Surviving my life hurdles in November 2017

Hello November, here so soon?  I’m still here surviving and doing my best and I hope you are too?  As usual I’ve had a very mixed month with lots of highs and lows.  However, life goes on and I have a new month ahead of me so I’m cracking my knuckles, working out the kinks and getting ready to take it on!

November 2017 goals

Did I achieve my October goals?

Unfortunately, I’ve had plenty of illnesses this month (again), including a vile sickness bug that I picked up from my son’s nursery but at least he didn’t get it!

On the plus side, we all had a lovely time celebrating my son’s third birthday.  I also managed to make it to Cheltenham to visit my bestie for a few days and I had a great time catching up and chilling out.

I did for the most part meet my goals (which is much better than last month) despite my illnesses putting me out of action for longer than I’d like.  I’m not managing to meditate as much but I’m certainly becoming more aware of how I respond to stress.  The quality of my sleep has improved a bit recently and it might just be a coincidence or it could be that I’m managing my anxiety better.

I’ve been sewing more and doing plenty of crafts and activities with my son, including an Autumn wreath and some spooky Halloween collages and play doh spiders.

Halloween spiders

I love these opportunities to play and be creative with my son son and I appreciate every second of them!

Learning to live a little

It’s great to get out and about in nature, especially this time of year and although I’m not always up to it and I can’t walk far I don’t let that stop me from enjoying the great outdoors whenever I can.

I can’t help but think of a great article by Emma from Not Just Tired who explains the importance of connecting with nature when living with a chronic illness so well!

This month I saw some great views of Cheltenham and Gloucester from Crickley Hill and I’ve been on some great local walks with my little family too.

Crickley Hill

I even managed to get out and visit a couple of local attractions this month with my son.  We visited Trentham Monkey Forest with his Nan and went to Alton Towers Waterpark for his birthday.  I don’t think he was that fussed about the monkeys (although I enjoyed it) but he absolutely loved splashing around in the waterpark!

Autumn adventures

My main achievements

Parenting and family

Although I was totally exhausted from my son’s birthday party I think I did everything I could to help minimise stress and to take things easier on myself.  He definitely had a great time which is what matters really.  Not whether I baked and decorated the perfect cake from scratch. Not whether I slaved away for hours over the party preparations either.

My son enjoyed himself and felt loved.  That is what a birthday party should be about and with the Twirlywoos madness we created for him we did our very best.


I’m still not managing to blog as much as I’d like, due to my illnesses but I did publish a lovely little craft tutorial for a super space rocket which I loved making for my son.  I’ve been doing lots of great crafting activities with him recently so I’m sure that will give me lots of material for future blog posts too!

My November goals

Health and wellbeing

  • To pamper myself and enjoy looking after me!

This probably doesn’t seem like a difficult goal to some but I’ve always been a bit rubbish at this.  I never seem to have the time or the inclination, especially since having my son.  Before I was approved for ill-health retirement (which was only a few months ago) I was really worried about money so treating myself felt out of the question.

It has also occurred to me that all of my health and wellbeing goals have been very focused on improving my life with MS and the symptoms I experience.  Yes, this is very important to me but I also need to lighten up and relax too, especially as I’ve now got some great lifestyle changes in place.

I’m consistently maintaining my daily yoga stretches and healthy diet and doing whatever exercise I can.  This discipline is a good thing and my motivation is strong.  However, it isn’t everything, life is hard enough as it is so why not enjoy a bit of pampering every now and then too?

Parenting and family

  • To get as organised for Christmas as I can in advance, including planning and preparing some fun advent activities for my son.

I think the key to not getting stressed out and aggravating my MS symptoms over the crazy Christmas period is to try to be as organised as possible in advance.  I just want to relax and enjoy time with my family as much as possible.

It would be really nice this year to do set up some advent activities for my son now he is 3 and a bit more aware of Christmas.  I will need to keep these activities simple, on the whole, so I can manage them even if I’m having a bad day but maybe a few longer activities could be rolled out at the weekends.  I’m thinking things like simple crafts, Christmas films, stories and tunes and maybe a little bit of ginger bread too.  It’s going to be so much fun!

Creative and fun

  • To get creative with my photography and share some great memories.

I love this time of year as I get to prepare our Christmas cards and presents, especially the photo gifts I create for my family.  This year is no exception as I can’t wait to get started!  I’m sure my son is going to grow up to be really vain, the number of photographs we have of him in photo books, calendars, photo frames etc!

We have just bought a large photo frame which can hold a large number of photographs too which I’d like to display so what a great excuse to go looking through our family pics and get presenting.


  • To create some seasonal posts for my blog so I can celebrate Christmas with you!

I’ve never been the best at creating topical or seasonal blog posts, maybe I’m just really out of touch with what’s going on in the world.  Or maybe I just struggle being organised enough!  However, I love Christmas and it will be my first one since I started blogging so I’m going to make a real effort to create a post or two which reflect this lovely time of year.  

I can have fun designing a craft tutorial and maybe consider a health and wellbeing/chronic illness related post too.  With this in mind, I’ve started to collect some inspiration for loads of Christmas crafts and activities over on Pinterest, check it out if you’re starting to plan for Christmas too!

I’m excited about the month ahead and I can’t wait to make a start on my goals.  

Have you got any goals you are looking forward to this month?  If so all the best and I wish you luck!

Halloween activities

4 thoughts on “Surviving my life hurdles in November 2017”

  • Great post as always Natalie. I always enjoy reading about what you’ve been up to each month. Thank you so much for the lovely mention 🙂 That was a lovely surprise as I was reading along there! Much appreciated, thank you. Glad to hear you’ve managed to enjoy being out in nature. I always find it helps, even when I can’t go far. Sorry you’ve had a rotten time with all these bugs. There’s nothing worse and sickness bugs are just awful. I sympathise as my son has been really poorly over the last week or so with a chest infection and a nasty virus. Ended up in the walk in centre at the weekend as he was having really high temperatures. Thankfully he’s on the mend now. Phew! I have now come down with a bad cold though which is always the way, isn’t it! I try to remind myself that them picking stuff up at nursery is good for building their immune systems! So glad your son enjoyed his birthday and well done to you for managing it all so well. We have another Twirlywoos fan here! Wishing you all the very best for November and definitely indulge in lots of pampering! xx

    • Thank you Emma! I’m glad your son is starting to feel better, that sounds horrible and I’m sorry you are feeling bad now! I hope you have a lovely November, take care and all the best. xx

  • Lovely photos, and really positive to hear your sleep has been a little better along with managing the anxiety. Wishing you all the very best for a happier, healthier November – love the ‘can do’ attitude!! ♥
    Caz xx

    • Thank you Caz! I can’t decide if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I’m suddenly sleeping flat out after two years of interrupted sleep, who knows with MS?! As long as I catch no more stomach bugs I will be happy! Wishing you the very best for November too. xx

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