Just Checking In 😊

Hey lovely WordPress friends! It’s been a while. When I said I was taking a break back in February I really didn’t expect it to be for this long. At this moment I’m not actually sure I’m done having a break – I just wanted to say ‘Hi!’

So far 2021 has been pretty much as weird as 2020 was. Some things seem to be “going back to normal” but the reality is that everything is still different. In my house almost everyone is still working from home at least 4 days per week. Church is still different, and my course which I started during the pandemic is still online; although I have met a few of my classmates in person now. From September we get to go in to the college for one day of the course weekend. I’ll probably get a train in to the city those days – that’s still different too as masks are required on public transport.

Anyway, boring, boring! Is anything interesting actually happening to tell you about? Apart from the fact that two of my family currently have Covid? – Don’t worry they’re okay. Fortunately just a mild dose by the look of it.

Probably the most fun thing that’s happened this year is that my friend K and I have been getting into car camping. We made wee window covers for our cars and we’ve been collecting camping kit (mostly for feeding ourselves) in boxes. We pack up our cars and drive for an hour or two to our meeting point and then we’ll maybe go for a swim in a Loch, make ourselves dinner over a camping stove and share some wine or cider, sleep in our cars and go for a hike up a hill the next day. Or perhaps do the hike at sunset and the swim in the morning? Anyway, that’s kept me going through this year of ‘no events to go to’.

I’ve joined up with a team doing street work with the homeless once a month. That’s been interesting too – not in the same way obviously. It’s good to meet people and hear their stories though and hopefully be an encouragement and a help to them too.

I’ve managed to get myself off the antidepressants this year too. The CBT training and therapy helped a lot with strategies and stuff. Some days I still struggle a bit but on the whole I can manage my mental health and my emotions a lot better. I’ve got back into exercise again too which really helps. I joined the local gym and I’ve been swimming twice a week, going to the gym a couple of times and doing my Piyo class too, now that it’s started up again.

Other than that I think life has ticked over with work, walks with friends and hanging out with family and my wee friend B. My highlight (apart from car camping) was getting to go to the Eden Project in Cornwall in the summer.

Would you like to see what’s inside?

So that’s you all caught up with the excitement that is my life! 😆 I may or may not drop by again. Depends if I can decide what to say. The problem is probably not that I have nothing to say – just that I don’t know where to start! 🤷🏼‍♀️

Take care my friends. I hope you’re all well, healthy and happy. X

Taking a break.

I thought about doing this a few months back but I didn’t end up going through with it. I’ve decided to take a little break from WordPress (among other things) – I’m not sure how long for. I’m feeling the need to simplify my life for a while. I’ve got quite a bit going on between work and studying and life in general. I’ll miss this wee community and reading all your blogs but hopefully it will clear a space in my head for other things. Take care of yourselves blogging friends. I wish you all well. 😊💗

Wednesday’s Wisdom

There’s not much I need to add to this wisdom really. I guess it resonates with me because for a long time I tried to be the person I thought I needed to be. The person I thought everyone else wanted me to be. I did this to the extent that I didn’t really know who I actually was any more. I lost myself while trying to be what I thought I should be. Losing yourself is hard and it’s not helpful in the long run. Now I’m trying to find myself again. I’m trying to discover who I really am and to be real.

Does this resonate with you? Have you ever tried to be someone you’re not to please others, or for some other reason? Let me know in the comments. 😊

I’m always reading something or other. Books, social media feeds, study notes, blogs and more. Recently I’ve become even more aware of how much wisdom I come across in what I read so I decided to share some of it with you. I’m honestly not sure how consistent I will manage to be with this or how long I’ll keep it up but I’m going to try. It’s all part of the growing I need to do.

Wednesday’s Wisdom

I’m not sure of the origins of this piece of wisdom. It’s one of those quotes that many people have incorporated into their own ‘wise words’ in various ways. I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the last few weeks since one of my cousins posted something about it on Facebook. I guess it just got me thinking again about things in my life that have been hard to accept and how I’ve wrestled with them. I realised that acceptance can be a lot like trust if you have faith in God – trusting that He is in control and working things out for your good even when you don’t understand what He’s doing. It reminded me at the time of the prayer that is popularly know as the serenity prayer.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference.

What is your experience of this ‘wisdom’. Has acceptance brought you peace or lack of acceptance created turmoil? Are there any circumstances where this quote doesn’t apply? Let me know in the comments. 😊

I’m always reading something or other. Books, social media feeds, study notes, blogs and more. Recently I’ve become even more aware of how much wisdom I come across in what I read so I decided to share some of it with you. I’m honestly not sure how consistent I will manage to be with this or how long I’ll keep it up but I’m going to try. It’s all part of the growing I need to do.

