Calmly being busy

I’m caught again in a mad crazy time of too much work and too many other commitments. February is shaping up to be a horrendous month that I am mentally willing to pass quickly. I dream of sleeping through it (but still meeting all of those commitments and obligations!) I have some very tight deadlines on a work project as well as two essays to complete for my masters that are due in next week. To add to the fun I found out last week that my job is at risk of redundancy as part of a reorganisation at work.  Whilst I’m confident of having a job at the end of the process I’m finding it all a bit unnerving. The actual change in job isn’t worrying me (I’m looking forward to a challenge), I’m more worried about the prospect of having to return to full time hours and the impact on us as a family.

On Thursday I lost the plot. It all got to me and something finally snapped. Last weekend I’d been criticised by someone and been given a list of everything that she felt I ‘should’ be doing. Its very different from both my ‘should’ list and my ‘must’ list. It came back to the same problem of me being deemed the most responsible person in the family so organising all other family members falls to me.  Eventually I handed all of this over to Steven. He is just as capable as me and whilst he prefers to sit back and let me sort it all I simply cannot any more.

Yesterday I woke up in a surprisingly good mood and decided to make the most of it. Rather than killing myself with stress I’ve decided to take a step back and calm down. I will tackle this mad month in a relaxed calm way and will look after myself in the process. We went to an indoor play area in the morning – the kids got to run around whilst I made the most of the free wifi, caught up on a couple of jobs and enjoyed a cup of coffee. In the afternoon the kids had a choice of what do to and they asked to make a carrot cake. We had a great time but got into trouble as we were singing too loudly and woke Steven up.

Rather than panicking, over multitasking and actually achieving nothing, I’ve got more done in short focused bursts and have now completed everything on my list for the weekend. I’m off to the cinema later (Les Mis – again!) to end the weekend feeling like I have done something worthwhile for myself.

I think I’m getting the hang of this personal resilience business.



Beat the Heat – week 4

Weight Wars 

I’ve had a grotty weekend and feeling all doom and gloom but lots of good things have happened so I’m thinking of them and not my tonsilitis!


1.       What have you done this week towards your goals?

1. Achieve a better work/life balance

I’m now settled on dropping my hours and not worrying. Eloise had a trial ballet lesson last week and loved it so I’ve booked her into start those in September and they will be on my day off so it’s all starting to come together. I’d also had problems with my tax credits hanging over me with a very large overpayment being talked about and causing most of my stress. On Saturday I had the final letter relating to it all saying I don’t owe any money, and they owe me so a big relief all round. I think this has helped settle my mind on the money side of things.

2. Get back into reflective journalling

Had a good go at this and its helped me put together my application form for the clinical leadership fellowship. Struggling to get down to the word limit and need to get it sorted and submitted this week.

3. Run once a week

Missed this one again – busy and ill. Same old excuse!

4. Learn to meditate and/or relax


5. Complete 3 things on my DayZero Project

Join the WI has been on my list. I like the idea of the WI but don’t really fit into their typical stereotype. A couple of years ago I rang them and asked for a ‘young’ WI they could recommend. They pointed me in the direction of one which really wasn’t me. Anyway, getting to the point, I’ve heard that there is a new WI being set up in Northampton by a group of people my age, people that I know from my sewing group so I know it will be my cup of tea. I missed the first meeting as we were away so I’m planning on going to the next one.

6. Complete one sewing project (regain my sewing mojo)

No real strides made here but I’ve already rung in sick for tomorrow. The kids are at nursery so I will have the house to myself. Sewing machine will be out and I WILL tackle the quilt for sister in law’s impending baby (still no sign much to her frustration).


2.       What did you do to make yourself feel fabulous?

Cleansed, toned and moisturised and its made a big difference to my skin so I will be sticking to that for the next week. Clearing my rubbish has been stifled as I’ve been ill and really not in the mood. My mum is coming next week so she is acting as a good motivating factor 😉

3.       Do you exercise? What is your favourite kind and why?

Not really. Exercise is not part of my genetic make up (my family will vouch for this inherited trait). The only thing I’ve ever really enjoyed is aquaerobics. You feel like you are working really hard, ache like mad afterwards (I view this as progress) but don’t get out of breath. You also don’t get sweaty. My perfect exercise.

