So here it is! This is what has been keeping me occupied for the last few weeks.
I am setting up my own business!
I am still “building and developing” a few things but will be “official” from April 1, I already have a few people who I am starting to work with on an trial basis and cannot thank them enough for their trust, you know who you are.
The word Runaire is the Gaelic word for secretary and when my sister Maggie suggested it, I was immediately inspired by all those women who worked tirelessly behind desks on old typewriters, getting through the pile of papers given to them every day. In other words, give it to me and you can relax knowing it will get done.
I am not just sticking to admin or my Investment Banking skills. When I looked at my CV, I realised that I have a multitude of skills, any of which can be useful to any number of people who may just need that extra bit of time back.
The first of many thank you lists …
My amazingly, supportive family and extended family.There are no words.
Michelle Rodger and Julie Marie Gordon for the encouragement and mentoring, I would never have got this far without your support, coaching and “realism”
Emma at Partick Job Centre. She has been amazing and so encouraging in everything over the last weeks.
The Greecester Crew … thanks team! Hayley Richardson Panagiotis McKioulpe and Stavros
Kev O’Neil for answering that Friday email. a quote always helps
Liz McLachlan Catriona Maidens JJ Adams ladies who support and laugh!
Gary Day-Ellison for helping me simplify an idea
Sydney Marcellus Operahouse for being a mate!
And to everyone else who knew, including ex colleagues, thank you for the messages, texts and emails.
This time next year Rodney, when I have made my first million (!!!) gins are on me!
Lists are ruling my life right now! To Do’s, To Call, To Send! My fridge is covered in post its. However there is one other list that I have on my fridge and this is the list that I live by at the moment. It is the get up, eat, drink, move, do, sleep list. This is my daily timetable of things I cannot miss. Oh, I forgot drink coffee!!!!
Since I started this 150 day thing the daily necessities are …
A good sleep,
An hour long walk (now increased from 45 minutes)
No white bread
Takeaways once a month only unless it is a special occasion.
No fizzy juice or diet drinks unless it is the life giving Irn Bru and the public would be in danger.
Blog saved daily and try to get edited and published asap.
Read a real book, only one at a time rather than my usual four on the go.
There are a couple of other things but they are for sharing on another Blog.
All of these things are now embedded into my life and, as part of this challenge, are now daily routine. I know that I have not kept up publishing my Blog but the drafts do all get saved down. And just to prove that the fitness routines are being kept up, here is a scary photo of my very white legs.
Check my Facebook page for a short video with further updates
Some one sent me this quote when I became unemployed in December last year. I was stuck in the what the heck, how will I survive state of mind when this dropped into my inbox. At first I filed it under the keep to focus on for a rainy day folder but two days later I sat down to watch the film and found myself in deep thought. Even as Michael J shot his car into the future, I found myself shifting my own gears and thinking why sit still? Why not use that extra bit of kit and move on? It did all get parked again though and it wasn’t till today that this quote reversed back into my head.
The reason is that I am at present standing in the sunshine in front of the Hamish Wood building at Glasgow Caledonian University. So what, I hear you cry? Well for the few who were with me at that point in my life you will understand. I am here to talk to students about a charity event I help run and it is in the same building that I once talked to a group of students almost 20 years ago.
Fast forward and I am now sitting back in my present. That trip to GCU was a real shaker, the buildings are very different, the campus is modern and perhaps as a sign the sun was till shining. I realised that it is possible to go back to see your future. Going back to places that could potentially provide bad memories or experiences can be flipped to make you realise how far you have moved on and that the “bad memory” is actually more a lesson and an experience that helps you to grow.
Pressing that button again and I am sitting in the cinema watching a performance of Hedda Gabler by the National Theatre. Yet again the resonance of a life changed by decisions echoes strongly. We cannot foresee what will happen, we don’t have a De Lorena to jump back and forward so we cope, we change and embrace the challenge of que sera sera unless we need to take Hedda’s option and that is unthinkable.
This was an eye opener for me today, and I coped.
Would you say you are an organised person?
Perhaps professionally your calendar is bang up to date, you have no paperwork in your intray and all your emails are read, answered and filed. Personally? Admit it, you still have emails in your gmail since 2001 and your mobile is in danger of being cut off because you forgot to pay it again. I can see the nodding heads out there. Let’s face it our professional priorities are, in most cases, so different from our personal and the reason is usually because we don’t get paid to clean our fridges or remember to pick up that dry cleaning we put in months ago. No wonder people employ assistants, nannys and butlers to run households.
