Help me Celebrate my Birthday

Help Me Celebrate my Birthday !!!!
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Friday, 24 February 2012

My Top 7 Posts

I was recently tagged by Dominique of 4 Walls and a View to do a post of my top 7 posts (the link is for the post I was tagged in).  This is not an easy feat for me (part of the reason it's taken me so long to do it) as I have written over 360 posts over the past 3 years.

One of my immediate favourites is Whizzpopping for the Queen a post I wrote when this blog was all new and shiny.  It is a topic that I still believe in and I can't help loving the title.

There are a lot of posts about living with M.E. but I have only decided to share 2 with you here as they can be quite overwhelming to read.  The first one is M.E. is... as it is possibly the simplest explanation of what my personal life looks like.  The second is Having Hope - while I wrote this almost a year ago, it is still something I am choosing - I choose to have hope each and every day. 

Another topic that I've written a lot about is writing but as I haven't really been writing much lately (other than this blog) I don't feel that I connect with many of them right now.  However, My Love Affair -written on Valentine's Day last year- is more about the words than the writing.  And I think I will always be in love with words.

Skimming over the posts I've written I found The Truth which I published late last year.  While I am no longer dealing with the same issues as I was then, I think it's still an important post which can help make a difference so I am adding it to the list.

That leaves just two more posts to include here so I am just going to pick two at random that I have enjoyed re-reading.  A post about diaries, aptly titled Dear Diary and a post written at the beginning of the year 3 Words for 2012 as I think I needed reminding of those words and perhaps you need a little reminder of how you planned to live this year.

I hope you had time to look through a few of the posts that I've linked here.  I am supposed to tag other blogs to join in but, as I don't want anyone to feel pressured to take part, I am simply going to link to a few of my favourite blogs that you should definitely delve into the archives of.

Sarah of This Heavenly Life
Emily of Keeping Time
Kess of The Passing Place
Michael Nobbs of Sustainably Creative
Maegan of Madeline Bea

I hope you will take a little time to pop by each of them and feel free to do your own 'Top 7 Posts' post and link it here.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Less Is Not Always Better

In the online world there is a lot of talk about minimalism.  It seems everyone thinks we should have less to appreciate more and while I agree with it to a certain extent (I know my flat could certainly do with a decluttering) I feel that trying to remove so much from your life can be potentially harmful.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe everyone is entitled to live their life how they want.  But that is just my point.  I feel as if I am constantly being told that if I give up this or get rid of that, my life will be better and so I feel guilty for the excess in my life.  But excess is not always a bad thing. 

One thing you may not know about me is that I have a lot of stuff.  And recently I have felt that I should be getting rid of it.  But the thing is, I like most of my stuff.  I like having different notebooks for different subjects in my life.  I like knowing that I only need to look to find a pen in front of me.  I like having a large choice of clothes to wear each morning (though I by no means have a huge wardrobe).  I like knowing that I don’t have to wash up each day to have utensils and crockery to eat with (I still wash up most days but knowing that I don’t have to certainly takes off the pressure).  I like having many books and D.V.D.s on my shelf, as it means that no matter what my mood is, it’s likely that there is something to fit it.  I like having way too much craft stuff as it gives me plenty of opportunity to use it when I want.  You get the gist – I like having so much stuff.

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day) and so today is the first day of lent.  Many people have decided to give up something they feel is bad for them for the next forty days and I wish them luck.  However, I can’t help feeling that denying yourself something you want is not the way to happiness.

Now, I’m not an expert on happiness, but it something that I strive to achieve everyday (not all day every day, but everyday).  To me, happiness is not achieved by denying or overindulging.  When we deny ourselves we are constantly feeling guilty – we feel guilty for wanting what we believe we shouldn’t have; and if we trip up, we feel guilty for failing in our mission.

I have not participated in lent for many years now as I am no longer Christian.  However, this year I have decided to try and fill my life with more instead of less – more time, more love, more appreciation, more noticing and more happiness.  I believe that in taking time to notice, appreciate and love everything in my life I will be able to be happier.  While this is not just for lent, it is thinking about lent (and minimalism) that led me to this revelation.  So I call you all to take a few moments each day to think about what is truly important in your life and remember that less doesn’t always equal more, no matter what other people tell us.  (And if you disagree with me, that’s great as it just means you are finding the right lifestyle choices for you.)

Monday, 20 February 2012

Ignoring My Plans

It was quite a while ago that I announced my plans to you about starting my own business.  And as I haven’t really shown you the fruition of my plans you’re probably wondering if I’m ever going to get around to it.  I still don’t have anything to show (I don’t want you to get your hopes up).  But I think I’ve worked out why it’s taking me so long to get started.

I had plans to start a business revolving around my cross-stitched goods.  I also had plans to create a website, earn money blogging, write and sell ebooks, have subscription content and even more ideas (it seemed once I allowed my mind to dream, it came up with more and more plans).  The problem has been that I’ve been researching all of these ideas and therefore have nothing to show.  I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, and not much time acting.  So I’m calling it quits for now.

