Emetophobia and Me

You might be wondering what emetophobia actually is. Alternatively you might be here because you have it and might want to find out more. Lastly you might be here to read about another person’s experience of suffering with this phobia.

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Now before I start properly talking about it I thought I’d mention a trigger warning. Some people with this phobia don’t like to read the ‘v’ word. I am not bothered by it so I will be using it. Everybody’s experience of this phobia is different so I’ll just be talking about me and my experience.

If you’re still reading this I’ll assume you’re ok with reading the word, so welcome and lets move on!

Until about 4 years ago I didn’t even know the word for the phobia I have. I didn’t know it was a thing. I just thought everyone was as scared as I was. Apparently not. My phobia has become far worse since having children. I’m thankfully every day for a husband who doesn’t have the same phobia. He is my rock in the hard times for me.

Emetophobia is essentially a fear of vomiting. People who suffer with emetophobia can have very different fears around vomiting. Not all emetophbics suffer in the same way. So as I talk about it I am describing my person experience, which I know from reading isn’t the same as other people’s experience so please bear that in mind.

Having read a lot about emetophobia it is mostly caused by a childhood experience of vomiting, either by yourself or someone else. I think I know what my experience was but don’t want to type it out on here.

I am scared of the following things. Me vomiting, I am petrified. The children vomiting if theres any chance I can catch it. If I knew they were vomiting for another reason, say a migraine I’m not so bad, but still the underlying fear is there.

The fear of the unknown vomit, that scares me.

I’m scared of other people vomiting if I don’t know the cause. If I know there’s a bug going around and they have mentioned being in anxiety creeps in. If I know they have been sick because they are pregnant or hung over that ok, I can pretty much cope with that.

I’m petrified of someone in our house having a vomiting bug. The anxiety that this causes me is awful. I am lucky in life that not much makes me anxious. I’m blessed to be on the whole a calm and measured person. I’m not a born worrier. I am generally cool about most things except the one thing I can’t control.

I think that’s the worst thing about emetophobia, you can’t avoid it. With most phobias, for example flying or heights you can generally avoid them. You don’t have to fly if you don’t want to (mostly) or go to high places and look down. With emetophobia, you can do lots to minimise the risks but you can’t totally avoid it. Especially when you have children in nursery and schools, there’s no way to control who they mix with or how hygienic it is.

My Symptoms

I want to explain what happens with my phobia and what my symptoms are (again these can be different for everyone). When I think that someone in our house is sick or going to be ill then I get almost instant anxiety. Anyone who’s suffered from anxiety will know that symptoms can vary. For me the anxiety manifests itself as my stomach churning over, I feel sick, for an emtophobic this couldn’t get much worse. There’s a knot inside my stomach, which for an emetophobic is the last thing you want, because this then spirals into worry that actually I am also going to be ill.

I try to reason with myself and think about the worst possible thing that could happen. The worst possible thing that could happen is that everyone in the house is poorly (at worst at the same time) and that would mean being ill for maybe 24-48 hours followed by a period of recovery. However my head won’t listen and never sees beyond the illness to the period of recovery. I assume that we will be ill forever, the vomiting will never ever stop, I would be in emetophobia hell. For some reason I can’t rationalise it out in my head. I become petrified. Feeling so guilty that I can barely hug my own children when they are poorly.

I just don’t know how to handle this phobia, I can’t avoid the trigger. It occupies my thoughts a lot. I sometimes wonder if me thinking about it causes it to happen more?

I’d love to hear from anyone also suffers, and even so much more so if you’ve recovered. I know theres a few programmes out there to try and tackle it but I need to know they actually work before I invest my hard earned money. I can not carry on like this though, spending the winter months in a constant state of worry when I’m not with the children.

Tonight it’s Halloween and to some children this only means one thing -Trick or Treat!

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When I was a child we weren’t allowed to go knocking on doors for Halloween to ‘Trick or Treat’. There was one year when I was very young (around 5) that my mum held a Halloween party for my brother and I and some of our friends (and parents). I remember that one year we were allowed to go to the neighbours on each side to say ‘Trick or Treat’ as my mum had already given them sweets to give to us. All other years though it was a no.

