Tag Archives: life

Free (non)Thinking…

25 Aug

A very good friend of mine advocates ‘No Box Thinking’ . In fact , in a past chapter of her eclectic life, she wrote and delivered seminars about it.  I’ve not seen her seminar…perhaps I should watch it, I’m sure there’s a video or podcast out there somewhere.

Anyway, the premise is based around forgetting the sales/marketing propaganda of ‘thinking outside the box’ and instead just get rid of the damned box.  Sounds like perfect sense to me.  In fact I thought I lived by this very premise: not pigeon holing life; not following set paths.  I really believed that not only did I agree with the overarching idea, but that I was successfully both teaching that ideology to my son and leading by example.  I really thought I was living without a box.

Then I went away for a couple of nights and realised that whilst I live outside of the ‘norm’ and largely don’t conform by walking the marked paths of progress and expectation; my life, like most people’s, has become so full and busy that I only see outside the near peripheries of what I already do.

My boxes may be large and colourful, and not particularly cuboid, but they still exists.  I’m still constrained by them.

A few hours into a car journey towards a rare 2 days off for a little R&R and my busy little mind wandered off ; it meandered outside of its normal constraints and met up with some random ideas and options.

I thought I had life sussed, but I realise now that my life lacks one vital ingredient for ‘no box thinking’ … that ingredient is best described as ‘Nothing time’;  moments of time where the mind is not processing data; not reviewing existing projects and ‘to do’ lists; not worrying about outstanding commitments; pressing engagements; the shopping; the cleaning; the kids; work ; phone calls that should have been made; emails that need to be sent; letters that need to be composed.  I’m talking about those rare moments when your mind is silent.

freedom butterfly

Perhaps silent is the wrong word.  I mean moments when the butterfly cage of the mind is opened and the butterfly can flutter off and explore the wider landscape and take an aerial view of life.

Precious moments of free (non)thinking have broadened my horizons.  I’ve viewed my landscape from way above the ceiling I’m normally constrained by and as such I’ve spotted a few more paths worth exploring.

Like me, you may already have a life full of joy and activities; love and fun; as well as work and routine. Like me you may not crave anything else: BUT I challenge you to afford yourself some nothing time, a few moments of free (non)thinking, and see where your imagination might take you…….

Dinah Liversidge is now a small holder, country dweller, crafter, active community member, wedding celebrant, motivator and general super cool superstar of a woman living in rural wales and I am lucky enough to call her my friend.  In a past life chapter she was a life coach and mentor and ocasionally she slips back into it both officially and unofficially.  She once mentioned to me her program of no box thinking and it stuck in my head.  When i am lucky enough to have her to myself for a few hours, i find her inspirational.  i never leave from time with her without a spark alight in my mind and the ideas and energy just flows from there. we may not even have been talking about the project i become motivated to do.; but I am always more alive and more motivated after some time with her…  you can find her here... or here…

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com
 

 

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Today can go poke it…

7 Jul

im_having_a_bad_dayMost days you will find me in ‘fine fettle’; rubbing along nicely with the world; positive outlook; pretty confident in my abilities; very happy with my lot.

Today is not one of those days.

Today I am over-tired, stressed and tearful.  Every single action is a slog, every single tiny request is overwhelming. civility in communication is a struggle.

I’m sure I’m not unique.  I skip along with my multi-faceted life, doing a million and one different jobs, perfectly happily.  I juggle an overloaded diary and still enjoy a night out.  And then, sometimes, I don’t.

Today I woke up after a fitful night – too hot, lots of irritating midge bites and a fly buzzing around the room all night.  I woke up with a start an hour before I needed to, with a heavy heart and a disturbed gut.  And then the day assaulted me. It went from nought to sixty in record time and I could barely breathe from the force of it.  Hubby trying to leave to take my car  (a classic, 1968 Hillman Husky named Ffloyd) the 13 miles for its MOT only to discover that it had a completely flat battery and needed push starting; B&B guests an hour earlier than expected for breakfast AND at the exact same moment as the car pushing incident; teen son trying to pack and get away for a long road trip in his classic 1965 singer Chamois and all the last-minute questions and requests that involved.

