#8yo collect moments

When my son was three I began to ask him a series of twenty questions, except for when he was six (unsure what happened?) As a result I now have a collection of his opinions on the basic ‘favourites’ in life. Somethings have remained steadfast and I don’t see them ever changing (his favourite colour has always been green, I blame Hulk), others bounce around like his food preferences and some alter like the wind blows. This year we reread them together and he laughed at some of his responses. I will continue this self indulged thread until he refuses to play, a little part of me hopes he is 45 years old and still playing the game, as what we now have are a collection of memories – things come and go, but memories are often free have a priceless value.

(If you’re interested in reading his 7 year memories as a comparison Click here )

1. What’s your favourite colour? Green

2. What’s your favourite toy? Orco (giant cuddly Orca whale that’s also a puppet)

3. What’s your favourite fruit? Mango

4. What do you like to watch on TV? Mickey mouse and friends (shorts)

5. What do you like to eat at lunch? Plastic rolls (basically, for all the organic and homemade food I prepare – the boy adores a supermarket sandwich??)

6. Who’s in your family? My Mum, Dad, Pearl (our dog) stick insects, Burple (leopard Ghecko) and Nathaniel (tortoise) , fish.

7. What item of clothing do you most like to wear? My green dinosaur head T-shirt (it’s from Boden and gets a lot of love

8. What game do you like to play? Hungry sharks evolution (haven’t a clue?)

9. What’s your favourite animal? Crocodile

10. What song do you most like? Anything by stick figure – World on fire (he loves chilled music in the background when he’s reading or playing)

11. What’s your favourite snack? Raisins (This was news for me?)

12. Favourite book? Beast Quest (he loves the series)

13. Who’s your best friend? Luke

14. What’s your favourite sport?  Judo

15. What’s your favourite holiday memory? Going on the cruise to see the whales

16. What do you sleep with? My teddies

17. What do you like best for breakfast? Waffles

18. What do you like to do outside? Play the game ‘it’

19. What’s your favourite drink? Mocktails

20. What’s your favourite dinner? Margarita pizza , no macaroni, or burgers, or steak, or tortellini, maybe a cheese board with grapes? I can’t pick and now I’m hungry.

Karma isn’t a bitch, it’s a mirror

Wow! You know when you are a collector of something and you have to have it…that’s how I felt about this quote.

I’ve always believed in karma. At times in my life I’ve relied on it being served to others, I’ve also had my fare share of stubbed toes in return for minor errors on my part.

However, I’m also of the belief that what you give out you get back and that the universe has your back. I also believe that good vibes create more good vibes, so the idea that each of us had our own hand held mirror of karma makes total sense. Perhaps next time you use the phrase ‘karma is a bitch’ be mindful that you are just calling that person a female dog.

Reflections can sometimes be hard to look at.We don’t always like what we see, or sometimes our own reflection doesn’t relate to how we thought we looked, the main reason I take so many dresses back to the store…4ft11 me can’t always rock a dress the way it looked in the brochure, on a taller friend, or even how I thought it might look from the hanger.

As humans we are quick to judge others, but often not as fast at owning our personal issues, the mistakes we make, the things we might do differently…it’s much easier to insult others than recognise issues within ourselves and set to work to fix them. If karma is a mirror I recommend you speak kindly to her, treat the mirror well and make her sparkle, after all who doesn’t want a life full of clarity and kindness?

Going with the idea that nothing can stop me

Quote Anon

It’s my birthday eve. Another year around the sun and so much has altered. My opinions have evolved, a year of memories to cherish and a few to discard. I began celebrations this weekend with those I love deeply, received gifts and cards with words of love scribed inside. I am blessed.

Birthdays are a wonderful way to reflect on your achievements, thankful in all you have and wondering what the next year may have in store? Will new people step into my life? Will dreams be realised, or will they evolve to new dreams?

As a summer baby my birthday gives me a half way mark prior to the end of the year, a time to check in, prioritise and reaffirm. As I dance in the final years of my thirties I know I care a lot more about those I do love and a whole lot less about everything else.

A few days a go I had some landscape gardeners come to price up some work for us, I couldn’t fake caring about pavement slabs? It’s a patio. I’ve never seen a patio and had the desire to have one just like it…so I let the landscape gardener pick. Im a huge fan of allowing the ‘experts’ to make decisions. We all have varied passions and strengths, we should allow each other to play to those strengths.

