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What Not To Worry About #25

What Not To Worry About #25

I missed doing this post last week. It’s a post I look forward to writing because it’s the only time I allow myself to focus on the little things that I needlessly stress about and ask myself why I even give them the time of day. It’s easy to lose perspective when there are a million worries running through my brain:

Is it someone’s birthday soon?

Do we have enough milk for tea tonight?

Did I defrost the chicken?

When is my tax up on the car?

Is she annoyed at me for that thing I said?

Why do I get spots in my late twenties?

Am I making a difference?

Do I like where I am?

 

This madness can consume me if I allow it to but I think just being aware of my thoughts is one step closer to getting better control over them. Yes there are always going to be things to remember and yes I will have a random memory about one time when I was hammered in 2009 that will torment for the rest of my days BUT I can acknowledge the thought and then move on. I am usually a fairly laid back person but when one area of my life is suffering then the small things seem to become larger and more overwhelming.

 

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The best thing for me to do in these cases is to remove myself from the chaos and find somewhere quiet to just be for a moment. I have spoken before about the importance of prioritising these moments of solitude because it’s my way of regaining a bit more stability and understanding that it’s all going to be OK. When things are going rough we can have a tendency to focus on the present and lack the foresight needed to understand that it’s not permanent. Instead of spending time worrying about things that are out of our control, wouldn’t it be much better to acknowledge them for a second and then brush them off? Wouldn’t be much better to give ourselves a break and a moment to appreciate all that we do? Yes, I think so too.

 

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All photos by the lovely Rebecca of A Clothes Horse

And with that in mind, here are a few of the worries I am letting go of this week.

 

Not having a dog

This is a fact that makes me sad sometimes but not having a dog also means that I don’t have to sit in work feeling guilty all day knowing that my wee furball is lonely. Also means that I don’t have to be dragged about in the rain to walk off energy. Still can’t wait though.

Always forgetting my bag for life

I feel like the worst environmentalist in the world when I pull up to the shop and realise that all of my bag-for-life-bags are in that wee hole in the kitchen where we stuff them all. I curse myself every time and buy another one to add to the collection.

Cop cars

Why do I feel like an instant criminal as soon as I see a cop car? I haven’t done a thing wrong but all of a sudden I have an urge to escape from them at the earliest chance. Creeps.

My love of bread

With the bikini season well and truly here I have given up on the idea of washboard abs and will not be saying goodbye to the carb-filled joy of my heart. Bring on the baguettes.

People who play it safe

You know those people who pull a ridiculous face when you suggest doing something out of the ordinary? Like when someone asks what you’re doing for the weekend and you say that you might go camping which induces a look of pure horror. “Sure it gives it to rain for a half an hour on Saturday!! Are ye mad? Oh no, you wouldn’t catch me at that now. Oh no, sure ye’d be drenched in thon rain! No, I will be sitting up in the house there and staying put so I will”. Arrgghh!!

 

And that’s it for this week! Anything you are choosing to let go of???

What Not To Worry About #14

What Not To Worry About #14

It’s Friday! A day we can bounce out of bed knowing we’ve just about made it! A day we can look forward to a big old glass of guilt-free vino! A day we internally plan an entire weekend of activities in our head only to be secretly glad when it rains and we can stay in our pyjamas! Yay!

 

I feel like a bit of a con this Friday to be honest because I was only back to work yesterday after a few days stuffing my face with pastries in Lisbon. Feeling real-life heat on my face whilst giving my thighs a good old work out on the hills of a beautiful city really lifted my winter soul. It got me all kinds of excited about spring and all of the good things it brings along with it e.g. longer days, daffodils and, most importantly, outdoor drinking.

 

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Landing home yesterday reminded me that warmer days might be a little while away but my optimism is still here. Little cracks of sunshine are enough to get me out of the house and lug around my camera to snap at any signs of life. I am even planning another escape to Dublin this weekend – I do have the times of it I know. I’m seeing Billy Connolly tomorrow with Mumma T and my uncle Pete (this is an actual bucket list event for me and I am fully prepared to reach hysteria at the very sight of the wonderful grey Viking) and then I am having a girls night with my #squad (yeh I’m too old to do that) the following eve. I will be depressed for sure on Monday morning.

 

What will keep me going is a mind full of positive thoughts this weekend as it always does so I’ve switched it up and I am listing a few different kinds of people who I am choosing to not stress me out this weekend. It’s usually a Monday post I know but I can’t type a post with fingers covered in pastry crumbs so I thought it best to leave it for a few days. I’m clever that way.

