Keep Calm and Believe

In our bedroom there is an old cast iron radiator, heavy, solid, painted in a muted gold. It sits against a purple wall and I love the combination of colours. It is the best radiator in the house, staying warmer longer than the modern, supposedly, more efficient ones. Occasionally, the pressure in the boiler creeps up, the pipes creek a little bit more as the cold bites and the heating is notched up. The old cast iron radiator whistles in response to the pressure. Not consistently, just here and there, it sings out, when it’s all too much. A reminder to sort the system out. I wander around the house clutching a radiator key, releasing air from the other modern radiators, who all appear to conform, part of the system, but each one needs individual attention. Tinkering brings it all back into line and the gold radiator stops singing and the balance is right again.

I feel pressure about my unemployed status. The local school isn’t suitable and that we need to move. I need a job so we can move. I need a job that suits childcare. I feel a pressure because my Dad is no longer coping to care for my mother. The News focuses again on the increase in unemployment. I worry about money. I worry about the future, about everything. Sometimes it feels insurmountable and the pressure builds up. The tasks ahead feel huge, a need for big change rather than minimal tinkering.

I’m sure much of the pressure I feel is self-imposed. It’s January and I feel sluggish and my confidence isn’t great. There is so much that needs to change, that isn’t going to happen immediately. I need to try not to get overwhelmed. I reevaluated my employable skills and surprised myself. A reminder that I’m OK. I just need to plough on, a step at a time. Take positives and grab them. It’s Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon this is especially lucky and brings good fortune. It’s a time to be bold.
I struggle with being bold, but small things count towards the bigger plan. Tinkering with the system counts. It takes the pressure off. I can do small. A step at a time. It’s about remembering that and believing in me, listening when the pressure builds and bringing back the balance.


  1. Older mum

    I really empathise with you regarding the unemployment – I am in asimilar boat – I am self employed and trying to get my business up and running again but it just isnt happening right now. Its a test of trust I think …..

  2. The Mad House

    I know that feeling trying to stay calm on the surface when really you are a swan paddling like hell just to keep everything ticking over day to day. The universe will provide

  3. Ali

    Taking small steps is always so much better than taking giant ones. Breaking things down makes things less daunting. Says the queen of overwhelm (!) I am always better at giving advice than actually acting on it. Though even I have to admit I am getting better at it.

    January gets to everyone, drains some of our positves and makes it harder to cope but this post is wriiten like actually your coping as to me it ends in a positive light!

    If I had written it (as if!) I would call it a ‘Therapy post’ xxx

  4. motherventing

    Whenever Stuff gets too much, I remind myself that time passes and soon I will feel differently. I think that’s what you’re trying to say here. Believe it will get better. I know it will for you X

  5. bluebirdsunshine

    Great post and I love your Keep Calm poster. I think I need to blow it up and laminate it and stick it on my wall. Same as you, I need to this year find new employment, a new home and with it a school for the children, so I empathise with it feeling like a mountain. Your attitude is fantastic though and I’m sure you’ll be looking back at this post in 12 months time and feeling proud of whatever you have achieved.

  6. Midlife Singlemum

    I want so much to be able to give you all the answers as to the best thing to do – but if I knew chances are you;d have thought of it yourself. I’m sorry things have got so bad with your mum. Would ther be a possibility of pooling resources with your dad in some way so that you could help each other? I realize that this wouldn’t work for everyone. Plan B sounds good – let the universe show you the way. It’s at times like this that miracles tend to occur. Hugs xxx

  7. mutteringsofafool

    Little steps is really the only way, otherwise your worries will just get on top of you. Really hope you find a solution, if you’ve tried all the obvious solutions to work perhaps something completely different and radical is needed?

  8. Metajugglamum

    Amazing post and one which I can so relate to. “Baby-steps” became my mantra about four years ago and I would collapse without it. Vibing you courage and hope from DE. Don’t ever stop believing.
    MJM xx

  9. mummyglitzer

    Taking those little steps, sometimes pushing the bigger picture to the back of my mind, sort of filing it, is all that keeps me relatively sane at times. This is a beautifully written post and a little reminder for us all I think that whatever happens, we will get there, wherever there is.

  10. Rollercoaster Mum

    wise words – I’m in a similar position re unemployment – need to reevaluate and stay positive – trouble is I end up bogged down in all the day to day stuff. Good luck!

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