Moodscope's blog

6

January


A different Perspective. Wednesday January 6, 2016

Christmas Eve and the carol service.

"Psst" says a voice beside me – at shoulder level. "Mummy, can you please not sing too loudly?"

This is an ongoing battle with my children. I love to sing. They find it excruciatingly embarrassing when I sing out, as apparently anything above a quiet mumble is socially unacceptable.

"It's Christmas," I said resolutely. "I am going to sing my heart out."

And so I did.

At the end of the carol service, just as I was about to join the queue for mince pies and mulled wine, my husband took me to one side.

"I need to get our little one home," he said. "She's not feeling well and she has a headache."

"... a headache from your singing!" said a grumpy voice pointedly. "And I don't want you coming home with us because I don't want people to know the loud and embarrassing woman singing is my mother!"

"Oh." (Guiltily.)

Just then I was tapped on the shoulder by the female half of the couple who had been seated next to us during the service.

"May I just say what a beautiful singing voice you have?" she said. "You absolutely made this carol service for us. It was such a pleasure to hear you. Do you sing professionally?"

Well, no, I don't. And my voice is nothing much really. It is my sister who sings with the Cathedral singers in her local Cathedral Town. It is she who has trained, who has sung in semi-professional operas. My voice is as nothing to hers. I mumbled something incoherent and fled in embarrassment.

Very few of us see ourselves as others do.

I have a dear physicist friend who is extremely accomplished academically. He seems to collect degrees in the same way other people collect china elephants or garden gnomes. He speaks four languages (at least) and is in demand across the world. He is equally at home in the fields of science and the arts, and he has achieved all this with a severe disability. Yet he does not rate his strengths as anything special and sees instead, all too clearly, his weaknesses and fallibilities.

Even my uncle, renowned in his own academic field – some would say the best in the world – says that he does not consider himself that intelligent. "I was just lucky," he says. "I was in the right place at the right time."

We see only our own dark side and, especially if we are sensitive and prone to depression, are less able to appreciate our own strengths. It is rare that we will garner appreciation from our near family either. They too are easily mired in our darkness.

So the next time someone praises you or expresses admiration for you, just take a moment to consider before you brush it off and dismiss their compliments. You never know, they might just be right.

Mary
A Moodscope member.


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Comments

Les Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 12:34am

Hi Mary - lovely human post. It reminds me of a consultant we employed when at the council, who openly congratulated me on what I was seeking to achieve and I said it is just my job in the usual shoulder shrug way. // She took me aside and said that a compliment is like a gift. If you refuse it, they stop coming. She advised that if I was uncomfortable with praise - as with a gift, I should simply say 'thank you' and accept it. It has stuck with me for about 30 years now.

Mary Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 8:55am

Thank you Les. Your colleague was right; a compliment is a gift. Thank you for sharing that thought. Looking forward to more of your blogs too. They are always full of light.

patricia Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 6:37am

Hi Mary. what a beautiful gift you have to be able to sing, do continue to use it I'm so glad the lady stopped and spoke to you, remember our children are easily embarrassed by anything we do, one day she will say Mummy you have a beautiful voice.
My brother is very clever, able to do anything he puts his mind to, he has the gift of being an artist as well. On a lighter note I said to him the other day when god gave out all skills etc I was in the loo, there was only depression left.
My singing voice sounds ok to me, not to anyone else, so I've always been good at miming when others are singing, well must have been to have found myself in the school choir!!

Mary Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 8:56am

Hmmm - I have had some of my most profound Spiritual revelations while in the loo - so I don't think that you get an out for that! I hope you soon discover what you r gifts are -= because you will have many - even if they are not obvious to you.

Soulmansblue Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 11:30pm

Hi Patricia, What you sound like doesn't matter, it's what 'YOU' get out of singing! In the bath, in the shower out in the country let it out, don't hold in because others think that you sound bad. Even if you think you do yourself, let it out! God gave us a voice for a reason and the ability to sing in or out of tune. So if you get enjoyment belt it out!

