Category Archives: Blog-tember

Anatomy of a bag

My bag. Often Tardis-like in its capabilities, today thankfully not so full.

I often wonder what people would glean from my life/character if my bag were rummaged ‘Through the Keyhole’ style.

What story would it tell today?

AnatomyOfBag2

That I like nice things (Burberry purse) and that I can’t part with old things (the nearly 20 year old scuffed and battered Burberry purse)? That I like a bargain (it was found in Bicester Village for 80% off; a bargain, even then, at £30!)?

That I have a pen/notebook fetish? That I scribble a lot (6 pens? A pack of sticky notes?! A folded scrap of paper with notes all over it)? That I’m a thinker? A writer?

That I have – and adore – my two children….who draw a lot, anywhere and everywhere (a Super Super Hero and a zoo, if you were wondering!)? That our home is full to the brims with creativity?

That I like to try to be glamorous (gold nail polish – I actually have no idea what that’s doing in there!)?

That I have a daughter who loves pink??!! That she recently hurt her eye and so has to wear sunglasses when she’s out and about?

That my boy’s 9 and loves pranks (the chewing gum that gives you an electric shock is most certainly not mine)?

There are many, many stories in there.

And as I look on these things and hear those stories, I realise…

The narratives we create for ourselves are the narratives our world/the world hears.

Note to self: being brave enough to say “I’m a writer” gives the dream a name and makes it that much more attainable because it makes you accountable.

What stories do you/your things tell and is that narrative in concert with your goals/dreams?

Helen xxx

 [Written in response to the Day 15 prompt for Blog-tember]

It’s Friday night…

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It’s Friday night and I always, nowadays, stay in. It wasn’t always this way: in my teens, I’d spend all week looking forward to a concert (Stone Roses in Manchester!) or to the Northern Soul night in Sheffield (there’s nothing exciting about being old enough to get in to such events!).

In my twenties, I’d look forward to nights out with friends: dinners, Gallery openings, book readings, concerts (not the ‘hoping I look old enough to get in’ kind but the ‘so glad I managed to get a ticket to this’ kind). In my thirties, Fridays would mean, most usually, a quiet night in, as a couple, enjoying a film or heading out to something (dinner, cinema, game night) with friends.

Then when I became a Mum, Fridays became no different, really, to any other night of the week: a haze of sleepless nights, just enjoying the pure joy of being a new Mum, so much love in my heart I sometimes couldn’t stand it (I’d never understood the ‘your heart is walking around outside you’ phrase before I became a Mum).

Fast forward a few years and here I am, in my early forties, and I like nothing better than a quiet night in (oh, don’t get me wrong, if I was in England, I’d definitely be at the theatre or at a concert or something else ‘cultural’). But I’m here and my idea of a ‘nice’ Friday night (i.e., absolutely necessary after having a usually hideously frenetic week) is a magazine (books are for the weekend!), the less intellectual, more fashion-oriented the better (Vogue week is always a good week!), something sweet (or hot chocolate and salty popcorn – yum!), quiet music (jazz) and a night of absolute ‘no work – no stress’ bliss.

It starts around 4pm when the littles are both home from school and have been fed: no mean task for a 9-year old footballer who could easily eat half a cow if I let him (!). They’ll both be doing their own activities but they’ll come and ask me for things they need as and when they need them: “Mama, where’s my lego dinosaur’s leg?”, “Mama, will you draw me a unicorn”, “Mama, weren’t you going to make muffins?”…but, even despite these beautiful little life-affirming interruptions, I’ll start to relax….

Knowing there’ll be no phone calls, fewer emails to reply to and much less work to do over the weekend, meaning I can enjoy them, and these moments, that little bit more because I’ll be able to live them that little bit more consciously and mindfully. 

Then suddenly, as if no time has passed at all, it’s bedtime. Shower. Clean teeth. Stor(ies). Funny voices. Laughs. Cuddles. Snuggly little bodies hugged and kissed and loved. The biggest little one talking and talking about anything that’s bothering him (why is it that he always leaves everything until he’s dog tired?!). Then, after a while, they’ll both be fast asleep. I won’t settle for half an hour or so afterwards, still checking they’re OK and settling down myself (why is it so hard to relax?!).

Then, eventually, I’ll park myself on the settee, new magazine at the ready and flick through it for a while. This will either make me want to get up and make something or I’ll be too tired and then I’ll end up choosing a film to watch. Nothing upsetting. Nothing too taxing. Something gentle and life-affirming (any suggestions more than welcome! I always love a good film recommendation!).

