Frosty Receptions

Families can be so complicated, I am sure that it was always thus. Now we have more family than ever, even though the old fashioned extended family has gone by the wayside we now have a new fashioned extended family because we have our in-laws and we now have out-laws.

No, I don’t mean Billy the Kid or the Great Train Robbers, what I mean by out-laws is that we now have the assorted ex-in-laws.

We have our own ex-in-laws, if there are children involved and we are lucky we may have a reasonable relationship with them. Then we have not only our new partner’s family – the in-laws, we have the ex-in-laws and that relationship in whatever state it is. To top that we now also have our siblings’ ex-in-laws and possibly new in-laws as well. Phew, who has a big enough table for that family gathering?

With the best will in the world it is hard to maintain good relationships with all these new “relations”. Family responsibilities may become very confused and boundaries are ever more difficult to maintain – ah! There is the “wild west” motif sneaking in again – fence wars, boundary problems!

For many of us healthy boundaries within our immediate family may be quite enough to concentrate on, let’s face it – not many of us learned about healthy boundaries whilst growing up. By immediate family here I mean our partner and whatever children we may have between us, for some even this distinction is not clear.

I recently had a conversation with a sibling who assumed that by immediate family I meant my siblings, I was quite shocked and so was my sibling. You can imagine the conversation – sibling: but we are your family; me: yes, of course you are still my family, I now have a bigger family and more immediate family priorities with my partner and my partners children; sibling: where do we come in?; me: I actually left that unanswered and I’m still trying to figure it out, hopefully my sibling is also giving the matter some thought…

Family responsibilities are not clear and easy to deal with for many people and now with all the added family it has become even more difficult.

It may be the case that because of a particular skill you possess you may have taken on the role of doing certain jobs or having certain responsibilities within your first in-law family. When divorce or separation enters the picture that role may not be as clear as it was.

It may be that you wish to continue providing that skill to the now ex-family and there is resentment coming from others in that family, on the other hand perhaps you would prefer to keep very clear boundaries and withdraw from that level of family involvement and other family members resent you for doing that!

It’s even worse if there is simmering resentments or bitterness in the out-law family, not necessarily from your ex, sometimes these resentments come from your ex’s siblings and that can be very difficult to deal with. These feeling can sift downward in the generations, perhaps becoming exaggerated as they do and then affect the children no matter what age they are.

Even trying to write that is confusing, never mind actually trying to live it. Think I will put the kettle on and have a nice cup of tea.

I hope your day is not filled with confusion…

the new book that I am reading

This post was prompted by Suzan over at Scrub Oak, who posted about some books she is reading at the moment. I thought I would post about the book I am currently reading.

The book is called Food Is Better Medicine Than Drugs, by Patrick Holford and Jerome Burne.
I think it would be a very informational read for anyone in healthcare or a caring situation. It may help you understand the drugs being prescribed for yourself or for someone you care about

I am still working through the book and will probably do a book review of sorts when finished. It is fascinating stuff although I have to admit that the beginning of the book, which concentrates in the pharmaceutical industry had me fairly angry, huge parallels to the energy industry and the oil/nuke boys wanting to control the entire market and have us all entirely reliant on them – oops – think that’s another post?

The book goes into quite a bit of detail about “blockbuster” drugs such as statins, high blood pressure pills, pain-killers and anti-inflammatories, anti-depressants etc. I found it fairly shocking really that so many of these drugs do so much harm, for example in Britain more people die from prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) than from some cancers.

I have become aware that I don’t know what sort of drug regularity structures we have in this country, do we rely on US FDA recommendations? I must try to educate myself more. The FDA and the British body MHRA are scarily inept and often the people in charge have links to the Pharmaceutical industry, until recently it was not illegal in Britain for MHRA decision makers to be on the payroll of pharmaceutical companies – hard to believe!

The majority of these “daily” drugs are designed to deal with symptoms, not causes. If we never deal with the cause of the “unwellness” then we will always need these drugs to maintain the status quo.

Not only are some of these drugs designed to be a part of our daily lives, some of them actually produce a need for more drugs! Some NSAIDs (including aspirin) are so hard on the stomach lining that they require the use of another drug to protect the stomach and at worst sometimes cause gastro-intestinal bleeding.

I bought the book to educate myself about arthritis aches and what nutritional advice I could follow to protect myself from these aches without resorting to prescription drugs. Anyway, so far I have discovered that the usual healthy food advice applies in reducing the aches and pains.

Supplements such as chondroitin, glucosomine, msm, omega 3, epa and dha (healthy fats) are all advised for daily consumption to ease inflammation and should be just as useful as taking a daily NSAID.  Naturally daily exercise is also important.
That’s what I gleaned so far, I had skipped ahead and had a quick look at the relevant chapter after I bought the book so that I could do some supplement shopping too before heading home and now I am reading from the beginning.
I am hoping that about six weeks from now I will know if the new regime of supplements and taking nuts, seeds and hemp oil will help ease the aches I have started to feel over the last two months.
I am guessing that doing all those healthy things would help delay the onset of the aches for some people. Obviously these are just my opinions and should not be taken as advice to anyone.

Happy New Year

Blian Núa Shona Dhuit – Happy New Year to you and those you love. My global wish (hey, why not be ambitious?) is that we all learn to prioritise the truly important things in life and concentrate less on the superficial and commercial.

I had a lovely break over the Christmas, didn’t even check my email for nine days straight!!!

I hope that you all, my two lovely readers 😉  had a beautiful Christmas, as I did, spent some time with loved ones in my family, had lots of great food, some great walks, some great sitting and watching classic b+w films and some great chats.

As for New Year’s Eve – I have to admit that I have never been really interested in all the fuss that accompanies it, even in my younger and wilder partying days I was never into the N.Y.Eve parties, the resolutions that everyone assumed would not last past February, singing and hugging complete strangers etc. Somehow it all seemed a little exaggerated, superficial and unreal.

When I was younger I was not quite sure why I felt like this, it’s not as though I didn’t enjoy partying as much as the next young wild one and I wouldn’t have known a grounded, living-in-the-moment person if I bumped into one, which wasn’t likely actually in the places I hung out! It makes more sense now that my life has changed quite a bit and I have stopped floating through life in a smoky and busy haze, taken the time to challenge some of what I was running away from, dealt with some of the baggage that I was dragging around.

The concept of living in the moment was a difficult one for me to grasp, obviously I knew what it meant intellectually but it was a while before my heart caught up. No surprise there, my head was nearly always in the way. I still struggle with that  but now when I speak of getting out of my head it’s a very different out of my head experience than that of the eighties! Now it’s about taking the time to listen to my heart, taking time out of the rush and hustle of life to slow down and really listen to what it is that I need, what it is that I feel.

For me this is not as easy as it sounds, I really have to remind myself to do it and sometimes I have hearing problems – it can take quite some time before I can clearly hear myself. I suppose that this is sustainable living for me – in order to live a real and healthy life and to have healthy relationships I need to do this, I need to take time out to listen to what is really going on for me.

For me the Winter Solstice was a special time, a time for reflection, to acknowledge the year gone past and a new beginning, the days becoming longer, the sun coming back to us, growth starting slowly under the protection of the soil, promise and optimism.

I hope that this new year brings with it many wondrous and joyful experiences for us all…