LillyPet Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 7:28am

Morning Mary,
Yes our children are easily embarassed by us! I was not allowed to sing along to music in the car and especially not bounce along or car dance! If we were within a couple of minutes drive from the school, I had to practically freeze even if my/our favourite songs came on the radio! I would always tease a little and pretend to start :)
Mum using any kind of modern "lingo" is an absolute no-no as well, very high on the cringe factor! So I do that for fun too! As my two got older they saw the humour in it, but there is always a line not to be crossed! :)
If I'm given a compliment, I'm aware and do accept it with thanks but often follow up by playing it down in some way, which I now try to resist. Having said that I don't think that I've had many compliments from people recently (apart from the guy that I've been dating which is lovely!).
It's a true gift to be able to sing Mary ( my voice simply cuts out at any high notes!) so continue to enjoy! Is there anywhere locally that you could persue it perhaps, away from cringing offspring? :)
Thanks for an inspiring blog Mary! It's lovely to start the day thinking about what is good about ourselves. Love, light and a cheeky little song and dance to all! :)) LP xx

danielle Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 7:55am

LP I find it hard to believe you have received no compliments when on here you are always so encouraging to us and cheery, our shining light! I love your stories about your children getting embarrassed. When I was small my mother used to take great pleasure in dancing and singing through the supermarket! the more i moaned the more she did it so i learned to laugh instead! she is always singing and like you Mary has a great voice, it was something I missed terribly when leaving home, suddenly the world felt very quiet xxx

Mary Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 8:57am

Thank you for those replies. You inspire me to keep on singing!

danielle Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 7:58am

Mary, do not stop singing! I am an awful singer but I do find it is a good indication of how I am feeling - when a good song comes on I know if i feel the need to sing along then I am in a good place. More often than not it makes me feel so much better too. As mentioned above to LP my mother sings all the time around the house and it was one of the things I missed so much when leaving home - everywhere was so quiet. Until the singing was gone I never really appreciated it. Your children will love it one day and it makes you happy which in turn makes them happy. celebrate the talent you have :) xxx

Soulmansblue Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 8:03am

Hi Mary,

You reminded me of times in my past when I used to sing [way out of tune] and loved too, but my father who was a professional singer couldn't bare to hear me sing out of tune. So in the end I stopped singing around him.

It wasn't my fault I couldn't sing, I was I found out in later years stone deaf to the sound of my own voice. I could hear exactly how anyone else sound and if they were in or out of tune or failed to hit a note.

My ears I'm told were damaged it's thought somehow because of a delayed birth. Whether or not I would have been any better is open to debate, but on occasion I actually sound good so I have been told. Funny I wasn't trying, just messing around with my best friend.

It's sad really because I would have loved to have been a singer entertaining up on stage. I could entertain people when I did kareoke and performed my Elvis routine. I got screams, applause and people enjoyed watching.

I think they forgot the voice and enjoyed the performance. All the other people who were there to show off their voices stood still. Even if I couldn't sing at least I entertained. I wasn't Elvis in anyway, though he was my hero as he got me through the start of my life without my Dad who walked out on me when I was 10 some 44 years ago.

Elvis though sadly gone is still with me and I listen to him everyday. This past year I have started again to sing along with him. He is still my hero as God is my Lord.

So Mary after all my rambling on take a tip from me, go for walks out in an open space and sing your heart out. Where I live we have a small forest [if you can call it that] it's my favourite place to sing. Go out somewhere you love and let yourself go. Enjoy yourself!

If no one else wants to hear doesn't mean you have to stop. You only live once so make once enough!

Go for it... x

Mary Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 8:58am

Thank you . What a great idea - singing outdoors! The robins and I can do vocal battle... or duets.

Soulmansblue Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 11:33pm

Hey Mary, You're right, I never thought of singing a duet with the birds. I'm just scared that I would frighten them away! Now go out and find your space outdoors and belt it out! I'll keep an ear out and if I hear you I'll join in. Best Wishes x

Michael Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 8:03am

i found this an especially helpful post, thank you very much.

Mary Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 8:58am

Glad to be of help. You are most welcome.

