What makes me, me?

  1. I like being alone. I like people, but they drain me, so I always need time to recharge.
  2. I prefer spending a Saturday reading at home, rather than going out.
  3. I love coffee and tea. I also love good wine and gin.
  4. My favourite shows are still Buffy and Angel. I also love Bones.
  5. My favourite books are The Liveship Traders, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.
  6. I love BBC history and nature documentaries, But Time Team will always be my favourite.
  7. I love helping other people learn to swim.
  8. I love planning anything and am a spreadsheet geek.
  9. I love Instagram and Twitter, but am not a fan of Facebook.
  10. I hate spiders and clowns!
  11. I plan duvet days in advance, but there is nothing better than a spontaneous one.
  12. Japan is at the top of my travel list, closing followed by a walking trip around Mt Blanc.
  13. I’ve always wanted cats as pets. I would love to get a dog too in the future.
  14. I love sleep and will prioritise it – if I’ve planned an afternoon nap, it comes first!
  15. I said never to both sky diving and bungy jumping, then did both while in New Zealand.
  16. I love food, but am rubbish as cooking without a recipe.
  17. I love spending time in coffee shops people watching.
  18. I want to train my cats to walk on the lead, but am rubbish at consistency.
  19. My favourite chocolate bar has and will always be the Cadburys Boost.
  20. I always ask my friend Ingrid to bring me back Peanut Butter M&Ms from Canada (hint!).
  21. I only listen to music in the car nowadays. I used to hold my own concerts in the living room!
  22. I could eat sushi at every meal. I would probably say the sae about pizza too.
  23. If I could afford it, I would totally get a cleaner for my home.
  24. I love candles and the atmosphere they give a room makes me feel peaceful.
  25. QI is my favourite comedy quiz show.
  26. I love Stephen Fry as the narrator of the Harry Potter audiobooks.
  27. I also love James Masters (Spike from Buffy) as the narrator of the Dresden Files.
  28. I’ve never been in a long term relationship.
  29. I hate talking about myself – one of the reasons I started this blog was to help me open up.
  30. I love fig roll biscuits.
  31. I could binge watch a TV show in a weekend.
  32. I’ve realised money is not the most important thing in life and work
  33. I Live in trainers. Even at work! 
  34. If I’m not doing anything of an evening I put my pjs on as so as I get home from work.
  35. I become overly attached I fictional characters.
  36. The Lion King is my favourite movie.
  37. My favourite colour is purple.
  38. I want to travel the world and see as many different places as I can.
  39. I think book tokens are the best presents (or coffee!).
  40. I’m quite precious about my space and m not one for having guest very often.
  41. I hate clothes shopping, but wish I liked it.
  42. Vancouver is my favourite city.
  43. I want to live in a city one day.
  44. I love a good list.
  45. 45 is my favourite number!

What is important for me?

I’m working hard to overcome my recent frustrations by focusing on what I can do to get myself on a better path for me.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what is really important to me and worked out it is essentially these four things:

  • Fit, healthy, and happy in body and mind
  • Peaceful home with happy cats
  • Successful career in the ways that matter to me
  • Good and inspiring people around me

It’s that simple, but I know I complicate things. I do things that don’t help achieve any of these and that makes me unhappy or feel torn and frustrated. I am not living the life that aligns to the things I really want out of it. I don’t feel torn or conflicted about any of the above, which shows me they are my core beliefs and values and are based solely on what I want and need.

So over the next week or so I’m going to look closely at the changes I would like to make. I don’t think any will be super drastic, but rather will take work to make them habitual. I also need to think about how to make them habits, for example what reminders I will need to make sure I do them each time.

I’ve got started on a few things already:

  • Decluttering my house has been ongoing for a few months. I have a pile of stuff in one corner of my bedroom I need to get rid of. I also know there is more stuff I don’t use or need clogging up my space, so a major clear is planned for this weekend.
  • In order to cook more regularly I have ordered a box from Simply Cook, using a discount code from Nics Nutrition. My plan when the first box arrives is to cook once a week and eat that meal for a few days. The other days I can have my standard chilli or stir fry. This will also mean I am eating different things and trying new recipes and overcoming my food boredom.
  • I’m spending the coming weekend with lovely friends at a candle afternoon tea party and then planning a budget European Christmas market trip for later in the year.
  • For work I have applied for two progression roles and am prepping for one more. Hopefully I get an interview and will be moving upwards in the near future. So interview preparation will be a priority. Also a new outfit will be required!
  • I’ve signed up to WW online in order to bring my eating habits back into balance and lose weight. The first thing I going to change is to add more protein to my diet by pickling some eggs and having a stock of pickled veggies in the house to snack on.

