Saturday dawns in chilly Cumbernauld! It is such a dreich day, rainy and cold but being home at my folks always feels warm. It is a great place to recollect, reconnect and rest. It helps so much when your life is going through ups and downs to have an anchor in the storm.
I don’t know about anyone else who has been out of work but there are times when you get really low because it feels like nothing you do, apply for or network your ass off, is getting anywhere. A positive attitude can be a very challenging thing to keep. I have tried to make looking for work, my job, going about it the same way I would any project, with professionalism and pride in my CV.
As a result of this my Blog had been suffering, I have so many drafts saved down that need published that taking the time out of job hunting to correct the hastily typed thoughts is daunting. But I will get back on track and add that to my daily must dos! Yet another thing to add to this challenge
Today was well planned last week but as seems to be the way of things just now, my diary ended up with lots of notes crossed out and rescheduled. The necessary appointments of the day done, I ended up with time on my hands that I didn’t think I would have.
So after Stretching Class I headed for the train to go visit my folks. For some reason my legs felt slightly jelly like and it was a bit weird because after GymGuyMark’s class I normally feel quite good (yes, did just say that). It dawned on me that this feeling was familiar. I remember getting to this stage before, it is the part of getting back into shape that starts to really hurt. You end up with the weirdest shape, your legs look great around the ankle but above the knee??? Convinced there is an alien under my skin!
The only thing to do is to keep going, keep treading that treadmill, keep rowing that rower and cycling till you can’t feel your legs!!!!! But most importantly keep it in your head that you can do it, even when you have the odd cake or cheeky bag of chips, just remember it is only one thing.
Make the big change and the little ones will follow. Now, where is that bar of chocolate!
Waking up this morning to a snow shower! It’s very pretty watching it through the window from a cosy warm bed but when you have a list as long as your arm to sort, you have to brave the frostbite and get up.
Luckily living in town the snow very rarely lies for long so any excuse not to go out disappears with the slush. It’s funny when you make any kind of lifestyle change, you can easily become slightly obsessed with sticking to a routine. Being unemployed it would be very very easy to lie in and watch crap telly all day, filling myself with toast and tea. But having made the choice to deliberately change certain parts of my life, the elements I have added have become necessities. Eating a good breakfast even if it is just cereal, my 45 minute walk, my ten minute meditation and genuinely looking at the balance of my life. The signs of change are there and, for me, it is important that I can visualise that within a drawing, painting or symbol.
This is the Celtic symbol for strength and for me it represents all the twists and turns my life is going through. More of this soon.
Have you ever woken up and had that fear that you have forgotten to do something? You know that blind panic when you are convinced you left your purse at the shop, your keys in the front door or were supposed to be somewhere and forgot? Yeh, those moments! It happened to me last night, I was convinced I had left the oven on and any minute I would be gassed to death. It took me fully ten minutes to calm down but by that time I had got up at 4.30am, washed my dishes, typed a letter and ironed my clothes.
It is such an debilitating feeling when doubt creeps in and the did I question rings around your head. I woke up this morning with a thumping headache but this is where the daily walk is really helping. It clears the head and makes you focus, especially if you add in some steep hills or stairs. The effort it takes shifts your thinking from the negative to worrying that your legs won’t get you to the top of Gardner Street.
So after all that I still fitted in a Core workout with GymGuyMark at the Western Health and Racquets Club. Getting those stressed, tired limbs to work and the anxious muscles to stretch, swing or push this tired body.
I dread to say it but exercise works! Mind you, so does gin!!!!!
Today was about learning and finding the joy of the moment.
When you are making any kind of change in your life, I think it is important to understand the whys and wherefores. For me, this helps me to plan the way forward knowing that I have the knowledge and back up to cope. This can be anything from a technical skill to having people in my life who can give me solid advice. But it also means finding inspiration whether from literature, places or people.
I was privileged to attend the 2017 Stone Lecture at Glasgow University tonight. It was given by Sally Magnusson the writer and broadcaster, and more recently the founder of Playlist for Life. This is an amazing charity who do fantastic work with those who have dementia and their families. They use music as therapy to help communication and as a way for families to help cope with the difficult times.
