I’m not ageing, I just need repotting.

Quote Anon.

Many of us over the last few months have spent more time at home than ever before. Its given me more time to reflect, be present and show my house plants more love.

Each plant has its own needs, much like humans. Some explode in colour, take up all the room and fight for the light. Others, slowly grow, creep and stay snug in their pots. To nourish the plants I often give them a little feed, again some prefer regular watering, but most like their roots to dry out. I’ve also now got a window sill full of babies ready to be rehomed, as I pot each offspring in their own pot, much like my son I do love watching them flourish.

It made me think about my own ‘pot’ and I’ve taken to a daily yoga practise to make room. Ive also meditated more (something I find hard to make part of my daily practise, even though I know its super good for me on many levels). On reassessment of my pot, I guess I am ready to move pots – I need new challenges and the view has become a little stale.

Bravely, I’ve taken action and am planning new pot adventures, giving nourishment to my roots, making space and prioritising what its important to my core, it’s time to top up the soil and move on to bigger things.

Today I was blessed to receive an email from an ex-pupil who updated me on her adventures, at eighteen she’s realised that adult life isn’t mapped out (no shizzle) and that a sense of purpose isn’t as accessible as an amazon prime delivery. I was extremely proud that she has been using this time to reflect, to make plans to leave her ‘pot’ in hope for more enriched and a deeper sense of joy. We don’t have to all live BIG. We don’t all need to be loud. In fact, as I age – I realise that my house plants who are brave enough to grow a new leaf, to reach out into the light…they are some of my favourites.

Make time to restore your pot, nourish the soil, eat well, stay hydrated – we are all just plants with complex emotions.

Do whatever you need to do to flourish – but don’t allow yourself to become pot bound, to wonder the ‘what ifs’ and rot over watered and stagnant just because your pot is comfortable.

#7yo Collect things

Quote Anon

Since the little dude was four years old, I’ve created this post to track his answers to the 20 questions listed below. Its joyful for me to see the small changes in his answers and how his vision of the world around him alters. Perhaps not as interesting for those reader who don’t know him, but a timely reminder to do it for the little people in your world. Objects can be exchanged, broken or lose value but memories and creating traditions live on and are priceless.

1. What’s your favourite colour? Green

2. What’s your favourite toy?   Ray, (giant hippo cuddly toy) hulk buster and my mosasaurus

3. What’s your favourite fruit? Banana

4. What do you like to watch on TV? Trap door, Disney +

5. What do you like to eat at lunch? Cheese wrap

6. Who’s in your family? Pearl (our dog), Burple (gecko), the stick insects and our fish, me, Mummy, Daddy. *animals come first it would seem

7. What item of clothing do you most like to wear? Jogging bottoms, like I tried to put on earlier (I made him take them off, its 25C in the UK)

8. What game do you like to play? Dizzy dizzy dinosaur and Chess

9. What’s your favourite animal? Hippopotamus and crocodiles.

10.  What song do you most like? The Mandalorian song (theme tune, he hums it all of the time)

11. What’s your favourite snack? Anything with cheese in it.

12. Favourite book? Worst in Show, David Walliams books, Tom Gates…so many Mummy.

13. Who’s your best friend? Luke, Eddie and Henry

14. What’s your favourite sport?  Judo, I like swimming but it wastes my breath a lot.

15. Which holiday do you like the best? who knows (why?) because we might have even better holidays

16. What do you sleep with? Ray, (cuddly hippo) Croccie (cuddly crocodile) and Ivan (huge cuddly snake)

17. What do you like best for breakfast? whatever’s going.

18. What do you like to do outside? Chill on my slide

19. What’s your favourite drink? water

20. What’s your favourite dinner? Macaroni

You must be shapeless, formless, like water.

Quote / poem / thoughts by Bruce Lee.

Todays post is inspired by Bruce Lee, before I ramble – id like to share the piece in its entirety.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

Simply beautiful.

I became aware of these words as I listen to the GABA podcast (and urge you to do the same), during a live on instagram Adam the creative and talented creator of GABA usally shares a reading, poem, lyric or thought before a meditation sound bath…one of them was the Bruce Lee reading above. It taught me two valuable things.

The first was to let go…truly let go. Today I had no idea what I would achieve, I let go of constructs such as time – we ate when we were hungry (so much simpler), at the back of my mind I repeated to myself a new mini mantra ‘be like water’….the time we have now, albeit unknown and at times concerning, is also a blessing for me personally. Grounded to home, time with my boys – a blessing that I’m also aware could be snatch back to school runs, work schedules, traffic jams and to do lists at any moment. However, through my days water experiment I found far more joy in the now, zero stress and bizarrely I was more productive. Perhaps opening ‘to do’ tabs of the mind, answering emails in under six minutes (the average response time to an email in 2020) and being productive, is ironically time consuming and unproductive?

