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Monday, 18 June 2018

Become a Thief of Time.




Two ~inspirational~ quotes which have stuck with me, are based around time. Firstly "You can't steal money, but you can steal time"

Secondly "You have the same number of hours in a day as BeyoncĂ©/Oprah/(insert successful person name here)" 

I don't remember where I first heard/read these quotes, but they must have stopped my finger when scrolling Instagram, or made me lean into a little closer to my conversation because now I think of them a lot. I think of a time a lot, of managing it, fearing wasting it. How much of it I have and don't have is something my world revolves around.


Today I wanted to talk about maximising your time, becoming a thief of the clock, making your 24 hours stretch again and again.

Naturally, some days, time seems to run away from you, and other days drag. Some days you're ticking through you to do list as fast as you're writing it, and some days, get the list written a challenge enough.

Having said that, no matter how fast or slow they might seem, there are always 60 seconds in a minute, each hour you live with last 60 minutes, and both your longest and shortest days will come to a close after 24 hours.  I mean, it's pretty damn obvious, that's how time works. Yet still, we convince ourselves it varies "I've had a long day" "Work dragged today" "Today has flown by""So little time, so much to do" - time seems to have a bit of bad wrap, when it actually constant, and the exact amount we're getting is always guaranteed. 


We live in a world, where we're overcome with guilt if we don't get everything done.  However juggling a full-time job, a side hustle, working out,  a social life, good relationships and general adult responsibilities is a lot. When you add into the mix posting regularly on Instagram, keeping up with emails,  a decent skincare routine, getting somewhere with that dreamy side project which someday might be your main project life can feel a little much

What if we could steal time? Wouldn't life be dreamy? Well, I think we kinda can.
Make those minutes count. As soon as you maximise your time, and learn to stop mindlessly wasting it, you can become a thief of minutes. Those 60 seconds that get away from you before you know it, you know the ones spent scrolling Twitter, refusing to get out of bed (no matter how desperate you are for a wee) or sitting in a towel on your bed doing nothing, they add up. There is also the time which we can't help using, which feels wasted, you know, travelling, waiting rooms, waiting in general. However, waiting rooms don't have to be just for waiting. That time is a gift if you the choice to take it. 


Write your lengthy Instagram captions on the bus, get up 20 minutes earlier to do your yoga, write a paragraph of that book on your lunch break, a tweet from the toilet, write poetry in the notes of your phone in waiting rooms. Answer emails the moment you open them.  Take your train journey as a time to practise mindfulness. Ring your friends to catch up while you're walking. Listen to podcasts while you do you make up. Always follow 5 minute rule . If it will take 5 minutes, do it immediately. Say no if you don't want to do something. 


Pay attention to how you spend your day. If you spend an hour commuting each day, consider whether you're using this time wisely. Make the time positively impact your career, your mental wellbeing, your relationships or even to just add a little tick to your to-do list.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have downtime because that's crazy, and you can't be productive all the time, but make sure your downtime, is actually benefiting you. Is it making you feel better?  That free time where you mindlessly lose an hour scrolling past beautiful girls, find yourself comparing, just kinda makes you feel a little rubbish (scrolling pass girls who inspire you, is also a completely different thing). I recently started having personal training sessions three times a week. Before I began, I wasn't aware I had three hours to spare a week - but it seems I do. If anything those evenings working out I feel as though I have more downtime, I actually relax more putting that time into exercise rather than not doing a lot and then wishing the time back a day later when I have a to-do list longer than my arm. In fact, I cannot tell you what I was giving those three hours up for before I started working out.


Don't wave goodbye to time and then wish it back.
As the saying goes, time is precious, waste it wisely. 

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Monday, 11 June 2018

The New Years Resolutions: 6 Months On.


As we are halfway through 2018 (how?!) I thought I'd look through my New Years Goals and see how/if they're coming along. I think we can all agree this year is flying by, so it time to regain some focus on my goals before we're counting down to 2019. 


Let's talk about where I am with those goals I blogged about 6 months ago...

