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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Please ‘follow’, ‘share’ or ‘like’, it will be greatly appreciated. I really value those who read my ramblings. Thank you.

 

 

Perseverance is the key.

As many followers will know, I’ve pledged to make a booklet in aid of BBC Children in Need. The idea seemed a simple one – just collect a small compilation of work from members of the writing group that I lead. I would comb bind it and persuade friends to buy a copy. What could possibly go wrong?

Hmm, I hadn’t considered a few pertinent points;
1) health has a habit of letting me down.
2) I had already committed to writing a novel during November for NaNoWriMo.
3) I’m rubbish at sticking to the basics!

Already burning the candle at both ends, my health was on a downward spiral & although I recognised it, I refused to do anything about it. I was enjoying life, why would I want to slow down?
A charity abseil that I was due to do was postponed. Concerned friends told me how washed out I looked, eventually agreeing, I took advantage of the postponed abseil weekend to take a break by the sea. A weekend stretched into five days. Sounds great? It was, but rather than rest, I chose to run around like a loon doing all things that tourists do! I came back even more exhausted!

With November looming, I prepared for the NaNoWriMo challenge, setting the plot, sketching the storyline, getting excited & eager to start. I told everybody, so that I wouldn’t back out & on November 1st I sat in front of my laptop & wrote my little heart out. This had been complicated by an unexpected change of storyline. A new idea swept into my brain the day previously & refused to leave, so I was really winging it, having not had any form of plan to work with.
For 4 days I wrote solidly into the night, delighted that I was ahead of my word count schedule. ( NANoWriMo requires that a minimum of 50000 words are produced during the 30 days of November)

At the same time I was organising the charity booklet & had persuaded fellow group members to produce short articles & poetry for me to print. All was going well until I fell out with my printer. It refuses to cooperate. I took this as a sign that maybe I should look into having the booklet professionally printed.
After a lot of googling & comparing prices, I decided to go with a local printing company. Since the cost was greater, so was my need to produce a better book. Sheets of A4 inspirations were being handed to me, all I needed to do was put them into order.

No. Life for me is never that straightforward.

I decided that the booklet should be smaller, A5 size. No worries. HAH!
Now remember that I am a pensioner who only learnt to use a computer about 5 or 6 years ago, apart from the absolute basics, everything has been self taught.
I had also been told that I needed to put individual files into PDF form, then number them, put them onto a memory stick & take it to the printers. Of course I had heard of these new fangled methods, yet had never attempted them. To say that I made hard work of it is an understatement! Googling, books & Youtube to the rescue. I probably could have handled it better, had it not been for me having a slight stroke.

At first I thought that I was simply exhausted, but apparently not. I’ve had several small strokes & a larger one, so recognised what had happened, mini strokes are common place in my family, so the risks have always been accepted by me as just a fact of life.
This one knocked me for six! I was totally wiped out, unable to tackle anything. I did try to do some writing but will need to rewrite it, as it was such rubbish. Unable to go out, my groups & voluntary job had to be put on hold. I became a social recluse.

I have a good relationship with our local newspaper, writing a monthly column for them as well as various small articles & letters, so I had asked them to promote the charity booklet. They happily agreed, asking for a photo of me holding the completed book, to which they would add a piece asking for local support. I would have been delighted, except that the booklet was still in the planning stage. I couldn’t figure out how to do the necessary set up of files.

I didn’t want to fail but it looked like I was going to.

For an entire week, with brain of mush & no energy, I have sat through the night trying desperately to work out how to set up the files etc. One night I didn’t go to bed at all.
Every day I learnt something new. Windows 10 & myself are not best of friends yet & I’m struggling to find my way around it, but every night I realised that I’d found out how to do a new task ( things that most people could do with their eyes closed.) Every morning, before breakfast I would sit at the laptop, ready to use my new found knowledge, only to discover that I needed to learn more, before I could proceed.

I didn’t give up.

In the early hours of this morning, I realised that I’d finally cracked it. I crawled into bed, knowing that I only had a tiny bit more to complete this morning, ready to go to the printers.

The phone woke me from a deep sleep at mid morning. I had a friend arriving at lunchtime. ARGH! I had come too far to allow it all to drag into next week. I had advertised the book to be ready for purchase, Children in Need being next week. I had to complete it. I needed to succeed.

With only a couple of hours before I was due to go out for lunch, I sat at my desk & with absolute determination I set about finishing it. My friend duly arrived, to find me still in my pyjamas. Fortunately very understanding, she made a cuppa while I tapped feverishly on my keyboard. I’m not sure how many times I said to her “Just one last file & I’m finished.”

