A brief interruption from the daily challenges.

Today, I’d like to do something a little different to the current writing challenge and spend some time giving a bit of love to my mum Barb.

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It’s actually her birthday today (so if you are reading this mum, have a superb day) and if you are reading this and aren’t my mum, why not send her a Happy Birthday from around the world?

I should say, she’s going to hate some of these pics probably so wish me luck that she takes them in the spirit it was intended!!

My mum is great. Yes, ok, I know most people say that but I’m actually right! She and my dad have always done their best for me – in every way and I cannot thank them enough. They have both supported me, and although I tend to wax lyrical about my dad more frequently, I felt it was time to share the love of my mum.

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I know that during my life, we have not always been the best of friends, a lot of the first few months in Spain we bumped heads a lot, we are, I feel, quite similar and unfortunately we didn’t always see eye to eye. I know looking back on it now she was doing her best but I know that a lot of hurtful words passed between us and when I moved back to the UK, I really tried to bite my tongue. If mum said something that would normally piss me off, I definitely tried not to rise to it. I knew that arguments would not help our relationship and I’ll be honest, there have been times when she has said something really hurtful, or cruel as far as I see it and I’ve just not bitten because what would come afterwards would be far worse. Over time I’ve also learned that this was the same towards my mum, I know i’ve said some really unkind things and also said things that to me didn’t mean anything but to her cut to the bone.

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I’m making it sound like we were constantly at each other’s throats which isn’t true at all, I feel we’ve both mellowed as we’ve got older and I know that due to the few periods of stress and¬† depression I’ve had we’ve had to learn how to talk and more importantly LISTEN to each other properly – I think we’ve both been open and realised how much we have hurt each other in the past but now are actually working to improve and try to be more loving.

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I know my mums relationship with her mum is very important, they were both so close and loved each other so deeply and I know my mum wants that with me, it may not be as close but I’d like to think that we are friends now and will be able to carry that on for many more years.

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I know that when I was at my lowest, it was my mum who dragged me out of it, she was willing to listen to my sadness, to feel my lethargy and to (thankfully) not judge. I know sometimes I wouldn’t have been 100% honest with her during those times as I know that if I had been, it would have been more hurtful (I mean, how can you tell your own mother that you’d sat looking at a bottle of pills for over 4 hours just debating who would be the one to find you, how to make sure it wasn’t her, how to look after her even when I wasn’t here) so although I know I lied, I’m so proud of her for just taking everything I said and not making me feel bad for struggling. I think we both learned a lot during that time (if nothing else that things we had both said in the past had really affected the other person so to be more mindful of the off the cuff comments we make, as we do not know what the other person will be going through) and I think that our relationship really matured and became much more close at that point. I know now I can be honest with mum, I can treat her as a person not just my mum and that helps a lot.

One of the few things that I took from my last bout of therapy was about learning to accept your parents as human beings, people capable of both good and bad things as we all are and to not hold them up to a higher standard. Everyone makes mistakes, just because they are your parents doesn’t mean they have all the answers and throughout my childhood, my mum and dad made the best decisions as they saw them at the time, doesn’t mean they all worked out that way but that I should stop holding them responsible for things which they didn’t know the outcome of. I used to hate the fact we moved (when we moved there) as I felt so alone and scared, but ask me now and I say that Spain was the best thing to ever happen to me, it strengthened me, it shaped me, it formed me into the wonderful person I now am and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Like I say, they thought it was a good idea but I cannot blame them for the bad things I went through by them making the decision in the first place.

