Monday, 25 May 2015

Does a Tee-Total Life Mean No More Fun?

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve reinvented myself.  I’m like a brunette version of Madonna but with less muscle, droopier boobs and a non-existent toy boy.

Reinvention is not always a bad thing.  We may wish to alter our health and wellbeing following an illness.  Perhaps a change in career direction may become necessary due to redundancy, or we might want to grow into a more mature mentality after hitting a respectable age.

As I look back over my life and its many trials and tribulations I realise that instead of reinventing myself I should have been happy with who I was.  I had an insane belief that I needed to bend my character to fit other people.  Maybe I was a chameleon in another life?  Whatever the reason, I’ve spent the last ten years trying to find out who I truly am.

One of my more recent reinventions was to give up alcohol – for good!! Now, if you know me at all, you will understand the magnitude of this task.  I liked a drink – or two – or three.  I was a party girl who could knock back several bottles of plonk and keep a room entertained with my ‘loud’ silliness.  Of course, this frivolity did nothing for my mental health and for every ‘good night out’ I had, I suffered from many more dark thoughts.  So, on New Year’s Eve 2013 I had my last drink. 

I honestly thought this would be a hard challenge to stick to but as the year rolled by I found it easier and easier to be tee-total.  Parties, birthdays and weekends were suddenly pleasant affairs where I could remember every conversation I had and wake up at a reasonable hour the next day as a fully operational human being.
The only fleeting moment of doubt I have had over the last seventeen months came recently (Sunday 24th May to be exact).  The reason?  It was my birthday.  I wasn’t upset that I couldn’t have a glass of bubbles with breakfast, or a cocktail over dinner.  No, the reason I had a tee-total wobble, was when I surveyed the birthday cards on my mantelpiece.

Flowers, hearts, sequins, birds and an assortment of frilly borders stared back at me.  The beautiful messages from my loved ones remained the same.  I was filled with love and gratitude that I have such an amazing bunch of people in my life – BUT - have I turned into a boring old fart?!

The cards I used to receive years ago were all funny.  Hilarious cartoons and wine related quips!  Oh, how times have changed, but when I think about my Facebook timeline, I realise something.  I have stopped sharing all the funny cartoons, and the ‘I love cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food’ jokes.  They used to take up the majority of my posts and shares.  So, it would appear that my alcohol-free lifestyle HAS changed me in some way.  What a shock.

I am more than happy with who I am  now.  I'm proud to be a member of the tee-total brigade, and I won't be hitting the drink again any time soon.  The benefits of being alcohol free, for me, outweigh the pleasure of drinking.  But, for my next challenge, I vow to find the funny side of life once more.  If you follow me on Facebook be warned…I’m on a mission to reinvent myself!


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Using a Dropbox to Release Worry, Fear and Anxiety

Ever thought of using a Dropbox to help with anxiety, worry or fear?  Before you all rush off to your laptops and sign up for this service - although who wouldn’t want a place to stash a gazillion photos, doc, videos and files and have instant access? - I’m not referring to the technical Dropbox.  I’m talking about a physical one – a jar, shoebox, or even an envelope, where you can drop off your worries.

I know some of my friends use a gratitude jar.  To use this, they jot down anything they are grateful for during that day or week.  The idea is to empty the jar at the end of the year and have a host of happy and grateful memories to remind yourself of how blessed you are.

The drop off box works in a similar way.  Had a bad day? Jot down why it was bad, who upset you and how you feel about it.  Screw up the piece of paper and drop it in the jar.  Add every worry, fear or anxious thought you have into it.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Coping With Email Overload

My life has taken an unexpected detour over the past couple of weeks. In fact this detour is more of a sharp swerve around a hairpin bend on two wheels, however, as I’m always up for a challenge, I am trying to take everything in my stride.

The house is in need of a damn good clean, and the ironing pile is so high I think I spotted a mountain goat teetering on the top.  As well as this, my inbox is bulging at its electronic seams.

My kids have been incredibly helpful and have occasionally thrown the vacuum around in a haphazard motion.  They have also flicked the yellow duster lightly over the furniture – regardless of if it was wooden or not – they are ‘helping’ I must not complain!

Monday, 20 April 2015

Taking Comfort from an Inspirational Quote

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  It’s a quote we have all heard a million times over but when your life has truly given you lemons, it can be quite comforting to read.

Last week I shared '7 Inspirational Reads' with you.  For this week’s post, I’m going to share some of the most amazing quotes and affirmations that have got me through some of the worst days. 

Feel free to share your favourites in the comments below.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

7 Books To Inspire You

Reading is not, in my opinion, a luxury, but a necessity.  When we are young, it is our gateway to everything we are about to learn during our school days.  As we reach our teens, it often becomes an escape from the schedules and demands.  Then we ‘grow up’ and time takes over, life becomes so busy and reading slides down the to-do list faster than that first glass of Chardonnay on a Friday night.
For many people, this isn’t the case, and reading is still a huge part of their lives.  I am one of these people.  Not having a book in my hand is unthinkable.  But a few years ago I couldn’t find any comfort in reading.  Stress and anxiety had its hold over me, and I couldn’t sit still long enough to focus on the words. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Interview with Peter Jones, author of How To Do Everything And Be Happy.

Last week I spoke about using self-help tools to heal yourself, and in particular the use of motivational and inspirational books.

On occasion you will come across a book that has the potential to change your life.  I have a shelf full of self-help books, but there are the odd one or two that I recommend to everyone I know.  Why?  Because these books changed me at my core and made me think about how I live and what I can do to improve my environment/life/career.

Today I am joined by Peter Jones, author of How To Do Everything And Be Happy - one of the outstanding books that changed my life.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Helping Yourself To Heal

A couple of weeks ago I shared a post about Numerology and Lucky Charms; you can read that here

I am a great believer in reading the signs around you.  Of course, this may be my inner writer looking for a new story arc, either way we are sent messages on a regular basis.  It’s up to us to tune in and hear them or carry on regardless.

When I host my vision board workshops, I help students tap into those messages to create a vision of how they would like their life to be.  If you are interested in learning more about Vision Boards you can read about them here

At the start of each year, I prepare a board for all the exciting things I want to achieve, be, have or work on during the next twelve months.  I’ve done this for years, and I continue to be astounded at how varied my boards are from year to year.