Quiet

quietI love peace and quiet.

I love nothing more than to sit in solitude, reading a Kindle, a book or a magazine and just idling the hours away. I love to sit and think, in complete silence, and I like working in silence too, or with music on very quietly so that it doesn’t intrude on my thinking-space.

Am I weird?

My beloved likes noise. The first thing he does when he gets home is switch the telly on, and it will be on all night long after that. He’ll punctuate the noise with farts and loud sneezes which make me pull “Really?” faces.

He doesn’t get why I love quiet so much, and says he needs background noise. But have you ever been outside in a wood or park, when there’s hardly anyone about, and just listened? The trees rustle. You can hear birds singing, creatures snuffling about in the undergrowth and…that’s all. How can you not LOVE that?

Or when it’s snowed and the coating of snow has muted all the noise, the birds seem to be in shock at the deluge and it’s just so still.

It gives my brain time to rest. No noise means I can switch off. I love the sea too, because the relentless in and out of the tide is so calming and so predictable it just makes me feel relaxed and at home. But the sea? That’s another post.

Right now all I can hear is the hum of my laptop, my tapping on the keyboard and birds outside the front of the house. And that is EXACTLY how I like it….

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Wild Weather

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You know what made me happy today?

Sitting in my bed, listening to the wind whipping around the houses, and watching the rain lashing down against the window, and feeling all warm and snug while it went on around me. Of course it was easy for me to get all romantic about the storm, because I was sitting in bed with a freshly made cup of coffee and marveling at the power of Mother Nature, without having to go outside and experience her Monday morning tantrum for myself.

I think storms are fabulous.  My whole family are weather nerds. My mum has apps on her phone that track weather systems for weeks and she’s never happier than when she’s successfully predicted a snow storm in advance. My brother, who lives in Australia, misses PROPER weather, but does occasionally post updates on Facebook if it’s meltingly hot or there’s a tropical storm on the way.

I content myself with watching thunder storms. I’m never happier than when the skies darken and I can feel the pressure building up that means there’s a proper storm on the horizon. Dramatic weather makes me feel alive in a way that sitting indoors in a centrally heated box with the TV on never can. To have the telly on ruining a thunder storm is sacrilege.

Yes, I also love the snow too. I have to get out and stomp in it and I love a good blizzard.

I think all this must be the mark of  a woman who works from home and never drives anywhere.

 

Getting outside

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There’s nothing quite like getting out in nature to lift your spirits. The Mole and I were both just sitting around the house, me attempting to do some e-mail preening and him snoozing and playing boy games on the computer. The sun was shining in the window at me and it reminded me that the weather forecast for the next few days was a bit Armageddon-ish, so this might be my last opportunity to get some fresh air in my lungs before the skies go dark…

I abandoned the email preening session, grabbed my coat and a willing Moley and we went over to the park. We have a gorgeous park less than ten minutes walk away from us. How often do you think I go there? Well, yes, you can imagine.

It was fab! Kicking leaves, almost falling over in squelchy mud, talking about all sorts of nonsense with my beloved, and laughing when we stopped for a coffee, because while I was chuntering on about wedding arrangements, he was diligently making a ‘Mole weight’ out of a coffee stirrer and two empty milk tubs, and completely ignoring me. Men love talking about weddings, don’t they?

But we had a good trudge around in the sunshine, got some fresh air, had a laugh and even stopped for a little kiss and a cuddle…bonus!

I’m totally grateful for having the park so close, so I can go squirrel watching and leaf-kicking whenever I feel like it. I even did a Liberte Fitness boot camp out there once and came home covered in mud, freezing cold and pouting like a toddler who’d been sent to bed early. I only did that once. My memories of getting stuck underneath my friend, and being completely unable to move because I was (a) stuck in mud and (b) laughing too much were enough to put me off again. I had to put my trainers in the washing machine!

I’m also glad I have the kind of job where I can down tools and go out to play.

There’s a lot to be said for getting out in the fresh air…

Ask and it is Given

Do you want more money?Venice

It’s OK, I’m not going to start trying to sell you a ‘Guaranteed Money Making System’ and asking for JUST $99.95.

I’m saving up for a wedding. And next year I want to save up for a house. Don’t want much, do I? Trouble is, right now I don’t even know how I’m going to be able to afford to pay my tax bill, although with a few irons in a few fires I’m determined to rectify this situation pretty damn soon.

People keep sending me lovely blogs with ideas in. A good friend of mine recommended ‘Ask and it is Given’ – the old classic Law of Attraction tome, and The Secret is also in my box of books somewhere. Although to be fair when I look at my bank account at the moment, the self-help book that springs immediately to mind is probably more likely to be ‘F*ck it!’

