even I managed to pick up a couple of pretty little things over the weekend.

With restaurants and bars a plenty, along with shopping, beaches, culture and plenty of red wine and Sangria, I’m pretty sure I will see you again soon Barcelona!

Until next time,

Love & hugs from TOMD xx

Bras, Boobs and You!

This weekend  I had the wonderful job of going to M&S to get our teen re-fitted for a new bra.  She will not thank me in the slightest for telling you that! What fascinates me is that there are just so many there to chose from… Underwire, balcony, plunge, minimiser, T-shirt, sports, strapless, backless, multiway… and that’s just the few off the top of my head!

The money stats surrounding the bra industry are pretty jaw dropping too…

The UK lingerie market is now valued at $3.18bn (£2.47bn), according to the latest industry figures from Euromonitor’s Passport database.  The market has grown 0.7% on last year and accounts for 22% of the women’s underwear market in Western Europe, which grew 1.3% in 2016 to exceed $14.3bn (£11bn).

This got me thinking about the whole fascination with boobs!  Just go back to the 70’s… when every other joke on Benny Hill revolved around how well endowed the women were… or little Babs Windsor with her well endowed chest in the Carry On films. How different it was back then huh?!

However you view them, boobs play a big part in a woman’s life… big or small!  Even at the early development of those little rosebuds, that would kill when a little dickhead at school would accidentally on purpose elbow you in them.  This would be shortly followed by the excitement of getting your first bra and believing you had now entered the big world of womanhood!

Then there’s the amazing job they do in feeding our babies.  From swelling up during pregnancy to having your milk come in and feeling like you could easily pass as Dolly Parton’s niece… or great niece even! How old is Dolly these days?

Breastfeeding is a different story for everyone.  Some women could literally feed a village with the amount of milk they express, others find it impossible to get a bottle’s worth out!  And then there’s the tremendous amount of pain and anxiety they can cause new mothers too.  Not everyone has a great time of it when they decide to breastfeed and difficulties with feeding can lead to pain and guilt.

Unfortunately, there’s a very serious side when it comes to our boobies.

We also have to be mindful of checking our boobs regularly for signs of any changes.  Hands up who does this monthly without fail? I wish I could confidently put my hand up, but I am guilty of just having a prod and a poke every now and then when I remember! Whilst I know about the visual changes I should look for, I’m not so good at checking what’s going on underneath the surface!

As I was stood in the changing room with Ellie, I couldn’t help but think about my mum.  It’s pretty obvious that my daughter has been blessed… or cursed (whichever way you want to look at it) with the genes of her Nan which seemed to skip straight past me and right onto her.  Being in an adult’s bra’s (the ones with nine hooks at the back!) at age 13 is a bit shocking, both physically for her and on the wallet for me! No more 2 for £20 offer on here!  She also has such a slight frame (being blessed with a figure like her paternal Nan) that getting her boob scaffolding right at this developmental age is vital.

My mum, being small in stature, suffered with sore shoulders and backache due to the weight she had to carry up front! In 1994, her GP referred her to Bristol and after consultation, she underwent a bust reduction.  What transpired was not expected.

They had found pre-cancerous cells in her left breast in what they had taken away.  This was back in 1994, and what they had to offer then, was probably very different to what would happen now.  Mum was offered what was effectively a tummy tuck, and what they took away from her tummy would be put inside her left breast.  Long story short, this operation didn’t work.  The stomach muscle rejected and mum was in hospital for a total of five weeks following a complication with a blood clot.

This happened at a crazy time of my life. I was 18, at the end of college completing my exams and about to go straight into the local hospital as a trainee medical secretary. I remember swotting for exams on daily trips up to Bristol to visit Mum.

I don’t ever remember seeing Mum get upset about what she’d been through, she kept that to herself behind her bedroom door.  I can’t even begin to imagine how she must’ve felt. She would’ve been 45 at the time, only a few years older than I am now and even though this hadn’t developed into cancer cells, the 10% chance they gave her was enough for her to decide she didn’t want to take the risk.

Instead, what I do remember is my Mum being the crazy, lovable, life loving lady, who would now and again get her chicken fillet prosthesis out at parties and make everyone laugh with her wicked wit!

I want to be just like her when I grow up!

