How has Wednesday got here so quickly?

I have had a good week on the healthy eating front.

Obviously, the lack of alcohol is doing me a power of good both physically and emotionally. Have you sponsored me yet? It’s all in a good cause for Cancer Research UK. Simply text KKKK98 £1 to 70070 or visit my JustGiving page. I have not had a sponsor for a few days so go on, make my day and all that.

I have not got weighed but my clothes are already fitting more comfortably. The trousers were starting to strain in a very worrying way and now they are going on just fine. I seem to be losing weight off my legs from what I can tell.

The things that have worked for me this week include:

Weightwatchers bread

Weightwatchers yoghurts – good to grab when the munchies strike

Bananas – again great for when you feel tempted to eat something less healthy

Salads especially with cold meats or mackerel

I have had a few naughty moments usually because I have had nothing to hand in the house. Forward-planning is key. This week I will do an Internet shop and stock up on healthy options.

I do feel motivated and I know I can move mountains (of flesh) when I feel that way.

Linking up with the linky that helps bloggers lose weight over with @AutismMumma

I used to advise people who were experiencing debt problems. I worked in several Citizens Advice Bureau across the United Kingdom.

Sometimes people who are in debt find it incredibly difficult to deal with. It is common for debt to result in threats to mental wellbeing and a number of suicides have been linked to debt problems.

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It is too easy to judge people who have debts if you have never faced those challenges yourself.

The biggest thing to lead to debt troubles is a change in circumstances. It could be a job loss, sudden illness or disability or even an increase in the size of the family.

Financial education is schools is still sadly lacking so many young people find themselves taking on credit that they will not be able to pay back. I know I made that mistake when I was a student back in the Eighties.

It is very common for people who get a firm letter from a creditor to bury their head in the sand. I remember clients coming to see me bringing a black bin liner full of unopened post.

All too often people in debt respond to the creditor who sends the nastiest letter rather than working out who they would be best paying first if funds are low.

There is help available and you do not need to pay for that assistance.

You are not alone. If you don’t believe that, take a look at a debt map of the UK and you can see that there are others struggling with money problems just down the road from you.

I received payment for writing this post.

Groovy Mums launched last week encouraging mums to think of themselves a bit more. That might involve rediscovering who you are and having a go at things you used to enjoy. You might want to take on a new project altogether or just to incorporate some little changes to liven things up a bit. The idea is that you set the path and myself and other groovy mums support you along the way.

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Thank you to the 11 mums who linked up groovy blog posts last week. I ask where possible that you visit the other groovy mums posts and lend them your support with a comment.

This week I am asking mums to reflect on some questions about where they are now and where they would like to be. If you blog your answers, please add the link below or leave a comment.

1. To what extent have I lost sight of myself?

2. If I have lost my groove, how did that happen?

3. What do I want to get out of life in 2014?

4. What are the barriers to me getting what I want out of life?

5. What baby step could I take this week to move things forward a little?

Three Groovy Tips

A. Enjoy the great outdoors. Sometimes even going for a walk can seem a mountain to climb if mums are fed up. Challenge yourself to get out more than you do or if you already do, try visiting somewhere new.

B. Visit the Open University website. They have a vast range of courses and you don’t have to identify as academic to benefit from them.

C. Create something. Art, craft and cooking are all cool ways to express who you are. What could you make this week?

If you blog about getting your groove back using the questions above, please tag a few mum bloggers to have a go too. Yes, some mums’lives might be happy and sorted but we can always move towards new hopes and dreams one step at a time.

Get groovy this week!

Groovy Mums Twitter Party will take place on Friday 17th January from 1-2pm using hashtag #groovymums. The theme will be “How to change your life for the better as a mum”.

Now, go forth, think about getting groovy and link up blog posts below.

My word of the week is Reprieve. Just like last week the word came to me very clearly and strongly.

We are still here thanks to the generosity of someone special.

We stumble on trying to work out if we should move, when and how whilst also trying to sort out a heap of other things out particularly my husband’s ongoing search for a job and its impact on finances.

Reprieve can mean the postponement of a punishment. Quite why life is punishing us right now I do not know. Perhaps it is just our turn for challenging times. Everyone has them after all.

Reprieve can also mean temporary relief. It is a big relief here with lots of “Phew!” moments. Having said that, it may yet be only a temporary thing. The future is unclear for my husband. He gets interviews but, as he says, no cigar. He got some really great feedback today but a job rejection is still a job rejection. It makes it hard to make plans.

However, for today, it is important to celebrate the reprieve and to keep on keeping on.

My son came home a few days ago saying that he had been invited to a sleepover at a friend’s house.

My first feeling was one of joy that my son seems to have found his feet socially. I asked him to ensure he got full information on where the sleepover was taking place, contact numbers, timings and so on.

This morning, he admitted he still has not got me any of this.

Over the last few days, I have got more concerned and more against the whole idea of him going on the sleepover. I do not know the family concerned. I have not met the friend concerned. How do I know my son will be safe in this unknown environment? If I am not pretty certain he will be safe, I am minded not to let him go. As you can imagine, me expressing such ideas impresses my teenage son not at all.

I look back to my childhood. I went on one sleepover probably when I was around his age or a little older. What made my parents think it was OK for me to go? I imagine as they are not here to ask that the fact that the parents of my friend lived in a posh area and had professional parents made them feel OK. Of course, they had lived in the town for generations and my Dad knew an lot about people through his police work. There were connections through church too.

We are relatively new to this town and don’t know many people well.

I tried to explain my concerns to my son who said I was accusing the parents of his friend of being “mass murderers”. Now I did not say that although I guess they might be for all I know. They could sanction smoking, drug use or the drinking of alcohol by teens. They could be violent or worse. Even if people have a Criminal Record Bureau check, all it actually proves is that they have never been caught for anything by the police.

I can imagine that people will think I am over the top and too protective.

Then I think about my step-daughters who were abused in their own home by their mother’s boyfriend.

I think of my friend who disclosed how a very professional man and a great friend of her parents’ abused her.

I think how many professionals I have known who use drugs regularly.

Of course, the reality is that if he goes he will probably have a wonderful time and be perfectly safe. If he does not go, it may impact on his relationship with the friend badly. I really don’t want to stop him having a good time so I think maybe I should just take the risk and let him go. Except every instinct as a mum screams against that.

Which raises the whole question of letting children go as they get older. It is a very scary business. You invest all that time in keeping them safe as they are growing up and then at some point they are on their own in a world that whilst wonderful is also “big and bad” sometimes.

Sleepover or no sleepover?

What do you think?

The Pramshed