If you follow me on Instagram, you may have watched my recent stories while I was in South Africa and felt one of two things: A) you wanted to kick me in the shin because it was peeing down of rain in the UK and you couldn’t stand my smug face grinning out from a beach/safari/sunbed with cocktail while you were on the commute to work with B.O man’s armpit in your face OR B) You smiled and found it fascinating! As one of my true (in real life) friends said today “While you were away, I woke up and checked your stories immediately as it felt like I was actually there with you – it was really exciting!” And that made me happy, because that was my aim. Even though it was just me and loveable, old Stressed Husband, I wanted to share it because it was such a wonderful, mind-blowing trip, I wanted you to get some enjoyment from it too! And that is the wonder of social media…in my world, sharing is caring 🙂
That Indian Summer kept dipping its head in and out of the first days of autumn, didn’t it? Last week I did the dog walk in waterproof boots because it was muddy at the park, changed into flip flops for a meeting (gold, special ones ;-)) because the sun was out and because I’d just painted my toenails a lovely red/orange and then left the meeting a few hours later, squelching through puddles with a scarf wrapped around my head to shield off the wind and rain! Wow, do excuse me for that terribly British weather update but here’s what I’m getting at…
What even is midlife anymore? As a little girl, I thought 40 was middle aged, but now I’m 50 and I think…am I there yet? The ageing goalposts have definitely moved and I think, overall, it’s a good thing. We are now supposed to be a nation of pro-agers and being ageist is just not tolerated anymore…is it?
There has to be an exclamation at the end of this post title or how else will you hear me SHOUTING about Saturday 12th August?! I’m still buzzing from the excitement of the weekend and for once, it’s not just because of the coffee. I won’t make this a long one (or at least I’ll try not to) but I feel I have to write this down because I want to remember it forever…
Ok, I’ve nearly eaten all of the Christmas leftovers and I’ve packed away the baubles and tinsel, so I guess it’s time to start looking at the New Year with a Feel Fantastic rather than Feel Flabtastic attitude. Having learnt from experience, I’m not one to go hell for leather with the resolutions as I think going extreme just sets you up to fail. And we’ve all written that list, haven’t we? You know the one…
- Lose 2 stone
- Change out of dog walking clothes into stylish clothes every day (and by smart I don’t mean ironed pyjamas)
- Run 10 miles 3 times a week
- Eat kale not cake
- Brush hair every day
- Only drink wine at weekends
I mean, how on earth is any of that ever realistically going to happen in my life? Instead, I am going to focus on attainable goals in 2017 that may not give me that Instagram worthy body I will always secretly covet, but it will give me a healthier, happier outlook on life and that’s what’s important.
Lately, I’ve been feeling a change in the air and I’m not sure I like it. Summer has always been my favourite time of year – the hotter the better. I’ve always especially loved August as it’s my birthday month so you’ll often find me gearing up for the big day by running through the cocktail list in every pub along the river. But somehow, this year feels different…
I always remember my lovely Nanny Ciss saying ‘You should be grateful’ when I turned my nose up at something, whether it was a ‘nice bit of liver’ for dinner *shudders* or when I came second in the swimming club gala. Grateful? But I wanted sausages and chips and I wanted to win the trophy. I didn’t get what I wanted, so as far as I could tell there was nothing to be grateful for. As I grew up though, I realised, clever old Nanny Ciss knew a thing or two about leading a happy life and being thankful for what she had.
When I think about being grateful now, as an adult, I understand it all much better. While I was having a bit of a crappy day recently, it only took five minutes for me to switch my mood from yuck to yay and this is what helped…
The dog. Of course, I was going to say that first 🙂 My big, shiny, loveable Labrador Troy. It doesn’t matter that I’m being grumpy or shouting at Stressed Husband or one of the kids, my dumpling dog always forgives my moods and brings me a sock or pair of pants from the utility room as if to say ‘cheer up mum, here’s a present’. Awww. dirty socks? Nice – not. But I’m just grateful for him ‘presenting’ me with something – it’s his way of telling me he cares!
