I Used to be Decisive – But Now I’m Not so Sure!

15 02 2011

“Procrastination usually results in sorrowful regret. Today’s duties put off tomorrow give us a double burden to bear; the best way is to do them in their proper time.” ~Ida Scott Taylor

I used to be decisive – but now I’m not so sure!

When I was younger, I was very impulsive. If something fired up my imagination I would just go for it…with no thought of any possible consequences of my actions.

I always had a great time and never regretted any of my decisions. With hindsight, they weren’t always the best decisions…but hey…at least I’d had a ball and learnt a few lessons along the way.

Now I’m rapidly heading towards my big 50, I just can’t seem to make the simplest of decisions without procrastinating for days…or weeks…before finally taking action.

What happened to the girl who always followed her heart wherever it may lead?

Now every choice is examined from every conceivable angle. Pros and cons are weighed up. Friends and family are consulted for their opinion and needless to say, their opinions vary hugely – resulting in more confusion than ever!

The incessant chatter inside my head goes round in circles until I am unable to think straight…let alone make any important decisions.

Eventually I will decide on a course of action – only to start worrying about whether this really was the right decision – before checking to see if there is a ‘get out clause’ in case I change my mind!

All this procrastination is very tiring…and so I usually end up doing nothing and putting off making decisions until tomorrow – always tomorrow – and one day there will be no tomorrow.

What happened to the trusting girl who had such faith in the universe that even if she made a mistake – it didn’t really matter – as she knew that everything would always work out for the best?

As I get older, I worry more about becoming the proverbial ‘bag lady’ – living on the streets if all my ventures fail and I can no longer afford to pay the rent.

This prospect scares me more now than it did in my younger days when all things seemed possible and I felt immortal.

Maybe it is because there is now more time behind me than there is in front of me – and less time for my mistakes to work themselves out…so I try to avoid making mistakes…by avoiding making decisions in the first place!

I recognise this pattern of procrastination in my mother who is the Queen of Worry. I used to listen to her talk herself into something one minute…and talk herself out of it the next. I understand her fear of failure and the frustration of not finding the courage to ‘feel the fear – and do it anyway’.

For many years I was determined not to be like my mother – so frozen with fear and worry that she chose to walk away from so many of life’s wonderful opportunities. I became the explorer of the family-  always chasing after the next exciting adventure.

I am a firm believer than we teach what we most need to learn. And when I started writing this blog at the beginning of the year, I talked about our DASH  (the line between our date of birth and date of passing from this world)…and how we owe it to ourselves to make our DASH count.

I have a neighbour whose mantra is…‘Yeah…whatever’…

ExactlyWhatever…! 

Life is a risky business and whatever our choices…we will all end up at the same destination!

So thank you dear neighbour – for reminding me to stop worrying about the future…to live in the ‘Now’…and focus on making every day a cause of celebration!

Day 46 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I am going to celebrate by making the decisions I keep putting off and trusting that there is no such thing as a ‘wrong decision’.





A Trailer Trash Life

13 02 2011

When I first set my intention to attract the opportunity to live in my dream home by the river, I had no idea that this would include living in what my Dad lovingly refers to as my ‘Caravan-on-Thames’!

The correct term to describe my humble abode is ‘residential park home’. It is often described as a ‘mobile home’ – or in the case of a local reporter – a ‘90210 Winnebago’!  

My friends all thought I was crazy to want to take on a property that required so much work to make habitable again. They wanted to know what had possessed me to join a ‘trailer trash’ community, when I could have chosen to live in ‘civilisation’!

Dining Area - Before

Dining Area – After

‘Trailer Trash’ was a term that I was unfamiliar with and I don’t think it has quite the same connotations here in the UK that it does in the US, where I understand it is a term used to describe a stereotype of poor people (especially in the Midwestern United States) who live in trailer-homes.

My neighbours are mainly hard working folks, or happily living out their retirement in a peaceful environment. There are couples and single people – young and old. It is a lovely mix of different people with a multitude of backgrounds.

In fairness to my friends comments; the term ‘trailer trash’ may have been accurate at one time as the place had seen its share of unemployed layabouts, drug addicts, drunks and wife beaters – but at the first sign of any problems – Paddy (my landlord) and his henchmen ensured that the trouble makers were unceremoniously thrown back out on the streets.

Even so, my friends were unable to see past the fact that I had just agreed to take on a wreck of a ‘caravan’, on a  site owned by the infamous Paddy – a beer swilling, fist wielding, Irish traveller ‘made good’ – who ruled the place according to ‘Paddy’s Law’.

Irish gypsies live within their own culture and live by their own rules – so I had to suppress a giggle when Paddy said, “I want to make this place more up-market and I’m looking to attract more quality tenants like your good self. If I wanted to, I could just fill the site with travellers who would lower the tone of the place!”