Now we are closer, I try to go away with mum every year (we didn’t this year but hopefully next year?) and we tend to go up to London, wander round, see the world, catch up, do touristy things and generally just relax. We don’t really do much in depth stuff but we spend time together, eat, drink, put the world to rights and just enjoy each others company. Last year when we were in London we took a boat tour on the Thames and saw one of the boats my dad used to work on back in the day – The Will, I had to take a pic of her with it, 2 of my dad’s favourite things in 1 pic ūüėÄ

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I do genuinely love my mum, she is caring, kind, a bit stroppy upon occasions but when she wants to show her love, she will do so. I wish she and my brother were closer as I feel that would make her happier but I hope that no matter what, she knows how important she is in my life. I genuinely don’t think i’d be here still if she hadn’t been there when everything went bad, even from letting me cry in her lap when my heart was broken, or just taking photos away from me that a friend sent of me at her wedding and they made me cry. I looked so awful and I’ve never been a fan of myself but these were simply appalling and I wanted to throw them away but mum kept them for me as I didn’t want to offend my friend in the first place. She has influenced me and made me a lot of the person I am, a fighter, someone who is opinionated, brave, silly, loving, very sweet towards her friends and someone who will help out in a crisis.

One of my favourite things about my mum is her humour, I love making her laugh and I am very grateful she puts up with my dire jokes and still laughs. I know there’s times I really tickle her and I love that, I’m hoping that no matter what happens in our future, I can keep her laughing for as long as possible.

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I suppose this can be summed up as a massive thank you to my mum, for everything she does. She is brilliant and caring and I am so grateful she is in my life, I know not everyone’s relationship with their parents is strong as mine and I know I’m lucky for having them. I know we don’t always get on, or see eye to eye but I hope that our relationship is better than it was and continues to improve that way. You drive me mental at times, but I wouldn’t change you for the world.

Love you so much mum, hope it’s a great birthday and you have a wonderful time, see you Thursday and then Sunday for a lunch and presents xx

Day 26: What holds you back?

01. You keep waiting and waiting and waiting for the right time.

02. Your planning and focus are in disarray.

03. You change nothing and expect different results.

04. You close your mind to new ideas and perspectives.

05. You refuse to accept necessary risks.

06. You let a few negative people fill your mind with garbage.

07. You avoid the truth.

08. You make the rejections of yesterday the focal point of today.

09. You aren’t taking small steps every day.

14. You want things to be perfect.

To be honest, I KNOW what holds me back but wanted to see what the world of the internet said. I think some of the above ring very true and others not so much, I get that these are considered the “main” reasons someone would be holding themselves back but I think that these may differ from person to person.

I know that the main thing which holds me back is me, my mind, my perceptions and my views. I am quite self conscious and doubtful of my own talents. I have a huge fear or failure – which is weird because i’ve succeeded in every challenge i’ve had so far but despite that, every challenge I face I face with fear and wanting to not let people down. I have low self esteem (which is getting better slowly but is still quite prevalent) and I know that this can stop me making plans and sticking to them. I find that it is easier to hide and give in often before something serious could happen. There are few exceptions to this but most often in my life, I need someone else pushing me to do things. I’d love to be strong and independent, and dont get me wrong. I can be. Just not that often.

I spent a long time when I was younger waiting for the right time, I genuinely thought life went 1 -2 -3 4 etc. and needed to learn that there never really is a right moment, so waiting around for one is pretty much a waste of my time. I’ve written before about my ability to procrastinate and waste my time and it is something I’d like to turn away from. There’s so many crafty/arty things i’d like to do and I’m hoping some of my 2019 resolutions will help there.

Some of the articles I’ve been reading recently have offered ways to help yourself be more forward, less likely to hold back and to aid you in moving forward to the place you want to be, I’ve written some of these down and am going to implement them more next year. Keep checking up to see how it’s going!!