1) Write the book




Well, I've written more than last year, but nowhere near as much as I intended, I'm only 6014 words in. The thing about a big project is, it's scary. It is fear which I guess has kept me making excuses, and stopped me writing. It's left me feeling that dreaded feeling of 'not good enough'. I wanted to have more than 4 times more written by this Summer, however, realising I haven't come close to reaching that might just be the kick up the bum I need to get writing. I am going to set an alarm to remind myself each day that I need to spend the minimum of 1-hour writing. My laptop is also going to start coming with me to work so I can make the most of lunch breaks.




2) Save and make more money than last year



 Recently I had the realisation that the only way to save more money. is to either earn more money or budget better, so with that in mind I recently started putting in more hours at work. I'm hoping the 2nd half of the year will bring me a new career, which will again bring more money into my life. So far, I've not made as much as I would like, but that's changing. I recently set up a direct debit, so I put money into saving the moment I get paid.



3) Be the planner, organise things


 really struggle with this, I'm not naturally assertive, but reading back over that goal has made me text a few of my friends to make plans. I've definitely improved, but I'm still not the greatest planner. It's something I'm still working on.



4) Take better care of my body 


 I'm pleased to say, this is one I'm really doing. Although I could probably do with moisturising my legs a bit more and painting my toes nails more often, I'm eating a lot better, I'm seeing a personal trainer 3 times a week, I'm going for runs and do yoga, and I'm seeing serious changes in how I'm looking and feeling.



5) Visit more places



I definitely need to plan a few more trips, some staycations would be nice. I do have an actual beach holiday coming up at the end of the month. There has also been a little talk of a few other weekends away with friends. Hopefully, I'll soon have a driving licence and a car, so I'll then have a lot more freedom to take myself to more places.



6) Take steps towards buying a house



 Beyond setting up a direct debit to my savings, I've not moved too far forward with this one, however, it was always something which was going to come later in the year when I'm feeling more settled with that new career which I feel coming my way.



7) Gain some success and direction in my career



This is always a funny one. I feel I am taking steps they are just small ones. I've interviewed for jobs which I didn't get. But still, I turned up. Although I'm not earning from the blog, I'm beginning to feel less invisible in the blogging world, a step which needed to come first. I've noticed the comments on my blog become more thoughtful. I've gained a few follows from people I think are really valuable to the industry (I mean, hello Lucy Sheridan on Instagram and Emma Gannon on Twitter!). 

New Day Knitwear has been changed to something more personal for the founder Stacie Clark Knit, I had some coaching with Laura Jane Williams, decided to start sharing my poetry, and now Stacie has begun Crocheting my words, to be displayed in an exhibition! (more about that here)

My blog was mentioned in this post. So all in all, I'm feeling a little more visible and that's seems the start of something big. I'm also planning on spending my day applying for the most perfect job, so I'm crossing my fingers and all of my other limbs. 

With my career is feels like I've moved nowhere and everywhere at the same time. Although currently working the same job I've always worked, things are falling into place, and more than ever I believe myself when I say it's not my forever job, and the career I've been in search of for all these years in heading my way. 

8) Take Youtube more seriously


This is a funny one if anything I've done the opposite because honestly, Youtube hasn't felt like a priority. I'm at a stage where I'd rather my time went into my writing. Although I still love creating videos, and will still do it whenever I feel I have something to share with my audience, I want my focus to be on building this blog, improving my writing and finishing my book. I am however trying to make the videos I am creating the best possible quality and I think this is something which is showing. 


9) Don't accept less than wonderful


Without a doubt, I've got better at this. I don't settle so much. I put my energy into making the things I already have wonderful and I don't let people walk all over me like I used to. Having said that, I'm still not perfect at this occasion I pick heart over head and make time for someone who is flaky, I'm learning when to draw the line through which is the important part. 2018 so far, I've felt pretty contented which I think is both because of this goal and making this goal more sustainable. When I'm happy, the wonderful things come my way, and therefore I don't have the time for the things which aren't. I have the self-respect now, to drop the people who are crap to me, without making exceptions. 