This followed an exceptionally busy week.  An exceptionally busy diary for the next three weeks.  And a phone call from the guys who manages a flat I own near where we used to live saying that the boiler needs replacing…. The “we need £3000  out of thin air by tomorrow” type nightmare that brings you out in a blind panic.

So this afternoon I went for a nap.  Woke up, felt worse.  Not heard from son as no phone signal in my own house and he’s probably not there yet so there’s nothing to be told.   Ffloyd did pass his MOT. normally that would have me euphoric.

Room changes, last-minute bookings, ironing.  This whole summer, rather than seeing us through winter will pay for that bloody boiler , in that bloody flat, that I wish I never bought but can’t sell.  I must be the only person with Essex based property that suffers with negative equity.  NEVER, listen to those TV programs that tell you its a great deal to buy off plan.  Been stuck with this millstone for 12 years now.  Its one of those “luxury complexes” that turned out to be a bag of shit; built cheap by cowboys and has suffered from fire, flood and plague of locusts (well cockroaches…and no I am not making it up), in the years I’ve had it; never mind destructive tenants; illegal immigrants and enforcement officers battering down the doors (at my expense).  I could go on; but I can feel myself building to a crescendo of self destruct.

Today I’ve shouted, and shed tears.

Tomorrow is another day.  May my more positive and happy-go-lucky normality resume.  In the meantime, today can go poke it.

…After the crash..

23 Apr

So yesterday I literally did nothing. I managed to get up and feed my B&B guests complete with smiling and chatting . Then I went back to bed. I slept until nearly 2pm… Despite Hubby trying to wake me at noon. I stayed awake long enough to reheat a cup of tea in the microwave. Sat on the front doorstep in the sun and fell asleep. Woke briefly when Hubby popped home. Long enough to get a pillow and a deck chair. Then slept in the sun.

Stayed awake to eat supper, fell asleep in front of TV. Had an early night and slept right through.

This was me crashing… I refer to my blog from yesterday … Oh yes I did find a moment or two to articulate my crash in blog form.. but that really was the extent of yesterday’s activities.

So today I am already three gardening jobs behind, racked with guilt and stressed by my backlog.

I sat down this evening, knackered and aching from head to toe. As I berated myself for my pathetic state I announced to myself “for Christ’s sake woman you only did 3 hours work today, get a grip”…. Long pause as I’m now lying in bed. This was my day:

Woke 7:30. Got up and prepped breakfast for our 6 B&B guests

Placed an order with our stained glass suppliers

Did 3 hours heavy digging and weed clearing.

Drove the 20 miles to our nearest  supermarket. Did the weekly shop

Collected our son

Unpacked shopping

Spent an hour tidying in my own garden

Had a bath

Cleaned the bathroom

Made a roast dinner…

… So to be fair, considering my physical and mental state… In fact, irrespective of my physical and mental state, today was pretty full.

..And now I can add, ‘wrote a blog’, to my achievements for today.

On that note, I am going to turn of the light and zzzzzzzzzzzz

Its a perfect day, if only I had the energy…

22 Apr

20160508_153945[1]

…and rest

I’m writing this with one eye shut, hiding under a blanket in shame, hoping you won’t notice me. An irrational thread of worry that you will find me pathetic. A big dollop of feeling like a fraud.

I have this battle going on in my head ( imagine that image in movies with the saint and the devil on each shoulder whispering conflicting messages into your ears).

I’m knackered. Totally and utterly drained of energy. My head is trying to formulate action my body is in total all out protest fight.  I am not functioning.

Over the last week my body has ached more and more. My brain has fought against my body harder and harder. Today my body is on strike, a barrier has been built between my mind and muscles and my head hurts from bashing itself against it.

