Day 26 Tempests ❤❤❤

Well Day 26 was windy, cold and wet! It was one of those days where you just want to stay in bed and do nothing but watch crap TV. Unfortunately I had a list as long as my aching legs so no lazing around!!!! I didn’t even have time for a gym session so instead I walked it from the West End into Glasgow City Centre, in the rain. 

Check my short video here, although I do get the name of the movie wrong 

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Tuesday night is movie night and tonight was the RSC latest production of The Tempest. It is such a strange play but the effects in this production make it rather special. Such a weird experience watching theatre in the cinema, it is great that you can get access to productions that would normally be too far away or too expensive.

RSC The Tempest
Today was a day full of more preparation and planning, a touch of networking and watching Prospero. I am beginning to factor the balancing of all the elements I wanted to be able to cope with into my day. The key is going to be that when I get back to work that this balance remains. So far it seems to be working but the proof will be in the Optimistic pudding. 

Ohhh pudding!!!!!

Passion for the Good or Bad !

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Ooooh what a subject for a Sunday morning!

Passion can be defined as a “very strong feeling about a person or thing” or “an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something.” Everything from chocolate, football, politics to saving the world has stirred passionate feelings and arguments in pubs or in families, so it can be a destructive emotion as well as a positive one. Passion is such and individual thing! We can all feel passionately about our country but the degree will vary from person to person as will the extent we take it to.

So what drives our passions in life?

Are we born with it?

Is our passion driven by the genuine need to do good, or is there a hidden agenda? Is passion driven by greed or selfishness, the want to be seen to do good but at the same time benefit? I guess it is the old contradiction of can we actually do a selfless act with no benefit to ourselves.

A friend of mine, lets call him Joe, has a total passion for his car. It is his life and he bores everyone senseless with his chat about the restoration, the endless descriptions of the various repairs and his search for the authentic gear stick. Bless him, he has even dragged me round endless car stores researching the perfect red paint! Friends often complained that he needed to “get out more” but the fact of the matter was that apart from his job, Joe had nothing else in his life. He had had the seemingly perfect marriage, house and family combo, but his wife had an affair and when they divorced her very clever lawyer literally left Joe with his car and his clothes. Having lost his real family, he adopted his car and shifted his passion to care for it. In his own words “at least I know when it is about to screw me over”!

Then there are those who turn their passions into a career. Just look at the number of entrepreneurs who start businesses from a good idea, from something they developed for their own use and end up selling the widget thingy for millions of pounds. Or perhaps their passion to change a small thing in their life develops into a big thing that employs, changes and develops others. As my boss at 29studios often says …

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Then, my friends, there is the mix of passion and belief! A sometimes volatile cocktail that can improve the world or make it a scary place to live in. I am lucky enough to know, and be inspired by, friends who take their belief and use it for the good. Stepping out from the crowd to stand up for what they believe in and never waver no matter how often they are criticised! The people who genuinely do use their position in the community to promote everything from ethical stances to “independence”.

So what, apart from family, friends, gin, coffee and Bradley Cooper/George Clooney what are my passions in life?

Well that is actually a very easy question to answer, my passion is life! Having hit a few bumps in the road I am now passionate about living my life to the full, doing what I want to do and scaring myself stupid by stepping out of my comfort zone. Rediscovering that at 52 I was not doing what I wanted to do changed my thinking and helped me make that decision to find new passions in life to drive myself forward.

Passion is about not standing still, in my opinion it is finding that one thing that fires you up and fills your soul. Once you discover it, the important thing is to not let it totally consume you, after all variety is the spice of life they say or is the thought of a variety of passions too much for a Sunday morning!!!!!

Go on find the spice!

G

Change! Part 3

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So what do you do when your courage has prevailed and you find yourself back on the job market? The days of your notice are fading away faster than you would wish and there is no new post yet on the horizon.

