Valentines. A day of two conflictions for me. It’s just a materialistic nonsense, expensive flowers go up in prices kind of day. But also. It’s a day to remember about love. To show it. To feel it. To be it. Because lots of us forget over time to demonstrate our love to those closest to us. Or sometimes we forget there’s so much to love and that we’re loved. For that reason I’m tentatively ok with Valentines!
In this current climate of what feels like clouds of hate adorning the grey skies, where we seem to live in fear of our future. Love is what surely saves us.
Love can come from so many things. A dog, a car, a child, a partner. Family, friends. Even a job or the outside, a mountain or lake. A favourite book or place to take in the view. A destination or a walk. A favourite dish to cook or being part of a like minded circle. Drawing or just sitting still.
So Valentines. I may detest your commercialism but I love your underlying message. There is much to love. We just have to remember that now and again.
Lots of love to you!
I drove to work this week listening to the radio as usual, there was a woman speaking about role models, she said everyone girl should have a role model. It made me think about the importance of influencing each other and also I have to say I feel that boys need as much as ever to have positive role models particularly when we look around at the males currently dominating our media.
What is a role model?
Are you one?
Am I one?? I thought to myself.
Taking on the position of a role model isn’t an easy task. If people look up to or admire someone that role model has to constantly be on their best behavior don’t they. Look at David Beckham this week… a few emails with a few expletives (I have to be honest I haven’t seeked out the full story) – he seems to have gone from an untouchable unquestionable respectable man to one now viewed with suspicion and mistrust. He’s not allowed to be human.
Role models are not allowed faults – which to be frank is absolutely ridiculous.
A role model to me is someone real, with imperfections and weaknesses but who also is striving to be the best person they can at that moment. A role model is someone who wants to encourage other people, who resists jealous and envy, someone who generally see’s the best in someone and wants that someone to succeed. A role model tries to be kind and compassionate not just to who they know but who they don’t know either. A role model treats children with love and devotion and know that animals are an extension of the human race to be cared for and cherished. A role model is a decent and good friend, withholds malicious judgement and is inclusive. A role model is someone wanting to do all those things while accepting that all those things aren’t always possible, but keeps trying.
I don’t find myself wanting to be like anyone else. For me that breeds jealousy but I do know that I am drawn to people I view as positive role models, from Mrs Thomas my kind primary school teacher to a friend who put a pair of trainers on for the first time, to a woman who despite enormous loss found a way to happiness, the group who stands up despite adversity for what they believe in and especially the encouragers in life where resentment doesn’t exist.
I think we can all be role models and by acknowledging yourself as a role model it gives you some responsibility because there’s no choice – we do all influence everyone around us. It may sound nonsensical but if you’re a role model anyway, isn’t it worth trying to be the best one you can be?
Lots of love and a happy Sunday x x
I got to see Trainspotting 2 this week. It’s totally different to the first but just as powerful. I just wanted to talk about it for ages afterwards and mull over the characters and the way their lives had evolved. It particularly resonated with me because the characters are now my age. I’ve grown up with them!
20 years. It’s a long time and yet seems a short time. In my 20 years I haven’t ended up in prison or taken a concoction of drugs like my trainspotting friends!! It has made me think about what has gone on though. Two beautiful children, new jobs, loss, house moves, relationships, divorce, pets, coming out, holidays, break ups, love, graduation, furry friends, learning to run, rows and making up, self acceptance, old friends and new ones… …. twenty years. 20 years! What will the next 20 bring? I hope for calm and fulfilling, exciting and relaxed, healthy and beautiful. I imagine it will be again nothing as I expected because although we try our best to have some control over our future we don’t.
We can try to control some of it.. how healthy we are, how we make an impact today, how we approach life today.. but tomorrow will bring what it wants and that has made me think about trying to stop worrying about what I’ve got absolutely no control over. Most of us worry about things we can do nothing about and it’s probably time to stop!!
To help me be a bit more thankful for what I’ve got right now and stop worrying about the inevitable unknown of tomorrow I’ve downloaded the app gratitude garden. It encourages you to write down three good things from today. It keeps them all so if you’re ever feeling a bit negative you can go back and remind yourself about the good stuff too!
It’s worth a go! Anything to help with those irrelevant and unhelpful anxieties. Concentrate on what we can change and not on what we can’t.
Happy (non worrying) Sunday
Lots of love xx
Do you ever say you’re going to do something and you don’t? Do you ever have good intentions and when the time actually comes you just can’t be bothered? This was me this week when it came to Yoga. And I felt so bad because I had written it in my blog!!!! The first thing I said was – I have to go, I’ve written in my blog that I’m going!!!
This was in fact the second week that I said I was starting back at Yoga and didn’t make it. The first week I was too tired. The second week, I was ….. err….. too tired again!!!!! The reason I’m too tired is because I’m not giving myself enough time to sleep so I barely scrape through the 6am start to the finishing line. So the thought of then donning on some lycra and carrying my yoga mat to a community centre three miles down the road versus a lovely large glass of Sauvignon with First Dates hotel (you don’t watch it?! You must!!) and a packet of Prawn Cocktail crisps wins. Every time.
I get so annoyed with myself when I say I’m going to do something and I don’t as it’s something I rarely do. The talking to I give myself in the middle of the night when I feel the crisps on my hips and my over active mind that really could’ve done with being Omnified by the yoga instructor is even more annoying. I often give myself a hard time – about so many things and I just can’t get out of that habit, I think I know why I do it, it’s just a matter of stopping!
Feel like I’m waffling a bit….
