Home Working or Lone Working?

Working-from-homeI’m amazed how fast this first half-term has gone. My youngest has settled nicely into full-time school, the transition was easier for her than it was for me. I miss them like crazy, and even after a week off together, our time seems to go so fast, I could do it all again. However, I look back over the years, when I was desperate for this time. Two young children, who are exactly 2 years apart, it was quite stressful to say the least. I used to long for the time when I could have uninterrupted working time, sleep and the energy to fulfil my goals. And now here I am … it all seemed to happen so quickly!

I just wanted to air my thoughts on working from home. Not so much the motivation, as I believe if you love doing something then you should have the motivation to do it! If you’re not motivated, then it could be time to have a think about your true goals and dreams in life. I wanted to talk more about the time aspect (where does it go?) and the isolation!

I thought when both my girls were at full-time school I would have copious amounts of time. But still I find I’m meeting myself coming backwards. I always set myself targets and I would advise anyone reading my inspirational books to do the same (which are FREE at the moment). However, I do set myself lots of targets, but I never cut myself up if they all haven’t been achieved, as there is a danger in having high expectations; the feeling you are not getting anywhere when you haven’t reached them (which I’ve found in the past). But now I realise that ‘EVERY STEP COUNTS’. As long as steps are being made then you are continually moving forward.

So these last few weeks I set myself realistic goals. I’m happy to say they have been achieved. I now have the Chaos Series out in paperback. My books are available on Smashwords (which is a great ebook website). These tasks took me longer than expected, due to the formatting procedures. However, they are now available in lots of other formats, which I’m very pleased about.

However, bearing in mind how busy I’ve been, I never thought about the loneliness of working from home. Although, I love my own time, but I am also a people-person. While writing this blog, I came across a website called Colleagues on Tap. This company has devised an amazing programme for people who work alone at home. I think it’s a wonderful idea. They have co-working days, events and much more. This is not only a great way of networking and being introduced to new businesses, but to make new friends too.

I have a friend, S.A Silva (her website is coming soon), she is in a similar position to me, writing in her own environment, she is a very inspirational lady and I love spending time with her. We have recently decided to work together. Just a day or so a week, but this interaction is important. If you can find someone who you can do this with, this is a fantastic way of easing the loneliness. Writing is a lonely job. Once you’re immersed in your characters you’re generally in another world, but there are times when human interaction is needed. But this goes for lots of other vocations that involve home-working. If you can find someone who will work with you rather than seeing this an opportunity to chat aimlessly. We found that we did chat but we were bouncing ideas of each other and it was so much fun. Colleagues on Tap do exactly this, so if you don’t have anyone who could help with your working day, I would recommend getting in touch with this organisation.

I love meeting like-minded people, so I’m pleased I’ve found a way of being able to spend time on my own at home when I need too, but also being able to have the interaction with other people. It doesn’t have to be a lonely place if you find those around you in the same position.

PHOTO CREDIT: www.housetohome.co.uk 

 

goal setting

photo credit: www.lorensworld.com

So it’s the end of September and like most months I find myself wondering what have I achieved this month.

There are two major things I haven’t achieved: getting the Chaos series into paperback and getting my books onto a website called Smashwords. But as always, I haven’t cut myself up about this, because I’ve done so many other things and I’m still moving forward.

My third book Never-Ending Chaos is now available and I’ve been networking and building relationships, so that’s been fun. On a personal note, I painted one of the rooms in my house that I was meant to do in the summer holidays, I’ve lost a stone, I’ve started exercising again and I stopped the vino up until the 26th September -which trust me, is a massive achievement for me.

Now, I’m really into goal-setting and working towards dreams. My inspirational book for 2013 gives weekly advice on setting goals. I’m a huge believer in not giving-up. Just because a certain task hasn’t been achieved by a certain date it doesn’t mean it won’t be achieved ever, it just needs to be given a new deadline date.

goal setting 2photo credit: www.dreamlinediary.com

 One of my favourite quotes is :

THE SMALLEST STEPS COUNT

And for building motivation and trying to push yourself forward, think of this:

THE TIME IS COMING ANYWAY, DO YOU WANT TO BE THINKING IN A MONTH’S TIME, SIX MONTH’S TIME OR A YEAR … IF ONLY I TRIED!

I’ve set my goals this month, and I’ve included getting the Chaos series into paperback and getting my books onto Smashwords. These sound like simple tasks, but formatting my books, so each platform will take them, is taking a lot longer than I anticipated. But this is fine. I’m learning as I go along.