Anyway, every little helps and I started thinking positive last week. Telling people I WILL have a nice wedding AND a honeymoon. I will also have the house I want. I only want a Victorian terrace or cottage. I’m not after a freaking Bel Air mansion or something in Kensington. But I need to throw everything I can at this project, so I’m enlisting the help of Pinterest in helping me. Sounds odd? I know.

The idea is to get rid of all the mental blocks we have around spending money. You know how it is, you see that gorgeous coat in a shop window and instead of thinking “I want that” you immediately shut it down with “I can’t afford that”, or “You can’t have that, you’re saving money.”

It’s all true, of course, but if you read up on all this stuff, whether it’s down to positive and negg-o vibrations or just the way our brains accept what we tell them, if you shut down any thought of what you want, monetary or otherwise, with an “I can’t” then the chances are you probably won’t. Focusing on a lack of whatever it is that we want, whether it’s a Swarovski pendant, a house, a hot man or a baby only tends to get us what we focus on…a lack of that thing.

So, in order to trick my resistant mind into thinking I have loads of money and therefore can afford to spend a lot of it, I’m trying one of three tricks from the book. I’ve set up a Pinterest board (or will do a new one every day) and I’m going to find things I want and add them to the board. Today’s board was ‘£1000 to spend’. You’ll see I’ve decided I’m spending most of the money on travel, I’ve booked three nights in Venice for me and Moley, plus tickets for Muse in May. And a few other bits. But the idea is that you get to use your imagination, think of lovely things you want, places you want to go – and just play. I even found that if you type a price into the description when you Pin it, it comes out on the corner so you can keep tabs. I used an Excel sheet too but I might probably get bored of that. In fact I almost definitely will as it’s nothing like as fun as Pinterest.

In the book, they suggest that you write fake cheques out for your purchases and write them in a ledger book, but I’m guessing as the book was written back in 2004, before we did everything online, my way will be just as good. Did I mention that you add another £1000 to your budget every day? You can do this for as long as you like but I think I might get bored eventually. Maybe I’ll do it just long enough to buy myself a house….

My Pinterest board is £1000 to spend and if you fancy having a go, let me know your Pinterest name and I’ll follow you. Good luck!

Depressed? Read a book!

bookpileI’m a self confessed self-help book addict, so when I read this week that self help books have been proved to lift depression and prevent it from bothering you again, I felt justified for the amount of money I spend on them. You don’t need to tell me that books are great therapy…and for me they don’t even have to be self-help!

The University of Glasgow carried out a study of 200 people who’d been diagnosed with depression, and found that the people who were given Cognitive Behavioural Therapy type books to read reported “significantly lower” levels of depression after four months than people who were doled out antidepressants.

I used to think self help type books were for losers. I think the first one I ever bought was when I was in my mid-twenties and decided I needed to do some assertiveness training. I was working for a horrible old battleaxe and thought it might help me stand up to her. Politely and calmly of course. So I read up on how to be an assertive woman and – well – I think I might have got a bit more ballsy for a bit. But I could never quite get my head around affirmations. How could talking to myself in a mirror help me stand up to the Fire Breathing Dragon I had the misfortune to be working for? I did find some solace in the fact it wasn’t just me, she was an old bat to everyone, but she especially disliked me because I kept pointing out ways to improve the way the office ran and she didn’t like that at all. Note to self: learn when it’s best to put up and shut up…some things aren’t worth the fight.

The next book I read was the all-time classic “You can heal your life” by Louise Hay. Hands up if you’ve read that one?

Some of the book was complete woo-woo to me but I took the bits I needed and I really think it helped. I was in another job, working for a manager who actually bullied me. This time it was personal and I wasn’t doing too well. I can’t say that reading Louise’s wise words changed everything, but I did find it inspirational and it helped me a lot when I was looking for different ways to deal with what my work life was throwing at me. I don’t have much luck with bosses, do I? Probably just as well I’m self employed these days.

I still love a self-help book, especially when it’s free. Which is why I love being part of Leonie Dawson’s tribe of go-getting female entrepreneurs (OK, I’m working on the entrepreneur bit) because they all have a great back catalogue of freebie e-books that you get to download from their websites for nothing but an e-mail sign up. Leonie’s own free business guide is brilliant for starters, and it’s what got me into the Goddess Circle where I met women who know their shiz when it comes to everything from holistic health and nutrition to positive thinking, Reiki to business planning.

So, tell me, what’s your favourite self help book?

Read more about the study here: Self help books relieve depression

Welcome

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Well, it was time for a move! If you’ve followed me over from blog.co.uk, thanks! If you’re new, *waves*

I’m starting afresh in 2013, with a daily (or as often as I can) dose of positivity, motivation, gratitude and all the good stuff. I’ll be reviewing books, talking about good news and generally looking on the bright side.

Want to join in? Follow me 🙂