Alone we can do so little, together we can achieve so much

Quote from Helen Keller

Perhaps it best to begin where I am now. Sat on the side at the swimming pool whilst the Mr guides the little dude to improve his swimming technique. This allows me to type away and have some therapy time. Where we are now, getting more done.

Last week was a catastrophe of disasters; from work, complexities in childcare, getting back to a routine, the Mr having to be away for longer than I’d like – thanks Pakistan air space, little dude having a school trip…put it this way as a tribe we dropped plates this week and the juggle reached a climax and strain that was unrelenting. However, now out of the dark and into the light, we made it. We achieved so much thanks to the support of our extended tribe. A combination of friends reaching out, wise words, a Tunnocks tea cake left on my desk, the Mr’s Mum extending childcare beyond anyone’s expectations…that’s a wealth you can’t put a price on.

The flowers are for her. I can’t work full time without support. The kids at school can’t thrive without my support…we as a family need our extended tribe, we need to raise others up and in turn are held up by others.

If you too have had a year, month, week or day of darkness and you can see a glimmer of light then however small the light is bask in it. Thank those around you, appreciation is lost if we don’t seize it in the moment. We achieve very little alone and isolated, life is fuller with others by your side.

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The grass is greener when you water it.

Quote by Neil Barringham

At the end of February we often get a few warm days, enough to shed a layer or two when you go out, enough so you need to find your sunglasses that you abandoned in September in a draw somewhere between the front door and the backdoor (or they could be in the car?) and enough for the Mr to say to me yesterday “I’m going to need to cut the grass again soon”

Grass doesn’t need much to thrive. However in the cold, dark and wet winters of the UK it barely grows at all, we rarely go out there and the grass is stagnant.

In life we often need to make choices every now and then, where do we put our time, love and sunlight? We look at other peoples lawns and often admire them not fully understanding the complexities of what they might be ‘growing’ through, we don’t see the moss patches, or the bald patches covered up by plant pots. A quick glimpse and it’s easy to wrongly see a lawn or someone else’s life in the wrong light.

Sometimes we can love our own lawn but feel the need to buy a new one just because… much like lawn maintenance, humans aren’t as simple as we believe.

Instead we need to mow our own lawns, perhaps put some extra attention of the bits that have been scorched by the sun, add new seeds, water and tend. We have a 160ft garden and it would take an awful lot of time to edge it. However, what we give our time and love to is what will thrive. Our health, relationships and careers all need time, love and attention too. The grass may be greener elsewhere but that’s not your concern. Water your own grass and watch it grow, add sunlight and see it thrive. Most importantly ignore the lawn and spend time with people you love. Mother Nature will sort it out, it’s a lawn – get a life and make that thrive.

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.

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

You are not weak for needing time to sort through this

Quote from MHN

Currently I’m in a whirlwind of festive get togethers, chores and life’s demands. December brings joy but also preparation. As regular readers will know I also go HUGE on intentions and goals, as we step into 2019 my bucket list flows with plans, ideas and steps towards making my dreams come true.

The carousel of life, even in the most joyful times can sometimes need a pause. As a park ride, the carousel has always been a favourite of mine. Usually in the centre of the action, the glistening fairy lights and twinkling music draws my inner child in like a warm hug. However, I wouldn’t want to stay on a carousel for a long period of time. Life’s issue – even joyful moments are often served quick and unexpected. The joy is in a moment and a moment should never last a life time.

You are not weak or selfish for needing time to sort through an issue that’s present in your life. Often as humans, much like a carousel we are presented with an issue, or view of the world, think we’ve dealt with it, only to see the pattern emerge in another aspect of our life.

I urge you to create time to reassess your journey. To jump off of the carousel and spend time sorting through the issue. Life is best with variation and the carousel isn’t going anywhere, so take a ride on the Big Dipper, you never know what you’re missing.

Lost in a world that doesn’t exist.

