Happy Lori to you

A new baby joined my family late last year (my cousin). A long awaited baby – the first in the family in 20 years. It was amazing to welcome him to the family and he is loved more than I can say.

The day we all met him was a day we hoped and dreamed and prayed for over many years. His arrival was that reminder that we all sometimes need, that above all else, we must always have hope.

It can be easy to forget of the miracles that take place everyday but they do happen and we must remember to be thankful for this.

Last week was Lori which is an Indian festival celebrating the harvest. It’s also a time when families celebrate a recent wedding or birth and we celebrated this year like we’ve never celebrated before.

It’s so great getting the family together and seeing people who you haven’t seen for ages and laughing and joking and just enjoying the happiness that is being shared. I wish you all a (belated) happy lori and hope that you have much to celebrate over the coming year.

 

(Belated) Happy New Year

Hello 2017!  It’s good to see you!  I can’t complain too much about 2016 though. It was a pretty good year for me. I think I had a bit of a mid-life crisis 18 months ago which triggered a lot of changes to my life. I spent the first half of my life working hard and saving for the future and I intend to spend the next half playing hard and spending my own hard earned money on the things that I enjoy now because tomorrow is guaranteed to no one. (The rule in our house is that they that earn it can spend it as they so wish.)

It’s made me happier but I still have some way to go. I’ve accomplished plenty in my life so far but still have a lot of goals to meet. I like the new year. It forces you to do an end of year performance review of your life and come up with a plan for the next 12 months like you do at work.

One of my key goals is that I don’t want to be in the same place at the end of this as I am at the start. I want to see movement and changes in my life and I want to experience new things.

One of my new year’s resolutions is to learn the art of mindfulness. I want to be able to relax and enjoy the journey as it’s not all about the destination anymore. I think the older you get, the more you realise that.

I’ve got the obligatory lose weight, get fit and healthy on the list too but I think that when you’ve made any changes to your life and seen results, it gives you the motivation to carry on making changes. I’ve still got some way to go but I believe if you start off small, you can make a big difference.

I’ve got a lot of different things going on in my life this year and I look forward to sharing my journey.

Some reflection…

When I started my blog, my plan was to try and post at least one entry a month. This seemed small and manageable and I started off the year well. Then all of a sudden life got so busy that writing down my experiences just fell by the wayside.  I’m disappointed with myself for this but I’m going to try and stay more committed in future.

I think the really big event has been my my new job. I recently passed my 6 months probation and am now in full swing. It’s taken some time but I feel like I may have finally adjusted to working for a new employer after a really long time with the old one.

I am now working within a really supportive team where people genuinely care about each other and the job. It is in stark contrast to my experiences in recent years and when I think back to what my working conditions were like, I really can’t believe that I stuck it out so long.

That’s the problem when you get comfortable with someone or something. It makes it hard to walk away. You feel like you wouldn’t know what to do in a new situation or relationship and feel afraid of the unknown. But the grass is definitely greener for me and one of my current favourite sayings is “If you don’t try, you’ll never know”. This is so true.

I think it must be that as we get older our perspective really changes and we expect more out of life and I know so many people now who just won’t settle anymore for anything less than they deserve. I applaud this and really encourage people to go out and try something new. Another saying I live by is “if you don’t like it, change it”.  Life’s too short for anything other than pursing our dreams and surrounding ourselves with the people who lift us the highest.

With these thoughts in mind, I’ve made a lot of changes over the last 12 months and genuinely do feel happier. It’s amazing the difference a change makes. Now, I’m looking forward to many exciting times ahead.  Instead of wishing for something to change, I’m going out and changing anything in my life that doesn’t make me happy and so far, it’s going great!

 

It’s all small stuff

I knew that hitting 35 last year was going to be a milestone. In all honesty, it was a pretty bad year in all areas. That wasn’t what I had expected when I had thought ahead to it, but I believe everything happens for a reason and the bad times make you stronger.

Well now I’ve got a new job, new man (technically same man but he has a new, much better perspective) and a whole new outlook. My goal in life is to not sweat the small stuff (and it’s all small stuff). This is harder than it sounds. I am a stress head. I worry about stupid, little things all the time and none of my worries have ever amounted to anything. I have been really lucky recently as I could have suffered a few setbacks, but I managed to stay lucky and just breeze through lots of potentially sticky situations.

People say that if you look for the good in things, you will see it and happy people focus on what they have and not what they don’t have. Again these ways of thinking aren’t easy when you’ve spent a lifetime worrying about little insignificant things but I think it’s really important to recognise where we are going wrong and try and to try change this.

