Happy And Glorious: 2017 edition

I’ve been keeping this “Jar of Good Stuff” thing going for 5-years now, it all started back in January 2013 – keeping notes of lovely stuff that has happened and allowing you to look back over the year and see what  you’ve done, when you might be thinking “what have I done with my year?”.IMG_8520

So, in chronological order, what did I do in 2017? Continue reading

Honestly, I’m not a nomad*….

…but I’m on the move again.  Due to unforeseen circumstances I’m making the move back to Hampshire from Nottingham, only 8 short months after I moved up.  The only thing I will say about the move is that it wasn’t my choice, and that fact is making packing rather difficult.  Packing to move up here was comparatively easy and a joyful task compared to packing to take what at times seems like a backwards (and completely surreal) step.

Continue reading

Update on Life… More time has passed than I thought

I’ve just had a look back at my posts and the last one (other than last night’s tasty missive on milk) was in June…. LAST YEAR.  Over 10-months ago.  I found 6 drafts hidden away, containing half formed, part formed and nearly fully formed thoughts for internet consumption so I have tarted up a couple of those for future scheduling.  It was a bit of a shock to find that I had neglected my blog for a good 6-months more than I thought.

What has happened since then?  I’ll try and remember!

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Keeping my promises

With just over a week left of January, I have to say I am feeling pretty good about things.

I have been keeping my ‘new year promises’ to myself so far….

1. I have instigated the ‘jar of good stuff’ promise, utilising a bit of potential “tat” I saved from the bin; a Jubilee special edition Lyle’s golden syrup tin which I was SURE I could find a use for… and I did.  I think the wording on this is quite appropriate for its new task.20130122-212603.jpg

2. I am heading off today on the first of my ‘do exciting/fun things’ trips.  A few days in Bath (or ‘the Bath’ as it was in the last book I read) with a good friend, seeing Les Mis and possibly heading to the Baths… If the weather could provide a sprinkling of settled snow shortly before we take a dip in the rooftop pool, that would be great.

3.  I am still doing well with Weight Watchers; I did a cheeky mid-week weigh to help bolster my resolve to eat ‘wisely and not too well’ during my time away and I’ve lost another pound (lb).  This takes me below a certain figure which I haven’t been below for a while, which makes me happy.

Now I must get back to work and finish packing before catching a train up to ‘the Bath’.

Same but different

As I sit here at my newly re-vamped desk, typing on my new computer (laptop finally becoming more limited by age than was good for work) and with the cat curled up in one of her favourite spots – tucked up my jumper – Continue reading

Beware the Underminer

There are many walks of life where you can experience these pesky little beasts… you know them, they’re the ones that knock you down to feel good about themselves, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

Fortunately, my underminers (barring one persistent one which I will come to in a moment) have pretty much been work-based.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t have just as much impact on your life and confidence.  When I’m feeling a bit down, the lingering insecurities can often raise their heads and I start to doubt myself… then out comes the “upbeat” playlist and a litany of all the reasons why those underminers are wrong to build myself back up again.

There is one, however, which I just can’t shake.  Myself.

I, together with being rather impatient with myself, am my own worst enemy at times.  Specifically related to my weight, I find myself thinking “I’ve been dieting like mad for [3/5/10]-days and nothing has changed…I must be a failure”.  Yes.  I know.  Unrealistic expectations and all that.

No matter how much I know that I need to be in the long game I can’t seem to get my impatience with myself in control where it comes to my weight.  This leads to self sabotage: the aforementioned unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment and disillusionment and thinking ‘what the heck, what’s another chocolate bar to loose at this point’.  The times where I cave in to that are getting fewer and farther between thanks to the fact that I have made some sustained, and maintained, progress but that doesn’t mean that the times I experience those thoughts get any less frequent.  It is an almost constant struggle.

In some ways it ties in to my self-esteem issues surrounding my luck, or lack thereof, with men.  Not that I need a man to make my life complete: I have a wonderful family, good job, great friends and in fact with some of the guys I have dated I’ve actually dodged a bullet (I sometimes marvel at my ability to find complete weirdos in both guys and -with a few exceptions – housemates…not apparent at first but there all the same).  It’s just that sometimes the constant rejection, or distinct lack of interest if not flat out rejection, can get you to thinking “what is wrong with me?”.  Don’t get me started on online dating, I was foolish enough to be persuaded to go back on a site a while ago and that just brought another long period of being ignored*.  Seriously, if anyone else says to me “Tricia, I don’t understand why you’re still single?” (especially if they are of the male variety)… I’m not sure I can be held accountable for my actions.**

I’ve become a bit rambly there.

