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?

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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.

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.

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.

Words are free, it’s how you use them that costs you.

Quote by Anon

I may have spoken about this before but Pen from The Single Swan mentioned in a comment the other day that she picks a word for the year ahead, bizarrely that day the bestie and I were on the phone and mentioned that our common word for 2018 was ‘accomplished ‘ (sounds so joyful on the tongue). As a woman who loves to set intentions I thought I’d select a word for 2019. As I began to think about what I wanted from the year and searched through my bag of goals, ideas and plans I very quickly decided on a word and it scared me to my core.

Achieve.

As I type the word I feel a sense of burden, fear and that perhaps I’m taking on a word that’s out of my reach. However, through this blog I have learnt that nothing changes unless you are willing to step out of your comfort zone. I also don’t need every moment of every day to be an achievement and with small adjustments as the months roll I can take steps that suit my pace. That said, some of the goals I will achieve will need me to step way beyond my area of comfort. Upon reflection it’s a word suitable for success and the challenge that comes with achieving. Take for example my first challenge…the puppy I rescued. She is a ball of chew and needles from her teeth to her sharp claws. She has no boundaries (we are trying to teach her them day by day, she is teaching us that rules are made to be chewed) and although she’s also a bundle of cuteness, I know training her will be a challenge but also an achievement.

Next, I will be moving this blog away from WordPress and to my own site…any tips totally welcome as http and widgets brings me out in a cold sweat of confusion and doubt. However, by taking the leap will mean I can add a new aspect to the site which I really want to do…details to follow once I’ve worked out the ifs, but’s and all the words that come with achieving this mission.

Other things I’d like to achieve will help me to love my home a little more. It’s a nice house but as I’m not a fan of the word ‘nice’ this speaks volumes about my feelings to the building we call home.

2019 will also be my daughters 10th anniversary. It blows my brain to think of all the things she could of liked and become. We don’t celebrate her birthday or death but I’d like to mark her decade with a gathering or event…again, any ideas welcome as this will be another emotional challenge to our journey to achieving a positive life without her on earth.

Join me through my challenges and achievements via this corner of the internet and why not pick your own word…if like the quote suggests we pay a price, let it be life changing for the better.

Happy New Year.