For October, I am joining in again with the monthly writing prompts from Sheryl at A Chronic Voice .
This month, the prompts that Sheryl has given us are:
Aside from myself falling off the wagon with regard to my own health (which I’ll come back to), it’s the season of apples falling off my tree in the garden. We are lucky enough to have a beautiful Bramley apple tree that’s over 120 years old and so every autumn, we are inundated with cooking apples. We give most of them away to family, friends and neighbours but we also juice some and use the remainder in a variety of recipes including soups and cakes. I love to think about all the people over the years who have also eaten apples from that same tree, who they were and what their lives might have been like.
In another way, dealing with this seasonal apple bounty reminds me of how life has changed since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. How the old me would’ve hated staying home and dealing with something as mundane as apples! But now, I’m happy to slow down and be creative, but most of all, I’m thankful for nature’s bounty.
After a really tough summer, I’m using autumn as a chance to reboot. Personal circumstances have meant that I have been mainly living away from home so far this year and it has been difficult to stick to any sort of routine. Life has been chaotic, to say the least.
The result of this is high pain levels, weight gain due to eating the wrong foods (comfort eating…), a virus that I have struggled to shake off and plummeting self esteem. So I am now in the process of transitioning back to a healthier way of life starting with increasing physical exercise and making slow but steady improvements to my diet to allow me to (hopefully) return to a much better level of health.
I’ve been perimenopausal for a while now but my symptoms are coming more and more to the fore as time goes on. Menopause isn’t something which has historically been widely discussed , here in the UK at least, and this has left many women (myself included) woefully uneducated about symptoms and what we might expect during this phase of life. Throw chronic illness into the mix too and as it’s a potential minefield.
Thankfully the topic of menopause is becoming increasingly visible with more media coverage and celebrities openly discussing their own experiences. There is a lot of information to navigate and digest and so right now, I am choosing to educate myself on this new time of life, as well as choosing supplements, foods and lifestyle tweaks to help me to get through it as naturally as possible.
Much as I love my garden, it has become a bit jungle-like and messy over the summer as I haven’t been able to stay on top of things. This has become quite stressful, when I look out of my window and see a rather overgrown and scruffy garden. So over the next few weeks, I’m figuring out how I can make changes to enable the garden to look as beautiful as it did before but also lower maintenance and so easier for me to look after. I’m researching which perennial plants might suit the clay type soil we have in this area, to increase the chances that they will thrive and not be so labour intensive. So my goal for next summer is a still a beautiful garden, but one which is easier to tend.
The life I live now is a million miles away from the life that I used to have and the one I imagined I would have when I was younger. This took a long time to accept, but I think that I have finally made peace with it. My own perception of what success looks like has changed and I now have a totally different outlook on life. The turning point has been being able to imagine a different sort of future, one that’s in tune with my current physical, mental and financial capabilities as well as my personal values. Imagination can fuel hope and with that comes the motivation to set realistic life goals to help us move forward.
Big thanks to Sheryl for such thought provoking prompts 🙂