Thoughts penned as ‘A tangled Life’

I wrote this a while ago and have just come across it. I thought I’d share it with you:
What a tangled web can be created in search for our personal truth,                                                                                                Acceptance is much simpler although frequently lost on the youth.

Why do I aim to be someone that I’m not?   Just a creation in my mind?                                                                                                  Being myself is all that I need – I’m compassionate and kind.

For ourselves is all that we possess, all else is just on loan.                                                                                                                             Our fates are with the Universe, this earth is just our home.

By gratefully accepting our given role in life                                                                                                                                                      Will put an end to misery, discontentment, sadness, strife.

I now understand my path in life, who I was meant to be.                                                                                                                              The only role that I need play, is the one of being me.

So I’ll strive no longer, search no more for truth to become clear,                                                                                                                  It’s always been here, always will. I have the life that I hold dear.

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Shakespeare I’m not!     However I love writing these simple tomes. They appear at the oddest times & are penned in the strangest of places, usually unearthed months, or years later ( as is the case here.) 

I believe that generally people worry too much about poetic correctness. Don’t! Sometimes writing something simple in rhyme helps make sense when the mind is a whirl of confusion. Simplicity. That’s the key to so many wonderful things.

Till next time,

Rosie x

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Thank you for taking time to look at ‘Everything is coming up Rosie’.  If you enjoyed it, please consider following me, also a ‘like’ & ‘share’ would be most welcome.

Like all struggling writers, knowing that someone is reading my words makes everything worthwhile.

You can find an anthology of work from my writing group on Amazon, under the name ‘When the Muse Strikes.’ By Rosie Bright & Wells Scribbling Scribes. Price £2.49  All proceeds to charity.

I have published a children’s book, also on Amazon, called ‘Silly Tilly gets Lost.’ Aimed at 3-6 year olds. Find it under Rosie Bright.

My Business Card

If anyone wants any help or advice, please feel free to contact me .IMG_1557

I know the importance of asking for help or advice, something it took me a long time to learn. Humility – to many, a dirty word – but in truth the most enlightening thing we can learn. I am incredibly grateful for my life and so if I am able to help, or guide, listen or advise, then I am happy to do so.

While I naturally charge for my services ( humility doesn’t pay the bills,) I am happy to give any simple help or support through these pages without charge. If in doubt – just ask.

Rosie

Never too old to Learn.

Like many people of the older generation, we were brought up to believe that once you exceed your ‘best before’ date, new knowledge isn’t something to worry about. Our poor old shrivelled brains don’t need to be bothered with such things.

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY DISAGREE!

Agreed, information isn’t absorbed as readily as in youth, however learning anything can be invogourating, can help to keep life interesting, as well as helping to stave off the ravages of some forms of dementia.

Since I reached my 60s, my thirst for knowledge has actually grown, even though I am unable to process/ retain some information due to stroke damage.However, by accepting certain limitations and changing direction in my quest, learning less academic subjects, instead favouring those that have more relevance in my life, has been a real brain stretcher.

As someone who left school, aged 15 without qualifications, I always intended to attend adult education classes to gain at least the most basics certificates. With all good intentions, a large family & manic home life got in the way and when I was finally able to spare the time, my confidence had deserted me. I told myself that I was obviously stupid & would probably never have passed my exams anyway, besides, how relevant would it be now anyway? I can see now that I was just making excuses to cover up my fear.

Almost five years ago my life changed dramatically when I found myself single again. With a unused brain & disabling depression, I felt like the village idiot. Try as I might, I was unable to retain anything. Yes, I obviously was thick!  But no, I wasn’t! I simply had limited my learning abilities as a form of self protection. If I didn’t stretch myself, I couldn’t fail, could I?

Once I had fought my way out of the depression, I knew that I needed to find something to keep me stimulated, to prevent the likelihood of a recurrence. And so my love of learning began….