Anyway so I guess it’s a Sunday and if you’re religious in any way (I’m not) you could take this as my confession that I said I was going to do something and I didn’t. I’d apologise but I’m sure you are a forgiving bunch and anyway I’ve berated myself enough for it already. One of the main things i’ve learnt is I need to be a little bit more forgiving of myself!! We’re so hard on ourselves at times aren’t we.
So…. TOMORROW I’m going to Yoga ok!!!! And if I don’t go I (almost) promise not to be hard on myself (as I write that I know that’s not going to happen… but I’ll try). We could all try being a bit kinder and sympathetic to ourselves sometimes couldn’t we!
Happy Sunday xx
As I did a quick dash around the local supermarket last week I encountered two mums with two children in different aisles. The little ones were demanding sweets and the other a magazine. I want this magazine said the young girl with her brown hair tied up, looking longingly. No. Shouted mum. I need this said the two year old blonde boy pointing to some purposefully brightly coloured packets of sweets. Mum tells him loudly that he’s stressing her out. He starts to cry. Both mums look so fed up and really tired. I caught second mums eye and gave her a smile while making a joke that it’d be bed time soon. She looked grateful that she wasn’t being judged for her short fuse.
I continued with my mad dash picking up some reduced rocket and thought about that wanting. I want this. I need this. We see it all the time. And we’re also doing it all the time aren’t we? We’re doing exactly what we did as kids but on a far greater scale. We want. We demand. We want a new car. We need new clothes. With this we’re working all hours to pay for the new house, the extension, that holiday we need because….. .. we’re working so hard!
We’re designed to want. When I looked at the two kids and worse when I looked at the two stressed out women I thought. Enough. Something has to give. Why are we doing this to ourselves? Working ourself so hard just to get what we’ve been told we supposedly need. But how do we stop?
I’m not sure! It’s a hard habit to give up… being constantly on the go and having a life that revolves around want. It’s almost addictive. And then there’s guilt for daring to do nothing. Doing nothing is actually really good for us you know? It lets your mind wander, imagine and rest.
I’m hopeless at it. More than ever the last few years I’ve busied myself. So. I’m going to make a few changes… beginning with going to a yoga class because I don’t see myself having enough steel or determination to have an hour and a half away from life without some help!
It’s a start. Not sure I can change drastically from wanting but I’m going to try to be less about what I want and concentrate more on what I have!
Lots of love,
Happy Sunday xx
I talked last week about embracing new experiences. I embraced one yesterday that I’ve avoided since losing Tes. It appears small perhaps but to me it was massive.
Since I lost her I avoid certain things. They’re mostly because they invoke such a huge sense of loss deep inside I actively avoid the experience.
As I drive back from Manchester yesterday listening to my play list a song I normally skip came on. Newborn by Muse. As my finger hovered over the forward button I took a deep breath and allowed myself to listen. Preparing myself for tears and sadness as I wait at the busy traffic light, rain hitting the wipers working hard to keep visibility.
This song is one I danced with my two for many years when they were very young. We started off by crouching down as the piano music begins gently, it’s almost inaudible. It grows in strength over a long period and as it did so the three of us would pretend we were the roots of trees and slowly we’d unfold ourselves as the music became louder and louder until we were the tallest trees we could be. Then. There’s a short pause and guitars blast as the song takes a new route and at this point we would jump high into the air and for the remaining minutes would dance and run around the rectangular wooden kitchen table giggling and laughing until we were out of breath.
The traffic light suddenly changes to green and everyone in Manchester seems to be in the biggest rush to get to the next set of lights. I keep listening to the song and relive those magical times where I remember smiles, laughter and fun so vividly, through the music.
Maybe I had to wait almost 4 years to be able to do it. I’m so glad that I’ve started to embrace experiences that I’d have otherwise avoided because although tinged with sadness and that place Tes lives in my heart ached a little more. It was worth it to relive one very precious and alive moment of her childhood.
Thanks for letting me share a few minutes from my week.
Hope you’ve managed to embrace some new experiences this week. Big or small.
Lots of love.
Happy Sunday xxx
Read a little saying today. Don’t stop an experience before it becomes one.
This resonated with me. I’ve been known at times to be quite risk averse and I’ve been more likely to avoid a potential experience particularly if I think it’ll hurt me in some way. What a way to be?! I’m getting better at it though. Because if we turn away from potential problems or difficulties what else could we be missing out on?!
It’s far easier to be afraid than confront isn’t it. Far simpler to take the safe option than take some risks.
Strange how one sentence can make you think about how you live generally and what you could be missing out on. So here forward am going to try harder at facing those situations I’d quite happily avoid.
I reflected on what I might have missed out on had I been too scared to have embarked on ‘the experience’.
For one when I bought my first house at 20 and decided a year later I actually wanted to travel. I’d have missed out on the most amazing year travelling had I not given up my job and rented my home out. Had I not convinced myself almost 5 years ago that perhaps I was good enough to take on a managers job and with 4 hours to go decided I would go to the interview, I wouldn’t be in my job that has challenged and changed my career so positively. There’s bigger stuff too. Had I not actively sought help for anxiety and panic attacks 25 years ago I may not have been able to experience the freedom to live (mostly) without the barriers poor mental health brought me. I could’ve missed out on enjoying the thrill of a 3 mile run had I not tried for the 3rd time to complete the 9 week course that took me from barely breathing after one minute to tears of joy when I finally made it and tentatively called myself a runner!
So this little saying has reminded me really to not turn away from opportunities because then I’ll be turning away from a new experience that otherwise would not be born!
So that invite to the zip wire I’ve had recently that I’ve dithered about….I’m going to have to make myself nod my head rather than shake it. That’s a start!
Happy New experience everyone!
And happy Sunday xx