Dealing with a thirty item to-do list

stress

Source: Diaries of an Essex Girl

A few weeks back Kate at Diaries of an Essex Girl wrote a post about tackling your blogging schedule and included the above inspirational image about stress. This image really struck a chord with me, not about blogging per se but just generally how I react to having too much to do, whether at work or in my personal life. My initial reaction when things are getting too much is to have an internal freak out and panic which means I’m unable to do anything productive for ages. Then I’m left with only one option – to do everything at the last-minute after making myself feel stupidly sick with worry. This is such a ridiculous reaction and most importantly an unproductive one! Especially when I’m inevitably freaking out because I have far too much to do. So I’ve decided that I need to remember this quote and maybe even print it out and carry it with me so that when I next have a freak out I’ll stop and think. After all stress is most definitely not a good idea when I need my brain to work and get something done, be it a creative idea or just one of the two hundred things on my current to-do list.

Another brain wave I’ve had recently is to sit down and calmly with a cup of coffee and write a to do list when I’m having a mini meltdown. By breaking a big scary task into a load of smaller tasks it’s far more manageable plus ticking each bit off one – no matter how small the task is really does help. I feel like I’ve instantly achieved something and I can achieve things much faster. Clearly something to do with actually getting my brain together and back to the task at hand! What about you what do you do to calm your crazy brain down when things get a bit too overwhelming?

Hello and Goodbye

Hello & Goodbye

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Today I leave Penguin Towers after five and a half years working here doing my dream job. As you can imagine I’ve got a million different thoughts around this, not least excitement and trepidation. I don’t really know how to sum up all these thoughts and I’m honestly not sure that today is the day for working that all out in my head. As I want to enjoy my last day here and say goodbye to all the wonderful friends I’ve made, before heading off on a new adventure at my new job next week. So I think this picture and quote says it all, after all it’s right and these two words will be used by me a lot over the next week or so. Wish me luck!

Pinterest Corner #29 – Come Alive

yes.

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This quote is of interest to me this week because I’ve realised just quite how true it is. This reality came to light when I was doing the most mind numbing job at work last week – literally the most painful thing ever!  and I realised that the easiest things in the world to do well are those things that you love. I love blogging, so I find it simple to sit down and knock out a blog post about food or travels or my weekly shenanigans and it’s not half bad. It makes me feel alive and happy to complete something that I’m proud of – be it a blog post, a cake or a marketing campaign.  But put me in front of a document that needs far less words but is related to something dullsville – like admin at work or the plight of the grey grasshopper (who knows if that’s a thing) and well I’ll struggle for hours to get any work done and it won’t be fun at all. I’d be depresed and stroppy and generally not good company for a while too. If only we could do more interesting things with our days – I want to be the sort of person who can do 95% of the things they love with their life and who clearly loves it and is a pleasure to be around, but sadly that’s not to be at the moment.

But someone who has done that is my lovely cousin Cathy, she’s just packed in her job and set up her own business (the lovely site Old Farm Interiors) selling lovely looking products. [on a side note I need this otter cushion in my life]. When we caught up with her the other day she said something that really made me think (and which ties into the idea in the quote above) and that’s this: she’s never worked so hard in her life or such long hours but she’s loving every second of it. And you could see it in her face, she was absolutely buzzing and so happy.  All I could think at that time is that I was supremely jealous – how amazing must that be?  To be able to work on something you absolutely love and to be so happy about it must be awesome. To be honest I’m lucky as I love my job about 80% of the time, but I wouldn’t mind being in the situation where I love everything about my job and to be one of those people that others can just tell when they look at you. That would be rather nice I think.

Pinterest Corner #21 – Indications of good or bad

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I couldn’t agree more with the above sentiment – J.K. Rowling really knows what she’s talking about doesn’t she? This quote sprung to mind a couple of times this week and I wanted to share it with you all. I’m not going to go into details of what happened to make me think of this quote, as you never know who’s reading this and that wouldn’t be fair to others. But suffice to say I learnt a few things about certain people in my life (not all bad) and I was reminded that it’s important to treat others how we would wish to be treated, no matter their status in relation to us. This goes for simple things like not barging people out-of-the-way on a bus because you have an important meeting to get too or holding open doors but also other things like making sure you allow others to share their thoughts and opinions without judging them.

Favourite quotes – decisions, decisions

Choosing just one favourite quote for day three of Blog every day in May is a hard one I have to admit. I’m definitely one of those people that collects quotes like others collect handbags or nice crockery. Case in point I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to quotes (currently at 71 pins) and I’ve also kept a quote book since I was sixteen, just so I don’t lose or forget a favourite quote. Some of my all-time favourite quotes are below:

The most wasted day of all is that on which we have not laughed. – anon

We’ve all got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are. – Sirius Black (J. K. Rowling)

Let me get this straight. You know her. She knows you. But she wants to eat him. And everybody’s okay with this? DID I MISS SOMETHING! – Timon, The Lion King

Spend life with who makes you happy, not who you have to impress – anon

Left side, strong side – Remember the Titans

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter. – Martin Luther King

It is my belief that the truth is generally preferable to lies – Albus Dumbledore (J. K. Rowling)

If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face life sunbeams and you will always look lovely – Roald Dahl

We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy. – Albus Dumbledore (J. K. Rowling)

But I think my all time favourite quote has to be the below. Not just because it’s from one of my favourite films or because it’s spoken by the lovely Hugh Grant *swoons* but because it is a sentiment that we could all do with remembering from time to time. When we’re having a bad day, when we lose perspective or we just need a smile it really is helpful to remember the sentiment expressed below:

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Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.



