I just want to write

I had a rough night last night. Didn’t sleep well and then woke up late for the plans we had for this morning. I feel a bit flat today and I just wanted to write. I looked at the posts in my drafts (some of which are so near to finished) but I didn’t want to finish any of them. I just want to talk.

If you could be here right now you’d have to perch on the end of my bed. There’s nowhere else to sit in my room. The only chair is covered in clothes that have been worn once and discarded but didn’t seem dirty enough for the wash bin. It might feel when you’re sitting there like you’re visiting the sick but I’m not sick (at least not physically).

I could tell you about my week. It’s been quite busy. My in-laws were visiting last week and stayed till Tuesday so we had quite a full house with three extra people in it. On Monday I did a day’s supply teaching in Primary 7 at my old school – that was quite nice actually. The kids were really good and I enjoyed seeing them (I taught that class when they were in P1). We were planning to go into the city to see the Christmas lights in the evening but a few of the family were feeling under the weather so that didn’t happen. It was okay though. I’ve been reading a book by a fellow blogger Yeshiva Girl by Rachel Mankowitz so I was happy to get my nose stuck back into that. I’ve finished it now and would recommend. It’s a good read.

I had relaxation classes on Tuesday morning and afternoon and dropped the in-laws off at the airport in between. After work I met my hubby in the city and we went out for dinner and went to the Emeli Sande gig. That was really good. I love music gigs. One of my favourite things to do.

Wednesday brought more relaxation sessions in the morning plus some individual sessions at my favourite school to go to. It also happens to be in the most deprived area I work in. I had lunch with a lovely friend after that and then went to pick up little B for the afternoon. I took him over to the craft shop to buy some Christmas cracker kits to send to my daughter in the States. The evening became a little hectic because of cancelled trains so I was running about picking people (including a few strangers) up and dropping them off. I also had to shop and deliver a meal to our dear friend whose husband has just died. 😢

Thursday was a good day. I went on a training course all day to learn some new skills for my business. It was really useful and I met some nice people and did a bit of networking while I was there. We had a chilled evening after that.

It was my birthday on Friday. I decided I might just stop counting my age 😉. I don’t feel any older anyway and the number somehow seems irrelevant. I got my hair done in the morning. The girl who’s been cutting my hair for years has changed jobs so I have a new hairdresser but she’s doing okay and getting the hang of how I like it. After that one of my lovely friends treated me to lunch and then I had a chilled out bath before the guys cooked dinner for me and we spent the evening pampering ourselves (I made them wear face masks too), drinking wine and singing along to the karaoke version of The Greatest Showman.

Yesterday we went over to visit some friends in the morning/early afternoon and after brunch I spent some time building Lego with their kids while we chatted. We pottered a bit with stuff in the house in the afternoon and then went to visit other friends for drinks after dinner. We quite often go on holiday with these guys and we started exploring possible options for a holiday next summer. Talking of holidays I don’t think I’ve mentioned that we’re off to visit our daughter in California at the beginning of the new year. I’m looking forward to that.

I’m feeling a bit better now that I’ve shared my week with you. It was a good one really (apart from the death of our friend). Maybe now I can get myself up and ready for the day.

How was your week? I’d love to know what you’ve been up to. 🙂

Fitter at 45!

If you’d told me on this date last year that I’d start this morning off in the gym I’d probably have laughed at you.  I don’t know about you but I’ve never really been the sporty type.  Neither have I ever been particularly unfit or too much overweight.  I enjoy walking and am always active just in my day to day activities.

At school I was one of those kids that’s among the last to be chosen for games.  Looking back now I don’t think I believed in myself when it came to sports.  My parents didn’t have much time for them and I’m pretty sure my teachers didn’t know about Growth Mindsets.  It wasn’t all bad – at high school I played right wing in the hockey team ’cause I was fairly fast.  I was pretty good at some random stuff too like archery, shot put and javelin.  I never learned to do a cartwheel though and you wouldn’t have got me doing any sort of flips over a box in gymnastics – I just didn’t believe I could.

Anyway at the beginning of this year I made a decision.  It wasn’t a New Year’s Resolution as such – I don’t bother with those ’cause I know that like 92% of the population I won’t keep them.  It was just a decision to make a change in my life.  I decided that by the time I reached my 45th birthday I was going to be fitter than I was at 44.

