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??😉

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It’s a new dawn…

It’s a new dawn

It’s a new day

It’s a new life

For me

And I’m feeling good…

I’ve always loved these lyrics and when sung by the amazing Nina Simone I am filled with an overwhelming feeling of hopeful joy.

As one year floats into another it’s a time that most of us reflect and make promises to ourselves to improve our lives, often that of others as well and generally look to the future with hope and aspiration.

Sometimes it’s quite hard to do this, especially if you’re in the throes of depression and/or anxiety; if you suffer with self doubt, lack of self esteem you can find yourself crippled with negative thoughts which crowd your space and prevent you from seeing the light.

The mental health issues that we can experience are complex and I don’t understand even half of 1% of it all, I do know that there’s no simple ‘cure’; there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solves depression, no ‘xyz’ fixes anxiety…so as we are individuals so as we have different needs and experiences.

I do know, however, that there is something that can help everyone – in fact two things:

1. Talking. Even peeps that say they don’t like to talk, especially about themselves, can find specialist listening ears and advice to be healing.

2. Exercise. Don’t get me wrong, sports men and women are susceptible to mental health issues as much as anyone, I’m not saying get fit and all your troubles disappear! But there are proven links between regular exercise and improved mental health and wellbeing; so doing exercise, anything that gets your endorphins pumping, is definitely a good thing!

I work with incredible men and women who provide advice and support to young people experiencing difficulties. I see the difference they make in the lives that they touch and it’s value cannot be overstated.

So thinking about all of this made me decide to start this new dawn with a challenge to myself but which also helps to shine that light for those who maybe aren’t able to see the new day and feel good at the moment.

I’m taking part in REDJanuary – I shall attempt to Run Every Day in January and raise awareness of the importance of exercise for mental wellbeing and some funds for the charity MIND.

MIND is a great charity which helps anyone with a mental health issues- they provide invaluable support, advice even advocacy. They’re website can be found here and it’s well worth a look:

https://www.mind.org.uk

I like running although I’m not a natural that’s for sure! I wibble wobble along, often puffing like a steam train, all red faced after 10metres and I often look very ‘stern’ when I’m doing it but actually I find it therapeutic, rewarding and dare I say fun?! I try to complete the local ParkRun when I can, I often run home from work and recently completed the Great South Run in October which was 10miles; back in 2016 I did a very slow London Marathon – so I know I can run…This REDJanuary is a challenge for me because I’ve never run more than three days in a row so running 31 days straight does fill me with some trepidation!

However, I’m SO excited at the same time! I’ve already met so many other REDRunners online and been part of sharing positive thoughts and encouragement – and I only signed up a few days ago!

I shall be blogging every now and again on how it’s going – I hope you won’t mind too much.

In the meantime, I leave you with this beautiful song and wish you a wonderful new dawn, positive new day and a happy life in 2018

Feel Good xx

What a difference a year makes…

This past year has been (wait for it many cliches ahead) a real rollercoaster -emotionally and physically. It’s been a journey (yep I went there!) that at times I’ve wanted to get off, to take a break and just watch others ride by whilst I focus on remembering to breathe. Other times it’s been joyful, uplifting and full of such love that I could have burst if that were possible.

Mostly this has been related to my personal life (other blogs to follow if I can find the words) but there has also been one hugely significant change for me – my job.

A year ago last week I started a new job and so this week has been a period of reflection for me. I’ve thought about all those decisions I’ve made throughout my adult life that’s led me to be where I am and to be the person I feel I am today. Sometimes I didn’t know that these decisions would be momentous but I have to admit I knew this one would be – I just didn’t know if it would be good or bad – I just hoped like hell it would be good!!

…Well, it has been! I have gone from working in a place where I spent the first six months sobbing in the toilet every day and towards the end if I got through a week without tears falling it was a miracle, to working somewhere I feel at peace.

At my last two jobs, providing pastoral support in state secondary education, I knew I was doing good, making a positive difference and I’m glad I did what I could; but along with the fabulous highs of seeing my students succeed and achieve, both academically and personally, more than they would ever have thought possible, it was emotionally draining, lonely and absolutely heartbreaking at times; I was taking that home with me and eventually I realised I needed to move on before I lost who I was and before it affected my family more than it already had.

