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.

Advertisements

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 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.

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.

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.

Wake. Pray. Slay

Quote by awesome Anon

I find that if I can wake on my terms (without a little ninja creeping in and tackling me) I can literally take on the world.

Seriously it’s like a revolutionary universal explosion, when the ninja does creep in my day is more like the Jurassic age…mummy dinosaur is ferocious. I’ve wrote a post before about my morning routine but thought I’d write about how I turn my Mummy-Rex in to a mummy dream when things don’t go as planned.

I lock myself in the toilet. We are blessed with both an upstairs and downstairs bathroom, so if one is out of action nobody has the excuse to break down the door. I basically sit and reawaken. It’s not as snug as my bed, but it’s ninja attack free. I then do some simple breathing techniques that I find work for me. I’ve also been known to do these in public bathrooms when my stress levels are going crazy. It’s called the OM breath and just two minutes is enough to reduce your heart rate by two thirds. I also like it because as you breath in and out you make a rasping sound that reminds me of waves. Google it, it works and the tutorials are hilarious.

I write a list. Seriously, I’m a spiritual being but have never found joy in prayer, but a list is like fuel in my engine. It gives me direction in an otherwise chaotic day, I feel a huge sense of achievement as I tick off each item. I’ve even been known to add things I’ve done previously to writing the list, on the list, just so I can tick them off. I even have a notebook dedicated to lists.

Self care indulgence. Everyday I squeeze in a little self care, it might be painting my nails, lighting candles, clearing out a draw, ringing a friend…but on days when I’ve turned it around I reward myself with bonus time. Today was indeed a slay day. There was so much to do and I was a single parent with the Mr away, so once the ninja was asleep I had a bubble bath, hair treatment, painted my nails, lit candles, listened to a podcast, had some posh tea and even made time (thanks to the tribe of support) to squeeze in a yoga class.

…why? Because when you’ve slayed you need to do two things.

  • Celebrate: because whatever you were slaying was exhausting.
  • Top up your cup: there’s that wise old saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup and frankly my cup was cracking today, nobody wants me to leak over them so best I fill in the chip and recharge.

I hope you wake to slay tomorrow. How do you turn things around when your day isn’t going as planned? Please share any tips in the comment section 🙂

Don’t blame a clown for acting like a clown, blame yourself for going to the circus.

This is SUCH a good quote and I can’t find out who its by? Confirming once again that Anon rocks.

So often I find myself at the circus. This week I went to soft play with my son. For those without children this is the equivalent of a Saturday night drunken brawl with squidgy walls, but ultimately bodily functions are everywhere and beige food is often consumed – its my hell. However, it was raining and I was meeting my gorgeous zen friend and her little spirited soul.

Our boys were playing beautifully and we were chatting about lovely things, when a clown from the table behind us started hollering that her child (*who was way too big for soft play) had been scratched on the face – she began to cause a scene that would be suitable for a soap opera, the mother of the accused ‘scratcher child’ retaliated. The clown’s had taken the spotlight – it was unpleasant and cringe worthy. The clowns made me sad (clowns can do this) because their children were lapping it up next to them, absorbing the negativity, energised and enjoying every moment. The clowns pointed at each other, spoke unsuitable words, demanded refunds and I realised I was at the circus.

Despite the clowns in this example leaving, we also chose to leave the circus, the rain had stopped and we went to a beautiful empty park surrounded by mother natures calmness. *Note to self, always pack wellies and avoid soft play.

Sometimes in places of work you can find yourself surrounded by clowns, you can even end up slipping in to a costume yourself, but my other favourite circus to avoid are supermarket carparks. I’m not sure why, but in supermarket carparks clowns frequent by pulling out without looking in some sort of slapstick manner. Clowns drive at ridiculous speeds and without caution, escaping trolleys add to the mayhem and shopping bags exploding increases the intense environment of the circus. For this reason, I shop online.

Should you stumble upon a clown performing, my advice is simple – walk away, breath and remember, nobody can force you to buy a ticket. Just like everything in this universe, we always have a choice. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like we do, you can feel like the circus tent is collapsing around you, but there are exit signs if you choose to see them. They come in the shape of friends, loved ones, new opportunities and deciding what you want by listening to your instinct.

However, once in a while a ticket to the circus can be highly entertaining, as long as you remember to stay in your seat.

A key to success is to start before you’re ready

Quote by Marie Forleo

I’m not sure I really need to write any more than the quote already states, but then what would be the point in owning this domain?

For several years I ran a project for GCSE pupils at my school, they were at risk of not getting the grades the government desires. It was based on the seven principles of success, each fortnight I’d do a mini assembly based on one of the principles for them, set them a task and they would collect signatures in their booklets for completing the task – extra certificates etc along the way.

Guess what. It worked. Guess why? They didn’t over think the mountain in front of them…in small challenges, in small achievable time frames, they blossomed. I took the project over from one of my managers who left during the projects first year. Each pupil also had a mentor to cheer them on, plus me as head cheerleader.

