A second chance 

Today’s fast has gone surprisingly, and thankfully quite well. I think staying up until 2.30am helped, eating and drinking steadily for as long as possibly could. I managed a small bowl of soup for iftar last night, followed by some watermelon. My stomach struggled to digest just that small amount, so it’s no surprise that I haven’t feel particularly hungry today.
I would like to thank every one of my friends who took the time to message me after yesterday’s blog. It meant so much that not only are people taking time to read my posts, but time out of their lives to send me messages of hope and reassurance. Mentally, I still have so much more to overcomes in terms of believing my strengths and capabilities. It helps tremendously when people are recognising the problems I am facing and trying to overcome and it’s always helpful to view things from another perspective.
I spent some time praying this morning. I read verses from the Quran, offering them up to the souls of my parents and grandparents, and then took the time to pray for things close to my heart. I was wide awake long before the children this morning, for the first time in I think forever, and it was a lovely opportunity to enjoy the calm and to reflect. I also checked the reach of this blog, and am surprised to have seen it has been read in places as far as America and India!
This afternoon I took the children to a local fun fair and almost stupidly ended up breaking my fast after getting on one of the rides that was so much more nail biting than what it appeared. After what seemed like 5 minutes of being thrown around on my side in a rickety old cart at the speed of light, I almost passed out on my way to find a patch of grass on which I could sit and nurse my sickened stomach. Needless to say, that was my only thrill for the day and the children were left to enjoy the rest of the rides whilst I looked on in a gorgeous shade of green.
I’m not sure what brought the thought on, but once we’d arrived home and I’d recovered, I had some sort of ‘message’ in my mind reminding me just how short life is. I found out some devastating news a couple of days ago of a friend with a son the same age as mine who has discovered she has cancer. That, along with the tragic week in which 22 innocent victims, mainly children, lost their lives at the hands of a barbaric terrorist attack, it brought to mind the realisation that with each passing day, and every time we go to bed at night, we are one step closer to the end of our own lives.
That may seem so morbid for what is usually a lighthearted blog, but it is a realisation of the truth. I wonder how many of us can get into bed at the end of each day and say that we have truly lived our lives to the fullest, done all our hearts have desired and made a difference? I was given a second chance at happiness when I decided to take control of my life again. I was suddenly presented with this whole new journey in which I was the driver and could choose the exact path that I wanted to take. The thought was, and still is, scary, but I have been given another shot at making my life the way I want it to be, and although I may not always seem it, I am eternally grateful for how my life has now taken a turn for the better.
I have been taking small baby steps over the past few months. I have gone from being overwhelmed, to becoming more confident and decisive, to actually setting the bar higher of what my previous standards used to be. I was always happy to settle for second best, accept that my efforts were never quite enough and to be quiet at times when actually my voice should have been heard. Compared to this time last year, I am a different person in so many aspects. I have learnt to say no, I have learnt that if you don’t ask then you never get, and most importantly I have learnt that my own happiness is important too. I realise that I can still be a good mum and friend if I take time out now and then to concentrate on myself.
I have taken the steps and applied to return to university, to study the course of my dreams. I have started to take more care of my appearance and learnt that even if I don’t feel completely with it, a little lip gloss goes a long way to help me feel better about myself. I’ve also realised that sometimes it’s ok to just shut yourself off from the world when things get a little overwhelming. 
I have been told by so many lovely friends that I look so healthy and well, that I am appearing stronger and more confident, and that I have so much to give to others as a person. I would hope that one day I would be able to find someone who sees not just me on the outside, but what I have to give from inside too. That’s the thing with people who have been broken- their love is loyal because it is fragile. They have so much to offer to a relationship because they crave what they have never been given in past relationships. 
Having left an abusive marriage, I may have flaws when it comes to trust, I may have doubts and insecurities, but I think that those are secretly and strangely a blessing, because a broken woman wants to be able to experience that love that she has been denied in the past, meaning that her heart will work harder to reach that end goal.
So whilst we are faced with many challenges in our lives, we need to look for the secret messages in those. The closure of one door will lead to the opening of another. The dead end of one road means you have to turn around and try a different direction. One person’s loss is another person’s gain. We forget that each difficulty we have ever faced has made us the people we are today. 
Learn to look for the second chances, because the day will come when it’s far too late. Don’t look back in five years time and regret not making that move, taking that job opportunity, or risking being happy with someone with whom you think it won’t work. You don’t have to do things because they’re not logical, do them because they’re fun. Society creates superficial rules, go one step further and break them, because the power to change is in your hands.
It’s now less than three hours until iftar, after which I will resume the new routine I have for this year of making the most of the 5 hours before sahur. I will embrace the calm, reflect and be thankful for all I have been given. I will also watch trashy TV, sit with copious amounts of water and the odd bite to eat, finally make my intention to Allah to fast the next day, and be thankful for my second chance at being happy in life.

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rachellnorth

Mum of three beautiful kids. I love craft, craft and a little bit more craft. All quotes are my own.

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