4.       There are loads of fantastic bloggers here in the Beat the Heat competition, which blog or blogs have you discovered through the challenge that you particularly enjoy? Show that person some love!

I’m loving Munchberry at the moment – you’re making me smile! 🙂

5.       Fun Question: What song makes you want to dance at the moment?

My ipod is cluttered with Eloise’s playlist of songs. Some I can handle (Beauty and the Beast theme) some make me want to scream (Dora theme tune) but some are tolerable.  After our holiday in February I spent several days googling the songs that had been at the mini disco each night. This is the current favourite – we all have a good sing and dance and it reminds us of holidays


Right, positive picture time and I’m excited! Got another round of results for my masters today and here are mine –

The blue highlighted bit is me 😀 with 85%. Very very chuffed about that. I didn’t think it was that good so now desperate for the feedback to be emailed to me!

More work dilemas

So, a mixed day at work.

Firstly, I’ve been told that my application for reducing my hours at work has been approved. Slowly I have been losing my nerve over this decision and worrying over the loss of money. I’m wondering if I just become a hermit for the next few months we can muddle on through.  My attempts to get our monthly outgoings down hasn’t met with great success so I’m going to try and come up with a plan of attack. A list always helps me feel better.

On top of this, an opportunity has come up to apply for a clinical leadership fellowship. It looks an amazing opportunity and just the sort of thing that I have been looking for. Sadly its arrived at a time when I’m desperately trying to cut down on my commitments for my own sanity. I don’t feel this is something I can pass by. There are only 60 places available so there’s a chance that I won’t even get a place but if I don’t apply I’ll never know.

I’ve spent this afternoon researching and sending a few cheeky emails to people to try and get some more information. Also have to tackle the application form in the next two weeks. The examples of previous work done on the scheme made me feel optimistic that  I can do it. I just need to fluff it up with the right leadership language.

My main issue is time management. I really need to work on this and it was suggested that a cut in my hours may be a positive or negative thing when combined with this new opportunity. One thought I had was to take a year out of my masters if  I got a place. Another tentative email that needs to be sent.

So, lots of deliberating needed. A good excuse to have a reflect and do some journalling to sort out my head.

Positivity after the gloom

  • I passed both of my essays – a distinction in one of them. It shows  I am capable of doing a masters and the blip during my last module was a one-off and down to bad timing.
  • Samuel is better after a few days of diarrhoea and the worst looking nappy rash I’ve seen in a long time. He’d been cheerful throughout it but had to keep him off nursery.
  • Steven was a star at staying up and looking after Samuel when I had to work.  We managed it well between us with Steven sacrificing quite a bit of sleep to help me out.
  • I’m getting my hair highlighted tomorrow. Debating going a bit mad but will probably wimp out at the last minute. As long as it makes my grey less obvious I don’t care what colour they make it.
  • The weather is great at the moment. Life is more manageable when the sun is shining. I’ve made it through another winter without needing to buy the SAD lamp I debate every year.
  • I’m feeling better about running. Things have not gone to plan this week and I haven’t been able to get out when I wanted but I’m not letting this worry me or have a negative effect. 16 weeks until my run so I still have few weeks to get into my routine.
  • Just over three weeks until my annual leave starts (resisting starting the sleeps countdown just yet)

Blowing away the cobwebs

I’m stunned that I’ve not been on here since August. Disgusted with myself even! I knew it was a while but not 3 months.

So, a quick catch up. Life is manic as always – hence why I’ve been so busy. I started my masters in September and my sad inner nerd is loving it. There is a lot of work but I think I’m coping alright and just hope the marks are worth it. It’s very structured and totally online so that feels a more comfortable way of working for me. Hopefully it’ll be more successful than my last dabble at a masters.

One of my first modules is about reflection. I hated doing reflection when I was at university. Just the word always prompted me to have a huge inner sigh. As a result I hadn’t formally reflected since graduating eight years ago. I was dreading the module and I hate to say it but its been great!