As a birthday eve present to myself I’m going to create some time this evening to bask in the year that’s just gone, light a candle, drink lots of tea, probably watch some Greys Anatomy (I’m addicted) and then I’m going to write a letter to myself. In the letter I plan to write down some dreams and desires I’d like to see come to reality in the next year and much like the quote this week suggests, I’ll then just make them happen, preventing limitations from stopping me and just do it anyway, or at the very least have a go! If I go with the idea that nothing can stop me and continue to careless about outside thoughts, perhaps I’ll succeed?

This blog will still be a part of my world, so buckle up and let’s get going, you can watch from the sidelines and if you’d like to join me, write your own letter and let’s go together with the idea that nothing can stop us.

Better an oops than a what if

Quote Anon

I have a huge fear. It consumes my soul and often makes me take huge leaps, challenges and when other people step out of their comfort zone I like to run, jump and pliat.

The fear that eats me up, is I can’t live with a ‘what if’… when I was younger I dated a lad that worked for the BBC, at the weekend I’d often go to work with him and sit in a black box all day whilst he worked. Amongst all of the knobs, buttons, twiddly things and general sound equipment… was a giant red button in a protective casing, it called my name and said ‘push me’ at the time, the lad realised that this button was too juicy for my ‘what if’ fear and he let me push it…it stopped the broadcast for several seconds *sorry Radio Oxford. Once I’d pushed it I was never interested in it again…I’m that person that needs to push a button or two.

Last week a lovely lady on Instagram did a story that resonated with me, I private messaged her and asked her if she’d like to do a ‘live’ with me, simply because I wanted to talk to her, to engage, to inspire others. The plan was to chat for about 20mins at 7pm this Thursday. It sounds fun right? The great news is – it was, we hopefully will do it again soon BUT the truth was I didn’t have a clue what I was doing…I’m comfortable in the uncomfortable. I think it comes with age, with caring a little less about what others think and also by knowing that the ‘good stuff’ in life tends to not come when you are comfortable, it usually follows when you wonder ‘what’s if’ and act on it. It’s true that sometimes you get a ‘ops’ that follows. But it goes with the territory of thriving.

As I watched our live back there are a few things I’ll be altering next time, the biggest ops being that I didn’t speak for about 30 seconds whilst I pushed buttons, blagging to make the live work. That’s how we learn, I’m very much a kinaesthetic learning, I learn best my doing. Some people prefer to watch others and then replicate, to listen, to read…me, I like to jump in and try, even if it results in a few ‘oops’ along the way.

At primary school my parents were often told I talked too much and asked lots of questions, in that respect nothing much has changed. However, I wouldn’t change it, it forces me to analyse, to work things out and to improve. Isn’t that why we are all hear? I should probably add that personally my ‘leaps’ are usually calculated. I don’t take high risks with high ‘ops’ results…I don’t jump without a parachute.

This week I’m sure there will be a few more challenges as I avoid the inner voice that says ‘what if I had…’ and I’m sure an occasional ops will also follow. When was the last time you stepped, or leaped out of your comfort zone? If it hasn’t been for a while – this post is your sign to live a little braver, be a little boulder and smile a little more. *The smile is just for fun.

Self care is the new health care

Quote Anon

Apparently in parts of Asia, you pay your doctor until you get sick. When you are ill it’s considered they aren’t doing their job well and you stop paying until you’re better…that makes sense to me. It’s the doctors financial incentive to keep you healthy.

Most of us know why we aren’t healthy. Whether we stayed up too late and lack sleep, our diet is out of balance and the local take away service knows your first name…or perhaps the only exercise your body has seen was in Year 9 at secondary school.

That said, looking after your health in the circumstances that you are in, with the time and finances and time you have is a wonderful start.

Self care for me, is a little deeper. Making time to prioritise myself, listening to what I need at any given moment and leaning in, rather than ‘I’ll do that tomorrow’. The balance of self when done correctly isn’t selfish, it actually means those around you, those closest to you, thrive from you being a better version of yourself. Last night I was exhausted…I went to bed at 6:30pm. I woke at around 5am, with nearly 11 hours of sleep under my belt, I was like an upgraded me! Even if it did mean my family went to bed after me.