 

Pinterest Corner #10 – The Ultimate Goal

This week I’ve gone on a slightly different route for Pinterest Corner. There are a number of reasons for this, firstly today I’m going away for two nights and missing two days of work for our annual sales conference, so the last few days have been absolutely manic and time has just flown. As well as work craziness I was a busy bee on both Monday and Tuesday nights, so blog posts have had to be written during my precious lunch hour, in between blog reading, tweeting and errands – which hasn’t really left time to ‘do’ any of the inspiring things I’ve seen on Pinterest recently. I know this sounds like a dreadful excuse but real life has hit, and it’s hit hard this week!

However, all is not lost as this sort of fits perfectly with what I want to chat about today! Over the weekend I was browsing through my Pinterest boards and stumbled across my Fitness board and saw something that really struck a chord with me. The pin was this:

Pinned Image

Now the reason this struck such a chord with me is because I’ve been at a bit of a plateau with my weight loss for a while. I know I wrote in my resolutions post earlier this year that I wanted to lose the remaining weight and reach my goal after a year of improving my health and dropping about three dress sizes, but things haven’t really been going to plan. I’ve been losing and gaining one or two pounds since Christmas and basically seem to have stayed the same in terms of weight for the last three months or so. This has got me ever so slightly depressed and reaching for the mini eggs – which was the problem in the first place! Yes I seem to have fallen into the ‘Why am I bothering?’ mentality, which is not great.

But when I stopped and looked at this image and really thought about what it was saying I had a mini brain wave and realised that actually it’s not about losing weight it’s about being fit and healthy. Something that I can’t honestly say was the case a year ago, but that has changed since I started my new way of thinking. And this has continued over the last few months even if the weight loss hasn’t followed the same track. How do I know this? Well this time last year I almost died (slight exaggeration) when I had to run for 30 seconds – yes seriously. If it wasn’t so serious it would actually have been laughable! At the weekend I completed a 10k. Not only that but I ran/walked it in only 26 minutes more than the 5k that I ran in May – a full 15 minutes faster that I anticipated. That to me shows that I am heading in the right direction. I may not be losing the weight I wanted or looking how I dream in my mind’s eye – although how many people do I wonder?! – but I am improving my fitness every day. And that at the end of the day is the important thing – that’s the thing that’s going to make me more energetic. Make me able to do more. And make me a happier person. It’s not about the clothes I can fit into. It’s about the fact that I ran 10k and can’t wait until May when I can beat that time.

So yes, sorry for the rambling post, but this seemed like an appropriate topic for today. A moment to stop and think:  I have achieved something and to reassess what is actually important.  Have you faced any similar issues in the past where you’ve had to stop and take stock to remind yourself that you’re doing okay? Please tell me I’m not the only one?!

Wise words

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I saw this quote on Pinterest earlier tonight and it seemed to strike a chord with me. So I thought I’d share it. I’m not sure why it’s this quote of the many I’ve pinned recently that seems to resonate with me at the moment, it just does. There’s a sense of logic to the words.

Why on earth would you surround yourself with people who are negative or don’t fully appreciate what you’re capable of? There’s always going to be a time when we need support and someone in our corner, so why not choose the people who know how truly brilliant you are and the potential that you have? They will always be the ones to drop everything for you, convince you that you can get through anything, to pick you up when you’re down and who’ll share their last bag of mini eggs with you.

It seems pretty clear to me that you’d be stupid to ignore these special people.

Life is Very Short

life is short

These are words that I’ve been thinking about since yesterday when I realised how fragile life is, how luck can act in the strangest of ways and how in reality ‘Life is short’, so why waste it by focusing on the bad stuff.

Yesterday I was on the bus to work in a little world of my own, humming along to Taylor Swift and getting odd looks, when I noticed the people outside at the bus station were acting really strangely, they were all looking horrified and aghast and like they couldn’t believe what they’d seen. I was intrigued as to what was going on so as the bus pulled away and out of the bus station I looked back down the road I’d just come from and saw a massive plume of very black smoke spewing up from between the buildings. It was like something out of an action flick. I then clicked open Twitter and did a quick search for ‘Vauxhall’ (the bus station I was at) and saw people’s tweets about a helicopter crashing into a crane,  the ground and then exploding. And sure enough when I looked up I saw a crane. It was dangling down the side of a building. Yes that’s right I was at Vauxhall along with hundreds of other people when the helicopter accident happened and two people lost their lives.

At this point I don’t think I quite realised what had happened and what I’d seen. I didn’t really comprehend that a helicopter had crashed and probably killed the pilot (which we now know it did). I didn’t even think about all the people who could potentially have been hit by the falling debris or petrol (which I now know happened, fatally for one person). I didn’t even think about the fact that I’d been under the bridge and on the road where parts of the helicopter landed less than 30 seconds earlier. All I thought about was ringing my sister to say ‘don’t get the bus, the traffic’s going to be bad’. I think in all honestly if I had done any of the above things, and actually let it sink in, that I’d been moments from death and that something terrible had happened, then I would have lost it big time. Instead I let it sink in slowly as I watched the coverage on the BBC website, as I scrolled through the tweets of those that had been there and as I told my colleagues what I’d seen.

Yesterday I was lucky – I was in the right place at the right time and was thankfully only a spectator on the fringes of this terrible tragic accident. There are other people who weren’t as lucky – the two men who lost their lives, the 13 people who were injured and the countless other people who saw it happen first hand or who are part of the emergency teams. These are the people whose lives have irrevocably changed forever, these people that were in the wrong place at the wrong time. So if we take away anything from this tragic accident it should be to always remember that ‘Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friend‘, so instead of these negative things let us focus on the things that matter – family, friends, gratitude, love, laughter and happiness.

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