Dreading Halloween

Each year during my childhood I would dread Halloween, more specifically I’d dread anyone knocking on to our house to Trick or Treat because my dad would get in a bad mood . He hated it, he just doesn’t agree with it. My mum would try and make it nice for us by making a lovely dinner of witches brew (which was soup and bread) Consequently when I got my own home, hubby and I would always avoid Halloween by going out for dinner or to the cinema. I didn’t like the thought of horrible children knocking on to disturb us. Asking essentially for us to give them something. I couldn’t understand people who liked Halloween and who looked forward to Trick or Treat children to come round.

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Changing my View

Over the years as I have grown up Halloween has become much more of a thing. More people decorate their homes, and enjoy the night. Children seem more enthusiastic about it, and enjoy celebrating.For them it’s exciting. I’ve also been very lucky to celebrate Halloween in Walt Disney World a couple of times. Over in America, essentially Halloween is fun for most people. People make an effort to take part and enjoy the night itself.

Since having children things have changed. I’ve had to stay at home for Halloween. No late night trips to the cinema! Or staying out at the pub having  a relaxing meal with a glass of wine (I don’t think I’d done that in a long time!) I’ve discovered that it can be fun. When the doorbell goes the our boys go out to see who’s there, we have a bowl of sweets ready and waiting to offer the Trick or Treaters. We admire the costumes and offer out a treat to each person. Thankfully although I know it can happen we have never had a bad experience. Everyone who has ever knocked on the door has been pleasant and polite.

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Trick or Treat Rules

Last year and the year before we took the boys out ourselves to Trick or Treat but we ALWAYS stick to these rules:

  1. Only go to houses with Halloween decorations up. Either full decorations which can be seen or an indication they are taking part in Halloween i.e. a pumpkin. I never let the children go to houses with nothing out.
  2. Only knock or ring once, if no one answers then we move on.
  3. Be polite. We say Trick or Treat and see what happens, if offered a treat then the children must say Thank you. If the thank you’s stop then we go straight home!
  4. The children stay within sight of a grown up at all times. I let them go up a path whilst I wait at the bottom but they must always stay with me.
  5. Always respect other peoples property. We only use the paths to get to a door and never walk over a garden to get in or out.
  6. Go out dressed up in costumes not just a token effort, after all it is a tradition to dress up!

If everyone stuck to these rules then the night could be made fun for those who want to take part. For those who don’t or are scared then the night would no longer be a worry. Only going to decorated houses is the main rule for my boys. If a house has decorations up then I’d say they are taking part and are happy to have Trick or Treaters at the door.

Taking Part – Having Fun

I know this time of year can be worrying or frightening or annoying for many people and I want to let them know that we for one won’t be bothering them tonight by knocking on their doors. I hope this reassures them too that not all Trick or Treaters are a nuisance and the night can be fun for some people who want to take part.

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This Sunday I’m off to my second Blogon conference at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. I went to my first one earlier this year. It was a fantastic event, unfortunately I wasn’t feeling great on the day so don’t think I really made the most of it. This time I will try to be more social and will be feeling great on the day. Blog On take 2!

Heres my answers to the Blog On Ice breaker Linky:

1. Share a recent photo of you (or a doodle!)

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This is me! I’m pretty tall (6ft1) some might say as tall as Buzz Lightyear!

2. Describe yourself in five words or less

Adventurous, ambitious, happy, grateful
3. How long have you been blogging, and why did you start?

Two years, and I was inspired to start by my good friend Jenny from Lets Talk Mommy
4. What are you hoping to get out of Blog On?

More skills to enhance my blog and my posts – meet new friends
5. Name a few of your favourite blogs.

So difficult to say as I like so many different kinds, I really like Attic 24 as I’ve followed it for a long time.
6. What’s your favourite social media platform(s)… and what’s your username?

I really like instagram and pinterest as I’m a very visual person and love seeing pictures and getting new ideas

Instagram – Lyrical_mum

Pinterest -Lyricalcraft (A Little Lyrical)
7. Share a fact about you no-one would guess.
8. What’s your favourite bit of tech?

I am very lucky to have the new iPhone 7 and I actually love it, I’ve never been so impressed with a new phone before but Apple have got it very right for me this time!
9. If you won the lottery, how would you spend your winnings?

I’d pay off my mortgage first and foremost for my children’s future, then I’d think about how to help others. There would be treats for us along the way but I really would like to thank a fair few people who have helped me and our family throughout the years.
10. If you could host a talk show, who would be your first guest?