First step is you get your Linkedin updated and your CV tweeked and polished. Then sit down and make out a plan, forget pros and cons for now, I did a mind map of what I would need to do to survive while I looked for what I wanted. It became very clear to me that temporary or contract work was going to be the way to go because after much soul searching I realised that a complete change was needed. I spoke to ex colleagues, got various recommendations for agencies and quickly realised that my skills were very much in demand. Within three days of registering, I had been to speak to three possible temp roles so I knew there was a safety net should I need it. It was also comforting to know that I had friends looking out for me, the texts came in every day with news of various possibilities. The excitement I had felt at handing in my notice started to return. It was comforting to know that the skills and abilities I had used over the years were being recognised in various different industries.

I think that we often forget that life experience is often as important as qualifications. The biggest wake up call for me throughout the whole job hunting process was that I began to be really proud of myself, to recognise who I am, what I want, and what I can offer. When you are asked to put a price on your skills by agencies or prospective new employers, you soon start to put things into perspective. My mind mapping had helped to confirm that I wanted to move into a different sector so it was possible that I would have to make financial sacrifices, but the one thing that was clearer than anything else was that I had the courage to face whatever came next. However yet again karma/Universe/Jesus stepped in, I noticed on Facebook that a company I have long admired were looking for an Office Manager. At the same time as I was reading the post and editing my CV, three friends sent me the same details via text, all with the same message … this could have been written for you …!

It is one of the hardest things to put your energies into other job searching when you find what you want to do. The temporary offers were starting to come in thick and fast and I became a bit of an expert at dawdling over my decisions, including some very tempting headhunters from London! Me, yes me, wanted by companies in London. I am not egotistical in anyway but flattered? Oh yes! I out this feeling to good use, it helped me to focus yet again on my goal, my mission statement …

“To find a role that I would want to wake up every day and think, let’s do this!”

So to cut a long story short, on Monday 31st August I start as Office Manager at 29 Studios in Glasgow. When they offered me the post at my second interview, I believe I didn’t even say yes, I think my eyes filled with tears and I hugged them! I cannot wait to get started tomorrow, it will be a learning curve to break old patterns but having had a very chilled week off in between my schoolbag is packed, my pencils are sharpened and my coffee mug is rinsed out and ready to go.

I cannot wait to be a #29ER, why because I have a feeling I am going to #lovewhatIdo

Change! Part 1

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Change! A word that scares many of us to heck and back!

Why?

Is it because we like being comfortable in an environment that is familiar or is it because we don’t like new faces? Perhaps the reason is that even if it is dangerous, we know what to expect from wherever we have lain our hat! Whatever the excuse, I mean reason, a lot of us just will not change what we perceive to be security. Very often it takes drastic action on the part of karma/Jesus/Universe (delete as appropriate) to make us shift our butts and make it happen or accept that Mr Inevitability is calling. I have struggled to cope with change in the past and it has lead to huge anxiety issues, however one Friday in July I took the matter into my own hands, put on my big girl pants and made it happen. I made change happen and I did it without a safety net!

Why?

It was time, after 12 years of working in the same environment for a large company with good benefits, I jumped out of the plane. There are lots of reasons why, many too personal, but lets just say my universes all collided and karma put my brain into the right place to cope. I had no job to go to, was facing the possibility of having to give up a lot and move flat but when I sat down and weighed it all up, I realised that the tiny list of pros, for leaving, was far greater than the huge list of cons, for staying. At the tender age of 52 it was time to dip my toe into the pool of the job hunter, but the big question was do I stay in my financial services comfort zone and stay in the shallow end or do I climb to the top board and jump off into the unknown?

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The next few days were difficult and at times stressful but I had this overwhelming feeling that I had done the right thing. And when people started remarking on the fact that I was grinning like a cheshire cat constantly, I gave myself a huge pat on the back.

Why?

Because I had known for a long time that things needed to change and finally I found the courage to make it happen!

Part 2 to come

Promises, Promises … Oops I did it again!


I finally kept a self promise I made to myself  months ago!  It was during a time of huge stress when I made the deal. I told myself that if I did one thing I could have a fish supper and a glass of wine while I sorted things out. Guess what? I did a half arsed job and gave up to watch some crap TV and zone out with the rest of the wine. I beat myself up for days about this and watched as an opportunity skipped by me.

So what changed ? Why did I suddenly decide a few months later to finish the job? Another bottle of wine? Another fish supper?