My house. It took a while to get the building work out of the way with lots of stress, dust and family arguments, and even though it still isn’t finished exactly how I would’ve liked it and it smells of damp dog, it has lots going for it: It overlooks the river, it’s big enough for my 3 big kids and their gaggle of friends and the parties. I guess I’m feeling a bit sad now that we’ve got it on the market (news updates to follow) but for now, it’s home and I’m grateful!
Friends and family. Of course, they’re top of the list, but today, I think Troy was the winner and got top mention as he managed to bring me not just one pair of socks and a lovely pair of unwashed boxer shorts, but a pair of slippers today too. And all, I might add, were in his mouth at the same time! Still, it only took me a quick scroll through my texts and a peek on Facebook to see how many lovely friends I have (and I don’t mean just ‘Facebook’ friends but real ‘if you’re down, I’ll listen to you moan and cheer you up’ type friends.) I’m well aware that not everybody is lucky enough to have such wonderful friends and family and so I am always grateful for that!
Being healthy. What more can I say? I moan about my aching hips – but will never give up swinging them about while I’m dancing! I grumble about my dizziness and other menopausal type symptoms which get on my tits (and talking of tits – they’re getting droopier by the minute so I’ve got to moan about those too) but all in all, I’m so, so grateful to be healthy.
So there we have it. My reasons to be grateful today and I’d like to say a big thank you to Nanny Ciss, God rest her soul, for instilling in me that I really ‘should be grateful’ instead of moaning about stuff that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Love you nan.
What are your reasons to be grateful?
To my lovely, loyal readers: I apologise for the time it’s taken me to get back into the blogging groove. Life, as they say, has got (or gotten if you’ve taken on the American affliction) in the way. In fact, since the New Year, our house refurbishment has taken on epic nightmare proportions. By this, I’m talking living – and trying to work – among at least 5 builders in the house at all times 6-7 days a week, daily dust, grime, walls being knocked down, bathrooms out of action, no central heating, hormonal teens having to share rooms, flu which knocked me sideways for almost two weeks and …drum roll…no roof in the middle of winter.
Plus 4 weeks of me and the kids living in a rented flat while Stressed Husband and our dippy dog shivered together in the uninhabitable ‘family home’. And to think, to ease my worries about moving home – for the 4th time in 6 years – Stressed Husband sold the new house to me as needing ‘a bit of decorating’. How naive was I? Honestly, for the past few months, life well and truly did get up close and personal, face to face and block me from living my days as I used to know them – totally.
Adding to the stress from the house from hell, my lovely, loony 36kg Labrador tore his cruciate ligament over Christmas, and after a £4,600 op (what!? But our insurance only covers up to £4,000 per condition….cue compassionate eyes and ‘sorry not sorry’ shrug of shoulders from vet). So our darling, expensive, Troy has been housebound for almost 12 weeks. Given all of this palaver, I think you might be able to imagine – I hope – just how out of kilter life has been of late. Blogging, exercising, tweeting, working, socialising and at times – breathing – has been hard to do.
And now? Spring has sprang – yay! My doggy is on the mend and we are able to resume gentle daily walks in the park or down the river – double yay – and the kids each have their own room – triple yay! But…there is still the downstairs of the house to go – an extension meaning no kitchen – dinner will be food from a microwave or the local chippy for weeks on end…no money for anything but building work…BUT…we have a roof, hot water, heating (ironic now the weather’s improving) AND, miraculously, Stressed Husband and I are not divorced! 🙂
This mad, bad and dangerous first quarter of 2015 has really made me stop and think about what is important and what we take for granted…like, erm, a roof. And after having had life as I once knew it, stripped away and replaced by a domestic horror story, I now realise how much I loved my ‘normal’ life, so in a way, I guess this turmoil has been a kind of blessing. Although not one I would ever, ever want to repeat again…taking note, Stressed Husband?
And, on a more positive note, I’m going to be making a few changes to the content and style of Glowology over the coming weeks to take on board a new transition that seems to have come over me during my recent experiences, along with the changes that occur, I guess naturally, to most women as we mature. Not saying beauty and glamour isn’t going to be focussing big time on the blog – it is still what makes me happy – even though I haven’t had much time to get dolled up of late! But I intend to bring in more family life and feelings and to talk about other exciting writing projects afoot So…watch this space. It’s great to be back!