Day 39 Things I Cannot Live Without 20/02/2016 ❤❤❤

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!

Day 34 Core Values

If I asked you to define your core what would you say?  Apart from fruit related meanings, the dictionary has it as “the part of something that is central to its existence or character.” Or as a friend once put it, “it is the bit on the middle of you that defines who you are”. Many firms and organisations use their core values as a means to promote who they are and what they do so I guess it is a pretty central message.

I have been lucky in the past to have worked with firms who do actually work to their core values and make them central to their message. During my time at 29studios I grew to understand exactly what it meant to “love what we do” and seeing it put daily into practice and  inspire others to follow where they lead. Even in day to day life I see coaches on the tennis courts and squash courts putting their core values to work to help inspire the champions of tomorrow to reach their potential using enthusiasm and encouragement to inspire and promote belief.

All this said today’s core values were of the more physical kind but at the same time all about belief. GymGuyMark has started free classes for members at Western Health and Racquets Club and todays was all about the core! Now at present mine is currently hiding under a nice layer of flab so when I started some of the moves and exercises, well it was not too happy. It was like the bit in Star Trek where Scotty yells at Kirk that the warp core cannae take it Captain. Meltdown time! Trying to find that mixture of balance and strength is tough and as GGM explained, it takes practice. Cue homework in balancing and strengthening! 

So to find your core in any part of your life takes focus, practice and belief, a great life lesson to be applied and to use as part of your own values. 

 

Day 30 Chilling ❤❤❤

I have to admit that this morning I am shattered. A very busy and challenging week caught up with me and I had to cancel a few things today. I deliberately had a slow morning with a little bit longer in my meditation time. My walk took me round the Botanic Gardens minus my FitBit. The crocus and snowdrops are peeping up everywhere, it is so nice to see that wee bit of colour.


I admit to a nap when I got back and then dealt with all the stuff I had been avoiding on my TO DO list. 

Determination to get the job done! 

Sunday is going to be a challenging day as I have a lot to do plus fit in my walk. Think I need another nap


Onwards 

G

Day 27 Plotting and Challenge ❤❤❤

Up with the very sleepy lark this morning, places to go and people to see. I did treat myself to breakfast at my favourite coffee shop, Gordon Street Coffee. Their Glasgow Roast is just the fuel to get you going. I love sitting in here, especially this morning as the coffee bean roaster was on.


Job done in the City Centre then in for my next coffee at Western Health and Racquets Club’s Members Bar. 


With all this caffeine time to channel into a workout and boy did I push myself. 

Check the Day 27 post on my Facebook page

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Tomorrow, more coffee powered activity and if nothing gets in the way, a workout with GymGuyMark

G

The Return!

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Tomorrow is back to work day! After an amazing break, it is time to shift focus and balance out life. 2016 looks to be one that will be filled with passion, opportunity, personal growth and one almighty challenge in getting this poor old  neglected body back into shape.

The spark has been lit and the revolution continues!

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G x

2015: the year I revolted!

When you read all the health advice for someone of my age, it is all cut down on stress, watch what you eat, don’t drink to excess and exercise. I realised the other day that in 2015 I revolted against most of this. I think I saw the inside of the gym only a handful of times, healthy eating; eh no, and stress, well lets just say at times it was off the radar. So I guess that makes me a lifestyle revolutionary, waving the flag for all the wrong reasons but if you were to questions my principles, I can give you a damn good excuse for each and every time!

I wonder if this revolutionary spirit in me is a mid life crisis! It is like the driver who knows it should be the sensible Ford but that sporty little roadster yells Vive La Revolution! If it is not the old oh my God I am in my fifties crisis, is it just sheer laziness? Was it that in 2015 I could just not be bothered and my hormones, agreeing with this theory, shut down and let me do whatever the hell I wanted. Or perhaps it was because I realised that there were other things in my life that needed a barrier built in order for me to be able to cope, and that when the time comes for it to fall all these other non revolutionary ideas will come into play. In 2015 I had to cope with making huge changes in my life, they were long overdue and ranged from professional to personal to financial. Change can be exhausting, emotionally and mentally so perhaps the physical side of things had to put on the back burner till my head had cleared and I could see my revolutionary vision clearly.