The other crazy thing about self care is it often has little cost attached to it, of course a spa day at an exclusive resorts can be fabulous, but taking time to look after your skin, to paint your nails, wearing clothes that fit you well and make you feel awesome can serve you on a daily basis.

My favourite self care tip is talking kindly to yourself. Totally free and easy to begin right now – no excuses, except in reality many of us struggle with ‘thinking’ kindly about our own looks, actions and dreams. We allow our negative bias to stop the power of what we could do and often want to do. Within seconds we feed our minds negative thoughts and halt any potential progress or growth mindset before we’ve even realised it. To alter this you need ninja responses – when you think a negative thought, you instantly need to say ‘I see you naughty negative, and I raise you three positives’ then drown the single negative thought (my bum looks big) with three positives (the dress looks lovely on me, my eyes are sparkly, my eye brows are on point) or you can reframe the initial thought ‘ my bum looks big in this dress and it makes the outfit pop, I look wonderful and curvy’….

Self care begins with the simple step of allowing yourself to be happy. Next to allow happy thoughts, happy dreams and the self belief that you can achieve them. Despite evaluating self care in 3 lines – it takes most people a life time to do, sadly most don’t even try.

I double dare you this week to show yourself DAILY self care – book something to look forward to, create five minutes each day to do something you enjoy ‘just because ’ and if you are feeling truly rebellious, stop the negative ninja moments and watch your life and those around you become totally awesome in under a week. *side note: if you miss a negative ninja moment, allow it. Don’t fuel yourself with more ‘ I can’t even do that right’ negative fuel.

Have a wonderful week and make time for you…off to do a midweek face mask my lovely friend gave me.

You will forever be my always

Quote Anon

Love. It’s complex…or is it really simple? I’m drawn to the latter, that’s it’s all the other aspects of life that make life complicated but actually, love is simple. Held by baby – BAM felt a rocket of love…simple, being pregnant – nightmare. Met the Mr and got knocked sideways with Cupid’s arrow…wasn’t looking for it, wasn’t the right time. Cupid said ‘sorry, that’s not how we play this game’…twelve or so years later it’s working out well.

At the moment in the UK we are being teased with glimpses of prepandemic life. Family and friends can gather in your garden and it was in one of these gatherings that I realised some of the things I’ve missed in the last year or so, mainly loved ones. Time with people I care for, to laugh, to cry and to keep a chiminea going (Frankly the UK isn’t warm enough in April to sit and relax)

If there is someone you loved and no longer are in touch with, perhaps that sits well with you. Perhaps you outgrew each other, time doesn’t always heal or maybe you think about them because they will forever be your always. If that’s the case and I realise I’m over simplifying the complexities of human life BUT there are very little things in life more important that love.

What’s really important to you? Who’s really important to you? My advice; spend more time with those people, build more memories and never settle for people who aren’t your people, who don’t help you to be and become the best version of yourself. Wealth isn’t found in the car you drive, the career you create or the positive digits that show up on your bank statement, love in its simplest form is the richest currency. Love forgives, love heals, love knows no boundaries and ultimately they are forever your always. Count your blessings in the people you love and not the change in your pocket, you may already be a millionaire.

Forever and always, Lucy x

You become what you believe

Quote Anon

Focus is something I often lack. My attention span is small and my ability to day dream is huge. However, I’ve found that if I can dream it, it can happen.

Over the last year I’ve had a little more time to listen, both to my internal voice and of those around me. When you truly listen, its hilarious how often people sabotage their own ideas in an opening sentence…”I’ve got to lose some weight, but…” or “I’d love to try that but…” and in that cheeky word ‘but’ the vision dies and all that’s left are empty promises and a human who doesn’t think they are worthy.

There are so many people who perhaps don’t deserve what they have BUT dared to dream and believed they were worthy of it and so it happened. Self belief is a recipe for joy and achievement, doubt kills any ideas in seconds.

The other issue is that you truly have to believe the words that fall from your mouth, again if you don’t think you are worthy your brain will add doubt like a poison before you have even begun.

Lately, I’ve been journaling and manifesting through writing down the life I want to create. You see, if you can add feeling to words and belief in your mind – the universe can’t tell the difference between fantasy and life, it therefore gives you what you put out and voila, dreams come true.