I think I’d choose Michelle Obama, I’d love to hear more about her life in the Whitehouse and what it’s really like to be the first lady.
11. Share a funny (or favourite) memory from your life.

I do have lots of funny things happen to me but they are often hard to describe in words (you sort of have to be there moments) so my favourite memory from life so far has got to be the day I got married to my best friend – yes soppy I know!!
12. What is your favourite book (or film if you’re not a big reader) and why?

I really like factual books about things I love, so I’m currently enjoying a book about Walt Disney World and how it came to be from a concept.
13. What picture is on your phone/tablet lock screen?

My two boys, because when I’m at work it reminds me why I’m there, for them.
14. If you had an hour of time all to yourself, how would you spend it?

Swimming in a pool with a swim up cocktail bar, where I could sit and chat with new people. I love hearing people’s stories.
15. What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given

Don’t make any decisions in the nighttime, things ALWAYS seem better in the morning! (This has helped me through so much, I’ll always remember who told me this!)

 

Looking forward to a read through everyone else’s answers, I hope I can put names to faces on Sunday!

Geronimo Tatton Park

I can’t believe how quickly the month is disappearing, and next weekend sees the second bank holiday of the month, for us this can only mean one thing. Geronimo Festival! For more details visit the official Geronimo website here.

Geronimo

It’s our first time visiting Geronimo and we couldn’t be more excited. Geronimo is on at Tatton Park on 29th and 30th May (Sunday 29th now sold out) It’s going to be a spectacular, jam packed, family fun day aimed at families with children up to the age of 12. My two boys are 4 and 2, they are massive CBeebies fans so we’ll be getting to the main stage in plenty of time to see all their favourite characters including Cook & Line from Swashbuckle and Andy Day and Mr Bloom. This week I’m excited to announce that for fans visiting on Monday you will be able to see the Bafta award nominated Dick & Dom too! As well as the main stage shows there are lots and lots of other activities going on throughout the day including a circus skills workshop, jousting, live theatre shows and a zip wire! Each area of Geronimo will be packed with things to do and see.

Tickets for Geronimo are still onside and are priced £25 each with under 2’s going free and can be bought direct from the website.

Like all outdoor events the organisers can’t arrange the weather and although there are some indoor shelters with activities don’t forget your waterproofs and welly’s if the weather is forecast for rain or showers! And don’t forget to allow plenty of travel time to Tatton Park, you don’t want to miss part of the event because you were running a little bit late and got caught up in any traffic.

 

 

What a shock we had last week when we went to the hospital appointment to find out our son needs to wear glasses.

Our eldest boy is 4 years old, he started school in September and changed schools over the Christmas break (due to our house move) on the first day of term in his new school they rang me to get verbal consent for him to have his eyes tested. I gave consent and of course thought no more about it assuming all would be fine as he’s never complained of any problems with his eyes and seeing things. That evening he brought home a note to say he needed a non-urgent hospital referral and to ring to make an appointment which I did. Still believing that he probably didn’t really understand the test at school or was shy of saying the right letters we waited 3 months for the appointment. Last week we went to the hospital and he had some more tests. I had expected that they would just make him read letters like an adult eye test but they actually used some drops in his eyes to dilate the pupil then held what I assume were lenses up to his eye to look through and assess what prescription he needed.

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I work for the NHS and I don’t like saying bad things about people who also work there but I wish they’d explained it a little better to me, because I couldn’t understand why suddenly he had a really strong prescription when he’d never said anything before. Thankfully a really helpful gentleman at Specsavers when we went to collect the glasses did explain it to me so I’m grateful for that.

Choosing Glasses

And so with prescription in hand off we went to choose some frames. Now if you’ve ever had the experience of choosing frames with a 4 year old you’ll know what I mean……yes that. He did not really want to pay much attention, the lovely lady helping us tried really hard to see what fit his face and which ones didn’t but and guide us to frames that suited him. He was not really that interested! To be fair to him it was getting late and he was hungry too! So with the promise of a treat tea we finally settled on a few pairs which would take a week to come into store.

