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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Easier Said Than Done

When you are hit with a surge of motivation and excitement about everything, there is a very high chance you will try and do everything – and we all know that all that leads to is half-finished ideas and burn out.

At the beginning of this year I chose ‘prioritize’ as one of my words to focus on throughout the years.  I think that in one sense I have followed this; I have focused on my health like I never have before, making sure I rest and eat correctly, and it seems to be paying off.  But I think I have left everything else in my life to fend for itself.  So now I am realising it is time to work out what I really want to do this year.  I need to work out what project is the top of my list and go after it; that is the only way I am going to avoid having a terrible crash.

Of course, that’s easier said than done.  I am so full of ideas and hopes and dreams and I want to bring them all to life right now.  I simply have to remember that focusing on one at a time doesn’t mean I can ignore the other ideas or that I’ll have never have a chance to focus on them, after all, I’m still at the beginning of my life.

How do you prioritize?  Any tips you can share to help me work out what dream to chase down right now?

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Saying Everything

Today I am taking it slowly; allowing my body to follow its own rhythms.  Choosing to have nothing to do is an idea I found at Sustainably Creative.  It's more than simply deciding to have a day to relax, but a day completely filled with nothing.  I have found it to be rewarding, and am thinking I am going to have to have one at least once a week (maybe even twice), as I am certain that this is a way for me to avoid burn out.

Burn out is something I worry about a lot.  Mainly I fear that if I overdo it, I will 'crash', my M.E. will flare and I will be struggling more than I already am.  As I'm starting to feel that perhaps things might be taking a turn for the better, obviously this is something I want to avoid.

I also fear the kind of burn out which involves losing motivation.  For the past few weeks, my motivation has also taken a turn for the better.  I am writing again.  I am catching up on everything I left by the roadside 2 years ago when my M.E. decided it had had enough of playing alongside the rest of my life.  For the first time in a long time I feel happy, and I'm certain that that is the reason my ideas and motivation seem to have shot through the roof.

This post was going to be about relaxing and taking my time and enjoying the simple things.  It seems to have got away from me once again.  Because that is what happens when we allow ourselves the space to do and be anything - we find out what it is that we want; we work out how we got where we are.

So I'm going to leave it here, with saying nothing, yet knowing I have said everything.

Friday, 21 June 2013

The Girl With A Bicycle: Memories That Have Made Me

So much has happened in my life already, and a lot of those experiences have stayed with me.  They are not all monumentous, nor are they all life changing.  But every single one of them (and the countless more that are buried deep within me) have made me who I am.   I hope others will join in with me and post their own memories on their blogs (or in the comments).  I will be posting mine every Friday, but it doesn’t matter when you write yours or if you wish to do them fortnightly or monthly – your writing should fit with your schedule.  If you do join I ask that you link to my blog with this link: (until I’ve worked out how to create a button for you to display) and that you will link your POST (not just your blog link please) in the comments each week (until I’ve worked out how to make a linky thing for you to add your links to – I’m really not very tech-savvy!).

I don’t really remember the learning process of first riding a bike, other than I am fairly certain I veered off into prickly bushes more times than I’d like to admit.  I remember my Dad teaching me to cycle, holding me up and helping me along as I attempted to pedal fast enough to create enough momentum so I wouldn’t come crashing down the next minute.

What I remember most though, is that when I had finally mastered the art of cycling I still struggled to push myself off.  For some reason this was impossible to me, and so every time I wanted to practice I had to cajole my Dad into coming outside with me so he could hold me steady while I carefully put my feet on the pedals before setting off.

Then we went on a camping holiday.  I don’t actually remember the camping, or the area, or pretty much anything about that holiday except that there was a girl also camping with her family and she had a bicycle with her.  Naturally we became close friends over the week as that’s just how it was when you went on holiday (or was that just me?) and spent most of our free time together.

The other important thing to note about this camping site was that there was a hill right in the middle of it (I remember that our tent was at the lower end of the camp and the girl with the bike was at the top).

Most of the time we spent taking turns on the bike as she had recently learned to cycle as well.  The great thing about there being a hill was I didn’t need help pushing off as gravity did that for me (now that I think about it, it’s probably not gravity, but I can’t recall enough science to even hazard a guess at any other explanation).

So when my family reached home, before anyone had a chance to unload anything, I begged to be allowed to try pushing off by myself on my own bicycle – after all, I’d had a week of practice.  I expect that I was so annoying that I was finally given my bike and sent on my way.  I did attempt to push off on the driveway but stones were still a problem; and then went to the edge of the driveway and pushed myself off for the very first time.  Of course, once you can do it, it becomes a lot less exciting.  But ever since, I have remembered the campsite with the hill and the girl with the bicycle that taught me how to ride a bike.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Blogging Clarity

You may have noticed that the background to my blog has once again changed. To be honest this isn’t the background I want, but it will do until I find something I fall in love with and actually find a way to put it on the blog (since Blogger changed its format it’s become a lot harder to edit the look of the blog in my opinion). 