Anyway, my point is that quite often, even though your conscious mind knows better, your unconscious mind can be your own “Underminer”, digging under all your positive fortifications until they come crumbling down and you become vulnerable to all the negative external influences that are so prevalent (I stopped reading any of the weekly ‘glossies’ years ago as I realised they were toxic to your psyche and made you very negative about others).

Quite how I can go about quieting my inner underminer for good I’m not sure but I’ll keep building and re-building those defences.

*No, weird pervy interest from the over 50’s or guys who look like they just crawled out of the primordial reject bin doesn’t count.  I’m a bit lonely, not desperate.

** For the record… I don’t know.

Continuing on an upward trend

The last week or so I have been re-claiming my mornings. It started when this current spell of hot weather did as I wanted to get up and out on the horse before it got too hot (inevitably, if I wait for it to cool down in the evening I don’t get out for one reason or another).

Doing that, I’ve remembered how great a sense of satisfaction you can get from getting up-and-on in the mornings, quite often I’ve found that by lunchtime I’ve completed nearly all of my ‘essential’ chores for the day. It makes for a much more relaxed me and my body clock is adjusting nicely, even to the point that I’ll get up at 5 when woken up by my restless cat rather than head back to sleep until my alarm goes off at 6.30. Even today, when I’d been out partying last night and only got to bed at 1am, I still woke up at 6.15! Admittedly I DID then turn over and go back to sleep for another couple of hours but that was only sensible.

The lovely thing about this is that I’ve been able to sustain these early mornings without any CFS knock-backs (frantically grasps for the nearest wooden fitting) but I think I will be adopting a European lifestyle and adding a siesta to my routine!

Overall I’m feeling healthier, fitter, livelier and more resilient than I have since I was 17, half my lifetime ago. It does make me sad sometimes that I’ve “lost” so much time with feeling crummy (and I’m very glad I didn’t recognise the doctor who dismissed my glandular fever as ‘teenage laziness’ for 9 months until I was well away from him) but there is no point in dwelling on the “what ifs” and “could have beens” because if I hadn’t lived those 17 years as I did, I might not have met the lovely people I now call my friends and I may not have done some of the fabulous things I have.

Onwards and upwards as the saying goes

Always Eponine, never Cosette

Work is going really well; I’ve got two clients who I really enjoy working for, the hours are great and I’m loving the challenges that working at SX level brings.  I have realised that the last 11 months of my 5-years at Barclays had completely jaded my view of how much I enjoyed working at that level within the corporate arena.  I can safely say that I wouldn’t want to go back to it for the full 9-5 lifestyle – however good the money – but keeping my toes in the water is certainly a good feeling.  I just need to pick up some more clients, hopefully a couple of small businesses and a couple of domestic PA slots for a couple of days a month each, and I’ll be a bit more comfortable from a sustainable income point of view.

My health and fitness are much improved on where I was even a year ago, despite a recent blip in increasing tiredness levels.  Actually, having had this most recent bad patch hasn’t been entirely bad, it has made me realise how much willpower and determination I have if I put my mind to it.  I now just need to put that towards not jumping off the diet wagon and I’ll be sorted!  I’ve also realised, whilst house and dog-sitting for friends, that I’ve let my baseline activity/steps level drop significantly since my pedometer broke.  I have now ordered a replacement and will be back on the road to the 8-10k steps/day target.

I’ve made some really great friends in the area, as well as getting back in touch with some good friends who I hadn’t seen for a while, and I’m really enjoying being involved with the Fordingbridge Players and getting out and about in the town a bit more.

I have a great family who love me, and very, very (very, very, very) supportive parents without whom I wouldn’t be where I am now.

I am still able to indulge my passion for horses, I have a gorgeous kitten who thinks I’m the most amazing plaything (after the dog) and a beautiful dog who greets me at the door with a wriggle and a bark.

All the above, and more besides, makes me a very lucky girl.

Which is why I’m giving myself a figurative slap and feeling that I should be turning my ‘independent young woman who doesn’t need a man’ badge in at the door because I’m sitting here feeling sorry for myself over my appalling luck and/or timing with guys.  Aaaaahhhhhh

On yer bike

Got the bike out this morning; cycled to church as there was just me and restricted parking. Only a mile each way (so shouldn’t really be using the car anyway) but you’ve got to start somewhere.

Another high step count today. Went to note down my steps and was only 20 steps short of 10k so ran down and up the stairs to get to the other side. 10012 today.

Had a lovely day, spent most of it with a lovely local family from church. Babysat their 5 kids last night so “mum & dad” could go out for some together time. Was invited back to theirs for lunch and the I headed home to feed the sheep before heading out with the dog to meet them in the Forest for a lovely walk. A bit windy and overcast but a lovely afternoon.

Tomorrow is a return to Pilates (antibiotics side effects allowing) and first day in the new job. Good times.

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