Eureka

Yes, it is literally years since I wrote in my blog.  I can give you loads of excuses as to why, but I’m not going to bother.  I’m just going to draw a line under it, pick myself up, dust myself off and start again.

As human beings, we are on a journey, and it doesn’t seem to matter what age you get to, you  keep learning.  We fill ourselves with knowledge about our jobs and interests, but it’s when we learn about ourselves that the biggest changes occur.

I sell makeup because I love the makeup I sell.  It’s ethical, cruelty free, plant based products and is exactly what I was looking for, for years.  The difficulty for me has been how I sell it.  It’s all about network marketing and, in that, has been terrifying.  You see, I can stand in front of 50,000 strangers and sing to them, but please don’t put me in the middle of that crowd, or any smaller one.  I struggle to function at parties or speak to new people.  I am happiest surrounded by people who know and like me, but put me in a room of new people and I am completely out of my comfort zone.  So much so, that I am prone to panic attacks, heart palpitations and breathing becomes difficult.  Not what you’d expect of an entertainer eh?

Network marketing is about meeting, talking to and befriending anyone and everyone.  It’s about sharing your enthusiasm and love of the product you believe in.  It letting people see who you are and letting them in.  Now that’s scary.

Thankfully, with my company, comes a lot of help and self development and that’s what I have been doing over the last 10 months.  I have been trying to “sort myself out” and get over the crippling fear of reaching out to people, but to little avail.  I didn’t feel I was making progress and I began to question myself.

What is it that’s holding me back?  Why do I have these fears?  What is my mental block that makes me too scared to try?

My eureka moment came yesterday as I was driving in my car.  What came, like a bolt from the blue, was that subconsciously I am not good enough.  Who I am isn’t good enough.  What I do isn’t good enough.  People don’t like me because I’m not good enough.  In short, I am not enough!

Strangely I found this liberating.  Finally I realised that the reason I feel not good enough is because as a child, that is what I was taught.  My family were all shy, undemonstrative, quiet people.  I was the opposite.  I sang, I danced, I laughed, I cried, I talked loudly, with gusto.  They all say I wanted to be the centre of attention and I was outgoing and maybe that was true.  With my siblings and parents telling me to calm down or people wouldn’t like me…  Be quiet people are looking….  People don’t like pushy individuals…..  You’ll never be any good….  Dreams are just dreams, they’re not real…do you always have to be so loud?…  You don’t sing, you shout!…. Stop getting overexcited…. and much worse, every ounce of confidence was stripped away and although I am a singer and I am incredibly happy in my life in general, I have realised, only yesterday, that as a Mum and Grandmother, singer, writer and everything else I am,  my subconscious mantra has always been, “You can’t do this, you are not good enough and you are not enough”

The liberation comes from finally knowing and the freedom will come from retraining my subconscious.  So now, everyday,  every time I remember, I say out loud, for only me and my dogs to hear, “I am enough.  I am good enough.  It’s ok to be me.”

It’s going to be a huge learning curve and I am going to have to mindfully analyse  every thought process until it becomes ingrained, but the fear has taken a huge step back and I am grateful for that.  Not out of the woods, but better.

It reminds me of how careful we have to be when we speak with children.  How damaging we can be to little minds, without realising what we are doing or saying.  Careless or deliberate words can cause years of misery and self doubt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A busy weekend

My day off begins with sunshine, warmth and a smile. Today, I am going to find birthday presents for two people. One, a very close friend and two, my husband. I am not really a lover of shopping. I like to know what I am going for, find it after having a massive trying on session in one shop, buy it and come home, unless it’s clothes for me. Then I like to go to one shop, find it, try it on, pay for it and come home. There is nothing more tedious than traipsing around a myriad of shops in search of something that fits or looks right. I sound like a dream shopper for the man in tow, but believe me I’m not, because invariably I end up going everywhere to find one thing. I am so fussy about my clothes and if I buy something I don’t feel comfortable in, it stays in the wardrobe. Hence the tedious traipsing.

Today though, I have people to buy for and I know which shops I am hitting. The ideas for gifts aren’t definite. I am trying to remain open minded so it could all change by the end of the day.