While I didn’t have the internet, I found myself not only coming up with ideas, but a sense of clarity, particularly in regards to this blog.  I have had this blog for over 4 years now and it has gone through many transformations but I have always had it in the back of my mind that I needed it to be professional; I’d like to say that I didn’t care how many readers I had or how I appeared to others but that simply isn’t the truth.  Of course I always stayed true to myself as I always strive to be as honest as possible, but I’ve always remembered that anyone in the future might read this blog and judge me on it.

I no longer believe that this space is for that purpose anymore.  This is my private little space on the internet and I don’t want to have to censor myself (even subconsciously), or worry about how often I’m posting.  I don’t need this blog to have posts I have written in advance and edited. 

And so, once again this blog is going through another change.  I am going to do my best to forget that anyone is reading (though of course I’ll still love receiving comments and visiting other blogs). I am going to post when I feel like posting, whether that be once in a week or three times in one day.  I am going to be even more open, but only if that’s what I want to write about.  So that is why I am changing the background. I am reclaiming this space and making it just for me.

For now I am going to continue posting ‘Memories That Have Made Me’ on Fridays (sorry I missed the past few, but they will recommence this week) because it is a series I love writing.  I am also going to be working on some of those many ideas, and you can be sure I will share all about it here when I feel the time is right. 

I hope you’ll want to continue following my journey through life, but I won’t be offended if you don’t.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Living Without Internet

Honestly I was very worried about having to live without the internet for more than a couple of days.  It wasn’t that I thought I’d get bored (after all, I grew up without internet or television so I’m quite happy to turn to books), but the fact that effectively my entire life is conducted through the internet.  I shop online. I follow the news online (albeit rarely).  I use the internet to motivate and inspire myself.  And, most importantly, I socialize online.  So yes, living without internet for almost two weeks was not something I was looking forward to.

For the first few days I was mostly resting and getting used to the new flat so I didn't really have time to notice not having the internet.  After that I started really noticing its absence – mainly because my days suddenly seemed extremely long.  It’s so easy to forget just how much time gets sucked away as we sit in front of a screen and ‘just do this one thing’.  Suddenly I found that not only did I have time to rest more than I needed (and now I have the internet this is the bit I’m struggling with the most), but I also had all the time I needed to read books, unpack (still got a long way to go though), and start playing the Sims 3 again.

What struck me most though, was that after a week or so, I was suddenly hit with an influx of ideas.  Ideas has always been something that I struggle with; often I have almost-ideas that I can’t quite get a grip on.  Apparently living without internet gave my mind the space to fill itself with new and exciting projects that I definitely will be getting started on soon (you know, once I've worked out how to fit productive me alongside the internet and unpacking).  Needless to say this has left me motivated and positive, which are two things I can always use more of.

The other, rather surprising, thing I found out was that writing my 750 words has finally become a habit.  Admittedly for the first few days I didn't write anything.  Usually I do my words on the website each day (not necessarily in the morning), and I was more than a little upset I had to break my 128 day streak (you can only ‘go on holiday’ for up to 10 days for some reason).  And so I figured it would be like all the other times I've stopped doing 750 words regularly, ie. a real pain to get back into.  It turns out that it has finally become such a deeply ingrained habit that this is not a problem and I soon found myself doing them automatically on my computer every day, even though I wasn't pressuring myself to do them.  I guess now I just have to decide on what to work on to become my next ingrained habit (I’m thinking meditating, but welcome any suggestions).

Living without internet for so long (okay, just shy of 2 weeks) has given me a lot of food for thought, and making me question whether I want this to become a regular thing every few months; but for now I’m just going to relax, get used to my new place and enjoy the wonders of the world (and more) at my fingertips once again.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Sunday Shout Out: Stone Soup

If you have talked to me at all in the past few months, there is a high chance that I will have started raving about the Stone Soup website, and honestly I have no idea why I haven't shared it with you before.

Stone Soup is a foodie blog  by Jules Clancy which is packed with simple and easy recipes - usually with less than 5 ingredients, and which take less than 10 minutes to prepare, which is great for me as the carer in the evening only comes for 15 minutes (at least in this new place they are allowed to use the oven!).

To be honest I've only used 2 recipes so far, and only 1 of which has become a staple in my cooking (find it here); but the thing I love most about this website is what I have learned about cooking from it.  Jules talks about recipe 'templates' and through reading her blog I have found myself a little more open to playing around with recipes and seeing what happens, and what 'concoctions' (as many of my carers refer to them) I can come up with.  So far this is the only website I've found that focuses more on the intuitive aspects of cooking, which is why I'm a huge advocate of it.

If you pop by Stone Soup let me know what you think in the comments, and feel free to suggest any foodie blogs you follow.

By the way she also has a YouTube channel.

[Disclaimer: I was not asked to write about this site, nor am I receiving any benefit in any way by endorsing it, I just love sharing great finds with you.]

Thursday, 6 June 2013

I Have Internet

So I've had internet since Monday evening, but haven't managed to post here until now due to major overdoingitness.  This has also led to complete blank mind about everything I wanted to write about (don't worry, next week I should be back into the swing of things of having internet, so will be updating then), but I just felt I needed to let you know that I am now reachable.  If you want to shoot me a message your best bet is probably Twitter @Tamara_Epps as I hang out there a lot, but I also read every comment you leave here and am so appreciative of them.

Guess that's it for this super short update, and will be back with some proper bloggyness soon.