It started on a very small scale, dabbling with pottery and art, with a lot of home reading. I became obsessed with holistic healing ( something I’d always even interested in.) Shortly before my divorce I’d surprised myself by training as a Reiki therapist, even as far as becoming a Reiki Master, although I wasn’t really convinced of my worth. Once single, I began to relearn & gradually added to my list of holistic abilities, even so, confidence was by far the biggest challenge, but no books could really teach it, I had to discover it for myself. Once I had found confidence, nothing seemed an impossibility, I realised that actually I could attempt anything that I wanted. Suddenly succeeding seemed less important than having a go.

With a lot of encouragement I became a flexercise leader ( I thought it was an easy option), but soon I realised that I didn’t want to stop there. Certain things were unrealistic due to health restrictions but I have since accrued a list of practical qualifications. Through my voluntary work I have taken training in Mental Health studies, taken courses in Life Coaching, first aid, food hygeine & safety. I am newly qualified as a Tai Chi Instructor, Food Waste Champion, run a writing group and lead a women’s group, with another one starting next month. I have written books, learnt to self – publish, have become a motivational speaker & next week have to go before a ‘dragons den’ type panel, to try to obtain a grant to further my work. I can now set up basic websites, write a column in the local newspaper, have several voluntary positions & am currently undertaking three different online college courses.

Phew! I’m exhausted just reading that list. It’s as if it has happened to someone else, not me. Not stupid, unqualified me? Me who was only capable of making good cakes & looking after children?  Me, who thought that I was a write off!

I still don’t have academic qualifications, I am currently taking an English Grammer course, simply because I believe it will aid me with my writing, but as for the rest? Well, I have realised that I’d rather use my brain space with things that interest me. I don’t need a certificate to prove my worth. My life is doing that!

I know that not every pensioner shuts down their brain, some are naturally interested in continuing achievements, however far too many aren’t.

I’m not advocating that everyone follow my path. There is no one right way. Everyones’ journey is different. However I wanted to share this with you all, to prove that nothing is impossible. If I can encourage one person to achieve something that they can feel proud of, then I will be delighted. Life is very different for upcoming generations, where women in particular are becoming more self – assured & are able to follow their ambitions a lot more easily. Pre 1960s,Women were only good as housekeepers, wives & mothers, maybe reaching the exalted heady heights of shop assistant once their children had left home. Thankfully that is in the past, most people in developed countries have choices now.

We are very fortunate to live in a Country where we have freedom of choice (more or less) we don’t have to scrabble for food & on the whole our lives are fairly comfortable. However  it breaks my heart to see so many older people who are resigned to a life of loneliness & misery because they feel unworthy of anything more. Their latter years are filled with little more than a television for company. They don’t believe that they are capable of anything else.

Three words : YES YOU ARE!

Two words : GO FOR IT!

One word: BELIEVE!

Rosie x

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Putting my patience to the test.

I have just added my first two books onto Amazon ( kindle, Kobo inc) which has been hardwork & more than a Little perplexing. Not only did I have to learn the whole e-publishing thing, I had no idea how to format my manuscript correctly.

A couple of weeks ago I published my first book; Silly Tilly gets lost, but once it was online I discovered that I had made mistakes. I re- edited & republished, only to find that I’d done it incorrectly.
At the same time I was desperately attempting to complete and publish a book for charity, a compilation from my creative writing group. After an initial hiccup I figured out the system, but every time I thought it was ready, I’d republish, only to discover further errors. It took 18 edits in all, which must be something of a record. However it, like the Silly Tilly is now live on Kindle.

Naturally I’m delighted but I have to admit to nearly giving up. I’m sure that the errors were mating! They seemed to be multiplying! I wanted to throw in the towel so many times!
In my past I would have either given up, or made it passable & just accept it as ‘good enough.’ There may well still be unfounded mistakes, it was my first time, s perfection was probably unlikely, however I believe it now to be As near perfect as possible.

This has been a hard but useful learning curve.

I could have given up, or just made do, but wouldn’t have been satisfied. Perseverance was necessary. Anything worthwhile is worthy of it.
I will remember this lesson, I will also give thanks for the new skills that I have learnt.

Time to continue with book Three…..

The books in question are as follows:
‘Silly Tilly gets Lost,’ by Rosie Bright. Price £2.99 available on the kindle/ Amazon site.

