Day #52 21.02.16

Nothing better than getting your tea cooked for you, especially on a Sunday because this means it’s a Sunday roast. With mega roast potatoes. Finally – someone else who doesn’t like their roasties crispy. Thank you ūüôā

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Sunday night ponderings.

I like Sundays. I know not everyone does. I often work from home on a Monday so I don’t¬†quite¬†have the same Sunday night blues as if I had to get up and drive to the office,¬†although I have booked myself into spin tomorrow morning at 6.30am for some odd reason.

I also love living on my own. Today I have mainly been pottering around at home not really doing that much apart from my ironing and moving stuff around in a bid to convince myself that I am actually sorting things¬†out and getting rid of stuff I no longer need (I’m not of course). I had a conversation with some friends last night about how spending time alone means that you think lots, or can mean you think too much and need distractions. I¬†have realised that random things have been swirling around my brain tonight and so I thought I’d¬†share them as I’ve been wanting to write for a few days now but didn’t really know what to write about so this seems as good as any to curb my itchy fingers for a bit. In no particular order:

  • Are¬†cocktail sausages are an acceptable evening meal, and¬†is¬†eating a massive¬†chunk¬†of halloumi cheese in one go any way nutritionally beneficial? The excellent thing¬†about living alone is that it actually doesn’t matter as there is no one else around to judge. Oh, and grilling halloumi smells like pancakes. Which is annoying¬†as I now could eat a pancake with lemon and sugar.
  • Will I ever be able to watch a whole TV programme without¬†doing something else at the same time again? Probably not. Stupid smartphones/internet and having the attention span of a gnat.
  • Why is the reason “I’m just not that happy” not enough for some people to change something? There doesn’t have to be a big thing, or a big reason. You can ignore the other excuses. You know, the “well, it’s mainly OK” or, “I can’t do XYZ because it will affect ABC”. Live your own life for yourself. If you’re just not happy, then that’s a perfectly valid reason to make a change.
  • I never used to like beetroot but the other month¬†I was given some by¬†Shelley and I realised it was actually pretty nice. I can’t stop eating it now. Perhaps I will turn purple. I’m pretty sure it’s classed as a superfood though, but I don’t want to google to check just in case it’s not and I’m actually eating my body weight in empty calories or something. I do that enough with alcohol and Maltesers.
  • DS¬†Troy was the best sidekick to Barnaby in Midsomer Murders. The other two were OK but not quite the same. My boss at work, James, looks very much like¬†DS Scott. This disturbs me a little bit and I still think of it every time I see him and sometimes send him screenshots of the TV if the programme is on. Ha.
  • Why¬†are some people so obsessed with relationships? Either being in one if you’re not, about not being in one when you are, or in other people’s (or lack of). Some people find it hard to understand that I quite like being single and that I’m actively NOT¬†looking for a relationship. Yes, still – I know it’s been a while now since I got divorced but hey, there’s no time limit. And don’t forget the 2 year ‘thing’ with The Marine, it’s not been that long since that finished, and he’s kinda hard for someone to follow. So please don’t tell me that I need a good bloke or that I must want company, I am actually telling the truth when I say I like my own company and I’m happy!
  • I AM¬†going to do Dry February. Alcohol, even just a couple of drinks, can fuck with exercise and food plans, and sleep. If I’m going to get fitter (something I want to do over the next couple of months) then drinking isn’t going to help. And yeah, I know I probably should have some more refined ‘SMART’ goals about what ‘fitter’ actually is, but come on, this is me. That’s FAR too rigid. Let’s leave it fluffy and ambiguous.
  • Social media can be a twat sometimes. Or rather, people can be twats on social media. Same thing really, same outcome. Sometimes I hate it all and I realise that one of the things I loved and that did me good on my trip away was the break from it all. Ironic then, that I am writing this on social media. It’s a double edged sword. It can be so useful, great, educational, connecting and social. But also it’s a massive time, energy and attention zap, or I find myself being transported into different lives that look much more exciting than my own and it makes me start to think about what I want to do with my life. Or there’s so much going on I don’t know what to get involved with. So many things, not enough time.¬†I find myself so conflicted thinking about how I want to live my life and the place of social media in that life. Sometimes living in a hut in the woods is so tempting, haha.
  • I¬†want to get some pictures for my flat.¬†I need two big ones, and I want one I want to be a painting that I commission. I wonder how you go about finding an artist?