By this I mean that I am going to ignore every idea I just wrote about EXCEPT THE FIRST ONE.  I am still working towards having an online shop and since I now don’t have to worry about all my other plans, I am hurtling forwards.  I don’t know what I will do with all those ideas, I think I will probably return to them in the future, but for now I’m just focusing on one thing – making products to sell.

How do focus and motivate yourself to get down to action, instead of simply dreaming?

Friday, 17 February 2012

An Unexpected Love

When I was at school I hated sewing machines.  It seemed to me that they broke every time I tried to use one and so I figured that they all had it in for me.  It got so bad that after a year or two, I started hand stitching everything we had to make for Textiles class which involved a lot more work and me stitching for hours at home to finish in time.

So when I started seriously considering getting a sewing machine I was a little thrown.  Hadn’t I sworn never to use one of those horrendous machines again?  Hadn’t I vowed that there was nothing I wanted so badly that I couldn’t hand sew it?  And yet, towards the end of last year I found myself not only wanting one, but looking them up and trying to work out how I could obtain one.  When my parents offered to get me one for my birthday I only hesitated a little before saying yes.

It is not quite my birthday yet but as my parents were visiting this week, they brought it along with them and now I have my very own sewing machine sitting at the dining table (I’m working on making the space to put it on my desk).  I have to admit that I am still a little intimidated by it but when my mum showed me how to use it, the stitches came out so straight and perfect that I couldn’t not fall in love with it.  I can’t wait to find an easy project to get me started as I figured I should probably start out small – I don’t want to trip myself up trying to run before I can walk (aka create clothes before I know how to simply stitch).

Are there any items that you thought you’d never ever want under any circumstances and yet find yourself loving now?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


I have heard/read many writers say that even if they couldn’t physically write or type, they would find another way to tell their stories.  This has always made me feel left out as that just isn’t true for me.  In the past I have often questioned if I really was a writer as I don’t have many stories just bursting to come out of me.  Primarily, I am not a storyteller. 

But I am a writer.  I’m now beginning to embrace the fact that being a writer does not mean you can only write novels or short stories or poems.  It means you write.  And to me, typing my 750 words each morning, and writing these posts (and many more that never make it to the blog) makes me a writer.  I love sharing my views and I believe that if I couldn’t type for whatever reason, I would probably end up debating with people face to face so I could still let everyone know my opinions on everything.

I’m really hoping that doesn’t happen though.  Not because I don’t think I could hold my own in a debate (though I am a little rusty as I no longer have the practice with my family and at school), but because I hate the idea of never being able to type again.  There is nothing wrong with writing longhand, and I do enjoy it from time to time (though it can cause me a lot of pain in my hand and arm), but I’ve come to realise that one of my true passions in life is typing.

I love the feel of my fingers moving quickly over the keyboard, knowing that the endless clicking is creating sense on the screen (most of the time, anyway).  I love the feel of the keys under my fingertips.  And I love the sense of calm typing gives me.  I am so glad that I am lucky enough to be able to indulge in this passion every morning of every day (well, almost).  I would go as far to say that the reason the morning pages work for me is because of the sense of power and contentment I get from tapping at a keyboard for ten to fifteen minutes without actually having to think about anything.  I have tried doing my morning pages on paper but it just didn’t have the same effect for me.

Is there anything you do every day or very often that you haven’t realised just how much you enjoy?  Something totally random and mundane (I also love washing up as I find it relaxing when my M.E. doesn’t cause me pain from doing it) and beautiful – please share in the comments (or feel free to gush in an entire post about your love, as I have done here).

Monday, 13 February 2012

A Delicate Balancing Act

Living with M.E. is a delicate balancing act.  On the one hand I don’t want to overdo it as every time I do, I risk not being able to get out of bed the next day.  This is pretty self explanatory.  If you do more than your body can physically handle (and I have to add that mental excursion can have the same effect on the body), you will inevitably end up physically less well than when you started.

On the other, much less discussed, hand I don’t want to do too little.  This may seem ridiculous as surely the opposite of doing too much is not doing enough which will result in a happy, healthy body.  Unfortunately that isn’t true – anything in excess or depletion is bad for you; the trick is finding the perfect balance between the two.

However, when you live with a chronic disability such as M.E. it isn’t as simple as just finding out the balance that works for you.  To add to the fun, the perfect balance changes daily based on so many things including what you did yesterday, what you did last week, how well you slept, what you ate recently, how hot or cold it is – you get the idea. 

So I’ve been trying to balance myself and work out what makes a difference to my health.  So far I don’t feel like I’m any closer to knowing what has a positive or negative effect on my body other than the obvious (how much I do and how much I rest).  However, despite a massive setback a few weeks ago (when I got ill), I believe I am able to do more than recently.  So for now I’m just going to continue as I am and continue tweaking my daily schedule in the hopes that some kind of pattern will make itself known to me. 

What have you found works/doesn’t work in keeping your body at its optimum health? (This question isn’t just for those with chronic disabilities as I know everyone has stress and tips for keeping themselves healthy.)