I don’t like anything too taxing, on my brain or my emotions, on a Friday night. It’s wind-down night. I’ll be thinking of things as I’m relaxing, processing things, letting everything bubble to the surface, reflecting on everything that’s happened in the last week and beyond (whilst trying not to stress myself out thinking of everything there is to do).

If I’m lucky, sleep will come and I’ll start feeling tired in the middle of the film. If it’s a good film I’ll battle the sleep and try to make it to the end. If not, I’ll give in and head off to bed. [I never get the end of those films and always feel bad that I’ve not watched them the whole way through; there’s people’s creative efforts there that I’m ignoring!].

Bed, whenever it makes its appearance, is always welcome. Cool sheets. Turning the pillow over so it’s cool against my skin. Soft soft pillows, silence, lulling me to rest….

love Friday nights, always have done, always will do (I hope!). There’s something so wonderful about them, isn’t there? You’ve ended one week and there’s two whole days before you have to start the next one. Two days of delightful relaxation and recharging. Love it. 

Hoping you all have a great weekend and a great week ahead!

Helen xxx

[Post written in response to the prompt for Day 11 of Blog-tember]

It’s all in a name: I Will Bloom

Joining in with Day 7 of Blog-tember which, today, asks us to write about where our blog name came from….

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In August last year, I began to get an urge to write and to blog again (to process and to distract myself from ‘things’  that were happening in my personal life) and, when browsing the internet, I came across the Blog-tember challenge.

From memory, I had a few days before the challenge would start, which meant that I had to set up a blog. [I’d used WordPress before so I wasn’t coming to the whole endeavour completely blind!]

As I sat thinking about what I’d like to do in my blog space, and where I’d like the blog to go, it was obvious to me that I’d write about the events I’ve lived through (domestic violence; being falsely accused of having kidnapped my children and choosing to leave the safety of the UK in the face of threats that I would lose custody of my children were I to continue with (and lose) the court case …amongst other things).

It was also obvious to me that I’d like, if possible, to help others who might find themselves in a similar situation (there’s a domestic violence episode in the UK every 4 minutes and it takes an average of 39 violent events for a woman to seek help; and there are an estimated 250,000 women who are stuck in foreign countries, having been accused under the Hague laws and forced to return to their partners’ homeland…in large part due to the failures in the legislation which mean that domestic violence is not considered a “grave risk to physical or psychological harm” if the child(ten) are returned).

I started writing about these issues in the hope that anyone who might be in a similar situation might read my words and find some solace, some comfort.

I also wanted (want) to use I Will Bloom as a platform to encourage entrepreneurship among woman (I have so many plans and so little time; it’s always been the case!)…so I knew I’d need a name that would reflect not only the hope I had (when I started the blog) that things would get better for me personally and that things can improve for other women in the same situation but also to show that after such incidents, it’s possible not only to overcome but, in fact, to shine. 

Just because life has thrown us lemons doesn’t mean we have to walk around with sour faces. No! If life throws us lemons, we can choose to make lemonade, make chewy lemon bars, make limoncello.….however bad things are, however little light we can see, at the end of that seemingly never-ending tunnel, hope is stronger than fear and I definitely want(ed) this message to come across from my blog.  

Thinking about all these ideas, the natural word was bloom and the phrase I Will Bloom jumped out at me. As a sort of perfect embodiment of everything I want my blog to be and how I’d like readers to feel when they come and read….that they’ve read something that makes them want to get on with things and to bloom. However bad their situation, however good their situation.

So that, my dear readers, is that.

The story of my blog name.

I have to give a shout out here to Chelsea (she knows what for)…I am planning a redesign of I Will Bloom, and to move I Will Bloom to its own domain….where I hope to have a much prettier, much more functional site that will let me do the things I’d like to do with I Will Bloom. 

Time will tell when that might be possible but it’s on the planner and things that have made their way to the planner always get done!

Helen xxx

Passion

Day 4 of Blog-tember and it’s all about passion.

