Motor Neurone Disease

MND Scotland Fun run relay 2020

I’ve been a bit quiet on here the last few months. A lot has been going on the last few months and writing blog posts has not been anywhere near the top of my list of priorities.

I’m going to share something a bit different today, and this will be a very personal post, which isn’t something I’ve really done before.

On 28th May, my Granny passed away after a 7 month battle with Motor Neurone Disease. While we had been somewhat prepared for this, her passing still came as a bit of a shock. She had been in hospital since the end of March but was due to be discharged and able to come home on the 29th May. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be.

Motor Neurone Disease, also known as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a debilitating condition. It has no cure and largely no treatment is available either. It is also very difficult to diagnose, and diagnosis usually comes from ruling out every other possible illness. Sufferers experience loss of muscle control and movement. Slurred speech is often (but not always) an early symptom. Eventually MND can result in lack of ability to move, talk, eat and breathe. After diagnosis, life expectancy is usually up to 1 or 2 years.

Watching a loved one suffer this terrible disease is absolutely devastating. Words cannot describe how difficult it is to see someone who is usually full of life slowly fade away.

This has been made even more difficult because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, which meant we were unable to visit my granny the entire two months she was in hospital. Don’t get me wrong, the NHS staff who looked after her did an absolutely amazing job. But it would have been nice to be able to see her in person one last time.

Next week is MND Awareness Week, culminating with Global MND Awareness Day on Sunday 21st June. Myself and several family members will be taking part in MND Scotland’s Fun Run Relay on this day, with each of us walking/running 10km in support of the charity and in memory of my granny. MND Scotland provides a great deal of support to the 400 people who suffer from MND across Scotland, as well as their families. To continue providing this, they rely on donations.

Anyone who knows me will know that I never ask for anything. But today I’m asking if anyone can add to my fundraising page. Any donation, no matter how big or small, would be massively appreciated.

A link to my Just Giving page can be found here:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/leah-gunn

And more information about MND and the work of MND Scotland can be found here:

https://www.mndscotland.org.uk/

Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read this.

Wardrobe Declutter

Hello! It’s definitely a thing that January feels like the longest month of the year, right? We’re only two weeks in to 2019 but it feels like two months!

Last week I decided to give my wardrobe a serious and well overdue clear out. I really should get in to the habit of doing this more often, instead of waiting until it literally looks like the trash planet from Thor: Ragnarok.

This photo doesn’t really make it look that bad, but, trust me, it was!

Who else finds clearing out clothes really difficult?! I start out with good intentions, but find myself getting a bit overwhelmed and just convince myself that I still need everything and get rid of nothing.

So I started by taking absolutely everything out of my wardrobe and just chucked it all in a big ol’ pile. I went through every single item and split them into four piles – definitely keep; maybe keep; donate; chuck.

Usually I’m too easy on myself and only get rid of one or two items, but I was quite brutal this time. Anything that I hadn’t worn in the last year was straight into the charity bag pile – I’m ashamed to admit that quite a few of these things still had labels on them! (Side note: this year I’m definitely going be more mindful when buying clothes, and if it’s something I’m realistically not going to wear, I’m not going to buy it).

Anything that didn’t fit me properly also went in the throwing out or charity pile, and anything that I have used but just didn’t particularly like anymore went into the maybe pile to come back to the next day.

…this year I’m definitely going to be more mindful when buying clothes…

Finally, the things that I wear on a regular basis, or know I will when the weather gets a bit better, went into the keep pile, and straight back into my wardrobe.

I was really surprised at how much stuff I managed to get rid of. I’m glad that most of it I was able to donate to charity. I know that a lot of people like to sell their old clothes, and it’s definitely a good option if you want to make some extra cash, but personally I prefer to donate things (P.S. if you earn enough money to pay income tax, remember you can sign up for gift aid so the charity can claim tax back!). I also took some old and worn out pairs of shoes down to the shoe recycling bank near my house, instead of just chucking them in the bin.

And et voila! My wardrobe is looking soooo much better, and way more organised! It feels good not having to rake about for things, and being able to open the doors and find exactly what I’m looking for right away.

If nothing else, my shoes look a lot happier!

How do you like to declutter your wardrobe? Is it something you keep on top of, or are you like me and always wait till it reaches breaking point! Let me know your tips and tricks for wardrobe organisation!

To resolution, or not to resolution?

Happy New Year!

A friend once wished me a happy new year and said that she hoped the year brought me everything I wished for, which is a really lovely thought and is something that has stuck with me.  So, to everyone who reads this, I hope 2019 brings you everything you wish for!

selective focus photography of spark
Photo by Malte Lu on Pexels.com

This time of year brings with it the usual onslaught of ‘New Year’s Resolution’ posts all over social media.  These usually revolve around making big changes in your life, such as dieting, getting a new job, etc.  This is fine if it’s something you’ve been wanting to do for a while anyway, but is it really worth making a resolution just because you feel you should?

In the past, I’ve made resolutions myself, including things like working out every day and learning a new language.  I have yet to succeed in a single one.

The problem with making a New Year’s Resolution is that we put too much pressure on ourselves to have instant success, when in fact life so often gets in the way and prevents us from achieving this.  How can you start a no-sugar diet when your house is still full of Christmas chocolate?  Going to the gym every day is fine, but what about those days when you just don’t want to leave the house?  And when we do inevitably eat that Lindt teddy bear we had stashed at the back of the cupboard, or choose to stay in bed for an extra half hour instead of working out, a wave of guilt follows.  After the first ‘failure’, it’s more difficult to get back on plan, and soon your resolution is cast aside.

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

But we shouldn’t feel guilty for these ‘lapses’.  Because that’s just life!  You can plan out your day to the very minute, but something will always crop up that throws you off schedule, and you need to allow for adjustments.

So instead of making a fixed resolution, maybe it would be more realistic to have a series of smaller monthly, or weekly goals, which can eventually get you to where you want to be.  One of my aims for this year is to cut down on meat consumption, but I know that I wouldn’t be able to just stop eating cold turkey , so I’m going to try gradually introducing more vegetarian meals to my diet until I can (hopefully) cut out meat altogether.

Don’t get me wrong, different things work for different people, and for some it may be necessary to have a strict regime.  But don’t feel bad if this doesn’t work for you, and don’t give up on a goal just because you haven’t achieved it within a month or two, or because you see someone else’s ‘success’ on Instagram.

hand pen writing plant
Photo by Natalie B on Pexels.com

After all, we all work at our own pace and have our own ways of defining success.  So maybe don’t worry too much about making a New Year’s Resolution, but instead think about the areas you may want to improve on in your life, and take small steps to try to get there.

What do you think about New Year’s Resolutions? Do they work for you, or do you think they’re complete rubbish?  I’d love to hear some other opinions on this, so please leave some comments!