Never forget who you are

Quote from The Lion King

I felt like I hadn’t popped a Disney quote/ post together for a while so went with a Lion King pinch of wisdom, although it’s one I’ve contradicted many times.

At university I lost who I was. Several dodgy boyfriends meant I forgot who I was but the worst by far was motherhood. It took MY body away from me and left me with something that didn’t fit. It took me a while to pick up the broken pieces and to discover a dash of self love, to stop numbing negative thoughts with junk food, and wine. Lack of sleep in the early days also meant that exercise wasn’t a priority. I was in a war zone and I was surviving.

I escaped and did find me. I found an older version of my body that I’m ok with, I made time to exercise and I stopped filling my head with negative thoughts. It’s a process I think we are all in and one I need to continually reaffirm and rebalance daily.

Once I hit my thirties I cared less what others thought and knew who my tribe were, this support unit enables me to evolve but without loosing ‘me’

I don’t usually pop in suggestions but if you need a Netflix recommendation for finding yourself then ‘Unicorn Store’ is a must. A bonus if you like glitter and swag suits.

As a teacher holidays mean I actually transfer into my other full time job – Mum. It’s a job I adore but this Easter I’ve also made time to step away from my boys and have some me time. I’ve been for afternoon tea with a lovely friend and a hen do proved the ultimate overnight escape, the Mr and I even squeezed in a date afternoon to the cinema. You see to be you, you need time to do what you enjoy, as well as support those around you.

Over the next week as I grab my teacher cape out of the launderette I’ll enjoy being in my classroom – it’s part of who I am. It isnt the whole me, so I will also plan time with family, loved ones and me time because forgetting who I am is now and forever more a nonnegotiable.

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Getting up and moving forward is a choice

Quote from Zig Ziglar

I recently listened to a podcast with Tim Storey as a guest and he made a point that I wanted to share.

Life inevitably brings joy and also hardship, but so many people when they hit a set back – take a step back. Worse still Tim went on to describe that they lose their direction and in worst cases concrete themselves in the moment. That means they can’t get out of that moment. Wise words Tim.

A moment is just that, a small amount of time. If you concrete yourself and become the issue you can’t move forward…you can’t move at all, you can’t fulfil your purpose and you become the concrete.

This terrifies me. I see so many young people that by eleven years old have already concreted their life. They can’t do this or that because of a medical condition, parents limit them in what they perceive is an act of love, but it’s so often rooted in fear. “I don’t think she would want to do that because her anxiety is so bad”….well let’s take a moment to break the task down, to inspire her, to change our vocabulary to tell her that she CAN – don’t concrete her in anxiety.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting we don’t have boundaries and say no to things. Used well ‘No’ can be an amazing tool. I’m also not suggesting that I don’t concrete myself from time to time, that I don’t project my fears on those I love in a moment of thoughtlessness…but we don’t need to stay forever in the concrete. We can hammer out, we can make a CHOICE and we can move forward. I’m going to focus over the next few weeks at watching my thoughts and words to prevent the concrete from being mixed. So what’s your next move or is your concrete too thick to make a choice?

Forever is composed of nows

Quote from Emily Dickinson

This quote holds a strong message, one that many ignore. Now is a moment that lasts for such a short period of time before you blink now has become the past. These moments build up, the clock continues to tick and within the next layer many miss that life has passed them by.

The fragility of time is also due to us mortals not knowing when the end of life is for us… it would be easy to now write about seizing each day but we all have jobs we need to do, dull chores and even events we have to go to, so what can we do?

In the tapestry of life we can plan events that feed our soul, we can select the humans we choose to take on our journey, we can set intentions for each day that help us to feel accomplished. If you don’t like your job, find a new one, if you want to travel more make financing that a priority, there is always something in the now we can do. In fact now is exactly the time we need to feed our future by taking small actions that will fall like dominoes and hopefully be just as satisfying.

Right now I am driving back from a weekend with loved ones. I am going to enjoy the music, chat to my family, complete writing this post and just be. I plan to meditate later in the journey to help my mind to thrive, we plan to stop for food at some point to, so there is the bodies nourishment…once home (in the future) I will go for a run, having sat for several hours and within the balanced of doing and not doing, planning and just being I will improve my now and the many nows that are hopefully to come. What are you doing now?