I’ve turned to mush. I managed to get up and serve my guests breakfast with all the energy, smiling and chatting that goes with that.  I had some breakfast and argued with my body to prepare for action. It’s the most glorious day. I have 5 outstanding gardening jobs to do. I’d rescheduled 2 for today and 3 for tomorrow.

The only thing my body would do was lay down. The only thing my mind would do was switch off. I lost my gorgeous sunny morning to sleep. Asked hubby to wake me around noon… It was an impossible task. I dragged myself downstairs at two. Microwaved the cup of tea he’d brought me two hours earlier.  I sat on the front door step hoping the gorgeous day would energise me…. I fell asleep with my head against the door frame.

I’m not ill. I shouldn’t be exhausted. Yes, I do a lot but I don’t really put in full days like I did when working for the man. I love my life and the closet of hats it comes with.

I do see a pattern. Note my post “life: mine:it’s full: .. Shortly after I get to the euphoric with life point;  the feeling of reaching a perfect balance. Shortly after exalting the joy and contentment I feel to my world, I run out of fuel and fall into decline.

Writing my last blog ( “life, mine..”) it was after our quiet season and into the growth and rebirth of the next. Spring had sprung. Guests were booking into our B&B; gardens needed tending; buds were forming on the trees and bushes; all those tender fluorescent green shoots dancing in warm breezes . Snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils; Camellia, forsythia and grape hyacinths splashed colour onto life’s canvas and everything, including me, felt so alive and vital.  And then there was overload.

The week that included Easter was beyond busy. So many hats to wear at the same time. They were too heavy. “But hey,” thought I, “Get through the week and then rest”. But the next week was even busier….. “I can do this”, I thought. Most of the demands were things I love to do: glass, cafe, guests, gardening. However there were what felt like a zillion other little things that needed to be done too. Tiny jobs: organise an electrician; message tenants; collect my new glasses; shop for food; make veggie sausages; meet up with friends; buy a birthday gift.

My body started to protest. Everything ached. Then it ached more. My brain failed to send messages to the right parts of my body. It took 40 minutes mid-week to persuade my body to get off a chair and walk back to the car to drive home. At the traffic lights I had to battle with my eyes not to close and just have a little cat nap.

Today I’ve just slept. I’m sure I feel worse for it. Not only are guilt and shame raging through me. Also totally embarrassment and a sense of patheticness. Then panic. I have so much to do. The weather is perfect to do it. I would really enjoy doing it too.  The customers would be so happy too, I love visiting these elderly ladies and chatting whilst gardening. But I’ve done nothing. Not even told the customers… I know this makes it worse but I just can’t, I’m just not there. The party I should be at tonight, I just can’t go. I know I can’t persuade my body to put on clothes and go out, it just will not cooperate. Hubby will have to phone, I’m too ashamed.

I’m going to stop now before i go on about how much stronger, stable, capable everyone i know is; how much more everyone I admire does etc etc… I know its a short phase rest will resolve.  So, despite my guilt I’m going to search out a sun lounger and go and snooze in the garden.  Will battle the guilt later xxx

 

Life: Mine: It’s full: Very full

9 Apr

15016351_1247664865307784_3338542209251484497_oI’m a woman.  I’m self-employed.  I’m fairly ‘alternative’ and, am told, slightly ‘eccentric’.  I wear many hats.  Not all suit me…

Life gets confusing and chaotic……

Here’s perhaps why….

13912605_1298769933474183_1529318925936773135_n???????????????????????????????I’m an artist, I occasionally do pet portraits, I often do stained glass commissions. I do have an Etsy shop, which I manage in a very ad hoc way.  I promise to keep a stock of my designs but the artistic bit of me is really only interested in the bespoke commissions and one-off designs , so I struggle to find time to hold stock.  So I make my designs to order.