[I’m being a Very Lazy Blogger today and ‘recycling’ my post from last year’s Blog-tember (when my blog was just four days old!); most of it still holds true]

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My Passionfesto….(Passion Manifesto)…

I’m passionate about injustice; about the power of kindness; about living fully; about self-expression; about letting children play; about Spring days when it feels warm in the sun and cold in the shade – when you can stand with one leg in each and feel the seasons within you simultaneously; about life being too bloody short and needing to live really deep to make up for that; about Fitzgerald and Hemingway and Tolstoy for f***s sake; about not having time to read all the damn books I want to read; about snow and rain and those light breezes you can feel skim across your skin; about hot baths; and sunflowers; and Van Gogh’s beautiful paintings; about flamenco dancers; about gypsy rhythms; about the sea; about Nature in all her glory; about photosynthesis (plants eat light – they eat light!); about meditation; about running fast and hard; about people you just click with and would lay down your life for; about the power of a simple smile; about my faith in humanity and how it spurs me on; about artists and writers and film-makers and truth tellers; about our little hamster and his tiny, tiny, pink-er than pink feet. About squelchy mud and rock pools and cake and tea, Hell yes, about tea. About a tree growing from a tiny seed. About the wonder that causes in me every time I think of it. About baby toes and mistletoes when you’re a teenager and saying ‘thank you’ when someone’s kind or ‘What’s up’ when someone’s down. About reaching out. About reading, silently, aloud or to an old blind man when he asks. About tenderness. About love. About happiness. About quests. Challenges. Bumps in the road. Mistakes. Wrong paths. About wisdom. About writing letters, by hand. About Falstaff and Gatsby and Jane Eyre and Catherine from Wuthering Heights. And Carrie Bradshaw and Leo’s Jack Dawson and James Stewart and – oh my God, yes – about Katherine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall’s voice and Marilyn Monroe’s tragedy and Billie Holiday’s blues and Miles Davis’ jazz and John Lennon’s “All those in the cheap seats…the rest of you just rattle your jewellery” flippancy. About Cinema Paradiso and The Beatles In My Life and video footage of screaming girls at Beatles concerts. About slot machines and donkey rides. About feeling cold or feeling too hot. About being short of breath during a run. About watching my daughter paint. About seeing my son ride his bike. About long bike rides, picnic on board. About lazy summer days. And short winter nights. About falling leaves. And licking icicles. And Mount Everest and the Kalahari. And jaguars. Shaman. And plants that heal. And spaghetti a la vongole. And embroidery. And Leonardo Da Vinci and his mind. And potential. And breakfast, big, filling, breakfasts. And Reese’s peanut butter cups. And – oh my God – just being bloody well alive. Note to self: don’t waste one damn moment of it, ever again. You’d regret that.

[Photo by Rowan Huevel from Unsplash]

Collage my Blog!

Day 3 of Blog-tember and it’s ‘Collage your Blog’ time!

Here goes….

Best

On I Will Bloom you’ll find optimism, positivity, posts about kindness, posts about emotional wellbeing, guests posts around the topic ‘How to fall in love with your world’ (do check them out; each and every one of them is really something special!)a love of Nature, an appreciation of beauty, a love of, and passion for, writing, a love of life…

You’ll also find the best readers in the whole world. You all know exactly who you are and you all know how very much I appreciate you and how much I’ve come to appreciate the friendships we’ve formed over the last year. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s a strange thing, this BlogLand we all frequent: we meet people here who we feel closer to than people we see every day; a whole bunch of kindred spirits willing each other on, making each other’s days that little bit lighter and brighter. I thank the Heavens for you all…

Some of my favourite I Will Bloom posts?

The Christmas Dress (for Sian’s Christmas Club)

Hello Memory Lane

Advice

Dare I dare to be me?

Care

Am loving Blog-tember this year! Thanks Bailey Jean!

Helen xxx

An ideal day

Joining in with Day 2 of Blog-tember, where Bailey Jean invites us to describe our ideal day.

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My ideal day.

When I think of that, I go through several layers of ‘ideal’…

Fantasy ideal day where I’d be in Thailand or cycling the Amalfi Coast (eating anything and everything and eyeing up the beautiful Italian men!) or in India, drinking in the country through all my senses, or in Japan, in awe of their creativity, lost amongst the sheer otherness of it all…or…

Dream ideal day where I’d be going through the motions of my normal life but transplanted to England, or…

Dream ‘real life’ ideal day where I’d actually have time to reach the surface and breathe a little before I had to delve back in to real life…or…

‘Real life’ ideal day where everything would be pretty much as it is now, but I managed to slow down that little bit more and really appreciate everything good that is happening around me.

