April · Grief · Gun Crime · London · Loss · philosophy · reflection · thoughtful · Uncategorized

Comtemplating

I feel like I have been thinking about a lot of things this week, there have been days where my mind is so busy I forget to eat much and my brain is so full I can’t sleep properly.

There is nothing in particular wrong I just seem to take on the troubles of the world and everyone in it. The recent murders in London have been playing on my mind a lot this week.

The poor families of the 16 and 17 year old boy and girl that died of gunshot wounds after being shot within hours of each other. You just can’t even begin to comprehend their feelings but I have been thinking about them a lot.

How do people manage to drive past young adults walking along the street and gun them down and seemingly get away with it? The police have still arrested no one in connection with these deaths but have of course stepped up their stopping and searching powers because of the media attention. Weapons have been taken off the streets and people have been searched under an Act the police have put in force for several days where they don’t have to have any suspicion, the people just need to be in an area where violence has taken place.

Yes this is all great but the fact remains London has had more gun related murders every month of the year than New York this year.

Surely something can be done to stop this horrendous trend and prevent more families from losing their babies in nothing more than a postcode war.

These latest victims were not involved in gang violence and were both suspected of just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. How will their families ever get over this? How will they live in the same place knowing the same thing could happen again to another member of their family for absolutely no reason?

Where is the justice in this? When does it end?

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Fears · February · Friendship · lonely · mood · philosophy · reflection · thoughtful · Uncategorized

How would they feel

How would people feel if they knew how I felt inside?

Would they jump right on that phone, get in their car and drive?

If they knew my mind was whirling and at times I just felt lost, would they be the one to help me, no matter what the cost.

If they knew how being lonely had just become the norm, Maybe they would try to get me back on form.

There are people you are close to,people you hardly see, people who make effort with you and people you wish you could see.

But my brain stops me from texting, my fingers they just won’t move, just hoping and waiting maybe they will text me soon.

Then time creeps in and it becomes harder, wondering why no one calls, weekends and days off are spent lonely in these four walls.

And this is how I carry on until some days I break, and send that text I’ve been waiting to send no matter what the fate.

Some days I just wish I was higher, further up the list, then maybe they would call me, before it got to this.

Depression · February · fun activities · goals · happy · Hygge · Lykke · making memories · Mental Health · mood · philosophy · positive thinking · thoughtful · Uncategorized

The Little Book of Lykke

I got this book and the first book of Meik Wiking’s “The Little book of Hygge” for Christmas and this week have finished the second book. This really is such a lovely little book which reminds us what is important to be happy and gives us an insight into how happiness is shown all around the world.

During the book he takes us on a treasure hunt to unlock the doors to the good life. From how we spend our precious time, to how we relate to our neighbours and cook dinner, he gathers evidence, stories and tips from the very happiest corners of the planet”

I’m going to share with you some of favourite parts of the book and what I’ve learnt from it.20180126_145933978707812.jpg

This is one of my favourite pages, I am a lover of social media to connect with family, with a sister in New York and a brother in Hong Kong not to mention family in 3 different counties in the UK it is simply the easiest way to share with them what we have been doing. Where my love ends is the endless stream of time wasting videos, the nonsense posts that friends of friends like that somehow end up clogging up your time line. Everyone has an opinion on social media, for some its about the amount of likes, shares, comments, others think its better not to post pictures of your children. Then there is the matter of how much we post, is twice a week too often? Which platform do we use? Is Instagram safer than Facebook because its private unless you accept the followers? Do people care how many years it was ago since they went for that picnic in the park? The amount of time spent on digital devices scrolling mindlessly through unimportant information really has risen to a crazy amount. But as you can see about its proven that people are happier when they don’t use Facebook!

I have now set myself a mental limit when on social media, if I don’t see something I want to connect with within about 10 seconds I close the app. I know scrolling mindlessly for half an hour won’t make me happy, it usually just makes me frustrated that I’ve just wasted all that time doing nothing when I could have been doing something.