Morals are a luxury. Stand by them

Quote by me.

This Valentine’s Day I asked the Mr to book it off (sometime around Christmas) so that I could book tickets to see Stacey Dooley at the Brighton dome, my friend from work and I went and frankly I needed child care, who said romance was dead.

We had a wonderful evening and Stacey shared clips from her ten year career and some of the horrific people she had met, wild places around the globe she had explored amongst a gentle sprinkle of hope and inspiration.

As we walked back to the car I thought about what I had taken from the experience, once again I was reminded how vile humans can be.

However, what I took from the show was a single comment Stacey had made.

She referred to how living in a western society we live in a place where we can have morals. What a luxury, that I’d never considered? We do have freedom and we can share our opinions. That’s serious privilege that I had taken for granted. It made me realise that in my fortunate position I need to love even harder, that my dreams are achievable and that with compassion there is hope.

I’m not saying life is perfect but I don’t have the worries that come with raising my child in a war zone, equality is achievable and I really do believe tomorrow will be better. If you too have morals, stand by them and wear them like gold cloaks of love. Share those morals on social media, it’s a platform that can be used to uplift and inspire.

Most importantly live each day as a role model of those morals, show them off like a fun, humoured and uplifting t-shirt. Tonight I will go to bed, a little more humble, appreciative of all I have and tomorrow I will wake ready to pursue another step in the direction of my dreams.

I hope you feel beautiful today

Quote Anon

No advice today, no words of motivation, just a sprinkle of kindness in a grey and overwhelming world.

Perhaps you have used so much dry shampoo for so many days that your actual shampoo has now also dried, may be your nail varnish is chipped and you haven’t been brave enough to look in a full length mirror since Britney sang ‘hit me baby one more time’ … if your children haven’t let you sleep for seven years, if you aren’t even sure whether sleep is an actual thing anymore and it’s a legend that occurred in the late nineties…

If all of these things are true, or perhaps you just feel shit:

    Put the sparkly shoes on even if you aren’t leaving the house today
    Wear the piece of jewellery that doesn’t go with your outfit but makes you feel amazing, who cares if it’s a glittering tiara and you’re popping to the supermarket.
    Grab the item from your wardrobe (or floor) that makes you feel amazing irrelevant of the climate – thong sandles look fabulous in snow.

Because even if the skies are grey I promise every time you catch a glimpse of that wardrobe item you will smile.

Davina McCall swears by sexy underwear. It doesn’t matter that nobody is going to see it, you will and you will know.

Just finding that one thing that makes you beam will remind you that you’re beautiful, now excuse me whilst I add some lipstick and remember if nobody else tells you today – you are beautiful.

Be proud of how hard you are trying

Quote Anon

Whether you set a New Years resolution, you’re generally stepping up the pace in life, or you have a secret mission to achieve a dream then take a moment to be kind to the effort you are putting in.

When my son tries he’s best that’s good enough for me. However, I’ve notice that adults often aren’t so kind to themselves.

Let’s take vegan January or veganuary?? I saw one of my followers on Instagram post a yummy photo of a meal she’d made. In the background was some coleslaw. I went to type ‘that’s not vegan’ when I thought ‘shut up, she’s trying’…instead I wrote how yummy it all looked and that I hope she enjoyed it.

I remember my Mum dieting when I was younger and a couple of days in she would cheat and tell her friends the diet had failed.

Stop

She failed one day, that doesn’t mean the next day couldn’t of been better. I believe that the pure intention of wanting to take action is more than most people achieve, she tried.

Last week I was run down and my cup was empty, as a result the chores in our home have stacked up and my laundry basket resembles Mount Etna. Rather than looking at the mountain of stains with sadness, I took my attention to the things I did achieve; the vacuuming was done, meals were created and we survived, I tried my best. Now back on track, I’ll throw a few more washes on this week and soon the basket will be empty (well, as empty as a family laundry basket can ever be)

If you are trying, give yourself a break. If friends and loved ones around you are trying around you please spread the message that you are proud of them for trying. It’s better than doing nothing and even if they do have a wobble, with your support and encouragement they are more likely to succeed the next time they try.

Effort deserves respect in a five year old world, let’s spread the love a little further and make effort an ageless celebration.