Quote Anon (possibly song lyrics)

We are all absorbed in a world that often isn’t what it seems, always learning new things and what I’m going to share blew my brain. Its an experiment conducted by Dr. Masaru Emoto, where cooked rice was put in three beakers. Dr Masaru then speaks to the beakers daily (or shouts), you can also label them. The results blew my brain and I invite you to try it yourself.

What do you need?

  • 3 jars
  • 3 teaspoons of cooked rice
  • a best friend (optional)
  • a permeant marker to label the jars, or a sticky label and pen.

My bestie and I were talking about the experiment and I have to say, I was intrigued. I seized the day and grabbed three jars. I labelled my three jars gratitude, disgusting and ignore.

I placed a teaspoon of cooked rice in each jar, let in cool and then sealed it. I then spent the next few weeks daily telling each jar how thankful I was for it, how revolting it was…or I ignored it. Over the next few days and weeks I then sent the following photos to my bestie and we exchanged thoughts on the experiment. A good google will give you lots of scientific analysis and tell you more information on the experiment, below are my results after thirty days.

When I opened the jars (outside in the garden) the gratitude jar has no sign of fermenting, it smelt sweet but not necessarily pleasant, I really couldn’t believe how clear it was. The disgusting jar was very different – the smell packed a punched and the rotting is clear to see. I could see at least five different types of mould. The ignore jar looked clear too (which surprised me) the water in the jar was a little cloudy, however when I opened the jar the smell was unbearable and I’ve changed many nappies at close range.

I realise that this isn’t  very ‘scientific’ and that there are many variables; from the position of the jars, how many grains were in each jar, what was in the jar previously…the list goes on, but my world was altered for the better from doing this experiment and perhaps thats all that is necessary. Below are my thoughts and what I’ve taken from this…

1). If humans are approximately 60% water and water has a conscience- then how we speak to ourselves and how we let others speak to us has much more of mental and physical effect than I ever perceived. Since doing the experiment I am much more aware of my inner voice and the thoughts I choose to think, I also avoid being around others that could poison my jar. If the conversation turns negative, I make my apologies and leave.

2). Now I understand why my Nanny talks to her plants. If rice in a jar can be THAT effected by negative words, objects I once thought were just that – objects, are much more sensitive to their surroundings. *at this point my brain slightly blows with incomprehensible truths about the world we live in. If the sea, plant life and animal kingdom are all receptive to the energy projected at them then the first place to start being kind is to ourselves and then to spread the kindness and gratitude like…water.

3). My son was part of this experiment but I will do it with him again when he is slightly older, I hope it will teach him about his inner powers.

This last image is powerful but again, don’t take my word for it. Grab yourself a jar or two and let me know how the conscious rice experiment works for you.

Everything is figureoutable

Quote Anon.

I know these aren’t real words, but so much of my vocabulary that I use is created in my head, this spoke to me.

When I was younger I really felt that once you became an adult you had the world worked out, the pathways would open like some sort of ‘open sesame’ then on you plodded. Well either I wasn’t listening when they were handing out maps (highly likely) or the routes of life are more unknown than I had thought.

Problems, often cascade from no where. They arrive on my doorstep in envelopes of large bills that I wasn’t expecting, a car can collide into my rear and phone calls and more letters are required. The health of loved ones can be shared in a text or conversation and then hospital visits and worry ensues… or you can breath.

I know, breathing doesn’t actually pay the bill or fix a car, but it does allow your brain to process the issue from a grounded place rather than in a state of emotional turmoil.

Often when I’m faced with an issue that I can’t figure out how to solve, changing the activity I’m doing or distracting my brain with something I enjoy often means I come to a conclusion far quicker.

It sounds crazy, I realise to say ‘don’t think about the problem you can’t stop thinking about’ but honesty it works. My dear friend couldn’t conceive, her partner and her stopped trying whilst they saved for IVF…with the pressure removed she conceived and gave birth to a health bundle of new born.

When you ‘let go’ of tension magic happens; money flows from places you didn’t know existed, friends help out in ways you didn’t know they could…issues that you just couldn’t work out become figureoutable.