This is a story about a cute, yet naughty Yorkshire terrier. It is the first in a proposed series & is aimed at aged 3 – 6 year olds.

The second book is a compilation book,from members of my writing group, with proceeds going to charity. It is filled with mainly humorous/ light hearted short stories & poetry, also included are many 50 word and 6 word stories.

It is called ‘When the Muse Strikes by Rosie Thomas with Wells Scribblers. Again priced £2.99 available on Kindle/ Amazon.

I hope that you will consider buying one or both. Your support will be much appreciated.

Rosie x

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Helping myself by helping others.

So many well-meaning friends keep nagging me about doing too much, I agree that I do burn the candle at both ends – and in the middle! However remaining idle isn’t an option. I enjoy being a multi-faceted volunteer.

Today I ran a ‘Time to Talk’ session, helping fight mental health stigma. During conversations with attendees, over and over the problem of apathy was brought up. If I allowed myself to stagnate, my passion for life would deteriorate, without question.

Keeping busy in my various roles, helps me feel alive. Sure,it causes me untold pain and exhaustion but it’s a small price to pay. Seeing the difference that me – little old me- can make is exhilarating. I love my life & refuse to allow room for self- pity or sorrow to creep in.

Keeping our minds active has a very underrated effect on our wellbeing, both physical and emotional. Life is now sedentary for a lot of people with evenings glued to the television, where is the mental stimulation?

Ok so I might take it to extremes, but it works for me. Everyone needs to find the right level for themselves, everyone is different, unique. The important thing is for everyone to find something that helps to enrich their lives and keeps them interested.( and no, supping beer or wine isn’t what I meant!)

For me that is helping others – and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Don’t knock it until you try it!

The price of suspicion.

I am saddened by the suspicion that is aimed at anyone who chooses to help others. I know that this can be a hard, difficult world, but there is a flip side. There are a lot of kind, considerate and caring people spread throughout the planet, so why aren’t they accepted & appreciated without having to justify their motives?

I was brought up to trust & give people a chance. Yes of course I have been used & abused but that doesn’t alter my belief that on the whole, people are basically good. There have been times that I’ve teetered on the edge of doubt, but I still prefer to trust humankind.

After many years of self survival through abusive relationships, I celebrated my freedom after divorce by dedicating my life to helping others. This has taken many forms from volunteering, assisting, donating, encouraging & showing general kindness to everyone that I meet.
Let me say – I’m no saint, I make a lot of mistakes and am not always as good as I’d like to be but I do keep trying. Too many people say the words but don’t put them into action. I attempt to live my life in a way that I feel brings harmony, it also brings me a great deal of pleasure!

There have always been doubters, those who can’t understand why I do something for nothing, I guess there always wil be, but it’s very sad.

This was brought home clearly today. I live in a retirement building & despite my best attempts, I have been unsuccessful in gaining the trust of many of my neighbours. I am not a typical pensioner, I am a child of the 60s who never really outgrew the hippy idealism. I believe in self expression, wear whatever I like & live a lifestyle that suits me, including being a non-smoking,teetotal,vegetarian. I don’t enjoy being glued to a television set, hooked on the exploits of various soap characters, or gossiping about anyone who comes into their orbit. I live a very busy, full life, so when home, tend to be hermit-like, listening to music while writing or reading. This is treated with absolute suspicion. I can accept that. I choose to be an individual, not a sheep. I enjoy my life.

Today I was reminded about the sadness that suspicion causes. I arrived home during the weekly tea gathering. Aware that I hadn’t socialised with my neighbours for a while, I joined them. I entered the room to mutterings of “oh look who it is, wonder what she wants?” I smiled & took a seat. After general chit chat, someone commented on having seen a poster about a book reading that I am doing soon & asked what it was all about? I explained that I had written a childs’ story book which I am due to publish via Kindle. I then told them about another book that is also due for publication, a collaboration between my writing group, that is being sold to raise money for charity. This was met with cross questioning – which charity? Who would be handling the money? How could I prove what we’d collected? Once I’d answered to general satisfaction, someone pipped up ” what charity are you selling your childrens’ book for?” Then I said something that was apparently absolutely abhorrent! – I answered that it was being sold for my own benefit. It took hours of hard work to create, why shouldn’t I benefit from sales? HORROR! How could I do such a thing?
I left the lounge, having difficulty accepting that attitude!

