A piece of peace.

International Peace day happened this week on the  21st September.

Hmph I thought.  Not much peace in my life at the moment.  Waking up at 5.30am unable to go back to sleep mulling over various solutions to current life problems. Cancelling dinner plans because of having to work late.  Not running because I couldn’t be bothered and I’d rather a glass of wine due to all of this paragraph.  A proper self indulgent poor me moment.  

I sat down to write this blog and I thought what does  peace mean to me?  I often think peace for an individual is about solitude & time for yourself.  Sometimes I worry I’m not getting enough peace! Now adays you’re almost looked at as some kind of odd bod if you spend much time alone.  Buddhism encourages times of solitude (I’m not a Buddhist by the way but I do enjoy much of their strategies on life – as an aside I did go to one meeting with someone I shall not name many many years ago, during one mantra I turned to said friend and said ‘does it sound like they’re singing I want a chicken korma to you’.  Our fits of giggles were pure nerves at the time but it didn’t go down that well, understandably!)

 As I was saying Buddhism encourages solitude because if you are ease with yourself then there is nothing to fear from being alone I guess. A great place to be.

I am digressing rather a lot in this blog – as I said I thought about this word peace and what it means to me.  

I did eventually get my a*** out of bed early Wednesday morning and ran (slowly) 7k with my pooch.  Despite being out of breath I felt happy inside.  On Wednesday at lunch time my mum called over and a favourite song of hers came on the radio.  She turned it up loud (so that’s where I get it from!) and we both danced in the kitchen until the end.  The pooch joined in.  My son did not.  That moment of getting away from it all just for those few minutes gave me a free mind.  I immersed myself in a film at the cinema one night, as I chewed on my cola bottles and crunched at the pop corn and laughed out loud, my mind was feeling very stress free. Peacful. 

 I think my point is that peace can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.  Yes it can be solitude, it can be time on top of a mountain, it can be yoga or meditating but all that is not always possible in our busy lives.  

How do you find peace?

Peace for me is when I’m at ease with myself whatever the situation, dancing, laughing, walking etc etc. Anything that gives my brain a change of scene to one free of worry whether that’s a  few minutes or a couple of hours. 

It’s so important to give your mind a break from the daily grind. As the saying goes.. dance like nobody’s watching.  It feels great! 

 Happy peacful Sunday everyone xxx

 Ps  I’ll be panting my way running 11.5KM around Llyn Alwen from 9.30am!!! Wish me luck! X


The best things in life are….

free….. as the saying goes and there’s another…..money can’t buy you happiness.

I read an interview with an elderly woman the other day about how she had led a positive and happy life, she said it was important to remember the things that make us happy don’t generally cost money.

Like everyone else – money does indeed buy me happiness when the H&M catalogue has just landed through my door and I see those red shoes that I NEED!!!!  However…. it got me thinking about what we can do for free that makes us feel good about ourselves.

This is what I came up with this week as I took notice of those things that happened to me that make me feel happy and healthy but cost nothing….

Drinking water, lots of it

Saying hello and thank you

Walking miles in the mountains

Hugs

Picking blackberries

Running with friends at dusk

Lying down and watching the clouds

Telling the people you love that you …. love them

Kisses (with mutually agreed participants of course!)

Spending proper time with friends/family (putting your phone down!)

Getting up close to animals – dogs/cows/hedgehogs whatever….

Meditating.. when I remember to do this even for a few minutes a day I feel much less stressed

Looking.  Really looking at that beautiful view

Letting your mind wander  (harder than it sounds!)

Paddling in rivers on hot sticky days

Have you got any more?

You may think I’m over egging it but so many of us are skint and living to, or beyond our means….we think if we could only have that we’d be happy……..but there really is so much out there already, for free, making today a better today.

It comes from within and the only cost is a little imagination.

Happy Sunday everyone

X lots of love X

Dwys x 

 

free

 

What are friends for?

What are friends for?  I find myself saying as I hold her hand while she tries to stop tears rolling down her cheeks.

Friends are those people we choose to be in our life.

I was told this week I’m very ‘good’ at making an effort with friends.   I don’t see it as good, I see it as necessary.  Without question.

Like a tiny seed that grows into a beautiful rose, friendships need love, attention, feeding and patience and like the rose friendships should be beautiful.  It’ll have a few thorns and there are times paths will go in different directions but for me, friends are a staple fixture in life, a fundamental ingredient.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my friends this week for all the lovely things you did, during a rather difficult week.