Reflecting back on the goals I set myself at the start the year has really reminded me to get writing and pick up the phone and plan so trips with friends. It's also made me realise priorities change, and some things are more important than ever, and you can't necessarily do everything. I think I've moved the farthest with my goal to look after myself better, I've actually become one of those people who enjoy working out. Reading back over the goals has also given me a confidence that everything will fall into place, with my career especially where although it doesn't seem as though I've moved very far forward, I feel I'm on the edge of something. Now, I've got a book to write. 


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Monday, 4 June 2018

Living at Home at 26.





Something I often feel embarrassed about, even ashamed of, is having reached the grand age of 26, and I still live at home, with my mum. My childhood house is the place I still sleep, it's where I return after a long day at work, where I catch up with my family, have my tea cooked for me, and shut myself away in my single, box bedroom.


 I am very aware that this is a privilege. Some people aren't given the option to live with family, and I should count myself lucky, however, I've always imagined I'd be a little more independent when I got to my late 20s.  As lovely as having a parent cooking your meals, and doing your laundry, you get the point you feel like a child in the body of an adult, and there's a regretful cringe every time you're asked about your living situation. Sometimes, it makes me feel judged, often I feel as though my peers look down on me, think of me as a 'baby'. Of course, that is more than likely the handiwork of my own brain. Society has told me a should be a little more 'grow up' by now, and I feel as though I'm not ticking all of the boxes like I'm expected to.

With where I am at with my career, it seems it will be a while until I actually fly the nest, and I intend on buying when I do actually get that moving out stage, so naturally, that will even take longer. In other words, I'm going to be here a for a little while.



I've decided it's time to try to stop feeling ashamed, and worry about myself rather than what others might (but probably don't) think.

A lot of people I know moved out from home and decided against living with family because they felt suffocated, they didn't have a bond with their parents, there was tension as they outgrew the house which reminded them of childhood.

Here's the thing, I haven't.

If I actually think about it, without considering the stage comparison has convinced me I should be at, I do actually like living in my family home.


Although sometimes I dream up a home with Instagram perfect interiors, where I go home to my cat and cook whatever I fancy for tea. A place where every corner is entirely my own. The idea of knowing that walking around naked is an option (which I'll probably never take, but options are nice).

But when it comes down to it. I like the house I live in. I like my family, and I'm saving a shed load of money that will go into my home when the time finally comes.


I like coming home and hanging out with my Mum and Flo.
I like that I can sit in my sister's room to chill and  talk about the silliest things
I like that Flo makes me a cup of tea every morning,
and my mum cooks delicious meals coming up with meat alternatives for me.
I like that my auntie Carol comes round every Saturday.


Mostly I like the laughter. The giggles as me, Mum and Flo challenge each other to talk in different accents or have planking competition. And I like the comfortable quiet, while I sit on the kitchen side reading, and my Mum sits of the other end with her kindle.



I like that I have my own privacy at home. I can close the door of my bedroom and the world is mine and mine alone.


My mum and I are close, we've got a good bond, maybe even more so as I've older. As am I close with the rest of my family, and things aren't always perfect and sometimes I wish for a place of my very own.

I live in a home where I'm respected, and with people, I actually enjoy spending my time with.
The life my Mum has built for us is really something, and living in my family home, for now, keeps me close to that.


Is not really as bad as it once sounded, is it?


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Monday, 21 May 2018

Life Lately

It's been a little while since I've written a casual catch up a blogpost, so today I wanted to talk about how life has been lately. In short, it's been pretty damn good, that's not to say there haven't been lows because of course they always exist, but overall to good stuff has outweighed the bad and I've felt pretty positive.



What I've Been Up To:


For the introverted home bird that I am, I've actually been kind of busy recently.  If you're UK based you'll know the sun has been blessing us with its presence, which has added an energetic spin on the atmosphere.

I had a picnic, my friends, Jaynie and Gina some friends. We bought lots of healthy (ish) food and had a catch up while snacking on hummus dipped pitta, whilst feeling the warmth of the sun, and 'awwing' at the cuteness of my friends beautiful baby Ryleigh.





One Saturday I went for a walk with Hannah and Matt, we had a heart to heart as we wandered past endless trees and admired bluebell between our laughter.





I've indulged in delicious coffee and told my secrets to my friends Kelsey when walking by the river taking in the unexpected beauty.