  • Learn to let go – I’ll be honest, I try and practise this already as I used to hold on to stuff for YEARS and the problem with me stressing/thinking about/worrying over something is that it’s my life and time that it’s taking. If I have an argument with someone and spend the next week worrying, that’s just wasted my week, the other person probably doesn’t even care.
  • Start Small – there’s no point in setting yourself major goals (see the world from space – handily forgetting to become an astronaut first: extra cool points for whoever reads and know who said that!) and failing at the first step, take little steps and each one will help you along the road you’re travelling.
  • Keep your happy thoughts at the forefront of your mind – I do this by using my Happy Jar, happy thoughts are kept in there to remind me and this helps me keep positivity at the forefront and try to ignore more of the negativity. Or at least, to try and focus more on the good as opposed to just getting bogged down with the bad.
  • Try and schedule more – I am definitely going to do this next year, even if it’s just Saturday mornings before I meet up with my mum that I get up earlier, sling some music on and make some things, be it sewing, writing, jewellery making or cooking, it’ll hopefully help me actually do more and feel more positive.
  • Take responsibility – this tends to be easier said than done, I’m often stuck between wanting to be me, but also taking responsibility to try and be better. I know it winds up some of my friends when I say¬† “I am who I am, take it or leave it” but that is how I feel, I don’t want to change myself for other people, I like me and the person I am but can see why some people feel that that statement is a really negative thing. I suppose I mean it one way, but it can be interpreted as many others. I am trying to spend less time being horrible for no reason, I used to spend a fair amount of time on Twitter watching and getting involved in arguments and often would just say things I knew would be hurtful and now I look back, I realise I probably shouldn’t have acted like that so in a way, I suppose I am now taking some responsibility, which I’m hoping shows growth and an improvement of the person I am.
  • Think more about others – I’m happy to say that I generally do think of others as opposed to myself. I’ve really channeled that this year with #PratchettPostal and am thrilled it got such a positive response. I’ve been making payments every month to a food back locally – sadly I know this doesn’t help everyone so am hoping to change next year to a homeless charity and am trying to be as kind to people as I can, be that giving more compliments, sending random little gifts and cards to friends or even just smiling and spending time with people, every little helps I feel.

This actually turned out longer than I expected – which is nice! I’d love to hear other people’s suggestions as to their own self care/forward planning and I will keep updating you as to my progress towards being an overall more positive person.

 

 

 

Day 25: What’s in your closet?

Well, shockingly, clothes are the main component as I would assume everyone else’s would be…..

I’m not a girly girl at all, and although I know this will dismay some of my more feminine readers, I tend to have a pile of clothes as casual and then a selection of work stuff.

I went through a period a few years back where I was much larger and tended to just wear work clothes – anything in black to try and hide away from people’s attention and then when I would get home, I would change into pjs or a onesie. Again, anything to hide away. But I had many more pjs and that style of clothing as opposed to going out clothes. I cannot imagine ever being one of those people who is comfortable clothes shopping, or even someone who likes the way they look and therefore shops to accentuate it but I am much happier now at least to browse, and think about clothes so am pretty sure, if nothing else, my mum feels a bit better about things!

I think to be honest, I tend to focus more on jewellery, bags and shoes – not handbags and heels specifically but I’ve always believed that no matter what size I am, I can still have some lovely accessories, I find it easier to accessorise than focus on the main clothing and trying to make the best of a bad situation!

Our closet at home has a massive top shelf (it’s fitted into the wall of our bedroom) so before I lived there the man had his selection of CDs, Vinyls and general storage up there. I haven’t encroached on this but have added a little step to make it less like he’s trying to crawl into Narnia every time he fancies listening to music!

When I was a kid, before we moved to Spain, my parents had purchased an old Convent to live in, it was brilliant and each bedroom had a little sink and fitted wardrobe which was massive. I used half of it for clothing and the other half for toy/book storage and I can remember reading a book about a girl who had a wardrobe like that and she made a dolls house out of a couple of the shelves. I loved this idea but thankfully had actual dolls houses to play with and the wardrobe (apart from being a good place to hide if I was feeling down) was just left as storage. To be honest I dread to think how badly it would have looked had I tried that!

I do have a couple of girly items – she says, totally contradicting an earlier paragraph – and was really lucky last week as I managed to find a dress to wear for our work Xmas party, the main exciting thing about this for me was the fact that it has pockets……all dresses should have pockets as far as i’m concerned, at least then I don’t need to worry about having an handbag!

I also keep some clothes which are favourites of mine from my past. I have a dress I bought in Spain when I was 14, it’s covered in cartoon strips and I loved it then, and I still love it now. When I moved back to the UK I cut the arms off it as it was getting too tight and obviously as I’ve aged and got fatter, the dress became too small but still, I couldn’t bare to get rid of it so it stayed with me throughout all of my moods. Imagine my shock when after going down to a size 12, I managed to get into it…….ok, it’s now short like a top and therefore will NEVER be worn outside my house, but it really made me smile to know that I could still pull it off!