I’m a great believer in the idea that, whatever our circumstances, we get to choose the life we live, day to day. We choose whether we’ll react positively or negatively to the things life throws at us. We choose whether we see things in a positive or a negative light and whether we allow ourselves to put a positive spin on things or not.

These choices, throughout the lengths of our lives, dictate not only how we live our lives on a daily basis but how we end up using our life.

In my ideal day, however good things are, however bad things are, wherever I might be, with whoever I might be, I’d always be looking for the good, appreciating the good when it arrives and feeling happy because of all the good that surrounds me.

This approach has not only helped me get through very very tough times, but has helped me re-train my thought patterns and processes so that, even though we’re stuck somewhere none of us wants to be, and I’m living a life I don’t want to be living, in conditions that aren’t ideal, I (we) manage to find something good in every day. 

If we don’t learn from the hard times, they’re just hard times.

If, however, we take the time to do the work, look for the good, learn the lessons, then the hard times we face can actually become the greatest gifts we’ll ever receive in our lifetime.

The hard times will teach us more than any of those awesome moments we live through…and the best thing? They’ll make those awesome moments even more awesome from that point on and forever more…because we’ll have learned to truly appreciate them.

My ideal day? I’ll take waking up early, writing for a while, meditating, going for a run and feeling my body alive, connecting with Nature, cooking something delicious for my littles, laughing with them, being able to take them out for ice cream and watching them enjoy it so so much, dancing like crazy people for a while (falling over in fits of laughter kind of happy), watching them fast asleep and feeling like my heart is literally about to burst, then resting in my hammock, happy, just happy that I’m alive and at peace. 

That, actually, sounds like a pretty ideal sort of day.

Helen xxx

[P.S. The photo is by Austin Ban and used, with permission, from Unsplash. When I am able to achieve my fantasy ideal day, I will be going up in a hot air balloon and will take my own photo of one!]

Me, myself and I

A bit of a strange, disjointed, post from me today…

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It’s my one year Bloggy-versary. [Yay!!!]. One year ago today that I started I Will Bloom. And now one year, 235 posts, 3068 comments and endless joy and wonder later (I so much appreciate every single one of my readers, almost all of whom have become dear friends, even if we have never met), I’m joining in Blog-tember again….

…Because I loved it so much last year, I just can’t resist! [And, yes, I know you shouldn’t start a sentence with ‘Because’ but, well, it’s late and I’m tired. Because I’ve been up since 5am and it’s now 11.30pm [And, “Oops! I did it again!” (Yes, I did just sing that out loud like Britney!)].

So, here goes….Blog-tember 2015 Day One….Introduce yourself, however you like…

[As Five Minute Friday is one of the highlights of my week, I’m going to do it ‘FMF’ style…five minutes of free writing….]

I’m Helen. 41 (just). British (although currently stuck in foreign climes). I have two beautiful ‘littles’ (a boy aged 9 and a girl aged 5 (going on 25)). I’m a single mother, going through a hideous divorce. I’m a domestic abuse survivor (not victim, definitely survivor). I like to write. I like to read. I love to cook. And run (Yep, this does mean I can eat mounds of cake and not feel too bad about it!). I love Nature, love to walk in Nature. I meditate. I’ve recently seen for myself that God exists (thank you, Lord). I like my hammock. And X-Factor. And Brain Pickings. And I thank the Heavens, daily, for Spotify (and Earl Grey teabags). I’m a painting that’s not even half way finished. If I were an animal I’d definitely like to be an anteater. If I were a flower, I’d be a daffodil (all that colour in a still fairly desolate winterish landscape? I can identify with that!). I spend far too long on Pinterest, picking out clothes I can’t buy, probably couldn’t afford even if I could buy them and dreaming of times when I might be able to wear them (everyone does that, right?!). I’m an INFJ (if you open the psychology dictionary at INFJ, there’s a picture of me there). I’m learning to be gloriously me again in my own peculiar mixed-up slap-dash haphazard way. I would like to live forever but, as I can’t, I’ll settle for living each moment as if it were my last (oh yeah, did I forget to mention that I speak in cliches and quotes when I run out of original ways to say things I want to say?!)….I’m me. [Yep, I’m still re-learning to say that in an ‘unapologetic’ tone of voice].

[Can’t end the post without saying a Great Big Thank You to Bailey Jean for organising/hosting Blog-tember again….thank you! thank you! thank you!]

Blog-tember: Day 30 – Farewell Coffee

We’ve done it, ladies. We blogged for 30 days straight!