We took ourselves off for walks amongst the bluebells (thank you Mother nature), connected with loved ones through various technologies and my sons home schooling happened much more like a running river than a mother (me) juggling and trying to overachieve whilst walking on hot coals and simultaneously smiling. It gave me a deeper sense of connection and gratitude for the simple delights of life and I’m addicted.

The second thing Bruce’s words taught me were about collaboration. Adam obviously had scribbled them down because they resonated with his creative flare, in turn he shared them with his audience and gave me inspiration for a blessed day and as many more ‘be like water’ moments and days as I can flow into my life, this is turn inspired me to write this piece….and once again, creativity seems to bring a sense of calm, restorative joy and flow to life.

I should probably wrap this writing up with a bow, a witty line or perhaps a single sentence… or you could just listen to Bruce, be like water and perhaps you will leave the confinements of being squeezed into a plastic bottle and will indeed find your own flow.

Write until you surprise yourself

Quote Anon

I do this all of the time, sometimes when I read back over all blog posts, I can’t remember thinking the paragraphs I’ve typed, let alone the structure, point or pressing publish…in fact, often I don’t even remember writing the content.

This is why today’s quote will hopefully encourage you to write a little more. Perhaps you have your own blog, a note book, a secret diary or a shopping list. From published authors to list gurus there is always a little more time to write in my opinion.

In school when my pupils are overwhelmed with emotion and they don’t even know why they are feeling the way they are, I usually present them with a pencil and some paper – sprinkle with half an hour of uninterrupted time and the answer is usually somewhere between the doodles and waffle. Letting your mind go free with the written word is one of the best gifts we can give to each other. As the pencil flows across the page somewhere between “I don’t know why I’m writing this” to the ‘love from xxx’ magic happens.

I feel like writing allows me to ‘speak’ from my inner core, a place that’s always in harmony. Over the last few weeks I’ve increased my writing, due in part to having more time but mainly because the need has increased. With more uncertainty comes the need to further anchor the soul, the body tends to follow. If you ‘can’t write’ or if you have previous described yourself as someone who ‘doesn’t do writing’ (like my son – he has an extreme allergy to holding a pencil and sitting still) or perhaps you are looking for a sign…here it is! Pick up a pencil, create the writing area you are most comfortable in (mine includes a cup of Green Jasmin tea), find a platform you are most comfortable in…paper, typing / online or in private and see where the nib of the pen takes you, or the journey of the mouse on your device.

Most of all, don’t overthink it, enjoy the process and thank me later.

You must find happiness right where you are.

Quote from Disneys Moana.

We’ve begun the Easter holidays in the UK. For the last few days I’ve grown in happiness because that is what I’m choosing to see, feel and look for. Let me tell you more.

The sun is shining and this is both rare and delightful. I usually always post on Sundays, I know that consistent content is key to the growth of my blog, but my blog won’t grow without me writing it…yesterday was the hottest day in England so far this year, so I grabbed my share of vitamin D and headed into the garden for the day. Pottering, sipping drinks in the garden and soaking up rays of joy were on my agenda. As a result, I feel better for it, so much better that I have more energy to give, more time to share and my blog didn’t suffer from a 24hr lack of content and doesn’t feel like a chore to write.

This morning my son and I walked down to our local cafe (they are doing take away / deliveries) we grabbed a piece of cake each and to increase the happiness for others, grabbed two extra slices for my sons grandparents. We left the box of delight on the doorstep, waved through the windows and saw them smile. Happiness isn’t always in the receiving.

Happiness is many small particles, much like dust that if you blink you miss BUT if you choose to see, multiply and can be seen even in the darkest of moments. Sometimes its not about what you desire in the future but what you have now that counts. We all have different blessings if we choose to see them. For example, my sons knee has a scab on it from where he fell over a few days a go. He asked what a scab was and I explained it was a sign the body was healing, a protective barrier so that underneath the body could knit itself back together whilst keeping out the germs from the outside and the good stuff inside…he renamed it his armour and now wears it with pride. In every moment in every day we have millions of moments to see joy or to see a scab.

Don’t worry about what ‘they’ have or where ‘they’ are going. Look around you and at this very moment, no matter how bleak life can seem there is always something to be thankful, kind, grateful or happy about. Moana is one of my favourite Disney characters and this uplifting quote serves as a reminder that if you want to live a positive life, you simply MUST make happiness a priority.

The time goes by faster than you can imagine.