glasses

The next week we returned to collect them. This was the hardest part for me. I knew the prescription was quite strong but I guess I hadn’t really thought ahead to how this would change his appearance. When he was trying on the frames with just the plain lenses he looked super cute and stylish but the first time he turned to look at me with his prescription lenses on I could have cried. I didn’t. That was not my boy, his appearance had totally changed. Of course I knew inside it was still him but it just didn’t look like him. I don’t know why I felt such sadness but I wanted to write about it so that anyone going through the same would understand that it’s normal to feel this way. All of a sudden the face I was used to seeing was gone and a different face was there. I know he hasn’t changed one bit and he still looks just as lovely, I know the glasses are what he needs but it was just a shock I guess. I keep telling myself that I’ll get used to it, it’s just a different version of normal for now. I love him just the same as always, in fact more each day. I think it’s just taking me some time to get my head around the fact that all these years he’s not been able to see close up things very well. On the evening we picked up the glasses as we were cuddling at night he noticed (I guess for the first time) that I had as he put it ‘tiny red lines’ in my eyes. I could have cried again, for the first time he’s noticing the small things in life and I know that it’s for the best.

glasses

 

baby sling

Over the last day or two Breastfeeding has come back into the news again. I will make no apologies for offending anyone with this post. I am not here to offend, I just wanted to put some of my thoughts down .

So I haven’t read the Lancet Study that has been published this week, I have read the headlines and listened to the news.

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So most of the headlines told this story – Breastfeeding could cut child deaths.

Breastfeeding Saves Lives – Study found

If I told you there was a special food that you could give your children which had amazing effects and was taylor made for them then I’m sure you’d want to try some too, yet of course when you go to the comments sections of these headlines it always brings out both sides of the story.

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Wow – the words inadequate and dictatorship were used in this comment.

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Ok so who are these “brestapo brigade” that you are commenting about? The person who published the article in the Lancet is a scientist who has carried out a study on the benefits of breastfeeding, I don’t think the scientist set out to try and make people feel bad or bully anyone.

As a breastfeeding supporter myself I have never ever judged anyone for the way they choose to feed their child. If you choose to use formula, thats ok by me. If your don’t want to try that’s ok too. I totally respect a women’s choice to feed their own child however they wish to. But it’s those mums who want to try, who struggle, who don’t know whats normal and whats not that I want to help. It’s those people who need the support form the start of their journey. It’s those mums who through no fault of their own don’t have the gentle help of their own mums guidance as we would have years ago because we’ve lost those skills to pass on. Its the mums that don’t have the support and wanted so much to breastfeed that end up believing this “brestapo brigade” really do exist. I don’t judge people when I see them using formula but often they judge themselves. Mothers are still free to make their own choices but with more support (and more money for support instead of less) perhaps we would have more mums breastfeeding and less mums being internally heart broken at struggling to feed.

I think this comment  from Sam Smithi sums up a lot about feeding too

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“the amount of advertising for formula milk, it’s in your face, so I tend to go with that.” This tells me two very important things, firstly if breastmilk was advertised than would more mums chose this? We know it never will be because no one has the money to pay for breastmilk adverts – theres no money in it (unless you count the 20million that the NHS may save!)! Secondly more importantly the advertisement of infant formula is banned! No where will you find an advert for formula for 0-6month olds, the formula companies do a very good job of making you think it is but actually all the adverts are for follow on milk, not infant formula. Maybe I should do an advertising campaign for breastfeeding past 6 months (sticking to the advertising code!) and see if this increases the uptake, but in all honestly the only thing that will increase breastfeeding rates its putting more funding into breastfeeding support and perhaps a generation from now mum will be able to help their own daughters and granddaughters once again.

Breastfeeding

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Breastfeeding Bleb – Ouch!

Breastfeeding Bleb -What is it you might ask? Well thats what I would have said too a few months ago! Although I volunteer at a local breastfeeding group and thought I knew a fair bit about breastfeeding problems this was a new one on me.

How it started

For a couple of weeks I’d started to get a few pains inside my breast, sometimes it was after a feed, sometimes just at a random time in the day. Often these pains would be a shooting type of electric shock pain. Flixster is 20 months so I knew it wasn’t his position or attachment as I checked and double checked he was on correctly. The pains would track back inside the breast, and sometimes really really hurt. The sort of pain that would wake me in the night. A few weeks before the pain I’d noticed a white part on my nipple, it was tiny, really small. (Sorry I don’t have any photos!) It looked to me like a part of the nipple that didn’t have any blood flow. It didn’t look like a blister as I thought it might after I looked up blebs. I wish I’d taken a photo now to show though. It was not what I thought a bleb would look like. It was almost like a small section of the nipple that had just gone white.