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Another way to prevent yourself from being sucked in to the “time stealers” are to use apps like the “Freedom” app which prevent you from using the internet for a period of time. Next time you find yourself well and truly stuck to that screen just think what else you could be doing, do you have long enough to read a chapter of that book you have been meaning to read? Or even just a few pages? Could you fit in a few burpees, for those fitness lovers out there! Write a meal plan for the week? Or if you must scroll, let it be through something productive. Can you say after 2 hours of looking at your phone you have planned Valentines day or researched cheap home make over ideas rather than simply gone up 52 levels on your latest game.

In this book Meik Wiking goes on to say that the richest countries are not necessarily the happiest and that we often look for happiness in all the wrong places. He says “I have yet to discover a more powerful force to explain human happiness than the fulfilment of our longing for love, friendship and community. So, people want to belong but they are not exactly sure how to make it happen.”

Five ways to plant a community Meik gives are;

1. Create a directory for your street or stairway. Knock on your neighbours doors or post a sign up sheet in their letter box saying you are creating a directory for those little emergencies. Do people know a good plumber, electrician, handyman? Add some questions like would they like their dog walking once in a while or are you prepared to look after their garden while they are away for two weeks in the summer. Who knows how to change a tyre or who owns a sewing machine?

2. Establish a book lending cupboard. A simple way to start conversation in your community is to create a mini library built on the take one leave one book principle. The library doesn’t have to be anything fancy just a few shelves with a few different books available for those who fancy trying them. I have a shed next to my house which isn’t locked so this could be somewhere I could leave books for my street, I just need to clear it of all the junk first! This is definitely on my list of things to try though.

3. Use the soft edges. Front gardens and porches are called the soft edges. Few people would dare come into your kitchen but if you are in your front garden you are more likely to start a conversation with your neighbours. The more your get to know your neighbours names and their stories the more noise from them ceases to be annoying.

4. Build a community garden. Your home may not offer any soft edges but there may be a strip of land in your neighbourhood that could be used to create a small community garden, a time tested way for you to not only grow a bunch of veggies but also for you to bring a sense of community.

5. Start a tool sharing programme. The average power drill is used for only a few minutes per year so there is no need for us all to have one, the same with hammers, screwdrivers not to mention leaf blowers and ladders. This is another good excuse to get to know your neighbours.

Another great idea is volunteering, you may be passionate about politics or love the outdoors in the UK the website do-it.org lists more than a million options and enables more than 200,000 people to donate their time every month.

If that isn’t your thing what about random acts of kindness? Here are 5 ideas of things you could do that are guaranteed to lift your mood and that of the person on the receiving end;

1. Leave a gift on someones doorstep.

2. Learn the name of the person on the front desk or someone else you see every day and greet them by name.

3. Make two lunches and give one away.

4. Talk to the shy person who is by themselves at a party or at the office.

5. Give someone a genuine compliment. Right now.

These are all so easy to implement and i’m planning on trying as many as I can in the next week, I will let you know how they go.

Now for something that has been brought to our attention by the media throughout the last year and continues to be a much talked about subject as it should be. When is the last time you asked someone how they were and actually listened and cared about the answer? I’m not just talking about 20180126_2143122142971200.jpg

family but friends, colleagues, parents at the school gates. We are all in so much of a rush all of the time do we really even listen to each other much anymore? How many people do you know that you see on a daily basis and can say you know if they are ok or not? Mental health is still so often overlooked as a taboo subject and having worked with young people that had been through some extremely traumatic times I know that these experiences leave their mark and sometimes rear their head again later in life. The next time you hear someone is off work with depression instead of judging them think what circumstances could have brought this about. Is there anything you could do to help the next time you see them? Not everyone will want to talk about their problems openly but there is nothing wrong with them knowing that someone is there should they need it.

This book has really opened my eyes as to what can make you truly happy and how happiness can be found with what is around us and without many of the things people often associate with happiness in this modern world. Its a great read and has its place in my reading nook where my husband has actually started reading it and he is not a reader!

I’d love to hear what you think of it if you do decide to read it. 

Thanks for reading

Lou x

 

 

Blogger · body confidence · Friendship · happy · health · January · Mental Health · mindfulness · philosophy · Uncategorized

Life is better

Life is better when you have people to help you through. We aren’t meant to live life alone, We are social creatures who were given the mental ability to be able to interact with other human beings on complex levels so why struggle on your own?