Over the past 4 years I have tried setting up various groups with little success. A previous exercise class being terminated when someone stole the television set that I used. Choosing not to involve the police, I appealed for it’s return, but it was ignored. Other events have met with indifference so eventually I decided to stop trying within this building, using my energies where they are appreciated. Needless to say, this hasn’t gone down well.

This has made me question the motives of the doubters. What do they get out of it? Can’t they understand that through their mistrust & suspicion, they have lost a willing, caring participant in their community? Now of course I’m vilified for putting my energies elsewhere.

None of this has changed my attitude, I still am dedicated to helping others, nothing will change that!

Isn’t it time that poeople began to trust their fellow man? Not everyone is out for what they can get. The bitter, suspicious neighbours have lost what I could offer, simply because it is easier to doubt, to look for the hidden agenda, unable to accept there was none. How many opportunities are lost worldwide through mistrust?

That is so sad. It’s personal choice of course but I prefer my way. With more love and less spitefullness, imagine the difference we could make to the world?

Rosie x

Thankyou for taking time to read this.
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Spreading your web.

Recently a friend asked how I tackled being alone when I first moved to this area. Was I lonely? Yes of course I was! I was 60, knew no-one & wasn’t sure where to begin.
There is really no definite formula that I can guarantee would work for everyone, however there is one tip that I believe always helps – that is to put yourself ‘out there’ and be pro-active, strangers are unlikely to knock on your door, begging for your friendship!

As I have previously said, at first, although nervous, I joined lots of groups and clubs until I found my feet and had begun to build a social circle, then I re-evaluated the usefulness of the clubs, dropping those that weren’t really working for me, leaving space in my life to join others If and when the opportunity arose.

Through these groups I was able to make contacts, through those contacts, further ones and so on. The point is that everything has to have a starting point. Wanting to make changes won’t work unless you actually do something about it.

As someone told me many years ago:

Nothing changes until something changes.

Think about it – then DO SOMETHING!

Loneliness is a dreadful thing and the longer the situation continues, the more difficult it is to resolve. That first step will never get easier, there will never be ‘the right time,’ the time to take action is NOW.

Don’t allow the fear to hold you back. Nervousness won’t kill you, it may feel like a step to far & that you’re not ready yet, but when is that likely to change? It is unlikely to. The first step is to make a personal commitment, the second is to walk through that door! Sure, so some people will turn and look at yo, just as people did when they first started, just as you probably will when newcomers join after you. It doesn’t mean that they are being unkind, generally they are just intrigued about who this stranger is, possibly wondering if this could be a new friend for them.

That very first time is scary, the next time it will be easier, soon you won’t bat an eyelid, so go on – do it! Make 2017 the year that your social circle will expand. But don’t wait till next month, or the spring or summer or your birthday, or any other excuse, because that’s all it is – an excuse, a reason to put off something that seems scary.

Please do it. Decide on something that you would like to join, ( if retired the local U3A is a good place to start.) find out details, phone up the contact number if there is one ( this will actually soften the blow), make a date to join and don’t let yourself talk you out of it.

Life is only as good as we make it so make it good!

Be brave. You can do it!

Take care

Rosie x

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The year of new beginnings

As someone who dreads the Christmas period, I was ecstatic as I watched the televised New Year celebrations. Suddenly I felt a weight being lifted and inexplicably went to bed feeling really happy.

I am invariably ill on or around the festive season, this year was no exception. I suffered a small stroke in early November yet felt too pressured to slow down enough to fully recover. By the time the so called ‘big day’ arrived, I felt really washed out. The annual flood of tears over limited family contact hit me harder than usual and I spent the entire weekend dodging the threat of depression. It sat on my shoulder, whispering, no, bellowing negative ideas into my head. It knocked me for six.