Quote from John Cooper

Ive just been pondering the concept of time. I thought you couldn’t grab it, smell it or taste it but I think perhaps you can…when I see sepia photographs of the past or historical books – I can see time has unfolded (not to mention facebook photos of myself from a decade or two ago), when I smell fresh cut cucumber I’m taken on a journey back to my childhood on my Grandads allotment. He always use to grow me a ‘L’ for Lucy and I always left feeling super important, never fully appreciating that the straight cucumbers with little fragrance in the supermarket weren’t really the real deal.

Mainly, I think we all ‘feel’ time…the pressure or perhaps the weight of it. Routines seem to consume time, turning days into brief moments and daunting minutes still to come are granted a loss of several nights sleep. Its often something we never have enough of, a little like its sister Money. We desire it and then often, when we have it in abundance we aren’t sure what to do with it? Wasteful sunday afternoons spent in and out of sleep on the sofa watching films we’ve seen before, or long walks that have no particular start, end or anything in between.

We remember the good times and of course the bad, we celebrate specific times – birthdays, holidays and traditional moments throughout the year. We bank some memories for rainy days and look back with fondness or regret. But mainly, the times keeps ticking and we take it for granted. Never fully grasping its precious gift of now.

Perhaps you’re like me and try and live in the now, but that in itself seems to create a bigger void between you and it? I’m afraid I don’t have any wisdom for this…i’m still working it out, I do know a few things; meditation is more powerful than we’d like to think and easier than everyone else makes out, but ultimately the best way to make the most of the fragile time we do have is grasp it with both hands, travel, listen to music, cook, practise yoga, run…do whatever it is that makes you smile. Seek the sun, drink the tea, surround yourself with wonderful people that make you happy and go to bed each night knowing you lived the best day you could with everything you had available to you. After all, that’s all any of us have – right now.

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf

Quote by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Our front door was always a rotating flow of coming and goings; deliveries coming in, errands flowing out, school routines backwards and forwards, family and friends… it currently stands still, a barrier that keeps us safe as we cocoon inside.

Many (understandable) are fearful of the future and even of the now. However, when I saw this quote it summed up how I felt in this moment. We can’t stop the waves and perhaps we shouldn’t even try – perhaps everything is as its meant to be, however chaotic and alien it may feel. Perhaps this is the break that not only our planet needs, but our minds, bodies and souls need. I read an article that fish have returned to the canals of Italy, that air quality is improving and the ozone layer is fixing itself at a rapid pace.

The word ‘routine’ seems alien, that up until a few weeks a go was essential to our productivity…we pause…we adjust and perhaps if we learn or attempt to surf, to enjoy the tides, to ride high and fall with the flow of the waves…perhaps rather than feel anxious, we can instead feel blessed.

We can’t deny the waves that wash over our planet, we can’t control them and so it makes sense to allow them to wash over us. For me that means enjoying every moment with my family, using technology to face time loved ones further away, living in the now and making do with what we have got, rather than worrying about what we don’t have. I’ve only ever body surfed, but it was a lot of fun and perhaps in the future I’ll take some lessons and learn how to surf for real, until then I’ll watch Moana and take inspiration from lyrics such as…

We read the wind and the sky when the sun is high
We sail the length of the seas on the ocean breeze

At night, we name every star
We know where we are
We know who we are, who we are

Perhaps in this uncertain time, as we take time to pause we will also learn a little more about who we are and develop a deeper sense of purpose, that to me seems like a wave worth riding.

Gratitude turns what we have into enough

Quote by Melody Beattie

As a child I was brought up by two exceptional parents, I’m blessed. I was taught and given a range of experiences and along the way reminded to say thank you for them. At Christmas, after birthdays and sometimes randomly in the year my Mum would help me to create thank you cards for gifts i’d received or teachers who had guided me, perhaps even for a person who has shown me a new skill or given up their time for me. As a result I appreciate all I have as an adult, has good manners and passes these skills down to my son. I begin each day by writing down what I am grateful for and before my son goes to sleep we exchange three grateful moments from the day. Appreciation helps both centre you, tell those around you that you are thankful for them but also, is a foundation for more gratitude.

It’s often in the darker times that we truly appreciate those around us, those who go above and beyond or those who simply give what they can when they can – they are enough. When our daughter passed away I learnt who my tribe was, mainly just by how those who loved me knew how to dance around me. voicemails left saying ‘call me when you’re ready to talk, we can talk about shoes if you’d prefer’ or my best friend who wanted to be physically by my side and I told her it was okay, she didn’t need to come…moments later I picked the phone back up and she made what must of been a lonely car journey to hold me, I needed her.

In August I was also reminded that gratitude is also abundant in the joyful times in our lives – the same dear friend got married. Love for the couple flowed and it was a privilege to be part of a piece of their history. She is still on cloud nine and rightly so, I couldn’t be happier for her. We had many deep chats though watery eyes and glances across the room that day and I realised that a best friend really is someone you can sit in silence with and know that you’ve both had the most wonderful conversation with.