Hopeful One Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 8:12am

Hi Mary- a timely blog reminding me not to 'discount the positive' in this case compliments..

I used to take my wife to the local Alzeimers group meeting where we sang for fun . My wife would always respond in some way like clapping and humming despite her worsening condition.It will be two years since she went into a nursing home but I continued to attend the sessions as I had made so many friends there. One day I plucked up courage and went to the lady professional singer , who leads the group , and asked if she could teach me how to sing.She assessed me, declared that I was not tone deaf. She started training me and says I will be ready to join the local choir this year if I like!

Here is your laugh to get the chuckle muscles going.

An elderly gent was invited to his old friends' home for dinner one evening. He was impressed by the way his friend addressed his wife with endearing terms-calling her Honey, My Love, Darling, Sweetheart, Pumpkin, etc. The couple had been married almost 70 years, and they appeared still very much in love. While the wife was off in the kitchen, the man leaned over and said to his friend, "I think it's wonderful that, after all the years you've been married, you still call your wife those loving pet names." His friend looked at him and said "I have to tell you the truth, he said. "I forgot her name about ten years ago." (Originally submitted by Maria M.)

Mary Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 8:59am

Wow! HO. So pleased you are to join the choir. Being part of a choir is the most satisfying thing.

Soulmansblue Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 8:32am

Hi All,

I've been speaking to Caroline and she has suggested that I ask you all foe possible help and advice. So I'm going to ask and pray one of you might be able to help in some way:

I suffer from depression, I am bipolar and type II. It's been 44 years since it started and has got progressively worse during that time with me attempting suicide multiple times.

I'm told that it is due to the depression that I now suffer from Lymphedema and Fibromyalgia. It took doctors over 18 months to diagnose the symptoms.

During that time on occasion one doctor told me three times in one consultation that all the pain was in my head. All tests were coming back negative, all they could see was that I was putting on weight and fast.

Well having come to terms with the final diagnosis I've tried to get on with my life. That is up until now!

More pain, now even when I sleep. I woke-up at first with pain around and in my ears [the part that sticks out] and then within an hour or two of getting up would go. This has continued with the pain getting worse and staying longer.

Doctors and specialists have told me that there is nothing wrong. Solution, painkillers, great more tablets. I have found that the pain is caused by pressure on the ear. I happened to put my headphones on when I was working on a piece of music and they started to hurt in exactly the same way.

The pain has now started to spread, down the side of my face and my arms, all pressure points. Now I am in pain for almost 24/7 and I can't take it anymore!

I didn't want to start another year, in fact I don't want to face another day. My mood is very low and no one here is listening to me. I'm asking for help but they don't think I'm as bad as I am saying!

Their reasoning is that I am looking better on the outside than I have in years, so I can't be as bad as I was!

Yes, during the last 2 years my appearance has improved, but it doesn't mean that I cannot get worse again because I have kept it up. They don't understand!

From their conclusion I can only believe that if a person smartly dressed jumps off a building, it's not suicide!!!

I don't know what to do, how to move forward anymore. I'm tired, I'm weary and in pain. If it's not my head it's my body and then on top it can be both!

I am finding it increasingly hard to do the things I like and use to distract myself from bad thoughts and the pain. Has anyone any suggestions or been or is going through anything similar?

Mary Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 9:02am

Soulmansblue my dear - thank you so much for sharing your pain. We are deeply priviledged. I know many of my fellow Moodscopers will be here for you. I will consult my son Tom (I blog about him often) He suffers from Fibromyalgia and depression and may have some helpful suggestions. In the meantime of course I will be thinking of you. Have a gentle hug.

Leah Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 9:23am

Soulman, Welcome to Moodscope. I am sorry you are in so much pain. Have you tried any courses about coping with chronic pain? I have friends who have tried a course and have got come relief. Have you tried joining a support group for people going through what you are? You are most welcome here to tell us about how you are going. You write well. Do you find writing helpful to express your feelings. My thoughts are with you.

susan Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 9:53am

Hi Soulmansblue...please see below. I replied to you in the wrong spot on the page!