There’s more but well, it’s all a bit dull isn’t it? Life can’t be all exciting all the time. Sometimes I love these lazy pottering days, they’re needed. Apart from the eating of the nutritionally shit food. That’s not needed. One day I’ll not be tempted to eat big blocks of halloumi. But man, it tastes so good….

Hell YES!

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Say Yes More. The tagline to a weekend spent in a field somewhere in Surrey with over a hundred strangers. Sounds a bit weird if you say it like that. But it wasn’t. It was pretty damn special. A weekend festival full of camping, adventure, positivity, hugs, inspirational speakers and unicorns. Led by Dave Cornthwaite, founder of Say Yes More and the Yes Tribe, a movement designed to encourage living¬†the life you want, outside the usual confines¬†of 9-5 life.

It’s the kind of event that if I just wrote down what went on,¬†it wouldn’t do it justice. Or¬†convey the¬†energy and the effect it had on people. It was potentially life changing for a lot of people, me included. It was an event that everyone came away from buzzing, wired and high on life. Ready to face the world and anything that was out there. Imagine the highest high and triple it, stick a unicorn on top with a cherry on its horn. I didn’t¬†take any photos (or even turn my phone on all weekend) because I wanted to fully throw myself into the experience. So there won’t be any pictures from me. But you can find plenty on social media¬†if you just google.

There were speakers. Inspirational people. From professional adventurers to people who had decided to live life a bit¬†differently, or been on¬†an adventure. All normal people, just deciding to live a bit differently. So many amazing people. Not just the speakers, but¬†everyone who went. I’ve never been surrounded with such a brilliant bunch of people. Everyone so super positive, friendly and encouraging. This is what really made it. Two days of intensely charged positive attitude. It’s intoxicating. Like the¬†way there’s a cheer if anyone mentions quitting their job (YES! ESCAPE!). It’s the hugs you give to and receive from strangers like you’ve been friends for years. It’s the way I¬†only met some people for 48 hours, but already my life feels richer with them now in it. Almost a bit too intoxicating though. SO MUCH AMAZING STUFF IN ONE GO. I got totally pissed on it. And like any high, there’s been a comedown. I got a Yestival hangover. Yesterday was a bit flat. Normal life seems a bit shit after that, even though I feel my life is pretty bloody sweet as. I felt like I needed to go sit in a dark quiet room by myself. Concentrating at work on Monday was¬†HARD. How the fuck am I supposed to follow a weekend like that?

By creating a YES LIST. Not a bucket list. Or a fuck it list. A Yes List. Stuff I’m going to say Yes to. Mine is still a work in progress. I’ve spent the last 4 years without a list, but just doing anything and everything, and it’s worked pretty well so far. But, I know sometimes [read: lots of times]¬†I get a bit lazy and procrastinate to SHIT. So, I’m going to take Dave’s advice and have a Yes List¬†to give myself a kick up the arse when I need it. I’ve got loads of ideas, I just need to figure out what to start first. Going part time in 2 weeks time with my new job will help. Only working 4 days and having a 3 day weekend. YES. Fridays will become Fucking Do It Fridays. F-DIF. Helps to have a handy abbreviation I find; let’s brand this shit. Joke, I’ve got no idea about stuff like that. What I mean is I will write things down in a book under a heading of F-DIF. Step in the right direction, right?

What was pretty ace for me though is that I felt like I was a proper part of it. There were people just like me. On the same wavelength. This amazing group of people and I felt like I am¬†one of them. Not stood on the sidelines, unable to join in because I’m not quite doing what everyone else is, or that I’m not part of the clique, or that I haven’t done a massive adventure. No, I could¬†join in. And the nice thing is that I haven’t done a massive adventure, and aren’t doing half the things that other people are or haven’t got a crazy thing planned, but it’s not about that. It’s about mindset and ideas. The mindset of saying yes, regardless of what may happen. Of taking the leap, taking the risk. Saying yes or saying no to make more room to say yes. Being open to other ways of doing things, of looking at life differently and willing to explore, just for the sheer fucking hell of it.