Thanks to you for taking me out for veggi sausage and mash.  Thanks to you for organising a get together when we haven’t seen each other for months.  Thanks for picking up the phone on Thursday night, even though you probably didn’t want to after your bad day and having a long overdue chat with me.  Thanks to you, my brother, who I class as one of my best friends for a good giggle and a serious natter.  Thanks to you for sorting out afternoon tea yesterday – there’s never enough time for us all to speak! Thanks to you for the text suggesting a walk and of course a wine to finish it off, sorry I missed the walk but the wine was lush.  Thanks to my oldest friend for ringing me up at 11pm where we attempted to solve the world’s problems (or just our own!).  Thanks to mum (bestest friend ever!) for helping me out and sharing an avocado sandwich with me in the sunshine. Thanks to you for asking how my boy got on at school.  Thanks for your messages despite your tough week and your advice.  Thanks for the surprise chocolates ending up on my desk.  Thanks for asking how I got on this week and making plans to meet up.   Thanks for posting encouraging messages.  Thanks for the hug.  Thanks for taking me out for dinner.  (I’ve just realised there’s no wonder I’ve put on a few pounds this Summer – so much food!!).

Thanks for being YOU!

Some friends I’ve known all my life, some much shorter.  We can’t all be there for each other all the time, it can be weeks or even months sometimes where we catch up , sometimes it’s just a text or phone call now and again.

Search the definition of friendship and it will tell you that it’s an attachment to a person or between persons, affection arising from mutual esteem and good will.  For me the last two words sum up friendship. In fact it sums up how to be the best person you can.

Good will.

If you have good will towards the people in your life then you’re all the way there in trying to make today the best one you can for you and everyone else.

Happy Sunday everyone xxx

 

friends

Wandering mind

This sounds dramatic.  It is.  This week. It’s kind of been life changing.  Not in a huge ‘I’ve had an epiphany’ kind of way.  In lots of small ways. In ways that could only have happened because I had time for my mind.  To wander.

I’ve realised how very important that is.

I spent five days in a well worn and well loved motor home (not mine I hasten to add… unfortunately!). In a field. Next to the beach. In Wales.  Apart from the visit from the proud red and cheeky Robin and some chats with Tilly the three legged jack Russell  (and her owners!) there wasn’t a lot going on. Perfect.

With my mind free of work and clocks and what to cook and where do I fit in exercise and self criticism over what I’ve drank or how little sleep I’ve had or who I haven’t seen or why the house is a mess.  It was free of wondering whether I could shave 2 minutes off my drive to work or whether I felt guilty for leaving late.  Free of 6am alarms and snatched lunches.  Free of time holding me, instead I was holding time.

It wasn’t just about relaxing, it was about the fact that sometimes there wasn’t a lot ‘to do’.  It means I stared for many minutes at one cryptic crossword determined that I could get it (I got three in the I- a record!).  It meant that I watched a film I wanted to see for a while (The Hundred Foot Journey – Helen Mirren is in it, it’s about food and it’s set in France, what’s not to love!).   It means my walks could go on for hours.  It also meant at times I stared out of the top window in the motor home and looked out at the sparse but brilliantly green hills with an occasional sheep munching grass while admiring the top of the sea bouncing on the horizon.

I watched a sheep!!!!!

So, I didn’t just watch a sheep.  I kept having ‘ideas’.  I’m not the  most artistic person in the world or the most creative, I’m not the best cook or photographer or writer but I love doing it and shouldn’t we do more of what we love?  At long last that note book that I keep in my bag got some use (it’s there for ‘ideas’) and I found myself scribbling, I wrote two articles and my mind bounced from spending time in my VW van with my pooch and sausage dog (I don’t yet have sausage dog or the VW van but I will!)… to selling potatoes from my garden outside in brown bags to neighbours.  I don’t grow potatoes and my garden looks like monkeys have had a riot in it but……. it could happen!

I want to be daring  (I’m not) and (an occasional) risk taker (not there yet). I want to try something, take up a  new hobby (I know what that is – watch this space!). 

I want to say yes when I usually say no.

Putting this into practice as we sat on the beach hiding from the elements in a warm jumper, the sun stayed stubbornly and firmly behind the busy clouds, I was beckoned to get into the ice cold sea.  No thanks I said.  I sat and watched.

What am I doing watching I thought!  Feeling brave I rushed towards the white broth disappearing around my feet. It was freezing! My whole body was saying no, yet I felt excited, I was saying yes.  It took a few minutes to submerge myself totally  and lift my feet away from the sand allowing the salty water to carry me, for my arms to swim gently. There was only two people brave enough to brave the sea  and I was one of them!