Actually it is much simpler than that, all it took was someone sending me a text that said “well I believe in you, read this and remember it” 

So I have thought, believed, dreamt and finally dared! Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom before you can start again, cliche I know but in this case so true.

Apologies dear readers but I broke the promise at the start of this Blog series to keep a promise and it feels good!

Promises, Promises … Sunday

I made the mistake of reading back over some of my Blogs yesterday. Big mistake, mainly because I picked the wrong ones to read. I chose to read those full of promises and pacts with myself, 75% of which I didn’t keep or found some excuse to justify the break!

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We go out of our way to keep promises to others, cancelling nights out to go see family, leaving the pub because we promised we would be home early, why then is it much easier to break that promise to ourselves than it is to others? The guilt trip that we face when the child puts on that Oscar-winning sob and bleats but you promised, send us in a nose dive straight into the pool of “how could I’ followed by so much “making it up to you” we spend half our wages on crap toys and fast food!

What if that child was us?

Remember that promise you made to yourself as you gazed upon the sight that greeted you in the mirror yesterday morning? You know, the one you went “Ugh, never again” to then promptly walked past the gym and hit the chip shop? I see you nodding, I know I am! I remember discussing this with a friend and her saying that the promises we make to ourselves don’t matter because they are just words we use to justify the old “diet starts tomorrow” mentality. But that kind of got me thinking, what if every self promise we break does affect us? Imagine you have an empty egg box perfectly balanced on your head and every time you make yourself a promise an egg is put into that box. Just think how careful you would be to keep that box balanced because the last thing you would want is for an egg to fall out and run all over your face. Ick! Now just consider all the “promises/bargains/pacts” you made with yourself last week and oh yes we are seeing broken eggshells all over the floor with a raw egg shampoo happening, aren’t we?

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Eggs, like promises are such fragile things so perhaps we should think a bit more before making that commitment

As a Brownie Guide, we promised to “do our best, to do our duty to God, to serve the Queen, to help other people and to keep the Brownie Guide law” a mantra I remember chanting every Monday night then promptly forgetting it unless there was a badge involved. Perhaps it is time to stop the promise repetition that often really means nothing and start just doing? If the eggs in the box on our head become the norm, we will get used to them and change our life so that nothing falls out and breaks aka no egg on our face. So for the next fortnight , to try t keep myself on track, my Blog will be full of very boring normal every day life stuff, I want to see for the next two weeks how much fitting things into normal life works and keep a tally of the broken eggs just to make myself a bit more aware of self-respect and permanent changes to my life and how I can get all those smashed eggs back together. I am making no promises …yet!

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All images found via Google searches

Doing the right thing

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A friend of mine is having to make a decision which will no doubt feel like the wrong thing to do but in her heart of hearts she knows it is the right thing.

How many times do we face that in life? The difficult decisions to walk away from a  relationship, leave a job we have been in for years for a new one, move home or just decide that enough is enough and it is time to change.

The old brain says “look you know this is the right thing” whereas the heart  is screaming”NO!”.

Then we find that balance, that happy place where the light bulb goes off and we feel that sense of peace that signals that we know we have done the right thing.

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So if you are standing in front of this sign then my thoughts go out to you, it is one tough decision but give yourself time to find that balance to allow the heart and the head agree.

G x

”Bridget” Gym’s Diary

Over the next fourteen days, starting from Monday 26th May 2014, I am going to keep a ”diary” in the Bridget Jones style but with a difference.  I am going to record what I eat, drink, exercise and what kind of day it has been. My professional life will not be included but the everything else, within reason, will.

The format will be along the lines of the below but may change if I feel it is right to do so …

Awake at

Breakfast

Snack

Lunch

Snack

Evening

Today’s highs

Today’s lows

Exercise

Bed at

The reason for all this will become clear once the next fourteen days are over. Let me just say that it I am not going anywhere, on holiday or a fabulous date. The reason is much more *gulps* sensible. I have planned out all of my eating and daily exercise with the help of GymGuyMark and am very grateful for his expert advice. I do have to say that a few nights out and lunches have been factored in to the equation to keep my Gin or Gym balance right but for the moment it is goodbye to this

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And hello to this

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Eeeeek !!!!!

