Purplegerberas's Blog

A rambling collection of my thoughts about life, my children and crafty things

Happiness Online – March round up

Another month has gone and spring is definitely here (although sleet forecast for this week :/ ) – sunshine is very good for the soul.

The theme for March was work – an area of my life that feels like its dominating all my thoughts at the moment.

My resolutions were –

  • Focus on one thing
  • Remember that I am not an endless ‘resource’ for others, I must stock up on ‘reserves’ and not get too drained
  • I must be fair to myself and remember, at all times especially in the face of criticism, anxiety and difficulties, THAT I AM DOING THE BEST THAT I CAN!!
  • Delegate
  • Do a daily priority list


Its been a mixture of success and totally forgetting them. Focus on one thing is a miserable failure – I still have far too many tabs open at once and flit around trying to do three things at once. Half my issue is keeping my emails open all the time – I need to be brave and only check them a couple of times a day. The world will not end if I’m not on the internet.

I had a bad first half of the month work wise with a couple of difficult situations cropping up. I found it hard – especially as I felt unwell at the time and it involved conflict. I had a week of getting my head together and after revisiting the situation its better and I feel I’m dealing with it (and the rest of work) with more clarity. Essentially I remembered that I am doing the best I can.

In terms of putting myself first and stocking up on my reserves I’m pushing ahead with finding a coach. I had a really good meeting with one yesterday and I’m feeling excited about this opportunity.  I want to be pushed and stretched to get as much as I possibly can from it. Its not only to challenge me but also a way of building up my own resilience. I’ve now got 12 days off work and I’m looking forward to doing as little as possible.

Delegation is a fail – it was discussed a fair bit yesterday with the coach and will be an area for work in the future!

The daily priority list – in general this is working well. Its helping me sleep at night and is a one of my personal safety nets for feeling in control when life is hectic. Yesterday I was talking to someone about mind mapping. This looks like a useful way of taking the simple list one step further. Mind mapping is my homework for the weekend.

Overall I’m ending the month in a happier place so I’m taking that as an overall success. I’ve been in an interim post for over a year and this week found out that the person I am covering has left the trust. The job will now be advertised and I have to apply for my job. There was a time when this would have thrown me but I’m not feeling too bad about it. I know that I can argue and clearly demonstrate why I am the right person for the job. My only irritation is at having to fill out an application form and sort my portfolio out. I’m debating doing it now whilst I’m in a positive frame of mind and not feeling too busy or stressed.


Progress not perfection

I’ve not had the best week but it could have been worse. I’ve been away from work with a chest infection and study leave and its given me a chance to stop, think and breathe and its left me feeling a bit more positive.

I had an email yesterday with the subject ‘progress not perfection’ and it made me think that yes, things in general are heading in the right direction. I may feel that progress is slow at times but ultimately all is good.

So the positives….

Samuel is getting better. His rash looks horrendous but in himself he’s fine.  He’s been ill for a week and it didn’t cause the usual drama and fall out of not being able to go to nursery. We coped. All is good, other than the really manky hands.

I’ve started to organise coaching through work. I’ve been putting off making the arrangements as I felt I was too busy to go to the meetings in the first place. I know deep down though that this will be a positive and long term helpful thing to do so I’m getting it all sorted out.  I’m also working hard at thinking about what my long term objectives are.

I’ve booked an appointment to get my hair cut this week and I’ve spent money on clothes for myself (gasp in horror)

My essay is very nearly finished. I’m not totally thrilled with it but never mind. I’m already conscious of the next one (due in May) and intending not leaving it as late.

The clocks went forward last night so the evenings will be lighter. I’m planning on getting back into running. I haven’t run at all since my 10k last summer so need to do something drastic. I’ve downloaded a couch to 5k app to get me started. My diet has also gone out the window as I was eating rubbish as I was feeling miserable. By some miracle I’ve only put a pound on. Line drawn, start again, back to point counting tomorrow.


The weather has been lovely for the last few days which always helps my mood. We’ve been busy in the garden having a tidy up and putting a bit of colour in. I’m not a natural Percy Thrower and part of me begrudges doing all this work when it’ll need doing all over again very soon. Gardening is not high on my list of things I enjoy doing and when I do put in some effort its a bit sporadic. I have to remind myself that there aren’t any stinging nettles in our garden any more. We used to battle with them over and over for years and we’ve managed to keep on top of it for the last three years. I just need the time to put the pretty things in now. Getting rid of garden waste is a bit of an issue for us so I’ve decided to get an incinerator – our garden is so small I’m scared of having an open bonfire. I do run the risk of becoming a pyromaniac though and burning whatever I can get my hands on.

Finally, I’m feeling better. No headache since Tuesday and my cough is disappearing. I’m feeling more human. I’m still on my caffeine free stint. Physically I’m not 100% but mentally things are much better!


