Was there life before trust?

As followers and friends will know, I believe totally that everything happens for a reason. I believe that the Universe has a plan for me and I am regularly tested, not to test me, but for me to judge for myself how strong my faith is.
I realise that to a lot of people this sounds like madness, but it matters not, I no longer need anyone elses approval – it works for me.

A week ago my world came close to crashing down around me. I had 3 major financial hardships in one day, meaning that I am going to have to rethink my life.
Although it came as a shock, I can now see the reason for it happening.
I’ve not got a very good relationship with money, over the years it has caused me much heartache, both in having it and not having it. Following years of severe financial strain during my marriage to an alcoholic, where I had to watch every penny & had no financial freedom whatsoever, when I found myself single, with money in the bank I couldn’t cope.

The money that was rattling in my bank account was thanks to the sale of our marital home, from a marriage that I had desperately tried to save.

How I hated that money!!!
Advice came thick and fast – go on a cruise, buy a huge television, buy all the things that I wanted. I tried, really I did. After a few months of renting, I bought myself a small flat, thus getting rid of a huge percentage of what felt like ill-gotten gains. I didn’t want any of the luxuries that friends told me to buy, I gave quite a bit away, then went on a silly spending spree. I would buy anything ‘pretty’ or ‘girlie’. After a life time surrounded by 5 sons and 3 husbands, pretty, girlie things were in short supply. The thing is, I didn’t really want these things and the novelty soon wore off.

Because my needs were minimal ( I don’t have a car, drink, smoke, do drugs, gamble etc) at first the money didn’t really go down much. I began giving a lot to charity, in a way it was penance for failing as a wife.
After a failed business attempt, where I lost quite a lot of money, suddenly there was very little left. So I began spending on credit cards instead.
I hated the years when we were living in such debt, yet I seemed hell bent on reliving it. I began buying all sorts of things, most of which I never used.
Worried that it could be the return of my mental health problems, I consulted a psychiatrist who assured me that it was a delayed reaction to my stressful marriage and that it would settle in time.

It didn’t.

The difficulty with any habit is that it can get out of control. I became the butt of many jokes about the amount of things that I was buying.
Thankfully, I came to the realisation that it was just comfort buying and that it was no more than ‘stuff’, not really even possessions. I began to declutter my flat ( well documented) I sold a few things but gave most things to a charity shop where I volunteer. Unfortunately as soon as I was getting rid of things, I was replacing them with further clutter.
I wanted to stop. I tried selling a few more expensive things but couldn’t bring myself to ask for anything like the worth, almost paying the purchasers for the privilege of rehomeing my things.

When my first credit card bounced, it came as a shock, never the less the spending continued on another card.

During this time I began to realise how much I despised many of the things that filled my home, so increased the decluttering/ donating. However this wasn’t helping me pay off my outstanding bills. I was running into big trouble and knew it!
I made many lists, cutting out unneccesary direct debits, working out how to save money, but nothing really changed. I looked at homeless people and felt dreadful, I couldn’t even help them because I had nothing left.

I prayed for guidance.

By now, having decided to raise money on my flat through equity release, rather than easing my worries, my haphazard spending increased, bringing no pleasure whatsoever.

Then my guidance came, but not in the way I’d expected.

My expected loan against the flat was refused, due to the high cost of the service charge, making it non viable. Boy was that a shock!
The same day I received two other financial setbacks,one being the quadrupling of my care contribution, also some anticipated extra money didn’t materialise. On top of all of that, adding salt to my already weeping wounds, my computer caught a nasty virus that cost an unexpected near ¬£100 to repair.

I should be devastated, but actually I’m so thankful!

It has forced me to really look at myself and my wasteful lifestyle. My money could have done so much good, yet I wasted it, now with my outgoings far higher than previously and with no equity release to pay off my bills, life has to change. My increase in care contributions was beyond my reach, so I have been forced to cancel my carer. Although I’m nervous about it, as she has been my lifesaver, I realise that I am being told to take personal responsibility.
With no leeway on my credit cards ( all maxed out) it will take me years to get back onto an even keel. But with the financial shocks, coming all together, it has jolted me back to reality.

This week I have searched through my flat and found several things that I don’t use, so have successfully sold them. I have looked at my bursting at the seams food cupboard and have decided to use it up, rather than buy new. Rather than investing in another overflow freezer, as I’d intended, I can actually eat what’s filled up the old one. I have reduced my eating lunches out, choosing to eat at home instead. I have stopped a lot of subscriptions to sites that I rarely, if ever, use.