Rich – coming from one of their own!

Having spent a good few hours negotiating a deal on the rent based upon the work I agreed to carry out, we sealed the deal – with a good old fashioned handshake – preceded by Paddy having spat on his hand to show that the deal was unbreakable!

Paddy is a multi-millionaire land and property owner who could afford to live anywhere in the world. But once a gypsy…always a gypsy…and he prefers to live in his own mobile home situated next to the security gate…rather than live on the river front…so he can spend his time policing the comings and goings on his property.

 

The site consists of 38 units and is run by a couple in their 80’s who have been working for Paddy for years. Gordon is a dear soul who will do anything for an easy life. Whereas his wife Jessie, is a real fireball and shoots from the hip, bawling you out before you’ve even opened your mouth. Her bark is worse than her bite although she is a terrible gossip.

If she’s not yelling at you…or disclosing details that someone had shared with her in ‘confidence’ …she is quite a character with loads of interesting stories to tell. You just have to learn to listen without telling her more than she needs to know!

Once you understand the rules and agree to honour these, it is a great place to live, within a caring and supportive community. I love my little home, painstakingly created after months of hard graft and numerous setbacks along the way.

Now the work is complete I have the pleasure of enjoying the fruits of my labour and every day I give thanks for finding the courage to follow my gut feeling that this was going to be a good place for me to live, despite initial signs to the contrary.

My home is situated on the curve of the river with water views in both directions.

I knocked down a wall to open up the vista and now have an open plan living space with a separate bedroom and bathroom – all condensed into a lovingly crafted 36 sq metres.

My friends had to eat their doubting words when they returned to visit last summer.

Driving through the site, past tiny gardens vibrant with colour and lovingly tended by the residents, they all agreed that the place had a ‘holiday feeling’ about it. I am just so lucky to live somewhere that feels like being on holiday every day!

When I lie in my bed watching the sun breaking through the early morning mist over the river and listen to the birds greeting the new day by calling out ‘good morning’ to each other, I couldn’t be further removed from living a ‘trailer trash life’!

Day 44 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I am going to celebrate successfully completing my mission to make ‘Trailer Trash – Trendy!’





I Shall Wear Purple

12 02 2011

When I began writing this blog, I imagined that I would be checking in briefly each day just to say ‘hello’ to my new friends and to post a few short words about what I was planning to do that day in celebration of my 50th birthday year.

My posts were intended to just be a light hearted look at my life and loves…and so I’m still somewhat bemused at how they seem to have evolved into a sharing of my thoughts on life, love and the universe!

I had thought that once I’d got a basic understanding of the mechanics of how to write and publish a post, the rest would be a breeze and my blog would only take a few minutes a day to manage.

Wrong!

Over the past couple of months, I’ve come to love – and resent – my blog…in equal measure.

Much to my surprise, I love having the opportunity to share some of my deepest thoughts and reflections on life. My blog has become very special to me and I treasure it dearly.

However, I also resent the amount of time it takes to look after and nurture it in the way it deserves. Time that I had imagined I would be spending out and about having ‘fun’ and painting the town red every night…not tied to my laptop until 3am every morning!

In an effort to lighten my mood a little this evening, I came across a photo I had taken outside Windsor Castle last year, of a group of fun loving ladies, determined to enjoy every minute living out the words contained in the well known verse below.

The photo and this poem reminded me to lighten up a little and to stop taking myself so seriously. After all, this year is meant to be all about celebration and the more uplifting things in life.

It is lovely to be able to reflect on some of the lessons I’ve learnt along the way…but it is also a time to be having fun and letting my hair down once in a while.

So, thank you lovely ladies of Windsor, for putting a smile on my face and reminding me that we are never too young…or old…to put on our red hats and purple dresses for a day of light hearted fun and laughter!

 

WHEN I AM AN OLD WOMAN I SHALL WEAR PURPLE

With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beer mats and things in boxes

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph

Day 43 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I am going to celebrate by inviting my inner child to lead the way by reminding me of how to have fun…just for the sake of it!





Reason, Season, or Lifetime

10 02 2011

This poem is dedicated to all my Blogging Buddies.

I look forward to enjoying our friendship…for however long we chose to share our journey together.

It is great to have you on board!

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

— Unknown

 

Day 41 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I celebrate the priceless gift of friendship and give thanks for all the love and joy my friends have brought into my life. Thank you all.





Freshly Pressed!!!

2 02 2011

I am just SO EXCITED about being featured in today’s Freshly Pressed! 

A couple of hours ago I noticed that my stats had suddenly taken off like a rocket.

