Just Me Again!

Hey everyone. I’ve been wanting to write something for a while but I just couldn’t. The last couple of months have felt pretty tough again. I think it’s something to do with the end of the year and the start of the new one (not to mention the significant dates that happen around this time). I thought about posting a reflection on the past year but for some reason last year just seemed to merge with the previous couple of years and I couldn’t figure out what to say. I don’t want it to sound like I’m miserable all the time, I’m generally a positive person. It’s just that there are layers of me (do I sound like Shrek? – maybe I’m really an ogre? 😆) and if you peel a few back there’s still a lot of pain underneath that sometimes seeps out whether I want it to or not. I wanted to write about Christmas but it’s just not the same any more. I used to love Christmas; but now, while I still love bits of it, other things – like Christmas songs – are just painful. Christmas songs are a bit like fairy tales – and I don’t think I believe in fairy tales any more – maybe it’s a bit naive that I ever did? I wanted to write about the New Year but I’m struggling a bit to dream about possibilities. Having said that I do have some nice plans for camping and things with friends this year.

Could this be a self-portrait? 😂

That all sounds a bit dramatic, right? So let me lighten it up a bit for you. This year started with the delightful news that I had Covid! I’m fine – I didn’t struggle with the severe symptoms some people have had. For me it was pretty much like any other cold or flu virus. I had a couple of rough days but other than that I was fine. The worst thing was being stuck in for 10 days. It gave me a bit of time to contemplate my word for the year though. Last year’s word was a total flop! I think I chose the word ‘articulate’ in the end but I can’t even remember. The idea was to be authentic and vocalise my own thoughts, needs and opinions. Well that didn’t happen! 😝 – So here’s hoping I have more success this year. I’ve chosen a couple of words for the year 2022 – ‘clarity’ and ‘confidence’. I feel a real need for clarity just now and I’m hoping my therapist can help me a bit with getting that. I also need confidence – in God, in myself and to be able to follow through with whatever becomes clear.

I’ve also decided to keep track of any books I read this year. I do read quite a bit but a lot of it is for work or study right now which means I’m dipping in and out of books rather than just reading them for interest or enjoyment. I was so impressed when LA posted that she had read 113 Books last year. Initially I thought I’d be doing well to set myself a target of 10 but after thinking about it for a while I realised that I probably already manage that in a year by the time I read a couple of books with friends so we can chat about them and a few on holiday (vacation). I usually have 2 or 3 on the go most of the time; it’s just that I don’t have much time to read just for fun. Anyway I’m going to stretch my target to 15 and see how I get on. It would be cool if I can really surprise myself and do more but I’ll be happy if I can achieve that.

After having to quarantine with Covid I was glad to be able to get back to the gym and the pool and out walking again. I’m not the fittest person by any stretch but I like to be active and you always get some random chat at the local sports centre. Church is back in person again – I’m not sure what I’m going to do about church going forward (maybe I’ll write about that sometime) but for now I’m back and it’s good to be around people and worship together. Work and study always keeps me busy but I think my capacity is not what it used to be so I’m really glad that somehow it always seems to work out to just the right amount to keep me busy but not overwhelm me. It must be a God thing because I don’t plan it that way.

Well I think that’s all I have to say for now. I hope you’re all well and I’ll check in again sometime. x

Wednesday’s Wisdom

I may have mentioned this before but I love Bob Goff! I enjoy hearing him speak and reading his books. I think he has a great outlook on life and sounds like a lot of fun. I can’t imagine that Sweet Maria (his wife) is ever bored! 😂 If I could meet up with him for a day and just talk about life I think it would be such a lot of fun and so inspiring.

This quote kind of reminded me of when I read the Ikigai book too. For most of my adult life I’ve seen myself as a bit of a ‘Jack of All Trades’. Not that I did everything at once but I turned my hand to a lot of different jobs at home, at work and at church, not to mention in the community and basically wherever I could. I’m not an expert in anything really but I’m able to do lots of things, and I like to help out. I guess what I’ve realised though is that just doing what you’re able to do isn’t necessarily fulfilling so I’ve been trying for a while to figure out what I was made to do – and I think I’m getting closer to the answer. I loved this quote from Bob’s book as a reminder to do what I was made for and not just what I’m able to do.

What were you made to do? Do you feel like you’re already doing it and if so how does that feel? If you’re doing something that you’re able to do but doesn’t feel like what you were made to do what’s stopping you from changing course? If you’re working towards doing what you were made to do what does that mean for you?

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.

Life Update

So I haven’t updated you on life since getting back from Tenerife.  We were very quickly back into the routine as I had work the day after we got home.  As soon as I’m back at work it pretty much feels like I was never away – I imagine most jobs are the same?  As well as work and running three classes last week I also did some babysitting for a couple of different friends.  I met up with my previous pastor’s wife and with a woman who wanted to find out more about the business I run.  We went to a worship night at a friend’s house, I got my hair done and I went to see my counsellor.  I had a new experience last Saturday too.  I joined a march organised by the teachers’ unions in Scotland.  I’m not particularly political and I’ve never done any sort of demonstrations before but it seemed right to take a stand on this and of course we arranged to go for a few gins after the event 😉.  It was a great atmosphere as there were somewhere between twenty and thirty thousand people there (depending which report you read).  We went to see a couple of friends in their AmDram production of The Sound of Music – there were some pretty talented people in the cast and we reckon that one of our friends really suits being a nun! 😂  I also finally got round to picking up our finished pots from the Craft Pottery – here are some pics for those of you who are following that experience.  Now we just have to decide what to do with the finished products.  Our options so far are: have some fun smashing them up, stick them directly in the bin or give them to some of our poor unsuspecting friends and family for Christmas 😂 – they might never forgive us!  Cast your votes or make a suggestion in the comments 😝.

