Monthly Archives: January 2021

Being your own cheerleader!

As has been well documented in this blog there have been periods in my life where I have been surrounded by toxic men who really got their kicks by keeping me down, keeping me small and keeping me quiet. Thankfully those days are behind me and I am free to be myself. Wonderfully chaotic, clumsy, happy motivated me!! I like her! She can be a bit needy at times though this woman, she loves a well done, enjoys being told she’s doing well. Oddly it’s taken until I reached the age of 40 to realise the best person to uplift and encourage myself is me!!!

It wasn’t just toxic men who kept me down and didn’t allow me to flourish and shine. I find I often take on the energy of those I’m around. The motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said :

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Now obviously we’re in the midst of a pandemic and stuck home so really for me right now that’s the kids. Come to think of it I am a bit of a moody bum who doesn’t stop eating right now….

Anyway, I digress (STILL the title of my autobiography) However I do kind of identify with the Jim Rohn quote. I’m an optimist by nature but when I am around doom lovers and pessimists it definitely does rub off on me and I find my sparkle less sparkly and my enthusiasm drained. This isn’t good for me at all. Opens up a dark, gloomy rabbit hole of despair waiting for me to hop down.

This is where being your own cheerleader comes in. It’s a relentless job and takes some doing but if you can be responsible for pepping yourself up and giving yourself a high 5 then people around you who don’t make you feel so good about yourself have way less power.

Here’s how I manage to become top cheerleader of me, the head of the #teamkelly club! Ooo I like that, might get t shirts!

#teamkelly

I leave myself notes

On the shopping list, the to do list – any list of demands on my time I’ll usually find added to it a little handwritten “have great day!” note. Written by me of course but just a little reminder makes me smile. Sounds nuts but it works.

Become a weird, dodgy motivational speaker

I am training for a marathon (I know I’ve not mentioned it eh?) I have a marathon training bullet journal full of workout plans and runs that need doing. It started in Jan and leads right up to October when the marathon is due to happen. Sunday is usually a long run day and after the strict note of how long I need to run and a goal time is a lovely message (from me) about how well I’ve done this week and how great I’ll be next week alongside a dodgy motivational quote from the internet!!

Smile

My therapist once told of a little fable whereas a dog was let loose in a hall of mirrors. The dog got scared and started to bark and when he looked in the mirror he saw that scared dog barking at him so responded and began to snarl and growl, seeing the other doing doing the same this continued. Obvious the moral here is what you put out into the world is what you’re going to get back. This stuck with me though so it’s nice to start the day looking into the mirror with a smile, and see that person smiling right back at me.

Celebrate the little wins

The tiny achievements you make are important. They’re usually personal to you too. I hate using the phone so making a phone call for me is a win, well done me you can have a wispa gold for that. I’m a major procrastinator so ticking everything off the to do list? Go me! Pour an wine and slam on some trashy TV.

These may all make me sound a little on the nuts side and to be quite honest I am a little bit. I’m motivated and happy and full of enthusiasm about things I care the most about though, so I think that’s OK!

The objects seeing me through lockdown

Hey everyone, how we doing? Coping OK? Going a bit stir crazy? Absolutely fed up to the back teeth of Microsoft Teams? Yes me too!

I think I may have it a bit easier than many as I have older kids who can work independently, I quite enjoy having an excuse to avoid social interaction and no one has tried to hug me *shudder * in a year!! I’m kind of winning here.

I am finding myself needing to self sooth a lot though. Just to feel comforted and calm and try my absolute best to keep the dreaded anxiety at bay! I’m finding myself equipped with certain things that help with this. Can I share?

MY PHONE

An obvious one really, but I think our phones now are becoming our sole way to keep connected with other people. Particularly if you’re living alone, if you’re a single parent as I am, or suffer any other kind of social exclusion. My phone is rarely out my hands and I’m not even going to feel bad for it as I am craving interaction. My family group chat has become important as an outlet. Twitter makes my day to day life that bit more interesting. I love Twitter, love it and I may be slightly guilty of creating a bit of an echo chamber there but my people there are the good guys, none of the horrid trolling and meanness. Just people trying to muddle through this thing. I’m very grateful to have my phone to create and maintain connections that are no longer physically allowed.

BATHBOMBS

Honestly a stressful day, a sad day, a frustrating day, an infuriating day even just a boring day. Well nothing soothes any of those emotions like a hotter than lava (possible exaggeration) bath with a gorgeous smelling bath bomb in it (Lush for preference to me but whatever you guys love) Laid in a bath I can just feel my stresses fade away!! Maybe that’s what people who like cuddling get from that! I’ll stick with my bath though.

FANCY RUN WATCH

FRW for short. A birthday pressie from the kids is keeping me run motivated and my goodness there are days I am chasing those endorphins and run highs like a pig snuffling for truffles. I did have a bit of a Eureka moment yesterday though about why the FRW works so well to motivate me so well. After a good run, or a fastest mile it gives me a little Well done! Good work! The other day it was frosty out and it gave me a congratulations on running in sub zero temperatures badge!!! Well you know me and how much I LOVE a well done. I wrote about my people pleasing tendencies just here but these tendencies now extend to an object. I want the watch to be pleased with me. So I run!! I’m lame I know! I know!