I feel great about all my plans above. I’m going through a low period and that’s okay; I know it’s only temporary and I am doing everything I can to come out the other side. By focusing on things I can do and take action makes me feel better and understand that control is relative.  It’s how I react to things that cause me stress and anxiety. Choosing to be positive and take action to change things is a good reaction to how I currently feel. I could easily hide myself away and wait for it all to pass by, but that is not how I want to live my life.

I want this!

Confidence is weird

Confidence is a weird thing. People often tell me I’m confident, but I rarely would say it about myself. Maybe in certain situations where I know my stuff, but the majority of the time I doubt myself.

I recently read this article by Mindy Kaling and now I want to read her books, because she comes across as someone who is honest and will admit when they have made mistakes and I like that. I’m not infallible and am willing to hold my hands up and admit when I’m wrong and I want to surround myself by people and environment like that.

This quote right at the end of the article struck a chord with me:

“Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn’t always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine. Now, excuse me, I need to lie down and watch Sheldon.”

From this it reminded me about my sense of self and that I am not alone in anything I set out to do. I think she is the first person to say your parents don’t have to be the ones you take all your advice from. I love my parents, but I also feel they want me to be like them, but I’m not and that is okay.

I believe confidence comes from within. I’ve learnt from experience that seeking external motivation or validation doesn’t work, so I think it’s the same with confidence. But at the same time I do not believe in the mantra, ‘fake it until you make it’. A lack of confidence can be a good thing. It can drive you on or it can point you in another direction. You don’t have to be confident in every single thing you do.

Before reading the article above I would have said it takes practice, but wouldn’t have equated that with work – weird I know! Then I realised they are the same thing; practice equals working hard. It all depends on your attitude and how much you want it.

I haven’t been feeling very confident about anything lately. I know some of that is because I have been working at something that hasn’t been worth it. I also know I have let this impact other areas where I would usually be confident. So now I am taking control and owning that shit that I want to put hard fucking work into. I am going to be brave and if needs be I’m going to be selfish.

As Mindy says I’m going to work hard, know my shit, show my shit, and then feel entitled.

Knowing when to walk away

I’ve been struggling recently, but have realised this is because I have been pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. By A LOT!

I thought I was just letting everything get to me, but taking some time out has made me realise what I have really been doing; challenging myself and putting myself above the parapet. In a way the things I have been doing are not new, but rather they are things I don’t tend to do outside of work. In work I lead projects and meetings and difficult conversations, but outside I don’t get involved in the politics of things.

I’ve been standing up for something I am passionate about and trying to lead it. I’ve confronted difficult people or asked for help from others with them to keep it professional and not personal or emotional. I’ve spoken my opinions about things and suggested ideas for how things could be improved. I have said my piece and I’m proud of myself for this and for knowing it is right to step away now.

Finding balance is essential for me and dealing with the above has taken the joy of activities I was taking part in for fun. I have also let toxic and negative people in to my life after working so hard to remove those kinds of people from it. I have been dealing with stress and anxiety over the last 6 months and have let other people get to me and let it hold me back from doing the things I love. I dread going places I might run into some people. I hate that!

Instead of finding healthy ways to cope with the anxiety, I have reverted to only way I know how – by eating and pulling away. I have realised it is no wonder I have been struggling with health and fitness when I’ve been feeling so anxious and challenging myself with realising. I’ve been pushing myself so hard, but not taking the time to sit and listen and find out what is wrong. I’ve not been kind to myself in recent months.

So what I am going to do about this?