I’m going to take a couple of pics of favourite things from my wardrobe to add to this, they won’t be epically amazing to other people probably but I think it’ll probably show my “style” or lack of!! What do you think? Do you have specifics that you love and keep for special occasions, or something you love but don’t wear anymore? Share your stories, I’d love to hear them.

Day 23: What are your worst habits

I drink, I smoke, I dont eat healthy enough, I dont take enough exercise, I doubt myself, I have been known to just veg and procrastinate when actual useful things could have been done. I doubt everything. I feel self conscious talking and expecting people to listen. I try to do things well but often fail miserably.

So, as above, a fair few bad habits there really. Nothing like, gross but I know that things like when my mum says she’s doing nothing, what she actually means is she’ll be doing laundry, cleaning, gardening bits, cooking, making things, knitting and watching or listening to stuff whereas when I say i’m doing nothing, I am mostly wrapped up on the sofa, cuppa tea waiting and trash tv on the box. I genuinely can do nothing, which shows how lazy I am!

I know that the fact that I smoke and drink is a bad thing but I genuinely think that my smoking helps keep me calm and less likely to commit murder. Drinking is the same really, I know that diet wise it is not good – empty calories and all that – but I do very much enjoy the odd jack or two. It’s been a while since I went out for cocktails, simply because they tend to be really bad for me but they do help me have fun when out and about hehehehe.

I am really bad at procrastination, I would love to do so much in my life but I spend so long thinking about what to do that I run out of time to do at least 50% of the things i’d like to do. I was saying to the man yesterday that I need to have a jewellery making time, just to try and cut down on the amount of beads etc I have around the flat. I know we don’t have a huge amount of room so tend to stack things on top of others ad infinitum but I am looking forward to when we move to be able to have more of a crafty/art room where these things can be stored and there is space and light to use and appreciate them completely.

People keep telling me that I need to sort my sleep patterns as they are really not healthy, I go through periods that are sleeping heavily and others where for days I will have the bare minimum. I don’t have much of a problem with this as it’s been like this for years but it is always the first thing my doctor told me when I went to ask for help – years ago – was that a better sleep pattern would help. As it was, I was working 5am – 2pm more or less so going to bed early wasn’t an issue, it was that I was still trying to have a full day and then sleeping from say 9pm, apparently I should have been aiming to go to bed about 7pm, which to me was mind boggling! Anyway, I digress, now I am working mocu more normal 9 – 5 but my partner works very early so we tend to have a couple of late nights and then a few ridiculously early ones……when that happens I tend to listen to an audiobook or two until I pass out. I genuinely do not know how to amend my sleep pattern, I think it’s too ground in! If anyone has tips, feel free to pass them on ūüôā

I think the above shows a good variety of my bad habits, there are soooooo many more I’m sure (cue my friends dropping in to let me know all those things i’ve missed) but I’d like to think that although I do have bad habits, I am not a bad person. I suppose only time will tell.

Day 21: What makes you happy?

Happiness is without definition because it means something different to everybody. You will take the actions to be the best you that you can be simply because you are happy and exhume positive energy which will attract the same energy to you! You doing what makes you happy is a great example to set!

Honestly, in life, so many things make me happy. I have spent a long time being sad and a few years ago made a conscious decision to try and see the positives, the good things, the little things that often I would not appreciate because they were wiped away too quickly by a negative.

Some of the things that make me happy are standard, like the relationship I have with my man. He makes me so happy, we’re not what I would call “Big Gesture” people but when he cuddles me when I come home from work, or makes me laugh when I’m stressed or even when we have a lay in on a Sunday and he gets up to make me a cup of tea, he’s just amazing. I really hope I make him as happy as he makes me and will happily do everything I can to make sure he knows how special he is to me.