Bailey Jean invites us, today, to have:

A farewell coffee date. Take some time to breath, sip a warm drink, and share with your new blogging buddies. If you’d like a prompt: how did the Blog-tember challenge go for you? Any surprises? What was your favorite prompt, or what would you like to see included next time?

If we were having coffee this morning, well, I wouldn’t be having coffee, I’d be having tea…but, seriously…

If we were having coffee this morning:

First of all, I’d say thanks to Bailey Jean. Her prompts were so thought-provoking and enticing! She created something truly wonderful and I can’t say enough thanks to her….I’ll be really sad to see Blog-tember go but will be looking forward to next year’s round (or any other link-ups she hosts!)…

Then I’d tell you that I met a lot of wonderful, wonderful, ladies through Blog-tember […you all know who you are!] I’d tell you that they’re all amazing, inspirational, people and that I’ve learnt a great deal from them in such a short space of time, and that I look forward to our ‘blog friendships’ blossoming…

I’d tell you about this amazing post from Rachel: that it blew my mind, both for the sheer brilliance of the idea and the quality of the writing. I’d tell you that I’ve tried to implement the main idea – giving more than you can spare – in our daily lives. I’d also tell you that I’m looking forward to Kim’s Kindness Counts Fridays link-up and that I’m so excited about it, I’ve already scheduled my post for it. I’d tell you that Kim’s blog makes me laugh out loud every time I visit and that she’s like a breath of fresh air in my busy, stressed, days.

Then I’d tell you that I was blown away by the thoroughness of Britney’s wonderful post (which really taught me a lot about making a commitment to blogging), the amazing-ness that is this post and that I loved her v-log too! So brave of her (I chickened out of doing a v-log!)! I’d tell you that she’s a natural behind the camera and that I’m desperate to see her start doing beauty tutorial v-logs. I’d tell you that she will cut my hair one day, hopefully soon, and that she’ll show us everything L.V. has to offer!

I’d tell you all about the wonderful Liane, a kindred spirit, and how she’s my partner in crime for NaNoWriMo and how we’re going to damn well make sure that we both get 2000 words a day out of our heads and typed on screen every day in November. [Obviously a house in London is made all that more attractive by the thought of being just an hour away!]

I’d also tell you all about Lizelle and how amazing she is, so full of ideas and so conscientious and so full of life! How she’s battled too and how she holds her head so so high. How I could get lost in her blog, oohing and aaah-ing over all her luscious posts and words. Her passion is contagious! [Thank you, you xxx]

I’d also tell you about Charlotte (wonderful, brave lady, who blew my mind with her singing v-log! How, how brave she was to sing on camera! To the whole internet!!! I’m still in awe! Awe!) and Bess (wonderful, wonderful, lady who I hope to get to know better) and about Amber and her amazing photography and about Danielle and her gloriously beautiful little one…

I’d also tell you – excitedly – about Heather (wonderful, wonderful!) and Chelsea (love her writing, in awe of her mad photography skills!)….and all the other kind, lovely and inspiring ladies who’s blogs I’ve read over the past thirty days, each and every one of which has inspired me in some way (Julie! Marissa! Reta Jayne! Tricia!).

I’d tell you, again, that I met so many lovely ladies through Blog-tember, and read so many amazing posts. I’d tell you again that I’m thankful to Bailey Jean and that I hope she’s proud of herself, because she hosted such a successful link-up and because she’s the cause of so many budding blog-friendships.

I’d tell you that I loved all of the prompts and that I’m proud of myself because I blogged for 30 days straight and that, because of that, I’m thinking I will give this blogging lark a go and that I now have a plan in place for blogging in to the future. That I’m excited about getting my own domain and self-hosting the blog and that I’m looking, excitedly, for a design template I like or for a (cheap but amazing) designer so that I can get the ideas I have for the design of the site out of my head and on to the web. That I’m excited about writing for the blog and hoping that people enjoy what I write as much as I’ll enjoy writing it.

I’d tell you that, whilst I’m going to miss Blog-tember, it and the people who’ve been blogging along with me, have taught me a great deal about blogging and – most importantly – have taught me that I love blogging and want to throw myself head first in to it. It’s brought joy to my days and given me something external to look forward to, something that can, unfortunately, be sorely missing around here some days. It’s given me a light in this dark period and I’m thankful for that.