A day without tea is like…just kidding, I haven’t a clue

Cracking quote from Anon.

I realise the last post I selected was also about tea but I’m not sure you can have too many tea quotes?

We drink a range of tea in this house. Mainly green tea, matcha or yogi tea. I blend my own camomile tea (which sounds way fancier than the reality of pouring some lavender and camomile flowers in a tea infuser), we are true to our British culture and also drink Earl Grey too, black tea…you’ve worked it out we love tea.

However, I don’t think the meaning of this quote is about tea at all. When I read the words, apart from popping the kettle on, it says ‘do things you like everyday’. Both my morning and evening routines start and end with a cup of tea. To set me up for the day and relax me into a calm nights sleep. Everyday is our best day, on one occasion of which day we do not know, it will be our last. Sure, today I took our piranha, oops I mean puppy to the vets, I’ve paid bills, cleaned, cooked…doesn’t sound like I’m necessarily living my best life I guess? It’s true. I didn’t lay on a tropical beach, David Beckham didn’t sweep me off my feet and so far I’ve not noticed anyone feeding me peeled grapes (actually I don’t like the idea of someone else touching my grapes) BUT I have had cups of tea, the puppy made the vet staff swoon, I ate a custard filled doughnut, I had more than enough to pay the bills, I’m snug on the sofa…I’ve had worst ‘every days’.

The secret to a happy life is to sprinkle a little love in to every day. To switch the kettle on a pour the love in to your cup throughout the day. To make time to do the things you adore, often amongst the things you need to get done or have to get done.

So what are you waiting for, make a list of your ‘tea joys’ and make sure everyday includes a hug in a cup.

…The sun has come out not, with that in mind a wellie walk in the woods is needed.

You were my cup of tea, but I drink champagne now

Quote Anon

Within this quote lies two of my favourite liquids, tea and champagne (not in the same vessel obviously). We are jumping through January with people taking on new challenges from eating vegan to folding things in a Kondo fashion.

When I turned thirty my friend told me something very wise. She said “when you’re thirty life is too short for buying tomatoes not on the vine” and although this might sound peculiar, as always it was good advice. In my house I like crystal glasses, as a result we drink out of them as our ‘everyday’ glasses, in my opinion everyday is our best day, why wait for an occasion? My tea is served in china cups, I dislike the thickness of a mug and of course my tomatoes are bought on the vine.

However, often people don’t upgrade the people they surround them self by. I’m not saying you need to cull the friends of years gone by, sometimes there are wonderful reasons why they are still in your world. Sometimes though, your neighbour is abrupt, a friend says cruel things, they don’t support you with goals and perhaps you stopped sharing visions and plans with them long a go. In this case, seize this quote with both hands and pour the tea down the drain, reaching instead for a tall and sleek (crystal) glass of fizzy delight. Make sure the people you surround yourself by have common goals, that they too are climbing to the top of the glass one bubble at a time, that they refresh you, quench your thirsty and leave you feeling a million dollars

*warning: even champagne friends will leave you with a headache if you spend too much time with them. Balance is the key.

You and I are more than friends, we’re like a really small gang

Quote Anon

This quote warms my heart and reminds me of my soul mate. No not him indoors, he’s my equal. My soul mate and I met at university during auditions. Then the stars aligned and we ended up with rooms close together, then a house share and now despite living miles away, we speak daily. My soul mate is my shadow and I am hers. If you are blessed to have a friend that makes you a better person, tell them. This post is all about our small gang.

We complete each other’s sentences, understand each others work issues (she’s also a teacher), we sound the same on the phone and have on many occasions tricked all the Mr’s over the years by pretending to be each other. We are very alike and completely different. She has a huge friendship circle that goes back to her first breath, I hate humans. She loves to upcycle furniture and I like to drink champagne whilst she paints furniture for me. She is kind and thoughtful, she can’t say no. (Yes, I know you’re getting better) I am blunt, she is polite. I’m number one and she’s number a zillion and will put all other beings (even Doug the fat pigeon) before her. We speak daily on the phone and if we don’t I feel like I’ve lost a limb.

