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I don't know about you but it feels easy sometimes to get into a negative frame of mind.
The sun isn't shining or it's even chucking down with rain, you've put on (more) weight and feeling a bit unlovely. You don't feel like your life is going anywhere?
If I wake up with those negative thoughts in my head, already worrying about what life will throw at me, then I know I am likely to be fairly pessimistic all day.
So - for me the lesson is - try and have a positive thought in the morning, and everything else will look more optimistic.
That rain? Well the sun could come out! Fingers crossed anyway!
That weight? Well today is the first day of the rest of my life so I could start today with a healthy breakfast?
Feeling unlovely? I ask myself ... 'what is beautiful?' I determine not to judge myself by other people's standards and think more about inner beauty (kindness, love, peace, gratitude, friendship and so on and so on....) rather that outward appearance. I try to remember that I am unique and ask myself 'do I really want to be like anyone/everyone else?'
And smile ... that I believe will always create an intangible 'beauty'.
Life not going the way I thought it would? Well maybe I need to change my direction? Maybe the course I'm on is not the one for me?
Perhaps TODAY is the day I'll start a new life! Or at least start to think about it?
Or, if I don't want to do all that thinking maybe I'll just start with ....
'Today I will enjoy each moment ... it's the only July 13 2021 I will ever get!'
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Yes I know some of you will be working, and others will have to spend the day or even the whole weekend running around doing family chores. All the things you maybe don't have time to do during a very busy week.
I know that some of you reading this will spend the day chasing around after the children, dropping them to parties and events now that, in some places, the COVID19 restrictions are lifting.
However, if you can ... then it might be that you just need to stop today, to breathe and to rest. If possible, do nothing. Nothing at all!
And if it's not possible, at least to kick back a little.
I love this thought. Because life IS all about the balance.
I'm learning that sometimes I just have to walk away from my 'to do' list.
It's really tempting to keep looking at the tech devices and to even get into 'work' emails on the weekend or late at night. But what I'm trying to do is actually to make a distinction in my life between 'work' and 'not work'. Even though I'm now self employed, I'm trying to just step away from 'work' commitments at the weekend. Because I am one of those who does have family 'stuff' that I usually need to attend to and if I'm not careful my life will just get out of control.
Getting a bit of balance is the thing for me this weekend!
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The sun has managed to stay out for a while, temperatures are rising, the sea is gradually warming up a little and I've been swimming a few times already and loving it!
Recently I headed down to the beach at Ouaisné Bay on the west coast - at the far end of the popular St Brelade's Bay - for a late afternoon 'dip'. It was glorious!! A little bit chilly for a moment or two but once I was in, so relaxing.
Being near the sea and listening to the sounds of the ocean, as well as immersing myself in the water, is really helpful to my mental health and wellbeing.
I'm still perfecting my movie making so please bear with me ... but after my swim I recorded some of the sounds of the waves, the wind and the distant sounds of people including those enjoying the ocean, playing in the sand nearby.
We have so many things to do, even on the weekends!
Places to be, tasks to complete, chores to get done, people to see!
I don't know about you, but sometimes I think we try to cram too much into life and we don't take time to 'refuel'. We hurry about and forget to take time to 'smell the roses' and to appreciate what we have in our lives.
Recently I've been trying to take some time out to refresh my spirit and my health, and to recharge my batteries. I can recommend it.
So today ... as it's Sunday ... maybe we can all set a few moments aside, to take a little time out to just breathe and centre ourselves, to appreciate our lives and the people we have around us, and to just feel relaxed.
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I've been writing this daily blog 'One Day at a Time' now since January 1st and if you've been following me you'll know I set out on this journey really just to encourage me to write more.
I am a writer, that's how I define myself I think, but with full time work I have to admit sometimes I have struggled to get writing properly every day, so committing to a blog was one way of ensuring that I get thinking and put pen to paper, or at least fingers to keyboard.
Sometimes I wake up with an idea of what I want to say, other times I'm out of ideas which is when those 'On This Day' websites have been useful. As a result I've found out so much about so many different people who were born/died on a certain day, or events that happened on a particular day in history.
