Monthly archives "October 2015"

Supermoons and super starts

Supermoons and Super StartsTonight we’ll see the last Supermoon of 2015. I’ve mentioned Supermoons, New Moons and Full Moons in previous blogs. I’ll undoubtedly mention them again as they come and go. Why do I keep coming back to them? I think it’s because I’m slightly fascinated by the power of the moon.

If the moon can have an effect on the seas and the tides, then does it have any effect on us, given that we are around 55%-60% water? I don’t know, but I think it might. That’s my belief anyway, and because of that I like to pay attention to the changes in the moon.

What’s this Supermoon all about? We’re experiencing our usual monthly full moon, but the moon is also the closest to the earth that it gets during it’s orbit. So it looks larger than usual.  I noticed it as I was driving home this evening – the moon looked huge, it looked beautiful and it looked full of promise. I’m taking that as a good omen and a great time to think about where I am on my own journey, where I want to be and how I’m going to get there. Maybe this final Supermoon of 2015 can be a super jump start on that journey.

There’s a lovely quote that reminds me of this…

“We may go to the moon, but that’s not very far. The greatest distance we have to cover still lies within us.”

Charles de Gaulle

So this week, let’s both see if we can embrace the power of the Supermoon and move a little further forward in our own journey.

I Promise…

I PROMISE (1)Last week I wrote my blog post a day early, trying to get ahead of the game a little and prepare for my crazy busy work week.  This week I’m writing it a few hours late, wrapped in a blanket, with paracetamol and tissues to hand.

It hasn’t happened for quite a long time – I think it’s been at least eight or nine months – but I’ve come down with a horrible cold.  It started last week – I was rushing to and from my crazy work week, and I hadn’t quite caught up with the change in weather.  Which meant the change in weather caught up with me.  A summer top combined with a cold windy autumn day, tiredness and stress equalled a runny nose and a sore throat.  I half-heartedly listened – I wrapped up a little warmer and took some cough sweets.  Then I carried on with my week – long hours at work, then a couple of evenings out.

On Saturday morning, my body shouted a little louder and I spent the day shivering in bed, with a full on cold, hacking cough and feeling feverishly phlegmy.   I also lit a candle for my Simba – it was exactly three months since I’d lost him.  I was no better on Sunday but I was determined not to miss out on Discover Dogs – after three months without my boy I was desperate for some furry cuddles.  So I wrapped up warm, dosed myself up with cold medicine and ignored my body’s plea for more rest.  I cried like a baby as I met and cuddled Blaze and some of the other Southern Golden Retriever Display Team pooches who were there for the day.  Their owners were amazingly kind and understanding, not at all fazed by my tears, all of them having lost a beloved pet themselves.  By the time I got home on Sunday evening I was absolutely done in, emotionally and physically and all I wanted to do was sleep for a day or three.

But we still had some final reporting numbers that needed to be in this week, so I ignored the message from my body that I needed to rest and I dragged myself in to work, against my better judgement, and armed with yet more tissues and paracetamol. Yesterday, more than one person at the office told me, in the kindest way possible, that I looked awful.  As well as wanting me to get better, I think there may have been a desire to get the maniacal coughing,  spluttering and general germiness out of the office and away from them.  But still I wasn’t listening. I needed to get through the reporting and I wanted to get back to working on my book too.  I’d already missed a week because of quarter end at the day job.  I was all set to splutter my way through my session yesterday evening with my lovely book coach, Deborah Taylor but as soon as she heard my voice, she kindly but firmly moved the session to another day.

With nothing left to do, I was finally left with silence broken only by the sound of my deep croaky coughs. And that’s when I finally allowed my body to be heard. So today’s blog post is a bit of a confession.  I always promised myself I wasn’t going to be one of those people who carried on working regardless of their health.  And until this week, I haven’t been that person.  I don’t know why it was different this week – maybe there was an element of not wanting to be ill at home, feeling alone without Simba.  Maybe there was an element of not wanting to be seen as being weak at work, seen as giving in to a little cold.  Whatever.  It didn’t work though.  Because I now feel worse than I did last week, and it’s taking me longer to get better.

So I’m reaffirming my original promise to myself, with you as my witness – I promise not to ignore my body when it tells me it needs rest.  I promise to listen to it.  I promise to learn from my mistakes and my experiences.