My family are amazing, and have always tried to make me happy. My parents both worked so hard to make sure my brother and I had holidays, and treats and great Christmas time, and they have been amazing in my times of need. When I am down, I hate hurting my family with that but I appreciate how strong, especially my mum was during my worst times. I’m sure I hurt her and I do regret that, no one likes to hurt people they love but I really am lucky that mum really tried to understand how I was feeling and supported me despite not really knowing what the best thing to do was.

Letters and random gifts – to and from me are more things that make me smile, I got a great present from a friend in Greece the other day and look at the amazing little bits and bobs she sent me! I am so lucky that I have friends who do such things, we all try to make each other happy and to make other people smile.

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I’m also a fan of silly things to make me smile, like cake. Cake is ALWAYS a good way to make me smile – well, ok, food in general does that job haha!

I love where I live at the moment, I’m very calmed by the sea and by watching waves so being so close to beaches and water in general really pleases me. I spend a lot of time looking at waves, watching the world go by and am hoping that next year my photography will improve and I can start sharing the local beauty with everyone out there in the ether!

Travel and seeing new things makes me happy, I like exploring and finding new treasures. Whilst we were in Prague we went to a museum with not much planned and saw some really wonderful art and some unexpected things – like a room where you could try and make your own art – including things the man had done as part of his art education so it was nice to be taught something new.

In fact thinking about it, learning is something else I enjoy doing. I try to do many things, I tend to not do them well but I feel that’s a lack of talent as opposed to a lack of practise. I enjoy doing these things as they bring me joy, to be fair, I tend to avoid the end results as they can be truly awful – seriously, I suggested going to a paint clay cafe last year, seriously regretted that as my artist skills are dire!! It was a good day with some friends though so all in all, worth it – even worth the abuse over the shoddy things I produced at the end of it ūüėÄ

I think people who know me would understand that books are really important to me and vital to my happiness. I’d hate to be without books and sometimes I just pick up a book i’ve read a million times just to sort my thoughts out. I can be reading and another part of my brain can be settling down, sorting arguments, decided what to do etc. It’s the ultimate chill for me.

I know i’ve banged on about my Happy Jar a fair bit but it certainly is something which for me has helped me be more positive, to focus on the good and try to rebalance my brain. I’d heartily recommend it and would love to see other people’s lists at the end of the year. I didn’t actually do a jar this year, I’m keeping the list of things at work in an A3 envelope so that as soon as something occurs to me, I can scribble it down and then at the end of the year – or probably first couple of weeks of 2019, I will read them all, write them down and share the list, then you’ll see everything from 2018 which has made me happy.

 

 

Day 19 – What makes me happy

Happiness¬†is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or lucky, they feel¬†happiness. The “pursuit of¬†happiness” is something this country is based on, and different people feel¬†happiness¬†for different reasons.

Below is a good selection of different things that make me happy, this isn’t a definitive list but merely something to show there are many different things – of differing levels which can bring happiness. I’d rather it not be possessions as I like to live with the thought that if I lost everything tomorrow in a fire or some such, I’m glad to know that a lot of the things that bring me happiness

smiles, moose, orangutans, silly videos, cheese, feeling comfortable, travel, seeing friends, having a man who I adore. so many things really.

I’d like to think that I do try to be optimistic, I know that some of my friends would be amazed to read that as I can be incredibly pessimistic and think that generally I have pretty bad luck but am pleased that after a few bad years, I now actively try to look for the positive as opposed to just settling on the negative.

Above is a good selection of things that make me smile.

My family and loved ones are amazing, I count some of my closest friends as family and am so lucky that they seem to like me (I often do not know why) and they’ve always been there for me, through thick and thin. I’m lucky to still have both my parents around and love spending time with them, I sadly don’t get to see my brother as often as i’d like as I live so far away and Public Transport in this country is a joke but I love the fact that when I need his support, he will be there for me.

Travel is a good thing for anyone I believe, there are some places I’ve never been that i’d love to go to but even if it’s just a weekend away from my normal home, I enjoy it, it doesn’t need to be glamourous or expensive to be a good place to holiday – saying that though, I really could do with a sunny holiday – it’s been bloody years!!