Hopeful One Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 10:40am

Hi Soulmanblue- I am truely sorry to hear your tale of this unbearable pain from this condition.. I regret to say I know I know little about it but I can see that even if I am not able to relieve your suffering there are others on this site who are making very constructive treatment suggestions and options worth looking into. There are two or three things I would like to say to you. The first is no matter how bad you feel and how chronic the pain is do not lose hope . Never never never never lose hope. I too was once in a bad place like you but I never ever gave up hope that things would get better , they would improve. Believe me slowly and surely they did . I put that entirely to my hopeful attitude. Despite your problems it is clear you are a trooper and that is a great plus for you. So take each day as it comes doing whatever you can to relieve your pain. And above all keep talking to us as you will find we are all on your side. Meanwhile a cyber hug is singing its way to you and don't stop your singing even if only in the shower and to yourself!

danielle Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 2:10pm

Soulmanblue - I am so sorry to hear of this, it is certainly far from ideal. I do echo Hopeful One's comments - we are all here and we can help you through - stay strong and we can do it together. Just a thought, and could be a long shot! Do you have any access to animals? A friend of mine suffers with chronic pain (long story but has had several leg amputations since she was a child because of bone cancer, now giving her chronic pain and back problems due to unbalance etc, slipped disks, crushing her spinal cord) and the only relief she gets is when riding her horse. I too have a horse and this gives me immense relief from mental pain. I understand animals are not everyones cup of tea so apologies if you are not an animal person, but if you are and could get somewhere to spend time with some, walking a dog, riding a horse, anything - then I think it might be worth a try xxx

danielle Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 2:12pm

another thought based on the above, if it sounds like something you would like there are a lot of riding for the disabled centres around the country, I am not sure what criteria you have to fit to attend one but i would have thought chronic pain might be one, worth a look into xx

Hitchhiker Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 6:51pm

Soulman, sorry you are so blue! You've done a wonderful thing tho by reaching out. You are safe here, in pain or not. These moodscope folks are a wise, kind lot indeed. I hope you will find other places to feel safe as well - I loved your idea above of singing in the forest! Maybe invite someone to join you there! Or join Mary and the birds in song. Hope a song is back in your heart soon. Be kind to yourself & hang in.

Frankie Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 7:14pm

Evening Soulmansblue; Thank-you for sharing so openly with us and I do hope that we can come up with something. I was diagnosed with a chronic fatigue condition in 2011 which meant constant aches and very limited energy. I don't think I ever had it as bad as you describe but here is what I did (in no particular order) in the hope that something will help. 1. I persevered with my yoga, gentle stretching and meditation - opting out during the class as and when necessary. 2. I was referred to physiotherapy and followed all advice given - even when I doubted that it would work and when it was the last thing I wanted to do. 3. I found Louise Hay's books really helpful (though challenging) - You can heal your body in particular - and used several affirmations. 4. The hardest part in all of it was the idea of acceptance ... still struggle with that one - accepting myself as I am rather than as I want to be ... 5. My consultant advised me to take a mild sedative and to make sure that I had a good sleep routine - and warned me that it would take weeks, if not months, for my body to respond ... I really hope that you find a way through, and do stay in touch ... Frankie