The important thing is that I got there. A couple of weeks late & very sleep deprived, I was able to proudly hand over the completed flash drive to the printers’. Exhausted & brain dead, yet happy. I’ve no idea how well my work will reproduce in print, I hope it’s good. I want it to be successful, to raise some money, but for me it’s been a worthwhile experience. I’ve learnt a lot. I’ve also learnt that perseverance pays off. The booklet should be ready to go on sale next week. I did it! Me! Little Ol’ me! I figured it out. Even if I’m left with egg on my face & a stack of unsold booklets, I managed to overcome all sorts of obstacles & am very pleased with myself. Yes ok so it won’t be professionally written, it’s only a small scale production, but I did it!

As for NanoWriMo? I had thought about giving up, having not written a word for a complete week, but have decided not to.
Allowing myself the luxury of a relaxing evening, I intend to recommence tomorrow, after a T’ai Chi workshop. There’s a very good chance that I won’t meet the deadline, but it isn’t important. I will write as much as I am able – I have the rest of my life to complete it. I accepted the challenge and will do my best but don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I’ve had a lot to cope with recently. But I have overcome it all & am still here to tell the tale.

My health is improving again. I’m eager to get on with my life. Bring it on!

Rosie x

If you enjoyed reading this, please ‘follow’ or ‘share’ all support is vital to a knackered old woman!
Until next time, take care.

Time to stop self doubt

Although I have been seriously writing for well over a year now ( blogging even longer), I’ve always introduced myself s an aspiring author, or would be writer. A short time ago someone took me to task over this. I’ve had several short articles published, as well as numerous letters, I also produce a monthly column in the local paper. That makes me a writer! Just because I have yet to win any competitions or get a publishing contract doesn’t alter the fact that I am a writer. Although yet to earn any money from it, I am a writer. I write everyday in some form or another, run a creative writing group as well as a writing for wellbeing one. Finally I accepted the title. However I was still slightly apologetic, almost sidled in, hoping that no one would ask about my qualifications. Why?

I left school at just 15 with no qualifications. I didn’t stay to take any exam. I was expected to go to work, which I duly did. I didn’t mind at the time, exam certificates didn’t mean much in the world of hairdressing, back in the 60s.
As my family came along, I began to regret not having anything behind me but told myself that I could do evening classes when I had time. It didn’t happen. By then, although I regretted it, it no longer seemed important.
Less than two years ago, being retired & living alone, I decided to take a creative writing class, then another followed by various workshops. I was hooked. I took a further class where grammar was high on the agenda. A stroke many years ago has erased most of my ability to put the correct names & terms for grammatical correctness. The teacher, although inspirational unintentionally caused me to feel inadequate. I already felt an outsider when friends discussed literature, my knowledge, by comparison was very limited. I enrolled on a Grammar course.
As I began the coursework, I realised that I knew what I was doing, knew how to use the correct formulation of sentences etc. Why was I doing this? At school I had always been an A+ English language & literature student, who was I doing this qualification for?
I decided to drop out. I have far more important things to do with my time. I was doing it to wave a piece of paper & say
” look, I’m as good as you now.”
I didn’t need to do that.

Of course there are gaps in my knowledge but nothing that I can’t get around. The stroke can’t be undone. Is it vital for me to remember what the correct terms are?
I write because I love it. I didn’t want it to become a burden.
Shortly afterwards I set up a creative writing group. I stressed at the outset that it was non teaching. I simply wanted to encourage others to have a go, to have fun. It has been an overwhelming success. Occasionally I get lost when some members discuss the classics or talk about writing styles, but I refuse to pretend to be anything or anyone that I’m not. Generally people appreciate my honesty, even if they don’t understand my reasoning.

One problem though, I still was an aspiring writer only, playing at it, not really serious. Except that by then I was.
I needed a change of mindset. When I’d begun, I had no intention of using it for anything other than pleasure/ therapy. Now I felt very differently about it. I intend to write for the rest of my life, to be successful too. A would be, will remain a would be. As a believer in affirmations & the power of positive thought, I decided to ‘rebrand’ myself.
I updated my Facebook profile photo, showing me writing. I introduce myself as a writer. I think in a totally different way.
I am shortly going to produce a collection of writing from my creative writing group, which we are going to sell for Children In Need. I am entering the NanoWriMo challenge to produce a 50000 word novel within the next month. I will, without question get some of my work into print. Whether I have to self fund, self publish or get a publisher, who knows? It’s not vital for me to know. One thing’s for certain – You’ll be hearing more about me in the coming years. I may never reach the heavy heights of a number one best seller, but I will definitely be producing some worthwhile work.
My name is Rosie – I’m a writer.

