Wandering around London

Where has May gone? Honestly I feel like it should be 10th, not the 27th! It has been a busy, but great month. I feel like I have been making the most of each moment and taking time where I need it to check in with myself. I’ve also been more social that I have been for a long time and it’s been fun. I do need to find my balance and make sure I do say no when I need to. It’s all feels good though.

Last week I got to go to London for work and as I was on my own I made the most of my trip by staying overnight and doing some exploring that evening. I also got to practice some of my photography skills. I wandered from Victoria area over to Buckingham Palace and St James Park. There were lots of people around and I realised after it was the Queen’s Annual Garden Party. It was fun to stop and people watch for a while. Lots of uniforms and fancy outfits wandering around. Also watching the British tradition of queuing in formal wear. I was entertained for free and it was fun.  it was a grey evening, but lovely and warm so walking around was a pleasure and it was nice to slow down and observe the business of London and take the photographs below.

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St James Park
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Buckingham Palace Gates
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Lion man
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Outside Buckingham Palace
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Top hat man
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Keeping Watch
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View from St James Park

I’m lucky that I get to to some lovely places with my job and that my work encourages taking time when visiting a place to properly visit, learn and appreciate what it means to be there. I’ve a few trips coming over over the next year where I am making the most of the opportunity to explore and fulfill my wanderlust in more ways.

Restlessness

I’m restless right now.

I love a lot of my life right now, but at the same time I know I want more. I love my house with my cats and the freedom I have in my new job and the future travels I have planned. But, I’m having a severe case of small-town syndrome, which started late last year and hasn’t disappeared.

Part of me wonders if it’s another symptom of everything not being quite right with how I am thinking about things. I wonder if it stems from wanting to jump into something new to distract from the things causing me discomfort right now. I need a bit more time to work through things in therapy before I make any life changing decisions, but at the same time I can try to calm my restlessness by looking at options.

I’m currently on a contract with work so there may be an opportunity next year to move form my small town to a city. I want to live in a city just once. It might not end up being right for me, but I want to try it out. I also want to try out living by the coast and up in the mountains at some point in my life. I’ve come to realise I don’t want to stay living where I am forever and I’m okay with that. I like a base, but after a few years I need to move onto something new and that is exciting.

It is about being brave and stepping out into the unknown every so often. I need to take myself out of my comfort zone to make sure I am living my life to the full and not becoming complacent. 

My heart has not yet found it’s permanent place and it may never find it. I’m not a nomad, but I want to move around and experience different things. I thought I would be living abroad this time 10 years ago, but I didn’t go after it. My dreams have changed and that is okay, but I won’t ignore them any more or let the everyday distract me from what I really want to live my life for.

I am curious about what life can hold. I’ve made decisions about my life already that mean I need to find my fulfillment away from the norm. I don’t want to conform with a traditional way of life. This might be my way of rebelling against the life part of me thinks I should want. I really want adventure and exploration! My versions of these are probably very different from other people’s and again that is okay with me. In the end as long as I am living the life I want to live what else is there to be concerned with?

Catching up on Coffee 2016 Part 2

I have been drinking less coffee these last few months, but it’s been of much better quality that previously. I have been taking the time to brew coffee properly as I understood on my course last month and using different brew methods. So since my Part 1 update back at the start of the year I’ve only worked my way through two new coffees as well as finishing off the last of my fudge blend.

Both coffee’s were from Rave as it’s so easy for me to get to. I stepped into the world of decaf after my course as I was making more coffees in the evening for a few weeks and I knew I would not be able to handle the caffeine. I mainly used this one in my espresso machine as I got it ground specifically for that use. I did have a go with it in my new aeropress as well though and although it was a bit too fine it worked quite well.

I then also tried the Papua New Guinea beans as a single origin. This one was recommended by the guys at Rave and I was impressed when I got it home. It brewed very nicely with the pour over and french press. I found the aeropress gave it a slightly different flavour and I didn’t like it so much, but this could have been part of my learning curve with a new brewing method.

I now have another two new beans from Rave for this month and a shout out to them for their excellent customer service the last time I went in and it was crazy busy!

Happiness Planner

Before I decided to go back to therapy I bought the Happiness Planner after seeing it on Twitter and my friend Sheli getting one and posting her initial thoughts. Once someone I knew had given a review I was totally on board so I ordered the lavender 100 day version with the inspirational pencils.

I want to add more gratitude to my life and this seemed like a way to focus my effort to build some good habits around this over an 100 day period. They also do a yearly version, but I wasn’t ready to commit to that. The planner starts with some reflection questions to take a look at what makes you tick. There are lots of quotes and prompts in the planner to make you think.

So far I am love the planner and the pencils. Each time I go to write in it I pick a pencil that resonates or where I think I need a reminder for the day. This is also making me work on my hand writing as I have always wanted to have neater handwriting so I am slowing down when I fill it in and that makes a difference for me. I’m only a little bit in so I will update across the 100 days to let you know how I am getting on.

Taking a look back to move forward

It’s been an interesting few months in my world. I’ve got back on the blogging train and have been posting consistently for the last couple of months, which has felt great. Although I don’t think I’ve been blogging about my journey and adventures in life really. I’ve been showing the happy, fun-filled side, but not the harder, darker side that is there behind the scenes. Dark is probably the wrong word, but that is often how depression is described. Maybe grey would be better, as then can turn to silver (a favourite of mine) and so also shows that you can come out the other side. But as with grey clouds you can slip behind them every so often. That is nothing to be ashamed of I’ve come to learn. We all have off days, but the key for anyone with depression is to not let them become a low period. I’m happy with how I’ve been doing mentally these last few months as I could have let myself slip a long way into the grey, but I didn’t. However I have gone back to some habits and coping mechanisms that are not beneficial to me. It’s because they are easy and known that bring comfort at those lower periods. I want to work on this and so I’m heading back to therapy.

I need some help and this feels the right time to focus on myself. Later this year I have a trip of a lifetime and several friends are getting married and I want to celebrate with them to the full. So I am dipping into my savings to treat to myself well. This blog is one of my outlets and I will continue to share my experiences through this time in my life as I have through the past 5 years with my journey through depression. It’s one part of my life and impacts on other aspects so I am not going to ignore it or shy away from the subject. If I can help in any way to combat the stigma about mental health illnesses and show that it’s important to get the help you need without guilt or shame I will be happy.

My focus this time is around my weight and behaviours when it comes to food. I want to work with my new therapist to discover what caused this and work to find other coping mechanisms that will be much more helpful. It is not focused on losing weight, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I am hoping it’s a side effect of working through the issues. My weight is a symptom of the issues, so I need to treat the real cause as I’ve done the symptom approach before and pretty much gained all the weight back as of last week. So it’s time to take a different approach.

I’m also doing my own work at looking at body image and body posivitity and am currently listening to a range of new podcasts that I’ll share another time. I have also extended my reading list to include a vast amount of books by women I admire and have shared their stories. I’ll be working my way through using audiobooks and reading. I feel hopeful right now. I think this is about my approach and my way of thinking and relieved about moving away from dieting and focusing on my own wellness and what really makes me feel good. It’s a journey and learning curve and I won’t get it ‘right’ straight away, but I’m going to find what works for me and part of that will be being able to adapt to life’s changes as they come along. That feels exciting!

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