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Whole Lotta Rosie

Well hello! How are you all doing? I hope everyone is feeling good and I really mean that. As I'm writing this, my specs are literally jumping off my head - are they just too small or is my head way too big???

Thought-Knots illustration by Mary Carroll

It's National Mental Health Week - I don't think there was such a thing when I was growing up. It certainly wasn't talked about - why I felt really sad for no reason, why I worried off the scale about things that were either so far out or out of my control; why I was ostracised at school; why I felt so insecure; why I felt guilty; why I thought so deeply about everything, why my weight was an issue for other people. Today I am a mostly confident 50 year old woman. I mostly like how I look; I mostly like who I am; I'm really lucky to have a good life....but anxieties remain with me constantly.... deep insecurities, feelings of not feeling good enough, emotional wall building and, of course, that bloody weight - these are only small parts of a mind which, without help, turns into a tangled mess of thought knots which can't be undone. It's part of who I am, for good or bad and so I, like many others - more than you could ever imagine - just deal with it on a daily, hourly, momentary basis, any way I can. Know you're not alone, know that there's nothing wrong with being a worrier (or a warrior!); being sensitive or a little selfish allowing you to BE KIND TO YOURSELF!

Now for something that happened to me which made me really HAPPY #happymary. I was in the supermarket last week (one of my least favourite places) when I noticed a young woman with dreadlocks and colours painted on her face. We ended up in the same aisle and one of us had to give way to let the other pass so we exchanged the usual - you go first, no you go first etc but as she was moving away she stopped and turned to me and told me she thought I looked beautiful, that she loved what I was wearing from my dress to my sandals and that she'd noticed me earlier. Both me and my eldest are advocates of telling someone if we like how they're looking...if they have nice nails or nice earrings, blah, blah, blah. It takes people by surprise sometimes. It was so lovely when someone said this to me completely out of the blue - I felt absolutely wonderful. Kind words make such a difference and cost absolutely zilch!

My garden is doing well and so it should, considering the amount of rain we've had in the past couple of weeks and finally, my nasturtiums are through! Yes! I would've liked to have had more but I shouldn't complain. Only my herbs to show their teeny tiny faces now.

I've been finishing off a lot of art pieces this week....just wee things to do before I put my initials at the bottom. I also did a bit more to the self portrait I told you about a few weeks back. It's in oil - I have no space! Red paint ends up on the floor, unnoticed by me, slicks its way to the sole of my shoe and gets a lift from there to the rug and the floor. The floor is easily cleaned - the rug not quite so. There is a stain but, like my mother used to say, if anyone can see that, they're looking too close! Anyway, in light of my hard work and on the mental health theme, I've decided to share it with you tonight. It's still not completely finished and my broken phone camera leaves what looks like a lump on my neck. I find it scary. I don't know what you'll think of it. I just want to know what the hell I'm actually going to do with it!!!

Work in progress - self portrait in oil by Mary Carroll
Scary Mary

And finally, the click bait that is 'Whole Lotta Rosie' is sadly nothing to do with AC/DC but rather a gorgeous little cat by the name of Rosie who has taken a shine to me after months of hardly coming near me. I visit her and her beautiful sister Hazel regularly but Rosie has suddenly started climbing up on the chair behind me and nuzzling right into my hair. She loves it. I love her (and her sister). I'm not a huge fan of AC/DC but I did see them in concert. I was the only person, in a stadium of thousands, dressed in white. Believe me - I checked!!! But hell, why follow the crowd!

I hope you don't follow the crowd either or do stuff for the sake of what others might think. Enjoy the tiny little blessings that life flutters down upon us every day because they are truly there. Take pleasure in them and don't sweat the small stuff xx

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