Bloom Where You Are

For some reason, I only have one or two roses that bloom every year at the same spot but I don’t know why. Happy to hear ideas from avid gardeners out there. My post however is thankfully not about my abysmal gardening skills. 

It took about four to five days after the bud of the rose above appeared for it to be in full bloom.

Really beautiful 😍😍😍😍 but it got me thinking about success. .

It only took a maximum of five days for this gorgeous rose to be in full bloom but how long has it been taking root? How long has the work that goes on beneath the surface been going on?

We all know there is no such thing as an overnight success but we sure wish in our case we would be the exception qualified for meteoric progression. Well I don’t know about you but I often find myself thinking where is the shortcut to the finish line.

Meteoric successes are an anomaly. Right now I can’t even think of one person who was an overnight success for often what we perceive to be sudden has been years in the making.

True success that lasts, whether it’s relationships, business, career, whatever – true success that lasts is line upon line, brick upon brick. It’s in the daily activities we do that further our goals.

You may feel like you are working very hard and you can’t see the blooming rose ( pun intended πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚).

Don’t give up. You are just taking root. As long as you have a clear vision, a plan to get you there and you are taking action consistently; you will bloom.

The truth is that the rose is the most beautiful part, the glory of the story. However, if it didn’t have a root, it would never appear. 

So here’s to taking root.

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Goodbye Mary Berry: 5 Life Lessons

It was announced today that Mary Berry will not be a judge on The Great British Bake Off when it moves to Channel 4, whilst Paul Hollywood remains.

I got all sorts of lessons from her actions.

  1. Loyalty. Don’t forget the people who opened doors for you.
  2. Confidence. Don’t be afraid to stand out on your own. You don’t need to follow the herd. Make choices that are right for you.
  3. Courage. This might come with age but to be willing to make a sound decision in the face of pressure from viewers & all takes guts.
  4. Change. When one door closes, another door opens. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
  5. Focus. Stay in your lane. Whilst you may travel on this road called life with others sometimes you might part ways with them to create a new path for yourself.

We will miss you Mary. 😣😣😣😣😒😒😒😒😒

The Big Girl Pants Guide to Life!

You know, I’m all for motivational quotes. In fact I love them and I have created a few myself.

However, the thing is when you are down and out and so low, I’m not sure what good they do. I’m not really sure if they bolster you in any way. The last thing you want to see when you are flat on your back, as in I-can’t-get-up-you-need-to-use-a-crane-to-lift-me-up-down, is to see , “mistakes are the proof that you are trying“. I mean what good does that do???? They are just a bunch of words to the one that is down. You might as well say blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and oh yeah, BLAH!

You can overcome. You can be a winner. If you believe it, you can make it. But no one answers the question – how do I keep going when there is a huge gulf between where I am and where I want to be. No one wants to address that gulf. It’s almost like mad men taking over totally disregarding the reality of what they see and constantly placing airy fairy liturgy before you. But we are left with the gulf and and unless your words become a ladder, a bridge or helicopter (depending on how big the gulf is) move on. I mean seriously, move on.

So I’ve created the Big Girl Pants Guide (in honour of Bridget Jones)

bridget-jones-the-edge-of-reason-2004

  • It’s not you, it’s them. Life sucks sometimes. It isn’t necessarily a reflection of who you are. As in you don’t suck. Life does. We’ve just got to ride it out.
  • Don’t just sit there, do something. Anything is better than standing still because guess what? Standing still sure ain’t going to get you anywhere.
  • Be you. Is that one of those motivational quotes we don’t want to hear now? What I mean by that is keep playing to your strengths. Now is not the time to pretend to be someone else. Keep doing what makes you unique. Opportunity is attracted to authenticity.
  • Stop Moaning. Really, just stop. It doesn’t change anything.
  • Avoid talking to negative people. We may definitely not want to see another quotation, but you DEFINITELY don’t want to be talking to someone who sees everything as a doomsday advertorial.
  • Avoid talking to positive people too. You will only want to throw a book at them or punch them in the face.Β You are best talking to yourself.
  • Wait. You have no choice but to wait for something to change. In the meantime, keep doing the above.

Remember, this too shall pass (I’m ducking)

Ignore the Naysayers

Yesterday, my son and I were having a conversation about his impending match, which was today.

He had been telling his friends at school about the match and there was a plethora of opinions about the opposing team.

  1. They trashed J’s team and J’s team is good
  2. They are better than you guys, you can’t  beat them
  3. They are too good

So the conclusion was, you aren’t going to win. Don’t bother.

Way to encourage a friend! 

So I simply said to him, “it doesn’t matter that they beat J’s team, they don’t have you. So go out there and do your best”. 

For all I knew this team might be the spawn of Barcelona FC but I didn’t really care. You can’t acheive anything without first believing you can. You may not always win but you will most certainly lose if you give up before you start.

I asked what his response was and he said, “I told them I bet you I’ll win). *sniff snifff. Proud mama moment*

I don’t care how delusional I may come across. I will chose delusion any day over thinking I’m a loser before the game has even started.

Pssssh. Anyway, they haven’t met the son of Wonder Woman. He went, he scored, our team won. 

Life is in Seasons

A few months ago, my older sister and I spent a weekend together and we got talking about how life is in seasons.

We concluded that you can have all the hopes and aspirations you want; you can believe for great things; you can hope for a wonderful life but one thing that is constant to all people is that life will always certainly have highs and low. It’s the basic tenet of existence.

It’s a fallacy to believe that life will be a constant high. And a lot of us struggle with this because whether we say it or not, we have a sense of entitlement to a ‘good life’.