One of things being unemployed has made me look at is how I organise my life. As I have said before I am determined not to be a lie in bed till it is time for Loose Women government statistic. I have looked at being unemployed as a full time job and have applied the same work ethic to my search as I would do if I was sitting at a desk. I realised how even a spare ten minutes a day is precious because it means you can take a quick look through LinkedIn, re read a CV or Job spec or hit send on that draft email you have been compiling. So putting that extra effort into being organised at home meant that all those organisational and priority skills I used in my professional life have now spilled into my personal.
Yes, in some ways it makes life boring because there is no thrill of being lazy or letting the laundry pile up till you need two machines at the launderette. The bills get paid and the letters get posted because you need the time to go network or make calls about potential work, even the dreaded ironing is done because you never know when you might need the clean white shirt.
What is does mean is that there are no surprises, or so I thought! The surprise that happened to me was a tiny seed of an idea. It has been planted in my head and is slowly growing. However to keep it blossoming, I need to become even more organised.
Sigh! I am sure this is a good thing, I hope!
Are you one of those people who notices the slightest difference in a paint colour or if the beige carpet they delivered is not the beige you chose in the shop? Or do changes have to be slap you in the face, no longer blonde now brunette changes before you see the difference?
It’s funny how the outward signs are obvious, but can we tell when there has been a change to someone inside? I don’t mean the change from a B cup to a DD, more when a person has worked towards a shift in their attitude from a woe is me to a damn you world, hit me with your worst, I can cope.
I had my hair cut today, the style pretty similar just a bit shorter and on my way back from seeing the ever fabulous Fraser at G20, I met a friend who I hadn’t seen in ages. The last time we met I had shoulder length hair but after the “fantastic to see you’ hugs, she took a step back and said “there is something different about you but I can’t quite put my finger on it”. I grinned back at her waiting on the obvious hair cut remark but instead she clicked her fingers and pointed at my face. “You are smiling! The last time I saw you was in a pub in Glasgow and you were one miserable girl”. As I walked away from her, I was desperately trying to think when it was, and when it clicked it all made sense.
It’s funny how many people have remarked on my change of outlook and not on the change in hairstyle. For me that is a huge compliment, it means that apart from the fabulous Fraser doing a great job, I have created a new style in me that fits my life and those around me. Don’t get me wrong, there are some who do not like it and have said so under the guise of “just being concerned”, I have learned the hard way on at least two occasions but this shift in my thinking is me.
It takes time and often a wake up call to challenge yourself, however when that comes the ability to cope will be there, you just have be able to say damn you world, hit me with your worst!
Monday! Kick starting a busy week with a visit to the amazing team at PEEK project in the East End of Glasgow. What an inspiring charity, the work they do with children and young people is amazing!
When you listen to someone like Melodie, PEEK’s CEO, the passion they have for their work is infectious and it can help to re inspire your own belief in yourself and others. I guess it is all too easy to look at the alarm and think whoa Monday, here we go again but sitting listening to the work that PEEK do and why, gave me a real shot in the arm.
We all believe in something whether it is the power of a God, that the double shot of caffeine will see us through till lunchtime or that the day we look at our worst, Bradley Cooper will walk round the corner and profess his undying love for the female scarecrow in front of him. Me? I believe that I can change my life for the better! Little changes like re focusing a Monday to mean more than a black cloud looming over a Sunday.
Goal setting! Oh how some of us hate those two words. The often unrealistic “I will lose four stone and turn into a supermodel by the summer” goal or the I will remove my eye make up every night promise, goals set, promises made and erm well all too often missed by a quick wipe in the morning with a baby wipe or a tighter size of Spanx.
It is the same when we start a fitness routine, we have these expectations of getting into that form fitting Lycra and pounding out the miles on the treadmill when in reality for me it is the sloppy stretchy yoga pants and a much loved Black Sabbath t shirt, all of which hide a multitude of sins. Years ago, like a lot of my generation, I bought the Jane Fonda workout book and tapes, fully intending to look like the photo shopped actress on the cover, I think I managed about five sessions before the novelty wore off and I convinced myself that I had permanently damaged every muscle in my body.