 

Here goes…

 

Patronising People

I thought that once I was an adult that there would be no more moments of being made to feel the size of a raisin. Turns out, patronising people are not ageist and there are still moments when I feel like screaming in to a pillow when someone corrects a mistake I didn’t realise was a big deal. Oh, I’m sorry that I don’t know anything about cars Mr. Mechanic but please do not look at my boyfriend with a “women, eh?” look when I am caught side-blinded with your jargon. Now fix that metal bit that makes a weird sound please so I can drive without fear of my life.

 

Airport People

Airports can be a tense place at the best of times and I have had recent experience of this. There’s folks who choose to forget that they can’t take litres of liquids on a plane with them and suddenly remember this as they attempt to excavate their entire hand luggage in the security line in front of me. There’s also people who insist on starting the boarding queue about a half hour before the plane which riles up all the other passengers. I need to forgive these people and chill out with all the perfumes in Duty Free.

 

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Nasty People

You know the people who take great pleasure in the misery of others? I can never understand these people and I wonder if they could ever be truly happy if they can’t ever be happy those around them. It makes me a little sad but that would just be joining the sad gang and I don’t even wanna be in that gang.

 

Classy Women

The Audrey Hepburn’s, Grace Kelly’s and Jackie O’s of this world astound me. Elegant women can make me feel a little insignificant because I will forever be the ruffian who never seems to brush her hair and has holes in her clothes. I have learned to accept that I probably won’t ever look like a French woman on the streets of Belfast but that’s OK. Less pressure to look immaculate is probably a good thing.

 

Judgemental People

Yes I will be having that second cupcake Martha and please refrain from looking at me lengthways in the process. The judge-y folks can be the worst but I choose to laugh off the stares when I land to my yoga class in decades old leggings and an old work hoodie. Being you is the one of the bravest things you can do and I will rock whatever ratty clothse I choose thank you very much.

 

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And that’s about all the folks who I will refuse to let bother me this week – and maybe longer!

 

What kinds of people are you going to stop getting the better of you? Any tips on how you shrug off the negativity?

 

 

 

What Not To Worry About #11

What Not To Worry About #11

Hello fellow Monday morning heads. Here we are again, summoning the energy we recuperated (or depleted) at the weekend with the days packed ahead of us. Never fear though because all we need is a good cup of tea/coffee and a clear head to start us off on the right foot. I read this article yesterday which has given me the encouragement to get up a little earlier in the mornings which is something I’ve been trying to do for a while so I’m not stumbling about in a dazed panic trying to make breakfast and remember to put a bra on. Wish me luck!

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The weekend was a great one although nothing too wild which is in keeping with my quiet year so far. I had a catch up with a couple of friends on Friday evening which was just what I needed after what felt like the longest working week of my life. I had my first drink of wine of the year (three weeks without alcohol – new record I think!) which was delicious with my friend Caoimhe’s feta stuffed chicken. I begged for the recipe, a little tipsily, which she kindly wrote on a post-it note and which I will fail to replicate later this week! She’s such an amazing cook and I keep begging her to start a food blog even just so I take photos in exchange for her food.

 

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I watched the sunrise on Saturday morning from my wee sister’s spare room and nearly bounced out of bed when I saw blue skies -BLUE SKIES! We have been under thick grey cloud all week and even though the cold could’ve bit the nose off you, seeing clear skies and frost dusting the grass made me so happy. I took Shannon’s cocker spaniel Bella to The Argory (a wonderful National Trust site a few miles from Armagh) and I have never seen a dog run so much in my life. There really isn’t many things as heartwarming as seeing a dog so happy to just be outside although to be fair I think I was just as happy.

 

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We walked around the grounds, suffering a near-death experience in the process when Bella thought she was just jumping in to a shuck when in reality it was a frozen stream which she fell right through. I laughed for a second (forgive me) but then I saw her wee face and felt terrible and scooped her out quickly. She wasn’t too fazed though and ran on ahead to my relief before I took her home to get blow-dryed (the dog is a diva just like her owner).

 

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I had lunch at the Craic’d Pot (a great new spot in Armagh) with the girls and took lots of pictures for a new post. I’m getting used to asking owners and managers for permission to ask photos but I still feel a little conscious of locals looking at me like I’m a mad woman – not too many bloggers in Armagh! After more catch ups with both parents I was back in Belfast yesterday evening shattered and ready for a night by the fire watching Graham Norton – bliss.

 

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Sunday was a quiet day which began with a lie in and homemade pancakes. Little else happened other than a long overdue excavation of my car and some grocery shopping followed by some crappy chess playing by the fire – aye I know, we are middle-class OAP’s. The truth is Andrew bought me a set for my birthday when we were in Cuba where he taught me to play and we’ve not used it at all. I am still shite but at least I don’t have to look at the set with a guilty conscious for a while!

