Giving thanks for family and friends (and not the sales)

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I might live in England but, given I’m married to an American, celebrating Thanksgiving is a must in our house.  Unfortunately, we don’t get the two days holidays that we would do if we still lived in the States but oh well – you can’t have everything can you (and American’s don’t have Boxing Day so swings and roundabouts)?

I love Thanksgiving because it’s Christmas before Christmas – not with the presents but with the big family meal and, once it’s over, I feel like I can start playing a bit of Shakin’ Stevens and Slade.  There is nothing for me like getting everyone around the table and feeding them.  Tonight, it will be Cola Ham courtesy of Nigella Lawson (something everything thought was odd till they tried it an now I’m not allowed to make anything else). Continue reading

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Stepping outside my comfort zone

fear-2019930_1920I used to think of myself as quite a brave person, someone who would give anything a go.  Then I got older and, whilst some might say wiser, I have started to think it’s really more cowardly.  I found myself saying things like “I know my boundaries” or “I know what I like and I won’t like that” – you get the picture.  Over the last few years especially I have found it more and more difficult to try new things.  It’s something I have wanted to change and (pats self on back) have finally started to.

I mentioned the other week that I had started trampoline classes and that was a big one for me.  The classes had been going for about six weeks when I joined and everyone seemed to know each other and the coaches well.  I would watch whilst my daughter took her class and think about how much fun it looked.  Then feel scared.  I would worry… Continue reading

Do I want or do I need “it”?

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Earlier this week, I was reading an article about Affluenza, the idea that we are a consumerist society and we buy what we want, when we want it, and that this way of living puts the way we live in danger.  So, the example is given, if we are thirsty and out and about, we buy a bottle of water – drinking the water and throwing away the bottle, giving no thought to the natural resources that have gone into making that bottle (resources that are finite) or to the damage that bottle might be doing to the environment.

The article wasn’t saying that we shouldn’t buy things but it was making the case that, as a society, we are somewhat addicted to buying things for the sake of buying them.  It was saying that if you buy something then love it, care for it, and use it until it needs replacing.  Only this way will we change the way we live and the way we think.  We will all end up better off financially and mentally because an addiction to buying things can be more than a bit stressful. Continue reading

Smile (it might make someone’s day)…

selfie-465563_1920A couple of years ago, at a work’s conference, I was lucky enough to hear from a guest speaker who told the story of how he had been contemplating suicide and how a complete stranger, seeing he was in trouble, had taken the time to stop and talk to him, to find out what was going on and help him get help.

It was an amazingly powerful story but one thing in particular stuck with me.  It was when he said that, as he went out on what he thought would be his last day, he had made himself a deal – if one person smiled at him, just one, he wouldn’t kill himself.  For people who are feeling sad or lonely, he said, one smile can make all the difference. Continue reading

Feeling the burn…

So, something has happened to me these last few weeks, something I never in a million years would have expected.  It started when I quit work and began planning for the future me, the one that wouldn’t always be tired, and stressed, and grumpy with – well, pretty much anyone who crossed my path some days.

First off, I decided to get a little creative and start using a bullet journal.  It was fun.  I got a bit carried away.  One of the things I got carried away with was putting together an exercise plan.  Wasn’t one of my goals now I had time on my hands to get fit after all?  It’s not the prettiest plan you’ve ever seen (though it does have different coloured squares for different exercises) but it turns out it works.  Every day I take a look and do what it tells me to do. Continue reading

Favourite things #2

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I am an eternal collector of things – material and otherwise – and constantly on the search for new experiences, small and large.  Often, I become slightly obsessed and things become my “favourites” until something else comes along to obsess about.  Every now and then I thought it would be fun to share these favourites (I last did it at the end of August) – and maybe you can let me know what you are loving right now too – so I can find my next obsession?

So, what am I loving? Continue reading

My “new life” one week in…

books-2560206_1920So, it’s October – the 6th of October to be exact – and here I am, a week into my “new life”, the one where end up healthy, wealthy, wise and happy, or at least that’s the plan.  So how am I feeling?  If you’d have asked me that Monday the answer would have been panicked.  I woke up with no job to go to, no emails that had to be answered, no one I needed to call or tell what to do.

It was the strangest feeling.   I was convinced I’d made the wrong decision and that I needed to start looking for a job, any job, before my life was over.  Seconds later, I decided that no one would ever hire me after they realised I’d quit my job without having another to go to willingly – what type of person would do that? – and just wanted to hide. Continue reading

Healthy, Wealthy, Wise = Happy?

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As well as sharing the every day things I love and love doing, one of my reasons for starting this blog was to chart my journey from employee to self-employed person with a better work life balance and more control over my day to day living.  You can read more about why I made the decision here.

With the new month rolling around tomorrow, I am now on the final month’s countdown to this new life, which I hope will not just be about the work I do but also about how I live my life.  I want what I’ve heard others call a sea change, a way to live differently.  A way that will make me truly happy.    Continue reading

Favourite things

One of the things I know I love when I’m discovering a new blog is finding out more about the blogger themselves, who they are, what they like, and what makes them tick.  Figuring I’m not the only one and knowing that my about page is short and sweet (as was my welcome post), I thought it might be fun to share a little bit more about who I am and what I love – to help you get to know me.  Given my magpie nature, the loves could end up being a lengthy list, so I thought I’d start with five for today and maybe share some more later down the line…if you think they are interesting enough that is!

So, without further ado, here are a few of my favourite things right now… Continue reading

Decisions, decisions

32Just over a year ago, I took a new job – a promotion with my current company.  It was a strange time, making the decision to accept the role as I wasn’t sure it was right for me but it seemed like too good an opportunity to turn down.

Why not for me?  It meant managing staff for one, something I hadn’t done much of before and hadn’t really enjoyed when I had.  Then there was the volume of work and the amount of potential travel involved.  I talked all these through with my manager (who I would be replacing as she’d also been promoted), family and friends.

My manager reassured me the support would be there and the amount of travel would be down to me.  My family and friends said if I didn’t try, I wouldn’t know….one person in a similar position had taken the “no” route and regretted it ever since, convinced she could do a better job than the person who eventually got it.   Continue reading