G x

 

The M Word : the honest Blog!

This is the only Blog where I will use the word menopause, I decided to write this as honestly as I can for two reasons. One, to sort my head out and accept what is going on, and two to try to find the balance again.

Wikepedia defines it as …

Menopause is the cessation of a woman’s reproductive ability, the opposite of menarche. Menopause is usually a natural change; it typically occurs in women in midlife, during their late 40s or early 50s, signaling the end of the fertile phase of a woman’s life.

The Mao Clinic says

Menopause is the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States. Menopause is a natural biological process. Although it ends fertility, you can stay healthy, vital and sexual. Some women feel relieved because they no longer need to worry about pregnancy

So many definitions talk about it as the end, the ”stopping”, the cessation, they make it sound like that is it! I guess the tone is in the eye of the reader, whether you see it as a cold hard definition or the experts giving you advice. Whatever it is, I hate the word menopause much like I hate any medical term. Why? Because in the eye of this reader, it defines me, it tells me how I should feel, what is happening to me and what will happen to me. There are tips and hints all over the place advising you what to eat, what to ask your GP, what to avoid and how to cope with hot flushes but the one thing no one can tell you is when these things happen that it will try to shut you down.

So what is happening with me? Well, I am struggling with several things. The hormone rush, when the silliest advert or situation  makes me cry, the sheer frustration at my inability to make a decision between one brand of coffee and another leading to me dumping a full basket and walking out of the deli, the fact that I am craving chips, lemon curd and coffee constantly but perhaps the biggest one is the body image thing is back. I looked at myself in the mirror the other morning and started to cry. I could not see the 50-year-old woman who has achieved so much to be able to lift a 16kg kettlebell over her head, all I could see was a washed out middle-aged female with spotty skin, dripping in sweat and wearing clothes that do not fit her. I felt and looked total crap and there was zero motivation to change it so the only thing to do was to crawl back into bed and have a lazy day doing nothing but escape into the world of telly. There is no anxiety, no worry just nothing with no desire to face the world and change. How do I dig myself out of this? At the moment I have no idea, I am reading all the information I can gather, focusing on the understanding of the whole M word situation and I will be talking it out with the right people but perhaps the one thing I am missing is how to live with it. How do I learn to cope with ”hide under the duvet” feeling? The ”wear the baggy jumper and hoodie days”? The ”I want to listen to loud rock, light candles and sit in my room sulking” evenings? In other words, how do I cope with being a teenager again but with my body going on reverse?

So many questions, so for the answer I asked a teenager. She handed me a postcard someone had given her a while ago, it was not dissimilar to the below, the message was very much the same.

others feel

I said to her that my problem was ”how I feel about myself” and she said to me in her fifteen year old wisdom ” you remember that skateboard picture you sent me of the boy at the top of the hill? Well it is kinda like that, do you kick up the board and go home to watch telly or do you skate right down that hill not knowing if you will end up in the water”

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I said I didn’t get her point and yet again in that stating the bleeding obvious manner that young people often have, she sighed, put down her mobile and said ”I have spots, you have spots. I have mood swings, you have mood swings. I am on a skate board at the top of a hill and so are you, live with it”. She went back to Candy Crush! In other words sometimes we don’t get a choice in life, we have to get on that skateboard and hurtle down that hill whether we like it or not. The adrenalin rush will scare or excite, there will be tears and tantrums when a wheel falls off now and again and scrapes, bruises and cuts will happen because I am choosing to do this without a helmet or knee pads. Being a teenager pure sucks man but dude, as I have said before, if I can get through this and find the balance I have worked hard to achieve then perhaps the M word is not an end as defined, but it is a beginning?

Like many an ageing teenager before me I still have loads of questions and lots to cope with but, as I said in my last Blog, finding the right people with the right knowledge is key, and the putting into practice what I have learned even more so. No one can do this or get through this for me so perhaps the key member of Team #GinorGym is me and that woman in the mirror. Back to square one?  Perhaps but that water at the bottom of the hill looks so tempting, especially when you are in the middle of a hot flash!

Gx

There will be no more Blogs with the men***se word in them. It is the M word from now on in!