Today's post, inspired by Fat Mum Slim's list of 50 things to blog about, is supposed to be a brain dump - what's on my mind right now.
But that seems a bit navel gazey and it reminds me of a course I went on back in the days when I was gainfully employed. Some of my fellow researchers and I went on a course called Performing with Presence (they still run them - you can find out more here) to help prepare us for giving presentations on our work. We needed this because even though we were professional researchers we were social scientists, and they just don't teach presentation skills to social scientists. Honestly, it amazed me when I saw the incredible professionalism of Chemistry students presentations - they're taught how to do them!
Performing with Presence was a great course. One of those where you feel it's a bit of a skive, but at the end you realise you've turned a big corner. Fun and learning too.
But the main thing for me, about Performing with Presence was that it came at a remarkable time in my life.
I was almost one month pregnant with my first child. I had not yet peed on a stick. I found it difficult to believe it might be true. Surely it would take longer than that? But it was at that point where you think it might be true, and maybe you should go and buy a stick to pee on. Where you're bursting to tell someone what you think might be true, but, you daren't in case you hex it or something.
On the day that my period was one day late, we had to do an exercise. We all sat around in a circle and one person stood in the middle for a whole minute, narrating what was going through their head. Everyone must have edited, although it was really nice to hear a senior researcher wondering if he could wait to the break before he went to the toilet.
When it came to my turn it was so strange. I did look up at the ceiling for the most part, rather than meeting anyone's eyes, and I remember talking about breathing, the annoying flapping noise coming from the ceiling, and the fact that I didn't have back-ache. I really didn't have back-ache. There was no way I could be getting a period imminently if I didn't have back ache. I met the eyes of my friend, Josie (who was to hold my sanity for me, during this pregnancy), and I think she knew what I knew then.
I still didn't pee on a stick. Not until I'd met my friends at the pub as arranged (and got told off by Josie for drinking). That night I drank my last drink (for ages) and smoked my last cigarette, and bought a stick to pee on.
I was so glad that Josie had been with me in that moment because it meant that later on, when it looked like something might be going wrong with the foetus, and yet I still hadn't told anyone other than my husband that I was pregnant, I could 'phone Josie and request an urgent meeting in the toilets, where she fetched toilet roll for me to wipe away the tears and snot, and helped me hold it all together.
Everything was fine, thank goodness, and now Josie's got gorgeous babies too. But I was really glad of that minute to just take stock of what was happening in my body.
As for now, what's on my mind? I've got tonsilitis, and my ears and sinuses are hurting too. Plus I can hear the alarm to tell me the dryer has finished. The living room is a tip and I really should tidy it up, but I don't really want to move. Blah blah blah.
What's on your mind right now?
You'll find my other posts inspired by Fat Mum Slim's 50 things to blog about here. Other posts you might like include: