Love what you have

Today I begin a new chapter. A complete change of pace. And I can’t wait!

For the last 9 months I’ve been travelling weekly with work. It’s had an impact on my kids. It’s had an impact on me. In both positive and negative ways. So, a short while ago, I decided (with the support of my incredible partner – have to say that, because he’s letting me do this… to be fair, he is actually incredible anyway) I digress, yet again…

I decided to take the summer off! Yep, you heard right. 6 weeks summer holiday! It’s like being back at school. The last time I had a 6 week summer break? 1996. That’s 21 years! (How was that 21 years ago? 50 years ago was 1950, right?!?)

6 weeks with my gorgeous babies. 

I’m imagining lots of laughter, hugs, family yoga, impeccable zen-like behaviour (all 3 of us 😜) and memories made in adventure after adventure!

You can bet that the reality will be very different! But as we grow and learn together, the memories we make, will light up my heart for years to come. 


And if all else fails, there’s always Grandma! 😂

Advertisements

The Port

6 months since my last post… and I’ll be honest with you, my most recent posts have been few and far between.

It’s been a tough year for me. Love has been difficult. Love for my partner, love for life and love for myself. For 7 months I navigated tormenting waters; with a lot of support, both personal and professional. About a month ago I reached a calm and sheltered port in my heart, from where I could (thankfully) plan the next part of my journey with openness, positivity and love.

But I haven’t done any planning. I haven’t moved forward one step from that place. At best, I’m still on the boat. I may have even started to float back out to sea.

Maybe I’m apathetic. Maybe I just feel like I need a break from the ‘thinking’, the ‘working’, the ‘navigating’. But that’s how I got into those waters in the first place. Being apathetic and/or refusing to ‘work’.

I made a commitment to my partner in that quiet, sunny, beautiful port. To ‘show up’ every day, to be on our Team and to always ‘do the hard work’. I haven’t kept my promises. I’ve let him down. I’ve let us down. I’ve let myself down.

I tell him often that he needs to look after himself, love himself, find his happiness so that we can look after each other, love each other and find happiness together as a couple and as a family. But I have not been ‘walking the walk’. I have focused on our relationship, on our family, and now on nothing. Forgetting about myself in the process.

I need to get out my oars (fresh air, meditation, avocados, creative endeavours and of course, yoga!), row my boat back to port and show-the-hell-up to my life.

 

Matsui Mix Tape

There are certain smells, sounds and tastes that can literally transport you back in time. For instance, when the weather is sunny but cold and the streets are quiet, it reminds me of home. Because home, to me, is a place my family moved to when I was 14 years old. We moved in December. It was cold, but dry and sunny (I previously lived in a place which was quite ‘dreich‘) and the streets where we lived were typically suburban, and a little quieter than I was used to.

Between the ages of 14 and 16, I was starting to think about boys, about life, about the future… I was given a Matsui Stereo System for Christmas. I had my own bedroom for the first time in my life and had chosen baby blue and white pin stripe wallpaper, white bed sheets (I still always have white bed sheets) and wooden floors with a white and blue IKEA rug (very matchy-matchy).

I would spend hours in my room staring out of the window, thinking, dreaming, self-analysing and having imaginary conversations with people (usually boys that I liked but who were in love with my friend). I often stayed up late to listen to the American Chart Show (my musical taste hasn’t always been eclectic – in my earlier years I was heavily influenced by time spent living near Detroit as a child… in fact, that influence reached far further than music… and still does to some extent).

I still happily participate in all of these behaviours when I have time on my hands 🙂

Anyway, back to the post in hand – feeling very nostalgic recently for those halcyon days of innocence, when the fate of my entire world depended on whether a boy would actually look at me or not, I made a mix tape! Well, it’s an iTunes playlist, but it would have been a mix tape if I still had my Matsui Stereo. And I thought, I’d share the first 3 songs with you, because they were (by a long stretch) the most played.

When I hear them, I close my eyes and I’m back in my room, looking out of the window. I can feel the floor beneath my feet, I can see the garden from my window, the weather looks cold but sunny. It is quiet (apart from the music), and my soul is smiling.

I hope you enjoy the mix as much as I do!

Matsui Mix Tape

  1. Tender Love – Force M.D.’s
  2. The Flame – Cheap Trick
  3. If You Were Here Tonight – Alexander O’Neal

And the Liebster Blog Award goes to…

Leibster Blog Award

OK, so this award doesn’t quite work like that. But still, I am tremendously honoured to be nominated.

About a week ago, I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award. I’d seen a few blogs with this award in the past, but hadn’t really taken the time to find out what the award was for. Having been nominated, I decided to do a bit of research. I found a blog post on Sopphey Says, in which the writer thinks she may have found the origins. The post she refers to is in German. My German is not so good, so, out of sheer laziness (another of my personality traits) I’m going to blindly accept the explanation she is offering.

Originally – or as far back as I or Sopphey can tell – the rules were:

1. Thank the one who nominated you by linking back.
2. Nominate 3 to 5 blogs with less than 3,000 followers.
3. Let the nominees know by leaving a comment at their sites.
4. Add the award image to your site.