It’s so easy to look at other people’s lives and think of the differences and reasons you shouldn’t interact but what about looking for reasons you should? When you are feeling negative about life or suffering with low self esteem or aniexty it’s all too easy to sit at home alone and feel like that is the best option . After all why would anyone want to talk to you if you are feeling so low, they are far too busy off doing exciting things to want to spend their time talking to you right?

Wrong! Talking to people makes you feel better, fact. Even if you talk about other things You don’t have to talk about the elephant in the room, your aniexty or low self esteem but just talking and relaxing in the good company of others will make you feel human again. Laughing,enjoying yourself, spending time with people who genuinely care about you is a positive thing and you will benefit from it!

Shutting people out when you are feeling fed up is easy to do, you may feel like your problems are small, unimportant or that others are just not interested but I assure you there is someone out there that is. Whether they listen and give advice or come up with solutions that work around your situation and make you feel better without realising, seeing people is good for the soul.

Friends are friends for a reason, just remember they may have problems, niggles or just general moans they want to get off their chest too and even if they don’t they may do one day so don’t feel like you are a burden, a failure, moaning for no reason or have problems people can’t or won’t help with because spending time with people really does help. Like they say laughter really is the best medicine so laugh, joke, have fun and forget your worries if only for a few hours.

body confidence · comparison · January · philosophy · positive thinking · reflection · Uncategorized

Human nature or obsession? 

It’s apparently only ‘human nature’ to compare yourself to others. To look at someone else and think how you would like their hair or gym body. To be able to eat as much as they do and never put on a pound or to have their car, salary, confidence or even family relationships.

Nothing in life is handed to us and we all have to work for what we have so why do we insist on comparing ourselves daily to others around us? Whether it’s something small or big I can count at least 4 times so far today I’ve done it and that’s a good day. If it’s not in person it’s online, it might be to people we never even meet, to an online profile we don’t know is even real Instagram is a great one for that. 

It’s everywhere, in the workplace, school playground, friendship circles, everyone is doing it and if you are really on the bandwagon you will do it when you are on your own too! 

It’s true, I don’t need company to compare my life to someone else’s, I will either tell my husband or just keep it inside that I’ve made this comparison. 

Sometimes it will fester in my head and I won’t be able to stop thinking about how they have this and I have the other. How my life is different to theirs. I have a great life, I’m in a stable job, have a loving family and supportive friends yet still I can’t help it and neither can everyone else I know. What I don’t know is if it bothers anyone else as much as it bothers me.

Do they simply allow it to filter in and out of their brain or do they let it linger and eat away at them as I do? I wish I could walk round in a little bubble not letting anyone else’s lives or achievements bother me but it just doesn’t seem possible. Until then I will try, try to make a conscious effort to be less consumed by what others have/don’t have and more led by what I am trying to achieve for myself and my little family. After all life is too short to worry about what everyone else does with their lives, it’s upto us to make our own path and enjoy what we have instead of wishing we could walk in everyone else’s.

A child's perspective · Blogger · Childhood · Children · Disney · family time · motherhood · Mums · October · Parenting · philosophy · Uncategorized

What my 7 year old still doesn’t understand about Lady and the Tramp

So the other night was movie night, we have a good sized collection of Disney classics, as any home should and Lady and the Tramp happens to be one of them. 

Now we have watched this film countless times but probably not for a few months and this time I came to realise how much my little persons mind is changing. There were a lot of questions she has never asked before and I guess I just assumed she knew the answers to or I didn’t want to explain because I thought she would get upset.

So I thought I would share with you her questions and my answers to give you some idea of how a 7 year olds mind works. 

T-  Why is there one puppy at the end which looks like tramp and the rest look like lady?

Me- Well because they had puppies together.

T-  but how did they get one looking like the dad because puppies go in the mummies tummy?

Me- well because he is the Dad and Lady is the Mummy so some look like each one, like Poppy looks like her Daddys colour but her Mummy’s size. (I bailed at this point and did not go any further into why the dogs look like the Mum and Dad! She’s only 7!)

T- what does lost your sense of smell mean?

Me- that dog is a hound so he uses his sense of smell to hunt things out so as he’s got a little older he can’t smell things as well any more which for him is pretty sad.

T- where is the dog in the pound going?

At this point the dog is being taken for the ‘long walk’ from which he never returns.

