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.

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Worry means you suffer twice

Quote by Newt Scamander.

  • Warning, I’m doing that thing again where the need to write pulls me out of my bed (even with freshly laundered sheets) and on to the floor in the office at the back of the house with the glow of my Macbook for company and a beauty salt lamp by my side. (desks have always felt a little too formal for me and I’m grounded on the floor; even if its a little draughty), so please forgive me if what I write is waffle.

I often write on the topic of happiness, perspective or self care. There is usually a silver lining or positive perspective to sparkle up this corner of the internet and worry isn’t my friend. I don’t invite him/her to my celebrations, neither does she/he make my Christmas card list (frankly, since having a child and working full time anyone who receives a card from me is truly blessed). I avoid negative people, conversations and situations. We don’t watch TV in our home, the news (web or paper version) are non existent. Yet still I am totally aware that the world we are part of is out of control. That plastic consumption is ridiculous and that banning plastic straws has probably come a little late in the day. That power, money and fear are still the driving forces. That scare mongering, praying on the vulnerable, greed and selfishness are growing much like plastic straws on our oceans seabeds, that stress is increasing, that happiness is often ‘sold’ in a misguided manner… I know this. It shakes my bubble that I work hard to create hard every now and then, its sucks the sparkle and actually at times has taken my breath with it.

Worry is the new fear (I’m not sure how new is new). We worry about worrying in between moments of ‘what if’s’ and ‘could’ ‘should’s’… the list is long. In education bullying is old hat, self diagnosis of anxiety and depression are on the increase amongst our children, as a species we are lost and drown our sorrows with drugs and alcohol (usually through those blooming plastic straws) and what I guess woke me from my comfy bed is a request, to ask you too to build a bubble, a cocoon of kindness and self care, to not engage with the negativity described above. Contrast is necessary for us to thrive, I can’t promise you can fully cut it out. Think of my request as a new detox regime – no fancy products needed, no 90 day money back guarantee required, in fact it won’t cost a penny. I’m asking because worry can be such a positive tool – it lets you know when you’ve lost balance, it reminds you that you care…but never give it the power to allow you to suffer twice.

If you can’t do this, then please at least stop using plastic straws.

What you allow is what will continue

Quote from the wise but absent named ‘Anon’

This quote is accountable.

This quote reminds me that I am responsible for my own life, decisions, health and overall well being. For this reason, this quote gets stuck in my throat slightly. I honestly believed growing up that adults knew everything, had all the answers and had their lives all mapped out. Ummm… how wrong was I? Every day I am winging it, some days more than others, there are goals but how we arrive at our destination alters weekly, I lose track of intentions, frankly I often forget what I’m saying half way through a conversation. The adult world is tough and if I’m honest I feel like Barbie made it look so easy. Her and Ken used to get married weekly in my bedroom, often went on holidays, she wore big dresses to big parties, drove a sports car…Barbie never worried about the washing basket over flowing, never argued with Ken about council tax payments, she never doubted an outfit change, or worried how she would fit the school run in between her career as a ski instructor.

Perhaps we should be more Barbie. Enjoy the moment, live for the now. I think if Barbie could see this quote she would fully embrace it.

This weekend we watched Deadpool 2, in it are various super hero’s with crazy mutant powers and my favourite is Domino. Not just because her name reminds me of a popular pizza chain, but because her super power is luck. She has more self belief than a religious denomination, she is seriously cool. As I was watching her fly through the air and land on a giant inflatable panda…yup thats a real scene from the film, I was captured by her vocabulary. She was so kick ass confident and assertive I couldn’t help but notice that she had high standards and didn’t falter.

Aspects of our lives are often out of our control, but there are elements that we can do something about. Setting standards for how we will be treated and how we will let others treat us is a huge issue for many. Its probably worth grabbing a pen and paper at this point and writing down things you’re not happy with. Do you need to book something fabulous to do with a friend or partner because you never get to see them, do you need to set an hour aside with a giant box and clear that cluttered cupboard that frustrates you every time you attempt to open the draw and the contents cascade out. Do you need to speak to a work colleague or perhaps you need to reprioritise yourself on your ever growing ‘to do’ list.

Often in films the main characters are faced with huge challenges (with Marvel its always saving the world with some kind of time issue) but perhaps what we might miss is that they also take on those challenges and make sacrifices or changes to live happy ever after. Just because you allowed it last week, doesn’t mean you have to this week, just because its always been that way, doesn’t mean that has to continue. Life is often short, precious and wasted, seize this quote and make your life accountable you may just end up with a better quality of life, or at worst finally get that cupboard organised.

Start your day with a dance party

Quote Anon wearing sparkly shoes

I have a morning routine that I do before my day begins, you can read about it here. If you do nothing for yourself ever again, I suggest you get one too. It makes my day start from a place of joy and if I didn’t have it in my life it would be like not having lungs.

After this the days demands capture me, throw me into a frenzy and at times I have to regain control with a mini mindful exercise. I think the ‘your day’ in this quote is really important, we can blame others when they interrupt our flow, make excuses but really it’s how we deal with life’s negatives and how long we hold on to them that guides our lives.