The busier my life, the better it gets.

There was a time, not too many years ago when the idea of being busy would have seemed abhorent to me. I had no energy & couldn’t understand those who urged me to do more – how could I? I was ill, depressed, too worn out to care. What did those do-gooders know about my life?

I ignored them.
I stayed stuck in my misery.

Today someone reminded me about a saying that I felt was very apt. I might not get the quote exactly correct but I’m sure you’ll get the gist of it.
Unfortunately I don’t know the author either, but here are the words:

If you always do what you’ve always done, in the same ways as you always done them. You will always get the same results.

Simple words, yet very true.
In those days gone by, I was doing exactly what I shouldn’t. I bemoaned that life was too exhausting, that I felt lethargic, uninspired, lacking in motivation. I wasn’t willing to try any other way. Sure I’d read self help books & listened to those ‘in the know’ but they were talking idealism, not real life. Or so I believed.

As regular subscribers will know, things changed for me quite dramatically. It took a while for the changes in my mind set to really filter through but it seems that the Universe has accepted my genuine desire for change. Life keeps on improving. The point that I’m making here is that things didn’t just fall into my lap. I had to work at it.

So how did I find the energy to do all the things that are making my life so complete? Simple really – I forced myself to put more in! It’s inconceivable that success & happiness will come for no reason. Obviously I had to play my part. I began to do things to help others,I’d always wanted to but hated the idea of being rejected, so was reluctant to offer. I forced myself to challenge that fear & began volunteering, befriending & at first simply trying to be a helpful & considerate neighbour. People expressed gratitude, I felt useful. I needed to do more.
I set my intention to be a good, kind, useful member of society. I asked for guidance. At times the ideals seemed impossible to ever achieve. I was just me, a little old woman with some pretty batty ideas! But something urged me to continue. I volunteered more, did more. I turned off the television. I stopped procrastinating. I began ‘doing’. It still exhausts me yet it’s so intoxicating that I never want to give up.

I fit more in my week than I previously would have done in a year ( or more). Although It makes me so tired, it means that I generally sleep well. I’ve become fitter, calmer & far more ‘balanced’ in every sense. I’ve also learnt to respect my body more. At times the pain rips through my body like a red hot poker, nothing can ease it. At these times I know that going out walking or working would be counter productive, so I remain at home. Here is where the difference comes – yes I’m at home, maybe, like now with my poor aching feet raised high, but I do something to keep my mind from fixating on my pain. I write a lot when I’m in pain, there again I’m regularly in pain! The thing is that keeping busy, having something to focus on, having a reason to force myself to get on with things or to drag myself out to a meeting is good. It’s extremely therapeutic.
All of my time is used usefully, even ‘wasted time’ isn’t really wasted, If my body needs to sleep, I sleep. If I need to relax, I do so mindfully or use meditation. I no longer force myself to fit into a schedule of what I feel that I have to do, I do things because I want to. I get so many rewards from helping others (emotional, not financial) I love seeing people happy, the work is it’s own reward. I enjoy everything about my life now, even the niggling annoyances of general life serve a purpose. There is positivity in absolutely everything, even though we can’t always see it at the time. If we are open to accept the good things that are offered, they will come, rarely in the form or way that had been anticipated but good things will come in abundance. At times I feel overwhelmed by the gifts that the Universe has showered on me, but I accept graciously & genuinely knowing that it is reward for what I do for others. I feel gratitude for these opportunities. The embarrassing part is that simply enjoying everything is reward enough.
I do things because I can. I can do things because I work at it. I work at it because I enjoy it. I enjoy it because I’m doing what I love & love what I do.

Wow! I’ve just surprised myself by what I’ve written. It’s late at night, I have a busy day tomorrow & a kitchen that looks like there’s been an earthquake in there but it doesn’t matter. I will sleep well & in the morning I will deal with what needs to be done. If that means the housework stays undone – does it really matter? Having a sparkling kitchen or smiling people? No contest!

This has been a bit of a ramble tonight. I hadn’t intended to write anything so it has all tumbled out, totally unplanned. I hope that you can follow my line of thought.

