And On Our 8th Christmas, We Got Engaged!

In the midst of this Covid era, it’s nice to have the people you love close to you and it’s important to have things to look forward to. For what has a whirlwind of a year, 2020 has been somewhat different for us. We have enjoyed every minute of the extra time spent together. Mine and Danny’s love for each other has grown stronger than ever in a way I never could have imagined. Every day he brings more light into my life. And to my surprise, this light was only just beginning to shine.

On Christmas Day this year, things were certainly very special. Danny always brings experiences into my life which are magical but this one was different on our 8th Christmas together.

We went downstairs to open our presents. It was a quiet Christmas morning until the moment where I screamed as I opened a new pair of Stitch pyjamas. We had breakfast together, then get showered and got dressed.

Danny shouted up to me to tell me he forgot, there was another present downstairs for me. He said it was on the Christmas tree so he finally got me to go downstairs and over to the tree. I wondered, “What am I looking for?” so I turned to Danny quickly not knowing what I’m supposed to do with this bauble! He told me to look at it again, closer. Then I seen it. My heart started to beat faster and I slowly turned around to look at Danny, down on one knee! Glistening right at me was the most beautiful engagement ring. Our song was playing in the background and the candles were lit.

I see other people post about engagements and imagine what the feeling must be like. Then I stopped to think, “Wait, it’s happening to me.” as our memories of friendship over the years, and falling in love came flooding in. I smiled and cried some more. The moment in time froze and felt it like the world was ours. From two kids in primary school, to smiling as we passed each other in the college corridors, to being lifted in the air over puddles in the rain, to lots of adventures, to THIS.

By this point, I couldn’t take my eyes off Danny. He said some heartfelt words for a few minutes and before I knew it, he asked the question, “Will you marry me?”

“YES! YESSS!” I said very emotionally. We kissed and hugged each other so tightly. I couldn’t believe my eyes and the whole feeling. I never thought my heart could be any fuller.

Holding hands with my engagement ring on

Danny spoke to me all about how this had been planned for a very long time. His original plan was to propose to me in New York but Covid got in the way of that. Regardless, it couldn’t have been any more amazing than it was. Just me and him, in our own home, together. The moment was an absolute dream and I keep having to remind myself that it’s all very real.

I really do believe that we feel a kind of love that’s only for us to share. I remember being 19 years old when Danny asked me if I would ever marry him one day. Apparently he has known since then. Ahhh! The most wonderful man in my life, my best friend, has asked me to marry him! I cannot wait for the rest of our lives together.

My engagement ring has been sent to the workshop to be resized and won’t return for a few weeks but that’s okay because we have a lifetime together. I couldn’t ask for a more kind-hearted, generous, and handsome man to have by my side for the rest of my life. Here’s to nothing but positivity for 2021 and all of our years to come.

back of the head shot of Tasha on her Mac

Daily Positive Wellness Check In

Positive wellness is good for the body and the mind. Do you practice any healthy habits? I often think that wellness is something we think is here for us ‘to survive’ but it’s so much more than that. Regardless of what’s going on in your life, instead of just living to go to work, coming home, getting the tea on etc. why not think about thriving for more, for happiness? For me, this starts when you see how precious the little moments in life are. I hope you will be able to take away one or two of these examples, that help me when I feel myself heading towards a slightly difficult or lower state of mind.

Going outside

If you follow me on Instagram, you will see like I like to go out and about, getting those steps in, and I do enjoy a good walk. Anyone who knows me, knows how I am willing to walk anywhere and everywhere. But there’s something about taking myself for a stroll that enlightens my mind. It is a breath of fresh air and nice to stretch your legs, but it’s also escapism. I don’t just been being cooped up in the house to COVID-19, it’s a way to reduce any worry and to focus on things clearer. Going for a walk helps me to focus.

Dancing in the kitchen when there’s no music

From the moment we became homeowners in February 2019, one of our favourite firsts was dancing in the kitchen with no music. Then we started to bring it through to the living room. It makes me feel so warm inside and moments like that really melt my heart. Sometimes, all you need is to be held and feel calm with your favourite person.

Choose something to be thankful for

Has today been one of many of those ‘worst days ever’? How many times have you told yourself it’s been a rubbish day? Stop for a moment and think about the things you are grateful for that day. Just one thing, make a note of it, or just keep it in your mind. It could be something as simple as that nice cup of tea you had this morning or that moment after work when you soak yourself into a hot bubbly bath.

Smiling and laughing

I was saying the other day, how would I cope if I didn’t laugh so much? Unfortunately, that is the case for some people. I am so lucky to have people around me who brighten the mood no matter what. Whenever I am not in that situation, I tell myself to now remove myself and find another ‘place’ as in taking myself away from a person, place, or time. Smile back at the old lady at the bus stop, the shopkeeper who serves you, smiles can mean much more than you think.

Find a good mechanism

If you have been a reader of this blog since day one, you will know that writing is my therapy. That why I am here on this blog. But I must admit, I have come a long way since I hit the publish button on my first post. It’s taken a good few years but I find myself feeling much more positive in situations and I also have a different perspective in those times when worrying and negative thoughts used to take over in the past. Listening to music also releases the energy that isn’t needed. I am a very active person that discovers there is something to tidy, clean, or clear away (even if others don’t see it). We all have something eh?

Remember to take part in things you enjoy. Some things you can’t pick and choose and things can happen that aren’t predictable. But it helps to have a positive mindset no matter what you are experiencing.

person looking at the mountain view

There Will be a Light at the End of the Tunnel

Here we go again… Boris has announced that England will enter a second national lockdown this November, which is expected to last a month. Many of us are referring to it as ‘Lockdown 2’. There’s something about this time round that doesn’t have me feeling as much emotion as last time.