It helped me realise you don’t have to be a full time adventurer. Or do a crazy adventure. Or get sponsors. There are no comparisons. Just have the¬†attitude and mindset and the rest will follow.¬†Be aware there is a different way. Ignore the people that say it can’t be done. The people who say that you have to return to ‘real life’ eventually. Who says what real life is anyway?

I can’t mention all the speakers but I do feel I have to mention the¬†Meek family. Parents and two kids who have been on a journey¬†around the UK in a caravan for the last 18 months, and who are about to upgrade to a campervan and start touring around Europe. They sold their house, quit their jobs, took the girls out of school and went off on a family adventure, and aren’t about to stop any time soon. And I think that is bloody amazing. Anyone who thinks anything but what an amazing thing should meet this family. Meet the two girls who are a credit to their parents. Confident, adjusted, educated and well rounded. Speakers at the festival at ages 12 and 10. Fully grown adults would shit themselves at that, but not these girls. Are they missing out by not being at school? Meet them and decide for yourself. I’m a firm believer that education is so much more than sitting in a classroom for hours a day; the Meek¬†family are a prime example of this. They call it ed-venture. Inspirational. I don’t have kids but if I did, well, I’d be a prime example to want to follow the Meek’s lead.

Oh, and Project Awesome. How can I not mention Project Awesome? A free fitness movement led by Danny Bent¬†and Anna McNuff. Mainly in London but now expanding to Bristol and elsewhere. SO much fun, happiness and craziness is squeezed into these sessions¬†and mega energy radiated out of every single person doing it. I only did a little taster session at the Festival but I know if I lived in London I’d be right there at 6:30am to start my day¬†shouting, cheering, hugging, pledging affinity to unicorns¬†and doing¬†killer burpees. Absolutely fucking awesome.

I still don’t quite know what I’m here to do in life, I don’t know my purpose yet. But that’s OK, because I know I’m doing the right things to maybe eventually figure it out. Maybe I won’t ever figure it out, and maybe that’s the point. Who knows? I’ll just keep on plodding on, doing what feels right and trying new things. There were several open mic sessions to give everyone a chance to share anything they wanted. A story, a commitment, or just a comment or thanks. I didn’t, I didn’t really feel I had anything to share. I told some parts of my story to individual people, but not into a microphone. But, now I’ve thought about it, this is what I would have said “4 years ago I had an epiphany and left my job [CHEER], my home, my [now ex] husband and my cat to live life alone and head off round the world on an adventure to see what was out there. Since then I’ve said yes much more than no, and discovered things about the world and myself that I never would have dreamed of. I’ve brought adventure into my life and am not about to let that go. I’m now back in ‘real life’ but about to work part time instead of full time to give me more Yes time and carry on the adventures, big or small, and carry on trying to figure out what my purpose is.” [LOTS OF CHEERING AND SHOUTING AND WARM FUZZY FEELINGS]

That’s my story so far. Still so many pages to fill and hopefully many more adventures to come. South Africa at Christmas, that’s the next travel adventure. And next year has got a few things in the pipeline but I don’t like to plan too far ahead. Let’s see what the next few months bring first eh?

HUGE MASSIVE¬†thank you therefore has to go out to Dave and his team who did an amazing job¬†organising Yestival in just 8 weeks. It just shows what can be done with a bit of effort and the right attitude. I think it’s pretty certain that there will be a re-run in 2016. And in between there are Yes Tribe events popping up. Mainly in London but not exclusively. So if you like the sound of it (and come on, you have to admit, it sounds pretty fucking incredible right?), check it out, join the tribe and change your life, someone else’s life and¬†the world.

And of course a massive thank you to every single person at Yestival. You’re all bloody ace.

Let’s go change the world.

 

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Old memories.

I’m sitting here tonight wanting to write a post about the end of an era – the sale of my childhood home. I kind of know what I want to write, and how I want to start it, yet the rest of words aren’t there quite yet in my head. So I’ll have to save that one for another time.

