I have neither the time not the crayons to explain this to you

Quote Anon and it doesn’t disappoint

Welcome to the home of positivity, this quote may seem negative but today I’m going to ask you to pour your crayons out in front of you and colour your life.

For those who have never had the pleasure of owning a box of new crayons they are joyful, pointed tips ready to create whatever your imagination can explore, the further you explore the need to peel the paper around the edge will be necessary. *almost as satisfying as peeling dry PVA glue

Sharing crayons can be fun, as long as those around you respect the rules of colour, mine go something like this; don’t hoard all the colours, no snapping, colouring over the lines isn’t the end of the world – this is fun, put them back in the box tips upwards after you’ve completed your masterpiece, don’t squish the box.

Where am I going with this? Diversity is amazing, but surround yourself with kindred spirits, people (or crayons) who help you to grow and complete your work of art, people who make you feel good and except your boundaries, who share their crayons too, or add new perspectives.

Jim Rohn postulated that ‘we are the 5 people we spend the most time with’, newer research suggests it’s far larger than that. We become what we are surrounded by, and can even be shaped by friends of friends. How do you get the best out of your crayon box of life? By reviewing your network regularly, from family to work colleagues – many of these we can’t change but we can often limit interactions, create space and be aware that we are eternally growing. Just as I wouldn’t expect my son to fit in the clothes he wore when he was a toddler, why would all of the people I worked with ten years ago still be as relevant in my life now? Every now and then life throws you a precious metallic crayon and I urge you to hold that crayon dearly, but often the crayon box of life is full of ‘raw sienna’ and that’s useful and pleasant for short periods of time (when drawing tree trunks) but unless like my son you enjoy drawing turds the crayon has its limits.

Crayons have a life expectancy too, much like us, don’t spend your time with people who snap your crayons and leave you with a bunch of stubby ends. Instead once the crayons of life have been used, be able to look up and admire your work of art in all its finery for many years to come.

Happy colouring all.

Advertisements

It’s not necessary to react to everything you notice

Quote Anon

In 2019 and the world is full of morons. This is a fact that we can’t change.

None of us are perfect – perfection is an aspiration, not a destination. Thus we can all slide in to the moron mask momentarily. At any moment we can make poor decisions, act in a selfish manner or drive like we are Jenson Button. It happens, we make mistakes.

We also have choices, I like to think I try and take off my moron mask as soon as I notice the shadow cast over my face, I also know if I’m feeling hormonal I can glue it on for the week and anyone who dares to step in my way will feel the wrath of the masked menstruated moron.

(sometimes I just get the mask out for fun)

However, we all have choices. Just because I don’t say anything or react when a moron crosses my path doesn’t mean I don’t notice, nor have an opinion on the matter. It’s crucial to remember we are a reflection of the people that we surround ourselves by. Allowing a friend to gossip and vent can be therapeutic for both of us, but if that friend is in a continuous cloud of doom it may be best to leave and allow them to wallow.

Making continuous negative dialogue about how other people drive (who can’t hear you) only increases your heart rate. It doesn’t make them better drivers.

Learning to not react, to filter our thoughts can be challenging but there are two questions you can ask yourself before you speak (my friend shared these with me a few days ago from a podcast she listened to)

  • Am I growing?
  • Am I giving?

If not, the advice from fridge HQ would be to walk away and let those thoughts go. Sharing ideas, perspectives and support is crucial to evolving, pointing out that someone is inadequate if that haven’t asked for advice isn’t useful to you or them.

Next time you see a masked moron, cross the road and don’t react, the world will be a better place and if you let it go, so will your heart rate and overall well-being.

Never forget who you are

Quote from The Lion King

I felt like I hadn’t popped a Disney quote/ post together for a while so went with a Lion King pinch of wisdom, although it’s one I’ve contradicted many times.

At university I lost who I was. Several dodgy boyfriends meant I forgot who I was but the worst by far was motherhood. It took MY body away from me and left me with something that didn’t fit. It took me a while to pick up the broken pieces and to discover a dash of self love, to stop numbing negative thoughts with junk food, and wine. Lack of sleep in the early days also meant that exercise wasn’t a priority. I was in a war zone and I was surviving.

I escaped and did find me. I found an older version of my body that I’m ok with, I made time to exercise and I stopped filling my head with negative thoughts. It’s a process I think we are all in and one I need to continually reaffirm and rebalance daily.