Over the years I’ve tried to make myself exercise (I’ve also tried and failed at countless diets 😝).  I’ve never been particularly successful at sticking with anything.  The closest I ever got was swimming 40 lengths once a week (‘Granny breaststroke’ – ’cause that’s all I can do 😂) which I probably kept up for about a year before quitting.  Partly I was busy and didn’t prioritise it and partly I just didn’t enjoy it enough.

So my strategy this year was different – maybe it might even help someone else struggling to start exercising?  I decided that I was going to get into the habit of exercising and I was going to start with something that was really easy for me to achieve.  I’m pretty fortunate that my son is really into his fitness so we have a couple of machines and a bunch of weights already in the house which meant I didn’t even have to go anywhere.  On the first week my plan was just to walk on the treadmill for 5 minutes and do 10 bicep curls every morning (weekdays only).  I knew I could manage that easily before work and it wouldn’t put me off.  The next week I added a second set of bicep curls and over time I built up to about a half hour routine each morning.  Each week I either added a set or a new exercise or increased the weight or difficulty.  Then I started to diversify and do different exercises on different days as I don’t have time to do more than half an hour if I’m gonna get ready and out to work in time.

Now I’m doing a couple of different routines on alternate days.  I’m a little bit limited with the weights I have available but I think I’ve still achieved my goal.  Here’s what I’m doing in case you’re interested:

Day 1
8 minutes on rowing machine
3×10 bicep curls (6kg each arm)
3×10 bent over row (10kg)
3×10 lunges (R&L)
3×15 sit ups
12 press ups

Day 2
8 minutes on rowing machine (occasionally on the treadmill)
3×10 tricep extensions (6kg each arm)
3×10 lateral raises (4kg each arm)
2×10 squats (with 40kg on bar)
3×15 sit ups
A plank (for as long as I can – usually that’s around 2.5 mins but my record is 4.5 mins)

Well today is my 45th birthday and I think I’ve achieved my goal.  Considering this time last year I didn’t do any regular exercise and couldn’t do one proper press up I think I can safely say I’m fitter at 45!  Don’t get me wrong I’m no fitness freak either – I won’t be posting any pics of my abs on Instagram 😂  (maybe I will when I’m 65 😉 if I’m still exercising) but I’m happy with what I’ve achieved so far.  I actually enjoy exercising now and believe I can get better.  My muscles are a bit more toned and I have less body fat.  A few weeks ago I also started trying a new diet (for health not weight loss).  If I keep it up I’ll let you know how I benefit.  So if you’re like I was give it a go – start small and build up.  It’s never too late to start exercising and you will feel better for it.

Party till you drop!

What a weekend! And it’s only halfway through 😝.

Last night we had a leaving party for our youngest who leaves for Australia in only three and a half days. I have really mixed feelings about that. It’s a fantastic experience for him. He’ll get to travel and experience a different culture and see some fantastic new places. He’ll make new friends and gain a new level of independence. No doubt he’ll grow heaps and get to know who he is and what his true values are. Part of me is a little bit jealous of him 😆. On the other hand I also feel a bit nervous about him leaving – not for him – I know he’s gonna be absolutely fine. I’m nervous for me! The house is going to be a whole lot quieter (probably tidier too 😉) with him gone. I’m not sure how I’m going to handle the almost empty nest. It will bring a different dynamic to our family. He’s often the one who notices if I’m a bit down too and comes to give me a big hug. I’ll really miss that.

The party was fun. It was great catching up with friends, chatting to lots of different people and having a few dances with my daughter and some of my son’s friends. I had been a little bit unsure whether some of the guests would be friendly towards me but it was okay in the end.

Today we had an early start after our late night to get organised for my brothers and sister and their families and my aunts and uncles all turning up at my house to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday. I kinda enjoy hosting parties but it can be a bit of pressure too. It’s been a long time since any of my aunts and uncles have visited with us (we tend to go to them). Yesterday I spent most of the day cleaning and preparing to make sure I didn’t ‘let the side down’ 😂. It’s so weird that even within families there are certain people you feel you have to make everything look perfect for. Everyone seemed to enjoy the day thankfully. I really enjoyed chatting with some of my nieces and catching up on their lives. It’s lovely having the little ones around who are so full of energy and fun but I also really enjoy ‘getting to know’ the young adults as they step into their own lives independent from their parents. It’s funny how they grow and mature and can be so different as young adults from the strange little creatures they were as kids 🤪.

Anyway two successful parties down, house tidied and glass of prosecco in hand. What can I get up to next?