At last I feel more normal. I’m just a pensioner with a very small income, I don’t need to spend so wildly. However I’m not panicking, or too worried. Things will work out, I’m sure of it. Opportunities to earn money will present themselves. That’s what I’ve needed – to earn what I spend, to give it a value.

To many readers, this will sound bizarre, probably thinking that I don’t know what hardship is – believe me I do. I spent so many years without a penny to my name, convincing the kids that playing games by candlelight was fun, when in fact I had no money for electricity. Hiding from debtors, court summonses etc. Believe me, I’ve been there – for a huge chunk of my life! I now owe more than I ever have, with very little means of paying it off. But pay it off, I will.
Something will come to show me the way. An opportunity will show itself. I really believe that.
When things improve, I want to be able to appreciate what I have and own, not to come across endless carrier bags of things I’d bought on impulse and not even unwrapped. Thankfully my tastes are fairly simple, so most purchases came from second hand shops, I’m not into high living, expensive perfumes and the like.

Yesterday my mobility scooter decided to play me up, I need it for my independence, so will have to get that looked at too. But the Universe wants me to feel more humble and be more grateful for what I do have, not just spending money that I can ill afford, to buy something new. I understand that. I am so grateful for that understanding. Without this wake up call I could have totally gone under, but I don’t believe that this was the Universal plan for me. I need to be more honest with myself. More humble. Live more simply. Something will present itself. Maybe I should apply to magazines or similar, touting for freelance work? Maybe I should get my book finished/ published ?

I trust, absolutely and totally. I was living in a fantasy world. Being honest on here, and to myself has been very freeing. I will be alright. I will find the way that I need to put this right. I have many talents and skills that I’ve not felt confident about.

I give thanks to the Universe for this painful, yet powerful lesson.

NamasteūüēČ

Rosie x

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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.

Security in self belief

Two friends visited today, as I have been unwell. One of these is a newly found friendship, hence this was her first visit to my home.

Strangers tend to be taken aback by my decor, as it is eclectic to say the least! Goddesses, Buddhas & Native American Indians vie with each other to find their place amongst a rather excessive collection of crystals. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that I am what can be called ‘alternative.’ Living in a retirement flat, my choice of decoration doesn’t appeal to many of the other residents, but thankfully I’m comfortable enough in my beliefs not to worry about their opinions.

The new friend who visited already knew about my chosen path, just as I did hers, however it was refreshing to hear her opinion of my chosen deities. She follows a diffent path, although we are both pagan, in fact until a few years ago, my chosen route was similar to hers. We had an enjoyable conversation, It was really interesting to discuss why I do what I do & having a slightly different viewpoint was stimulating.

After they had left, it set me thinking about the confidence that I have & my way of expressing it. For too many years I attempted to ‘fit in’ & even more recently I felt the need to explain or justify my beliefs. I no longer do that.

Is it an age thing,I wonder? Certainly my confidence has grown with the passing years but I think it’s more than that. I feel comfortable in my own skin now. I don’t need to appease anyone or attempt to justify anything. This has released me from the constraints that I had grown up with. I’m not just older ( & single) I’m emotionally free to be myself. I don’t need anyones’approval to be who I am. It is so liberating!

As long as I don’t hurt anyone or intentionally offend, as long as I can like myself, look in the mirror & see a friendly, kind person looking back, then I know that I am on the right track. The right path for me. I don’t need to conform to anyone else’s ideals because I’m strong enough in my own. It’s a lovely place to be.

I hope that you are able to feel even a tiny bit as contented with your choices, if not, think about why you live as you do, maybe you could consider changing? but only for yourself. Being true to YOURSELF is the key to happiness & ultimately inner peace. I hope that you are able to find it.

I wish you love, peace & joy.

Rosie x

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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

Too much rushing, not enough doing!

I haven’t written a blog for a while now. Almost everyday I think of things that I’d like to write about, often I even jot down ideas or use my voice recorder ( sometimes reeling off an entire blog ) yet for some reason, I just haven’t had time to actually sit down & write! ¬† Of course when I say that I haven’t had the time, what I really mean is that I haven’t FOUND the time! ¬†Although not really a procrastinator, I do have an amazing knack of losing time. I could blame one of my conditions, fibromyalgia for it, but although that does play it’s part, it’s not the full story.

So what is the full story?

I could write a comprehensive list with many valid excuses for why I don’t get things done, but that would be avoiding facing the facts. ¬†Isn’t that what too many people do when they don’t want to admit simply being disorganised?