How I found out it was a breastfeeding bleb

After describing the pain to a lactation consultant she instantly said to me I was describing a bleb. A bleb! I’d not come across it before. I asked advice on how to get rid of it and she gave me a few options but the one that she said usually works the best is to get a needle and either try to pop it or try to scrape it all off…… yes thats right a needle…..yes I ran a mile too. She explained to me that a bleb is a blockage at the end of the duct and the pain I was experiencing was the breastmilk tracking back behind the blockage. The pain was not something I’d experienced before, a pain that woke me at night was not a pain I could ignore!

After I’d thought about it (and I’m not a needle phobic) and experienced the pain again, I decided to give it a go. I had a sterile hypodermic needle and gritted my teeth and tried to pop the bleb. I thought that would be it, I thought it would be gone. It wasn’t. I was however pleased to find out that trying to pop it hadn’t hurt. I thought it would be painful but thankfully it wasn’t so I got a new needle and tried again a few days later. This time I gave it a good scrape, it did bleed but most importantly it didn’t hurt. After I had dug it out (yak) I feed Flixster to try and get him to clear the blockage. I was still in pain but I knew that hopefully this was just the backed up milk leaving the breast. The following day the area had scabbed over and it took a few days before it was completely healed. The bleb had to be the most painful breastfeeding experience I’ve had. I am thankful that most of my breastfeeding journeys have been relatively smooth. Both boys had tongue tied but never caused me as much pain as the bleb did! Thank goodness by scraping it all off I solved the problem. If you’ve had experience of a bleb then feel free to contact me.

breastfeeding bleb

 

Beamish Father Christmas

2015 Gratitude List – Grateful for so many things

2015 Gratitude List……So today is the last day of 2015 and I have so much to be grateful for. As a family we’ve had an amazing year, so many highs and thankfully not too many lows.

I want to make a list not to boast but to remind us as a family how far we’ve come and all we have to be grateful for. By focussing on what we are grateful for I can see things in a positive light and continue to move forward and grow as a family together in happiness.

House Move – This was the biggest thing to happen to us this year, we put our much loved house up for sale, had an offer the next day, went to see our now home the day after and made an offer ourselves and for four months after that, things dragged on with many highs and low. But we made it, we finally made it, in late November we moved house and we are in love with our new home. It already feels like our forever home and I am so grateful to live here.

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Working with Good Morning Britain – Early on in the year I was involved with a project that Good Morning Britain were doing about the way people voted for the general election. I was an undecided voter and so they followed me throughout the election campaign to see how I made my mind up. For me the experience was amazing and the boy still has fond memories of our trip to London. I loved every minute of the experience and am very grateful that I was able to take part.

Good Morning Britain

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Work – I have an almost full time day job which I don’t really talk about on my blog, I work for the NHS and this year has brought so many fabulous opportunities to get involved with projects and new opportunities. I started the year telling myself that I would throw myself back into work after maternity leave ended and take every opportunity I can to say yes and get involved and its been a fabulous year. I am also very grateful to work with such a fabulous team, my line manager and manager are wonderful people who I really enjoy working with and under.

Family – I am and will forever be grateful for family. This year although our family hasn’t expanded like it did the year before! But we have grown in other ways. We have grown in love for each other. We have grown closer as a unit. We have grown stronger and learnt so much about each other.

2015 Gratitude List

Husband – I am grateful for such a loving caring man who is my other half, the milk to my coffee, the reason to my daft ideas, the calming influence when I’m on the ceiling. He is my best friend and makes me whole. He is always there for me and I cherish everyday we have together

2015 gratitude list

Children- I am so grateful for the boys, the bring sunshine everyday, even when it’s raining outside. The teach me so much about myself. They bring me so much joy and happiness, I love them so much, I just want to spend so much time hugging them. This year they have both grown so much, the boy started school ( how did that happen so quickly?) and Flixster started nursery when I went back to work. I can’t express how grateful I am for them both in my life.

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I have so much to be grateful for I could go on for quite a long time but I’m keeping it short with the main things in my life to be grateful for. I truly am thankful for so much, I feel blessed to be so happy in life. Thank you universe, thank you.

