Today I choose Joy…

We all love a good quote right? Something from our favourite movie, a literary masterpiece or perhaps a little ditty one of our Nans used to say…and hey, those motivational quotes that spread positive vibes are really quite marvellous aren’t they?! – oh yes we do love a joyful saying or two 😊

So, this being the case I decided to make my sister a mood board for Christmas – with a jar of happy thoughts to choose from every week in 2019…

Because let’s face it, life is tricky. One minute everything is going ticketyboo and the next second we feel like the sky is falling down around us; sometimes we know why this is – it could be a hard day at work, a row with a loved one or maybe our favourite sports team losing a crucial game, other times we don’t really know what’s going on but we feel that all is not as it should be, our light feels dimmed and we don’t know how to change things for the better…

So, for those days when the world’s gone a bit wonky its nice to have a few words to help raise a smile, lift the spirits, give us personal strength and focus on the positive…I particularly love an encouraging mug!

We’re 14 weeks into 2019 and my sister has had 14 messages of joy, motivation, insightful imagery, positivity and general silliness – I’m hoping she’s enjoying them as much as I had fun finding them for her!

And today I choose JOY! Today, I choose to share 14 Quirky Quixotic Quintessentially Quotable Quotes with you, I hope you like them too:

1. Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. Carol Burnett

2. Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. Rumi

3. One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. AA Milne

4. Not all who wander are lost. JRR Tolkien

5. If you look for perfection you’ll never be content. Leo Tolstoy

6. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. Dr Seuss

7.

8. Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them. Bruce Lee

9. Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve. JK Rowling

10. You improvise, you overcome, you adapt. Gunny Highway

11. Normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something to get away from. Jodie Foster

12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsYBtfQ3QDo

13. Your only limit is you. Anon

14. I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then. Lewis Carroll

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She believed she could so she did…

It’s that time of year that we reflect on the past 365days…

Well, 2018 has been a whirlwind for me – a year of feeling the fear and doing it anyway! And d’ya know what? It’s been GREAT!

Not everything has gone to plan, I’ve stumbled and fallen (literally sometimes!) and I’ve had the odd let down too – but I’ve got up, dusted myself off, learnt from the experience and moved on…

At the same time I’ve achieved many goals, surpassed my wildest expectations in some cases! I’ve met amazing people and visited some beautiful new places – all in all 2018 you’ve been fantastic – so thank you xx

What about 2019? Do I have resolutions? Not as such, I kinda think of resolutions as meaning wanting to change things and I really don’t…what I want is more of being afraid and doing it anyway! The only way to really understand ourselves, who we are and what we can achieve is to step out of our comfort zone and give it a go, however scary it may be…

So here’s to feeling nervous, to biting off more than we think we can chew, to taking a first step into the unknown and to keeping going even when the sea gets a bit choppy and adjusting our sails when the storm is whipping up around us…

Here’s to 2019

Four seasons in one day…

Today it rained, snowed, hailed and blew a biting stinging wind – did this bother us? Oh no it did not!!

We Ladies of Swans RFC laced up our boots, ran out on that pitch and played our hearts out!

The sun saw our passion and decided to join us, warming our ears and hands which were red and frozen with the cold. It was an afternoon of glorious fun! We rucked and mauled in the mud mud mud – oh boy there was MUD!We tackled, ripped, kicked and ran our legs off up and down the pitch… our scrummaging would have made the England Red Roses proud 🌹 We won the day 31-10, our first win ever! These are what Sunday’s are all about – good friends, good fun and rugby… happy happy days 😊

(Oh and I scored too 😉😊)

Here’s hoping you all had a lovely Sunday too…

I found this beautiful song the other day. Today the title is apt and the words are lovely – may we all find that someone or something to love ‘come rain or come shine’…

https://youtu.be/Pxs3jGy9k9w

I’ve done it…don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

So this morning at 6:15am (oh my Lordy just getting out of bed that early was a challenge in itself!😳😄) I set off to complete Day31 of this RED January malarkey!

2miles later I finished with a sprint home, spring in my step and the biggest grin on my face ever!! 😁 I also wanted to cry 😭 … it was such an emotional moment – I have achieved something I didn’t know I could do and, when you can say that and know you’ve really worked hard to do it, well…it seems that tears as well as laughter must follow!

70miles/112km run, 40miles/64km walked, 2xRugby & 1xZumba and £100+ for the Charity MIND and that was it – the challenge is complete!!

My fabulous friends and family have put up with my daily posts and with my endless natterings about running and have been unfailingly supportive and encouraging – they’ve helped me more than they’ll ever know 💕💕

My fellow REDders have made me laugh, made me cry and have inspired me to really push myself and I am proud to be part of this positive and friendly community.

I have loved every moment and can’t wait to do it all again next year ❤️😊❤️😊❤️

In the meantime…what’snext??😉

Never argue with a Dame…

Hi Peeps!!

Gosh it’s been a while hasn’t it?!

You’ve not been far from my thoughts, sorry to be away so long…

So what’s been going on then? Have you been having fun and enjoying 2018? I hope so.

I’ve found this year to already be a remarkable improvement on the last !