More recently, I’ve seen rules nominating 5 bloggers with less than 200 readers and my own nomination came with a rule to nominate 11 bloggers and pose them 11 questions to answer. As Sopphey points out in her post, it’s kind of like a chain letter. [I hate chain letters and never pass them on – please don’t be offended Anna! read on :-)].

In this case, though, I will make an exception. Because, actually, this award is about being recognised by your peers. Kind of like a “Man of the Match”. And that, to me, is the highest form of recognition one could hope to receive. And I really like the fact that the name of the award translates to “Love Blog” (I’m a Marketeers dream – another trait, I am slowly coming to accept).

The fact that someone actually reads my blog amazes me. The fact that someone likes what I write makes me ecstatic. And the fact that someone likes my blog enough to nominate me for an award, telling others to check it out … well, I’m just on top of the world right now.

I have answered the 11 questions Anna has set me, in a separate post – you can read them here – it would be rude of me not to do so, when she has asked in such magnificent fashion 🙂 But I won’t set any questions for my nominees. And I’m going to change Anna’s rules slightly… well, I’m going to revert to the rules above (as original and I can ascertain).

So, I’d like to thank Anna at pinkjumpers , with all my heart, for nominating me. She’s a far better writer and blogger than I, at half my age! Had someone else nominated me, she would definitely be on the list below. Check out her website – you will not be disappointed, I promise.

And here are 5 more blogs that I would like to nominate for the Liebster Blog Award (in no particular order), and why:

1. Thoughts of a Lunatic – Having suffered from depression myself in the past, mental illness (and challenging the stigma of mental illness) is something that is close to my heart. The honesty with which Erica writes is inspiring. I can relate to almost every post on her blog. She is a brave, she is smart and she is funny.

2. Momamorphosis – I love Jill’s posts. They make me laugh, out loud! I’ve found myself in so many similar situations with my babies and Jill writes without pretension, with humour and with love. She reminds me that when parenting feels insane, that’s actually quite normal, and inspires me to see the humour in the madness.

3. Hot Pink Underwear – Meagan writes about her life. She doesn’t always have the answer, but writing it down puts things in perspective for her. I totally get that. Her writing is from the heart, sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s angry, sometimes it’s sad. It’s always true. Or at least it reads that way to me.

4. Yoga + Writing +Life – Ellyn is a yoga instructor. But not the perfectly serene variety that you see in movies. Like everyone else, she sometimes struggles with the ‘path to enlightenment’. But when she finds herself challenged, she takes a deep breath and keeps trying. Her posts comfort me, help me to accept my imperfections and remind me of the path I seek to travel. And when it all gets too much, Ellyn has given me a mantra I use regularly; “I breathe in, I breathe out”. Try it for yourself – it works wonders 🙂

5. I also want to nominate Raising My Rainbow – although technically with more than 4,500 followers, the rules don’t allow it. However, reading stories about the life of C.J. (a gorgeous, gender non conforming child) and his Mom, reminds me that we are all equal in this world. Our colour, religion, gender and sexuality don’t define us. Our compassion, kindness and respect for others does.

So, there you have it. My contribution to spreading the love. My expression of gratitude to those who unknowingly contribute to my life on a daily basis. A salute to my blogging Heroes. Or Heroine’s, I should say, as they are all women. I’m sure that tells us something about me. Maybe that’s a subject for my next post.

*Post publish note – I will not be offended in the slightest, if any of my nominees do not want to pass the award on (see my usual stance on chain letters above) 🙂

 

To be Me

So much to do, so little time.
So much time, so little drive.
Want to excel. Want to be free.
Want to have fun. Want to be Me.

Me is altruistic, Me is self-absorbed
Me is levelheaded, Me is foolish
Me is magnificent, Me is uninspiring
I don’t know what it is to be Me.

So much to do, so little time.
So much time, so little drive.
Want to excel. Want to be free.
Want to have fun. Need to find Me.

And Your Point Is, Caller?

Not so long ago, in the dead of winter, I spotted something that made me stop and pinch myself (mentally, at least).

It was freezing… I mean really, really, cold. So cold that I couldn’t feel my toes through 3 pairs of thick socks. And there was a man sitting on a bench, waiting for a train (as many of us were, being that this happened at a train station), wearing fingerless gloves… FINGERLESS GLOVES!!! What’s the point in that? I thought to myself. I couldn’t feel my face and there he was risking his digits without a care in the world.

I laughed a little, about 15 minutes later once I had sat down on the train and my face had had a chance to thaw out. And it made me think of Big Mac meals, you’ll see shortly why. So, I decided I would try to think of as many pointless things as I could, write them down and share them with you (an infinitely more difficult task that it sounds, let me assure you!)

Here’s my list (in no particular order). Feel free to share your own by leaving a comment!