20170322_123236I teach stained glass.  It’s a new string to my bow.  I love it.  I find it immensely satisfying and it brings me huge amount of joy.

I run a B&B.  This involves being really nice to (mostly) lovely people, talking (a lot), keeping the place clean, ironing sheets (even though I’d never iron my own) and cooking really gorgeous breakfasts.  I do this with my hubby.  We love working together.  It works.  Coming to stay at Cerdyn Villa is like staying with friends (so we’re told) and that, my lovelies was the plan so things her are going well

breakfast

I manage our business website and various tourism pages on social media.  Some of these pages… “www.cerdynvilla.wales” is our lifestyle hub (ooo fancy!), it leads you off to “Pink Butterfly Art and Glass” – my Etsy shop; “Pink Butterfly at Cerdyn Villa” -our FB page combining our B&B and my art; http://www.cerdynvilla.co.uk – our B&B website; “rose-tinted Ramblings” – my blog; “Home of Bog Snorkelling” – the tourism FB page for our town; “@Berni_Benton” – my twitter account

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m a gardener – I look after six people’s gardens.  Mostly elderly ladies, some of whom like to garden with me and its as much about the company as the weeding and pruning.  I LOVE weeding (does that make me odd?  I don’t care, I LOVE IT!)

peanut butter cheesecakeI work shifts in the local cafe and cover for the owners if they go away.  Sometimes I even bake some cakes!

I blog.  For fun, but mainly to keep me sane and promote my work(s) (not necessarily at the same time). Its called Rose Tinted Rambling, but you know that because you are here now.  It’s mainly a brain dumping ground.  Most thoughts evolve whilst I’m either ironing or weeding and I can’t rest until they’re typed.  So there! I try to categorise to avoid you haven’t to read the ‘boring shit’  but I’d say there’s pretty much something for everyone here.

I  advocate for a local elderly lady and manage her finances. It’s my ‘pay-it-forward” – we should all have one.  It’s great to give back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I volunteer, Working to help run the weird and wacky events in Llanwrtyd – I am the commentator at the World Bog Snorkelling and Man v Horse.  They gave me the job because, and I quote “if the PA system breaks I’d still be loud enough for everyone to hear”.  Hubby said he could hear me from the house last year and I was three-quarters  of a mile away….

… I hasten to add the mic was working that day.

I am responsible for keeping our household accounts.  Although hubby takes my figures and does the scary bit of filling in the returns and sending them off

I do all the food shopping, planning and feeding. Sometimes I do this well.  Other times we eat out!

I ‘manage’ a tenanted house with 5 flats.  Not for fun, at all, but because the landlords were neighbours but now live in Spain.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We keep hens, that means they have a house that needs cleaning

11182523_1594413547510404_4888338233642762611_oI’m a mum………

………………………………………….

……..in my spare time (!!)

I do a bit of yoga and belly dancing

a vision in red

I look after my own garden (sometimes I get dressed before I start)

11168862_1046829525379356_5330321855820313332_oI’m a member of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party (say hello to Lady Lily the Pink).  I even stood for the Welsh Assembly

I soak in a bubble bath

I enjoy a good live band

I read the occasional book.  mostly I read blogs  and watch TED talks

I snuggle on the sofa with my Hubby and watch Netflix

I play board games with my boy(s) – son and hubby

I eat out with friends

I eat in with friends

I drink out with friends

I drink in with friends

Sometimes I just drink…….

I love my life, but planning is difficult.  Impossible actually.  So it appears chaotic.  and sometimes it really is.  It also appears disorganised.  But actually it rarely is.  ….

….it just feels it

Logistically its a massive challenge.  It’s so far removed from the 9-5 life I used to lead.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

diaryofanimperfectmum

Life is a celebration …..

10 Nov

I think I am almost recovered from the crazy shenanigans of last weekend.  What a blast.  What a testament to friendships and family.  John, my hubby (we’ve been happily not married now for 22 years) had his 60th.

what a cake!

what a cake!