I’ve learnt that reflection can take on many forms – previously we here handed a model and told to do it. Now, we can do it in whatever feels most comfortable for us. I read one article about reflection through poetry. I’m not about to rush out and start writing haikus about my day at work, but it gave me the inspiration that you can be creative in whatever way suits you. I’ve also got a good list of writing strategies that I can use at different times to fit in with whatever mood I’m in. Like a true saddo, I have my reflective journal which lives in my bag and I’m getting good at scribbling away in it. This is all work related though and part of me is hoping to start one for my ‘other’ life. I started a book up to keep all my life coaching things in so maybe I will rescue that from under my bed. Another part of me thinks that it is difficult to split me into two separate entities – home and work. One influences the other so why not keep the two collections of thoughts in one place? My reflection journal will never be marked for my course, no one else will see it so why not.

    Three Things I Have Learnt Today

1. DNAs and cancellations at clinic can be positive as I can get a lot of university work done.

2. I need to let go, delegate and be less protective of organising things. I’m less precious over my nursing work so why am I when it comes to admin?

3. Journaling is not a chore. It is helpful, gives me clarity and focus on what I need to do next (it also generates lots of nice ‘things to do lists’)

Right. I have a birthday cake that needs creating. Am I up to the challenge of making the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse out of sponge? :s

Life is always better when the sun is shining

I’ve had a really good week. Very positive.

It was my 30th birthday on Monday and I had a great weekend and birthday. I’ve eaten far too much and I’ve drunk well in excess of my weekly alcohol units. Never mind.

My manager has announced she is taking early retirement next year and has asked me if I’m interested in her job. I am so she has agreed to help me and work out what I need to do to be in the running for the job when the time comes.

I’ve had agreement to change masters courses and work have agreed to fund the new one (just the small matter of dealing with the failed assignment first but it will be done!)

I have started work on clearing our bedroom to start redecorating. I have filled three bin bags with stuff from under the bed and I’m only half done! I’m embarrassed to say there’s that much rubbish but my new middle name is ‘ruthless’!

We’ve booked our holiday for next year and after a mild trauma of getting travel insurance for Samuel I managed to sort it today for a normal price.

Samuel seems really well heart-wise at the moment. About a month ago he had a blue episode and I was worrying as he was sleeping a lot and seemed cold all the time. For the last couple of weeks he has been good which is helpful as we have a hospital appointment on Tuesday.

I had a lovely letter to say my tax credits are going up lots! We were seriously worrying about how we were going to pay our monthly nursery bill but this has taken that worry away (hence the holiday booking).

I’m winning a bid on eBay at the moment (typing this may curse me though).

Theres a bottle of rose in the fridge with my name on it.

Plodding along

Time for an update. After a flurry of posts last week I lost momentum and haven’t got round to posting but here we are.

Been very busy – work still going well and life is generally positive. Samuel has been ill with conjunctivitis and got sent home from nursery. Another trip to the doctors. I’m finding it a little frustrating that he’s picking little things up and already I’ve missed two days at work through him being ill.

I had Monday off work to get my folksy stuff online. I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped but its a start. I’m furiously knitting a bag to get that online and I have some ideas for some new bits to work on next. I’m learning to take things at a pace and it doesn’t matter if it takes me a little while to get where I want to go.

I’ve been mulling over going back to university to carry on with my masters. I’ve currently suspended my studies after Samuel was ill but I still have to hand in an assignment that I failed last September. I’ve been struggling with whether to redo it or just forget it and walk away. My head is saying do it but my heart is saying I can’t be bothered. We talked about it in my life coaching session today and I think I’m going to do the essay. I’ve booked some time to go to the library and sort all of the old work out and have a think about things. I’ll see how it goes. Deep down I don’t want to return to doing the rest of my masters but I know I have to to help my chances of promotion. The list has come round for the next group of modules and there is nothing on there that interests me. I’ve decided to look for an alternative course that I could transfer onto and I’ve found one that is 100% online and would be funded by work. I’ve also decided to just aim to get a postgrad certificate first rather than aiming for the full masters. If I do the certificate and I’m happy then I can continue. I’m not putting pressure on myself – I’m trying hard to keep my new ethos of small achievable goals.

Tomorrow we’re off to Nannycaraban for a family weekend. On Saturday I’m doing a sponsored walk to raise money for the Children’ Heart Federation so we’re hoping for good weather (I’m not convinced). It’s also my 30th birthday on Monday so I’m intending to eat lots of cake and drink lots of red wine.