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So 2016? Do I wave the flag high and continue of my policies of eating chocolate and hitting the gin bottle to revolutionary excess? Well perhaps my principles need to be refined? A little bit of give and take maybe in order with a continuance of Vive La Revolution but with much more “protesting” in the fresh air, lifting weights and getting the Gin or Gym balance right. It takes great strength in your arms to fly a flag high, so once the steak pie, peas and tatties are all done on New Years Day, the 2016 revolution continues. None of this New Year new start thing, that is total BS and never works, as I said I started revolting in 2015 and I plan to continue in 2016 with slight changes to the propaganda!

Just one further issue to resolve, what is the well dressed revolting 50 year old wearing these days?

Happy New Year all

Geraldine x

 

 

 

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 4

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This morning I wake up in a different world! Over a week ago I was in the busy, frantic office of investment banking and today I enter the world of the “creative visionaries and digital design specialists” at 29studios

My challenges? To manage the office, to learn what they do, reacquaint myself with a MacBook and embrace a brand new culture and way of working. All of which I am so looking forward to!

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When you make any change to your life you cause a whole heap of ripples in the pond. It often does not just affect you, those around you have to embrace it as well. Whether it is the fact that you keep grinning like an idiot because you have got your dream job or that your hours change and adjustments need to be made, the effect is felt by others. I didn’t realise the effect my making a change would have on others who read my Blog or follow my Gin or Gym Facebook page  A few have asked why I made this change and as I said previously, some of the reasons are personal and not for publication (none related to my previous employer) but if I am honest there are some main ones …

  1. A friend said to me one day that if she could she would employ me because of the skills I had. I asked her what they were and she listed off abilities I never even thought of.
  2. I have so many great influences in my life, friends who stand up for their political beliefs, family members who are battling cancer, and others who are so true to what they want to do, they set up their own companies
  3. I know a few young people who set themselves a goal and reached for it under tremendous pressure

 

I looked at all these influences and thought what can I take from each of these and move forward, cause the pond to ripple and see whether I can swim.  Well today I am diving in at 9am on my first day, not in a new job but in a new chapter with the #29ERs, I have met the team and spent time in the office and cannot wait to get started.

So it maybe a new chapter with a new haircut and a new MacBook but this is the real me and #IlovewhatIamdoing

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Change! Part 2

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The one problem with making any big change is doubt, that silly little niggle that starts at the back of your head and will not go away. Small things can very quickly escalate into huge fears and worries and the spiral into heightened anxiety can shift up a gear and speed towards the danger zone.

How do you stop that from happening?

  • Self belief, remember where the courage came from to make that decision and why!
  • Focus on you, on your reasons good or bad and use them to point you in the right direction.
  • Talk to those you trust, family and friends who really know you and can be honest with you.The number of friends and colleagues who noticed a difference in me was phenomenal.
  • I ditched the pros and cons and instead used mind mapping and a few other methods to point me in the right direction. I found pro and cons lists too negative.
  • Make up an alternative CV, list your life skills and use your hobbies etc to pinpoint what you enjoy. This really helped me to focus on a few things I had forgotten about.

Very simple but useful little steps!

One other thing, be grateful for where you are leaving, bitterness can sour the process of finding something new. Even if you are leaving for negative reasons, there will be learning points you can take away with you. Everything we go through in life teaches us and becomes an experience, good or bad.

So I finally said goodbye to colleagues and friends I had worked with for over 12 years, it was tough. I think I cried my way through most of my last day. It was a day full of affirmations and memories and may tissues. I leave with some very nice gifts as well as a cracking wee night out.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me at Morgan Stanley for the last 12 years, it has been a blast.

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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