January: the good

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So January is gone and we can no longer wish people happy new year.

Here is the summary of the good bits of my year so far:

* I read two books: Gone Girl and The Shock of the Fall. spoiler alert, don’t read the below if you are planning to read these books.

The first one was a very easy read, despite being a very weird plot. Everybody knows about Gone Girl, right? It’s a good book, well written and it’s hard to stop reading it (although I only read opinions of girls who read it – I wonder what men think about it: “a book about an idiot who
lets a crazy bitch control his life; so unrealistic and dumb”). But the end made me think it was written for a film (or a TV series), leaving it open for a sequence. Are there people as crazy as Amy in real life? I’m sure there are, loads, even worse, but what are the odds she will find the perfect match and lead a life together to the point of having a sick life and have a family (kids and all) like “normal” people would do? It makes me wonder if those kids that shoot random people at schools and malls are children of the Amys & Nicks of this world. I need to watch the film now. Or do I?
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The second one took me by surprise. I am used to reading books with lots of action going on: crimes, love stories, betrayal, jealousy, mystery, etc. The Shock of the Fall is nothing like that – it’s the story of a boy who lost his brother when they were both quite young and he felt guilty about his death and went a bit… crazy. But in a very ordinary way. Unlike Gone Girl, it’s a history that can happen to any of us, and in fact it does. It was very slow in the beginning and quite hard to be motivated and carry on reading, but I don’t like leaving a book unfinished and I’m glad I went all the way through with it. It made me think about several things: how parents deal with their children – protecting the “special” child, being hard on the “normal” one (we don’t need to go that far: how many people resent their parents for favouring a sibling?), dealing with the loss of someone close, a life changing event (the death of a brother and feeling guilty about it) triggering a dormant condition (the narrator is schizophrenic – was he schizophrenic from birth or was it something that developed because of his personal tragedy? I no nothing about schizophrenia). The ending was a bit… too optimistic for my liking. I mean, for 10 years he had been struggling with the death of his brother, he was ready to jump off a cliff to join him and after just a couple of hours chatting to an old acquaintance he had a “click” and understood what had to be done to give this chapter of his life a “closure” and bury his brother for good in his mind? Maybe it is all possible and it just take a simple gesture or something a stranger tells us to click and change our lives for good, but because I’ve never been through something like this, I’m a bit cynical about it all?
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* The girls moved to their bedrooms for good. Laura used to sleep with us, Beatrice used to come to our bed in the middle of the night (or sometimes sleep with us the whole night). Not only they are sharing the bedroom but also sharing the bed! It’s mean, I know, but since they are used to sharing the bed with us, I thought it would be easier if they were close to each other.

How is it going? Good. It’s no
miracle, no walk in the park, but it’s no tragedy either. Normally Mr. C and I put them to sleep together – he tells a story (or reads a book or both), I breastfeed Beatrice, we turn the lights off and leave the room when they sleep. Beatrice always takes longer; Laura is off within 5 minutes; Beatrice can take 30 minutes on a good day. Some days are better than others – today (31st jan), they both were sleeping by 8pm after putting them in bed after 7.30pm. So pretty easy. Some days they will sleep at 9pm, sometimes 10pm. A couple of nights ago, Beatrice only settled at midnight! In our bed! But she clearly wasn’t feeling well. So I think this is life with kids: usually is ok once you get into a routine, but you will have a couple of hiccups on the way and these are the ones we tend to remember.

It’s worth mentioning that several nights (most of them) they will both show up in our bedroom – Laura usually taking Bea by her hand – in the middle of the night (after 2am). I usually take them both back to their bed and stay with them until the fall asleep. The last couple of nights I was so exhausted that I left them in our bed. It’s ok, I suppose, if it’s not the norm.

* I organised my bedroom and the kitchen and have been maintaining some order. Every night (90% of the time since the kitchen was tidied up) I wash the dished, dry them, put them away, clean the sink and the counter, put stuff in the cupboard. Not always I have the energy to put the rubbish out (too cold). I’m quite pleased with myself. Mind you: there is still a bit of a mess around and they are not “magazine worthy” rooms, but I’m more than ok with that for now.

* I’ve started a routine of putting cream every day: once on my body, after I have my shower (I’m not one of those who have showers in the morning; and I’m definitely not one of those who have two showers a day), before bedtime and twice on the face: mornings and evenings. My face has never been that pampered in its entire life in the UK. I haven’t bought any new or special product, I had a few that were sitting on the counter for ages and I’m just getting rid of them before I can actually look for specific ones. I’m not going to lie and say that I feel 5 years younger, yadda yadda, but my skin doesn’t feel like the autumn leaves anymore. I will admit: it’s such a boring routine, as boring as it gets; but a much needed one.

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I think these are the main achievements of January. I would have loved to have a longer list but I’m past this stage of trying to fit an elephant in a Beetle (the car; the metaphor makes sense in my head) and trying to accomplish too much. It only leads to frustration. So for February, I will try to carry on with the ones above and maybe add a couple of items to the list.

(to be continued)

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