Soulmansblue Thu, Jan 7th 2016 @ 12:39am

Hi All, I really don't know what to say, I'm almost speechless having seen and read all the positive response that I have received. And to say I was rather nervous about writing about it in the Blog. It took two suggestions from Caroline before I decided too! Sorry but I would like to reply to each letter but apart from the fact that I'd never finish I don't have the energy to do it. Like Frankie my condition also causes much fatigue so I sympathise with and understand what Frankie must be going through. Sometimes when I get up I put myself back to bed 5- 10 minutes later because I'm exhausted. All I've done is push the hover around, I mean there is nothing to it! Frankie thank you for all your suggestions. I have been attending a small Yoga class and I am fortunate that those who can don't laugh at me each time that I fall down. With everything my balance is not hmm, quite what it used to be! I have purchased quite a few books on Fibromyalgia which also include both diet and exercise suggestions. It is really difficult as when the pains allow I can walk for miles and not think about it. When the pain comes it's a case of how much can I stand to put myself through. The biggest problem with both Fibromyalgia and Lymphedema is that presently not is understood about them and they are both currently incurable. Though thankfully they are not life threatening they will be with me for life. Hey Hitchhiker I've just told Mary if I hear her singing I'll join in, great minds think alike! Hi Danielle, Good tip for anyone who is sick if of cause as you said you happen to love animals. Which thankfully I do! Sadly I no longer have my four boxers, but that's another story.Animals give so much to us, they understand and are very patient with us. They seem to know when we are sick and stay ever close. It was difficult with four boxers all wanting to sit on my lap and kiss [lick] me better. Animals help you to relax and it helps and they are constant companions never asking or wanting any more than your love in return. Hey there Susan thanks for the re-directions. Thanks for your input. I have tried the donuts, didn't taste to good. Then in my case at that time I realised that I was meant to sit on it - HEY!!!! [Fonz style] The pain hasn't radiated down my body but is caused in exactly the same way as the ear pain, pressure from lying on my side. It's just like with my headphones which also caused pain to both my ears when I tried to wear them, it's the pressure. I will look into the ear donuts, thanks. With you talking about medicine it reminded me about a course of tablets that are available in the USA and the insurance companies there will pay for the course but they are not ratified and available outside of the USA. Here in Guernsey they will not consider any drug considered to still be in trials. Yet this medication appears to be working wonders for those who are/have been taking them. It has been known or said to have cured those with my condition [Fibromyalgia] so there is hope somewhere out there. Hi Leah, I have yet to join the Fibromyalgia Group here, it meets but once a month. With also suffering from depression I have found it hard to do so. I am now also faced with the issue of what is causing my depression is it the normal issues or is it being caused by the Fibromyalgia which also exhibits depression amongst it's many similar symptoms. Mary please I beg you - sing a little louder I can't hear you. hear you, hearrr yyyooou! I would be grateful for any help your son Tom can give. How long has he been suffering from Fibromyalgia? I have been suffering now for just over 2 years and at times it is unbearable and others it almost disappears. The of cause the fatigue kicks in and lays you to waste. I feel for him, it's not a great feeling and the depression only adds to it and as depression is also part of the many symptoms of Fibromyalgia it only serves to make matters worse. I hope that I've not left anyone out! Ha, ha, I bet Hopeful One you thought I'd left you out! Never in a month of Sundays with a name like that. It matters not that you know little about it, it's the feedback and the care that you show along with the support. I feel very thankful to you all for having received such a positive response to my letter. I will remember you all in my prayers tonight... ah this morning! If I can help anyone don't hesitate to ask. Even if I don't know the answers I am a really good listener and confidant. Thanks for all the hugs and kisses. I feel a little squashed [grin] God Bless You All... Soulmansblue

danielle Thu, Jan 7th 2016 @ 9:12am

I am glad to read your post this morning, it seems we lifted your spirits, even if just a little. Things are always easier with support, and we are all here for you (that goes out to all moodscopers!) we can get through it together. I am eternally grateful to those of you whose posts i have read daily to provide a light relief and those of you who have responded directly to my worries and troubles, and those of you who make me laugh (hopeful one!) and the rest of you for being there. This is such a wonderful resource and there have been days when I have dreaded waking up, this dread has been lessened by knowing there is a moodscope blog waiting to be read :) xxxx

Soulmansblue Thu, Jan 7th 2016 @ 10:41pm

Hi Danielle, Thanks, yes I feel a little better today. I have been helping a new friend sort her problems out and to stand up for herself more. helping others does have the effect of lifting me. Just the way as the response that I got from all the Moodscopers yesterday. I have been doing the graph almost everyday since January of last year. Hey it's my 1st Anniversary already! My highest score was 55% and my lowest was 4% towards the end of the year. i was scraping along at 8 - 16 % during the last months and ended the year on 9% and started this year still on 9%. I didn't want to start this year, it was a close call but I'm still here. I'm at 20% today which is double yesterday's score. take Care - Speak soon.