So guys, set yourselves some goals. What do you want to achieve this month?

If you need some help, my inspirational books for 2012 and 2013 will be coming out FREE very soon. Daily quotes and weekly tasks will hopefully help you move forward. Just visualise how good you’ll feel when you have achieved your goal.

goal setting 3

photo credit: www.stage2planning.com

To drink or not to drink!

wine and tape measurephoto credit:www.cosmopolitan.com

In my last post, I mentioned I’d lost a stone in 3 weeks. I must admit, I am very pleased with myself. But not because of the stone (well, obviously that’s fantastic) but how I’ve lost it.

Now, this is where I admit I absolutely love wine! Not in an alcoholic way (well, maybe a little), but I love the 1st and 2nd glass the most, the sound of it swishing as it drops into the glass, the chilled feeling as it flows effortlessly down my throat and finally the ‘Aahh,’ sound I can’t help but air as my shoulders drop 2 inches. And also those cellars (just look at these at https://www.focuswinecellars.com/, amazing)!

Usually Friday and Saturday nights are my chilled vino time. However, when the kids are off school, this does admittedly creep into the weeknights too, plus the hot weather is so lovely but doesn’t help: sitting in the garden with a cider, shandy or a chilled glass of wine, is just perfect. So, I’m sure you can understand that I was mortified over the summer holidays when I put a stone on! The problem is I have more to worry about than the calories in the wine, because when I drink, I eat. I’m a savoury girlie: crisps, cheese sarnies with white bread and full-fat mayo and anything else that’s full of carbs … So, it’s quite understandable how this stone crept on in 6 weeks.

So, September came and I thought, I can’t continue like this, as on an average I could potentially put on at least 8 stone in a year! Not to even mention the health risks. So I decided to go totally cold turkey and not drink in September – well until last night (which I’ll tell you more about further down) – I’ve also introduced exercise into my routine, which I’m actually loving. I’ve been using a flabelos vibration plate (my good friend Rebecca has this in her home salon in Ingleby Barwick, so if you live near please do call/text on 07432147933 to find out more – it’s amazing). I’ve cut out all the rubbish, been eating very healthy and remember the GGS I told you about, that’s been my energy boost, as I was off caffeine until today! (Please read my past blog to find out more about GGS and how I learned to survive without caffeine, which used to be an essential part of my diet).

But yes, I’ll be honest I have found not drinking a struggle, but I’ve learned to find other mechanisms (such as exercise), and this makes me feel really good.

Anyway, so what happened last night? Well, I had a candle party, (if anyone is interested in holding a candle party, please visit www.tinabooth.partylite.co.uk/shop or phone Tina Booth on 07971 854881 – if you live out of the Teesside area, I’m sure Tina will point you in the right direction – gorgeous products, fab freebies for hostesses, all-in-all a great girlie night). There was laughter, wine, food and good company. So I decided that I deserved a glass or two of wine because I’d gone without for so long (well, long in my books). Unfortunately, although it didn’t feel so unfortuate last night, the one or two turned into about six, seven, eight, maybe more!

So, I awoke this morning (just!) thinking WHY? And I know many of you have been there before. And I have to ask, why do we do it?

The other problem with a hangover – because that’s exactly what this is – we then need stodge to keep us going throughout the day. So after the energy drink I downed after dropping the girls at school, I went through a litre of Pepsi Max, which I haven’t drank for months (so now I’ve broken the no calorie rule), and I’ve stuffed my face with crisps, chocolate and anything else that would make me feel better. But it hasn’t made me feel great but it has made me feel better than I would have felt without the help. But it’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it? Because now, although I feel very tired and wiped, I know the caffeine I’ve had will keep me awake tonight, so the best thing to do is have a few glasses of wine to help me sleep! I can now see how this cycle is so easy to get into, but with this in mind, I know that I can break it.

So I’m wondering if I can take my no drinking rule into October! I’ll keep you all posted. For anyone else out there who thinks they could do with cutting down on the alcoholic beverages, trust me, I really didn’t think the benefits would outway that 1st glass of wine … but the way I’m feeling today that can’t be the case 🙂 xx

North East Ladies Day – Fab Day Out!

drinkingchampagne

I’m not sure about all you other ladies out there, but I love a great day out with my girlie friends. (We just don’t do it often enough!)

Well, last week, I had the pleasure of being invited to The North East Ladies Day (NELD), by Janice Auton, Director of Not Just Any Wedding and Poppys Hairdressing.  A huge thank you to Janice. I had a great time and met some lovely people.