We are often, if not always are our own worst enemy’s – nothing can happen without ourselves allowing it. If someone is rude to us and we let them continue to speak, if we don’t correct the behaviour or walk away, we become part of the issue. Our pasts are gone, yet we hold on to so many negative memories that often end up causing us dis-ease, the burden on the body becomes too much.

What if, instead or worrying about the future, just for one day we put down our pasts and created the life we wanted, just for a day? Would we be too scared of the change? Are we holding on the past shadows of ourselves, are our wardrobes stuffed with clothes we do not need and that indeed fitted another body along time ago? Do we have relationships around us that don’t serve us, but we feel obliged to nod and smile and stick around.

Have you even thought consciously about what you do want? This week I invite you to be brave, to dare to dream. To take one action towards a dream and to let go of one thought that doesn’t serve you. My guess is that most of you won’t be brave enough, that just like I do, you’ll get distracted and lose focus…lost in the whirl wind of thoughts. For this reason I also urge you to grab a pen and see where your thoughts take you. Keep it only positive and use every adjective and feeling you can to help the written word come to life. Who knows, perhaps next week I’ll be writing from a new location thanks to dreaming big.

Keep it simple

Quote by me.

I am privileged. This morning is Sunday and it’s nearly 10am…I’m still in bed. Tea was bought to me and the Mr opened the curtains so the sun shone through. Delicious

I looked out at the bright blue clouds, a rare sight in January. The plants in my room are currently doing a little hip hop dance as the sun kisses them each…it’s been a long pandemic winter so far. This moment to breath is an absolute blessing. I know it won’t stay and I know it has to leave, we have to leave…there are children to be fed, house work to be done… but in this moment I know i’m the luckiest girl in the world and I know another moment as precious as this will come my way.

Whilst waking slowly like a hedgehog coming out of hibernation and twitching it’s nose, I felt hungry… I snuck downstairs and grabbed a bowl of cereal for ease, tossed in some frozen berries and drizzled over some coconut milk. I then diverted back to bed, the satisfaction of the crunch whilst the sun continued to dazzle on my face made me smile.

Grab the small moments of life that bring you joy and don’t be scared to bathe in them. I often find it’s the moments of simplicity that unlock the most magic. The world won’t stop if I finish my tea here, but I will have much more energy to meet the day with and I’ll be a better me for everyone I communicate with.

Small moments of simplicity bring less clutter (something I still need to work on), they are often more cost efficient and I find involve mother nature’s hand; a walk, the call of the tide, a passing cloud or the smell of a rose…

As I was writing this post my Mum called, thrilled. My Great Aunt turned 90 today and was a florist by trade, she’s been in lockdown since March 2020. My Mum sent her some flowers and a card, they were delivered this morning at 9am. My Aunt called to say how happy they had made her, the smell literally leaping out of the box as she opened them, each flower well packed and ready to sing from her dinning-room table. Whilst sending flowers is perhaps a little more expensive, I can’t help but feel for the impact they had they were mere pennies. Passing on joy, gratitude and simplify is also the gift that keeps on giving – plus my Aunt has pleasure for them, my Mum as the giver and I get a bonus burst of gratitude hearing how happy they both are.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, take a moment to look around and find something that makes you smile. You’ll probably find it’s small and simple, yet lights your world like a huge firework display. You deserve that.

Mindset is everything

Quote Anon

If I’m honest I’m not really feeling like 2021 is delivering the joy I hoped for. Then I was reminded that mindset is everything and so I’ve decided it’s going to be the best year ever, whether it wants to be or not.

I’ve wrote many blogs on perspective and this post is no different, when you choose to sit in the good, the bad often dissipates, it never leaves as the negative moments make the positive all that bit more joyful thanks to a little thing called contrast.

This weekend I knew how good and thankful I was to lie in and the Mr even bought me tea in bed, I knew it was lovely because the first week in January was made up of brutal gets up where above the duvet it was cold and the world was full of demands.

The Mr then opened the curtains to show me the roofs that Jack Frost had created in the night, he suggested a walk and snug in bed at first I wasn’t keen…then I altered my mindset and reminded myself how Mother Nature always makes me feel better. A frosty walk half an hour later and she didn’t let me down.

