Mini goals (to get me motivated)

checklist-2589418_1920Since Christmas, I have been struggling to get back into the groove.  Over the holidays, we stayed up too late, ate too much cheese and chocolate, and drank too much wine.  Normally, after New Years, I do what most people do and cut back on all of these, trying to be a little healthier if nothing else.  And, I had to go back to work, meaning routines were quickly fallen back in to.

This year, though, the schools didn’t go back till last week which meant my holidays lasted longer than normal.  Plus, I didn’t have to go back to work straight away as I now work for myself.  Now, it feels like my eating, drinking, and late nights have became habits I need to break.  And that’s where I’m struggling.  Continue reading

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How (Not) To Work From Home

10For the last ten years or so, I have been working from home, at first for a couple of large national charities and now for myself.  The work I was doing required a lot of flexibility in when I worked as everything was deadline driven and this included late nights and weekends.  In theory, this flexibility was returned by the companies I worked for.  In reality, this wasn’t actually the case and there always seemed to be plenty to do to fill up the days.

As a result, I often worked way over my 40 hour week and found myself tired, irritable, and missing my family (even if they happened to be in the next room!).  For the last couple of years, especially, my work-life balance was shot and it’s the main reason I have decided to start working for myself.  I need to be able to breath, eat, sleep, exercise, be a mom and generally have a life.  This week, I got my first contract as a freelancer – exciting.  Not so exciting was the comment the manager I’ll be working for made about sending emails at 11 at night – just what I don’t want to happen! Continue reading

Music for Monday: For the Love of Vinyl

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Last month, after two years in our new house, we finally got round to setting up our stereo.  Why did it take so long?  Because it’s taken us that long to get our house the way we wanted it and find a space for everything we own – or buy new furniture to fit in the space we had.

In the meantime, we’ve been using a little portable record player we actually bought for my daughter’s room whenever we’ve wanted to listen to a “real” record.  It wasn’t the best sound, but it worked.  Now, though, I am reminded just what I’ve been missing for the last two years.

So, instead of sharing a song this week (especially as I still have Christmas songs rattling around my head and I don’t want to inflict that on anyone again till December), I thought I would write my own little “love post” to vinyl and why – for me – it is still better than any other way of listening to music. Continue reading

Relief, reassurance and resolutions…

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As people who have been following my blog for a while (or have read my early posts / about me page) will know, last October I took a bit of a leap into the unknown, quitting my job and setting out on my own.  I had a plan, though perhaps it wasn’t as fully thought out as I thought it was when I handed in my notice, and a huge desire to change my life.

The plan, to work freelance doing what I was already doing – bid and project management – whilst moving into a new field – writing, editing and proofreading.  I knew it was a big change, though there are lots of transferable skills with what I do now, and that it would take time.  I had figured three to six months before I even saw a sniff of new work and maybe a bit less for my current field.

Three months later, where am I?  Well, I’ve had two offers for temporary work doing what I do, which has been a relief, and I’ve been training up for what I want to do, learning the trade from the ground up and not expecting too much but enjoying every bit of it.  Which was another huge relief – what if I hadn’t?

I have also spent some time getting to know other people who are currently doing what I want to do.  They are a wonderful group of people, helpful and supportive, and it has given me courage to keep going.  It’s also made me readjust my timelines for getting where I want to, but that’s o.k. I had wondered if I was being overly optimistic anyway and I wold rather be realistic and not be disappointed when the results are slower than slow…as long as there are results.

My days are fuller than I thought they would be and so much better now the stress of my old job is gone.  The lack of early starts and calls till late into the evening are not missed, and neither is the pressure. Just before Christmas, I met with old colleagues and my old boss.   Going to meet up with people, I was anxious.  I wondered how I would feel, if I would miss work once I started seeing people again, that I had made the wrong choice.

Listening to them talk about work, about the politics, the drama and the stresses left me knowing – without a doubt – that I had made the right decision to leave.  Realising this was another big sigh of relief and reassured me that, whatever happens, I will be o.k. because I am better in myself than I have been for the last few years.  I look better, I feel better, and I know others have seen it too – though what they were saying about me before given what they are saying about me now, I have to wonder 🙂

Now, though, the big push comes.  The training is done and the work of promoting myself and getting that first job needs to start.  Which brings me to my new year’s resolution (well one, the others are getting fit, eating well – the usual).  I want to write it down here so I don’t forget and – putting it out there – will hopefully spur me on.  In 2018, I will be brave.  I will not fall back on doing what I do but push forward so that this time next year, I can change my LinkedIn Profile and leave bidding and project management behind.  What about you – do you have any work-related resolutions?

Emma x

 

 

December in a sentence a day

Last month, I came across this post on Natalie the Explorer’s blog and thought it was great. She, and some other bloggers, share their month in a sentence a day. I thought it would be fun to join in, and last month I did.  I really enjoyed looking back on what I’d been up to – and feeling grateful for all the good in my life.  So, I’m doing it again, taking one last look at 2017 before I look forward to 2018 and what I want to achieve.  Here’s what I did…

1st: Went to Birmingham for the weekend.  After a rather long drive (3 hours!), I got to spend even longer with some of my best friends, drinking wine and catching up until two in the morning – who knew I still had it in me.

2nd: Took my daughter to catch up with her friends with a three hour playdate at a whacky warehouse followed by a trip to the German Market, where we ate brawts and drank beer.  Tasty!  Continue reading