Monday 31 December 2012

How to celebrate new years day?

Sunrise on new years day 2013
This year my intention is not to stay up all night to see the new year in. Instead I hope to get up in time to see the dawn of the first day. This idea came to me yesterday and feels very right to me and, bearing in mind that sunrise is not particularly early at the moment, very achievable even if I do stay up later than intended.

We are supposed to be getting sunshine tomorrow so I'm hoping to get in a good days work outside - I really need a day in the garden. For our evening meal I'm going to let my sons decorate the table to make it special for celebrating the start of the new year.

***** So, what happened?

We did see the sunrise, shown above. It wasn't quite the experience I'd hoped for but with grumpy children and a dad with cold toes I guess it wasn't too bad, it certainly felt right to me. We walked up a hill fairly close to our house, next year I would like to be more organised and take the makings of a warm breakfast with us (soup for breakfast?) and perhaps use Hambledon Hill which is an okay drive away. But with it all relying on reasonable weather there is no point in me making too many plans this far ahead.

New Years meal
The garden was still too sloshy to do much but kindling was cut, the cars were vacuumed and our chimney re-covered. I don't feel as if we wasted the daylight hours for a change. Tea was pretty simple, roast pork and apple sauce eaten as sandwiches followed by some lemon curd tarts topped with baileys tinted cream (the tarts were like little suns to me - something I'd like to see more of this year). Delicious, simple but still festive thanks to the candles, placemats and mismatched tablecloth. Crackers and Schloer rounded it off nicely, enjoyed by all.

New pages

'A happier me' mind map
I have added some pages to my blog, these are categories that I have highlighted as being important to work on from my 'happier me' mind map (apologies for the poor image above). These are:
  • My home and garden - this is where I will focus on improving the environment around me. My primary target at the moment is the house but it made sense to me to add the garden here too
  • Health - pretty self explanatory. I need to both lose weight and become fitter, fitness is my higher priority but looking good would definitely boost my self-esteem
  • Celebrations - birthdays, festivals etc. I would like to do more to make these dates special to me and my family
  • Art and crafts - I love creating things but I do need to ensure that projects get finished AND that I create for the home more often
  • Academic studies - this is a page title I don't like very much and will change as soon as I think of a better one. I love learning but don't give myself the time to do so. This year I want to take time to study my interests more seriously
  • Personal development - this is a bit of a catch all category, I suspect that it will primarily cover planning and may even get deleted at some point as this whole blog is about personal development. We will see.
It will be interesting to see how this blog develops and whether any of these pages stand as I currently intend in a years time.

Saturday 29 December 2012

A wet walk

Wet, grey and windy 
Wow, you can tell that this is a new blog, second post just a day after the first.

We've had a lovely gentle Christmas but I have felt somewhat trapped in the house. Every time I've looked out of the window I've been greeted with the sight of grey dreariness and the reminder that walking across the garden is like tip toeing across a wet sponge. But today I was drawn outside so on went the coat, hat and wellies. I walked up to our local river and just stood on the bridge, staring for a while at the twisting of the water whilst battered by the rain. On the way back, walking on a foot path around a field (image above) I recorded how I was feeling - I love the gadgets on my phone. Below is an edited transcript:

What a miserable day. What a vibrant day. It is cold, wet and windy and I'm going for a walk. I feel alive, I feel real. I'm looking forward to sitting by a fire with a cup of hot chocolate snuggled up with my boys, making soup for lunch and knitting socks. It's cold, the wind is blowing the rain across this flat landscape in flat sheets. I can feel my trousers sticking to my skin like icicles. The open skies are wonderful, it's bleak but... there's promise. There's promise of life, promise of light, that we have come out of dark winter and away from the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Coming into the new year and refreshment, time to reassess, a fantastic time of year. Not a time to turn myself into a new person with false promises but a time to assess things and to think through what I really want and to appreciate what I already have.
Okay, I'm sludging through the puddles, each step is a slurp. It's a pity I'm wearing a hat really as I want to feel really open to the elements. Let me take my hat off, it's not raining too bad right now. Ahh, incredible. Even though it is still slightly raining I couldn't feel anymore alive, I feel refreshed, I feel washed, not quite renewed but on my way there. Energy refilled. With my hat on [it has a brim] it was like being in a cave and looking out. Now I feel open to the world, to the sky. I feel as if my hair has taken on it's own life and is reaching for the air to become one with it. My feet don't feel the same thing with the earth but that's probably because it's too muddy and cold for that.
Here my monologue ended and I took the above photograph. Not a great image with the rain on my camera but it does show the moodiness of the sky. I really enjoyed doing this, not an exercise I planned but the words help me to recall the moment.

I didn't have hot chocolate when home but I have had a snuggle with my boys and enjoyed a big pot of homemade mushroom soup with crusty bread. A good day, I may yet start on knitting the second sock.  

In the beginning

I love being a mother. I love my boys. But somewhere along the way I have lost me. It makes me sad.

There are many things that I would like to be able to do and I have decided that now is the time to plan how to incorporate these within my life again or if I need to say good bye to some dreams for good. I feel that it is important for me to continually build on my skills and to ensure that old abilities are not lost through lack of practice. Religion is also important to me... but I'm not quite sure where I fit in so here is another aspect to research.

I can't do everything at once but hopefully, one step at a time, I can continue to move forward.