Leah Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 9:32am

Mary thanks for your interesting blog.

I can relate to one's children complaining about one's voice but

unlike you I have never ever had a stranger , friend, anyone living or now dead tell me what a great voice I have.!!

unlike you I really do have a terrible voice .
In kindergarten I was made to sit outside for music lessons as not only did I have worst voice in class I had the loudest!!!
I also confused a poor professor who until hearing me sing had a whole theory debunking the concept of being tone deaf.After hearing me sing he had to rewrite his whole thesis!!!(Sad but true)

I have accepted I should never sing in public. I do however sing when alone.

susan Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 9:48am

Hi Soulmansblue, it is a terrible thing living with chronic pain. It alone can cause deep depression. I had 5 years of constant pain and, in the end, was saved by a bodyworker (myofacial release, in my case). Have you considered or tried massage or any other complementary therapies like acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractics, etc? In my experience, it was the people outside the conventional medicine milieu who helped (your problem is NOT all in your head!!!!). It can take a while to find the right therapy...and it costs money which may be a problem. Many people work with conventional doctors and complementary professionals simultaneously, and find the right balance. Please believe that there is someone out there who can and will help you, and start searching, putting out feelers, asking around. There may be someone right on your doorstep. By the way...with regard to the ear pain. It is excruciatingly painful, for sure. Did you know there are ear cushions to sleep on to help avoid this? Some of them are like donuts, with holes (lots of info on internet). Perhaps tending to the ear area now would reverse some of the pain that has radiated down your neck. Hang in there, Soulman. Keep us in the loop. xx

susan Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 9:52am

Thanks Mary. Yes, receive compliments graciously. I find it hard and used to down play what people were saying. But now i just quickly say 'thank you' and change the subject. Btw, your daughter sounds like a real character:). xx

Angela Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 9:52am

Thank you Mary for making me smile, embarrassing my children is quite funny now they're in their 20's!
Dear Soulsmanblue; I hope and pray that you will find something to alleviate your physical and mental pain. Thinking of you x

The Gardener Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 3:34pm

Embarrassment with our lot is a two-way thing. School open days the most fraught - particularly in my choice of hats. Third son very concerned with amour-propre. At his prep school we were graciously permitted to pass through the headmasters garden (he was a very upstanding colonel). Son ' do you have to bring HER' (youngest sister, a little beauty, adopted half Indian). We said yes, at three she could not stay home. In her prettiest dress, much admired, she contrived to fall in the goldfish pond. Disowned by her brother, of course. Mr G loves singing, and would do it loudly and with great enthusiasm if allowed. He has absolutely no musical ear - resulting row awful - insists he's singing same as everybody else. Singing is a great joy - most therapeutic - notable done in tight corners. Second son, coming down a high mountain ridge after a big of geological vandalism suddenly discovered he was scared of heights, and sang all the way down. I complain bitterly at our church - and point to the liturgy - music and singing should be suited to the congregation (therefore high anthems not in a country village) and that the music should GLORIFY the lord. It's awful - Catholics don't have anything like A & M - those who choose are usually near colatura sopranas, and the rest of us just mime. Not enough congregation to make a noise - no choir. We need the Salvation Army or a Gospel choir, that'd wake them up.

Mary Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 4:17pm

Oh TG, I am loving your story of your three year old falling into the goldfish bowl! And Mr TG singing "just the same as everybody else!" Your stories bring so much light to this page. I enjoy them so much, even when I know that you are going through such a tough time yourself. And yes - we all need to sing. Those wonderful Welsh hymns - "Guide me oh thou great Jehovah", and Oh For A Thousand Tongues to Sing".... Even some of the rather maligned "choruses" can be good if sung with fervour. But fervour and numbers are needed, I quite agree.

Brum Mum Thu, Jan 7th 2016 @ 10:35pm

Thank you for sharing how people especially loved ones can make us feel awful.....but that sometimes it hides the real glory....such as your wonderful singing. My daughter was in a vile mood yesterday am, partly due to the second day of school after Christmas but I gritted my teeth and half way through the walk she mellowed and started telling me horror stories, which is apparently the theme for their learning journey for this half term. As for those two hymns you mention they are so much part of my cultural heritage as I was brought up as a Methodist and wonderful when song by a well-sized cheerful congregation...