Food factors a huge part in my life, not as much as previously (when I’m pretty sure i’d eat my feelings and those of the people around me) but it is still a sign of my love and care – so if I offer to cook for you, pretend you like it haha – and a good way to make me smile. I know that’s really pathetic but food and the way people prepare, spend time over, care about is a sign of love for others.

Moose are my favourite animal (sorry Orangutans, you guys come a close second) and am so tempted to get myself the cross stitch kit above, I think there’s so many craft things I want to do so being given the option to craft AND make myself something fun is brilliant.

Drag is a relatively new thing in my life but I love it. I love seeing people be their authentic selves and being happy in the person they are. I’ve watched people hide themselves for fear of judgement and to see people finally go “F*ck this” and just decide to make themselves happy, and to live happy is amazing. I’ve always been completely comfortable as the person I am – despite the lack of self esteem and self hatred of my outer form – and I’d hate to be stuck like that, to not be comfortable enough or feel safe enough to just be themselves and that’s something if I could improve for everyone, I totally would do.

Some good things I have used to make myself happy – I was once told that faking it till you make it is a good thing here as you can trick your own brain into being happier, it doesn’t work all the time, but enough of the time – are below. I’m interested to see what other people do for themselves to give themselves a pep or whatnot. Feel free to let me know, lets share the love and happiness and see if we can’t spread a smile around the world.

1. Commit to doing one nice thing for yourself every day. – people focus all their energy on other people putting themselves last, try to not always do this, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of other people.
2. Listen to yourself – trust your judgement and do things which make you happy, People talking shit since the beginning of time, less they paying your bills pay them bitches no mind!
3. Forgive yourself – be more compassionate to yourself, you give others slack, so why hold yourself to higher standards?
4. Accept yourself as you are right now – it may not be perfect, but it is what it is, be strong in the person you are as there is NO ONE like you, you are a snowflake – not in the derogatory sense but in the sense of you are unique, individual and in your own way, perfect.
5. Eliminate toxic people in your life – not always possible but it’s just not worth your life constantly struggling with other people’s issues. Worry about yourself more and let others worry about themselves.
6. Prioritize your health – self care is very important. If you burn out, how will you be able to help other people.
7. Stop skipping meals – seriously, never a good thing, even if it’s a snack, or a salad or something small and tapas like, keep your energy up.
8. Breathe!
9. Give yourself a welcoming space – I found making my bed every morning meant that when I got in at night, it felt a bit like new sheets. It feels so much nicer than just crawling into an unmade pit! Plus, if I were to win the lottery I’d probably ask for fresh sheets everyday – but until then, I will just make do haha!
10. Get some sunlight – sunlight helps make you happy, if you feel a bit blue, even if it’s cold I always recommend going out for a walk. Wrap up warm and go for a wander, you might see something great but if not exercise and sunshine will help lift the mood.
11. Buy premium products for yourself – I do this, not always as I am inside a very frugal person but I do see the point, why treat other people but not yourself? I’m not saying only buy premium for you and screw everyone else but you deserve a treat every now and again too.

 

 

Day 18 – If I won the lottery….

Someone from the office actually asked this yesterday, and whilst the first answer from my boss was (shockingly) bus related it did get me thinking.

I’ve written a little list below of things which I think I’d like to do, in an ideal world, I’d have to be winning a massive amount, a life changing amount so the chances of this happening are slim – especially as I very rarely even buy lottery tickets!!

