Tag Archive | children

Game changer

When you find your life has all of a sudden taken an unexpected turn, it’s a bit tricky to be rational about choices and decisions. The first step to getting over this is to acknowledge when the irrational is merely a consequence of one’s situation and at that point, you need to grab it by the horns and battle the anxiety & angst head on.

One thing that I’ve learnt about myself over the last 20 years (from dealing with marriage, children, divorce, re-educating, new career, relationships, friendships…) is that you can never plan things, not really. Yes you can feel smug that you’ve got your diary filled with wonderful social events, meetings, work commitments and the odd holiday or weekend away; but when it comes to it, none of these are certain. Keeping an open mind about things not going quite to plan is a healthy way of dealing with life in general. If we’re too caught up with sticking to those diary entries, it becomes a relentless personal challenge to attempt perfection.

What’s so wrong about trying to get things right? Nothing, but sometimes it’s the getting things wrong that leads us to making better choices in the future. If we can come to terms with the mistakes that we make then we can learn from them and improve on the decision making process when faced with new challenges.

I love my work, but it’s not always as creative as I would like it to be. Recently I’ve realised that some of the work that I’ve been doing isn’t really challenging me in the way that allows me to grow my skills as a designer. It’s all about finding the balance and sometimes you have to say ‘no more’ and make that decision to change things. I did just that. I finished a job that was leading nowhere. When you look around, after three years, to find evidence of all your hard work and really can’t find it, you have to question whether your hard work is really what that business wants, despite what they  might need. Sometimes you have to deal with attitudes that are not prepared to accept that the world is changing, that they need to embrace those changes, enjoy them and reap the benefits. The penny finally dropped, I was wasting my time and energy, and my creativity was being stifled.

Time to exit. Time to move on. Time to think rationally and time to turn my life back around to a place that makes me happy and makes my kids happy. Looking after number one maybe a selfish thing to admit to, but it is necessary. My game changer moment has been a tough one, but certainly not something that I regret.

Being able to smile and laugh at life is sometimes a challenge, but one that should have a firm appointment in all our busy diaries. Have a damn good day!


 


 

New Year’s Resolutions – goodbye!

We’re 17 days into the new year and today is apparently the day when any New Year’s Resolutions go by the wayside and we all go back to how we’ve always behaved in our natural state. That is, the new exercise routine is basically recognised as boring and far too time consuming when we’d rather be doing things that we actually like. The habits that we know are not good for us drift back into our daily routine, mine being coffee & wine – life’s too short to not have a vice or two.

I guess the point of the NYRs is to make us look at our lives and assess where we think we should make a few changes and the ones that win out in the end are ones that are realistic and worthwhile. Giving up wine and coffee would probably be worthwhile to an extent, but really, is it about giving up totally and being miserable or just adjusting the habit so that it’s not so important?

When I did the H2O challenge for the RNLI last year, I drank nothing but water for 10 days. The first three days were the hardest, and it was nothing to do with the wine. It was the coffee. The headaches, lack of concentration, not having a cup in my hand – all these things added up to a habit or addiction that I didn’t really appreciate. Although I couldn’t wait for that first coffee once I finished the 10 day challenge, I certainly made changes to that habit and have managed to stick to it. My coffee consumption has decreased considerably and I actually enjoy it more because I look forward to my two cups a day (sometimes three, but not very often). As for wine, well, I think age has started to creep up on me and I basically don’t enjoy it as much as I used to. A glass or two every now and then is generally enough. Often having totally alcohol free days is such a good thing and means that I sleep better too. That’s got to be good.

I’m hoping that 2016 brings lots of good things; travels back to see friends and family in Australia, precious time with my wonderful children and lots of career prospects that give me job satisfaction and stability.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2016. Stay safe, be happy and love life!

 

New Year’s Resolutions – Tick (not!)

My first New Year’s Resolution (NYR) for this year was to simply not make any, yet for some ridiculous reason I found myself in the lead up to 31st December 2011, inadvertently making promises about things I would do in 2012. They are resolutions arent’ they? (Is it too weird that Firefox this very minute just sent me an email entitled “Keep your Resolutions with Firefox.”? The cyber spies are watching me!)

The list kept growing, to the point that I really don’t think I can call it a NYR list anymore, it’s just a rather enormous ‘To Do’ list. Adding to this blog at least once a week was up there at the top – already broken that one as this is the first blog for 2012 – rubbish start. Maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on myself and just attempt to write something at least once a month, or maybe I should try to stick to that and actually make the effort to be creative in a wordy way more often. This is supposed to be my design blog after all and I should really just add little bits like I would a diary. Must try harder!

Of course there are the usual obligatory promises like exercising more. I probably should delete the ‘more’ bit and just say exercise, full stop. I bought some very sturdy walking boots before the end of 2011, with all good intentions of doing what they were built for, walking. This has happened twice so far, but not just any old walking – through the woods (otherwise known as Narnia or more commonly, Ashridge) for at least a couple of hours and with the knowledge that there was a pub at the end of the trek. A girl has to have a reward for her efforts. Fortunately I have a few younger friends (you know who you are!) who generally instigate such activities and being much younger, they haven’t got to the age where one feels guilty about rewarding oneself with a glass of wine/beer/cider in the middle of the afternoon or at lunchtime on a weekend. (Why we feel guilty is another blog, another time.)

Work! Work harder, learn more and find a niche. I’m loving the work I’m doing, but I’d really like to find something that doesn’t take a lot of space to create so that I don’t have to convert my garage into a studio (as much as I’d love to, but that requires getting more work to pay for it – can you see the vicious circle, can’t you?). It has to something that calls on the skills that I already have, something that I can do from home and something that has very little overheads. Ho hum! Any ideas greatly appreciated please… (Saying that, I do have one idea that sprang to mind while working on a project for a client recently – I’ve just got to get around to doing something about it.)

Sort out my in-tray. Making a start on this job is a task in itself. I made a reasonable effort to get into it, then stupidly left it for a bit and am now struggling to pick up where I left off and as a consequence, my desk is once again covered with little [organised] piles of paper. Paperwork must be one of the most brain numbing, tedious but necessary evil of life. I must keep on top of it all otherwise life just becomes too stressful – as chaotic as life is, I do like to know where something is. If it’s in the in-tray then I know where it is, then when it’s filed away, I still know where it is and am happy that it is now in its own little paperwork home. There’s something sadly satisfying about that. As tedious a task as it is and as much as I hate doing it, it’s so so so nice to see the bottom of an empty in-tray. Shame it doesn’t last long, only as long as the next post filled with bank statements & bills.

Another brain wave had been to start writing letters again. Inspired by my ‘love letter writing’ day at Homemade London last year, I thought it would be nice to surprise a few people and actually write a few letters. Not sure how likely this one will be as I’m struggling to even find the motivation to write this blog, but it’s a nice idea. Maybe I’ll try it one wet weekend. I wouldn’t suggest watching the post too closely, this might be a resolution that is a mere pipe dream.

Whatever happens this year, I’m promising myself that I will work hard even when I don’t have a lot of work to do. Learn more about my new career and find ways to improve my skills. But, above all, I’m going to enjoy my wonderful children, partner and friends like the end of life as we know really is going to end on the 21st December 2012. Enjoy 2012 everyone! I’m certainly going to.

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