Reasons to be Happy (part one)

Abraham Lincoln said, “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds to be.”  At least I think it was Lincoln.  Whoever said it, it’s very true.  This week, I was feeling more than a bit grumpy.  I was working on a project that wasn’t inspiring me at all and – over on my book blog – a reading slump was getting me down; not even my favourite author could get me back in the groove.

Then, last night, sat with a glass of wine and an episode of Real Housewives, I had a bit of a lightbulb moment.  Life really wasn’t that bad and the things that were getting me down just weren’t worth getting down about at all.  I went to bed feeling a little lighter and determined to see the good and feel the happy…. Continue reading

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Updated: Mini goals (to get me motivated)

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This post was updated 22/1/18 to show progress. 

Since 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

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

November in a sentence a day

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, a way to record just what I’d been up to.  So, here’s what I did…

1st: Went to my daughter’s parent / teacher evening and heard that, after a tough start, she has settled in to year 3 really well (phew!)

2nd: Got to sit and drink tea with my mom for the afternoon, catching up on nothing much but still having fun. Continue reading

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

Sunday post: I do like to be beside the seaside

We were lucky with the weather this week, though cold the sun shone most days.  Meaning I could take a walk along the local beach (well I say local, it’s a 15 minute drive so I think that counts).  There is nothing better to clear the mind I don’t think than looking out to sea.

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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