A few of my favourite (pointless) things:
– Fingerless gloves (OK, that’s a bit of a cheat)
– Ordering a Diet Coke with a Big Mac meal
– Alcohol free beer
– De-caffeinated coffee
– Wearing sunglasses at night
– Leaving a light on in the house for the cat, when you’re out and it’s dark (what really? just me then?)
– Owning a mobile phone and leaving it at your desk/on the kitchen table whenever you go anywhere (it’s got the word “mobile” in its name for a reason, you know!)
– Invisible ink
– Off Road/All Terrain vehicles that only ever go from the 5 bed detached, to the school, to the shopping mall and back again (unless any of these destinations are atop a hill with no access road)
– And of course, the old classic: Having a dog and barking yourself! (though, in all honesty, in 36 years I’ve yet to hear anyone actually do that)

The Bucket List

Inspired by Brooke Burke’s twitter post (her bucket list) yesterday and spurred on by snowballing thoughts of what I’d rather be doing… I took some time to come up with a list of my own…

You’ll find a theme or two running through the list… but what does your list say about you? Send me what’s on your list and we’ll see if one day we’ll all be <spoiler alert!> taking a trip on the Orient Express together one day!

My Bucket List*
– Own a house in the South of France, with lots of outside space for kids to run around and not too far from the sea
– Have kids… for the running around outside of the house!
– Spend weeks at a time at said SoF house
– Work from home with flexible hours (i.e. I say when I work, maybe blog for a living!)
– See Tigers in India
– Dance at Pineapple Dance Studios (Anyone else loving Louis on Sky1?)
– Go on a mega-luxury blow out holiday somewhere hot – just once – just the two of us
– Go skiing, complete with log cabin and roaring log fire (will also need to add ski lessons here!)
– Celebrate my birthday at the Carnival in Rio de Janiero
– Win Strictly Come Dancing (OK, I know you have to be a celeb to get in in the first place, but I might get spotted at Pineapple, you never know!)
– Visit Japan – bullet train, Tokyo, Kyoto (staying in a traditional Ryokan, see a Geisha show and Sumo)
– Go to Paris for the weekend on EuroStar (yes, even though I might spend half my trip sub Channel – as long as it’s 1st class sweetie!)
– Buy something from Cartier
– Own ruby shoes (real ones… rubies, I mean, not shoes… well shoes as well obviously!)
– Charter a yacht and spend a week sailing round the med
– See the Grand Prix at Monaco
– Take a trip on the Orient Express
– Always be in love (OK, pinched that one form Brooke, but how lovely would that be?!)
– Have happy kids that get what they want out of their lives

*Version 1. I wonder how often or how soon the list will change…

Happy Birthday

It seems I share my birthday with many people from various walks of life; Jamie Murray, Peter Gabriel, Peter Hook, Kim Novak, George Segal, Mena Suvari, Rizzo from Grease!!!! and of course the inimitable Mr. Robbie Williams. Oh wait, they’re all mostly from film and music. Well there’s, more. Honest. Check out Wikipedia.

I came across the old Wednesday’s Child poem and after some quick maths (well an internet calculator) worked out that I was one of them (as is Mr. Williams). Full of woe, apparently. Haha, that explains a lot! Maybe that’s why I had to force myself to be positive for the entire month of December last year? Now, if they’d said Wednesday’s child is clumsy as hell, I would be nodding like the proverbial dog. (For example I’ve just taken a sip of diet coke from an almost empty can and managed to pour the whole lot down my cheeks and onto my knees!).

I suppose I can take refuge in the fact that I’m not a Thursday’s child – Far to go – like Jamie Murray. But then given he’s a Wimbledon winner, I’m thinking I should take more refuge in the fact that it’s a clearly a load of poppycock!

So every year for as long as I can remember, and probably for longer back than that, I have gotten uber-excited about my birthday. Because I get presents? Yes. Because I’m now definitely older than I was last year? When I was a teenager, maybe. Now… not so much. Because for the whole day people treat me like I’m special? (hey, I know what youre thinking!  not in that way!) Yes. Probably.

Do I not feel special every day? Not particularly. Would I want to feel special every day? I’m not sure. If you felt that way every day wouldn’t it become the norm and no longer be special?

Whilst you ruminate on that last question, I’ll be (hopefully) unwrapping gifts, blowing out candles and generally lapping up all that extra love and attention! (not that I’m unloved or neglected on any given non-birthday day… but you do get more on your “special” day, dont you?!).

As John Lennon said, “Another year over, a new one just begun…” No wait, wasn’t that the last blog? Oops! Bubbles going to my head! If it’s your birthday today too – Happy Birthday To You! 🙂

Brand New Year, Brand New You

Firstly, I’ll start with an apology. It’s been too long since my last blog. Partly because I had a very fun but very hectic holiday period, partly because I got out of the habit and partly because New Year always brings about a time of contemplation for me. This year my contemplation time was a little longer than usual, but that’s a different blog!

I don’t think I’m alone in viewing each New Year as a new start. I’m probably not alone in wondering why we put off positive changes till the first day of next year, why we wait to start the diet “on Monday”. Are we a world of procrastinators? Or is that just me and everyone I know?

I thought the only thing I procrastinated about was getting out of bed (hence why I’m sitting on a train rather than at my desk!) But now, I’m not so sure.

Maybe it’s because I’m lazy, maybe I get bored easily or maybe I don’t want a brand new me. Maybe I kinda like the me that I already am. So many questions… I’m procrastinating again!