And then there are those 'landmark' days and weeks and months across the world which have been set aside to mark a particular initiative or campaign. You know the sort of thing I'm talking about ... World Health Day, International Mother Language Day (I featured that on February 21st), Mental Health Awareness Week, which was last week in the UK - May 10th to 16th - and so on and so on.
Actually you don't have to go far on your internet travels to discover that most days and weeks of the year have been given a designation or are associated with a campaign somewhere in the world. And some dates are more popular, and obscure than others.
Take, for instance, today - May 20th.
Did you know that in some parts of the world today is World Bee Day? A few years back, the United Nations designated May 20th as World Bee Day to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development. An important day, even if like me you don't actually like bees. I was stung rather badly several times when I was a child and I have to admit I do have a bit of a phobia when it comes to things that buzz.
So today I'm turning to a subject I'm more comfortable with - Strawberries!
Yes, it's a new one to me too and to be honest I think it's only in the USA. National Strawberry Day is actually February 27 ... yes I know it's very confusing ... but in my opinion we don't do enough celebrating of soft fruits!
Don't worry, I'm not going to wax lyrical about the little fruit. Just to say, I love them!
In the past I've even grown them but since returning to Jersey some years ago I haven't done that. And I've missed it.
I've missed watching the little fruits appear and ripen on the plants in my terracotta 'strawberry planter' - it's a pot with holes on the side where you can plant lots of strawberry plants which hopefully gives you lots of produce.
This year I found my strawberry planter and I have put in a few plants. And I'm delighted to say the fruits of my labour are already appearing.
So a few days ago I made a little video and I put it on my YouTube channel. Which is also a work in progress.
OK - so it's not Hollywood - but who cares?
I'm not sure I'll be able to PICK my strawberries today, but in a week or so I might have one or two fruits to enjoy. And there's something about growing your own which is empowering.
The strawberry planter is just on my doorstep so I'm watching the little plants grow.
And although, with just six plants, I'll probably only manage to harvest a bowlful of strawberries, I'm going to enjoy every single delicious morsel.
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If you've ever taken an 'Exercise Class' you'll love this.
Back in the day it was the thing a lot of us did, not just to 'keep fit', whatever that meant, but also just for the get together with friends. Some of us wore Lycra and leg warmers ... AND SOME OF US DID NOT! Even when I was a LOT thinner than I am today, that skin tight look was not something I favoured.
I have to admit I've never really been a fitness fanatic. I probably should take more exercise, but give me a good swim or a good walk any day rather than all that sweating!
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not dismissing those who do love all that jumping around and take going to the gym very seriously. And I am proud of friends who have taken their fitness in hand over the years and have really gone the extra mile - literally - to make themselves healthier. Because, in my opinion, that has to be the only reason you'd put yourself through all this.
Anyway, back to the Exercise Class.
Today I'm sharing one of my favourite TV comedy clips of all time featuring the amazing comedian Victoria Wood as 'fitness guru' extraordinaire Hayley Bailey, leading an iconic 'Step Class'.
I think one of the things I love about Victoria is that although she was obviously very clever, and rich and famous, she still seemed to appear 'normal'. She struggled with her weight and made no secret of that. She did at times turn her comedy in that direction, was rather self-deprecating, and actually often took on roles, and wrote them for herself, which were certainly NOT glamourous.
Today would have been Victoria's birthday and during her life, which was so sadly cut short in 2016, she brought us SO much happiness. Not just a comedian, but also a brilliant actress, lyricist, singer, composer, pianist, screenwriter, producer and director. Who can forget her 'silly songs' as well as her amazing performances, not just comedic but also in more serious roles?
If you've never watched 'Housewife, 49' I thoroughly recommend it. Made for television, it's based on the wartime diaries of Nella Last and it was written by and starred Victoria Wood, who follows the experiences of an ordinary housewife and mother in the town of Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire in the north of England, during the Second World War. It is AMAZING! And I have to say, it's one of my favourite of Victoria's performances and projects.
But maybe that's for another day.
Today I just want us to sit back and have a laugh.
Victoria was just brilliant at 'observational comedy' ... she obviously kept an eagle eye and ear open for all sorts of quirks in people around her and she had a knack of taking those, and little moments in life, and making them hilarious!
Cue Victoria ... and 'Step with Hayley Bailey' ....
There are a few 'blueish' moments, but it's a Classic and she's a Legend!
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