Advent Reflections for Single Parents & Other Rare Species 11

December 11th

Lifeline Lessons from Lockdown

Lifeline lessons from Lockdown: The image of a lifesaving ring floating on the flooded river Ouse today reminded me of my survival tactics from lockdown.

Each day I would try and get out for a walk, and ideally with a friend, so that I could maintain some form of human contact at a time when most of our support systems (and crutches) were unavailable to us. This was quite a challenge in the Christmas lockdown, as wet weather and darkness often made that intention quite challenging.

Today, a watery winter sun appeared after a weekend of wild storms, lashing rain and thrashing wind – the calm after the storm. My usual riverside walk was 6’ under water, so my walk took me to our nearby allotments and a time of noticing small details. And a cosy coffee and conversation with a good friend added to my sense of well-being and feeling of connection.

In this lead up to Christmas, when many people are becoming more and more frantic in the completion of tasks, take time to get out into nature when you can, notice small details, and connect with your support systems.

To connect with me, look here:

and please share this post with anyone you know who is struggling at this time. 


Advent Reflections for Single Parents & Other Rare Species

December 1st

I have been a single mother for more years than I care to think about, so I am well accustomed to the feeling of dread which arises at the advent of the ‘festive’ season when people start asking me what I am doing for Christmas. Moreover, this year will be the first where I don’t see my daughter – she graduated last year and is off travelling the world.

A few weeks ago I went to visit my nephew and family at their new house, and I found this fun snowman advent calendar for his young daughters.

In the few days that he sat smiling at me before my trip, I rather fell in love with his cheerful face, and so when I discovered a fellow snowman on my next trip to the shop, I bought one for myself.

I was communing with him the other morning, and had an idea. This year I am going to make Advent a positive time. I am going to write a daily blog with something inspirational – mostly things I’ve collected from other people (thank you @Robyn Gordon). Occasionally I might add something personal, or one of my photos, and maybe even a meditation or two. 

I don’t want to put pressure on myself. But I do want you to know that if you find this time of year difficult, sad, lonely, don’t suffer alone, and there are ways to change your mind and perhaps allow yourself some joy.

Loss can feel more acute at this time of year, financial hardship more difficult. But research shows that we can find as much happiness in small, daily interactions, as with what people would term ‘real relationships. So this Advent, I encourage you to make as much as possible of what daily interactions you might have with others – and also to go out and make some! And if you have none, feel free to write to me on here, and I will do my best to respond.

Please feel free to share this with anyone who you think might be struggling at this time of year.