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This past week was much the same as the last with work, classes, counsellor and babysitting.  We also went to visit a friend in hospital and went to the cinema to see A Star is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.  I really enjoyed the movie and the music was great although my hubby thought the storyline was a bit slow moving.  Last night I had a work night out for my boss leaving – it was a bit of a strange one as most people are not that upset that she’s gone.  There was a good turn out though so there were plenty of people to talk to.  I had planned to leave early and go on to another friend’s house for drinks but I ended up spending half the night waiting for friends who said they were just leaving and didn’t even order another drink because of that!! What a disaster! 😆

In between all the ‘calendar events’ and the more mundane aspects of living (like housework) I’ve watched some TV shows, read some books, listened to some music and played some guitar.  Here are some of the details of what I’ve watched, read and listened to recently if you’re interested:

TV Shows I’ve Enjoyed
Killing Eve
The Cry
The Great British Bake Off
The Good Place (new episodes still to come)
Suits (went back to this after a break to finish it off – still got a few to watch)

Books I’ve Read
I already told you about Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning
When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson (still working through the devotional at the back of this one – it’s really challenging)
Anatomy of an Affair by Dave Carder (if you’re married or thinking about getting married this is an interesting read)
Life with No Breaks by Nick Spalding (this one’s just for a laugh and I’m not finished it yet – don’t read it if you’re easily offended though)

Some of the Songs I Like Right Now
Overcomer by Mandisa
Write your Story by Francesca Battistelli
Bulletproof by Citizen Way
Prodical by Sidewalk Prophets
Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper (from the movie)
Lost Without You by Freya Ridings (love her voice)
Promises by Calvin Harris & Sam Smith
All I Am by Jess Glynne

Songs I’m Learning to Play
Do It Again by Elevation Worship
Abba (Arms of a Father) by Jonathan David Helser
Thy Will by Hilary Scott and the Scott Family
Who Can Compare to You by Matt Stinton (Bethel)
Your Love Defends Me by Matt Maher

So that’s about it for now.  Have a great weekend and I’ll write again soon. x

Big boy, little boy and books

Wow! I can’t believe almost a week has passed since I last posted. It’s all been a bit crazy here. After the parties last weekend we visited with a friend on Sunday who wasn’t well enough to make the leaving party and then the next couple of days were taken up with helping my son to finish getting himself organised for his trip and finishing a wee project that I had started for him when I wasn’t at work.

I’ll tell you a little bit about that. The first time my daughter left home to live on her own for a few months in Norway I made her a scrapbook with some photos and letters of advice from friends and family, some favourite recipes, some inspirational quotes and some hints and tips for life in general (like what all the washing symbols mean on your clothes labels) and that sort of thing. Anyway I thought I’d better be fair (as you do with your kids) and make one for my son leaving too. Of course I’ve known for months that he was going off to Australia but as usual I left it until a couple of weeks before to start his scrapbook 🙄 so it was a last minute rush. I got it done in the end though and I think he appreciated it.

We all went to the airport to see him off on Wednesday. The flight was delayed by a couple of hours due to Storm Ali but fortunately he and his friend got away okay. Many other flights were cancelled altogether and people were having to rebook so he was fortunate. I managed to hold it together and didn’t cry till he went through the gates at security. We’ve had a few messages over the last couple of days and he’s been having a brilliant time in Singapore and Malaysia. He’s due to fly to Sydney in a few hours so maybe tomorrow we’ll get to FaceTime and catch up properly. It hasn’t really sunk in yet that he’s not here. He was always out and about anyway. I guess it’ll be a bit longer before I really notice the difference.

After seeing our big boy off on Wednesday I borrowed my little boy (baby B – he’s not really mine, he belongs to a friend) again for a few hours on Thursday. He’s just adorable and is starting to walk so he’s getting into everything. It was nice to get lots of baby cuddles. He brought a little board book with him of Pride and Prejudice (baby books are much more high brow these days 😂). I must confess it’s the first time I’ve read that book all the way to the end. Must have been just the right level for me 😉.

I think that’s about all the highlights from this week. Other than that we watched the Bad Moms movie (I can really relate 😆), I had coffee and a long chat with a friend and I ran my community classes for kids in the village. Also got an idea for a poem – haven’t written one since school (I tend to write songs) – it came while I was struggling with my emotions yesterday and laughing and crying at the same time and my hubby said ‘we have to embrace the madness’. If I get it done maybe I’ll post it here.

The weather looks good today. Might go for a cycle. Haven’t been on the bikes for weeks but hopefully I won’t fall off. 😝