Be Your Own Best Friend

BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIENDI usually write these blog posts on the day that I publish them.  I like writing in the here and now.  Although I’m a bit of a planner in other ways, with my blog posts and my weekly newsletter (if you want to see what that’s about, use the sign-up box on the right) I never plan.  I like the idea of you reading what I’ve written ‘hot off the press’.

But this blog post was written a day early.  Why?  Because at the time that you’ll be reading it, I’ll still be at my desk at the day job, bashing out numbers for our quarterly reporting requirements.  I will be very lucky to get home before 10pm. But it’s important to me to write this blog post and (I hope) connect with you too.  So I’m writing it today, when I’m home a little bit (but not much) before 10pm.

I’ve known for a little while that this week is going to be pretty awful – long hours, stressed colleagues, impossible deadlines and brand new software do not add up to a happy Heena. There’s nothing I can do about  the first four of those – the hours have to be long, to cope with the glitches in the new software as well as meet those impossible deadlines, and that means stressed colleagues.  But I can do something about keeping Heena as happy as possible under the circumstances.

Normally, even when I’m having a tough time I try to keep it all going, in every area of life.  Not this time.  This time, I’m focusing on getting through the tough time at work without attempting to be Superwoman and keep it all going at home too.

I’ve accepted it’s going to be a tough week so I’ve tinkered at the edges and tweaked everything else – I’ve made everything else as easy as possible. Clothes are ready for the week, lunches have been bought already, I’m giving myself the week off from working on the new book, and I’ve even booked in a couple of treats over the weekend – all of this is designed to make this week as easy as possible, and give me something to look forward to.  I’m writing this blog post a day early, so that I’m still doing a little of what I love, just not when I’m exhausted. I’m accepting the biscuits and chocolates that my boss has been bringing in, the coffee has been upsized, and you know what?  Given we’re about halfway into our horrible week, I’m doing alright.

Why am I telling you all this?  Well, I’m guessing you may well have had tough times at work too.  Or tough times at home.  Possibly both, and possibly (although I sincerely hope not too often) both together.  So here’s my tip for those tough times – don’t make them any tougher.  Go easy on yourself.  Be kind to yourself.  Treat yourself to the cupcake if that makes you feel better. I’m not advocating letting go of all responsibility all the time – there’ll be plenty of time to pick up all the other loose ends later.  For now though, give yourself the consideration you would to your best friend. Be your own best friend.

Being Here Now

being here nowI wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today.  I haven’t really had time to think about it until right now, until I opened up my laptop, logged in to my website and hit ‘Add New Post’.

I haven’t thought about it up until now because I’ve been so busy.  For the first time in years, I was out every single evening from last Friday through until yesterday.  My evenings have been filled with friends, family and watching an excellent film adaptation of ‘that Scottish play‘.  My days have been filled with work.  Work that has been getting busier and busier as we make our way through our mammoth quarterly reporting requirements.

Three months ago, being this busy at work made me grumpy.  I resented every single extra minute at the office.  Each shortened lunch hour also shortened my temper.  Six months before that I was nervous and stressed because I had no contract and no money.

This time around I’m busy but I’m happy-ish.  (The ‘ish’ is mostly to do with insomnia – I haven’t quite cracked that one yet, although I’m getting there).  The happy is a bit more complicated.

It’s partly because, even with all the sadness I have within me and have seen around those close to me, I still feel lighter and more hopeful than I have in a long time.  Life has a way of showing you the way – in amongst dealing with my own melancholy and sharing in the heartbreak of close friends, there have been new arrivals. That feels like hope to me.  Tenuous, fragile, unpredictable, exciting hope.

The happy is also partly because I don’t think about the past as much – it’s still too painful to remember what I had, what I’ve lost, what I will never have in quite the same shape again.  But it’s also too soon to look into the future and daydream – that feels like I’m tempting Fate, and I don’t feel strong enough to do that either.  Which really only leaves here and now.  Being here now is about as much as I am prepared to deal with right now.

So when I go into work, I don’t think about the hours I could have spent writing if only I was already a financially free and successful author.  I don’t think about the walks I would have taken Simba on if he was still around.  I just focus on the task in hand, and do the best I can.

I’m grateful to have a great contract that keeps me busy.  I’m grateful that I still write during my lunch hour, and I can start to see my story and my characters taking shape.  I’m grateful that my work is being appreciated.  Being grateful and focusing on the now are keeping me happy-ish.

And that’s enough for now.  Because actually ‘now ‘is all we have, isn’t it?  So if I’m happy now, then I’m happy.  Full stop.