Well, when you get told you’re brave by Dame Kelly Holmes – peer of the realm, Olympic Champion and all round awesome woman – it’s hard not to be just the tiniest bit jolly!

(Pics courtesy of streets-united.com, olympicpark10k.com & the sun.co.uk)

I remember watching Dame KH race at the Athens Olympics and being blown away by how amazing she was; she had an unabiding sense of purpose, was composed and strong as she ran and was filled with raw overwhelming happiness when she crossed the finish line…Dame KH was just SO inspiring. I’ll never be able to run like her but I try to push myself beyond what I think I can do, just as she does… who knew I’d be chatting (albeit via Twitter) with her years later…bizarre really!

Anyways, why am I brave? If I’m honest I’m not! Dame KH is doing REDJanuary and all us REDders were all sharing our daily stories on Twitter…I’d just walked to work and run home again (2miles each way) in the pouring freezing cold rain and wind…and that’s when I was complimented! I’d have said I was more daft coz it really was rather horrid out (and she was probably just being kind rather than accurate!) but hey, I’ll take ‘brave’ and say thank you 😊

Yep that’s made my January 2018 so far!!

Here’s wishing you a great rest of January 2018. See you again soon, I’ll try not to stay away so long next time xx

A tale of two matches…

I’m mad about rugby, it’s true…it seems I’m getting more obsessed as I get older but I always think we should find at least one true passion in life and follow it with gusto…and so I’m embracing the madness and, as they say, ‘Bring It On!’

I’ve not played a full on competitive rugby match in a long time and this week I experienced two very different matches.

I’ve played for a VERY good team who uncompromisingly smashed the opposition 65-0 and I’ve played for a development (beginner) side who lost to an experienced opposition 67-27.

I’ve played Second Row which is my usual position and although I didn’t think I had my best game I must’ve done something right as I got ‘Forward of the Match’ (yes I’m very happy about that!!)

Then I’ve played Inside Centre…which my coach seems to think should be my position…it certainly took me out of my comfort zone, but hey that’s kinda what we have to do to improve I suppose!

Both teams I played for are full of amazing, talented, fierce and fabulous women – the positivity of each, the teamwork ethos of both sides was a joy to experience.

I’ve realised that regardless of the level of game, regardless of my position and no matter what the result ends up being, what I’ve missed is the game itself and playing with such positive people.

I’ve missed the thrill of running out onto the pitch with my team, the tight ball of fear in my stomach that I’m going to cock up and trying to unravel that with the confidence training brings knowing I just have to play how I train (I’m always better in training!!).

I’ve missed picking & driving, smashing the maul, making those valuable metres! I’ve missed passing the ball out wide and watching my teams speedy backs sprint off (although the down side to that is that means I have to follow and I’m usually knackered by then with legs like lumps of lead! – but I’ve missed that too!!) There’s nothing quite like the grunt of the scrum and the rush of adrenaline when you smash the tackle (and yes having that momentary flicker of relief that it worked!!)

I’ve missed seeing my teammates all powered up and ready to rock; feeling that sense of pride in them and in being part of that team.

Ahh man I’ve loved this week!!

I hope you have found your passion and even more so that your week has been filled with the joy of it xx

When Daddy Fell Into The Pond…

Undoubtedly one of my favourite books as a child was the Ladybird book of Bedtime Rhymes…full of fun little dittys which made me chuckle, wonder and above all else happy.

My favourite was ‘When Daddy Fell Into The Pond” by Alfred Noyes

I defy anyone to read this or have it read to them and not break out into at least a small smile…

For me it gives delight in several ways. Firstly, it depicts so accurately those wintry weekend days when as a child I would be all like ‘there’s NOTHING to do…I’m BORED!!’ (Despite having a mountain of toys and a zillion books which of course at that particular time were just not enough for a 7yr old!) It brings a certain nostalgia as I remember that feeling of ‘oh would something exciting please happen’ and then my parents doing something to break the monotony – never quite as dramatic as falling in a pond but usually more along the lines of saying let’s play a board game, let’s go for a walk & hunt for conkers, or my mum saying let’s bake a cake – yes she did let me lick the bowl out! Happy days…

This brings me to the second reason why I like this poem – It doesn’t say that ‘Daddy’ fell in the pond deliberately and as a child this thought would never have occurred to me but reading it now as an adult I do think it’s certainly something which could be inferred…as parents we do all do daft stuff to keep our children happy…slapstick humour works wonders with kids, I’ve lost count of the number of times I pretended to befall some crazy harmless misfortune for my boys entertainment… so as a child I loved it coz of that childish delight in seeing a parent fall for something silly and as an adult it brings a new twist of knowing that perhaps the joy was deliberately engineered and what a great Daddy this daddy is!

Finally this poem shows the genuine infectiousness of laughter – of how having a giggle, being a good sport (coz let’s face it the Daddy could’ve gone bananas and had a total sense of humour failure but he didn’t) and seeing the brighter side of all things can make the world around us, even just for that moment, a better place.

It brings me to another favourite poem – I’m not quite sure who wrote it as there have been multiple authors attributed in the past, but I first heard of it when I was reading up on Spike Milligan. Whoever did write it they were insightfully spot on about the power of a smile 😁

I leave you with these words and my smile…