Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Violets and Pinks

Just a few little musings today as I try to ease myself back into blogging. I really enjoy writing, but I must admit with working five days a week I find it hard to find the time, or I forget or I'm simply too tired.   I want this to change though, otherwise I will always be finding an excuse not to be writing!  

With the spring arriving and actually warming up for a sunny day or two, we've been persuaded out into the garden.  My first foray outside was actually a rescue mission - the grass went into overdrive and the lawn warranted a good mowing - but the lawn was also strewn with teeny, tiny violets and I couldn't let them be devoured by the lawn mower, so I picked as many as I could - much to the annoyance of my teen boy who 'needed' lunch at the very same moment!   With such tiny treasures I needed the right pot to put them in.

Off I went with a particular old glass salt pot in mind, though little direction as nothing has really found a home yet, despite being back for over a year now.  I'll have random days of tidying or decluttering and stuff just gets moved - I do frustrate myself at times!  Along the path of not knowing where to look, I found the perfect pot.  A little egg cup I'd bought at one of last year's Vintage Car Boot sales in Yarmouth.  Perfectly decorated with Holly Hobbie,  The egg cup is dated 1978 - the time I carried round my own Holly Hobbie doll in matching patchwork bag!   It's 40 years ago!  Where has all the time gone?  Holly Hobbie is still a fond memory, and my mini Holly Hobbie still sits in my bedroom (she is awaiting a new hairdo as her hair unfortunately fell off).   Why does it not feel like 40 years?  Time is rather mystifying to me at the moment - I still remember where I bought my dolly, it feels like no time at all since my twins were babies and they now have their own life in Australia and now my youngest is a teenager ...

and here's a very tenuous time link - the life cycle of a flower - it happens year after year, the seed growing, a beautiful flower blooms, then it withers and dies.  Much like my lovely pink camellia ( I think it's a camellia!).   This was taken a few days ago, I love how it looks like God got his paintbrush out with the perfectly placed stripes, but now the flower has faded and gone brown ...  I'm not saying I'm withering and wrinkling like an old flower, but maybe it's good and healthy to look at our lives as a process, then we can be kinder to ourselves as we age and time passes.

Maybe it's time to stop musing :) 


Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Here and Now

As usual here I am, entering at the eleventh hour!  There are other here and now stories to link to on the Say Little Hen blog :)

Loving //   The fact that spring finally is coming out of hiding!

Eating //   Far too much chocolate

Drinking //  Spicy orange fruity infusion!  Comforting beyond measure :)

Feeling //   Peaceful - long may it last

Making //   A mess ... playing with colours to paint better faces

Thinking //   About the good things in life ... like the hawthorn blossoms I saw this morning, and took the time to admire.

Dreaming //   All the lovely summer dresses I could make. 

Ooops!  On checking I've just discovered that the chance to link up my blogpost has expired, but I'm still publishing as it's a good exercise in gratitude and a lesson in meeting deadlines!

Join in next month with me (around the 10th of the month!)

Larissa x

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Oh my ... how time does fly ... in the blink of an eye ...

Oh my ... who would believe we are already one quarter of the way through the new year ... and this is my first blog post of 2018!

It's taken me ages to get around to publishing this post - I've been thinking about what to write; procrastination has led to inaction.  I've been scared to admit that I have been unwell.   Everything that has happened in my life over the past couple of years or so finally caught up with me and I caved under the weight of complete overwhelm.   Although it's been a part of my life (diagnosed at least) for over 20 years, it is still difficult to admit that I struggle with depression and anxiety.  Someone said to me the other day that I shouldn't let it define me, and of course she was right but it got me to thinking, do I over-identify with it?  If I let it rule my life completely and was unable to function at all then yes, that might be the case.  However, I believe that I have come to an acceptance that this is a part of me, and I have to learn to  manage it and most of all to love myself even with this 'shadow' aspect.  A few years ago I remember saying to myself that I would never have depression again and that I would fight it with all my might ... and how did that work out?  As you may have guessed, not that great, basically the more I resisted, the more it persisted!  After a particularly nasty episode, I decided to walk towards it, and 'befriend' the anxiety and depression (I know how weird that sounds, but that's how it is), and since then I've come to more of an understanding of myself and how my mind works, I'm able to function and find a (stumbling) way through the mess.  I still fall, but then I get up.  If that's identifying with my depression, then I am happy to carry on.

What's really helped with me this time is my creativity - I've been making myself paint, even when I didn't feel like it and even if I felt my creations were awful!  A fair few were scribbled over, ripped up and put in the bin, but maybe that was all part of the process.  Now I feel like I'm coming out the other side, everything feels calmer and I'm actually enjoying the painting.  I can tell you, forcing yourself to do the painting when you're not enjoying it is hard, but I'm glad I persevered.  And admitting I was feeling sad and having a really good cry helped more than you can imagine!

Did any of that make sense at all? :)

What I'm trying to say is, I still feel a little heart-sore, my head is not working at full capacity, but like a toddler I'm finding my way.  It feels good to be back, and I'm going to try and blog more as writing is another creative activity that makes my soul sing xxxx    The sun is shining too.

love to everyone out there, wherever you are on your journey x


PS  The artworks are mine from the Lifebook 2018 lessons.  You can still sign up to join - I think it's fab!