Emotions are complex, the extremes are often lifted for me with a dance to a song that makes me smile. I crank it up and dance like I’m on stage in a huge concert hall. The boys run for cover – this mummy can’t sing BUT THAT DOESN’T STOP ME. I find night club classics from my clubbing days are a great way to begin, then I move on to anthems. The concert in my bedroom, lounge or kitchen goes on until I’m ready to take on the world…which reminds me The Guardians of the Galaxy sounds tracks are also amazing for mood shifting.

Sometimes I listen through headphones for a personal party effect but mainly I like to contaminate the house with my moves and boom the music as loud as it can go. I’ve also been known to find a musical soundtrack on Spotify and work my way through the numbers…always with random lines from various characters delivered in perfect time. My son sometimes comes in for a strut, but mainly I’m a solo act.

Why? Well I do have a drama degree, but I actually think I dance because physically moving helps those endorphins to buzz around, lifts the soul, its free and guess what – it works.

If you have never danced in the mirror, thrown yourself down the stairs like a Hollywood diva in the last few weeks then I have one piece of advice. Do it. Dancing isn’t for those that can, Shakira was right – the hips don’t lie. Kelis finds milk shades and boys in her yard, Beyoncé runs the world and Tina Turner is simply the best and looking great on each and every roll down the river. So what are you waiting for? Solo dance through the week and watch the changes that happen to your mood, body and vibration.

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?

Good shoes take you to good places.

Quote by Seo Min Hyun

When my son started school I took a photo of his new shoes, not him by the front door like every other home, but of his new shoes. I then realised something about myself, I mark chapters of my life with my passion for footwear, mainly heels.

Shoes speak to my soul. I have fond memories of going to Russell and Bromley as a child to be fitted for my ‘Start Rite Mary Jane’s’ in the latest colour. The child section was up a winding staircase (totally impractical for parents and little ones), it had a light fluffy carpet and around the edge of the room was a huge, long tropical fish tank. The shoes were expensive, lasted and made me feel like a princess. The new shoe box was often held by me on the journey home (except for, on the winding staircase previously mentioned) with pride and my collection over the years has grown and only increased in quality.

I have high heels that make me smile; some symbolise the break up of previous relationships, I always buy new school shoes for the new term and have shoes purchased following births, deaths and marriages.

I’m not that fond of bags….an impractical sparkly clutch bag and I’m happy. Life is too short for practical black/neutral bags and frankly I take my hat off to those that change their bag daily…hmmm hats I don’t do those either?

I don’t have shoes for every occasion, just shoes that make me smile, feel happy or in some way complete. I only own two black pairs of shoes, may be three (?) and I don’t tend to buy shoes that are cheap and as a result have never suffered with rubbing or blisters. I don’t wear shoes for comfort because how they make me feel is more important.

I asked my son about this quote and in he’s five year old wisdom he said “What’s a good place?” he raises a good point. A good place to me will be different to your perception of a ‘good place’ perhaps thats why there are so many places and so many types of shoes? In my life I plan to go onwards and upwards, it makes sense that a pair of eight or ten inch heel’s are my best companion.

Perhaps, living life in comfort is a priority for you, may be you are simple in expectations and live life exposed – the flip flop may be your choice of footwear?

My son, predictably likes wellies, adventurous and practical in the UK. Quick to put on and in some jarring design.

I make judgements about people on their shoes, do they care about themselves, do they look after themselves / are we compatible? What would your shoes tell me about you and where is it taking you?

Change can be sunshine if you let it in.

Frankly it’s spring in the UK and I’m freezing…I’ve got more knitwear on right now that Marks and Spencer’s.

They say change is as good as a break, I’d say that haven’t been to the right locations, but it is true that change gives you a renewed energy, it allows you to see new pathways and even if at first it’s a little daunting, in time it becomes second nature.

Currently my son is reading a book about the metamorphosis of butterflies. As you turn the pages the butterfly makes the alterations it goes through look effortless. So much so, that in my next life I may have a go at it myself. There’s the larva stage where it seems life is one giant all you can eat buffet, the Pupa stage where you sleep for weeks and then you emerge like you’re on a reality TV show with shimmer and delight. How amazing must the butterfly feel when it flies after being a large slime-less slug stuck to the floor? How blooming terrified must it be to wake up one morning and find you’ve sprouted wings?

Wings; to be free, to glide and to see the world through an entirely new perspective. Those changes make my ability to change the washing detergent I use look ridiculous.

Life is short and much like the quote suggests, sunshine can come with change. Just like night changes to day, seasons change…we change, sometimes for the better, sometimes with effort and always with a new perspective.

May your days be filled with sunshine.

I’m realistic, I expect miracles

Quote by Wayne Dyer

This quote totally sums me up. My head is in the clouds and my high heels are firmly on the ground.

At the beginning of a new year it’s naturally to look ahead, to book new adventures and reflect on the previous year. It’s an opportunity to readjust and redirect your journey.

I’m not particularly a fan of making drastic changes, I’ve worked too hard to love me as me. As a result a new year doesn’t need to be a new you either. But a new direction, motivation or goal is always a blessing.