I think if you look at a mountain it seems unachievable, I’m thinking of the mountain of washing permanently in my home but load by load, sock by sock it gets done.

However, this post isn’t about taking small steps – it about not thinking and taking ONE step. Anxiety is prevalent in our society, we are creating children that are even more anxious, lack resilience and have spent most of their life, if not all of it bubble wrapped – I totally get why but to succeed there has to be some action, motion and movement towards the end goal.

When I look back on the years gone by, I don’t want to not have tried to achieve my dreams. However, dreams (well mine anyway) are often huge task, big lifestyle changes and they feel so distant I often don’t know where to start, if I’m honest I’ll never be ready to take huge leaps but I can do something.

I probably keep my own motion going by breaking down larger goal into smaller tasks, so below I’ve listed a few small things that have worked for me.

  • Eat healthier – swap white to brown rice
  • Exercise more – find a five minute YouTube exercise class and just do it
  • Read more – swap the apps on my phone for a 15minute reading session
  • Bake more – add the ingredients to my next shop

What actions have you found have helped you climb your mountain?

Happy is the new rich

Great work from Anon.

Every now and then society enjoys a fad; minimalist living, various diets, exercise comes in an out of fashion – Zumba, HIIT workouts, hula hooping, unicorns and Pom-Pom’s, the list is endless. I’ve noticed that happiness is currently on the pedestal.

This is a fad that regular readers will know I completely adore. Every morning, whether I wake by the sunlight flowing through the window or my son pounces on my head like a meteorite – I choose happiness. It’s a decision that I continue to make throughout the day, most days. Sometimes I forget but then I look at my happiness bank account, I’m wealthy. A quick gratitude list of my assets helps to keep me flowing; abundant in good health for myself and family, a job that I adore (except on Monday mornings when I’m snuggled in bed and the alarm goes off) I am surrounded by a tribe of awesome people…and my dog, candles, books…

Being a millionaire of happiness is pretty awesome. My actual bank manager can’t touch it, I can spend it like confetti and the more I give out, the more I get back…win.

It takes effort and mindfulness, it takes self discipline to redirect my attention when the darkness creeps in – but I will always consciously decide to be happy.

If you live under darkness, then you too can be rich. It starts by doing one thing you enjoy for a few moments and allowing the light in. You’ll quickly find that a few pounds of happiness have been credited to your bank account. However, I fully appreciate that at times professional help is required and self care is needed. The great news is recognising your own needs also credits your happiness account.

I asked my five year old son why happiness was important?

“because it means you can do things that make you smile”

If I feel sad what should I do?

“Lots of things – get a drink, drinking water makes me and my tongue happy”

*warning being happy is highly addictive and is super annoying for anyone who isn’t happy.

** Five year olds are the epicentre of happiness and the true experts. However, ten seconds later they can explode in a ‘Hulk smash’ mentality and truly depict the fragility of being happy.

Perspective

This just made me chuckle.

If you had been watching me this morning and was wearing your judgement pants you may have concluded a different perspective to my current reality. You may of said this Mum wasn’t engaged in her son and consumed by her mobile device.

Little dude had Judo, Mr F and I sat on the sidelines and whilst Daddy looked on I marked thirty GCSE papers…well half marked (seriously marking takes FOREVER), then it was swimming time with Daddy. Little dude is now 75% fish and Daddy has been a pro at teaching him. They are currently working on a new stroke and having a blast…I’m typing this from the gallery. On my mobile phone. I glance up every now and then, but I am writing. For me. This is my time. Swimming is their time.

Judgement pants may conclude I’m disengaged and not interest. I’m one of ‘those’ Mums. It’s true and I’m going to tell you why.

This Mumma doesn’t care what anyone other than her tribe thinks of her. This parent works full time, blogs for her own sanity, lives life to the full…manages her time to the minute. This time isn’t mine to watch my son swim…it’s my writing time. It’s Daddy and little dudes time. It means that with my marking done (well more done) and my post is written, in twenty minutes I will help little dude to dress. My cup will be full and I’ll be able to give him my attention, full attention – not planning in my head, stressy Mum writing a mental list kind of attention. My phone will barely be seen and we will fill our day with cooking, visiting loved ones and a dog walk. We will create memories and giggle.

It’s clear to me that perspective is needed. On lookers don’t know me, don’t need to judge me and I don’t need to judge them. We all do, obviously – it’s human nature. Sometimes, like my image above, we need a new perspective to read it. We need to step back, to not attack, judge or be quick in response.

In friendships, with work colleague and with your tribe add a filter before you make a remark. Breath. Step back. You’ll be wiser for it. Much like the swimming pool my boys are currently in, a filter is essential to prevent them from swallowing pure wee. Don’t let your life be poisoned by other people misunderstood perceptions.