Mum was lucky to have her abnormalities picked up at the time of her operation – a blessing in disguise. When it comes to checking your boobs, don’t leave it to chance. If you think something isn’t right, go straight to the GP and insist on a check-up.

Until next time,

Love and Hugs xxx

For advice on checking your breasts for cancer, visit: https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/have-i-got-breast-cancer/checking-your-breasts

For information on signs and symptoms of breast cancer, visit  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms/

Soul Searching & Taking Action!

I swear to God, my head has been a crazy frenzy since the weekend!

Soul Searching…

Sunday of last week, the day after I attended ‘The Scaling Summit’, I had a long hard think about what I wanted to do on this new path of self employment.  I’d had thoughts the day before about re-igniting my blog that I’d set up last summer, and the workshop certainly gave me some inner belief to follow my dream.

So, taking the bull by the horns, on Sunday night I sat and wrote a blog all about my experience on Saturday… of how these three women I have never met before managed to get into my soul and make me think about achievements in my life that I’d buried deep, not really giving them any significance.  There was this huge emotional pull from that day that if you believe it, you can do it.  It was like they could see all my insecurities better than I could… probably because it’s the same insecurities that most of the women in the room had…

Am I good enough?

Can I really do this?

I feel like an imposter.

So, once the blog was complete I decided to post it out.  Admittedly, it was a little late for many people to see it, but figured what the heck!  What I didn’t expect was the wonderful response almost immediately from the hosts from the day Andrea and Emma, who loved what I had done and asked permission to share it.  What also followed was lots of lovely comments from the ladies that attended, saying how well I had articulated the day and put out there exactly how they felt.

My god!  Little old me did that!  To say I was buzzing was an understatement.  Hubby was already in bed asleep, but I made sure I was moving around loud enough that he stirred and I then promptly told him what had happened!

A Renewed Vigour

Come Monday morning, the blog had received even more views and lovely comments.  I was starting to shut up the voices in my head telling me there is no way I should waste my time on developing this blog idea further.

I’ve re-evaluated my business goals and what I want out of my new business as a social media manager (Social in Somerset).  I already have a client that I do business support and social media for and I want to help SME’s with their social media platforms – setting them up, putting together a strategy and consulting them on how to get going.  However, I’ve made the big decision that I want one more long term client and my other big client will be… ME!   I need to treat myself like I would a client in order to make this happen.

The other thing I’ve been doing over this last week is listening to audio book ‘Mum Boss’ by Vicki Psarias.  Her words of wisdom have spurred me on to take make some changes in the way I do things.

So far I have;

  • Created a lovely little desk space for me to work at during the day.  It really helps to have a designated work environment.
  • Joined a local running group to ensure I get some much needed adult interaction now that I’m working from home, and hopefully I will re-discover my love for running while I’m at it!
  • Ensure I listen to my body and practice self-care.  My monthly Reiki sessions started back up this week and I was booked in for first thing Monday morning! It was heaven!
  • I make sure I take regular breaks and don’t feel guilty about it. Sometimes, it might be a walk with the dog to clear my head, or I have been known to set the alarm on my phone and have a half hour disco nap!
  • I also try and get up before everyone else does to get something done, even if its a peaceful cup of tea.  Usually I would only get up to do a workout, but now on rest days, or days where I’m doing something later, I still get up 40 minutes before the rest of the family – it’s BLISS!

 

Taking Action…

I’m pretty good at the art of procrastinating… I have the good intentions but they are never fully completed… my hubby calls me ‘Half-a-Job Bob’!  Well enough of that!  I have taken some big steps this week.  I have;

  • Booked a new networking event targeted at ladies in business within the county of Somerset. If I want to work with businesses in the ‘well woman’ arena then that’s where I need to be.
  • Booked some training on using mobile video for social media – not just for me, but as part of my social media management business, I want to be able to show companies how to do this for themselves.
  • Met with a graphic designer who is going to re-invigorate my website and logo to make it look kick-ass!

I find if I don’t overthink it and just do it, it will get done! Putting it all out here for you to read is also a big push… cause I really don’t want to come back in one or two year’s time in the same position as I am right now!

The time has come to stop thinking and start doing!

Until next time,

Love and hugs xxx

💗📖

Yesterday, three women changed my life!