I COULD BE IN THE RUNNING FOR THE CROWN AS Ms DISORGANISED 2016. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† I am very good at planning. ¬†I excel when it comes to writing lists. ¬†I have a very sharp memory when it comes to the little details, the things that many people overlook, BUT………………… ¬†When it comes down to getting things done for myself, I’m dreadful! ¬† ¬†Things used to be very different, I could multi- task with the best of them. ¬†I seemed to find hidden hours, where I was able to fit in a near unbelievable amount of tasks, yet still be standing at the end of the day. ¬†I suppose that being retired has a lot to answer for! ¬†When I had children at home, I had to keep to a schedule, I had to provide meals, do the laundry, feed the multitude of pets, as well as the human variety. Housework would be fitted in & around other things but always got done, bills would be dealt with at the appropriate time. ¬†In ¬†other words, I managed. ¬†I agree that it was always a case of organised chaos, but things did get done.

Now? ¬†I have all day to spend as I wish – & that’s the problem! ¬†I rarely set an alarm, I wake, then get up when I want to. ¬†I amble around my flat in my dressing gown while I follow the necessary routine of feeding my cat, cleaning his litter tray, making my breakfast & so on. ¬†Unless I have an appointment, I shower & dress when I feel like it. There is no pressure. There is very little stress. ¬†I don’t have to answer to anyone. ¬†Meals are made & eaten at random times. ¬†As for housework, the less said the better! ¬† ¬† ¬†It’s not that I am lazy, far from it. ¬†I keep myself extremely busy, although I do often question what it is exactly that I do all day. ¬†I don’t watch daytime tv. I don’t languish in bed with a cuppa, or spend hours soaking in the bath. ¬† I don’t spend hours chatting on the phone or even waste my days on social media ( although that has been known to happen) ¬† Basically I potter! ¬†I do a little bit here, a little bit there, always intending to get the essentials out of the way so that I can do what is important to me. ¬† Unfortunately I potter about so much, keeping myself occupied, that by the time I decide to settle down to write or read or paint, I have used up all of my energy!

I know about the importance of keeping to a schedule but it is so difficult to maintain when the only one cracking the whip is yourself! ¬†My doctors are forever telling me about taking care of my health, how important it is for me to pace myself. They don’t seem to grasp the fact that to be able to pace yourself, you first of all need to start! ¬† Occasionally I wake early, get out of bed immediately, have myself & cat up & organised by 7am. ¬†I love those days! ¬† I have always been a morning ¬†person, preferring to be up with the dawn chorus, it’s such a wonderful, fresh time of the day but over the past year or so, I find myself still up & fully awake at 3 or 4am. I frequently can be found cleaning the kitchen or defrosting the freezer at midnight. ¬†Unfortunately the early hours of the morning are my creative times, in the stillness of the night is when I am filled with inspiration, when I want to write. ¬†I have tried setting myself a writing schedule, it all looks great on paper, but it just doesn’t seem to work for me. ¬†I know that I could become more disciplined, ¬†but I have had a lifetime of that, now is my ‘me’ time. ¬†However there is so much that I want to do, that I end up doing none of them.

On my fridge I have a slogan that reads ” Always be calmly active & actively calm” I agree wholeheartedly, yet I seem to rush around like a headless chicken ( bad expression for a vegan to use!) ¬†I have been actively decluttering for well over a year now, yet I am getting more & more obsessed by it. ¬†I turn out drawers to clear out the unwanted things that ¬†were kept ‘in case they might come in handy one day’. I now have several empty drawers, yet piles of larger item still scattered around my home, just waiting to go to the charity shop & even more small items waiting to leap into the empty drawers.

Maybe I should give up, shove everything out of sight & blame my illnesses?

Or of course there is a really radical solution. ¬†I could stop worrying about why I don’t find enough to spare time and just actually CHANGE MY MINDSET. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Time spent worrying, is always time wasted. ¬†Instead of saying that I am disorganised, I could become organised. It is time for me to take personal responsibility for my chaos. ¬† I would tell friends to use positive affirmations, I know how well they can work.

So I will start here & now.

” I have no need to rush, I have all the time & energy that I need. I use my time wisely.”

“I have no need to rush. I have all the time & energy that I need. I use my time wisely”

“I have no need to rush. I have all the time & energy that I need. I use my time wisely”

Now I shall go into the kitchen, make a chamomile tea & get an early night. I have a whole new regime to get up early for!

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Thankyou for persevering to the end of my waffle. ¬†Maybe one or two of you might find following a similar train of thought useful. ¬†Apparently it would seem that you don’t need to be a procrastinator to procrastinate!

love & light to one & all,

Rosie x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

at planning