 

At this point I must remind everyone that I am much MUCH younger than him.  I may have mentioned it once or twice before.

Friends and family began arriving on Friday, the pre-party party wound up at 2am after much merriment and a little practice drinking.

I, and my amazing friend Kate, had been at the party for a week.  She created the most incredible chocolate overload of a cake ever (plus an extra one for our son for his birthday 4 days later).  Between us we prepared enough food for a hot buffet to feed sixty people.  Wonderful friends from Essex , acquired fireworks (well a 5th of November birthday really does need a display), as they really are the experts in that field having hosted annual displays for god knows how long.  Family and friends began to arrive throughout Saturday in camper vans and cars, so we headed to the pub.

Musicians.  Who knew we knew so many who would generously offer their talent for the longest open mic session know to Llanwrtyd 9pm until 3;30am was filled with jamming and talent and more talent and more variety of great music – we had blues and rock n roll, folk and rock.  Guitars, drums, bass, djembe, harmonica, violin, vocals, percussion. Music, dancing, friends and laughter. A wonderful, wonderful night.

And what does one buy a man of sixty?  It seems alcohol is they way to go!!! We have enough to open an off-licence…. or see us through to Christmas anyway 😉

So, now I’m recovered (recovering), I want simply to tell you all how blessed I am and how loved he is.  So many people.  So much love and laughter.  So much joy and happiness. So much generosity of time and spirit.  So much wonderful community.  We, because of you all; friends new and old; near are far make our community; our world; our life.

I spent some time trying to finish that sentence with another word.  You make our world “good” “joyous” “safe” “happy” “whole” “fulfilled” …all those things and more….but simply, you really do “make our world”, and we love you all for it xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Happy birthday boy!

Happy birthday boy!

Sickness, Stress and Self-doubt… And Then There’s Me….

19 Apr

I was invited by Stigma Fighters to write my essay…..
…i though I couldn’t..
…but once I started I couldn’t not..

I hope it will not phase you if you know me; or upset you, if you love me.  I hope it will give you strength.  I hope if you struggle at times you will realise we all do to different degrees and the ‘curtains’ we open to the outside are not always representative of all the ‘rooms in our home’. Life is multi-faceted and challenging to all of us at times… even those who might give the impression that it is easy…

so here it is… from head to e-paper..
Sickness, Stress and Self-doubt… And Then There’s Me….

Patchwork

16 Mar


Life in Patchwork

My heart is warmed by my quilt
The sounds and colours
And memories
Dreams and realities
Laughter and tears
Love and lust
Passion and pain
Snippets of the past making the whole of me in the present
Growing more colourful as the years pass
Stitched together to keep me safe and warm
The comfort blanket of my childhood
The kingsized quilt of my middle age
Patterns and textures holding my favourite memories
My rose tinted pains and my future dreams
Soft furnishing my life

Our Lives our Novels….

3 Feb

scenic

If we are lucky life is a joyous adventure.  If we are lucky enough to be born into a loving family; if we are taught to grab opportunities; if our eyes are trained to see the good and the beauty and variety around us; if we learn to think for ourselves…. life will be a journey built from chapters which when read back thrill our senses.  They may contain some stress and sorry but should also contain some thrill, or joy , or achievement.

It is impossible in life to live every chapter without some loss; the break up of a relationship; the passing of a parent, pet, family member or friend.  It is impossible and impractical to go through life without some levels and times of stress; exams, job interviews, house moves, career choices.  It is also unlikely that we get from birth to death without unexpected challenges: ill-health, redundancy, financial crisis for example.

But with every loss comes the reminiscences of love and happy times.  With every stress comes a time of completion, achievement or opportunity. And with every challenge comes an opportunity to reassess, reevaluate and grow.

Life is not about the end goal because the end will certainly be that which comes to us all… the inevitable.  Our death.  Life is about the enjoyment and achievements of each chapter.