Brum Mum Thu, Jan 7th 2016 @ 10:35pm

Thank you for sharing how people especially loved ones can make us feel awful.....but that sometimes it hides the real glory....such as your wonderful singing. My daughter was in a vile mood yesterday am, partly due to the second day of school after Christmas but I gritted my teeth and half way through the walk she mellowed and started telling me horror stories, which is apparently the theme for their learning journey for this half term. As for those two hymns you mention they are so much part of my cultural heritage as I was brought up as a Methodist and wonderful when song by a well-sized cheerful congregation...

The Gardener Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 5:20pm

Thanks Mary - I'd left the reply in mid-flow due to a 'beseigement' of visitors. All our children fell in the water. 2nd, aged 2, was watching one of our students rowing on the Thames in February. 'There's Uncle Pete' he yelled, and proceeded to walk on water. Then he and No 1 persuaded No 3 that canadian pond weed was a lawn - he believed them and started to walk across it. 2 grandsons deliberately fell into a swimming pool, in their best clothes, in Bali. On the subject of 'shrugging off' our accomplishments (like your physicist) isn't that our culture? Self-praise was a no-no, and parents certainly did not praise our generation. My mum's natural reaction to any of my ideas/achievements was 'you're too big for your boots'. I design and sell knitwear - proceeds to street kids in a refuge in Bangalore for further education. We'd just shut today, and the door bell rang - 'can I buy the shawl with the stars'. I call my knitwear 'les flamboyants' some are perhaps OTT - but my sense of colour is much admired (in the house as well). The shawl was triangular, a 'frill' of different striped knitting all round the edges and star 'jewels' found in India on the back. It was a fabulous thing. I have coats with sleeves like flamenco dresses. I am PROUD of them. For sick or depressed people if they could say to themselves 'I have not done much today, but what I did I did well' they might feel better. An old friend here, after one of our parties, said it would scare her stiff, another said 'you know how to receive'. I was stunned, never thought of it. We are currently living in a shambles - but nobody says 'we'll come back another day'. They seize whatever seat is available, and settle for tea cakes and gossip. Been going on all day. Started at 7.45 with a blood test for Mr G - I am actually flagging - but the day has been colourful and, yes, I am pleased with myself. I can hear my mother's words from the beyond from here. she would NOT have approved of the knitting. She was a prodigious knitter, all awful, and demanding tremendous tact when asked if the children liked their sweater (she could make a v-necked sweater with the 'V' under the ear.)

danielle Thu, Jan 7th 2016 @ 9:24am

TG I also love your stories and your knitting sounds wonderful! If I am ever in France I would love to come and see it. Have you ever thought of writing your memoirs in a book, they are so interesting i could sit and read them for hours on end xxx

Frankie Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 7:19pm

Evening Mary; oh the joy of embarrassing offspring! I found that the fastest way of getting them to drop the latest annoying phrases ("wicked", "mental", "OMG" etc.) was to use them myself ad nauseum - it was such fun and really effective! Yes, being gracious enough to receive compliments is a real skill; to believe them, well, that takes a bit more effort! Frankie x

the room above the garage Wed, Jan 6th 2016 @ 9:09pm

Sing on!! Anyone who sings loudly deserves praise in my humble opinion and you have clearly been discovered! Brilliant reminder...I think it's a by product of this illness that we struggle to accept the good in ourselves. Let's accept compliments with a smile xx.

Soulmansblue Thu, Jan 7th 2016 @ 12:46am

You got it Roomie! Belt it out sing your blues away. I know it helps me when I do! What about creating 'The Moodscope Choir!' Mary can lead us as she obviously has a great voice and I'll sing from here all the way across the channel and we can also start a rock n' roll band! Well my voice will have been rocked and rolled by the wind, the tide and the waves by the time it gets to you all! Soulmansblue

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