The weekend was busy with gigs. I had a Valentine’s dinner dance on Friday and as usual, it was a night for romantic slushy songs. It’s the only night of the year I can sing so many slow songs and get away with it. Asking for requests usually brings “lady in red”, irrelevant that I am a woman singing about another woman. No one cares as long as it’s heard and danced to. Saturday though, made a Valentine’s change. Another friend has her birthday the day after her husbands, so they had a joint birthday party and asked me to sing. Very few slow songs that night. Instead they partied, ate, drank and danced the night away, culminating in my friends favourite song, “Raining men.” image

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They loved my mic stand and pretended to be either lead or backing singers. It made me smile. A great night had by all and Happy birthday guys. Hope the heads weren’t too sore the next day.

Unfortunately, my hubby and I couldn’t celebrate Valentine’s this year. Usually we go out the day before or after, but the day before I was working and the day after was a collapse day. That’s what happens when you work all day and most of the night for 48 hours. Oh well, next year it is.

Fasting again

For a day off, yesterday proved to be a really busy day. The vampires were out in the morning drawing blood for a cholesterol test. I spent too much money on new clothes and then I played taxi service for my hubby before joining him in the evening for dinner and raising money for charity. It was a good night with good friends and lots of laughter. The whole theme of the evening was Ye Olde English Night, with lots of old songs with changed lyrics to suit the occasion. There was a fining system where people had to pay fines for various misdemeanours or sometimes for being too good. Anyone who snitched on someone else also got fined and it became quite loud and hilarious.

Mondays, however, have been designated as fasting days and after a disastrous weekend, where I put on almost a Kilo in 2 days, I was quite desperate to get back to it. With a dinner booked for the evening, there was little point though, so today is the day. Being a vegan means that my two meals can be low calorie as long as I miss out the carbs, so I intend to make a huge batch of chilli today and can’t wait to scoff it.

Chilli made with different beans is one of my favourite dishes. It took me a long time to develope the taste for this Mexican dish. While a meat eater I always found it on the hot side and because there is no sweetness to it, I was not a great lover. Enter my husband, who loves chilli and it was necessary to like it. Thus over time I was converted and when I decided to become a vegan, I had to find a good substitute to the carnivore variety.

I really like this 5:2 fasting diet, because I don’t feel deprived. I do get tired and with gigs this week and working day and night, I am a little worried about how I will cope. Also because Of missing my fast day yesterday, I have to do my 2 fast days close together. Only one eating day between them, which could spell trouble. My poor hubby might be in for a rough time. I will try desperately not to snap his head off, whilst in the throws of tiredness, but can’t promise I will be completely sane. Bless him. Duck love, duck!!

Music and Memories

Oh my goodness. What a mare. I managed to log myself out of my blog and having never done that before, I couldn’t remember my login details. It’s taken me three days to sort it out, because getting back in is not obvious at all. Anyway, here I am once again.

Today is Saturday and the day for my radio show. It’s a chat show, where I invite local people to come and talk about themselves, their businesses and interests. I have featured authors, charities, complimentary health practitioners, singers, artists and many more interesting people. They each choose 3 songs that they love and it’s a fantastic way to learn about people.

One of the best things, is the varied choices of music. We had a large glut of the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, but mostly it shows just how wide our tastes are. Even in the pop field, there are so many genres and no two people have chosen the same 3 songs. Young people can choose old songs and older people choose new ones. Each tune carries a memory and the ones that stick are associated with happy times.

Although we have our favourite sad songs, it seems the ones that define our lives are the ones that call to mind our happiest memories. Teenage years feature really high, as does the “our song”, when we have met our life partner.

I truly love my show on a Saturday and meeting such an eclectic group of people and I love their differing tastes in music, because people’s choices fascinate me. Today I will be playing Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, which apart from being an all time great, is a personal favourite. It reminds me of my teenage years living in a huge farmhouse with my family. My brother would belt this out as loud as he could from his bedroom at the back and the house was so big, that no one in the front could hear it. Good memories of my brother in his Led Zeppelin phase. He even got a perm to look like Robert Plant and I liked it. I was young and always impressed by my big brother.

Good music equals happy memories.

Trials of separation.