I laugh when I think about my Jane Fonda phase now, as a self confessed recovering gymophobe, I should have realised that back then it was a denial of my true self and that until I admitted that I hated exercise I would never move on and “feeling the burn” would remain elusive. When we set any any goal, unrealistic or otherwise, it is perhaps our subconscious giving us a jolt. Whether we suceeed or abandon it, it remains a niggle that won’t go away unless we are the kind of person who can block it all out and really hit denial hard.
So for me setting myself the 150 day challenge was not easy, it may seem like nothing is happening but believe you me, it is.
5 am???? Seriously 5 am! My body clock has to be kidding me!
It wasn’t even a turn over and go back to sleep awakening. No, it was a get up and get stuff done alarm and the worst part was my brain agreed with my body. They were. for once, in sync at 5 am.
5 am on a Sunday!!!!!
Nothing for it but to get up, have a shower and find something to do quietly. I pulled out my to do list and by 7 am, I had started to build a new blog site, answered 13 emails, sorted and composed 10 Twitter templates and washed the dishes! I think I had breakfast to! Next walk time, 45 minutes thinks I, in the chilly sunshine. An hour and a half later, I am back at my flat!
Have I been bewitched?
Was there something in the gin I had yesterday?
Or is this a rebellion by my inner, ahem, athlete?
When we have that sudden sleep disturbance it knocks us for six, but for me when I wake up that early at the weekend with no alarm, no what did I forget to do, no can I smell smoke type fears, it feels really really odd. Isn’t it weird how we can’t accept that we are awake and ready to start the day. Instead we either try desperately to go back to the land of nod or spend the next two hours feeling our arms go numb as we check our phones, emails and messages. My theory is, that this is another part of the change I am going through. Hopefully it is having more energy so I might not need as much sleep as I used to. Whatever it is, guess I better get used to it.
Accept! Cope! Change! Challenge! Next week is going to be awesome!
One of the things I have loved about being a part of the team at The Western Health and Racquets Club is learning how valuable the attitude of a coach to a player is. You might be the best tennis player in the world but that does not make you a good coach. Coaching is all about encouraging,”helping people to live their potential” and using positive language. So much of what sports coaches do can be translated into real life.
Take family for example, we live, eat, chat, argue, celebrate, encourage, support and commiserate with each other to name but a few, we are our own cheerleaders. Some family we may not see for a long while but the ease at which we fall back into conversation proves that the connections are always there. Some families are fractured or disfunctional causing a whole other set of issues and often that is when trouble sneaks in. I am very lucky, I come from a close and close extended family, we laugh and make fun of each other, we remember the past and look to the future with support in our mistakes and joy in our successes. This team is as important as that awesome coach is to a great player.
However, if you do not have your own mindset straight, no amount of coaching or cheerleader will help. If there is no determination to improve, the impact of any inspiration will be minimal and you will end up stuck. As Yoda might say the force to accept change is strong in you, young (?) Geraldine! Yes, O Wrinkly Wee One, but only after a lot of help, support, a willingness to open doors, close others and stand in the storm to face the day. Change is hard, we resist it as much as we can but eventually you need to step out into space, light sabre in hand
May the force etc etc etc
Friday! The day when most people sit at their desk and watch the hours count down till they can bolt out the office door to grab a passing gin and tonic. My Friday brain could have done with a gin at 8am this morning but even I would resist that. So coffee gulped, it was off to the Western Health and Racquets Club for a quiet space to work in the Member’s Bar
Today was all about challenging myself, planning and pulling together some ideas as well as looking at various opportunities that have come about this week. Coordination of diaries, following up on actions, calls and ticking things off on my list, it is like being back at work. As I have said before I have deliberately kept my head in the work space, getting up at regular hours, checking websites, agencies etc making looking for a job, my job. Even the voluntary work I am doing is keeping me busy and adding so many skills to my CV. I have learned a lot in the last few weeks professionally and personally. I keep thinking that this is all happening for a reason and I kind of now know what that is.
However back to today and it is the challenging part, Stretching time with GymGuyMark This class is getting tougher, just when you think you can stretch no more and you are lying there waiting on a SNAP sound, you find that your previously uncooperative legs find an extra millimetre. It looks like we are doing nothing but believe you me, we are working hard. Those poor hamstrings, glutes and whatever other strange parts of our bodies GGM makes us work are being forced to loosen up. When you have to hold the stretch for a minute or two at least, your entire body starts to shake as it tries to tell you to let go and flop on the floor but the stubborn part of you keeps going. I like this class, it is a real mind over matter exercise.
Did I just say I like an exercise class? That is it, gin time!!!!