And don’t get me wrong, we do deserve a ‘good life’, whatever that is for you but it’s not an entitlement – it happens by grace.

The older I get, the more I am able to master the changing seasons. When I was younger, I viewed them as a sentence being meted out to me. I would often ask why is this happening to me? What have I done to deserve this? Why does it always happen to me? When is it going to be my turn? Why, why, why, why, why, why,  why? However, after going through a fair number of seasons you learn to ride the waves – maybe even control their impact on you or your reaction to them.

I hope to God I do not become an expert on changing seasons LOL but I have come to understand that if you can be still in the storm, it will pass. If you can stop yourself from making decisions when you are desperate or scared, you’ll make better choices for yourself. If you can look at the season not as something being done to you but a process of refinement, then you might just learn something through the process. If you can try your darnedest not to see the season as a reflection of your esteem but see it for what it is – a bad time. And if you can yes, hold on for that ‘good life’ it will come – even if it does tarry (oh I sound ancient now).

The opening line of one of favourite songs by Maxwell is, “I was reborn when I was broken“. Only seven words, not a very long sentence, but they speak volumes to me. A different perspective perhaps to pain and disappointment. Lots of people talk about how they go through a tough season and come out of the other side a different person. The loss of a loved one, the loss of a home, redundancy, divorce, a betrayal, an unexpected diagnoses; so many different seasons we find ourselves in; often without warning. Can we be reborn as we pass through them? Perhaps the season may take a part of you and enable a different you to surface. I was reborn when I was broken.

Maxwell’s response is to “take it one day at a time”. Those sound like wise words to me. Maybe he’s walked through a few seasons too. The season always has a byline. It has a knack of revealing it usually at the end though. If maybe at the turn of a new season, we could learn to turn the volume down a bit, we may hear the whispers of the byline; the story it seeks to share. Then perhaps we too can we say, “we were reborn when we were broken”.

 

I am really determined to learn something new in every season. Almost like a do your worst, I’m-going-to-grow-through-this-sort-of-growl. As long as there is life, I can be stronger and say I was reborn when I was broken. I may cry a little but I will be reborn.

The Olympic Dream

The Olympics.

That moment in time when my children imagine they can be anyrhing they want to be.

They are swift to drop every activity and pick up a new one.

They want to participate in athletics, diving, swimming, fencing, archery and even shooting. No sport is beyond their reach.

The Olympics.

That time when everyone sitting on their sofa watching is a winner.

For in that moment, we overlook the dedication, blood and sweat of the past four years.

We can’t see the sleepless nights and the pains endured.

We can’t see the sprains, strains and daily jabs required to just keep a limb immobile.

All we see is the glory. The cheers. The winning. The gold!

I wonder if I explained to my children how much they’d have to give up to attain this glory, would they still want to?  

If I told that chocolate and crisps do not constitute the food of champions.
If I told them that champions don’t spend their moments winning on Nintendo, Wii or watching TV.

If I told them they would not have time for other activities, playdates or spontaneous days at the park.

Their time, an average of 6 – 7 hours will be spent practising their skill and honing their craft – every day.

I wonder if their commitment would be unwavering?

This is the power of the Olympic dream. We are only interested in the medals, not the pain.

The power of a parent however, is to allow them to dream but make sure they see through an activity they picked up prior to Rio 2016  before they jump onto something else.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Thought of the Day

​”In this world of relentless self promotion, We’ve all been raised to think that the limelight is the only light worth seeking. That isn’t the case. And if I can impart one thing today, a small simple truth to carry with you as you walk through those gates, its this – achievement is often anonymous. Some of the greatest things have been done by people you have never heard of, quietly dedicating their lives to improving your own”

– Speech by Matt Mahoney (Madam Secretary)

School Run Positivity

Has anyone ever tried positive thinking in coping with the school run? I’m giving it a go today and the rest of the week as it’s the first week back at school.

I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run.

Let’s see if it works or if I return to my soliloquy in B flat on my hatred of the school run.

*breathe in sharply* I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love the school run. I love he school run. I love the school run. I love the ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Overcoming School Run Trauma

Have I mentioned previously that I hate, with a capital H, the school run? Well I do! I really HATE the pressure it puts on me to get to the school gate at a certain time. The pressure to get to school on time so I’m not late for work. I hate that it turns me into the Wicked Witch of the West as I try to get my children to be compliant first thing in the morning.

As the new school year is upon us, I thought it would be good for me to revisit some of tips that have helped me alleviate the school run trauma.

  1. Iron and lay Out everything the night before – laptop, snacks, clothes, shoes and even underwear. The number of times that I have regretted leaving it till the morning is unforgivable. It’s a favour to myself and my kids to ensure we are prepared the night before.
  2. Wake up and have my shower before my children. If I am ready before them, I feel better prepared to handle their impending slowness in the morning.
  3. Eat breakfast. It puts my brain in gear and gives me fuel for the day.
  4. As they are old enough, let them make their own breakfast. If yours don’t know how to, teach them to make something simple!
  5. Give the children breakfast that can be eaten in the car or on the bus. πŸ™‚ Anything that can be easily packed and taken along with us if we happen to be running late.
  6. As soon as they are home from school, give them a light snack and then do homework first before anything else.
  7. On evenings that they have after school activities, make sure dinner is prepped beforehand and simple.
  8. Don’t forget to check their school bags for notes and homework.
  9. Eat dinner early.
  10. Get them to bed early (not a guarantee that they’ll sleep) and remember to wake them up at the same time everyday so their body clock gets used to the routine.
  11. If you have young kids that share a room, remember to split them up at bedtime otherwise they’ll stay up talking till 11pm.
  12. Go to bed early. No late nights. Makes me cranky in the morning.