 

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After a weekend spent in the fresh air and by the fire, I am starting the week with a clear head and I am definitely not sweating the small stuff. Here’s a few of them…

 

Always Forgetting To Put The Memory Card Back In the Flippin’ Camera

This happened for the millionth time over the weekend when I was down in Armagh. I arrived at The Argory beaming at all the frost and mist rising and when I put my eye up to take a picture, the camera reminded me yet again that I forgot the feckin’ memory card. I had to make do with my iPhone which didn’t do too badly but for a wee second I was hard on myself. Need to stop doing that. Or to just start remembering the memory card.

 

Not Having Snapchat

I can barely manage Instagram and Facebook so adding another social media app would probably finish me. I also find it seriously irritating when people listen to their Snapchat stories so all I can hear is some drunken mess talking about how they stole a traffic cone on their way home from a night on the rip. I think it would just push me over the edge so I’m one of those oldies that doesn’t have that flower crown filter in every second photo.

 

Keeping Candles For Guests

Screw the guests, I’m choosing to bring every candle in to my bathroom when I’m having a bath so it’s lit up like Croke Park. I never buy Yankee candles because it feels like I’m burning money every time I light the wick so I now buy candles so I can actually enjoy them. There is a new Scandinavian shop that’s just opened in Belfast called Sostrene Grene that I am completely in love with and they sell bucket loads of candles for tuppence. Win!

 

Abusing My Amazon Basket

Sundays are the worst for browsing through Amazon or any other website making impulsive choices and then backing out before I hit the big ‘Pay Now’ button. I keep deleting and adding items before the pressure all gets a little too much and I close the laptop down. Yesterday I actually committed myself to buying a knitting kit and a photo album – massive purchases that require a lot of thought but I managed it. Yay me.

 

Not Having A Dog

Now, most people who know me know how much I yearn for a dog in my life but after having Bella for a few hours on Saturday, I can say that I might be OK without one for another while. Or at least one that doesn’t shed a lorry load of hair in one shake. I can do without looking like Chewbacca after a few minutes of cuddles, thanks.

 

I hope you have a super week and let’s hope for another few crisp, cold days like this one…

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Live The Little Things

Live The Little Things

Oh Friday, thank goodness you’re here because I have been dragging my tired ass from one day in to the next. My days have been rolling in to one as I hide in my cosy house after work (with the odd jaunt to the gym for a half hour of pure pain) and my wee hooves have been practically sighing with relief as I shuffle in to my slippers as soon as I’m through the door.

 

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I almost feel embarrassed about the sheer joy I have been feeling at doing feck all recently but this is the only time of year when it’s completely OK to hibernate and watch all 6 seasons of Downton Abbey with a cup of tea permanently balancing on my ever-growing pouch. We need these little things to keep us going in the darker evenings because by spending so much time indoors, we can easily succumb to darker thoughts. Silly worries about whether we should be doing more after an exhausting day at work (and maybe eating fewer blocks of chocolate) can permeate and fester. Things that we wouldn’t give a second thought to during the warmer months can suddenly become more considered and worth our time.

 

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I try to be aware of this feeling that can creep in during winter. Instead of allowing myself to feel guilty about enjoying the simpler way of living, I relish in it because I know when the longer days arrive I’ll be drawn to the outside again. I might not have as many pretty photos but I have lots of time to write, read and cook – things I completely neglect when the sun comes out. Most of all though, I use this time to appreciate the little things that happen to me throughout the day that can make me just as happy as the big moments in life.

 

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During the next month or two when you may feel a little restless or stressed, try to be mindful of the small things that have maybe made your day a little better. Put on some music while you’re cooking dinner and have a wee party in the kitchen. Listen to the fire crackle as you read your favourite mag. Buy yourself a bright bunch of flowers. Call your best mate for a chat. All these little wins add up to a pretty happy winter.

 

And here are my little wins for this week…

  1. Listening to Jurassic 5 in a bath full of bubbles – Andrew definitely caught me trying to rap along
  2. Laughing out loud in my car on the drive to work in the morning – I was listening to the radio, I’m not completely demented
  3. Having just enough milk for the last cup of tea of the day – YESSSSS
  4. Getting to the gym and remembering everything – I usually forget a sports bra or socks in my morning stupor
  5. Waking up and realising I still have over an hour left in bed – definitely the cosiest feeling in the world
  6. My herbs still clinging to life despite living on an hour of daylight every day – you go basil!
  7. Ordering a knitting kit on Amazon – quiet time means time to get creative (and knit a scarf as we’re coming in to Spring)
  8. Made my own fishcakes which were absolutely delightful – hello potential blog post
  9. Reading a magazine in bed at 10pm – #grannylyfe
  10. Funny emails from my mates to keep me going in work – they’re the best!

 

Have a cracking weekend folks and whatever you’re up to, don’t feel a shred of guilt as long as you’re happy 🙂

 

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