What a fantastic afternoon out at Hardwick Hall: champagne on arrival, wine on the tables, a gorgeous 3 course lunch, a fashion show by Joulani of Darlington and Jenny Eclair was a very funny guest speaker. All of this, plus the amazing charities that NELD raises money for. There were raffles and some fanastic Grand Draw prizes. In fact Val Boyers, who I’ve met several times and had the delight of sitting on the same table as, won a handbag worth over £100. Val is an amazing singer, and it was wonderful to hear her beautiful tones on arrival. Val is a lovely person, if anyone fancies live acoustic music for any occassion, Val is your lady. Such a gorgeous voice.

While there I thought, this is such a fab day out for a group of girlies. I was actually driving, (another blog post for another time – but I’ll tell you about my little September detox and how I’ve lost a stone through NOT drinking!!) so I couldn’t enjoy the wine that was on offer, however, I had such an uplifting fun time. I will definitely be getting a table next year with some of my girlie friends.

I mean, come on, what more do we want: an excuse to get dressed-up, champagne, wine, good food and a good laugh … perfect.

Please check out The North East Ladies Day for 2014. Defo, worth thinking about for any occassion: hen-party, birthdays … or just because you can!

PHOTO CREDIT: www.herrontraining.co.uk

 

My 4 year old has grown-up :-(

Well, the 6 weeks is over. Personally, I’m not sure where it has gone! Maybe because today is a big day in our household, I am changing my baby travel systems because my baby is not such a baby anymore, I didn’t feel as joyous or as ready as I thought I would. The thing is both my girlies are now in full-time school. Lexi joins YR2, and little Gabriella has started ‘big school’.

If you’d read my last blog (which was before the holidays) you’ll have realised I’d found school dinners quite unnerving. But now the time has come that my youngest (my baby) and her little 4 year-old friends are all taking that next step in their little lives. Another chapter for us all.

Now, as I mentioned in my previous blog, I thought I’d be skipping out of school, in fact, I thought I’d be running out of those school gates so fast all you could see was lightening. So why is it as I sit here writing this, I feel lost and I can’t take away that sick feeling? You know, the heavy lump that sits in the bottom of your stomach when something is bothering you! I’m constantly checking the time. I’ve been making note of the time they’ll be having snack, lunch, and as I write this I only have an hour and half to go before pick-up. It can’t come quick enough.

It was worse with Lexi we moved her schools in the first week of her starting full-time school, due to us moving house. I didn’t sleep for a week, but she was absolutely fine and settled straight in. Gabriella has her older sister to make sure she’s okay too, so really I have nothing to worry about. I know this, and by next week I’ll be loving my free-time to write my books, expand my wedding business and generally do all the things I’ve been dreaming of for the past 6 years. But I miss them! Lexi cried last night because she was going to miss me, and she didn’t want me to be lonely. I’m not going to admit to her that I do feel pretty lonely today, because that would just upset her more. But there are so many of you out there feeling lonely too. We’ve shipped our little ones off to full-time school, my little lunch partner has gone, my little friend who I discussed everything with on an afternoon has all grown up.

I’m not so much worried whether she’ll settle, (especially as I was with Lexi) but I’m worrying about little things. One of my main concerns is the whole toilet thing … will she ask when she needs it? And mainly will she wipe herself properly when doing a No2!? I worried about the same thing with Lexi who is absolutely fine and she didn’t even think about it, just got on with it. Gabriella has a tendency to go off in her own little world, will she listen when asked a question? Or will she listen full-stop? Will she be okay in the lunch hall? And in the big playground after (even though Lexi’s there!) The thing I know the answer is ‘yes’. I know many of you reading this will be shouting ‘of course she’ll be fine.’ And I know. I really do know. I just wish that rock would move out of my stomach!

Another concern is ‘Does she know enough?’ Does she know what she should know for her age? Will she pick things up okay? It’s not about my girlies being the brightest in the class, it’s about making sure she is happy. Making sure she doesn’t feel as if she’s struggling. I don’t want her to feel under-pressure. I was talking to my sister-in-law about this and she sent me a fab link which you must look at if you have similar thoughts to me: What Should A 4 Year Old know? I’d loved it.

Anyway, now I’ve distracted myself writing this blog, time is marching on (thankfully) I’m going to go and distracted myself with editing book 3! The book 3 which should have been out by now. However, I’ve totally enjoyed the holidays with my girlies and I’m just truly grateful that I had the time to spend with them.

And to all you parents who are feeling like me, I’m with you … you’re not alone xx