Today is the last day before my husband disappears off to Germany for a month.  We have always been pretty insular in our relationship.  We have fantastic friends but we love to be in each other’s company the most.  I know of many marriages where people make excuses to spend time away from each other and if that works for them, then fine.  It doesn’t work for us.

During our 16 years, we have always worked together and so can often be in each other’s company for 24 hours a day, but apart from the odd bicker; because we don’t row; we are happy with that scenario.  A month apart therefore, is very difficult to cope with.

The last time he went, I must confess, I had a great time.  I was busy with work so I couldn’t mope around and I had lots in invitations from friends to join them for dinner.  I arranged a girly night and had some girlfriends round for a Big Girls Pyjama Party.  It was brilliant, just like being a kid again but with alcohol.  We had facials, manicures, pedicures, music, and giggles.  In fact, when my hubby cane home, I was quite put out at having to stop the constant socialising.  I had fun.

This time, my daughter has decided to spend most of the month with me.  She is bringing my granddaughter and grandson and has informed me that I am going to teach them to swim while they are here.  Apparently I taught her and her sister but Wierdly, I have no recollection of that, but, if being Nana is teaching them to swim, that’s a good job done.  We will have fun and it will be great to spend more time together than we have been able to in years.  We are still going to have a girly afternoon or two though, where the girls of the pyjama party persuasion will be invited.  I think maybe the Big Girls BBQ.

I will fill my time with fun stuff and enjoy my grandchildren, but I hate this last day.  Tomorrow’s trip to the airport and the goodbye for a month is looming at me.  The thought of coming home to an empty house is horrible and so are all the extra jobs I have to take on because they are usually his.

I know the dogs will be unsettled because a pack member has gone and I will have to change their routine so that they sleep in my room.  That’s not because they won’t stay in their own bed, but because I keep hearing odd noises when I am on my own.  If the dogs bark, I have something to worry about.  If they don’t, I know all is well.  Unless I have deaf dogs.   Since we met, my husband and I have had a phrase.  “I know I can live without you, but I don’t want to.” and after all our years together, that is still the case. Mushy? Maybe, but true.

The time nears and the packing starts.  Maybe one day when I am making money through writing, either he won’t have to go or I can go with him.  Who knows, but for now, we have to go through this ritual and I live in awe of the people who do this on a regular basis.  We are pack and separation is unnatural.

A stressy day.

Ok, so it hasn’t been a particularly stressful day but irksome would probably be more accurate.  I had many plans, but for some reason I don’t feel like I have achieved much.  I have started making a check list every day.  It’s mainly for one reason and that is to make sure jobs get done, so that I have enough time to write.

I read a blog this morning which issued a challenge and I decided to take it up.  For the next 30 days, I am going to make sure I swim for 30 minutes.  I do have this procrastinating attitude to exercise and although I promise myself faithfully that I will stick to my regime, I can be found convincing myself that 3 times a week is enough and I’ve done them already.  By swimming first thing when I get up, it gets it out of the way and I can concentrate on other things.  In theory anyway.

That done, I then turn to phone calls and annoyingly having to sort out something that I thought had been organised yesterday, but no, apparently it’s too difficult to give me the correct number when I first ring in.  I have to waste time, my frustration and phone calls to get someone to answer the question.  Nothing too bad, just a little irritating.

Then shopping.  Food shopping is one of my least favourite things to do without my hubby on hand.  It’s always way too heavy for me to lift inside in one go and invariably one of the bags breaks.  Then there’s finding a home for it all.  Boring!  Never mind though, it has to be done, so off I go.  I notice that the door lock spins a couple of times before locking, but it’s done it before, so I wasn’t too bothered.

I bought a box.  It’s a collapsible plastic thing.  Perfect, I think.  I can get quite a lot of shopping in there.  It will fit in the boot of the car and stuff won’t roll around.  Pleased with myself for my organising head, I pack all the fruit, veggies and bottles in it, wheel the trolley to the car and… Find the boot of the car full of equipment. Husbands car! No other box is going to fit in there.