It’s not exactly a map to adulthood, but it is a magical step on a smoother pathway. Enjoy the journey and remember all problems are generally solved eventually, if you lack confidence then give this a read because You can, end of story

We see what we want

Quote by Lauren Miller

Today I woke up and I did my morning routine. Its been a routine for a couple of months now and it took a while to get going as I thought only single twenty something youtubers could have them, but also I needed to stop making excuses like my son will interrupt me or I’ve got to much to do, I guess like the quote suggests I needed to see what I wanted.

I go downstairs and make a cup of alkali tea. I return to bed to meditate and then I write in my gratitude journal and set my intention out underneath, whilst sipping my tea.

It works for me. It means I’m in control of my day and since doing this I’ve noticed that I accomplish my intentions for the previous day and that makes me feel good. In total it takes about 25mins from kettle boil to journal and at 5yrs old I’ve taught my son not to disturb me if my earphones are in (I use a guided meditation in the Morning) sometimes he quietly snuggles next to me and sometimes he forgets the rules about earphones and wants to listen too or is excited about telling me about his latest crocodile dream. That’s okay too…

Do you have a morning routine? Mine took a while to come together, it needed to be simple and one that could be interrupted by family life. For example when I went down to make my tea this morning, little dude asked for his breakfast a little earlier. So I made his food at the same time as my cuppa. Ease and flow help me to accomplish my routine, whilst also not over complicating my morning.

I set intentions because life is too precious not to accomplish something every day. Sometimes they are about work, family, my blog, self love or well…anything. The other day me and the little dude had a rare day together, so my intention was simply to stay present and focus on him. I may have focused too hard as the little monster snuck off in the afternoon for a nap because I’d wore him out.

Do you set intentions and have a morning routine? It really helps me to see what we want…or are you too busy to see?

Jar Moments

There are many things we have to teach our little humans, from taking their first steps to the glamour and delights of wiping bottoms, my son still insists that having his bottom behind him is a design fault (as he can’t see it).

Over the Summer holidays I have created ‘Jar Moments’ and have taken several ideas from the web of joy to hopefully teach my son to spread love, be grateful and for him to experience appreciation with a sprinkle of happiness. If you have a little dude or dudet, or even a gaggle of dudes then feel free to join in. My ideas initially came from Jacqueline from Go to Mindfulness who was a featured blogger on #thesatsesh, click the link and you’ll see that in the jar I’ve added some of her inner child ideas. I also used good old pinterest to find some ‘random acts of kindness’ (although its always made me wonder how random a planned jar of activities can actually be?) then I added a few of my own. J isn’t keen on writing and at the grand old age of 5 years and with a teacher for a Mummy if I can sneak in some pencil time then its an added bonus.

However, we’ve actually been doing ‘Jar moments’ for a while and I didn’t set it up as ‘something for my blog’ but friends have asked if they can join in, so I thought I’d take some time to type it up. I’ll be sharing all of our ideas via the hashtag #jarmoments so feel free to follow me on Facebook to see what the latest note out of the jar is, my Facebook page is @whatmyfridgesays of course you can just do the odd note or even create your own jar. I’m using Facebook as a platform as I think it may get lost on Instagram and I also need to show my Fb page a little more love.

Instruction wise the Jar is simple; you simple unscrew the jar (Gratitude goes to Nanny for providing the jar) and pick out a note. You then have 48 hours to complete the task. I gave us this time as I didn’t want it to become a burden on planned days out that we have during the summer holidays.  Once the task is complete and you’ve returned home, pick another to see what adventure the next forty eight hours holds.

You’ll notice that none of the activities cost any money. I really believe that showing love, gratitude and experiencing happiness always comes from the most simple tasks.

I should probably add that you also don’t need a mini dude to play along – why not create a jar for adult self.

I hope you enjoy #Jarmoments and if you do get involved please let me know by sharing pictures, stories and moments. The more love we can throw out in to the world the better.