  • Help out family and friends – I think this is a no brainer really. Of course you would if you could wouldn’t you? I’d love to provide security for my closest friends and family. My loved ones deserve the world and if I could make their lives a bit easier, then I’d happily do so.
  • Set up a shelter type place in Poole, there are so many homeless who need help and not enough charities to do it – I’d always thought setting up a shelter that housed, cared for, fed those on the streets would really help or i’d like to support the current charity more – I already do food deliveries for a local homeless shelter in Poole and I’d love to help them more, or in an ideal world, set up a huge house for those who are currently on the streets. I sadly lost one of my homeless in last winter – he froze to death on the streets after the local council threw his sleeping things away and that genuinely affected me. He was sweet, kind, considerate and just kept himself to himself and despite that, the local council deemed him a menace and therefore thought binning things would improve matters, not offering help, or support and that really irks me. People become homeless for many reasons and I’d like to help, simply cos no – one would want to be in that way (in my opinion) and if I could make life a little easier (I see a common theme here) then I’d happily do so.
  • World travel – There’s so many places that I’ve wanted to see and travel to and even if I have already done them, it would be nice to take it to the next level – not strictly private jets and that but things like a hotel as opposed to a hostel for example would be a nice improvement. There’s so much of this planet I want to see and experience and time is running out so I’m sure money would make things easier. I think i’d get on a plane and go to Borneo, see some Orangutans in action – and help out the same charity to improve and then start ticking things off my bucket list. So many places, so little time!
  • Get the entire Discworld collection in the Unseen Library – ok, so this is a given, I’d like the full collection with 1 set of art, be it Josh Kirby’s or Paul Kidby. Just a special set of uniform looks would please my soul.
  • Adopt some more orangutans – again, for me, another no brainer. I know Palm Oil is now a big thing in lots of people’s worlds – see the Iceland Xmas ad if you don’t believe me but I am happy to have been a part of this fight for a while and for me it’s a sacrifice worth making to save those gorgeous little things…..I mean, look into their eyes and tell me they aren’t sentient.
  • Train as a firewalk trainer/leader – I have walked on hot coals twice and for sure, if I had unlimited money I would happily train to show other people how to do this, it was something that really built my confidence in me and would love to pass that feeling on to others.
  • SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS – well, who wouldn’t want this?
  • SWIM WITH TURTLES – as above
  • Silent disco at the Natural History Museum – I’ve wanted to do this for years but money (or lack of) has always stopped me, maybe next year will be the year.
  • Start donating more and practically helping out causes which mean a lot to me – Alzheimer’s research and Orangutan Foundation are the 2 charities I support most at the moment but I’d definitely like to help more and share the love. There’s so many needy people and I wish I could help all of them so maybe more money will help.
  • Take the man to Essen and to Miami, he is such a wonderful man to me that I want to make all his dreams come true. I know how much he loves gaming so would like to take him to the centre of those worlds and be able to spoil him the way he spoils me.
  • Just have time – I think this is the main thing I would choose, I mean, if you have money, you have time, if you have time, you can do pretty much what you want. Not saying I want to break laws and that but I see classes I’d like to take which I cannot, because I work, so if I wasn’t having to work, maybe I’d learn new things, maybe I’d take up hobbies, maybe I’d actually learn to be good at something. Just having time I feel would be a real luxury.

What about you? What would be on your wishlist if you could choose anything? Feel free to let me know, inspire me and see where imagination takes you.

Day 14 – A photo of yourself.

This subject honestly terrifies me. I am a very uncomfortable person in front of a camera and then to have to look at the picture and not just cry over the self hatred I have for what is there.

I shouldn’t be so dramatic, I have got a lot better with myself over the last few years but still, photos of me are a bit tricky.

Here’s a photo of me that I sort of like, please be nice – if you chose to comment anyway, in your thoughts you can do whatever you like hehe!

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I’m very surprised that when I started talking about my depression and self esteem issues that so many people reacted like I was crazy – not as in crazy for thinking that but more crazy for telling people and they had never noticed. I don’t know why this would be, I suppose I consider that it was just the way I behaved. I’m fairly good at hiding how I feel and though on the outside I was good at portraying being happy, and fine, and not upset by what people say or do but inside I was getting crushed.

I should clarify, it wasn’t only other people making me feel rubbish, I’ve always had the negative voice in my head that even when someone is lovely to me, my first thought was usually “this person is lying to you, this person is going to lie and make you feel good and then the joke will be revealed” or suchlike.

Over the last few years I have tried hard to improve my own self esteem and for a really long time have never felt comfortable in my body but due to some recent changes – giving up Palm Oil and trying to be generally healthier I actually feel pretty good right now.