I've been going to see basketball games, alongside feeling like I'm part of One Tree Hill, I've actually found a sport that I feel joyful when I watch, and the electricity of the crowd is so much more than I'd expected.

I've been working out. I've started personal training, and two sessions a week, a few weeks in and I feel a million times better, although the sessions are harder than I ever imagined, I am constantly amazed my how much my body really can do, and I'm actually looking forward to my sessions (ask me during hill sprints and I'll tell you something different altogether).

I've been working a lot more, and I've not been hating it and reduced to tears after a long day. It's not my forever job, but I'm putting in more hours now, and feeling positive about it.




Watching;


13 Reasons Why
 I kind of love the controversial series. I admit there was a scene in the final episode which I had to turn away from, and the tiger warnings should be taken very seriously. But I actually like the show, I think it brings up a lot of serious issues that are often shied away from, and I think the actors and characterisation are great. The story lines are all fucked up, clever and obvious. I really love Clay's character, he feels very real.


Newness 
 My friend introduced me to this Netflix film and I love it a lot. I think it's a great insight into how modern-day dating can be, and it's done in a very beautiful way.

away with you by Will Darbyshire

Spring Capsule Wardrobe by What Olivia Did



Reading


Turtles All The Way Down by John Green 
I loved this young adult book very much. There's something very poetic about John Greens writing. The storyline is great, there are some mystery and some romance to it. It also covers themes such as mental health, wealth and friendship. The ended disappointed me slightly, but I understand why it ended how it did. I read this book in just a couple of days as I could not put it down, and it's definitely one I'll reach for again.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber 
This book was recommended to me by a friend and it both lived up to my expectations and disappointed me. The fantasy style book is quite dark in places and not my usual read, but the storyline had me gripped, and although I didn't like the main character and the end was pretty frustrating, I've got to admit, the narrative was pretty clever in places and didn't expect some of the twists.

Productivity Tips by SunBeamsJess

The Truth Behind The Self Employed Blogger by Wonderful You

5 Rules for Casual Sex by Hannah Witton

Embracing a Messy Life by Laura Jane Williams



Listening:


The Fringe of it on Instagram V Real Life

The Emma Guns Show with Lily Pebbles]

Nobody Panic on Procrastinating

Arctic Monkey - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

George Ezra - Staying at Tamara's




There's also a catch-up/favourites video on my Youtube Channel, and down below, it was filmed a  little while ago, so a lot of it isn't included here, plus, why would you not want to see me talk about all the things I've been loving.


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Monday, 14 May 2018

On Rejection.



Rejection is something we deal with more and more as time goes on, yet no matter how much we face it, it still completely sucks. No matter how impersonal it is, it always feels so damn personal, and the older you get, the more intense the rejections are. You're no longer crying because the boy you've been admiring from afar is yet to notice you exist, now you're being rejected from your dream job, which you are would have been great at given the chance, and the only single person to attend a wedding, after being dumped on social media by someone who never liked you enough to actually be your boyfriend in the first place.

I think self-worth is extremely important. I believe the world is a mirror, and the standards we set for ourselves are met by the world. It's important to feel worthy when you want others to see you that way. However, it's very difficult to feel good enough when the world is constantly telling you otherwise. I am aware I am capable of and deserve a job I want, but rejection after rejection can make me question that.

Within the blogging industry, rejection often makes an appearance. There is so much competition, it can make you feel invisible, showing up week after week, and shouting 'I'm here' to an empty room can become pretty tiresome.

Sometimes, I think rejection is there to test us. How far will we go? When will we stop showing up? Will we begin to settle, rather than face another no?



 A lot of the time with rejection, we've only ever had a taster of thing we want. We're not necessarily losing something we already had. It feels so incredibly ridiculous to be sad about losing something which was never yours in the first place. Also, sometimes logically we know the rejection is for the best, I certainly wouldn't want to be spending my days with someone who didn't want to be spending their days with me. There's a guilt which surrounds rejection sadness, but no matter how aware of the 'it's for the best' factor, you are still hit sharply with a ping of disappointment.


