Word of the year update: wishing vs noticing

Sunshine: wishing for it, and noticing when it arrives

Sunshine: wishing for it, and noticing when it arrives

Wishing is harder than I thought back in January. I started off with a wish that my tonsillectomy would go well, that it wouldn’t be too painful, that I’d bounce back. And what I found in the weeks after the operation is that first you have to notice what’s going on before you know what to wish for.

The doctors told me that I’d feel better in the first couple of days, but that the pain would be worse around day 6 or 7. And they were totally right. But what happened was that I totally freaked out about more pain before it hit. I tried to imagine how bad it would be. I talked myself into a total panic about not being able to cope. I imagined not be able to sleep, and therefor becoming a complete psycho-bitch.

Then I paused.

And I decided to notice what was actually happening now, that exact moment and day. I MEAN. This was a small (but significant) breakthrough. Let’s all just see where we’re at right now and then figure out what we hope could be different once we know where we are.

So. I think this is the update on my wishing year. There’s so much I could wish for, so many things I do wish for, but are they the priority right now? Do I even know where I am in each situation? That’s where I need to start.

Fortunately, I have a week off to go snowboarding next week (I’m so ready for a holiday!) which will hopefully provide some downtime to connect with where I am, what I wish for and, of course, some people I love.

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March 26, 2013. Tags: , , , , . Jenny project, life, Thought projects. Leave a comment.

I’ve been thinking about Christmas…

I work in what is broadly termed ‘retail’, so I’ve been thinking about Christmas for a while. But it’s mostly been about how it will affect other people (and what they buy), as is the nature of my job.

However, we’re at 5 weeks to go, and I can’t put off thinking about my Christmas any longer. I started a Pinterest board to start collecting pretty things to keep my spirits up. I’ve been wondering whether to make or buy Christmas cards (I think I’m going with make…) And I’m slowly starting to piece together some gift ideas for family and friends.

Christmas isn’t always an easy and joyous time for me. It’s kind of an exaggerated version of life: there are ups and downs, just more extreme. There are brilliant and beautiful moments, but I can also remember wishing I was with people I couldn’t be with, or getting frustrating at trying to get people together. The hype isn’t all it’s hyped up to be sometimes.

So this year, I’m trying to enter the festive season with all these things at the front of my mind. I’m carefully and slowly trying to manage my expectations, focus in on the things I want, cross-sectioned with things that are actually possible. I signed up for Rachel Cole’s Wisdom Notes for some daily reminders to go slowly and calmly. The first one popped into my inbox today, and I’m feeling inspired about not getting overwhelmed.

What are your plans for Christmas? What’s inspiring you?

November 19, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Jenny project, life, Thought projects. 1 comment.

Why I don’t wear high heels (or spend hours on my make-up)

You may or may not have noticed that I’m a girl. Or woman. Or lady. Or other words for ‘female human’.

Being a girl means you grow up with certain expectations and things you’re supposed to do or be interested in. One of these things is wearing high heeled shoes. I’m not saying I’ve never worn high heels. I have. Because that’s what expectations and peer pressure and ‘everyone else is doing it’ does to you. But they make me grumpy and tired and miserable. Because that’s what having sore feet does to me!

I thought I’d get used to it. I thought if I bought some fancy in-soles or jelly feet things, it would be ok. But it still hurts so I made a decision: no more high heels. And that doesn’t mean I don’t have nice shoes. I like shoes! My sequin ballet flats and red mary janes and Camper sneakers and leather boots – I love them all. I love them because they’re pretty and comfy and make a function piece of everyday clothing fun. But no high heels for me. No squeezing myself into that particular expectation.

Another thing I’ve abandoned is an extensive make-up regimen. I used to wear full foundation, eye-liner, concealer, mascara, blusher, eye shadow – the works. But again, not worth it. I look marginally better (and it’s a very small margin) for about 20 minutes’ work. These days, it’s all about tinted moisturiser (that smells nice), and mascara and blusher if you’re lucky. Not that I never wear anything else, but for my day-to-day life, that’ll do. My face is my face.

And I think this all stems from a shift in priorities. I don’t want to look good – I want to feel good, be good, be myself, and my best self at that. I can’t work on being the best person I can be and work out what makes me happy and fulfilled if I’m worrying about my shoes, face and hair. I’d rather read a book, get more sleep and be able to go for a nice walk on my way home.

Anyone else foregoing heels and other grooming practices?

November 1, 2012. Tags: , , , . Jenny project, life. Leave a comment.

Extreme Thursdays

I woke up this morning and I was tired. Like, need a good few hours’ more sleep and a really quiet, cosy day. It’s my first week back at work after two weeks off (head spinning a little), I’ve been trying to cut down on sugar and carbs (a challenge: all I want is a bowl of pasta and some chocolate), and the nights are most certainly drawing in. All of which mean I’m tired and getting out of bed is not as tempting as I’d like.

But, you know what? The day has progressed and I’ve perked up. It’s ok to be tired. It’s ok to avoid being flat out. And good things give me a boost:

  1. A lovely colleague got engaged – happy news!
  2. Other people feel this way too. I spotted tweets about needing two cups of coffee before 9am, battling with tubes and buses, waiting for the weekend. They spur me on. We’re all in our own Extreme Thursdays and we’ll rock it.
  3. Getting some work inspiration. Yesterday, third day back, I wasn’t really sure what I needed to work on, what the priorities were, how to add something fresh to a pretty worn-out routine. Today: I can TOTALLY do this!