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Busy writing (honestly not panicking……..much)

I’ve had a busy few weeks hence my lack of posting.

I’ve got my first essay for my fellowship due in next Monday and it’s reaching a crucial stage. I’m past the halfway mark and not entirely happy but oh well, it’ll be handed in in some form or other next week. My brain is already trying to preserve itself for the next one which follows just a few weeks after.

I’m fed up with work. There’s lots of bickering and stressing between various team members and my attempts to sort it last week went disastrously wrong. I felt totally useless and like I had totally read the whole situation wrong. I’m struggling under the sheer quantity of work and adding the essays and fellowship study days into the mix hasn’t helped.  I’ve had a headache for 8 days (today is the first headache free day 🙂 ) and now have a cough and feel generally rubbish. I had yesterday off sick to try and clear the headache – I had two phonecalls from work even though I had rung in sick. Both related to things that they could have sorted themselves. Today (my normal day off) was slightly better – just 3 text messages. I find it hard to leave work behind and I think this shows that they follow me home as well.  I know this isn’t a good situation and it isn’t doing me any favours.



Today was my first headache free day for over a week. It had been bothering me. It was a bit like a migraine but I felt I was functioning too well to class it as that bad. However you define it, it was annoying me. In a very rash moment on Thursday night I decided I’d had enough and I went caffeine free.  My caffeine intake goes up when I’m stressed, as does my alcohol intake. It’s known affectionately as the ‘caffeine and alcohol diet’ in my office eg. “Things must be bad, Karen is back on her caffeine and alcohol diet”.  Five days later I’m pleased to report I am still alive and functioning on a good level. I manage to wake in the morning and I am sleeping so much better.  My only complaint about it all is try going into a shop and buy a sugar free caffeine free drink – your choice is either coke or full fat lemonade. Not a good choice. I refuse to drink water!


I had a trip to outpatients with Samuel last week and all was well. He needs another cardiac review in September but other than that things are still fine. He’d previously been on an annual cardiac review so the 6 month interval has worried me a bit – the rational part of me is telling myself at least he’s seen and checked before the winter which we know is always a period of time he struggles with. The irrational part of me is still reading into every minute detail that is given to us and thinking they are concerned about a deterioration. At the hospital I told them that he has been really well, apart from chicken pox in February and hadn’t even had a cold since we last went in December. Typically he woke up the next day with a stinking cold and cough. Last night it went into high temperature and then a weird rash this morning – hand foot and mouth. We’re now confined to the house for the next five days so I’m hoping this is the last of the sickness for the winter season.


As Samuel can’t go to nursery I’m off work tomorrow as well. The enforced break has done me (and my essay) good. I need to keep the good feelings lasting once I go back. I’ve got chemistry meetings with potential coaches arranged for the end of the week so I’m taking that as a big positive step in the right direction to sort out my stress and worry.


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The main difficulty of thinking…

The main difficulty of thinking...

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Happiness Online: March


The theme for this months resolutions is work. I did laugh quite a bit when I found that out.

It also helped that someone sent me this link last week – The happy secret to better work

I really liked it as it was giving a simple message that happiness does make work more productive and essentially its not difficult to achieve.

Focus on one thing

The video talks about ‘cultural ADHD’ where people try to do too many things at once. I easily fall into this category. I struggle to focus on one thing – at the moment I have 8 tabs open on my browser and writing this post will probably take far longer than it should do as I will keep flicking over to facebook, twitter and a forum. I do the same at work and I know it is unproductive. I’ve also read that too many browser tabs increases stress. So, this resolution means I will focus on one thing – starting with my internet browser.

Remember that I am not an endless ‘resource’ for others, I must stock up on ‘reserves’ and not get too drained

I stole this from the 10 Golden Rules for Myself that my mum sent me last week. Very self-explanatory.


I must be fair to myself and remember, at all times especially in the face of criticism, anxiety and difficulties, THAT I AM DOING THE BEST THAT I CAN!!

Another steal from 10 Golden Rules. I need to remember that my best is good enough and nothing in life is perfect. I have a limited amount of time available to me and as long as the important things are sorted and I am doing my best, the rest will get sorted.


I’m useless at delegating, although better than I was. I find it frustrating at times but know why I need to do it – not just for myself but also to help develop others.

Do a daily priority list

I love lists. They calm me down and help me get things sorted out in my head. I often worry that I’ve forgotten something and having a list helps allay that fear. I’ve also found that writing one out in the evening helps me plan the next day and go to bed with a clear head. Simple but it works for me. I’ve been trying various apps and online list things but so far nothing has really clicked. Pen and paper seems to do the trick.


I’m debating doing more resolutions for this month – I could go on. Does that say a lot about my work?!

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