  1. Walk away from the thing that is causing my anxiety
  2. Remove the toxic people from my life
  3. Sign up to the beginners running group starting in September
  4. Journal my eating, thoughts and emotions
  5. Spend time with friends who lift me up
  6. Focus on getting myself healthy and fit for me and me alone

I feel such a sense of relief that I can finally say I am done with something that is causing me pain. It’s amazing what we continue to do to ourselves to help other people. Helping others is the only reason I have continued as I originally pulled out at the start of the year, but decided to help when asked to do so by friends. Now though, enough is enough, and the politics behind other peoples actions is not worth the stress or anxiety it is causing me. There are things worth fighting for, but then there are others that are not worth it. Sometimes it’s extremely hard to know the difference, but working to make an informed decision is what has worked for me

Lovely Update of Life Recently

Sometimes I don’t think I take care of myself as well as I need to. Or the ways I think I am taking care of myself aren’t really what I need, but rather done out of habit and ease.

I’ve been following a few lifestyle blogs recently and realised what I love about them is basically they are all about taking care of yourself in the ways that matter to you. They are sometimes about fitness and weight, but most of the time are about what I am striving for – having daily adventures and enjoying life.

I’ve let myself get wound up in recent months and thrown off in a direction I don’t want to continue in. I’m not u-turning and heading backwards to start again, rather re-directing my path to take another course and see what comes my way.

So here is a roundup of some of the things I have been enjoying in life over the last few months.

#Askthequestion

I signed up for Laura’s email series #Askthequestion back in March and loved every week it came into my inbox. It made me leave my desk at work and head out for a coffee and a bit of internal soul searching. I love Laura’s blog too and she has just published an e-book – The Book of Brave – that I devoured in a couple of nights. Laura’s writing makes me laugh, think, cry, and want to push myself beyond the boundaries I have put in place. She is honest and says it as she sees it. She is my girl crush.

Coffee Run

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I’ve been a bit rubbish with keeping stocked up and trying new coffee beans and roasters since I stopped my subscription last year and went to the London Coffee Festival back in March. So last weekend I made a coffee run to Cirencester (about 15 miles away) to go to Rave Coffee and get some new beans to try. I’m currently on the Fudge Blend, which is a lovely smooth blend, perfect for any time of day. I had a lovely hour out and chatted to one of the team about cold brew and different grinders while enjoying a flat white, which is my indulgence coffee of choice. It was fun to do and I appreciated that solo trip just for coffee; it reminded me of why I love doing that.

Rearranging my workspace

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I’ve found my home space has felt a little cluttered and got to the point I was doing everything from the sofa, which was not constructive for me. Also I had turned my space room/office space into a cat room, which was also just a bit silly seeing as they follow me around the house anyway! So I sorted out and tidied up and was left with a space I can keep my laptop, journal, and filing in a usable space. It’s not exactly what I want, but with only using what I already have it is so much better than it was. It is currently where I am writing this post from!

A flyby visit to Plymouth 

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I was down in Cornwall for work and managed to arrange some time to catch up with my friend Ingrid. We caught in a Starbucks and then wandered to find food and jumped at Yo! Sushi, especially as they were offering their special apple gyoza and sesame ice cream cone yumness in the photo above. Ingrid and I share a love of food and geekness without any judgement and I wish we lived closer so we could have that all the time. It was great to stop by and reminded I love her so much and we need to get together more often for our health obviously!

Black Forest Tea

I stocked up on some new tea when I was down in Brighton back in April with the girls for the Brighton Marathon weekend. They had this as their new tea and I only recently got round to opening it and I love it so much! It’s cherry flavour mainly with black tea, which makes it sweet, but not overly so and is great when I come in from work and feeling hungry, but I’m not really.

Lastly, but by no means least,

Kitty Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

My cats are so much fun and I think are coming round to the ideas of cuddles, although I think Pippin draws the line at selfies. They have gradually gotten more affectionate and play with me without using claws more often than not now. They are super spoilt though and below is their latest gift – Poopy Cat Blocks – I plan on switching the their litter boxes once they offer a multi-cat subscription as I think it will make life much easier and the litter boxes themselves look a lot nicer than the plastic ones I have.

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Taking care of ourselves is about the little things we do. Those build up to make something much bigger and make life much more enjoyable. For me the important thing is to make sure I appreciate the smaller things and make them happen while I am waiting for something bigger to arrive.

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