It’s been quite a while since I felt so negative – I felt as if I was virtually oozing with darkness. Bizarelly though,there was still another part of me that held tight to the belief that these feelings were transitory. Unlike the days when depression ruled my every living thought, I Was sure this would pass and it has. In fact the relief as Big Ben chimed cannot be put into words!

January 1st – how I love that date.
I woke feeling totally refreshed and eager to get to grips with my life. I had allowed things to stagnate, I needed to clear away any self doubt, ready to face 2017. I always use The first day of the year to clean and clear, doing many of the little irritating jobs that have been put off. Why do I allow myself to procrastinate? Actually DOING something, rather than thinking about it is so liberating.

Recently my resolve hasn’t been as strong as it was, partly because my thyroid levels have gone awry. I have been particularly slow and inactive, needless to say this has led to weight gain – something that I promised myself would never happen again. Like so many others, my first reaction was to make a resolution to diet, exercise more etc.etc. But I know that the outcome would be failure. A quick fix isn’t the answer. What I needed was to have a total re- evaluation and find a way to regain my positivity and resolve. But how?

I found an unexpected solution. I noticed a website offering a course on decluttering and letting go. As many followers will know, I am a devotee of this already. I felt envious of the people who signed up for the course, they would be lucky, they would be learning new skills, whereas I already knew them, I’d just lost the knack. Then it hit me – why shouldn’t I join too? Was I so pompous that there was nothing for me to learn? Suddenly I knew that I had found the site for a reason.

I signed up immediately and was delighted to find a community of fellow travellers. Reading some of their comments put me to shame, they were so excited, optimistic, determined to change their lives and were eager to soak up any advice and help that the site could offer. Me? I’d just allowed my attitude to become lax. I had felt that excitement when I began the path of self discovery, the amazement when I realised how freeing decluttering and letting go was. Then I’d let it become mundane. Well no more!

Tomorrow life gets back to normal, people return to work, children back to school but for me it’s going to be anything but normal.
I am excited at the prospect of regaining my strength, my figure and my zest for life. It will be hard work. Having put on weight, it’s easy to let things literally slide but I won’t! I’m not going on a diet but I will lose weight. I am letting go of whatever it was that was holding me back. I’m reaffirming my love of life! I have already restarted decluttering. I have collected a huge box of things that will go to the charity shop tomorrow. I have included a few pieces of jewellery that I had hoarded, I don’t need them, someone else can benefit. In my food cupboard there are plenty of things that can go to the food bank. I have so much that I don’t need. I have hung on to possessions for security, but security comes from inside, it can’t be bought.

Letting go is a wonderful gift to learn. It touches more parts of your life that you can imagine. It clears clutter in the body and the grey matter in our heads as well as our surroundings. It frees the soul, spirit, heart and head and body. It’s fantastic.

I’ve hated how badly I’ve let myself go but now realise that I needed to hit a real low to allow myself to rise like a Phoenix!

2017 really is going to be the year that I sort myself out in every sense. I will do the things that I know that I am capable of, rather than find excuses for not doing them. Bring it on!

Thanks for reading this.
Rosie x

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Looking back, looking forward.

As 2016 draws to it’s conclusion, like many I have been looking back over the past twelve months.

Undoubtedly it has been a very difficult year for a multitude of reasons. On a worldwide scale there has been so much unrest and uncertainty. Here in the U.K. We have been reeling at the unexpected deaths of so many of our dearly loved and respected musical & film icons. I think that many people are holding their breath to see if we can make it to the turn of the year without further famous people leaving us. It has seemed as if everything is coming to a dramatic peak, surely not much else can go wrong? Here of course is where a problem is brewing….

With so much difficult news in 2016 it is easy ( and understandable) for many people to blame everything that has gone wrong onto the curse of the year. But is that really the case?  Disasters happen regularly. World unrest is all too familiar. Famous people die, in fact death knows no barriers, people die everyday. Undoubtedly there has been a plethora of devestating deaths this year, one star after another seems to have cut their ties with this Earth and gone on to who knows where? But is this reason enough to consider 2016 a cursed year?