I’m not suddenly saying i’m hot or whatnot but I find myself hating myself less. Less uncomfortable and more likely to treat myself well. I have bought new clothes, not just because they actually fitted (seriously, scare both yourself and the postman by your trousers falling down and you’ll see the need for new clothes!) but also thinking they might actually “suit” me. I’ve even brought a dress, for the office Xmas party – I should say, whether i actually wear it or not is still outstanding!!

But yes, after losing all the weight I even did things like get my hair cut. I know my mum has always wanted me to take more pride in myself and slowly I feel like that’s happening.

I’m aiming to dye my hair tonight (or this weekend, who really knows) and if that happens, and it’s before this publishes, I’ll share a pic…..if not, then that’ll have to wait until I get another kind of blog like this – to be honest, I’d rather not. I’m still not that comfortable and would rather write about fun things like food, travel, drag and generally happy things!

 

Day 13 – 3 healthy habits

Erm, this is not really me as I’m not what you’d call a gym type of person.

I mean, I’d like to be but every time I have done healthy stuff, there has been a specific reason, be it a diet or prep for a race, there’s never been a life long shift that I have made (I still smoke, I still drink, I eat bad foods sometimes, I do not get enough exercise or sleep for that matter but I think overall i’m ok) and although I’ve seen friends manage this (and i’m very proud of their commitment) as of yet, nothing like that has hit me. I don’t expect to wake up one morning and just decided to be a gym bunny or whatnot but maybe one day? Who knows!

1) I started following the Slimming world diet earlier this year, it did help me and those of you who know me can attest to the fact that I am now thinner than I was. I’ll be honest though, for me, this wasn’t perfect. There’s a lot of things that I was unsure about and unfortunately my consultant was not the most helpful – I asked her something at the beginning of my second week there…..I was there for 16 weeks and have been off since August but at no point have I had an answer.

Anyway, I agree, that by monitoring and being strict on my diet and avoiding lots of¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† bad fatty foods, yes it is possible to lose weight. I’ll be honest though, as soon as I was¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† at my target, I stopped and had a really fun couple of weeks where I ate whatever the¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† hell I wanted! It was DIVINE!!

I get that a good diet is considered a good and healthy thing, but for me, personally, I want to be more balanced, not completely strict. I’m not sure as a person I could handle it if I had to be strict forever – plus, I’m the main cook in our home and if I left it up to the man, although I love him like no-one else, I’d probably starve or simply survive on toasties!

2) As a non driver, I do walk a lot, but I know that everyone can improve themselves so one of my challenges for this year has been to up my steps. I’m aiming next year to (as one of my challenges) be walking 10,000 per day. We shall see anyway.

I can’t wait to start my challenge. I don’t have a fitbit or something which will nag me to walk more but i’m hoping that i’ll be able to overall get healthier. I was hoping to complete a marathon before I hit 40 but due to my knee issues, I worry that i’m pushing it so maybe the walking will have to do for now. If anyone reading this has become a longer distance runner, please feel free to pass on any hints and tips, I mean, help a girl out over here!

3) Lastly the most important and for me, the easiest one. I wanted to drink more water and made the point especially when I started at slimming world. I’ve never been a real fan of water, I always preferred squash or fizzy drinks (or tea, I’m obsessed with all teas!!) but I can remember being force fed water when I was younger –¬† I never really drank anything – and was promptly sick, which just shows, when I don’t want something, my body will do everything it can to avoid it!

But deciding that SW was the way forward, I started to challenge myself to a pint of very weak squash and then a pint of water, alternating throughout the day. This was going ok but thankfully by the time the heatwave happened here, I was drinking between 10 and 12 pints of water a day. I think if nothing else I’ve grown up, I use water as a first resort – if i’m hungry/tired etc, it tends to actually be that i’m dehydrated so that has certainly helped me.

Well there you go. 3 healthy habits that I will use and improve upon over my lifetime. I didn’t think that would be possible but I am now tempted to do a blog on my unhealthy habits…..that list would be ridiculous!!