What happened?

Some weeks I think about my blog and muse that nothing really happened this week for me to write about. Nothing of interest.

I refuse to force a blog. The blog has to come from something that’s happened or something I’ve witnessed through the week that makes me want to write about it.

So far. Nothing seems to jump out so I sit here and think what’s happened this week? Nothing?

A few years ago when I started my blog sometimes I’d simply write about what made me smile that week. So a throw back and an exercise that I think is more than worthwhile now and again. A look back at what made a difference to this week.

Hopefully it might encourage you to do the same.

For me.

A new walk across the bracken and under pine trees I’d never walked before with someone who makes you feel a better person just by being there

Painting my door and mirror in my new lounge in my new home and not rushing it like I normally do… using masking tape and everything!

Getting to mum’s on my day off who made me chips and egg .. not just any chips but chips cooked Nannas style. Divine.

A meet up with an old friend where lots of wrongs were put right and good feelings were restored

A second tap dancing lesson where I GOT the turn!!!!

Being there at the worst possible moment when someone gets the call that their dad has lost his battle and you can at least offer one of your best hugs and a shoulder x

Playing the piano for the first time in over a year because now I have room for the piano!

A birthday lunch with your ex husband with an invite from his wife and and their son and our son and it’s all just lovely (particularly the quorn sausage breakfast bap!)

Cooking from scratch, lighting some candles and enjoying a few hours away from anything else

Seeing. The emerald reflection of the trees and the greenery at the bottom of the canal swaying in the sunlight which forces you to take a picture.

Some things are worth stopping for.

Sometimes we can think our life and our weeks and days can be quite ordinary but when you break them down they can be simply…..extraordinary.

Happy Sunday to you all

Xx

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Tap. Heel. Toe.

Three words. One new experience. I dipped my ‘toe’ into tap dancing this week. I saw the beginners class advertised a few weeks ago and really wanted to have a go. I’m rather a frustrated actor/dancer/singer (little talent but lots of passion). So I thought why not. Give it a go. Join in.

Trying something new is hard though isn’t it? Walking into a room of people you don’t know to do something you’ve never done before is quite a challenge. Will I look silly? Will the others be friendly? Will they all be better than me? Soon enough we can easily talk ourselves out of new experiences and settle for what we know instead.

I’m fairly confident but it was still a little daunting. I roped a friend along and as they handed out the tap shoes and started talking about a future show we would be putting on I’m sure I saw my friend tapping quite quickly sideways towards the exit. But she stayed (thank you!).

What I loved about the tap dancing class surprised me. I thought it’d be the movement and the music and the sense of keeping fit. But what I really loved was learning something new. Meeting new people. Watching people smile. As we get older we don’t learn new things very often and that’s when our lives can feel a little bit ‘routine’. Our minds too need to keep learning. There’s proven research out there telling us how important it is to keep our minds healthy, we need to use it and challenge it.

Tap dancing as it turns out even at the basic level is quite a challenge. Tap, heel, stamp, shuffle, spin…. steps to the right then left, forward 4 and back 8. The next day I woke up and could feel the excercise in my legs a little and as I sat at my desk later that day I involuntarily caught myself doing a back shuffle tap with my right foot!!

It’s good to push ourselves and try something new whatever our age. With Spring around the corner what perfect time to try something new. New people. New experiences. New smiles. New beginnings!

Happy Sunday everyone xxx

The right change.

As my mum says often, I don’t do things by halves. Every important aspect of my life seems to have changed recently or is going to change over the next few weeks or so.

Change.

Something that many people don’t like at all. I have never really minded change. Sometimes it’s not nice when it’s inflicted on you or when you’ve no choice but change usually means opportunity.

Change also creates a time for reflection. What would you do differently in the future? What will you try to keep the same? What have you learnt from the past? What can you bring to the new future?

As I packed up my belongings this week I inevitably came across memories spanning from the day I was born. A black and white teddy that sadly no longer has an eye but still has the number 7 I wrote on it with nail varnish at 9 yrs old! My doll that frankly looks like it belongs in a horror film now and still has the make up I adorned her with as a toddler. The soft toy that mum made me out of my carnival attendant dress! Letters of love and photos of friendship from the last few (ahem) decades.