Life is made of decisions, we don’t always get to decide the outcomes but we can decide how we feel about them. This year I’m choosing 2021 to be the year that my dreams come true. My other resolution is to never buy another item of clothing that doesn’t have pockets – life is too short and precious not to have a tissue and a lip balm at hand.

What are you going to do this year? Allow the pandemic to nibble at your soul or count your blessings, stop making excuses and do it anyway, I’m picking the second option but adding pockets.

Happy new year and I promise whatever is around the corner will be as good as you decide to see it.

Home schooling, lockdown vol.2 – the winter edition

Four days in to January 2021 in the UK, any hope was slashed by the Prime Minister’s announcement to return to life in March 2020, you have every right to feel the emotions you do; whether you are fearful, angry, bored, or nonplus *or perhaps like me fly between them all like a Meerkat on look out. It’s perfectly normal to not feel normal, that’s the new normal.

However, hope is on the horizon and that’s why I have popped this midweek post together. This time we have several super powers within us and we should unleash them…well it could make all the difference to us and our families thriving in 2021. Although I write as both a parent and teacher, I would also like to highlight that everyone is in their own personal battle at present and hopefully non parents can take some joy from this post too.

Super power one: knowledge: Volume two means there was a volume one. I know you know that, I know things aren’t exactly the same BUT we lived through volume one! Knowledge is power, something I never had last time. This time I can see an end, volume 1 was six months of ‘maybe next week’ a blur, a really long Sunday…this time I know it will end because it did before. Maybe we didn’t all thrive, but it’s well worth taking time to reflect on the things that did work, adapting them where necessary and making them work for the winter edition, hindsight is a beautiful thing – use it. For example, a paddling pool in January probably isn’t going to go down well, but we as a family in vol.1 took the time each day to come together and watch a film, it was a calming time (it was always Disney) and it added a drop of structure to an otherwise chaotic day.

I took the time to ask my son what he wanted to do, sure home schooling was usually part of the day but actually with no commutes we did have time to bake or build some Lego. We went for walks, okay if I’m honest I’m a little walked out but I also know that nature always makes me feel better…do the things that served you last time.

Superpower two: Know your child isn’t behind: You are giving them an experience. Like most adventures in life it comes with highs (we uploaded work to the school site) and lows (no work was achieved and my son claimed corona stole all of the pencils in the house) but it’s how we look at them that counts. My child is where he is academically; I can’t rewind 2020, I can’t push knowledge into his brain, but I can make sure that no matter what he is safe and healthy. Today the juggle was real. My full time job, our home, my sons education, our families sanity, our mental health all rolled into one and it was messy…but it was also good too….

Super power three: Hold on to the gratitude: Being thankful, for whatever small glimmer of hope, joy, love, appreciation you see or feel…it matters. I’m eternally indebted to frontline workers, I’m pleased my family is healthy, that today we are ok, that the internet connection works, that I have the skill set to break down tasks set for my child and can make them applicable to him, that the dog didn’t bark when the postman came and I was on a Teams call for work, that we did our best.

Super power four: Small steps are mighty: This may be part of your existing super power one, but I know that small steps, low expectations and being kind to myself is the only way I can manage at present. I didn’t do all the work tasks I had the intention of completing, by 10am I prioritised them and spread them out over the next few days. I can only do what I can. I did take a few minutes to do a facial this evening so that tomorrow I wake feeling topped up with self love, I also treated myself to a hot chocolate because this life is precious. Small steps with treats along the way make unstructured time’s a little easier. Also, a technique that works well for most children and age groups is Now, Next and then. It works like this: Now we are doing maths, next we will read and then you can play. Forget the rest of the day for a few small steps, when they are heading off to play, remind them that now they are having play time, next they can read and then we will have lunch. Those three small words can give enough knowledge to make your child feel safer. If you have multiple children it might be that time is divided and your ‘Now i’m helping Bethan, next we will go and play and then we will revisit your history work together’ feeling heard is so important and often grounds us far more than Mummy spending 5 hours the night before creating a complex rota that due to a tantrum and a high temp from the baby has all gone out of the window before 7:30am

I hope by reading this you maybe remembered how awesome you already are, that you’ve got this and that with a few super powers under your belt you can achieve anything.