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
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
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
I drove to work the other day. The weather was bleak, the fault light had come on my car. Again. It was misty, visibility was poor. I’d been up for two hours, tired already I begin the hour drive to work.
Coming into the next village I slow down as a family cross in front of me. Holding hands with her mum is a blonde girl in a chequered dress of about 8, skipping. I thought to myself…. What happened to skipping? I thought to myself, when did I stop skipping? When did WE stop skipping?!
As I do ……I give that a lot more thought as I drive on. What stopped the skipping? If I skipped to work now people would think I was a bit crazy. I’d feel so self conscious. What happened?
Why do we lose that freedom to express the joy we feel? When did we somehow learn that we shouldn’t express that we’re having a great day. When did it become un cool to shout out and express wildly……I’m happy!!
If you look back at a conversation you’ve had recently with a few friends I’m sure like me you’ll notice it’s far easier to complain than to talk about how great you’re life is today. It’s much easier to moan about work than say you love it, it’s far easier to pick holes in your partner than say how wonderful they are.
As I drive on, Mariah Carey came on the radio singing her song… …. I went from sleepy to singy as I join in crooning that…. All I want for Christmas is you. With that although I couldn’t physically skip …..I smile and dance in my seat and sing out loud, not caring who’s watching and guess what, it made me happier.
So thank you skipping girl for reminding me that there’s definitely a need to fill my life with more skipping, maybe in yours too?
Happy Sunday everyone xxxx
I was late again this week, despite the fact as usual I get up at six, 2 hours later I got in the car and I knew I’d be late for the course. Frustrated with myself I start the 30 mile journey and due to being late I encounter every single lollipop crossing on my way. This is just making me more late I’m thinking, Come on!
At one I end up waiting for what seems like twenty minutes but it was probably more like two. There’s nothing I can do but to accept it. I’m going to be late. Very late.
I look around. The lady in the fluorescent jacket with her stop sign has a cheery face with long blonde hair. I notice a young girl of about 9 walking towards her smiling, you could tell in that smile this lollipop lady was kind and funny. The 9 year old was looking forward to seeing her. On the other side a young boy of about 4 was about to melt my heart just because he looked ecstatically innocently happy, he skipped and grinned, his eyes lit up with everything he was hoping for that day, friends perhaps and toys and books and play. Behind him, his older brother, looking far less enthused and behind him was mum. She looked like me… …rushed, stressed, late.
It got me thinking about how we live. How the innocence of childhood grows into the frantic rush of adulthood. There’s no getting away from it for most of us. I can’t give up work or house or car and I’m certainly not giving up my dog or my son!!! I have responsibilities but I think that I need to slow down sometimes, take back the innocence of the four year old, run and laugh and savour rather than rush and frown and ignore. As we get older we absorb so many difficulties but we also are absorbing love and kindness and fun that sometimes gets trampled on …leading to fewer smiles and more frowns. I’m sitting here wondering how do I get it back? How to be that young person skipping down the road not worrying about my car or my job or money or health or time etc etc.
Worrying and stress is part of life but it shouldn’t be life itself.
On the same day I went for a walk and I saw a field of sheep. One sheep was running around and then hopping and trying to get the other sheep to play and then running again. I’d never seen a sheep behave like that before! It reminded me of the young boy earlier.
And there’s my blog this week, the realisation as we get older we may be less free but if we decided to we could be more like that sheep, living with what we’ve got but making the most of it.
Let’s all be more sheep!
Happy Sunday X X
I love trees. Aren’t they amazing? They’ve been around for hundreds of years, they look so intelligent and worldly wide. Trusting. They’re particularly beautiful at the moment. Leaves of tangerine orange and tanned brown, some a sunshine yellow. I stood under this pictured tree on Saturday and watched the leaves occasionally fall delicately, dancing to their soft landing.
I take so much more notice of things than I used to. I couldn’t imagine saying I loved trees as a ‘cool’ silk cut smoking teenager! It’s crazy how long it takes sometimes to appreciate those things that are out there. For free!
I use my love of the outdoors in perhaps an unusual way when I feel anxious, particularly if it happens during the night. Since Tes I’ve struggled to sleep much more than five hours, usually no more than about 3 without waking fully. Fortunately I’ve never needed a lot of sleep (Tes was the same actually), so I’ve spent many a night annoyed that I can’t sleep. Many a night berating myself that I’ve eaten too late or drank too much wine. I’ve spent many an hour wondering did I send that email at work or have I got enough staff in? Sometimes I just notice my heart rate and that’s it. The more I notice the louder it gets. Once I’ve been through all that, it’s ages before my mind can become quiet enough to consider sleep.
So. This is where nature comes in. I’ve started my own little meditation mind map. It takes some of the principles of mindfulness but instead of concentrating on what’s going on now (that heart rate!) I picture myself going on my favourite walk with Lolly. I break it down to the tiniest of detail. To putting on her collar and noticing her coarse chocolate brown fur and her mismatched paws, her dark inquisitive eyes. Then I focus on my steps along the track taking notice of all the familiar spots like the heron normally standing proud down the side of the bank and the broken branches crushed into the moist grass under my feet. I hear the river swell and there’s always a breeze sweeping through my hair. I rarely get half way around my imaginary walk. Why? I fall asleep!
I thought I’d share this because lots of people suffer from sleepless nights and it’s worked for me so who knows imagining your favourite place might work for you. Or it could be used as a simple self guided meditation. If you can’t get to the beach why not imagine it instead! It’s good for our overactive minds to have a break!
Thanks for reading, have a lovely Sunday and hopefully a peaceful night too
Dwys X X