As I write this, I am feeling a bit tired and flat. I had a busy week generally, as well as hosting a student, so that’s probably why. Not to mention having to drop her for the coach at 4 am – silly o’clock! However, feeling sorry for myself without good reason is not my style. I need to give myself a kick up the backside with some more reasons to be cheerful and the promise of an afternoon nap. I have a lot to be grateful for, so here are my reasons to be cheerful today.
Our garden in spring time
Mr S has been super busy in the garden, putting up new fences between us and our horrible neighbour and painting them too. He has also found time to move the compost bin we use for kitchen scraps and create a little path to it with paving stones we were given by a friend. That will be much easier to get to when the weather is poor.
Even though the weather isn’t the best at the moment, the warmer temperatures mean that everything is blossoming and looking really nice and lush. I really love the big rosemary plant as it looks so pretty when it flowers. We use it loads in cooking too.
Exercise is good for you
Now that the pain from bulging discs and trapped nerves has finally started to abate, I am getting back to a regular exercise routine. I started very gently, with 15 minutes of yoga stretches every morning for the past 6 weeks. When you have had excruciating pain for months on end, it is a little terrifying to move too much for fear of kicking it off again. However, the opposite has happened. The more I move, the better I feel.
This week I have added another 10 minutes to my routine with some slightly stronger poses and some of the movements shown here. I couldn’t even lie comfortably a few months ago so haven’t been able to do many of them. It feels so good to feel I am getting control of my body back. I am hoping that if the improvement can be maintained I won’t need an operation after all. We shall see!
Looking forward to the Green Gathering
Something to look forward to in my list of reasons to be cheerful is the Green Gathering, taking place in August in Chepstow. It’s a festival with a difference. The organisers aim to put on an inspiring, diverse, non-commercial festival powered by solar and wind. You can still get 10% off the ticket price with an offer for Shoestring Cottage readers. See this post to find out how.
Controlling your emotional spending impulses
Keeping control of your finances is a hugely positive thing to do, and what this blog is all about. I was contacted recently by the charity Quaker Social Action. They have been working on a project called Made of Money, and have teamed up with award-winning animator Katy Wang on three video shorts delving into the little-known influences behind many of our financial habits. We’ve all heard of retail therapy, but what is really going on in our brain when we decide to treat ourselves with something we can’t actually afford? And do our very first experiences of money really stay with us well into adulthood?
One the aims of Made of Money is to encourage people to think critically the influences and pressures on their financial decisions. These videos are intended to be a starting point, to get us thinking and talking, so that we feel more confident about making our choices.
Check out the videos on You Tube here.
A worthwhile purchase
Recently I made a big, unemotional purchase! My old steam iron died after 10 years. Because I buy and sell clothing on eBay and elsewhere, I decided that rather than buying a bog standard iron, I would purchase one that could steam more delicate fabrics as well as iron as usual.
I am really pleased with this MECO steam iron from Amazon. You can even iron items whilst they are hanging without putting up the ironing board. I think it is going to save me a lot of time!
Saying goodbye and looking ahead
As I recently took voluntary redundancy and several of my colleagues were made compulsory redundant, we have decided to have one huge hooray to say good bye to our workmates. It seemed more sensible than having 8 separate leaving parties!
We got together to decide on venue and found a pub in town with a nice private space at a reasonable price. We are going to decorate it and dress ourselves up too. I am leaving in a couple of weeks, but the party is set for June, so I won’t have long to wait to see everyone again.
I am not sorry to go and I am so glad I chose redundancy rather than having to go through a brutal assessment process and possibly having it forced up on me. The only way to look now is forward. Onwards and upwards!
I hope you enjoyed my reasons to be cheerful and have some cause for gratitude as well. Please share in the comments below
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