As I sat revelling in the memories with some tears but mostly smiles… for some reason my main emotion was of having not put some things right with some people in these memories of my life. Because sometimes we don’t like change and we can react badly. As I held my memories in my hands I realised despite me thinking I handled change well, at times I haven’t.

The problem with changes that you don’t handle well or resolve is ‘the niggle’. The niggle in the back of your head that for most of us won’t go away. Even if you’ve spent many years arguing with the niggle that you’re right there will only ever be one winner. The niggle. Until you make things right.

So I tried to make amends this week and it felt really good to have eventually managed those changes positively. The niggle has retreated too.

Change can be difficult but the key is how we deal with the change, it can be a chance to do things differently. A new beginning. A closure. An adventure. A challenge. A new beginning.

Lots of love this Sunday x

Dwys x

I’ve no time for that!

I was told about a book this week. Sober Diaries (by Clare Pooley). An inspiring blogger who wrote a book about her struggles with alcohol and sets herself a 100 day challenge. Whether you think this applies to you or someone else or doesn’t apply at all it’s still a really good unpatronising funny and powerful read.

I’m half way through and what I realised more than anything is we often look to something else to make sure we don’t have to focus on the niggly stuff.

She talks about alcohol but as I read it, I realised my drug is ‘busy’. And it’s a very popular and accepted tactic of avoidance. It’s even encouraged in society. How many times are we met when we talk to friends and family with stories how they never have a minute in the day or how hectic work is or how the kids are driving them mad or what’s left to clean and iron and wash or what excercise class they need to get to. Even though I keep my weekends free from work type stuff what I’ve realised is that they’re free but also busy. Busy with lots of lovely things but truthfully, probably way too packed. Why? Because then I don’t have too much time to think about things that I might not want to. Tes. Grief. Money. Problems. Work. Etc.

The thing is in our society if your not professing about this busy hectic life then people often think your unmotivated, unambitious, lazy. When someone tells me they’ve read a book I honestly think really loudly in my head. How??! (I had to download mine on audio to fit it in while driving or I read it during my frequents bouts of being awake at 3am!) How do people get time to read books? Or even more impressive. – watching a box set. In one sitting.

I’m always on the go. I feel my Nanna was a big influence on this. Education was a luxury/waste of time. Hard work is what was important. I have found myself in relationships with equally busy minded partners and friends tend also to be dynamic and on the go. Days planned out. Times plotted. Maps drawn. Evenings allotted. No time to think.

I pride myself on telling people I watch TV on catch up. No time for actually watching tv when it’s on. I have no time for books though there are 5 next to my bed. Waiting. My new swimming costume stays in its cellophane. No time. I couldn’t make the amateur dramatics. No time. It’s popular to be rushing and having no time. It’s much easier to join in with the chorus of the busy and tired brigade.

This week I’ve been ill. I got in the car on Monday morning, my ribs hurt from coughing all night. The ibuprofen helped with my temperature but my head throbbed and I was a little breathless from the chest infection. Of course I was going to work. I felt far too guilty to contemplate anything else. I survived until home time and I wearily made the 29 mile journey back. Heavy eyes. Yawning. Achey limbs.

What for?

Who am I doing this for? Yes I’m told I have a ‘great work ethic’. Yes I’m loyal. Yes I’m dedicated to work. But.

Who am I doing this for?? This busy frantic life. Why don’t I have time to read a book? Why do I feel guilty for watching tv? Why do I have to justify and tell people I’ve already walked 3 miles that day if I’m sitting down for more than 20 mins?

I was telling mum about this blog yesterday. Another very busy bee. A few minutes later she said.. I watched a film the other week. During the day. Then of course she followed it up with… I haven’t done that for years!! We have to justify if we take time out for ourselves.

Time doing nothing is really really good for us. The happiest man in the world apparently locked himself away in a hut for 5 years!! It seems dramatic and of course impossible for us but our brains are so busy with phones and to do lists there’s no wonder mental health issues are on the up. We  could try doing absolutely nothing for 5 minutes at least!

