Wednesday 5 November 2014


It's pretty obvious now to look back and realise October was always going to be a sh*t month. See, it had normally been November that I struggled with. No particular reason but it was always tough. I'd always need extra time to meditate and generally I find myself more distracted or in a 'daydream state' in November.

The end of September was looking promising with me finding a good routine with meditation, I was running again and generally I felt good. Right at the end of September, I made the ultimate fail in running preparation and didn't warm up correctly so of course I got injured. I've only just started to get back into running again now, it felt like a massive step back from my restart. It did change my mood and generally I felt low in myself. The more I knew I couldn't run, the more I wanted to, the more it annoyed me.

Me... getting annoyed at not running? Weirdo.

From this start, October became all about putting out fires. Everything seemed to be coming at me and all I wanted to do was to get out and pound my feet along the street. I managed to ease myself back into bikram yoga again once my injury had eased slightly (I think I healed quicker because of stretching in the heat) and that helped a lot. It wasn't enough but it helped.

Turns out that October must have been my November this time around. It caught me off guard but maybe that's a better way to actually deal with it. The end of October saw moments that things might be changing for the better which gave me hope. The start of November has continued those moments too and it's of course better for me being able to get running again. Then there are the people who make it better just by not even knowing that they are doing it, that counts for a lot too.

At the beginning of October I couldn't see the wood for the trees but right now I really can see. Amazing what a month can do.

Monday 8 September 2014

Back to school...

I had noticed over the last couple of days that a few bloggers had been going with the 'back to school' theme, even if they were not actually going back to school. As someone who had lost their way with exactly what I was doing with my little space on the interweb, I decided to jump on this theme as a new starting block for me too.

Whilst many do see the start of a year to be about resolutions and goals, I have to confess that it's September that gives me more of a focus. I might have left school years ago (more than I care to count) but some habits cannot be broken. Here are my 'back to school resolutions'

To blog more - quite simply I will be updating this blog more. For someone who ALWAYS has something to say it has been weird that I've felt disconnected from this blog. It's mine. It's helped me through some pretty tough times and I do miss it. I can't promise I'll be here each week but you will definitely see me here at least once a month.

Get organised - I've felt recently that I'm not as organised as I could be. I have felt sometimes like I'm treading water a bit and really it's just a fluke that stuff is getting things done - sorry Dad, I will get better at GTD. I have got my work schedule under control now it's just everything else that I need/want to fit in, all starting with home. I've started on a new system in the last week, which is partly why I'm here writing this now as it was in my schedule. So that has worked! I'm trialling out a few methods which I'll share on here once I've got into a more regular swing with it all.

Run it - I'm back running again. It hurts a lot and people seem to focus more on why it might be hurting me (running style) than actually congratulating me for getting running again. My knee feels good and I hope that I can keep this up through the colder months... the rain and the dark nights do not become my best running friend. I'll get there. I've organised a running plan, mixed with some yoga and also a little bit of weight training which I've never really done before. I haven't made a weekly plan but a monthly one as my schedule and life get pretty busy at times so I have instead scheduled a number of times I need to workout across the month. I've always worked to a weekly plan before so even that is making me feel a little at sea.

Coping with my anxiety better - It's never going to go completely, it's always there. Sometimes it might go for a while but it always comes back. I am getting better at dealing with it when it's here and that's something that can always continue to be improved on. 

Bake more - Quite simply I want to bake more. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a hot water crust pastry until last week's Bake Off - I have much to learn apparently! 

Learn a new language - I've been promising to do this for years but I have scheduled time to do it this time around. 

The thing is a lot of my life comes down to being organised. I'm not saying I'm prepared for everything but I do work better with a bit of structure. Maybe that's why I did enjoy school, the routine of it all. 

I wouldn't want to go back. I'm happy in the here and now. 

Wednesday 11 June 2014

The BIG Thirty

This year sees my brother turn 'the BIG thirty' and whilst 30th birthday's are special ones, this one is even more special. My brother Jonathan has Down's Syndrome and he could not be more excited about his birthday, mainly because everyone keeps asking him what he wants to do. The majority of his answers are food related, BBQ's are a popular favourite with his birthday being around the August bank holiday. Also he LOVES them and would be quite happy to have one when it snows...

There are no real plans set yet but every week the list of ideas grow. Just today I thought about two more ideas, it's quite clear that his birthday might be celebrated for the entire year! Which actually is pretty much deserved.

At school I had to do a project for English class and I picked my brother as my project choice. Whether this was coerced by the school to help others learn about Down's Syndrome as my brother was at the same school as me or maybe it was my own idea, I don't know. I suspect it might have been a bit of a mix of the two. I don't remember my parents telling me that Jonathan had Downs, they must have done at some point! But I don't remember it at all.

Investigating Down's Syndrome for this project I remember confused me and it was through this that I found the most devastating piece of information.

 The average person with Down's Syndrome will have a life expectancy into their mid-twenties.

I didn't cry. I didn't ask my parents about it. I just accepted it. It sounds heartless the way that I have written it but there wasn't a thing that I could do to change it. In a way, I guess I accepted it. Like I accepted he was slower to learn things than I was; slower to crawl, to walk, to talk.

I never thought about that sentence until a few weeks ago, just after my birthday when I suddenly had a flashback to that moment. It was almost a celebration of the fact he was still here, he had beaten those odds that years ago seemed like his fate. Advances in technology and advancements in care have seen the average expectancy rise up to the 60's and beyond.

So with a bit of planning he should be in for the best 30th birthday ever. That's my plan!

*The above song was the first song that my Mum heard after my parents were told that Jonathan had Down's Syndrome. Always such a beautiful song with special meanings for us :-)

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Sunday 2 March 2014

The Overthinker

Yep that's me. If there was an award for overthinking, I'd win it.

I can go from thinking about something quite small and turning into this massive problem that escalates quickly. It's a cruel trick that my brain can play on me and sometimes it can leave me feeling powerless to stop. I can't say that these tips always help me as sometimes I do still struggle to get through the overthinking times but when I'm more in control, these help:-


Obviously! But I take a really big deep breath and instantly I feel calmer.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

I like the new you...

On my instagram there are over 250 photos and before this month the only photo of me on there was my profile photo. The standard photo that I had used across social networks for years. I've never been a "selfie" person and there are probably under ten photos of myself that I really like in the whole world. My definition of really like is that my Mum has some hung up in her house and they don't make me cringe or make me want to turn them over out of sight.

Now on my instagram there are three "selfie" photos of me all tagged with that and self confidence because I feel more confident in myself. It's not that I was surrounded by negativity or that I felt down about myself but I guess getting confidence from an unexpected source made me look at things differently. The main change is believing in myself more.

I didn't mind that my most popular photos on instagram were ones of food or Old Trafford. Both beautiful things in their own right though ;-)

Tuesday 14 January 2014


I shouldn't even be drawing attention to this but today I almost had my first panic attack of 2014. No, it's not a celebration.

I have written before about how I deal with my panics and I have written the odd blog about them since but I've never kept count of them. I vaguely know that the last one I had was around October time, when none of my little tricks stopped it from overcoming me. 

Today was different although I had missed all the warning signs. It wasn't until my hands went numb and my breathing had started to get faster that I knew. I concentrated on getting my breathing back to normal and it didn't take hold. As I sat and waited for everything to return back to how it was, I cried.