I couldn’t work out what was going on until it occurred to me to check out Freshly Pressed

…and there was my ‘Blog Baby’

…featured on the front page of WordPress

…after only one month of Blogging!

AMAZING!!!

 Life doesn’t get much better than this!

What a wonderful reward for all the sleepless nights and the personal sacrifices that have been made in order to honour my commitment to the Postaday2011 Challenge.

I would like to say ‘WELCOME AND THANK YOU’ to everyone who has visited my blog for the first time today. I am delighted that you have taken the time to stop by to say ‘Hello’…I promise I will respond to all your comments very soon,

I’d also like to say a BIG THANKYOU to WordPress for choosing to feature me. It is such an honour and I am truly amazed to have made it to the front page. Thank you for making this a highlight of my ‘Special Year of Celebration’.

Most of all I want to say a very HEARTFELT THANKYOU to all my Blogging Buddies and my Loyal Supporters (you know who you are!) – for keeping me on track whenever my resolve has begun to crack.

Finally, I want to say a ‘SPECIAL THANK YOU’ to my beautiful daughter Abi, for introducing me to WordPress and the wonderful world of Blogging. You have no idea of what you’ve started here my darling. I LOVE YOU xxx

 A Special Celebration

Tonight I am going to celebrate by raising a glass (or two) to everyone who has supported me on my journey to date For your love, your encouragement and your belief in me – Thank You All xxx





Riches of the World

2 02 2011

“In the world to come, each one of us will be called to account for all the good things God put on this earth, which we refused to enjoy” – Talmud

Wow…what freedom is contained within this message.

And how lovely to think that if we don’t learn to enjoy…there will be consequences!

What a gift!

It is a powerful reminder for us to take another look at all the things in our lives that we have come to take for granted.

We need to learn to embrace all the goodness in life – instead of merely giving it a cursory glance.

How easy it is to forget that we really are living in paradise as we look around with our eyes half shut at the beauty and abundance that surrounds us.

As I survey my little house, I am reminded of just how much I have in my life compared to that of my parents – and my grandparents before them.

It is so easy to forget that it wasn’t that long ago we didn’t have a television, let alone a colour flat screen TV – with a choice of so many channels. And central heating to keep us warm, instead of having to spend every winter shivering under layers of blankets.

In my life, I have been given so much…and appreciated so little.

From the simple – to the extravagant – we have so much these days…most of it rarely acknowledged – or appreciated. Instead of enjoying what we do have…we focus on what we don’t have…and our lives are poorer as a result.

“The riches of the world surround us – yet we cannot see”Susan Jeffers

As a society we have a habit of focusing on the bad news…and ignoring all that is wonderful about life. If bad news didn’t sell, our daily newspapers would disappear over night. (Hopefully to be replaced with a new breed of ‘good news’ newspapers!)

 And yet it is so easy it is to change our perceptions…and by doing so…to change our experiences – for the better.

Day 33 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I intend to celebrate by fully opening my eyes and appreciating all the wonderful gifts that surround me.





Chasing Rainbows

28 01 2011

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

T.S.Eliot

I love this simple poem.

These few words encapsulate my life as a restless soul…always on the go…always restless…always in search of the next thrilling adventure waiting over the far horizon.

I’ve always been the dreamer – believing in a world full of exciting possibilities.

As a young child I possessed an unshakable belief that I could have…or be…anything I wanted  – if I wanted it enough.

And I did want it…all of it!

All my life I have been chasing rainbows in pursuit of the elusive pot of gold. And I have been very blessed to have experienced many riches along the ever changing road that has led me back home to myself.

I have enjoyed a wealth of experiences, wonderful enriching relationships, material possessions, and the greatest gift of all – a deep connection with the richness of spirit.

Like a spiritual butterfly…I have flitted from one job to the next; thrown myself wholeheartedly into one exciting business idea after another; moved from relationship to friendship; house to home; and country to continent.

Always moving…with an insatiable need to explore all that life has to offer.

I could never commit wholeheartedly to anyone – or anything – for more than a short time before my wings began to itch and I had to respond to the calling from spirit to fly towards my next appointment with destiny.

I’ve travelled the world and lived a life that many can only dream of. Life has been a kaleidoscope of colourful experiences; each one revealing another facet of my soul’s awakening.

My wanderlust has been calmed for a while as I find myself back in the UK, living in my little riverside home; immersed in this new journey of discovery…revealing my life and my thoughts to the world through the writing of this blog.

With each new post, I connect with another long buried part of myself. As I bring my soul gently towards the light through the writing process, I am beginning to recognise – and truly know myself – for the very first time.

And it feels so good!

Day 28 – 365 Days of Celebration

Today I celebrate coming home – to myself!

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