I hope 2016 brings us and everyone we know many more things to be grateful for, if you look hard enough even the greyest days have some sunshine, you just need to look hard enough to find it.

May 2016 bring health and happiness.

Jane

 

 

We are already in May now, this year  is flying by. As a family we are still so undecided about holidays for this year. I know I need to make a decision soon though or it’ll be too late.

Holidays are a luxury and I fully appreciate that even to be able to consider going away is something that most people can’t afford to do. So I do consider myself lucky that its something we may be able to do. We haven’t been abroad as a family of 4 yet. The boy is 4 in August and Flixster has just turned 1. We have gone over and over many different options and can’t decide which one is going to be right for us.

Before we had children we were lucky enough to be able to go on holiday each year, some time several times. We would frequently go to Walt Disney World which we adore.

Since the boy came along we have taken him twice to Florida, once when he was 16 months and again when he was just a little over 2 years old. Both times we had a fantastically wonderful time. Memories were made for us all. The boy does seem to remember some of the second visit, if that’s down to photos and videos I’m not sure but I know he can’t wait to go again.

However a holiday like Florida needs lots of planning and I’m not sure I’m comfortable booking something so soon with such little time to plan the logistics.

Recently we’ve been looking at package holidays through tour operators. Having never really been on a beach holiday I’m not sure what to expect. Would the boys have enough to do? They are both pretty active and we as a couple can never really sit still and relax. We’ve come to expect lots to do and see on holidays. Our boys are early risers (like 5am risers!) so saying in bed in the morning is sure to be a no-no! We need somewhere that’s going to have lots of things to do and see, that’s very family friendly.

I always prefer recommendations so love reading reviews. If anyone has any ideas of where to start looking then please feel free to comment. I’d love to read some other posts about family holidays too!

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One week today will be the morning after the election. I feel nervous and excited about it.

I always vote.

My grandma told me to do it so I do.

I’ve paid particular attention to this election race, partly because it does interest me, partly because I think its important for mine and my childrens future and partly because I was asked by Good Morning Britain to be on their show as a floating voter mum. That is precisely what I am. A floating voter, day by day I’m floating between parties.  In the past I’ve often voted Labour and in the last general election I voted Lib dem because I watched the televised debates and was taken in like many others were by Nick Clegg and his promises.

This time round I truly have no idea which way to vote.

Being an employee of the NHS and an occasional user of the services I strongly believe in fighting to protect it and keeping it as a not for profit organisation, free at the point of need. I’ve seen first hand the effect of cuts to services are making to both patients and staff. I think its fair to say that most of the staff employed by the NHS (including those who used to be who are now under a private provider contract) are hard-working caring people who give their all above and beyond expectations to keep patients safe, well and looked after. All the people I work with care about keeping the NHS in public hands and making sure patients always come first. So taking this into consideration the Labour party seem to share these views.

As a working family with two young boys we spend more than the cost of our mortgage each month on childcare and this is only for 3 days each week. I’m not sure that if I worked 5 days a week that it would even make financial sense for me to go to work. I have a relatively well paid job compared to many people and if this is how I feel then I can’t begin to imagine how hard it must be for the millions of other working families out there. That’s why when David Cameron announced that he was going to introduce 30 hours free childcare a week my ears pricked up. We already receive 15 hours free a week for the boy who has now turned 3, but in real terms for a private nursery this isn’t a massive reduction in fees as you still have to pay for meals. With the nursery being open 8am-6pm this 15 hours doesn’t go very far. Doubling the free hours would help us with those fees a little bit more. Which is one of the reasons I have considered the conservatives. The other reason I have put them into the ring is their manifesto on raising the minimum tax threshold. Why should people on minimum wage pay tax on what little amount they work very hard to receive?

However I have seen how the coalition cuts in real terms and the effect things like the “bedroom tax” have had on people and its been devastating for them. The selling off of NHS services although it may have seemed like a great idea to the tories it doesn’t work in reality. Private providers are wanting more and more money to run services which they are making a profit on and that’s not what the NHS is about. The NHS shouldnt be sold off. It’s not theirs to sell.

I’ve watched all the TV debates and question times for this election and I am still no clearer about who to vote for. I’ve got 6 days left to make up my mind. This election feels like one of the most important for a generation. I’m sure my mum would agree that I’ve never been one for making snap decisions, but this really is a hard choice to make for me, and the clock is counting down!