I was one of those who experienced a birthday in lockdown and missed a long awaited trip to New York (I will return one day). But what you need to remember is that, although it may feel like ‘forever’, it isn’t. There are better times ahead at the end of all this. Coronavirus will not magically disappear but we can adapt to different ways on how we respond to changes, restrictions, and just as anything that the future holds, keep a forward-thinking mindset. 

What are you supposed to think now?

It’s normal to feel frustrated during these challenging times. Let’s face it, it’s like deja vu and almost feels like we are going backwards. There’s so much negativity in the news and different media outlets. You just want to hear something uplifting for once, right? I have decided to think about the things that make me happy, even if people can’t take that approach, it’s okay. 

I feel like my thoughts over the spring and summer took a toll and enough is enough, you know? I now realise how much time you can waste worrying. The truth is, you can’t always change things and you will experience unfortunate events.

My heart goes out to the families who have lost loved ones and friends, no matter how old or young. They are lives which have been taken. There are too many conditions and illnesses in the world as it is, why does there need to a place for something else? 

I think the whole COVID era has given me an insight to how people handle situations in different ways. We are all in this together and some people still need to realise that, and the much bigger picture.

Sadly, there are also people who are alone. I can’t bear to think about how all of this feels for them. I like to think I smile more at strangers in the street because you just never know if it’ll help how they are feeling. No one ever knows what someone is going through unless you really know. 

Looking forward and thinking about Christmas

I am still excited for Christmas even if it “won’t be the same.” Whether it’s for the fact that’s it’s a break, or it’s just me and the festive spirit. Either way, I honestly think it’s one of the nicest times of the year.

I was brought up to know how important it is to have family together at Christmas. Although I won’t be around all of my family members at the table, I am very lucky to have the one that I do need. I have Danny, who has been by my side many years now and we will be celebrating our 8th Christmas together this year. 

This COVID period has taught me a lot and has helped me gain a greater perspective of what means the most to me. I know how much I long for a family of my own and for the last few years, we have visioned that dream. So, this Christmas I will be thankful for everyone I have around me day-to-day, maybe not in person but who I know are truly there with or without COVID. I will not let the virus take the magic of Christmas away and I will continue to think about all the great festive seasons I’ve had with the most special people in my life. 

Now it’s down to you

From reading this post, I hope you manage to see things in a better light. There’s a ray of sunshine out there if you look a little further. Stay connected to those who you are close to. Even a small conversation matters, try not to lose touch. It’s so important to keep those relationships flowing.

holding hands for comfort

Speak Up About Your Health – Thyroid Awareness Week

It’s Thyroid Awareness Week. For something that’s a small butterfly shaped gland, the thyroid is so powerful, and can attack many different parts of the body if there’s an imbalance of hormone levels. Although I haven’t had an official diagnosis, I want to share my story as my symptoms and test results are leaning towards and under active thyroid (hypothyroidism). I also know a few people that have a thyroid condition, some under active and others over active (hyperthyroidism). I need to have one more test in a couple of months to be able to get a clear answer of what’s going on, whether it’s thyroid or something else.

Since 2011, my thyroid levels (mainly TSH) have up and down like a yo-yo. In the last 6 months, they have been higher than usual. Every time something has lowered or increased, I have been advised, “It’s okay, it’s borderline.” But how does that interpret what’s low/high for every individual? We are all different and have different medical history, some heavier for some than others.

Since 2009, I have experienced a number of medical issues, some in more recent months, including:

  • Migraines (I was subscribed to Propranolol 80mg for 8-9 years by the hospital)
  • High blood pressure (controlled by medication)
  • Slow transit constipation/IBS – and now rectal bleeding – I am currently waiting for a sigmoidoscopy appointment
  • Tingling like pins and needles all over my body, on a daily basis
  • Longer, heavier, and more painful periods (to the point where sometimes, I only have a week window until my next one in-between the period itself and extra bleeding in-between)
  • Low iron levels
  • Raised cholesterol – this could be caused by a gene my mum has called ‘Familial hypercholesterolaemia‘ (I’ll just stuck to calling it FH!)
  • Low vitamin D – no chance of a beach holiday just yet though eh!

    Thyroid UK have reported on their Instagram account this week that, a lack of Vitamin D can be associated with thyroid disease.

Overall, I feel completely drained, and tend to have a lot of foggy moments. It’s been incredibly challenging in the more recent months, leading to low thoughts and feeling like giving up on finding answers. The weight gain on top of bloating due to bowel issues, not that many people notice, has still took quite a toll on me. However, with an extra influence from my boyfriend, I decided it was time to make a change. I have joined a new GP practice and it’s been one of the best choices I’ve ever made. I am heading in the right direction now.

During the last 6 or so months, I have been experiencing more cervical bleeding in between periods and after sex. So, with that on top of the rectal bleeding, you can understand why I’m on iron medication. 

Although having the copper coil was good choice for me health wise (or so it seemed at the time as I can’t take other contraceptives), having it removed could be the next step. It wouldn’t scare me if anything happens as a result of this. I dream of having children, so I hope I get to experience this coming true in the near future once everything’s sorted. 

I am sharing this personal story in the hope that, if you ever develop symptoms, always push for answers. Your health is more important than anything – mentally and physically. Remember to look after yourself. I never used to speak up in the past but now I am glad to finally be getting somewhere. The answers might not be what you want to hear but it means you can get the help you need.