There is is a law here in Spain, that prohibits “stuff” being put on the seats and it’s a hefty fine if you are caught.  Ok, I can’t put it there then. I know, I’ll put it in the front footwell.  So I pick it up and realise it’s really heavy.  In fact, it’s so heavy that the box suddenly seems a bit flimsy.  Add to the fact that the temperature has soared into  the 30’s and I am struggling in full sunshine to manoeuvre this box that weighs a ton, between 2 parked cars to open the passenger door and deposit said box.  I wheeze and sweat and manage to get it in, only to find it’s about 2 cm too big and the door won’t close.  Oh joy.

The box ends up, with some not too gentle persuasion, balanced precariously on top of the stuff in the boot.  I drive home, praying that it won’t fall and break the eggs.  Luckily the eggs did survive, but yes, it fell.

I had to make a couple of trips to get things upstairs to my front door and the sun was not letting up.  I arrived there, overheated and in need of a drink, with my hands full and a bag of rapidly melting ice cream that I had, kindly,  bought for my husband, only to find that I couldn’t get in.  The front door key was just spinning and spinning I the lock.  Wonderful, thinks me and I ring my husband.

Suffice it to say that I eventually got in.  My head was pounding with the sun, my shoulders feel like I’ve just done 10 rounds with Lennox Lewis and it’s now much later than I expected.  Lunch, that’s what I need. So I start to prepare something and plan what I need to do next.  I have an hour of ironing, then cleaning for guests that are arriving on Thursday, I want to do some writing and I also need an hour practicing the piano.  I also have a gig tonight and looking at how many hours I don’t have left, I realise something is not going to get done.  Then the phone rings.

Its the owner of the bar that I am working at on Saturday.  Cancelling!  Great!!  No work, no money and little chance now of getting another gig at such short notice.  So my day has been irksome.  It is a day designed to take away pleasure.

This is now a decision for me to make.  Do I remain irked or shall I change it.  Well, first thing now is to take some pain killers to get rid of the tension headache, to have a quick jacuzzi to wind down and then enjoy my night.  I chose, you see, to change it.  Tonight I get to sing to some fabulous people in a fabulous place that has a view to die for.  The breeze will be in my hair and the music will flow.  Life doesn’t get much better than that!!

 

A Life of Sundays

It’s Sunday, she thought as she opened her eyes.

Sundays, as a child, had always been mind blowingly boring.  Apart from helping to cook Sunday lunch and the long winded trip to church, the day seemed to drag on forever.  There was too much time spent in the company of irritated parents who couldn’t wait to get the kids back to school the following day.  A childhood full of disappointing Sundays.

Sundays as an older teenager and young twenties, was spent sleeping and recouperating from the crazy partying that seem to accompany that age.   If enough time was passed in sleep, the monotony of the day never broke through the drink addled haze.  If there was a boyfriend on the scene, the afternoons would find her lips glued to his or slouched on the sofa, watching a movie. Sunday was a wasted day.

When the children came along, Sundays were a crazy day.  There was little chance of a lie in as there was always someone ready to bounce on the bed, shout “Mummy, I’m hungry.” Or  “Mummy, look what she’s done!” Or a high pitched wail as someone got their fingers caught in the door again. The only chance of the day not being spent in a state of mayhem, was to take the cherubs out and let them run off some of their pent up energy.  Sundays were exhausting.

Sundays with teenagers was different again.  Time was spent standing at the bottom of the stairs, either yelling for them to get out of their lazy beds or trying to be heard above the sound of the latest music craze.  There was the inevitable “Is your homework done?” followed by the excuses as to why it wasn’t, the ensuing argument and the “I hate you.” stomp up the stairs and slam of the bedroom door, shaking the whole house off it’s foundations.  Sundays were spent praying for Monday morning to arrive early.

Then came the Sunday when the front door closed for the final time. The car packed with boxes, pulled off the drive as the last child disappeared to their own home.  After years of looking after so many people, nothing could prepare her for the devastation of no longer having anyone to care for.  Sundays were silent, eerie and sad.

It’s Sunday, she thought as she opened her eyes.  Today is a day full of possibilities.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the garden is full of flowers. There is music to play and art to behold, dogs to walk, books to read. What shall I do today? She smiled. I think I shall do everything I want to.  Sunday is my day.