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Goodbye 2017

My word collage for 2018 - it's being added to as the day goes on ...
Didn't I do well?   Not!   I let my blogging fall by the wayside as I took on a new job for 5 days a week and let it totally overwhelm me!  I let myself become so stressed and worried about what I was doing well/badly, how I was fitting in with the team and taking these anxieties home with me.  First lesson for 2018 is to not take life quite so seriously and give myself time to look around and see the good stuff too!   I feel like 2017 has been a year for hunkering down after 3 years of seemingly endless stress and loss - 2017 has not been as 'exciting' but it has been a good time of rest and recuperation - getting strong again after life went down paths I found testing :)

Although I have mixed feelings about the new year, viewing it as a time of endings, I've realized I'm also grateful to it for giving me the opportunity to reflect on my past year and look forward to dreams for the next 12 months and beyond.   Already I'm thinking of creative ideas for my art, which I'm going to re-establish this year, starting with the fabulous Lifebook to get my creative muscles working again - it starts tomorrow :)   I'm also going to get myself moving more by undertaking the couch to 5k program - I attempted it a few years ago in Australia but stopped because I got too hot - I don't have that excuse this time round!   It's all training for the Isle of Wight Challenge which I'll be doing in May 2018.   And I'll be getting this blog into shape too!  Now you have an inkling of what I will be sharing this next year ...

What are your hopes and dreams for 2018?

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Lifting the spirits

Oh dearie me ... the breaks in between posting just keep on happening!  I think I will set myself a new challenge of how long can I make 100 days of blogging last!

Unfortunately, my 'flu-type' illness morphed into a 'chesty and not able to really breathe very easily' kind of illness and I have been laying low at home for a few days recovering.  Today I ventured out to post a letter to a friend and returned home in fine fettle, no breathlessness to spoil my home-coming.  The other aim of the walk, as well as to test fitness levels, was to try and subdue the out of this world pinkness of my new running shoes.  Alas, it did not work, but I'm sure after a few mornings of pootling up and down our muddy, forest trails that problem will sort itself out :)

As you know, I do most sincerely believe that being creative has restorative powers, and my little project today was doubly so - good for the mind and the body; I made a lovely soft bra as the underwired ones I usually wear have been most uncomfortable as I've been fighting my 'like a chest infection, but not really one' complete with aching chest.  Soft bras are so much more comfortable and allow you to be a bit freer without unleashing mayhem into the world, if you see what I mean.  An extra added bonus was the sun streaming through the window, illuminating my sewing spot with it's warming rays which did much to warm and lift the spirits.  I will share more maker details about this in the near future.

I do remember my mum saying that the flu can make you feel rather down; with this in mind I spent a small part of my day making notes on what I can do to lift my mood and keep me well - of late I have felt my mental health, although not slipping exactly, has felt like it's following a slightly descending path and I need to pay attention to it. I think I have unwittingly found myself a project, which if it goes as I'm hoping, I will share here.   Perhaps at the end of my extremely long 100 days of blogging ... but maybe sooner.  It's just at the seed stage at the moment.

What a lovely random post, much like my day really. 

Larissa x

Thursday, 2 November 2017

After the break

Choosing relaxation - a stroll along the cliff path at Shanklin
Well, I did say life might happen and stop my well laid plans for blogging 100 days non-stop - indeed it did!  I was laid low by a horrible flu-like bug for a couple of weeks and started a new job very recently which has tired my poor brain out - suppose that will happen after starting a very nearly full-time job after years of being a full-time mum/part-time worker.  I just didn't know what hit me!  It's good to be learning new things and new ways of working, as well as meeting new people.  It's not giving me time to ruminate as I could be prone to doing when spending lots of time by myself at home whilst wee man and hubby were out being busy at school and work.  So, it's a good sort of tired, the sort of tired you get from having 'done stuff' and making your brain work!

My socks ...
I'm still feeling a tad under the weather from my 'flu thing' - hoping I will feel well enough soon to take up running again after a significant amount of time not running.  I would love to do a park run early in the new year.  At the moment I get quite breathless, but have noticed that this week I can walk from the car to work slightly quicker :) 

... somebody else's socks ...
For now my creativity is very Christmas focussed as I knit socks for people and have a few handmade gifts to post overseas; I'd better get a move on - can you believe it's November already? 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Little Things

Some days it's hard to get going and to keep going throughout the day.  It might be due to tiredness, sad memories or errant hormones (boo).  Whatever the cause, there is a cure, but you do have to work at it - it's practising gratitude, giving thanks for those blessings in life, however small.  The most important thing is to find that small thing, and say thank you.

When I found myself feeling a little lacklustre today, I went into the garden and found the first thing to be grateful for - sunshine - not the warmth of a summer's day, but a gentle light on my face.  Thank you.

I was mesmerized by the tweeting of the blue tits as they flew over my head when I went over to our oak tree.   Thank you.  I enjoyed the quiet time pottering around in the garden, putting away old plant pots, cutting up old and spent plants for the compost heap.  Thank you.

I don't mean to sound smug, but I have felt low many times before and trying to see one tiny thing and to be thankful for that tiny thing has helped stop my spirit from getting lower and starts it on the path upwards again many a time.

Hope you enjoy the pictures of the things I saw in my garden that make me smile.

Gratitude is a powerful thing.  x

Larissa x

Violets and Pinks

Just a few little musings today as I try to ease myself back into blogging. I really enjoy writing, but I must admit with working fiv...