What I’m reading this January…*

*If you’re only really interested in finding out about the books by my bedside then skip the first 350 ish words of this post or go to this post from the summer ;-).

I must confess I’m feeling a bit funny this January.  Not the usual hotch-potch of excitement and gloom that is common when the festive season draws to a close and the new year starts in earnest.  Instead, something more complex.

You see at the end of the month I’m going away for a few days.  On a course.  Or a ‘holiday from parenting’ as my blogger pal Nicole from the Mum Reviews may call it.  Don’t get me wrong I’m looking forward to some good night’s sleep (fingers crossed) and the chance to develop my mindfulness practice further as well as furthering my teacher training.  However I’m also feeling incredibly sad about being away from the kids for quite such a stretch…

To the point where I’m not sure how I’m going to cope.  There I’ve said it.  I know it sounds a bit melodramatic but it’s true.

How I’m feeling at the moment reminds me of how I used to feel the few days before I was being packed off to Brownie camp.  The whiff of ‘homesickness’ is following me around.  The virus is incubating inside me ready to become a full-blown disease when I get on the train to leave my little corner of south-east London.

And I’m worried.  I’m worried that I’m going to be dreadfully, awfully, embarrassingly homesick….or should I call it ‘familysick’ when I’m on my course trying to be in tune with my mental state and emotions.  Am I just going to be a wreck?!

Now don’t get me wrong I suffer my fair share of ‘familysickness’ when I’m at home too.

  • I can sometimes get a bit sick of having ‘no’ shouted at me all the time
  • cleaning up food from the floor after mealtimes
  • the constant negotiations about screens, sweets, biscuits etc

I can sometimes get a bit sick of the constant sorting out of squabbles too, oh and the disturbed sleep.

In fact sometimes I dream of going away for a few days for a bit of peace and quiet. However, now this dream is coming closer to reality I am feeling increasingly miserable about it.

In fact I can feel the catastrophising thoughts that sometimes grip me taking hold….crazy, dark thoughts that involve train crashes, children who wind up in therapy because of being  ‘abandoned’ by their mother for a few days at the beginning of 2017 or……Ofsted Inspectors.  Yep – bad stuff.

This rumination can be a sure sign that my mood may be deteriorating.  A signal for me to take it easy, to spend more time on my mindfulness practices and to look after my mental hygiene. It’s a good job then that in preparation for the residential course I have to two excellent books to read.  Both of which can’t fail to help me in my current mindset.

The first is Jon Kabat-Zinn’s ‘Full Catastrophe Living’.

The second is ‘Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression’ by Segal, Williams and Teesdale.

I’ve already got stuck into ‘Full Catastrophe Living’ as it’s been on my must-read list for a while now (it’s widely viewed as the ‘bible’ when it comes to all things Mindfulness you see) and I have not been disappointed so far.  Despite basically being a training manual for an 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course, it is easy to follow packed full of thought-provoking and insightful comment.

I have already been reminded that a by-product of ‘non-doing’ or ‘being’ (i.e. meditative practice) is the chance to “make room for new ways to seeing old problems”, and that:

“facing our problems is usually the only way to get past them.”

However, my favourite statement from the book so far is:


A good take on life eh?

I have to admit I have been a bit more reticent about reading Segal, Williams’ and Teesdale’s book.  At the moment my Mindfulness is all about being warm and fuzzy and generally positive.  I have moved away from the dark days that I inhabited when I initially stumbled across this approach to life and don’t particularly want to be reminded of it.  Yet it’s good to keep in mind that though I generally use mindfulness to enhance and add more vivid colour to my life, there are times when it is a treatment for depression.

Mindfulness is still traditionally viewed as a form of therapy for people suffering from ‘low mood’ and so, as I will be qualified to teach it to adults next month, I need to be aware of this.  Therefore I trust this book will be very helpful to help me to complete my training.

Wish me luck – seeing as it’s taken me about five months to read two books from my pile in my bedroom then I had better log off and get reading as I only have a few weeks to go….

Thus, January will be a quiet blogging month for me.  Instead I’ll be reading REAL books for a change, fighting my ‘familysickness’ (both versions no doubt) and training to teach Mindfulness to adults as well as children.  Deep breaths….or just breaths I suppose, will be needed I think.


One Messy Mama

Diary of An Imperfect Mum
Diary of an imperfect mum
Two Tiny Hands
The Pramshed