It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon, adding our own tales of woe and just as in other years, there have been many. However little has been spoken about the positive side of the past year.

I can’t be the only person who has plenty to be thankful for. I know of many people who have had wonderful news and fantastic events, yet the bad news seems to be over riding this. 

My foray into the writing world began in earnest at the beginning of this year. In 2015 I had taken my first writing course which opened the floodgates, other courses and workshops followed, allowing me to enter this year with enthusiasm and new hope. In the late spring I set up my first writing group. On more than one occasion I sat alone, wondering if I had made a major error, but rather than give up ( as I am prone to do), I persevered. At first the uptake was slow, then the trickle grew into a stream and soon I had to stop advertising as I couldn’t accept any more members. It has proved to be a wonderful group and through it I have made some great friends. Running this group is no hardship, It is an absolute pleasure and I look forward to it each week. Fuelled by the success of the group I applied to the local newspaper to see if they would like me to write a regular column, which they accepted. I’ve loved doing this too. Another life changer for me was finding the courage to apply for a voluntary job in a local charity shop. Despite being hard work, as it is a really busy shop, I enjoy every second that I am there. My writing year finished on a high with me completing my first novel during the NanoWriMo challenge, where Writer’s across the globe take up the gauntlet and try to complete a 50,000+ word novel during November. I doubted whether I’d succeed as I suffered a small stroke in the early days but somehow I persevered and was delighted to write my first full novel! Although it still needs editing before it can be published, I am delighted with it.

There were many other highs, including my son becoming an expectant father, as well as finding his own life turned upside down by having two young step daughters moving in along with their now pregnant mother. On the surface it would seem like 2016 has been wonderful for me and in some ways it has, but there have been down sides too. A second voluntary job didn’t work out. My newspaper column is in the balance as the newspaper itself has changed ownership and I’ve no idea If the new owners will want me to continue. My health in recent months has taken a down turn. My finances have nose dived. The point that I’m trying to make is that life is always swings and roundabouts. I could blame the lows on the curse of 2016 but surely they are just part of life?

I was listening earlier to a radio interview about some of this years’ deaths. Although most of them have come as an unwelcome shock, could it be a coincidence rather than curse?  Many of the stars of the music world rose to fame in the 70s and 80s, most undoubtedly lived and played hard, many leading a less than healthy ( and legal) lifestyle in their heyday. Although still comparatively young, I wonder if many of these stars would have dreaded the idea of fading away? How much better for them to go out on a high, while they were still adored by their followers. I can’t imagine some of them rotting away in a nursing home in their 90s. I’m sure that would have seemed like hell! We are the ones who will miss them, their creativity, their inspirational songs, music, words. Perhaps their demise reminds us of our own frailties. Many of us were fans from our youth, now they’ve gone. What about us? Will we soon be following?  Of course it’s possible, but most of us have lived a life far removed from that of the stars. So many of them found sobriety and became drug free in later years, but I daresay that the damage was already done. These departed stars may be gone but they have left their inspirational works and the music will always be part of the soundtrack of our lives. When the majority of us pass on, there will be no major outcry, no public weeping, we will leave this earth, missed only by family and friends. But surely that is the way that life has always been and always will be?

I may have waffled during this blog but I just wanted to show that live has it’s ups and downs, always has, always will. Yes it’s seemed worse this year but there have been many positives to offset the negatives. So when you look back over this past year, don’t fixate on the sadness and misery, look for the good things, I’m sure there are plenty! And when you raise your glass to the New Year, by all means hope for nirvana, but don’t be surprised when life doesn’t turn out perfectly. Everything needs to be in balance. There needs to be good and bad. That is the way of the world. That is real life.

Despite all of the above, I too will be raising my glass ( non alcoholic) to welcome 2017. We all need something to focus on, something to look forward to. We all need new challenges. Let this coming year be the year that you take steps to achieve your goals. May your dreams come to fruition and I hope that it is successful, happy year.

Take care one and all. Till next time,

Rosie x
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