Me- well in the old days when they had a dog at the pound and no one came to claim him they would kill it after a few days because they didn’t have enough space to keep them all.

*watches T’s face for reaction*

T- and the dog just thought he was really going for a long walk, he was excited to go out the door.

Me- yes babe.

*realises this film is actually pretty sad in places*

T- Why does Lady get that put on her face?

Me- because the Aunt thinks she is going to bite the baby so they put those on dogs that aren’t very nice to keep them from hurting anyone.

T-why does the Beaver need that log in the river?

Me- because they like to build a dam to stop the water so they have a home to live in.

And that’s all folks!

The lesson for today- no matter how much you think your kids can follow these films and they have watched them since they were tiny there is still a lot they really don’t understand so one day be ready for the questions! 

Thanks for reading 

Lou x

Cockapoo · dogs · friends · Friendship · Halloween · homemade · Looking back · philosophy · reflection · Uncategorized

Cups of tea and an unexpected visit!

So today I had plans for a quick trip to the shops, a catch up with a friend and a visit to the vets. All of those things happened, the trip to the shops was great because I managed to pick up a Christmas present for T simply because it had Princess Tiana on and it’s so rare to see her on anything so I had to buy it. (T loves that she is also a Disney Princess.) 

The vets appointment was ok, poor Poppy seems to have a little lump at the site of her operation which could be either an infection, where her body is reacting to the internal stitches or just hard tissue where it is healing so she is now on antibiotics for a week. Here’s hoping it sorts itself out! For now here is a cute picture I took the other day! 

This afternoon I have also been painting conkers orange to look like mini pumpkins! We are having friends round tomorrow and I’m going to let the kids draw pumpkin faces on them, It was an idea I found a couple of weeks ago which I wrote about here so I will post pictures their finished products when they are done!

Then I had a friend round for tea and an overdue catch up which was lovely. We both seemed to have a lot to tell each other and she shared some good news about moving house which was great. Her cousin came to pick her up who I haven’t seen in years and it was so nice to chat to! You know when it’s just easy to talk to someone, there was no awkwardness, No why haven’t you been in touch, what happened to us as friends we simply moved in different directions at the time and there was nothing more to it. We have always kept in touch online so have a fair idea of what each other has been upto along with my friend keeping us both in the loop but today we ended up chatting for over half an hour when she was meant to be not stopping. It was just easy and made me think this is how life should be, It got me thinking about some difficult decisions I made about friendships nearly a year ago now and just reaffirmed that I made the right ones. 

Surround yourself with the right people and life can be good, the wrong people can drag you down and really life is too short and has too many worries and stresses for friendships to be one of them!

Who knows if I will see this friend again anytime soon but I know if I do it will be just as easy and comfortable and that’s how it should be

Family · making memories · motherhood · Parenting · philosophy · Thankful · thoughtful · Uncategorized

Finding time to make memories because life is short

These days time is even more in short supply, with the constraints of a working life, hobbies, keeping relationships with friends close, adding in playdates for your children and just generally maintaining your house where do you find time to make memories and just have fun? 

We are all guilty of just wanting to sit and zone out while we mindlessly scroll through pages of social media, it’s just the way people relax these days but it’s far too easy to forget our little people grow so quickly and are not little for long. Time is precious and so even if it’s for a few minutes at a time I always make sure I take the time to put my phone down and actually listen to what T has to say, properly listen. 

Only when we are fully in the moment can happy memories be made and fun times had. 

Like when I climbed the tree house Sunday to eat my ice cream with T, there was no social media, no distractions, just for a few minutes it was just us two eating ice creams in her den. Perfect.

Don’t get me wrong little people can talk, and talk, and talk about mostly pointless things but sometimes it does us good to just listen. To remember what it is like to be little and how important it is to cherish those funny things they say because one day they will realise how silly they sound and stop saying them. 

T a couple of weeks ago ‘I am growing up you know Mummy!!’ We couldn’t stop laughing! 

So take a minute, inbetween loads of washing, on the way to school, after dinner and homework to just appreciate the little things, build those happy memories because life is short and moments matter.

RIP to the zookeeper that lost her life yesterday at the zoo we happened to be visiting at the time. 

Make every minute count, You never know what is round the corner.