I know this blog is a bit me me me this week but I’m excited about so many things.  One  thing I’ve decided is to share my creative juices on my blog and hopefully with you too!  .  Amateur pics, attempts at exercise, good and bad recipes, thrifty hints, lifestyle, recycle and upcycling, favourite books, magazines and bargains…. ….and of course my Sunday morning blog!

Hope you’ll enjoy the extra bits! Follow me on my DearMs website if you want email updates so you don’t miss any!  Or if you don’t want any extra emails you can unfollow me too! I hope you don’t!

It’s amazing what some time away does for us.   Make sure you get your 5 mins, 5 hours or maybe even 5 days to yourself too.  Not only will you feel better but you’ll feel better about everyone around you too!

Let your mind wander xx xx

Happy Sunday🙂

19986-Heart-Shaped-Bubble

What do you want to do when you’ve grown up??

Yesterday I wandered to the local garden centre. I’ve recently taken on a bit of an upcycling project at my new house in my overgrown garden.  I’m recycling old tins, spraying them and plonking plants in, hoping that it’ll divert eyes away from the patchy brown grass.

 

At the garden centre I of course got distracted and ended up buying coriander and parsley, I’ve a new love for coriander (have you tried it in a salad?!) and then I made my way to what I’d actually come for, some pretty little pots that would do the job in hand.

 

A young boy leapt out of his parents car, one parent spoke English to him the other Welsh. I marveled at his ability at the age of about four to converse easily swapping from one to the other.  He was very excited, he ran past the lavender and as I was smelling the coriander he shouted ‘hi’ in a very loud, excitable voice.  I turned around to his grinning round face and said hello back.  Loving his sparkle.  His innocence.

 

That’s when I thought.  In about 11 years time, someone is going to ask you a question and then you’ll be asked that same question over and over and over until you make something up just to stop them asking.  What do you want to be when you grow up?

 

What is grown up?

 

Aren’t we always growing?

 

I spent the best part of 48hrs this week with 16 year olds facing exam results, decisions about their future, stress, tears, laughter and of course adults continually asking them ‘what do you want to do when you grow up?’.

 

I’ve done it myself but the reality is there’ll be a lucky few – a footballer, a doctor, a musician, a vet that’ll have it in their bones but the rest of us meander from one thought to another and worse than that we probably do know what we’d like to be but we mostly don’t think we’re good enough.

 

When I went to my career advisor at 16, he eyed me up with a look of boredom.  I didn’t do ‘well’ in school.  I wasn’t one of the naturally clever ones.  I didn’t sing particularly brilliantly either. I was ok at sport.  I was ok really at most things. I didn’t shine.

 

You’ll probably be a secretary he said.

 

And that’s what I ended up doing for the first few years of my working life. Nothing wrong with that but in my panic and viewing this adult as someone who knew exactly what I could do I didn’t aim for anything different.  I didn’t aim to be a lawyer, a journalist or a run my own business.  I became an office worker.

 

I still actually don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.

 

What I do know is that most of the 16year olds, particularly the more miserable ones, did better than I did at that age at their GCSEs.

 

I did go on much later to do A levels and my degree in my 30s, finally accepting and believing I wasn’t ‘that stupid’ after all and actually I could be anything I wanted.  Anything!

 

Trying to get this through to young people is mostly impossible, particularly if they don’t fit in with school expectations and more importantly perhaps not fitting in with the needs for education establishments to fulfill their status.

 

I wish for a system that also focused on the abilities away from academia,  for those that take pleasure in planting a seed or that kid reading a book on astronomy, the child that relaxes while painting or another who is swinging a golf club at 4. What about the potential of the dreamer staring out of the window or the quiet one with an amazing imagination?

 

In my 4th decade I’m only just getting there in knowing what I might want to do….. and I expect that’ll keep changing as I keep growing up!

 

The truth is – we can be whatever we want to be when we grow up.

 

Don’t let anyone tell you different!

 

Happy Sunday everyone x

 

dice

 

 

A day

This week has been a roller coaster. 

A level results day meant I found myself on a warm Thursday morning finishing my walk at 7am with Tes. Pooch runs through the gates of the church and bears left.   She knows her way to where I sometimes sit to hold the silver teddy bear inscribed with a T as I chat briefly to the open air.

Tears involuntarily appear but are kept at bay all day.  I couldn’t help but feel hard done by, deprived. Today I felt sorry for myself.  