I’d finish by saying that I’m so, so thankful for this Blog-tember blogging experience and feel that it’s the beginning of an amazing adventure! Hope you’ll all come along for the ride with me!

Blog-tember: Day 29: Blogging resources

Penultimate day of Blog-tember, ladies. Today’s prompt is a useful one (I bet we’re all hoping to find some links we’ve not come across before!):

What are your go-to blogging resources? What would you recommend to a beginner?

Hah, I am – really – a beginning blogger, as my previous blog was pretty much just a place to share scrapbook LO’s and Project Life spreads. As such, I’m not sure how useful any of my links are going to be to my readers, as I expect you’re all far ahead of me in terms of what you know etc.

But I do have some resources to share:

1. I’ve been collecting ‘things I think might be useful to me at some point in my blogging journey’, on my Pinterest board here

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2. I always enjoy reading the byRegina blog – so, so much useful information!

3. I love this blog post that I found the other day, with this nifty little motivational ‘infographic’ summary:

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4. I love these tips about blogging consistently all year round…if there’s a plan and a structure in place for your blog, it’s more likely that the hopes/dreams for your blog will come to fruition.

In terms of what I’d recommend, I personally want to always remember this advice (image found here):

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and plan to always be organised (image found here):

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Really, really sad that Blog-tember is coming to an end, but hopefully all of us Blog-temberer’s have learnt a lot and will implement all we’ve learnt so that we continue blogging…onwards and upwards, ladies!

Would love to hear any tips/suggestions/recommendations you have: let me know in the comments!

Blog-tember: Day 28 – September highs and lows

Day 28 of Blog-tember. It’s almost at and end, ladies 😦 Today’s prompt is:

What were your highs and lows for this month?

In the spirit of my optimistic, ‘always see the bright side’ personality, I’m going to start with the highs:

– Having a ‘new-to-me’ laptop of my own to be able to work from my home office again! The difference this has made to my sanity – not to mention workflow – has been incredible. Literally life-changing. It’s also re-taught me the value of things: I realise I took my possessions for granted before. I won’t ever do that again.

– Being gifted a ticket for Chris Gardner when he’s in town. Thank you, Universe! I asked you to make it happen and, by some random set of events, it happened. Thank you.

– Having a long, long, life-changing conversation with one of my best friends. It came at a desperate moment, so it was especially necessary and very, very useful. I’ve known him for nigh on twenty years. He’s a rock and we have this weird ‘psychic connection’ where I’ll be thinking of him and literally almost immediately, the phone’ll ring and it’s him, or vice versa. He’s a really successful entrepreneur – crazy successful – so when I’m down in the dumps, he’s guaranteed to lift my spirits up. I’m so thankful to have a friend like him. Someone in the world I can Skype ‘snotty cry’ in front of and he’s not phased in the slightest.

– Doing Blog-tember (and meeting so many wonderful ladies!)  – more on this on the 30th!

Now, the lows:

– Meetings where I have to see my husband. They are so draining. He’s like an energy vampire. I see him and I literally have to take the next few days to recover. He totally un-shapes me. It’s frightening.

– Texts from my husband. The jibes are so unnecessary.

– My husband failing to pay alimony (for the seventh month running): that, and the theft of all my stuff, has completed messed up the household’s finances

– Not having money to pay the gas bill and having to plead with the man who came to cut the gas off, for him not to do his job and not cut the gas off. I have, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it!), been in more deeply humiliating situations over the last year or so, so this, although totally humiliating, was water off a ducks back. [It’s paid now, thankfully…]

– Pulling a muscle in my thigh area which meant I couldn’t run for three days. I go stir crazy without my run. I read on a blog somewhere the other day a guy saying that he schedules ‘thinking time’ in to his daily routine. For 30 minutes he sits, in silence, doing nothing but thinking. My immediate thought was, “Oh, the luxury!” and then I realised that I do have 45 minutes thinking time when I’m running and that, actually, that time is golden for me. I must use it better. Optimise it.

So, there we have it. My highs and lows for September 2014. I hope I never again have to be in a position to beg a poor ‘gas man’ not to cut the gas off. I hope I don’t have to struggle to meet ends meet for much longer (money ‘rolls’ in from the end of September). I hope, beyond hope, that my husband can sort himself out and get over it. It’s all in the past. We need to live for the future, not the past, and we have two little angels who need all of our positivity and strength and love.

I’d leave to hear about your HIGHS – what was the best GREAT thing that happened to you this month? Do tell!