How are you rocking your Extreme Thursday? Check out #extremethursdays on Twitter. I’d LOVE to see more of these tweets.

Have an extreme day! x

October 11, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Jenny project, life. Leave a comment.

Santorini: six awesome things about my trip

I spent last week on the Greek island of Santorini, and it was awesome. There were so many great moments and gorgeous sights (there are about 1,000 photos from our trip) but I’ve whittled it down to six things…

1. Santorini is freaking beautiful

I swore a lot when we got to Oia, the town we were staying in, but in a good way. Because Oia is absolutely amazingly beautiful. We’re talking blue skies, white buildings, windy steps, cobbled streets and gorgeous sunshine. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been and it was great to hang out there for a week.

Blue domed churches rule

2. Food

I love food. And holidays are a time to enjoy food in a whole new way. We had some amazing meals and it was so nice to eat fresh, delicious and seasonally appropriate food. Some highlights: grilled octopus, grilled feta (I’ve never had hot feta before – it was a miracle), veal with goats cheese and tomatoes, and one pretty awesome chocolate mousse.

3. Sunsets

I couldn’t write about Santorini and Oia without mentioning sunsets. It’s pretty well known for having some of the best sunset views in the whole world. People ship in for it every day, and scramble to get a good place to see it. We were lucky: our hotel had prime views straight out across the sea. We were also pretty lucky to be there for a whole week, so we didn’t have the pressure of getting one great spot on one day. There are tons of sunset snaps, but I’ll just share this with you:

Santorini sunset from the Oia Mare Villas hotel

4. An awesome coffee place

Dave’s pretty into coffee. Like, really into coffee. Most of our London weekends involve hunting down the strongest coffee in the land. So we had to find somewhere to go for the caffeine hit. Fortunately, Oia has a perfectly placed little cafe called the 39 Steps. (There are a lot of steps in Oia. Hundreds.) We totally made friends with the dude there and hung out there for a bit almost every day, watching the crowds wander by. We got invited back for beers and had a really cool last night hanging out there with a group, a guitar and a whole load of beer.

39 Steps, Oia

5. Swimming pools and naps

I’m not so good with the heat. I get hot pretty quickly and then all the heat in my body tries to leave via my face. It gets really red. Not cool. So I was extremely grateful to be able to jump in a nice cold pool in the afternoons to cool off and return to being a normal (ish) human being. These pool antics were usually followed by a nap. I love napping and it was SO GOOD to sleep when I was tired, rather than have to soldier on.

6. A beautiful beardy man

Ok, so I’m about to get a little bit, y’know, romantical. The last great thing about my trip to Santorini was that I got to go with Dave. He is a seriously fun and awesome person and I sorta, kinda, maybe love him a lot. Being able to run around and do stuff and not do very much at all and eat great food and read books and write and doodle — that’s all fun. But having someone to do that with and share it. That’s kinda the best.

Here’s a photo of me and Dave being totally cool:

Me and Dave and a bowl full of yoghurt and honey. Mmm mmm mmm.

So that’s kinda it. I went on holiday. It was amazing. Now I’m just trying to keep that relaxed feeling and remember all the good ideas I had for improving my life now I’m back. Fingers crossed!

All photo credits go to Dave.

October 4, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Jenny project, life. 1 comment.

Back from holiday

I really really want to post a nice juicy blog about my holiday… But here’s the thing: there are too many photos. Dave took about a thousand photos of beautiful and weird and random and amazing stuff — and I just haven’t got through them all yet.

Also (and this might actually be the thing), I am WAY too excited about going to see Brené Brown tomorrow at the School of Life. Actually. Can’t. Think. About. Anything. Else.

The good news is that I have the rest of this glorious week off work, so I can blog away about holiday, Brené and some other bits and pieces I’m planning, so there’ll be way more by this time on Friday. I might even be an aunty by then!

In the meantime, here’s a photo of a sunset:

Santorini sunset

Dave gets all the credit for this photo.

October 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Jenny project, life. Leave a comment.

Beginnings and ends

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” – Winston Churchill

September 12, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Jenny project, life, writing project. Leave a comment.

Summer sky

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At the end of a long day (in which I seem to have injured my foot), it’s so good to be on the Heath with summer sky, sushi and good company.

August 17, 2012. Tags: , , . Jenny project, life. Leave a comment.

Hearts and how they open and close

Image via Pinterest

I have so many brilliant friends who have huge, unique, fantastic potential to love and be loved, but haven’t found the opportunity to let it out yet. Have I found it? Does anyone ever find it?

I’m in a cycle of want-to-open-up followed swiftly holy-shit-this-is-terrifying. My capacity to love is constant, but my ability to let others in and accept the world as it is waxes and wanes regularly – often within a single 24 hour period.

As often happens, I’m reminded of Brene Brown’s eye-opening talk on vulnerability. She talks about the excruciating pain that we experience when we open up to being happy as well as being sad.

August 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Jenny project, life, Thought projects. Leave a comment.

Scooter Caffe

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Lovely sunny evening for a drink at the Scooter Caffe on Lower Marsh St.

August 15, 2012. Tags: , , . Jenny project, life. Leave a comment.

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