With that I genuinely was excited for all her friends who were starting new journeys.  But I wanted her to be on that journey too. As I said. Today I felt sorry for me. 

A person can change all of that though.  It was an exchange of messages that day that also simply said …call over if you like. I declined saying I planned to spend the evening under a blanket.

However at about 9 I decided to wander over and found myself at a mini gathering of family and friends. We sat out, giggled a lot and of course consumed a few vinos. Children played. Adults laughed naughtily. Presents were opened. Dark chocolate brownies were consumed.   

Like that, one person changed my day. 

It made me think how we can change a persons day. We can even change a persons life. 

On the radio this week I heard about a guy who had been hospitalised for 5 years with huge mental health problems.  His life has completely recovered. What changed him? Understanding.  Listening. Believing.  Compassion. Love.

I reflected on my week and wondered had  I had made a positive change to someone’s day this week? 

I did catch a large spider for a receptionist that was about to faint!! I also made mum a filled burrito and we sat in the sunshine with a large pot of tea. Hopefully I made the new person at work feel comfortable and I’m trying to be a listening ear to a friend in need. 

The great thing about trying to make life a bit better for someone else, as cheesy as it sounds, is how much better we feel about ourselves. 

I can change someone’s day. You can change someone’s day. Imagine the world we could live in!!

Happy Sunday everyone X 

Which way?

I was walking early (again) this week.
The sun was just rising and its burnt orange body partly hid behind lit up grey clouds.  We passed the spaniel without problem but a gang of rebellious younger sheep were in the corner of the field looking quite mischievous. Their heads poked through the fence as far as they could stretch. They clearly felt that the grass was certainly greener on the other side. For pooch this gathering was too tempting and in order to protect me from these hungry animals she quickly gathered pace and began barking at them from her side of the fence. 

 She’s about 12 inches tall. She thinks she’s 112 inches tall.

The sheep for some reason are scared of tiny dog and run away. However one is a bit naughtier than the rest and I hadn’t realised this leader of the pack had managed to squeeze it’s woolly oversized body under the fence. Panic set in and rebellious sheep made a run for it down the narrow leafy road towards the village, followed by tiny pooch. After a promise of a treat pooch strolls back towards me and I get her pink lead out while we sort out this sheep situation. Pooch is far from impressed.
I walk towards the corner bearing left and see the sheep about 25 yds away, it has stopped and is staring at us trying to make out whether the threat still exists. I squash us into the hedges as I try to create as much distance as I can trying to pass but sheep decides we’re too close and makes a further dart. We’re now at the periphery of the village. I don’t have time to walk all the way back so I have to keep going, playing the game with the sheep.
Finally the sheep takes a right and decides to run into the drive of a bungalow. I quicken my step in the hope that I can get by and the sheep will feel safe. Just as I get to the house the sheep has got its timing wrong and started to come back to the gate. The sheep literally has a look of surprise (somehow) on its face and takes a quick step back to safety. Pooch and I pass without further crisis and sheep then makes a run for it all the way back to where we first met this morning.
As I walk on it made me think about decisions we make. Decisions we have to make on the spot or decisions we linger about. The fact being that quite often there are only a limited number of choices and that we either have the choice to face up and make a decision, to hide and hope the decision goes away or to let that decision be made for us.

I had a conversation with someone this week about the age old saying glass half full or glass half empty. I was questioned about my positivity. Why be positive, I was asked. It felt clear that based on what’s happened in our family this positivity wasn’t really understood. What’s do you get from making a decision not to be positive, I asked. 
These days there’s so much stuff about mindfulness and positivity that it can sometimes feel we’re being dictated to being a perfect  all practicing yoga eating kale and drinking green tea with the gaze of *smug* oozing from our perfect natural eyes. Rubbish! 

Positivity to me is making that choice to *try* to be positive.
Decisions can be tough. 

This week I walked across a park and saw a toddler with golden brown shoulder length curled hair. She held her mums hand tightly. Trusting. She looked just like Tes at that age. I was in the middle of a field and for some reason in that instant my whole body was in pain from grief. I stood and looked. I didn’t move and my brain was tempting me to stay put. I imagined briefly not going back to work and just sitting in the field until someone asked why. And then I would tell them why. Instead I decided to take one last look. Then I decided to walk back to work. 

Just like the sheep we have big and small decisions all the time. Making it as positive a one for you as it can be has to be the best option. 

May Sunday be very good to you!
Lots of love x Dwysan x