Sunday, 25 February 2007


I was irritable this morning. I could blame a number of things - could be PMS (though that would be a bit early), perimenopause (hormones could be declining), sniffing children (one of my pet hates, listening to someone sniff - like fingernails on a chalkboard!), resentment that my children are not pulling their weight in the kitchen and helping with dishes, tiredness from a late night. Maybe I need a holiday, to get away from the routine of cooking and cleaning, or maybe it's the pull of "home", that little island where I grew up. Most of the time I don't think about it, but about every three years I get the itch - to go back and visit my parents, sister, niece, nephew and the in-laws' side of the family.

R and I have parents in their 70s. As I mentioned in a previous post, my mother-in-law is going through a period of confusion and having her medication changed around and it is worrying. She has dementia-type symptoms, with short-term memory loss. R and I have done some research - we know she was very low in sodium and have discovered that this can cause confusion. R has spoken to his dad on the phone and suggested electrolyte drinks, green vegetables such as kale which are high in potassium, and B12 shots, all of which could help her recover.

It is scary to think of how fast things can change. One day, all is well, the next - well, who knows? My in-laws have two holidays planned - one to Switzerland in April and one to the Grand Canyon in September, following which they will fly to Canada to spend time with us. We have to have faith that she will recover from this mental fog she's in right now and be back to normal soon.

Anyway, whatever the cause of my irritability, I found an oasis of calm quite unexpectedly. I was sitting at the dining room table - so was K, aged 11. He started colouring in a colour-by-numbers crocodile on the cardboard pack containing the markers on the table. He took a lot of care over it, using some vibrant colours - fuchsia, turquoise, lime green, red - and just sitting and watching him I was aware of myself relaxing completely and just enjoying the moment.

I remembered to feel gratitude for what I have, and instead of holding on to my grumpiness and letting it escalate, I let it go and had a pleasant afternoon.

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