It's very easy to ignore rejection.
Rejection has been coming at me thick and fast recently, but still, I've had some of the happiest days, pushing to the back of my mind the chants of the world saying I'm not enough.

 I recently pulled a bit of a Rory Gilmore. You know when Rory and Dean break up, and Rory refuses to wallow, instead, she gets up early and completes a ridiculously long to-do list? I was 'dumped' by someone I was never really with, so I went to babysitting, finished reading a book and have the best day ever with my friend the next day. My lack of upset highlighted two things, firstly, I was not that fussed by the guy the first place, secondly, the upset would come later on, because no matter how not unfussed I initially felt, it was still somebody deciding I was not enough.

The thing about rejection is, it doesn't kill us. Life goes on and we become stronger. But ultimately knowing that kind of make you feel a little pathetic when you break your heart over not getting that job when the realist in you knows there will be other jobs.

The comparison is the theft of joy, and I am very pro concentrating on what's going on in your lane, rather than worrying about those overtaking. But when you're rejected, comparison tends to poke its head around the corner. I didn't get that job because someone was better than me, is sometimes just the fact. It's a sucky fact, but a fact nonetheless.

Recently on a podcast, I heard Jen Sincero say "You should be proud of your rejections because they're evidence you stepped outside your comfort zone"


That's something I've never considered before because with rejection comes the obvious disappointment, I've not taken the time to consider the steps I needed to take in order to be rejected.

I am in the process of looking for a new job, attempting to start a career which I'm proud of. Of course, rejections are coming in left, right and centre. I interviewed for a job the other day, which I would have been great at, I didn't get it. But it shows I'm trying right? These rejections are evidence I'm not settling. They're teaching me and enabling me to grow as I push the walls of my comfort zone.


Next time I get rejected, I will allow myself to feel that oh so human sadness but honestly, if I keep being rejected, it only means I'm trying to move forward, and that is something to have pride in.
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Monday, 7 May 2018

Add a Touch of Romance.




There's something quite wonderful about the start of a new romantic relationship. Beyond the excitement of 'this person wants to kiss me', once you get past the sometimes awkward first few dates, you then have someone to do cool stuff with. There's someone to go to the cinema with when the film you really want to see is showing. There's someone to look at art with and go to museums with when you want to feel cultured. There's someone to try out new restaurants with and exploring the part of the city you've never visited with. If you're stuck for what to do, pages and pages will come up when you google 'cool date ideas'  Not only are you dating but your Instagram game has stepped up a notch because heck you're life is so much more interesting now you've got somebody who stops you spending your evenings going to bed at 9pm with a good book.





But what if you have 0 romantic interests? A dislike for tinder? and have no desire is awkward first dates in hope to reach something beyond that? Heck, what if you like 9pm bedtimes and a good book? because I certainly do. Should you miss out the world which seems open to exploring when you step into a new relationship? Hell No.

Date yourself. Date your friends. I recently heard this the saying

 "Put a little more friendship into your romantic relationships and a little romance into your friendships" 



I've haven't stopped thinking about the romance in my friendships since. 

Friendships are just as valuable, if not more so that your romantic relationships. Treat them like it. Buy your friends flowers and explore cities together.


Lately, my life has felt kind of romantic without any actual romance.

I've visited museums, fell in love with the art at an exhibition and spoke to friends about my most meaningful topics. I've drunk really good coffee in the cutest coffee shops. I've dressed up.


Sometimes it's about just doing the thing you want to do. Go out alone. The other day, I sat in a coffee shop, wearing a pretty dress sipping a latte and people watching and I think there's romance in that.

I've wandered in the sun chatting with a friend and watching the world pass us by.

I've eaten ice creams and drank beers.
I sat across from my friend and wrote a poem while enjoying her company.

I've just had a really nice time. And it all happened when I realised, I didn't matter if I had no one to date, no one who might one day be my boyfriend, when I have myself and so many other wonderful relationships.

It's nice to date without getting home and spending my evening analysing all that I said, and wondering if he's going to text me back.

Look for romance in the day to day, and in the relationships, you already have, and enjoy a new world of dating.



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Pictures were taken at Bristol Museum, at the Grayson and Perry Exhibition.

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