As you can probably tell, I am one of these inspirational quotes fans and I can sit reading them all day long on instagram but my current favourite one is this: “no regrets, just lessons learnt.” I learnt a lot last year – your circle quickly gets smaller when you’re having problems – but this year I’m taking what I learnt and starting many new chapters, meeting many new people and going on some exciting adventures along the way. Doors are starting to open and I look forward to sharing what’s behind them…

New Job

OMG. I can’t believe it’s been 2 months since I sat down at my mac and started writing. So what have I been up to?

Well the big news is I quit my job!

After 10 long years and in the only job I’ve had since leaving uni, I finally had enough and took great pleasure in leaving. What I didn’t tell my previous employer was that I already had a new job lined up as soon as I left. I left without a backwards glance.

I’m one of those people who works really hard. I was always the first into work and the last out. I was totally flexible and always changed my plans to support my job and did everything that was ever asked of me and where did it get me? Nowhere.

I learnt that long hard way that if your face doesn’t fit, then you’ve got no change, no matter how hard you work. It was so frustrating seeing people who were no better than me being promoted just because they were friends with the hiring manager. Nepotism is alive and kicking in the big, bad corporate world.

The final straw was when a senior manager tried to bully me but I stood up for myself and made a harassment complaint against that person so their inappropriate behaviour towards me would be fully investigated and they would be accountable for the way they tried to treat me. I’d finally had enough of being treated like a dogsbody and being unvalued and unappreciated for the work I did.

I’ve now found a company that treats me with the respect I deserve and  I can’t wait to get started there.

Life’s too short to stay in places and be around people that no longer make us happy. Especially workplaces. These days I work to live. I don’t live to work.

 

The art of martial arts

J1 has been going to Karate lessons for nearly a year now and today she won her first medal for sparring. She beat her opponent every single time in the lesson. *Proud mom alert.* She absolutely loves her lessons and has really improved her performance week on week.

To give you some idea of her personality she is not very outgoing but quite shy and sensitive. However, she has really come out of her shell since learning karate. In all honesty, I wanted her to do some sort of extra curricular activity but one that was convenient to me and as this was a 5 min walk from our house, I suggested we try it. She loved it.

Today I got talking to the Sensei after the lesson about promoting karate in local schools. I think this is a fantastic idea. Childhood obesity is a massive problem and a recent report stated that it often leads to physical and mental health issues later in life including depression, diabetes and heart problems.

Karate is a fantastic way to keep children fit and active, develop new skills, build confidence and make new friends. It’s a great activity for young people to get involved with outside school giving kids the chance to mix with new people. It also teaches discipline and improves interpersonal skills as students are mixing with others of different ages and abilities.

I would strongly recommend karate to any parent who wants their child to get involved in something a bit different but ultimately very rewarding.

“Martial Arts does not teach you how to fight, it teaches you why not to.”
― Lakshya Bharadwaj

Valentines Day

Christmas is over. We have all forgotten our new years’ resolutions. Next on the calendar is Valentines Day. Now the husband and I haven’t really celebrated this for the last few years but as we are now making more effort with our relationship, we both decided to mark the event. With a card and present. Nothing too fancy when there are children around.

He went to the trouble of ordering me a personalised photo card of the family. Very thoughtful. I was appreciative, of course. Unfortunately I can’t say it was a surprise as he left the order screen open on the computer when he ordered it. Strange from the man who ALWAYS deletes his internet history that on this occasion he forgot! I was also given a rose – perfect Valentines gift!  Not very imaginative but he is a man so I can let that go.

I, on the other hand, rushed to the supermarket on Saturday night with the kids looking for a card and gift. There wasn’t much choice at 9pm but we struck lucky with a decent card. I am a big fan of practical gifts so I went straight for the mugs on offer. There was the choice of one saying ‘you’ll do, I suppose” – not really appropriate as we are trying to get our marriage back on track after a rocky patch. The other one had little pink hearts on it. Perfect – he drinks tea so now he can use his new Valentines mug.

But, not to be stingy, I went looking for another gift and as a family we agreed on some Simpsons socks. (Again practical). My 4 year old insisted her dad’s favourite things were Moshi Monsters related. I doubt he had ever heard of Moshi Monsters so this advice I ignored.

The next day we went to the supermarket (for an actual food shop this time) and I noticed everything was half priced. We missed a trick, I told him. We should have bought our gifts today. We could have got double the gifts for the same money!

Who says romance is dead!