So I took a chance, a leap of faith into the unknown – instead of looking for another similar role that I was certain I could do standing on my head but which would come with significant angst, I found a role at a specialist university that I thought looked interesting, exciting and that I thought I could do well but which would be a challenge.

And oh it has been a challenge! But it has also been liberating, stimulating and working in such a creative, adult environment has been so calming – I’m on a voyage of self-discovery (sorry I’m not done with the cliches just yet!). I’m not saying every day is amazing or that I haven’t had bad days and I know I’ve much more to learn; but I’m loving what I do and I am finally part of a team. I haven’t experienced that utter dread, on a Sunday night, of knowing work is due…I certainly haven’t cried those tears of sheer frustration and solitude.

Life isn’t all about work but most of us spend so much of our days doing work that surely we have to be happy and fulfilled in it if our lives are to have balance and feel good?

So what have I learnt?

Be honest with yourself

Value yourself

Dare to dream – that you CAN do something different if you want, you CAN break free from what you feel confines or brings you down

Believe in yourself

Be brave

Take that step outside your comfort zone

Embrace the unknown

Set sail on your own adventure and see where you end up – whilst it might not be where you’d thought you’d be, you might just find it’s where you want to be after all xx

Where’s my mojo? I had it around here somewhere I swear…

I’m amazed and a little bit terrified at how easily I have lost my form in the short time I’ve been unable run – yeah I know it’s coincided with the holidays and that means too much food and drink (and yes I admit to failing miserably on the healthy eating today but oh man that Big Tasty was delish today!!) not to mention my tendency on holidays for being lazy but even so, it’s quite shocking how quickly things can go down hill – it’s like my fitness hopped on a bike, whizzed off down the track and the brakes failed!!

It’s quite disheartening when you realise all that hard work you’ve put in has just ‘poof!’ disappeared…and I think my mojo has had enough and gone into hiding.

The euphoria of the first run wore off quick but I will not be deterred – there’s worse things that happen to people all the time and so I’m trying to stay upbeat and find where that mojo hiding place is…

Today I found myself in the New Forest at silly o’clock so I thought – hmmm? The sun is shining, I’ve nothing else to do this morning and it’s all rather pretty out there, so let’s lace up those trainers and see how far I can go in half hour…well, it actually took me 40 mins but I managed 5km – which is not setting any records but you know what? It’ll do for me for today!

Through the heather, up & down the tracks, past the horses (they snorted at me but I forgive them as they clearly just don’t recognise a sophisticated running style when they see one) and all in the warm morning sunshine.

I think I can see my mojo peeping round the corner at me…

Two steps forward, one step back and Do Si Do your partner

progress

Well then, setting up this blog is slowly coming along-ish…

I’ve picked a ‘theme’ and found a colour set of purple, which is my favourite colour (hurrah!), with accents of lime green which pleases me. I seem to be drawn to lime green at the mo – it definitely brightens my mood. Not long ago I found the most beautiful materials in lime at our local scrapstore and I have made a cushion cover with some of it, teaming it with soft black velvet…niiice!! Also found some very nice kitchen accessories in lime the other day and suggested to my fella that we have that as the accent colour in our kitchen next time. “Perhaps not” was the reply…hmmm? What was I saying the other day about colours affecting people differently?! Oh well…I’ll have to work on him abit more I guess!

Back to the blog and I think I’ve worked out the ‘widgets’ and seem to have created some categories for my posts which is progress. Tagging seems to be reasonably simple to achieve and I even worked out how to embed a video in my last post – yep things are looking up.

However, I’m not yet sure how to create a gallery – does this happen automatically with pics that I include in my posts or do I need to create the gallery myself – I don’t know?? Something to find out…I’d like to join in the ‘word of the day’ thingy and I’d like to have a try at the ‘picture a week’ challenge too but those are still a little ahead of my skill set at the mo…but it will come – I’ve found a page to guide beginners so hopefully that’ll clear up those mysteries for me and soon I’ll be a blogging genius!

In the meantime, I shall carry on dancing to and fro in the corner…