Our taste in fashion is different, but I’d know her taste in seconds. We can both cook, clean and love Gavin and Stacey, TV sitcoms like friends, laughing and my son…we love him equally. She always puts him first, sends him parcels; I can’t stand onesies…he rang her and asked her for one (he never asks for anything) as he admires her collection, she sent him a parcel that made him beam. In 2019 she is getting married to her equal. I’m a bridesmaid (along with 80 others, I told you she knows a lot of people), I’ve been a bridesmaid twice in my life, she is annually a bridesmaid for someone and has a closet like Katherine Heigl in 27 dresses. So her moment to shine is a big deal. That said, she’s allowing my son to walk down the aisle carrying the rings in an outfit of his choice. Currently the design involves 8 legs and it has to light up. I don’t need to apologies to her, she knows him and loves him for his wonderful imagination, I know she would be upset if I made him wear a suit that made him align with the colour scheme.

When we are together I feel complete. I wouldn’t be me without her. She is my Clare bear. She’s my better half. Together we are the coolest little gang ever. It helps that somehow we’ve ended up with men folk that are also very different and yet the parallels of similarity are odd.

Being cool, we often sing aloud together in our cars and create new lyrics to songs or poems that make little to no sense but make us laugh.

Thank you for being my bestie, my light in the dark times and my shadow enjoying the lighter aspects of life with me. May 2019 bring you all you desire and more…if like me you have a really small gang, tell them. To show others you appreciate them is the highest gift you can give, unless they like gin, then share your gin with them.

When trials come your way, look for the pearls.

Quote confused: could be the bible or song lyrics…or both?

Sometimes things are just meant to be. Currently curled up on my lap is a tiny puppy. We took her to the vets and she is around 6-7weeks old. We aren’t sure of her breed, guesses are mainly around a combination of a Labrador and a springer.

We did want another puppy and was waiting until the new year when the weather was a little warmer. After all who wants to stand in the dark and rain with a puppy…apparently we do now. Even better she’s black so you can’t see her a night without a torch which she likes to dart away from and it’s rained constantly in the UK since she came home.

How this bundle came to be is a little different from the average ‘buy a dog’ story, so I’m sharing it on here. On Friday I went to buy some cider vinegar from a store after work (snobby I know). Outside was an absolutely useless security guard shouting at a man and inflaming the situation, the man was clearly on illegal substances. Shoppers walked past and avoided the area. I asked the man if he was okay (to the dismay of the security guard) I calmed him down and noticed a puppy peeping out of his coat. It was a cold night and I asked him if I could hold her. He had taken them from his girlfriend, the black ones hadn’t sold and he wanted his next hit.

The store has a huge car park in the front of it and you can see cars approaching. He was worried because (rightly so) the guard had called the Police. I explained that I would talk to the police for him and that shouting and fighting wasn’t going to help. He then confessed he had some ‘taken’ jewellery in his coat. He showed me a string of pearls. He wanted help and I said the police would be able to offer that.

The security guard left.

Police arrived and I as promised explained that this man had taken some things he wished he didn’t need to take. That he had some ‘borrowed items’ on him and that he had promised me he would go nicely with them. (All those years of calming down year eleven pupils had come in handy).

He was calmly arrested on several charges and also because he had killed one of the puppies in his coat (I was still holding the other one) it was either too cold or his erratic behaviour had harmed it. I knew I wasn’t going to hand over the ball of fluff in my hands. I followed the Police to the station and the man signed her over to me because “I like her, she’s alright” (nothing like a compliment from a puppy killing drug dealer to set your Friday evening up for success). I didn’t want her to go in to cells while they tried to get her to a rescue home and both the officers and myself were worried she might need be in need of her mum and therefore need a little more care.

I phoned the Mr and said ‘Hi I’m on my way home and I have a puppy on my lap’ he then organised the necessary bits we would need for that night and ‘as long as it isn’t a Dachshund’ we could keep her (one day I’ll get that sausage dog).

Until then we own a bitsa dog (breed: bit of this, bit of that), we stand in the rain outside only for her to wee inside and we all adore her.

After the stolen pearls in the mans pocket and my sons love of Pirates of the Caribbean her official name is #TheBlackPearl (the goodie ship) and we lovingly call her Pearl…or rather ‘No pearl don’t eat that’. To stare at cute puppy pictures check her out on instagram @fridgesays