For the last few weeks she and her husband have been in isolation, both of them ill and I have been worried about them. Some how from beneath the cough and chest congestion, from the depths of her sofa…and probably her onesie, she made the time to send my son, her godson a birthday card. She organised presents to be delivered and when he wanted to FaceTime she did the best fake ‘I’m healthy, nothing to worry about voice’ I’ve ever heard.

If you catch yourself feeling sad in moments of uncertainty, if perhaps you have distance between you and you’re loved ones. Reflect on how good it will be when you next see them, how amazing that hug will feel and how blessed you are to have ever had them in your universe. Sometimes its the little things in life that enrich our world and my best friend is under five foot small…. look at what you do have, have had and will have, suddenly with a pinch of gratitude the world can feel like it’s scooped you up and wrapped a big red bow around it. Enjoy the journey and smother yourself in gratitude.

Roll with it

Quote from my Instagram page @fridgesays

It’s 1:20am and I can’t sleep, the unknown has taken over. I’m not panicked, I’m not particularly fearful but I’ve no idea what being a Teacher means. Just after 5pm today I like most of the nation expected Mr Johnson to shut the shop up on schools and was ready to bed down with my family and wait for the storm to pass, which if you read the headlines you may perceive as truth… to me he said much more.

He said “exams in May and June won’t be happening” that’s two years of mine and my students life that were made practically obsolete in seconds… of course they’ve learnt things that will stay with them, but I somehow feel robbed for them so close to the finish line. I truly adore my yr 11 classes and I’m not even sure if I’ll see them again? I doubt they will have a prom, perhaps in these times that seems superfluous but to those that have bought ‘the dress’ and dreamed of that evening they were robbed by a virus.

He said “schools will stay open for those that are vulnerable “ and my heart bled for every head teacher and headship team across the country…what does that even look like? How will that be staffed? What will we teach? How will we know who to prepare for…rolling with it seems vague and uneasy.

He said “we will baby sit the nations key workers children” and my profession and career goals became a blur. On one hand proud to serve my country in some kind of capacity (many thanks to the NHS and emergency services teams for all you do and will continue to do)… on the other hand that’s not why I teach secondary? Selfishly questioning why I should leave my child to help out another’s, worrying that by sending my son to school that I might expose him…where did the plan to wrap him up go?

I also know that this can alter again in the next few days, the dynamics of what was asked are so complex and a national lock down is coming our way but I wanted to write in this moment and capture these thoughts that have separated me from my pillow because I think it will be a huge shift in how we move forward, in my sense of purpose, in what Education is and looks like after this moment.

And then I laugh at the image that I honest created prior to the demand in toilet rolls and as I smile. I know it will all work out. It will be okay. I know it will be an honour to look after each and every child that comes through our school gates and I’m glad that the government is thinking about free school meals and the impacts on financially vulnerable families. I know that our priority across the world is our health. We will thrive and in my classroom we will learn what really matters and perhaps until now that was never on the curriculum.

#kindnessiscontagious

And like the moon, we must go through phases of emptiness to be full again.

Anon

Ive always like the solar system, science never really appealed to me at school but how can you ignore the beauty of the nights sky? The constellations, the history of how various stages of humanity used the stars and planets as guides, the heat of the sun, the planets lined up like Russian dolls hanging off of my sons ceiling…and the moon. By far my personal favourite, that smiling face of glow and delight that’s force pulls and pushes of tides and if i’m honest my heart strings.

Over the last few months I’ve been tracking the moons phases and can see patterns in my life where the moon is waxing and waning. Whilst I refuse to discuss the chaotic and perpetual negative cycle of fear we are currently being fed by mainstream media, social media and the miserable lady at the bus stop, this quote fed my soul in a way that those outlets haven’t and so I had to use it.

Amongst the depths of the dark we can appreciate the light of day. If we chose to discard the negative surface of fear, underneath we can see glimmers of hope, love and happiness. Stories of human compassion, pure kindness and this is what I’ve decided to put into my bubble. Where people see confinement and lack, I can decide to see the opportunity to be at home, surrounded by my loved ones. I can be thankful for the health of my loved ones and can offer help to those who I’m able to. Like the lady who had a four month old baby screaming and couldn’t find Calpol in any of our local stores…I offered ours, we don’t need it. She does.

Perspective is a difficult thing to see in the dark, but look to the moon for guidance. It allows us to appreciate what we do have, what experiences we have had rather than what we are yet to do. Contrast is a bitter sweet gift, but perhaps we are more like the moon that we realise? The darker times often inform the lighter moments of life and much like the cycle of the moon, it will pass and we will be grateful and full again.

Look after loved ones and do all you can for those at risk, above all be kind even in the loo roll aisle.