I’m feeling very refreshed at the moment. Keen to get on with life. It’s strange, because the last month has been a bit hard on me, if I’m honest. I think what has made the difference is that I don’t feel quite so powerless as I have done in the past. The old me would have taken set-backs or criticism as evidence of my failure. But the older I get, the more belief I have in myself. And although my last job ended badly, the positives I got out of working there far outweigh the negatives – including vindication that I’m Good at My Job. Whatever My Job happens to be at the time.
So to keep this positive outlook going, I’ve decided to sign up to the Beat The Heat challenge, hosted over on weightwars.co.uk. Using the sunshine as my inspiration (yes, I know… what sun?!), I’m setting myself five challenges over the next 10 weeks, to improve the way I do things in everyday life. It seems like the perfect opportunity to take up this challenge, because of all the other changes that are taking place in my life, I can use the boost I get from the newness of everything, to help me achieve even more!
First of all, my postive picture:
This is when I am happiest, sharing lovely times with my friends and loved ones. Friendships are very important to me, because I lived away from home for most of my adult life, I came to rely on my mates more than anyone. And it makes me so excited to think that I’ll see the big beardy bloke in this photo in less than a month, when he walks me down the aisle at my wedding.
1. To go for a walk once a week with my husband. Ooh, my husband! That makes me feel all tingly! We’re not married yet, but we will be before these 10 weeks are up, and so I feel it’s justified in giving him his future title! Mr Bint loves walking, and when he’s feeling miserable, a long walk always cheers him up. There’s not many places near here for walks, so it takes some effort. And because of my physical limitations, I often put him off in favour of lounging around the house. So to make me happier, and fitter, and to brighten his week, I will promise to go for a walk about one day a week.
2.To Do A Good Turn for Someone Every Day. This takes me back! As a Guide Guider, this is something I ought to be doing any way. This idea forms the second half of the Brownie motto, and it’s something I should really be striving to do. It doesn’t need to be a big gesture, just something that makes someone’s life a little easier. It could be bringing my neighbour’s bins in when they’ve been emptied, or calling a friend up when I know that they are down. Just one thing every day, that might inconvenience me, but will make someone else happier.
3. To write something everyday. Believe it or not, I actually studied creative writing at university (amongst other things). And recently I’ve been meeting a lot of talented people who write for a living, and it’s made me realise how much I miss that side of my creativity. So I’m going to challenge myself to write at least 500 words everyday, not including blogging, whether they’ll be read by someone else or not.
4. To blog about something that makes me smile. This is an important one for me. I’ve had unpleasant backlashes from opinions I’ve expressed in the past. It doesn’t mean I think I was wrong, but what it does mean is that I’m tired of the negativity and hurt that seems to stem from me speaking my mind online. So from now on, as a way of keeping this blog going, I intend to actively seek out nice things to talk about. Cheesy though that may be, it’s important to me.
5. To keep a tidy mind, and a tidy house. Ah-ha-ha! This is the big one for me! I’m not the world’s most organised person, and I’m not the tidiest either! Our house gets blitzed only when we get to the point we can’t get in the front door. But as we’re heading into a new chapter in our lives, I think the time has come to curb that habit. We have plans to start a family in due course, and I know that I can’t be a good Mum if I can’t even tidy up after myself, let alone anyone else! So the housework rota will be redrawn, and plans will be put in place. And perhaps I shall keep this part of the challenge with a weekly photo of my kitchen or living room, to prove that it’s still working!
Why did you pick those goals? What makes them important right now?
You may have guessed by now that my aim in life at the moment is happiness. It’s probably linked to the fact that I’m with the most amazing man I have ever met, and want to keep myself healthy and happy to enjoy the life we have together. I’ve suffered from depression in the past and so, although I don’t really feel as though I am slipping back into that dark place again, I want to make sure that there is no chance that I will. I’ve examined the areas of my life which I don’t like or which I would like to make better, and I’ve picked my goals from that, as a way to change the way I do things. Not just over the next 10 weeks, but hopefully for a lifetime.
What’s your biggest excuse reason for not doing something and how are you going to stop it getting in the way?
Apathy. A lack of impetus to get up off my backside and make something happen. I think it may be linked to a lack of belief in myself. All to often, things seem hopeless. Like keeping the house tidy. If you keep putting it off, it reaches the stage that it requires so much more effort to make it look better, and so that makes raising the effort to do the tasks so much harder. Little and often is the way forward, which is why most of my challenges are daily ones. Something small every day, rather than big sweeping changes. Hopefully, by setting my sights on little tasks, I’ll be able to keep the energy going, and not slip behind.
4. Are you a planner or do you go with the flow?
I plan to go with the flow! Honestly, it varies with how I’m feeling at the time. I try to plan, and often I’ll be seized with an evangelical zest to get my life in order, and do lots and lots of planning at one time. The hard part is sticking to the plan. Usually, it’s a short lived thing, but when I’m in the zone, I can achieve a lot in a very short space of time.
Right, well. My family is a complicated affair, as it’s spread over two step-families, with whom I don’t have a massive amount of contact. I’ve got three step sisters, one step brother, one half sister, and one honest-to-goodness-other-half-of-the-coin-hurt-her-and-I’ll-kill-you little sister, who I adore. Look.
I am, unsurprisingly, the eldest out of everyone! I’m a creative person, and it influences almost everything I do. My main interests are, predictably, related to making lovely things. Theatre, patchwork, cooking, reading, taking (bad) photographs. I love people, I mean, really love listening and talking to and getting to know people. I’m the person who sits in a cafe and listens into other people’s conversation, or who stares at ordinary folk as they walk down the street, just because I think they look interesting. And even though I appear to ooze confidence, I’m actually quite delicate when it comes down to it. It’s something I try to work on, but I think that if you lose your humility, and the ability to be genuinely hurt by other people, then you become less of a person. So perhaps my soft centre is a blessing, rather than a curse.