Until next time, look after yourselves & those around you.
Be happy,

Rosie X

If you have enjoyed this blog, please ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘follow’. Tell your friends about it. Let’s see if we can get this blog a wider audience. Not for glory, not for egotism, simply to share my love of life & gratitude to have been given the chance to make a difference, no matter how small.
Imagine how good this world would be if everyone tried giving instead of taking?
Bye for now X

Trust needs to be total.

 

Since I last wrote here, my life has changed considerably. My health continues to improve – not the pain, that is persistent, but a few months ago I took a really major decision – I needed to put my total faith in the Universe. What would be the point of fighting against the inevitable? Over & over I have been ‘told’ in my heart that I need to simplify my life, yet I am also being guided to take on loads more responsibility.

These guided paths have not been at all what I was expecting, or intending to do, but it has been like an avalanche, gathering more & more in it’s inevitable journey towards it’s goal!

As those who have been following me will know, I have been de cluttering for many, many months now. On the surface it would seem like the worst is over but actually it is getting tougher, but more satisfying. This may sound like a total contradiction, but it isn’t really.  When I began to ‘let go’ it was fairly straightforward, anything that had bad or difficult memories was sold or given away & I felt a lot lighter & quite pleased with myself ( in hindsight, being self satisfied was a sign that I had a very long way to go!)    The next step was to part with things that I liked, but didn’t need, most of these were given away as it felt wrong to gain financially over them. At this point I was also working on letting go of any emotional baggage or ties. I spent a lot of time looking inwardly, then trying to follow what I felt I was being told.   

One word kept being repeated – SIMPLIFY!

I tried to analize where would be the best place to start, I was already de cluttering & trying to spend less, but still that word kept coming!

One night, out of the blue I knew that I needed to simplify everything, literally everything in my life! I wondered how I was going to do this, when I knew.

I had to let go of my illness, my past ambitions, my constant planning improvements, even my dreams & hopes.   I had to let go of trying to control my destiny!     Boy that took faith!

(*I’m unsure what has happened, but two posts seem to have amalgamated, which has made it rather confusing! I will correct it when I am able to unravel the mystery, but until then, please accept my apologies)

To begin I had to distance myself from my own pain & suffering, after all, compared to the life that so many people lead, I have nothing to moan about, yet I still hear myself bemoaning how unwell I feel at times.  I began using Self Reiki rather than relying on anything chemical. To that I added the affirmation ‘I feel great’, but I had to really work on believing it sometimes.  This is something I recommend everybody tries. It is incredibly fulfilling answering a polite question about how I was feeling with a heartfelt smiling ‘brilliant thankyou’, the reactions have been almost totally positive.    However it was difficult to maintain this belief, while still having a carer, so with a heavy heart, I let her go.   I now take total responsibility for my own life.

During this time a neighbour was very unwell so I began helping her, visiting, phoning, shopping, cooking & probably more importantly, listening.   Sadly she recently died, but despite causing myself pain, exhaustion & inconvenience I had really enjoyed it.  I believe I had made her last weeks easier, but she repaid me in ways that no one could have guessed, she gave me a sense of purpose.  I had always found  being emotional quite difficult, I couldn’t show sentimentality, I always felt too open, it was too risky!  But in helping her, it all felt natural. That was a real lesson in humility, one I hope I will never forget!I no longer feel that I need to dress up at all, or try to impress anyone, I try to be as natural as I can. By letting go of the public face, the genuine me is free to live life to the full. I began doing voluntary work, which I love. I especially love being a helper at a memory clinic. Their   Dementia makes me full incredibly humble. They are watched, escorted, their liberties & identities taken away, but still they smile, laugh, take pleasure in whatever attention they are given, they touch, cuddle, hug & talk as if you have given them everything . Yet what sacrifices have I made? Given up some of my time, yet gained so much reward.

With the realisation that helping others was my biggest satisfaction, I chose to risk absolutely everything & have set up a business as a motivational coach. I am learning to be a life coach, but in the interim I am satisfied with being able to motivate & hopefully inspire people to live their lives to their full potential. I have sunk every last penny into this venture, the pain & exhaustion are beyond words, yet I am honoured to be able to volunteer with my dementia friends as well as putting my total faith into my newfound career.    Of course it is possible that this is just another lesson that I  need to learn, however that is a risk worth taking.

I believe that I am destined to walk a path of humility & service to the world. This business is a step on that path, one in which I can become fulfilled, help others & take responsibility for my life. Any money that I earn, outside what I genuinely need can be used for positive assistance to those in need.
Rosie x

Time for a rethink?

