Time waits for no one
How can we be halfway through September? Where has the year gone to so far? Oh wait, that’s it, half of it we’ve been in the middle of a pandemic. Who’d have thought when this whole thing started six months ago, that we’d still be in it? In fact, tighter restrictions have just been introduced.
I confess, with the whole back-to-school milestone last week – having geared my girls up with varying degrees of enthusiasm from them, then one daughter home the second day because of a member of staff having a confirmed case of COVID-19, I was needing to manage my mindset A LOT.
Writing on the wall
The news that social gatherings will now be restricted from 30 to 6 in England was surprisingly surprising. I mean, let’s face it, the writing has been on the wall for a while now with cases of COVID-19 increasing. Other countries in the UK have had more severe restrictions...
‘Ullo John, gotta new motor?
Selling and buying cars does not rank very highly on my ‘fun things to do’ list. I find it all very tedious and if I’m honest, stressful. I acknowledge this is not helpful self-talk. My car recently developed a fault. A big fault and because of its age and mileage, it wasn’t worth getting it fixed. Our options – sell it privately but I couldn’t face the tyre kickers, nor someone nice buying it and then something even worse happening to the car. Part-ex with a car dealer isn’t always the best plan either because they just do that thing when they walk round the car appraising it, when they rub their chin, point out the defects and then give with one hand and take with another when you get down to talking turkey.
So, we went to that place where they always buy your car. Having done some research, we think we did quite well as it goes, so that...
Sweet child o’ mine
Now, I love my children. Never let that be in any doubt. But don’t we as parents/grandparents/godparents etc have those moments when we wonder where this screaming, tantrum yelling, or at the very least – moody person came from…
I have three girls aged 10, 12 and 14, so it’s an interesting time in my house, not to mention my propensity to be a bit of a diva sometimes. Honestly, my husband doesn’t just need a man cave, he needs a veritable bat cave – full of all the superhero armour required to get him through his next mission – surviving another day with his sanity intact!
Tweens and teenagers are mainly concerned with their own issues and whilst I am very lucky to have three very thoughtful daughters who to be fair, after the event, are very self-aware, life is not without it’s moments where things get a bit fraught, stroppy, moody and so...
Kitten heels vs tractor wheels
Ten years ago, my husband and I decided to up sticks and leave London for the crunchyside. This is what our four-year-old called it. So, with a 4 and 2-year-old, and a 2-week old baby, we moved from South East London to the county where we’d both grown up. The reason for the decision being that we didn’t want our daughters growing up in the Big Smoke, but to instead live a less hectic pace of life, and the big draw were the four sets of grandparents ( I know, greedy right?!) who lived there. When young, we’d both spent a lot of time with grandparents, so we wanted our children to build those memories too.
It was a huge culture shock. Although brought up here, I moved away in my late teens, and so it was a big adjustment moving back. I’d left my sister and best friends behind and that was a huge wrench. Then there were the silly little things that you don’t...
A line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet resonates highly with the concept of Neutral on the Winning Edge Programme: ‘There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.’
What do I mean by neutral? So, a football goes over the line. Is that good or bad? Well, it depends which team you play for or support. Which team you play for or support will then determine whether that result in your eyes is a good or a bad one. In itself, the ball going over the line is a neutral event – it is neither good nor bad; if no one has any interest in football, that ball going over the line has no meaning for them. However, if you support one of those teams, you attach a meaning to what happens to that ball and value the result – depending on where your loyalties lie, you are either pleased or maybe you’re ranting about the quality of playing and/or coaching!
Everything is neutral until we place a value on...
State of mind
There’s a Moorish Proverb that says: ‘He who fears something gives it power over him’ – turn this on its head and ask yourself – ‘If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you try?’
This is such a powerful mindset to be in and the opportunities that present themselves could be limitless… Often it is the fear of failure that holds us back from trying new experiences. For example, you may delay or put off going for that promotion or applying for a new job because you’re worried about a knock-back; maybe you’re putting off parenthood because you’re worried about the kind of parent you might be or the unpredictability of it all… It could be a new skill or hobby you’re thinking of learning but are anxious you won’t be able to master it.
Which camp do you sit in?
So, what is behind this fear? Our imagination is a powerful choice driver which we employ, knowingly or not, when we make...
What’s your ‘normal’?
Is this even a question you give any thought to? It struck me this morning, as I went around to the passenger side door of my car, to climb across to the driver’s side because that door had inexplicably jammed, this was one of those silly things which had become my normal. Ridiculous but normal.
The door had jammed about a month ago. I keep meaning to book the car into the garage but with how things are at the moment, I haven’t felt it an urgent thing to attend to and so I have just got used to the bizarre practice of climbing over one seat to get to another. Life kinda just takes over doesn’t it? Only it doesn’t just take over – we allow it to; clearly there are far too many things I would rather do than to make a simple phone call to fix a date to take the car in. Yet every time I use the car, it’s far easier for me to clamber across the passenger seat, to the driver’s side. Bonkers.
It’s a bit...
Find your voice
From an early age, we’re encouraged to speak in front of an audience – it starts with the school nativity or class assembly when you’re asked to read out a few lines. Some children seem born performers and are happy to be in the spotlight; some might normally appear confident little things when with their group of friends but when out of their comfort zone, nervously utter their given words; for others, they look like a rabbit caught in headlights as the audience sympathetically looks on.
As we go through life, we can make a choice as to whether we put ourselves forward to be the spokesperson for a group, become a debater, chair meetings or indeed whether we perform to a large audience - be it as a speaker or as an actor. We might not all have aspirations to be heard at Speakers Corner but whether it’s going for a job interview, perhaps giving presentations at work or a volunteering role or maybe a past-time or activity, there’s...
And then what…?
The school holidays have started – yay! NO MORE HOME-SCHOOLING!!! (cue banners, party poppers and those party blowers!) Having said that, working from home and with no school work to fall back on to keep them occupied, what do I now do with my children to ensure they’re kept amused – and that doesn’t involve a digital device?!
And those school holidays will be over in a flash and we reach what I consider to be the next milestone of the year – a new academic year. The New Year, Spring and September are very often markers when you feel that extra impetus to re-evaluate where you are, what you have achieved and what you want going forward; maybe looking for a career change (it is possible, even in this climate)/starting a business/planning the next adventure/experience/learning opportunity.
I personally feel that without goals and a sense of purpose, we’re a bit like a ball on a pinball machine – being knocked...
Speak as you find
It’s funny how we can build up a profile of someone in our head before we’ve even met them. Maybe someone is going to introduce you to a new friend of theirs or maybe a new partner and they’ve given you a bit of background to give you an idea of what they’re like; or it could be a job interview scenario and you’ve made assumptions based on the person’s CV.
We might make assumptions based on a person’s name, age, where they live or perhaps their education. Yet what can these facts actually tell us about that person or about their life experiences? Not much if we’re honest. We make assumptions based on our own reference points we’ve experienced through our life but this is not based on any other inherent intuition or knowledge that we may think we possess.
I remember a friend of mine telling me about a situation that happened at her work. She is an accountant and worked for a small firm. Her boss had wild and...