Once I hit my thirties I cared less what others thought and knew who my tribe were, this support unit enables me to evolve but without loosing ‘me’

I don’t usually pop in suggestions but if you need a Netflix recommendation for finding yourself then ‘Unicorn Store’ is a must. A bonus if you like glitter and swag suits.

As a teacher holidays mean I actually transfer into my other full time job – Mum. It’s a job I adore but this Easter I’ve also made time to step away from my boys and have some me time. I’ve been for afternoon tea with a lovely friend and a hen do proved the ultimate overnight escape, the Mr and I even squeezed in a date afternoon to the cinema. You see to be you, you need time to do what you enjoy, as well as support those around you.

Over the next week as I grab my teacher cape out of the launderette I’ll enjoy being in my classroom – it’s part of who I am. It isnt the whole me, so I will also plan time with family, loved ones and me time because forgetting who I am is now and forever more a nonnegotiable.

The body achieves what the mind believes

Quote by Napoleon Hill

*Honesty giggle: writing this snuggled in bed

For the last eight weeks myself and my dear friend have taken on the challenge of ‘couch to 5k’…we’ve got one more week to go until the journey is done and we have mild plans to continue (mainly as we are rather slow at present and don’t think we’ve actually run 5k) . I’m looking forward to not running in the week and leaving runs to Sunday’s

Things I’ve learnt:

  • Everyone can run (some better, slower or faster than others)
  • I still don’t like running. BUT I do like the feeling that comes after finishing a run.
  • I can make time for anything I decide is a priority – couch time included
  • When I tell myself I can’t, I fail
  • Running with a friend is better than alone
  • When I shut my brain down I’m invincible
  • I’m better if I run first thing in the morning and the sunrise is a bonus

I’ve run more in the last weeks than my entire life, I set the challenge to improve my yoga (so my cardio is better and I can hold poses for longer) and yoga will always be my movement love. When running and wondering whether I was possibly in cardiac arrest, I wasn’t and so far I’ve always made it home. I can run further when I let me brain tell me otherwise. My brain likes to think of reasons not to run, it likes to place alternative options and excuses in my way. When I tell my brain to shut the f*ck up – I’m unstoppable.

Apply this to other aspects of life and I’ve decided to spend the rest of 2019 seeing what I can do. I have challenges for whatmyfridgesays and areas of my personal life that need a sparkle, the couch to 5K experience has taught me I can do more, my body is stronger than I believe and with the right mindset my destination is anywhere I dare to dream, you know me dreaming is always going to be big. So here’s to a thirty something mummy learning to cartwheel.

What are you mind blocks, dare you to try them?

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.

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.

No.

To quote Hamlet, act 3, scene 3, line 87

We are on the cusp of a consumer crazy season. Of crackers with plastic and wrappings that nobody wants, that are often abandoned on the table long after the plates have been clearer away. Perhaps of saying thank you for gifts that lack thoughts, need or joy.

I know this post isn’t my usual sparkly positive self. Don’t despair, I’m about to flip it around but before I do I want to empower you with the word No. (As a Teacher and a Mum I feel Hamlet needs to add the words ‘thank you’ after his quote). Balance in life is crucial for physical and mental wellbeing. I’ve written many posts about ‘yes’ – to opportunities, change and adventure that so many of us hide from in daily life. I’m a fan honestly.

However, December seems to bring excess and anxiety for things we don’t want to do.

If you feel at all doubtful, listen to your instinct and say No.

  • Say No to buying gifts for that awkward Aunt or Uncle that you feel obliged to because they buy for you. It only takes a quick awkward phone call to release everyone of this burden for many Christmas’s to come
  • You don’t need to eat everything you’re offered
  • you can say no to sprouts.
  • You don’t need to attend that party that makes you feel anxious.
  • You don’t have to wear anything you don’t want to. I am the proud owner of zero Christmas jumpers.
  • Christmas doesn’t mean ‘spend money you don’t have’ say No.

Make sure the traditions you and your family participate in bring joy, love and a sense of fun…not awkward social events. Don’t become one of the three kings that bought guilt, anxiety and fear. Many of the innkeepers said No and it led to a way cooler version of Christmas. Baby Jesus born in a stable gathered by animals is all the better for its simplicity.

Saying No doesn’t need to be negative, it’s in fact a tool that can bring a huge amount of joy and relief. Balance is where joy and happiness can be fully embraced. This holiday season say yes to things that make you warm and smile, politely decline things your instinct tells you will add stress, keep the holiday season simple and stay present in all you do. It’s a recipe for the perfect Christmas.

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.