I’m reading (aka googling for busy people!) up on Hyggae at the moment. A study on the Danes. The happiest nation on earth! Yet they have the least natural daylight. What do they do to keep so happy? The basic premis is… they create ‘cosy’. Lighting. Candles. Blankets. Hot chocolate. Family get togethers. Community projects. Outdoors. Technology free time. They take away what drains us and focus on what makes us feel cosy. Warm. Loved.

Sounds good to me. Huggae. I’m coming to get you.

Happy Sunday x

Simply sunshine!

I’m not complaining about our many frosty mornings or our many many drizzly days. In fact I love the rain and the storms and the fierce winds. No wonder we talk about the weather so much… it can alter the way we feel in an instant. However for me…sunshine unleashes a whole new swarm of emotions. Everything just seems so different.  So positive.

Because of the sunshine in the last week I’ve been able to visit my favourite beach and walk miles along the gentle curve of the wave disappearing at my feet. We’ve had picnics of avocado salad sandwiches while watching the dogs chase sticks.  There’s been walks to parks where swans sunbathed and geese preened and paddle. Toddlers run around in their new shorts and squishy knees.  Everyone seems to be eating ice cream. I play football and throw myself on the field in an attempt to humour my young opponent. Families roll down grassy slopes and the parks have come alive with laughter, picnic blankets and chat. Clouds have disappeared leaving a blanket of blue and the sunshine warms our bodies that until now have been hidden under wooly hats and winter coats.

Maybe that’s why we appreciate the sunshine so much because it’s certainly not something we always have!

It’s amazing how the weather can change your mood if you take the time to appreciate the power of the outdoors and the natural elements that can turn a bad day into a fantastic one.

It’s another gorgeous one today.. hope you’re all able to make the most of it!

Lots of love
Dwys x x 

Assumptions 

I should have known better!

I saw her walking towards me.  We don’t know each other that well but we say hello and sometimes exchange a few words about the weather.  That morning the wind made my cheeks burn a little but the sun also made a strong appearance meaning I could leave my hat at home for a change.

As she approached she made no eye contact. Like I wasn’t there. We passed each other and she barely saw me. She was gone again.  Weird, I thought.  Rude, I thought. Then of course I wondered what I could have possibly done to her. Because it had to be that.  Despite hardly knowing her.  I must’ve done something. 

It was two days later when I found out her mum is really poorly. 

We’re always learning things aren’t we and that was a reminder to me that sometimes I need to remember to simply ask, are you OK? Not walk on and chat to myself about how this is obviously my fault. Not helpful to anyone!

We make assumptions all the time. Sometimes we need to dig a little deeper and the next time a colleague is in a mood or that child next door is being ‘naughty’ or a friend is being distant.  We need to be brave and think what’s going on for them and if the chance comes up, ask. Are you OK?

Hope you’re all OK this morning and if you’re not that’s OK too xx

Dwys x

Mothers! 

To all the mums. To you who feels a failure for not making pureed food for your new baby while everyone else seems like super mum. To you who really hates making things out of plasticine but does it anyway. To you who has no mum anymore and misses her desperately.  To you who has a mum somewhere but also doesn’t have her in your life. To you the mum who juggles it all. To you the mum who feels guilty no matter how much effort you put in. To you the mum who is stressed.  To you the mum who can’t wait for bed time.  To you the mum who shouts sometimes.  To you the mum who’s protecting their child in the best way they can. To you the mum who has lost. To you the mum that it never happened for. To you the mums that will be. To you the mums that could’ve been,  that bravely decided it isn’t for you. To mums of dogs and cats.  To mums taking on the job of other mums that couldn’t be. And to you mums who seem to do it so effortlessly!

Mum’s.  We’re all different.  We’re not a perfect poster image in a magazine.  We get 17 minutes to ourselves apparently each day. 17 minutes! The rest of the time we’re devoting to kids, partners, animals, work, cooking, driving, ironing, cleaning, studying, making last minute costumes for school etc etc! .

So I think we all well deserve this one day to celebrate!

To mums everywhere! Have a lovely day xxxx