Wednesday’s Wisdom

Apologies for the fuzziness of this image but I grabbed it off a friend’s social media and I have no idea where it originated. I really wanted to share it though because I love the sentiments although I’m not sure how many will be achievable this year. With Covid restrictions still in place some will be more difficult than others – like being more social. I can’t wait till that one can happen personally; I’m so missing being in a group of friends and being able to hug them. I know for some people that’s no big deal but I need that connection.

I have started by making one small change though – I’ve decided that for a while at least I’m going to take a day off social media each Friday. For me that’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn (I’ll let you know how that goes sometime.) I’m not counting WordPress at the moment because I feel it doesn’t have the same mindless scrolling effect on me. I became aware a few weeks ago just how much time I was spending on my phone and realised that I used to spend a lot of that time reading. I’ve often thought that I don’t have much time for reading these days but if I swap out the scrolling I can definitely fit more in. 😝

Which of these sentiments do you like best? Is there anything on this list that you’d like to put into practice this year? I’d love to hear how you plan to go about it too? Let me know in the comments. 😊

I’m always reading something or other. Books, social media feeds, study notes, blogs and more. Recently I’ve become even more aware of how much wisdom I come across in what I read so I decided to share some of it with you. I’m honestly not sure how consistent I will manage to be with this or how long I’ll keep it up but I’m going to try. It’s all part of the growing I need to do.

What’s the word I’m looking for?

I’m tired today. Maybe because the howling wind kept me awake half of last night? And maybe because I’m tired I’ve not had the most productive of days. I managed a food shop this morning but I just couldn’t get my head around the studying I was trying to do this afternoon. Eventually I gave up. It’s not so bad though – when I think back to this time last year I couldn’t manage two productive days in a row and last week I had a really productive week and got things done every day. I must be doing better 😊.

Anyway, since I wasn’t getting anywhere with studying I thought I’d ask you guys for some help. (That in itself is growth – I’m not good at asking for help). I’m looking for a word. Sort of a word for the year? I don’t really do resolutions and I’ve only picked a word for the year a couple of times before. I prefer to make goals and set targets as I go along rather than set them up at the start of a year. Having said that, since the start of 2021 I’ve been thinking about something I want to work on this year but I’m struggling with a word for it. I want to use my voice to make myself heard and make my needs known. To find connection too I guess but it’s definitely got to be something about speaking out. It’s something I’ve struggled with at times and I want to overcome it.

I had a chat with my good friend K about it and we came up with a few words between us: audible, aloud, distinct, emphatic, resounding, apparent, clear, vocal , vocalised, acoustic, articulate, convey, express, declare. But I’m still not sure which of these to go with or whether there’s something better? Can you help? What word would you pick to encapsulate what I want to achieve? Let me know in the comments.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

N.B. I actually wrote this post yesterday but, as often happens, I didn’t end up posting it. I kinda didn’t want to just leave this one in drafts though because I really do want to know what word I should choose, so I’m getting round to posting eventually.

Pushing through 2020

Copied from a friend’s Facebook

I’ve been thinking about writing something for a while. It’s that time of year – I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas but I didn’t quite get round to it. I want to reflect on my year but I’m not quite sure where to start right now. There have been lots of good things happening and I’ve grown too but there have also been times that I’ve struggled and it’s been an effort to push through. The last few weeks have been a struggle but I’m still getting up in the morning. I’m still pushing on and by the grace of God I get through the days and sometimes I’m even able to be a blessing to others. I’m getting great feedback in my business, my family are healthy and I am blessed with a lovely home, food and clothing. I have some amazing friends who are there for me whether I’m feeling great or needing support. I have a lot to be thankful for.

I’m not sure what next year holds, or even tomorrow but I know that God will get me through. Some might see my faith as a crutch – something to hold me up because I can’t manage life on my own. Maybe that is one word for it? I don’t mind admitting that I can’t do this on my own. I tried being strong (and for a long time I managed it) but even then I had faith. Now I don’t think I’d have made it this far if it wasn’t for my faith. For me, the reality is that the other coping strategies I have are not enough. I need Jesus every day and I thank God for Him.

In case I don’t get round to posting anything else in the next few days I just want to wish everyone who reads this a very happy, healthy and prosperous year in 2021. I hope it will bring many good things your way.

I’m not a good blogger!

I’ve been thinking about this lately – I’m not a good blogger 😅! Good bloggers are consistent, they write regularly; some once or twice a week and some daily. If you follow this blog you may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything for weeks! Maybe it’s even months?

