Friday, 29 May 2015

Reasons to be cheerful - 29th May 2015

Ojos World

Half term - I didn't really appreciate how tired I was, but it's been wonderful to have a week of not being tied to clocks.

Busy with a purpose - There's a big difference between being busy as a tactic to avoid facing reality and being busy because there are things that need doing in order to move forward.
I've been so busy in the last couple of weeks, but it's been a fantastic time of moving forward for my son and I and we're in a wonderful place.

Walking in the world - I spend a lot of time out and about now and I"m enjoying spending time outside like I did when I was a child and I'm really relishing learning new skills to make my time outside even more enjoyable.

All in all at the moment life is blooming wonderful xx

Thursday, 28 May 2015


This is the 300th post on this blog. I don't think back in 2010 when I started writing this I believed it would go on so long and there have been times when I've thought 'whatever', and taken a break for a while. But I always come back with something new to share.

A lot has changed over the 5 years of the blog:

  • Work
  • Family
  • The end of my marriage
  • Having cancer
  • Not having cancer
  • Journeys
  • Explorations
  • Play
I've talked at conferences about blogging, I've got completely caught up in social media and I've killed all my social media profiles (except FaceBook, I'm still there). 

This blog is the longest journal I've ever kept and the most read (by me or anybody else), and it's given me lots of opportunities that I wouldn't have got otherwise; to go places, review products and write for other people.

As I set off on my new adventures (and my next 300 posts!), I thought I'd share a bit about what's going to be featuring in my life...

Playing - There'll be a lot more outdoors stuff. I've rediscovered my childhood love of hanging out in forests building dens. The fact that I can do it with a bunch of Scouting friends just makes it more fun.

There'll be a lot of exploring ways to play and things to play with too. I'll try and sell this as 'research' for my job as a Nursery Practitioner, but really it's just 'cos I like playing.

Creativity - Writing, drawing, knitting, it's been a while, but my creative energy is returning.

Spirituality - As my creativity returns so does my spirituality, or is it the other way round? I'm not sure.

Exploring now - I've spent way too much time looking backwards and forwards instead of focusing on what's happening 'now', and so I'll be exploring that much more closely in my life. That's not to say that I don't know where I'm going, or that I don't acknowledge that the past has made me what I am today, but rather that 'now' is where I am and I want to make the most of it.

So here's to the next 300 blog posts and the opportunities they bring.


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Putting pen to paper

I haven't written for ages, not meaningful writing anyway. I have written every day, but a lot of it has just been 'going through the motions', and has been a struggle because it's not been what I really want to write, but rather what I have to write.

When I sat down and really thought about the way I was feeling it became clear almost immediately that my problem was I'd fallen into a rut of writing what was comfortable and instead of challenging myself to look for new forms of writing and new markets to pitch to I was pitching daft, badly thought out ideas to familiar markets in the hope that editors would reject them and then finding myself struggling to come up with full articles when my half-baked ideas were commissioned.

Of course I have nobody but myself to blame. I should just not have pitched the ideas in the first place, or alternatively found a different (new), market to pitch them to. And there lies a deeper problem.

Pitching ideas to a new market, a new editor requires risk(s):

  • The risk of rejection (bad)
  • The risk of acceptance (worse)
  • Having to work in a new way
  • Having to write about something unfamiliar
  • Having to write for a new audience and so having to think about how to engage them and keep their interest
And risk of course requires hard work and a whole new level of commitment and it might actually deliver no positive outcomes for a good while. I might have to go through rejections, putting in a whole load of hard work and late nights for nothing.

Maybe I'll just stay where I am and tread water.

The thing is though, I'm feeling restless, I want to move forward, all the treading water which would once have sapped my energy has, this time, wound the spring and built up the potential for forward momentum.

Of course it could just be the energy for a kangaroo hop before I stall again.

Risk. Take the risk and move forward or stay in the hole and tread water or swim around in circles expending energy and going nowhere?

I know the answer. It's not even as if I'm expecting you to give it to me, you're just listening as I work through the problem to my own solution.

I have to move forward. I have to stop making excuses and looking backwards and I have to move forward onto that scary path into the unknown. I know I can do it, I've done it before. I know I can survive the journey and I know I've got the tools to get from A to B (I'm just not entirely sure where 'B' is yet, other than the fact that it's 'over there somewhere').

And so I'm setting off from Square One - a nice safe place - and heading out on a new adventure. And I'm setting off by myself, and that's exciting too. I'm off to see what's outside the window.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful - 9th May 2015

Ojos World

1) I'm back! Yes, after a long break from blogging I'm back and feeling much more like my old self again (and I mean an old self from a loooooong time ago). The last six months have been such a roller coaster (one of those not very nice ones from the kind of fairground run by Papa Lazarou), but now I'm back on solid ground and feeling 'good to go'.

I have a great family, a great job and good friends and I'm moving forward to an even more wonderful life.

2) I spend my workdays playing I'm now working full-time in a lovely early years setting and I spend quite a lot of my time running around outside shouting 'whee'. I fully expect passers by to be utterly perplexed, but I'm having a blast!

Yes there are challenges and sometimes I get home absolutely exhausted, but I know that I made the right choice to move to this new job and I go to work every day feeling happy and excited about what the day will bring.

3) I'm walking more and eating less (c**p) Yay, I finally have the balance of doing lots of walking and eating much more healthily and it's paying off as I feel much more healthy and energised.

I have no idea how many steps I'm walking at the moment because my pedometer battery is dead and I haven't got around to buying a new one, but I know it's loads. 

I'm finding also that because I have more time and I'm feeling so much better, I'm spending more time over preparing and eating my food and I feel so much better for enjoying the process of having an experience with each meal rather than just eating to put fuel into my body and not getting any satisfaction out of it.

Life is definitely good xx

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Book Review: "Teapot and the Dragon" by Nick Jordan

I was recently sent "Teapot and the Dragon" to review and it has quickly become a favourite. Nick Jordan has written and illustrated a fantastic story. I particularly like the fact that the cover illustration is a map (but I'm a Scout Leader so I like maps).

Nick Jordan has written and illustrated the fantastic tale of Princess Rosehip, Prince Spoon of Cup and Saucer, the evil Lord Lid of Lid, who gives a bad name to dragons and Jenny, the dragon who saves the day.

Murmur the wizard helps move the story along and even the evil Lord Lid gets a happy ending... For now.

Teapot and the Dragon is a great story, the pictures are fantastic, so colourful and detailed and I hope it's the start of a great adventure in the wonderful lands of Teapot and Lid.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of the book to review.

If you click on the link above and buy the book Amazon will pay me a few pennies.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

A Life More Lived

Last week I deleted my Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts and smiled. In all honesty I only kept my Facebook and Pinterest accounts active because I use FB for keeping in contact with old friends and Pinterest is really useful for work, I would have deleted them too otherwise. I also got rid of my mobile phone that gave me access to emails and Facebook wherever I was and went back to one that simply does calls and texts (it doesn't do MMS, just text).

I hugely felt like I was oversharing every aspect of my life, that I was never 'off the grid' and that what I actually wanted to do was create some space for living.

It might seem odd as a blogger and writer to decide to limit my presence on social media, but it's never made a huge difference to my success and I felt that I'd created most of the accounts because other people had them and I was trying to fit an image that wasn't really me.

I found this postcard in a shop yesterday and it summed up my current journey perfectly. And it's what I've been trying to do over the last few weeks.

So you won't see me peppered all over social media, but if you want to find me and read me you will.

Oh yes, and life is wonderful just now and getting better every day.

Sarah x