The key messsge for me was when Sally described the importance of finding “the joy of the moment”. So often with dementia it is the small glimpses that keep families in touch with their loved one, and I guess it is the same for all of us.
When times get tough, think of that small piece of joy and focus on the feeling it gave. It really helps when you need to cope with the challenge that change brings.
To find out more about Playlist For Life, click the link below
PlayList For Life
Isn’t it funny how we have the weirdest things in our lives that we cannot exist without?
For me it is coffee, me without my morning mug/bucket/gallon of caffeine does not bear thinking about. The world is not safe believe me! Yet there are other things that at certain points in your life you find become necessities. I don’t mean essentials like water, air, food etc but the everyday bits and pieces you take for granted.
This leather bag has seen planes, trains, automobiles and the floors of many offices, bars and buildings. It is a workhorse that I cannot live without. It looks smart for interviews and has Mary Poppins like capacity.
Part of this next phase of my 150 Day Challenge is to clear out my life of the clutter and unnecessary physical and emotional baggage that I carry day to day. It is going to be tough because I am very bad at getting attached to things yet it is time for a spring clean.
More to cope with, change and challenge myself!
Sunday morning dawns, time to get out and about. My daily walk is now 45 minutes every day, I am still managing to balance my eating, the coffee intake is as low as my sanity will allow and there is a sighting of a waist!!!!!!
It would seem that these small changes are working and I am managing to maintain them. I am still looking for work so keeping myself to my daily timetable during the week is key. It helps to keep that work frame of mind and focus on what I need to do.
Part of today was a Cardio session at the Gym and that includes my ten minute rowing challenge. The idea is to row as far as I can in ten minutes, as GymGuyMark says it is more productive to row to a target as it is a good guide to how you are improving.
As you can see I am getting there slowly, but this part is a tough plateau to get passed. Focus helps! Challenge helps and encouragement from others definitely helps !
Every so often you need a day to rebalance and plan. Take time to think about what every day is bringing and evaluate the opportunities. Our minds are often so busy that taking a bit of time to scribble out plots and plans with a pencil and a bit of paper clears the fog and clarifies the way forward. I guess it is an investment in you.
It is eye opening when others invest in you, believe in you and prove it by putting their money where their mouth is. But remember that investment is not just monetary, it is time. Listening time! Encouraging time! Motivating time!
Accepting that help where you need to and grow from it.
Start the day!
Yep, busy day that began with me coping and focussing on me. I am working on something special and today I needed to feel strong, mentally and physically.
Good start with a good breakfast, and a chance meet with a great network contact put me in the right frame of mind. I use Mind Mapoing tools a lot these days it really helps me identify the key areas that are urgent and those that can wait.
Now that the body had been fed, it was time for the physical. Stretching Class with GymGuyMark first during which I discovered that I have parts of my body that think they should remain in hibernation and just flatly refused to stretch. Unfortunately in GGM’s classes you get a wee bit of help, which usually results in you getting assistance to bend or lift a limb into a position you previously thought would never happen. This was just a warm up though because next was the boxing!
This was a badly needed session! I had a fair wee bit of anger built up in me and in the past I have found that a boxing session with GGM really helps. Getting those gloves on and working with someone you trust is a fantastic controlled way if getting rid of that negative energy. When you hear that voice encouraging you to hit the pad harder and the “routine” flows, it feels really good.
Check my Day 36 Facebook posts for the videos
Facebook Gin or Gym
After all this I felt really strong and very focussed, that negative energy had gone and been replaced with a will to succeed and identify my worth.
One of the things that has become apparent to me during this 150 Day Challenge is that I have begun to realise just how many parts of my life that I am unhappy with. More and more I am finding that it is the tiny things that build up into the bigger flaws that then become the irritating little bugs that bite and annoy me.
However this thought changed when a friend sent me this image. Instead of letting these annoying little things get to me, why not embrace them and focus on changing the things I can and celebrating the “flaws” that are just me!
Change where I can! Challenge myself! Cope with being flawsome!