NOTEBOOKS

I’m a total stationery lover at the best of times. Can’t beat a pretty notebook and a pen that feels nice in your hands. I also though have learned the best way for me to unburdon myself of worries or stress is to write down what’s on my mind. Once it’s out my head and on the page I feel much better. That’s how I became a Blogger I guess!!

BOOKS

An obvious one for me. When the pandemic began and during the first lockdown I just couldn’t read. I didn’t have the concentration which felt incredibly frustrating to me. Thankfully I’ve overcome that now and what better way to escape our reality currently (which does feel like a Sci fi novel) Than hopping into a whole new world for a little while. This one combines nicely with the hot bubble bath too.

THE DREAM TEAM

Talking of great combos the next items really all come together to make a great team of feel good back up. Them being my TV (don’t recommend the news if you’re de stressing but the obsessive in me has days I just can’t turn it off), fluffy blanket and the kettle with which to make tea to drink whilst snuggled under the fluffy blanket watching trashy TV. My current trash TV pick is Married at First Sight Australia. So much drama you don’t get in the UK version. Feel free to substitute tea for wine as your evening progresses, although a warning from me to you – fluffy blankets don’t enjoy having red wine spilt on them. I’m so so clumsy.

That’s how I’m finding comfort over lockdown. Mostly reading, writing or snuggling!! Let me know your must have items!

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Grateful

Firstly – Happy New Year.

I know how inappropriately glib that statement sounds in the current climate , but I do mean it !! I wish you all a very happy new year to come .

Secondly the title of this post may conjure up ideas of a sickly sweet post , looking for the silver linings of the current terrible time . I promise it’s not that. I’m very fed up I’ve not seen my sister in 10 whole months . Not seen my other family back home in over a year . I miss them and lets not even mention that handsome guy I’m fond of , almost forgotten what he looks like!!

The gratitude of the title was a moment , a brief moment, that happened over the Christmas time that kind of stopped me in my tracks . We had such a nice Christmas , our uni boy was home from university , it was our ‘turn’ with the youngest. It was all 5 of us .Having everyone home together was lovely enough. Christmas eve brought one of uni boy’s famous family quizzes . He had warned us beforehand was actually more of a game show (he’d bought the taskmaster book so had himself as Greg Davies to my Johnny Vegas)We quizzed away and that evening was just so full of laughter it’s bringing tears to my eyes thinking and writing about it . What the hell Kelly ?I’m sure you’re thinking. Do you have a laughter ban in your house or something ?? We don’t. We had a really noisy evening of laughing and everyone teasing one another at their individual game failings . I think maybe it was the game of throwing slices of bread into the toaster (that damn book!) We were all laughing our heads off at teen girls total dominance in the sport . Noisy laughter , bread flinging and a fair few crumbs if I’m honest . That’s when it hit me , hard. Our life could have been so different . There’s an alternate universe where this would never be allowed to happen . Back in the abusive relationship Christmas wasn’t a nice happy smiley time . The kids had fun I think -it’s Christmas ! Some abusive men though like to cause a big fuss on days that aren’t focussed on them. I always knew Christmas , the kids birthdays , my birthday and Mothers day it would inevitably kick off . You’d be treading on eggshells the whole time trying to calm and pacify. It would never work of course . He wanted a tantrum he’d damn well have one even if he had to sit working himself for couple of hours first.

Enough of the dark times though , because these days are a whole different story. The relaxation and joy I feel around big days is a million miles away from that . In that silly moment I was so grateful for where we are now , the way the kids have grown up , the way we fit our little family of 5 . A life I never dreamed was possible , well it was possible , we live it now ! I’m not trying to make out we’re like the Waltons or that we live this little perfect life . I’ve struggled at times during the years since we left . My mental health has impacted on the kids and it hasn’t all been rosy. Even during the worst times though I have never ever ever regretted leaving .

I talk often about how much I enjoy living alone (kids aside obviously) This Christmas though highlighted that again. Where we live now feels like the first place I’ve ever been able to put my own stamp on that feels like home and as time goes on little hang ups that I didn’t even realise I had from back then added to by other critical voices since are lessening . I had the decs up nice and early tat and all. That would never have been allowed . I made Christmas dinner to our liking (late and with pretty crispy pigs in blankets …ah that’s our tradition now!!) I watched the soaps . ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!! Forbidden and frowned upon by anyone I’ve previously shared Christmas Day with!! Well with just us for the festive season I can do whatever I like and I did ! Now the days of ‘friendly’ co-parenting with the youngest’s dad are over too I just have no reason to feel invaded ever. It’s just us! Think it definitely helps that the kids are older too now and the bickerfest that would have gone on in their younger days rarely happens bar the occasional fractious game of Articulate !

I’m going to try and hang on to grateful.

It’s a positive emotion , and I think we’re all going to need some of those during the coming months .

Our lives are not perfect in my house , they are ours though.

I’m certainly grateful for that!

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