Instead, I’m listening to the album 21 by Adele. I know most of the songs off by heart, because I listened to this CD¬†(yep, back in the shiny disc days)¬†over and over again in my car driving to and from work when I was going through my separation (that and Katy Perry, but I’m¬†after chilled out music right now).¬†I’m¬†thinking whether the songs are tainted now with those memories. Because well let’s face it, it was a pretty shitty time for me back then. Came to the conclusion that no they’re not now, but it’s taken a while. 4 years to be exact. I look back on it now like it was someone else’s life. Feels like a whole different lifetime ago, and I was¬†a different person, just ask anyone that knew me back then. I don’t tend to try to look back too much, I’m a bit of a live in the moment kinda gal. I hate planning too far in advance and just tend to go with the flow, maxing out life where I can. But my ‘previous life’ seems to pop up loads, I can’t bloody escape it. I remember going to Peru in 2012, meeting lots of new people and my recent divorce would pop up in conversation, and I remember wanting to escape it. Thinking that it was just because it was so new, and such a big thing in my life back then and one day I could almost pretend it never happened. But I can’t. Now I’ve realised it’s likely to always crop up, for one reason or another. Whether meeting new people or chatting to old friends. And that pisses me off a bit. However.¬†It’s made me who I am now. I can’t complain. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be the person I am now without going through all that.

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Because you see, now¬†I absolutely love the person who I am. I’m back to being me, true to myself and happy inside and out. In¬†control of my life and my destiny. And having no idea what the future holds.

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This weekend just gone was a bit of a whirlwind tour of London, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. Loads of travelling and catching up with loads of mates and family. Squeezing in as many people as possible for a hello, cup of tea and good old chin wag. Reminiscing about old memories and catching up on life right now.

I have SO¬†much to smile about right now it’s unreal. So many good things happening, so many awesome¬†people in my life. So many exciting opportunities and possibilities there for the taking. Life is awesome.

Sorry, I have no idea on the point of this post, or¬†the direction it’s taken.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say, or whether anything is¬†making any¬†sense really. I’m very tired, I’ve not stopped for days and have driven so many¬†hundreds of¬†miles I don’t really know whether I’m coming or going. I guess mainly it’s that I’ve had a few days of revisiting old memories. It’s¬†been great to see¬†lots of lovely familiar¬†faces. A visit to Lincoln always stirs up old memories, it always will. So much happened there.

But it’s also a reminder that everything changes – Note:¬†Take That reference ūüėČ – and nothing stays still. As much as you might not want things to change, they will. It’s inevitable. No point in fighting it. Change is good. Change is exciting. But, it can also¬†be scary. Frightening. Sad. A massive mixture of emotions. Just gotta roll with it. It’s how you deal with it that matters. All about how to think about stuff.

If you know anything about Buddhism, then a massive part of it is around impermanence. Worth reading up on if that’s your bag. I learnt about Buddhism, suffering, attachment, impermanence etc. when I did a 10 day silent retreat at a Buddhist meditation centre in India. Absolutely fascinating stuff, and helps with all kinds of shit in every day life for me. The point being that everything, and I mean¬†everything, is not permanent. Is changing,¬†every single second. Even that¬†solid oak table. And if everything is changing, then nothing is permanent, and so how can you be attached to something that is changing all the time?

It’s all about how you look at things, and how you choose to react to them. What you let go, how to¬†forgive and¬†the difference between attachment and love.

impermanence quote TNH

No standing still. Don’t stand still. Embrace change.

A bag of mixed nuts please.

This weekend’s been a funny one. It’s been busy. Hectic busy. Lots to do, as it’s my last free weekend before I move. I had a list as long as my arm. And then everything started to go wrong. Things that needed sorting out. Things that meant I couldn’t leave the house and get other stuff done. Gah. What surprised me was how flustered I got. This wasn’t like me at all. I think it was because there was lots of things to do and sort out all happening at once, and all stuff that needed to be done there and then. All important stuff too, with lots at stake. And I haven’t sorted out a proper to do list yet. That probably doesn’t help. Well, I know it doesn’t help. You can’t beat a good to do list.

But, the weekend got better. Sunday so far is awesome. Stuff is getting sorted out, lots of things getting ticked off that [invisible] list and I think I got a PB (just) at Market Rasen 10K this morning, which I wasn’t expecting at all. So that’s my main memory of this weekend. Plus my friend Laura came to cheer me on which was really nice ūüôā

So this weekend has been a mixed bag of nuts and I feel like I’ve been running round (literally) at a million miles an hour constantly. So, I’m off to the pub in a bit for a celebratory pint or two and a breather.

And relax.

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