I attend a writing course & am becoming more & more hooked on it.  I am writing mainly short stories & poetry but still it isn’t enough. I don’t feel that I am ready to tackle a novel yet, although am playing with ideas on a semi autobiographical book, time will tell.

As I have previously said,  I have set up as a motivational coach which is still in it’s formative stages.  I get huge satisfaction in helping other people & have an overwhelming desire to put my crap life experience to good use,  however a new idea has crept into my head  & refuses to go away!   This in itself is very typical of me,  I regularly chop & change things , I couldn’t bear to be stuck in a rut!  However my idea could entail hitting my new business on the head before it’s had time to get established  & I’m not sure whether that is very sensible – Hey but who wants to be sensible?

I really, really, really want to work in the field of journalism but don’t want to give up on ‘Fulfilling Life’ (my business) so here lies my dilemma………………….

I have been thinking about trying to get a regular magazine or newspaper column, where I could continue to act as a motivator, but  through a series of blog type articles,  maybe helping with readers problems as well. It would seem to have everything that I have ever wanted all rolled into one!   This brings up many insecurities.   First  & foremost I guess would be the obvious question of whether I am good enough?  Could I hold write interesting articles & keep readers interest on a regular basis?  Am I knowledgeable enough to put my views out there, for all the world to see & judge me?    Another question is that of pride – I have advertised my new venture extensively & had so many good wishes that I would feel a failure if I gave it all up now.   Of course the simple answer to that is that it shouldn’t make a jot of difference what people thought about my life choices,  I tell people this all the time!   It has taken me a long time to cultivate my confidence, something that has totally changed my life, so why am I having a bit of a wobble in case people think I’m taking the easy way out?   The saddest part is that I know the answers to these questions but I am procrastinating – something I rarely do.  I need to put my trust in the Universe, write my pitches & see what happens, so why isn’t it that easy?

I think if I’m honest with myself, the fact is that because I am so happy with my life, I’m worried about rocking the apple cart!   It’s not about getting rich, or about becoming well known,  or getting praise,  it’s just that I feel that I have so much to give & want to find the best forum to do it.   I have had many different ideas but my physical health limits me in what I can practically do. I have severe widespread pain, predominantly through Fibromyalgia, and  have other issues too, which prevents me walking very far or for very long. I also have eyesight difficulties & some cognitive & balance problems  but for far  too  long I allowed my disability to dictate what I could & couldn’t do. Now  I do the exact opposite,  I push myself far too far to prove that I won’t be stopped.  This of course is a stupid way of doing things as my bedridden days prove!

 So why am I unable to settle for what I already have?    EASY!    Because I am human!   Just like the people that I help, I feel uncertain at times, and don’t know what to do, but  as I would say to them,  

       ” trust yourself,   listen to your inner wisdom,   it will never lie to you or let you down”.  

 I believe in those words.    They have  just worked for me too.   I listened,  like an outsider,   to myself as I wrote it down  & then was hit across the head by a huge sledgehammer, or more likely a feather, of realisation.   I must stop doubting myself.   We get back what we put out to the Universe.  If I send out negative vibes, I can’t expect positive resolutions !    I will begin to research my markets,  I will  write my letters to pitch for work. I will put my faith &  trust that the right thing for me will come about.    Whatever the outcome, I will be grateful.    It seems so obvious now!

Thankyou for giving me space to waffle & work things out. I don’t know if any of this will resonate with you   but it has certainly been helpful to me.  So in gratitude I will say goodnight X

Keep on blogging,  keep on laughing,  keep on loving,

Rosie xx

Reason to re-evaluate

Recently my health has been a lot worse than usual & I have lost a tremendous amount of weight. This weight loss has been a double edged sword, although totally delighted by the new ‘slim line’ me, deep down I have been concerned because I was sure that there was something very wrong. Eventually I knew that I needed to visit the GP, only to hear what I had expected – that there was a very real chance that I have got cancer……..

Now anyone who knows me well would be able to tell you that death holds no fear for me. In past years I have tried so desperately to bring about my own demise, that I have faced any fears that I may have had. However since I have been able to turn my life around, my outlook has changed. I am still not in the slightest bit worried about dying, but – and it’s a very BIG BUT- I now feel that I have far too much that I want to do before I go, so the possibility of my life being cut short has caused me to re- evaluate how I am living my life, albeit in an unexpected way…….

I try to live my life to the full, still trying to make up for all of the years that I wasted, wallowing in depression and self imposed isolation. I am acutely aware that I cannot make up the 17 years that I  lost through agoraphobia – but I’m certainly trying!

