The 'book ends' of your life

I met with two old friends today, Philomena Timberlake who works with her husband Mark to produce online courses and Corrina Kennedy of Pathway Balancing. We are all self employed and have met every 5 weeks or so for the last 8 years! We're somewhat of a mastermind group and have seen each other through some very bleak times and some very joyous times, both in business and personally.  

Today we talked about the things that form the foundation and support of your life — the ‘book ends’ that keep you from toppling over.

These are things that are core to your life, like key people, beliefs, routines and work.

It made me think about my 'book ends' and how much I appreciate them. I'll write about these in more detail when I have more time. Actually, I never have more time so I'll rephrase that. I'll write about these another day, in another 10 minute slot. In the mean time, what are your book ends? Have you stopped to appreciate them lately?

Figuring out this blog — part 1

I’m trying hard not too overthink what I am doing as that’s the only way I can actually hit ‘publish’ everyday.

But inevitably, I've been thinking about what I want this blog to be.

Truth is, although I've had this blog since 2013 (yikes), I've never figured out what I want from it and I have certainly not written consistently.

Important questions about this blog

  • Why am I writing?
  • What is my why? 
  • What are the main topics or common threads?
  • Who should read this blog?
  • Why should people read this?

I don't know the answers quite yet, but having forced myself to write, I'm really trying to figure out the answers.  

Current thoughts on topics for this blog are:

  • Not accepting what happens to you by default
  • Highs and lows of running your own business
  • Balance between living and achieving
  • Lessons from what life throws at me
  • My motherhood journey
  • Appreciation and joy
  • Simplicity
  • Zambia and it's influence on me 

I'm obviously struggling to pick a niche! 

Friday — tired

Is it ok to stare at your screen and see white space? Is it ok not to hear the therapeutic sound of your keyboard? Is it ok to just curl up in my arm chair?

I hope so... It's Friday and I am whacked. 

I'm listening to my body and just relaxing this evening. I learnt to listen to my body when it gave up. I learnt a lot from Corrina from Pathway Balancing

Good night. x

So you have a goal and then you slip up — what happens?

Yesterday I didn't write :-( I was doing so well. I was so impressed with myself. I was feeling good. I remembered about my 10 minutes a day writing project at about 10pm, just as I was snuggling into my pillow after Marley's first feed of the night. The debate I had with myself was pretty intense!

"It's only 10 minutes - I could get up and do that."

"Ah, but my laptop is downstairs."

"But I'm so so tired."

"But you've been doing so well. Go on get up."

"Putting the lamp back on will disturb hubby."

"It's not the end of the world if you miss one night."

"Anyway, I will write everyday but I may not publish everyday. This is definitely part of the medium term plan."

"You really need to sleep while little man sleeps."

And so it went on until I fell asleep! Now what?

My advice to myself is to get back on the wagon immediately. The rush of negative feelings about what the heck I’m doing anyway need quashing quickly. The best way to crush them is to get back to the goal and stare it in the face. 

I've experienced this so many times. When I'm watching what I eat and then binge, 'because I deserve it' or 'because I don't feel well'. When I'm working out 5 days a week and I miss a night which equals fail. When I quit having sugar in my coffee but then I really fancy that single sugar that takes my one coffee a day from good to superb.

What happens when you slip up? Get right back to it. You’ll feel like giving up because of this one tiny fail. Don’t. 
— //Sara Drawwater

The art of being lost

Today, Marley was asleep when I got to the Doctor's for his weigh in. To give him a little more time to sleep, I decided to walk on down a street I'd never been on before. I ended up a little lost trying to make my way back. 

Getting lost might be frustrating but it forces you to use roads you have never used before. When you’re lost you’ll notice things you never saw before. And you always find the way to your destination.

I was thinking about how getting this concept of getting lost applies to my life. Like with this 10 minutes of writing a day project. I'm not sure of the directions, nor of where I will end up. This is also true of my life as I adapt to being a new Mama. I'm not sure what my way is, or how to find it. But being lost forces me to find solutions, find my way and find my self. 

For the love of books

I l-o-v-e books. My love affair began when I was a little girl. I grew up on a remote farm with no electricity and no immediate neighbours. Books were my TV and my friends. I could open up a book and I could be anyone, do anything and go anywhere.

The thing about books is you have to depend on your own imagination to weave together the story, characters and meaning. And that is the joy, that is the education, that is the drama.

And long after I went to boarding school in Mkushi, moved to Zambia's capital city Lusaka, London, Peterborough, Wolverhampton and back to Peterborough, the love of books has followed me. 

I am a nomadic soul. My roots do not run deep. Wherever I will go, the love of books will follow me. 

Musings on my first Mother's Day

I was never a princess kind of little girl. I never dreamed of getting married, having babies or walking down a catwalk. Instead, I slid down anthills, went foraging for wild fruit and floated down rivers on tire inner tubes.

But this day, on my first Mother's Day, I find myself married, with a baby of my very own and being a wannabe 'fashionista' as I sort my image out post pregnancy.

This journey called life, it takes you on roads you were certain of, roads you never dreamed of and roads you weren't too sure of. With every bend there comes another twist in your story and with every pothole an unexpected shock. But on every road there is always a horizon ahead. Keep travelling forward. 

To adjust your expectations — part 1

Today's 10 minutes of writing very nearly didn't happen as it's nearly 10pm already. Yesterday afternoon, Marley had his vaccinations. Today he has been feverish and in need of lots of attention. It's been such a 'where did the time go day' that I didn't even get to shower until about 8pm. (How can than be? Have a baby and you will see!)

To get him to sleep I took him (and the dog) out for a walk. I slung a hoody over a tea stained top, perfectly matched with some tracky bottoms (now too big for me - yay) and shoved my hair in a bun. Oh and I did brush my teeth and wash my face. 

And just as I imagined I would, I bumped into someone I knew. Why or why?! That always happens when you look your worst. And it is always someone rather glamorous (or hunky).

This kind of day got me thinking that I just expect myself to do and be too much. Is this giving up, giving in and admitting defeat? I'm hoping it's more like adjusting my expectations to fit in the very important job of bringing up a little boy.