Attending the ‘Scaling The Summit’ workshop opened up my mind to the possible!

woman with blonde hair at the top of the mountain raising her hands
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Yesterday, I had the privilege of spending a day with three business experts and had the benefit of their life experience and advice… me and 59 other women!  We had all been invited to be part of a ‘test group’ for this new dynamic trio of Linda Davis-Carr, Andrea Callanan and Emma Van Heusen presenting their take on how to upscale our businesses.

Each of these women have been incredibly successful in their careers, faced difficulties along the way, made huge changes and sacrifices and after a lot of hard work, carved out their own successful businesses.

Andrea was our MC for the day as well as leading on the ‘Mindset’ section. Andrea did an amazing job of building the energy in the room with her infectious passion.  Even the shrinking violets succumbed to her demands for us to shout “Hell Yeah” to her motivational questions.

Three sections were covered during the day… Linda was on ‘Business’, Andrea on ‘Mindset’ and Emma on ‘Marketing’.  This blog isn’t an account of what they talked about… you’ll have to book up on their workshop to find out!  What I will say, is that the women in that room had the opportunity to assess how far they have come and start to believe that they can achieve their dreams for the future.

‘The Triple Threat’, that is Linda, Andrea and Emma, talked candidly about their own experiences in business, their fears, worries and the good old ‘imposter syndrome’ that so many of us seem to suffer from.

One of the most poignant parts of the day was during Andrea’s Mindset section. Now, I’m a very open-minded person when it comes to ‘the mind’ so I was looking forward to this, but I appreciate it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  We were asked to stand up and put our hands by our sides.  When then did some breathing in time to Andrea clicking her fingers.  The energy in the room shifted and we were all receptive to her every word.  As she clicked 1,2,3,4… 1,2,3,4, Andrea started to talk about our memories, asking us to go back to a time when something amazing happened.  A memory that made you feel like you could do anything, a memory that we could see, a memory that we could feel.

As I stood there breathing in and out, a few visions flashed in and out of my mind, but there was one memory that came back to me, so I went with it.  It wasn’t anything to do with the kids, or my husband, or my job… it was just me.  I thought of the day when I had made a massive decision in what was undoubtedly the biggest crossroads in my life.  You know the one, where whichever decision you make, you know your life will never be the same again. The overwhelming feelings I had was that I could do anything I put my mind to.  I did it once and I can again.

As Andrea continued to talk us through the exercise, I was unable to stop the tears from pouring from out of my closed eyes, it really was that powerful.  As we came out of the meditation, I looked around to see that so many of the other ladies were feeling the same!  Tissues were passed around as we gathered ourselves together and it was clear to see that Andrea was also clearly affected by what she had just witnessed… lots of women in one room connecting with their emotions.

We did many other tasks during the day that made us think about how amazing we are… and if we didn’t think it at the beginning of the day,  by the end, we were starting to believe it.  It’s not something that will happen overnight, it has to be worked at but undoubtedly, having a tribe of women to support you like the ladies in the room is only going to help.  Sometimes, just having somebody else saying that you are capable, you are valuable and you can do whatever you want to do is all you need to give you the push to do it.

What I came away with at the end of the day, was the thoughts that I had been playing around with the last few days were now confirmed. I want to get back to blogging, and build this little corner of the internet called ‘Tales of a Mother’s Daughter’.  I want to create a place that shares information on all the things I like to talk about and feel passionate about.  I want to work with companies that support women in all things ‘wellbeing’.  This is all going to take time and hard work, but other people do it, so why shouldn’t I?  If you have the drive, you can do anything.

The blog I started last June about our little girl’s Autism story had already started to evolve and despite being neglected for the past nine months while I up-skilled as a Social Media Manager, it’s time to get back to it.  Time to get a re-brand and create an awesome website and go with it.  It will take time and I’m not going to pressure myself into doing everything tomorrow (which is usually how I think)… I need to plan, make shit loads of lists… but I can make this happen.

As women, we are all daughters, and a lot of us are mothers too… and what was highlighted yesterday is that we all have our tale to tell, so let’s tell it!

Until next time,

Love and hugs

TOMD xxx

If you want to learn more about our three speakers, you can find them here…

Andrea Callanan

Emma Van Heusen

Linda Davis Carr