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.


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

I (finally) joined instagram


One of the best things I did pre-tonsillectomy was buy a new phone. It kept me entertained while I was bed-ridden and having vastly improved functionality meant I could watch videos, read blogs and – importantly – join instagram.

Here’s a quick collection of some of my posts. You can follow me under the guise @jenny_hyde

IMG_20130214_071916 IMG_20130215_071703 IMG_20130217_100654 IMG_20130217_161301 IMG_20130311_073131 IMG_20130316_192935

March 20, 2013. Tags: , , , , . creative, Jenny project. 1 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.

Autumn. It awesome.

My typographical calendar and felt acorns from notonthehighstreet.com

There’s something unexpectedly comforting about walking home through drizzly north London streets in October. It’s not especially cold, but it’s not warm either. It’s raining, but you’re not getting drenched, just a bit damp. There are leaves on the ground, but also on the trees. You know you’ll have a cup of tea when you get in. Maybe some chocolate.

It is autumn.

There’s something comforting about autumn, but also exciting. It’s time to get out the blankets, mittens, hats, jumpers, casserole dishes and crumble recipes. It’s time for evenings spent reading, watching films and having people over rather than going out. It’s time to light candles, take hot baths and get cosy.

Now that bright, dazzling, exposing, extroverted summer is over, autumn brings out my introversion, accepts it and allows it to thrive. There are fewer barbeques, parties, evening drinks, picnics — there are even fewer daylight hours — so it’s safe to read, write, curl up and keep quiet.

That’s not to say autumn is all about being a hermit. Oh no. I think we’re drawn to connect in the colder months. We need human contact to sustain us when nature is so cruel. But it’s different. The groups are smaller. The gatherings are more intimate.

It’s a time of regeneration, of transition. So there’s contemplation, a shift in priorities. I, for one, am ready for it.

This time of year reminds me of two quotes:

“People are stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

The darkness is setting in, so I’m lighting candles, breathing deeply and revelling in whatever beauty I can find.

“Leaves become most beautiful when they’re about to die, when they’re about to fall from trees, when they’re about to dry up.” – Regina Spektor

Another one about finding the beauty of autumn. Here in London, the leaves have only just exploded into colour, and it’s a spectacular way to go.

Anyone feel similarly about autumn? Also, I started a Pinterest board for autumn. Check it out.

October 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Jenny project. 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.

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.

August and everything after

Little crown

So I had a go at taking part in Susannah Conway‘s August Break. It felt like a good way to get back into blogging and sharing ideas (and maybe some non-ideas, too).

I started off pretty well but quickly learned two things: I want better photos for The Jenny Project and I want to post things that are meaningful and not so random. Good things to learn!

Sadly, I got distracted halfway through by some sad news. One of my friends from school passed away and I was suddenly in the throes of grief. It’s not that I had nothing to say, I just didn’t know how to say anything about it at the time, and I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do.

I decided that I don’t want to write about the specifics here, but it would be exceptionally uncharacteristic of me not to mention it at all. So I’ll say this: I had forgotten how energy-sapping grief actually is, and how grief is all one thing: you start grieving for one person and you find yourself grieving for everything ever lost.

Somehow, it seemed appropriate to be in the middle of something organised by one of the best writers about grief I’ve ever encountered, and I’m sure fellow readers of Susannah‘s blog will agree.

PS I borrowed the little crown photo from here. I’m working on my own.

PPS ‘August and everything after’ is the first of Counting Crows’ albums and one of my most listened to.

September 14, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Jenny project. 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.

We are all capable of brilliant things

I’ll be honest: the last few weeks/months have been difficult for me. I hope I’ve hit rock bottom and the only way is up, but it does feel a bit dark and miserable down here sometimes.

There are things that have kept me going: brilliant beautiful blogs and books by Susannah, Kelle, Kal, Gretchen and Brene – and little pieces of art and bits of words, like this print.

We are all capable of brilliant things. Sometimes, we have to choose to be capable and whether we’re going to let the capability turn into reality. We’re all capable of doing the washing up, of losing weight, of writing a novel, of playing the piano, of having a party. Every single one of us. They’re all things we can do.

It’s nice to be reminded of that, especially right now. But the big question is whether we actually do it.

What brilliant things are you capable of? What brilliant things are you doing today?

August 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Jenny project, life, Thought projects. 2 comments.