Anyway, I’ve realised recently that I have a mental block (or something) when it comes to consistency. I started thinking more about this after I lost my 300 day streak on my Bible app a couple of weeks ago. I beat myself up about it, whining to hubby that I’m not consistent. He kindly pointed out that 300 days is actually pretty consistent – I’m just not perfect. After mulling this over for a while I realised that this is my problem (or one of them) – I equate consistency with perfection in my head. I put so much pressure on myself to be consistent/perfect with a bunch of things that I lose the point of doing them and the joy of doing them in the process. Sometimes I even lose the motivation to do them because I feel sure I’m going to fail.

I’ve been experimenting with this a bit over the last week or so. I’ve deliberately been trying to just ‘go with the flow’ more and not put myself under pressure to do certain things at certain times or do things daily even. I’m ignoring those little red bubbles on my screen and the warnings that my streak is in danger. It’s been interesting – I’ve rediscovered some energy and motivation to do things just because I want to and not because I HAVE to. On Friday I actually WANTED to go for a run!! Sorry, I should have warned you to sit down before you read that! 😂 I know… I never thought I’d actually write that either!

This morning I felt like sitting down to write this post. The truth is I actually feel like sitting down to write fairly often and I have ideas of things I SHOULD write about quite a lot too. I think I feel guilty about spending the time on writing though – that’s probably a thought for another post really. Anyway, it will be interesting to see if being less ‘consistent’ will actually result in me blogging more. 😝 Don’t get me wrong – I do understand that consistency is a good thing – I think it was just my view of it that wasn’t helpful. If anyone has any tips on how I can be consistent without putting too much pressure on myself I’d love to hear them.

Is it just me or does anyone else struggle with this? How do you deal with the consistency/perfection balance?

Wednesday’s Wisdom

“It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” ― J.K. Rowling

I was feeling like a bit of a failure this morning. I guess everyone has those thoughts sometimes… don’t they? I’ve done my best as a parent (this is where my thoughts were earlier) but if I could go back and do it all again I’d make several changes. I searched online for quotes about failure because I know there are loads of good ones – I’ve seen them before. After reading several of them I started feeling better. I think part of my problem is that I see failure as the end result rather than part of the process. Then it becomes my identity. It’s faulty thinking, I know, and I’m trying to change it but even that is a process – bear with me.

Does failure bother you? Do you find it easy to pick yourself up and try again? Is it possible to be a parent and not feel like a failure sometimes? I’d love to hear what you think.

If anyone else is having one of those days, here are a few more good quotes that might help:

“Do not judge me by my successes; judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” ― Nelson Mandela

“When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed, and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” ― Ellen DeGeneres

“You can’t let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you.” ― Barack Obama

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” ― Beverly Sills

“Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” ― Oprah Winfrey

“I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” ― Michael Jordan

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” ― Arianna Huffington

“Failure is success in progress.” ― Albert Einstein

“My grandmother once told me, ‘Don’t let failure go to your heart and don’t let success go to your head.’” ― Will Smith

“Courage allows the successful woman to fail and learn powerful lessons from the failure. So that in the end, she didn’t fail at all.” ― Maya Angelou

I’m always reading something or other. Books, social media feeds, study notes, blogs and more. Recently I’ve become even more aware of how much wisdom I come across in what I read so I decided to share some of it with you. I’m honestly not sure how consistent I will manage to be with this or how long I’ll keep it up but I’m going to try. It’s all part of the growing I need to do.

Wednesday’s Wisdom

I’ve been thinking about this quote and other similar ones a lot over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been really struggling with my mental health on and off – feeling low and also anxious. I realise that I need to find happiness (or perhaps contentment is a better word) within myself and not expect or hope for others to make me feel that way. Happiness is an emotion that comes and goes and we can’t expect to be happy all of the time but contentment would bring peace.

When I was a child I had a little plaque with a quote by Mother Theresa on my wall. It said “If you don’t enjoy what you have how could you be happier with more?” For a long time I lived by that and I made the most of everything I had and didn’t feel the need for anything else. Something happened though and I started hoping and dreaming for a more fulfilling life – was that wrong? I don’t know. I guess I became dissatisfied with the way things were.

I’m still mulling this over I guess. I’m not sure what the right balance is. I don’t think it’s wrong to want more necessarily but I suppose I have to look to myself (or to God) for that and not to other people? What are your thoughts on happiness? How do you find happiness and contentment? Should we have any expectations around happiness coming from other people?

I’m always reading something or other. Books, social media feeds, study notes, blogs and more. Recently I’ve become even more aware of how much wisdom I come across in what I read so I decided to share some of it with you. I’m honestly not sure how consistent I will manage to be with this or how long I’ll keep it up but I’m going to try. It’s all part of the growing I need to do.