My mind buzzes with ideas & inspirations, to such an extent that I find myself actually wasting my potential, trying to find ways of fitting in more challenges & attempting to  cram 30 hours into each & every day, 8 days a week!  This has the unfortunate effect of actually acheiving far less than I really am able to.  Also of course, due to my fibromyalgia, M.E & assorted other health issues, I push myself far too far, with the resulting physical energy crash.  It really is stupidity!  So in a way I have a lot to thank this possible ‘big C’ for.  Because I have no way of knowing if my time could be cut short, I realise that I need  to prioritise (& organise) my use of time.

One of the things that have hit home has been my lack of happy memories, of course there have been some, but most have been over shadowed by bad ones.     Simple things have been foremost in my mind, memories of taking my children blackberry picking, walking on the moor, making cakes & pies by the score!  Kite flying, bulding snowmen, rummaging at jumble sales,taking my goat for a walk and being dragged on my bottom down the hill when he decided he was heading for home! That memory in particular still makes me smile!   As  I said, simple pleasures. Life was hard in those days, there was no money,but there was lots of hope, tomorrow was always going to be a new day. Unfortunately the new day tended to be filled with problems, but I coped because I had my little brood – my 5 sons. As long as I had them, I felt safe, fulfilled.   But life moves on, as did my children, my dreams faded, the harshness of life cut like a knife.   For so many years I felt totally at odds with the world, but mostly with myself & my bad life choices.  Maybe there were happy memories, but they have become assigned to the trash can of my mind, some were probably deleted, maybe even unintentionally, but self protection causes us to do strange things!

Nowadays I try very hard to live in the here & now, no longer dwelling in the past recesses of my mind. My possible illness has made me  realise what is important to me -now.

I need fulfillment, I need happy memories to warm my heart if it feels chilly, I need to feel proud of my acheivements, but that will be impossible if I don’t actually do something positive & make steps toward my goals – so I have started.

For too long I have wasted time & money as a reaction to having been controlled previously. I have no real use for money, nor for possessions, but never the less I buy, just for the sake of it, then give it away through guilt at my wastefullness.  Well, no more!  Okay maybe that’s a bit idealistic – I have promised myself to try to change my ways.

I have a few challenges to myself – I want to write a book, or two, or more..  I want to lead others to find happiness,    I want to gain qualifications,  I want to be able to look at my life & be proud of what I’ve done but to do that, I have to start…………….

To gain new happy memories, I have booked a few short breaks away with a friend and have decided that lack of money, or confidence shouldn’t be a stumbling block.   I am going to book onto a short trip to Iceland next year, I’ve no idea who with, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve always wanted to look for the Northern lights, so I  am going to go & try. It doesn’t matter if I don’t see them – I’ll know I’ve looked! as far as affording it, well I have plenty of unneeded items that I can sell!

My dream of becoming an author has long bothered me. although writing is a passion, I lack a lot of know how, so yesterday booked onto a creative writing course & a publishing workshop. again I may not ever get published, but I am improving my chances by increasing my knowledge.

Helping lead others has taken an unexpected direction.  I always believed that I would earn my reputation through my Tarot card reading, or laterly through healing ( Reiki, Crystal & energy healing are incredibly important to me)  But I realise that although these things may happen, my path is through teaching, inspiring & generally making people happy. Because being with vulnerable people gives me a sense of purpose & exercise helps me cope, I have decided to combine both ideals & use my new found skills as a flexercise leader & become an older persons’ party organisor ( mad possibly, but exciting prospect!)

I have also decided to enrole in a Tai Chi tutor course – something I had to give up a while ago when lack of confidence got the better of me! This time I WILL complete it! Even if I never use the skills, I will have the qualification & the choice.     My choice!

Finally & maybe most importantly I have offered to help out at the local community college,volunteering with a group of people with learning difficulties, doing whatever I can to assist them. I need to help others & can’t think of a better way!

As for my diagnosis, I am going to Hospital in a couple of days for tests, but really it is not important.  Whatever the outcome, I intend to fill my time doing what I can to improve my life.  I don’t need to live my life filled with regrets. Of course there is a lot that I would have preferred not to have happened, but it did, I can’t change that.  I can’t even change the future, because it’s not yet here to be able to change, but I can change ME. I can live everyday fully, not punishing myself, being kind to myself, being mindful & aiming to fulfil my dreams & find contentment.

I will shoot my arrows of intent at the targets of my dreams  –   & if they fall short of the target?

At least I will have had the courage to try.