Childhood is not just about learning to walk and talk; read and write.  It’s also about fun and games, friendship and play, learning to share, be compassionate, communicate.  Teenage is not just about exams and future career planning.  It’s about relationships, growing independence, identifying your passions, and daring to dream.  Adulthood is not just about earning the most money, and working for your retirement.  We should enjoy our friendships; forge our relationships; make choices that make us happy; share our experiences. Retirement is not just about slowing down and worrying about our health.  We have the opportunities to travel, or play, or indulge in hobbies.  Of course amongst all the ‘living the dream’ we have to balance out responsibilities and deal with the unplanned, and, sometimes, undesired interruptions.  But I believe, that when we can, whatever our age, we should follow our hearts, and live our dreams.

For some that may be reaching the top of our chosen career ‘ladder’, earning big money, owning expensive things; for others that may mean travelling and playing; vocation, charity.  For most of us our plan will forever evolve as we learn new things; get presented with new opportunities; walk through new doors and make choices at each crossroads.  Where will we live?who shall we marry? shall we marry? do we want children? can we have children? etc etc etc.

We all end our lives with a sadness; our own final curtain.  With luck we will reach that at a ripe old age having written our adventure story with flare and chapters crammed full of happy memories and achievements; laughter and joy… things that will secure our ongoing existence in the stories and behaviours of our children and friends.

Isn’t it wonderful when you catch yourself remembering someone passed in an anecdote or family tradition or the way someone else smiles or gestures.  For me its the old photos, piggy walkers and dancing round lampposts…..

I’ve spent my life writing each chapter like a new genre of book.  I’ve not known from one chapter to the next where it will take me.  I follow a winding path with many side roads and I often like to detour down one.  I am lucky.  But I also know that we are also responsible to ourselves for creating some of that luck….. it’s about attitude.

Attitude: Have it, relish it, grasp it.

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather a skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up and loudly proclaiming, “Wow! What a ride!”” – Hunter S Thompson

This blog is dedicated to two great men: my father-in-law, Brian Crompton and my uncle, Ray Benton… both gone but far from forgotten.  They will live on and on and on and on.

Life is a Minestrone – 10CC

 

2016 : Care, Compassion and a big fat CWTCH

4 Jan

life plan

So another year has passed . for some, like me, it flew past on a stream of laughter, for others it dragged its way along through gritty problems; oil slick like disasters; dead ends; brick walls and bloody great gaping chasms that they barely managed to stop themselves plummeting into.  So whilst I rejoice the end of a fabulously life affirming twelve months and embrace the next with gushing enthusiasm and passion; I am aware that many are peaking around the edge of the slightly ajar heavy door expecting further trip hazards and taking an intrepid shaky first step incase they step on a landmine.

For those out there to whom I have access, I hope they will use my stronger foothold and grab on for support.  For sure there have been times when I have tethered myself to them for guidance and balance.  For those across the globe, in different countries, counties, towns and households, where I cannot personally hold out my hand , I can hope for human kindness from within each persons individual network of support and community; I can offer to advocate and speak out for any injustices where I can add my voice to a cause.  For those who are isolated and alone; barely treading water in their personal wild ocean of life, may I have the compassion and awareness to reach out with others of humankindness and offer an anchor and an island on which they can rest.

It’s a new year.  We will all have new challenges.  But we never have to face them alone.  Let us be individually great and provide love and community to those we know and love and also to those who we may never know but we can choose to love and show compassion towards.

Embrace your life.  Share your strengths.  Allow others to support you at times of need.  Show compassion.  Share your love.  Smile at  strangers.  Be the best of humanity.  Even if it seems against all odds, let peace, love and kindness win through.  Start with your own heart.  Hug.  Or to embrace the life that has embraced me; let the world feel a good heartfelt CWTCH.

Happy New Year World.  Bring it on!

 

 

Diary of An Imperfect Mum