Decisions – the cycle of doubt.

With Ill health and constant pain taking it’s toll on me, I’ve been forced to rethink my life. I love where I live, however my home is a second floor flat, which is no longer practical. I made the decision to move to somwhere more suitable.

Choice made – or so I thought.

Apartment on the market, decision made, I told friends & neighbours. Bad move.  From then has followed a concentrated effort to make me change my mind. It’s wonderful to be appreciated & told how much I’m needed & will be missed but it made a difficult decision even more challenging. Eventually the pressure got to me. I gave in.

Second choice – stay where I belong.

Estate Agency duly notified about my decision to withdraw my property from sale, I felt saddened yet relieved. New plans took shape. I couldn’t afford to buy a suitable property nearby so had to consider how life could be simplified whilst still here. With careful budgeting there would be ways to make things easier for myself. I’d need to give up my voluntary job & at least one of my groups but that would allow me time to rest and relax. Yes, good decision. But on the other hand…….

Yet another rethink.

An elderly friend bluntly told me how frustrating it was to see me procrastinating so much. She was right of course. Generally when I make a decision, I see it through, so why is it so different this time?

Fear, pure and simple. Nor fear of moving but of making the wrong decision.

Friends have been giving helpful advice about being careful, apparently due to my age, relocation could be risky. I might not make new friends. I may be lonely. I’d be throwing away a good social circle. Would it be wise? Doubts began to multiply. The infernal inner dialogue got me in such a muddle that I was no longer able to focus on the best solution. New friends continued to enter my life, my groups continued to flourish. Surely everyone was right? Leaving would be foolhardy…….

Tossing the dice.

Just as I felt brow-beaten into a forced decision, I realised that there is no perfect solution. I can stay, maintain friendships but live in an unsuitable environment, or I can take the risk and move away, alone but to a more disabled friendly location. Either way there will be gains & losses. So how do I decide?

I chose to offer my dilemma up to the Universe & now await the answer.

I set a date in which to remove my property from sale if no buyer appears and will trust that whichever way it goes will be right for me. It isn’t a cop-out, I could force the decision, keep reducing my price until I eventually sell, or can put my trust in the Universe & just wait to see what happens. The coming few weeks will be frustrating, not knowing if I’m leaving or staying but I’m no longer going to be running around like a headless chicken. If I sell, I move. If I don’t, I stay.  Patience needs practice.

I’ve lived here for almost 7 years & hopefully have another 20 years on this earth, so what difference will a few weeks make? I do realise, albeit painfully, that I must do what is right for me. Friends, if they’re genuine will want what’s best for me, not themselves. Of course I will hate saying goodbye, if that’s the way the dice rolls, but there will be new friends. As the saying goes : all strangers are simply friends not yet met. I love my friends, they are very special to me but maybe our journey together has come to an end and it’s time to bid them farewell. Deep down I believe I’ll soon be moving but won’t be too disappointed if no sale ensues.

The thought of pastures new came in the wake of traumatic problems at the end of last year. Running away would have been easy. The constant indecision has forced me to take time out and rethink my reasons for relocating. I’m so thankful for that breathing space. Now, whatever happens, I’m ready to embrace my future.

Trust is a wonderful gift.

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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

Please feel free to like, share or preferably ‘follow’ my blog. I would love to share the journey with 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.

Accepting when to take a step back.

Unusually for me, I have been forced to take a spell of complete rest ( well, not quite as complete as I should!)
I’m a hard personal task master & dislike feeling useless or inadequate but occasionally everyone has to accept their frailties.
I’ve known that I have been over pushing myself but tried to convince myself that I was Superwoman, if I kept going, I would push through the physical difficulties & emerge triumphant. Of course this was never going to be possible!

I’ve been beating myself up for not updating my blog, falling behind with paperwork, not submitting stories to editors, etc. etc.

Pride?
Stupidity?
Stubbornness?

A bit of all the above and much more.
Now forced to have total rest, I’m paying for my stupidity, but it’s been a timely reminder.
None of us are perfect, nor can we push our boundaries beyond their full stretch. Equally none of us is irreplaceable. Being forced to swallow my pride & get someone else to take over the running of my writing groups, has been hard, but hearing how well they managed without me has forced me to rethink my superwoman status. I’m no superhero. Just me. And being just me is enough.
I’m thankful that I’ve been reminded of that.

Rosie x

Apologies for the haphazard posting but thank you for still reading my ramblings. Please share the link to this blog, to encourage me to write more regularly.
Thanks all x