As a Teacher I have two New Years; the school year and the calendar year. Back in September I set a goal to see more theatre and I’m excelling, this is something I hope to continue into 2018. I’m always appreciative of any recommendations.

Travel is always a goal for me. I can’t wait to see where my suitcase and passport will take us this year.

If you are setting goals, make sure you are also open to opportunities and experiencing an abundant lifestyle rather than just creating a list of all the things you are going to cut out. After all, magical things can only happen when you are open to receiving them.

As I jump into the pool of January 2018 I am totally realistic about how epic it will be. I also hope that miracles bless your year and look forward to the magic that lies ahead.

Bread and water can easily be toast and tea

Quote Anon, but I wouldn’t mind betting the writer was English.

A stereotype that I completely fall in to is my love for a cup of tea and I’m also partial to a slice of toast. Toppings vary but somehow melted organic butter (no manufactured margarine in this house) usually hits the spot. Women in UK hospitals are often given tea and toast after labour and so many of my friends mention it as one of the best meals of their lives.

However, like many of the quotes I resonate with, this is all about perspective. I was listening to the classic Christmas track ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ and couldn’t help thinking, do they care? It would seem to me and many of my friends who have travelled to parts of Africa that they are happier than us without snow and tinsel. Being a glitter fan, I think a row of sparkly lights would enhance Africa but ultimately they are content without much of the nonsense we in the consumerism world feel are necessities. This I feel is something we should all take note of.

Happiness is a choice. Perhaps water and bread is something many of us take for granted and may be even some of us forget the joy of a cuppa and a slice of toast. This winter, I shall be looking for the joy in the simple treasures, they’re always the best. I like a glass of water when it is cold out of the tap, we always have wholemeal bread – therefore a fresh white cottage loaf from our local bakers its heavenly, cut thick with butter (obvs). There can be joy in bread and water too, should you choose to notice.

I’m editing this post on Christmas Eve. Its my favourite day of the festive season. Its like standing on the cusp of excitement. The presents neatly stacked, awaiting Father Christmas’s arrival, friends for Breakfast (seriously how good are homemade Pancakes, crispy bacon and maple syrup), a bucks fizz with friends, a trip to the local with our neighbours…a slow walk home in the dark (our village doesn’t have street lights) and admiring the houses with their Christmas lights shining bright….then a family tradition of a large cheesy pizza and watching Home Alone. Nice.

Before you get caught in the whirl of Christmas, take a pause and absorb the joy. There is always a sparkle to be found, should you choose to see it.

Merry Christmas to all and to all, a Cheese pizza night.

Example is leadership (Intro)

Quote by Albert Schweitzer

Being human is complex. I’m not sure I’d actually like to consider myself part of the human race – we’re very often mean, selfish and ignorant. However, I am no different and have had my fare share of moments when I have imparted negativity on others; the awkward time (before I became a Teacher) that I got horrendously drunk at the office party and was a drunken pain in the *insert body part of your choice, to my then boyfriend. The time I was cruel to my best friend and ignored her, I was twelve; that isn’t an excuse and I was a horrid because I didn’t realise how much hurt I had caused her. The thousands of times over the last thirty something years I have spilled vile comments out of my mouth like grenades to loved ones, friends and even the women who carried me in her stomach for nine months (sorry Mum)…

Due to my disability (being human) I can’t promise that I won’t do any of the above things again over the coming days, years or moments. I also will probably experience grenades of negativity from others because other people that I share this planet with have the same disability, the population is increasing ten fold and this means human condition grows.

HOWEVER, what we do have is the ability to slow down. To breath and to make kinder choices, to say nothing instead of the horrendous words and actions we have previously intwined together. How? Well I have never claimed to have all the answers, but I have made a conscious effort for many years to be kinder, gentler and positive. I take my position as a role model extremely seriously, I care about how I present myself,  as I want the girls that I teach to present the best them to the universe. I care about how I make others feel because I believe that karma is something that rhymes with rich and I want my son to grow up with characteristics that matter. So, with my disability in check, I make these adjustments both forwards and back and sometimes I win and sometimes like any disease it takes hold of me.

For as long as I can remember I have collected people. (*Authorities need not worry there are no humans in my basement – in fact I don’t have a basement) Metaphorically speaking I have always been fascinated by humans, people watching is one of my favourite past times. When I was at university my bestie and I would sit in the front of a local cafe with a huge cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows people watch from the shop window. As we were both on a drama degree we would often create scenarios for the people and why they were in town, what they had purchased and usually added unnecessary details like what they had had for dinner and who they were sleeping with.

Much like horror movies, we all seem to be attracted to what we also dislike – my love / hate is humans. So, I have decided to share with you some of my favourite icons with a new series. I hope that my sharing the qualities I recognise in them, you can take something away with you that you see in people around you. Most of them will be famous, some will be personal and a few will be somewhere in between.

I will attach this post to the series titles so that readers will hopefully understand why this series exists, because no matter what our age from zero to one hundred we all need role models  to help us thrive.

One obvious last question – who are your role models, idols, mentors or humans that offer hope?