Sunday, 3 January 2016
Hello and Happy New Year!
I am sure you have read a million posts about this subject. Have you been told to call them goals instead of resolutions? To keep them short or to make a list as long and specific as possible? Did you read to start afresh, to look back and start from your previous years achievements? Confusing, huh? I say read it all if it interests you (I love it personally), but when it comes to making your own resolutions, goals or wishes, whatever you like to call them, do your thing!
Thursday, 24 December 2015
Christmas has been a bittersweet time for my family during the past few years. It is always a special time because I live in a different country to them, so we always look forward to spending a couple of weeks together, but any of you who have lost someone very close to you will know how hard it can be and how much more you miss them during this time of the year.
For the past two years I dreaded Christmas and spent Christmas Day as far from social media as possible, as each photo of someone looking very happy with their families was a reminder of what it used to feel like and what it would never feel like again for me.
Wednesday, 6 May 2015
Those of you who live in the UK will know that there is a general election tomorrow. You may in fact be gathering your thoughts before going to vote. I am so very jealous of you! Despite having lived in the UK for over 11 years and voting in local and county elections, as a foreign national I am not allowed to vote tomorrow. This has been the case ever since I've lived here, but for some reason, this year it has really bothered me and I feel very left out.
This is vastly because, as much as I love my country of birth and how Spanish I still feel, I see Britain as my adoptive country, somewhere where I feel completely at home. So I thought I would try and turn my grumpiness about not being able to vote into something more positive and share with you some of the things I love about Britain. Here they go!
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
I have been resisting routine for a very long time, partly unconsciously but also with every fibre of my conscious being. I am Spanish, so you would be forgiven for assuming that I am programmed to be laid back and spontaneous. Whilst not everyone in Spain is blissfully chilled, there definitely is a difference pace of life, a more start-stop attitude than the go, go, go that is so common in the UK. Then of course we all like to think that we are spontaneous and go with the flow.
Thursday, 1 January 2015
Happy New Year!
I love this time of the year, even more than I do Christmas (shhhhh, don't tell anybody!). It always marks a fresh new beginning. It doesn't matter how bad the previous year has been, there is hope that the new one will be better. It is a time to reflect and count our blessings, to make resolutions and be the best version of ourselves that we can be. Resolutions can sometimes be hard to stick to, but they don't have to be. Here are some tricks to make yours more achievable.
1. Think about what you want to be, not what you're not.
Sometimes resolutions can feel like a burden or punishment. They remind us of all the things we are not and make us feel not good enough, giving up even before we have started. Try to think about what you enjoy, what you want to be.
This year I have written a list of things I would like to do in 2015, one of which is to be able to run 10k. I'm starting slow and have broken it into manageable mini goals. I'm aiming at running three times a week (I've done twice a week before, so I know it's achievable) to manage 5k in 6 weeks. Then I'll join Parkrun on Saturdays to get me motivated and meeting new people.
2. Be SMART
That is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. Well, you may want to be a bit flexible and skip the time-bound... Or maybe that is what will motivate you more. We are all different after all, but focus on achievable and realistic. Remember that you don't have to be great to start but you have to start to be great. It doesn't matter if you've never run, there is always a first time!
3. Be gentle on yourself
Do you want to eat more healthily? That's fabulous, but don't beat yourself up if you don't drink green juices and eat kale every day. Remember that for it to be sustainable, it's better to start slow and build up so it doesn't feel too overwhelming. And if you have an indulging day, enjoy it, don't ruin it by feeling guilty about it!
4. Give yourself the luxury of time
This is to really think about what you would like what you remember next year for, to reflect on what makes you happy, what motivates you... Write a list, make a mind map,... Whatever works for you, but spend some time and you will find that they will be more meaningful and you will want to stick to them.
Good luck and may this be a healthy and happy year for you! X
Sunday, 28 December 2014
We are fast approaching the end of 2014, and having some time off work over Christmas gives us the perfect opportunity to look back at the year we are saying goodbye to, taking stock of what we have done over the past twelve months, and to dream of what we want 2015 to be.
For me, 2014 has had some fantastic moments. It all started with a house move in January. After years of commuting for 3 hours a day and living away from many friends, I decided something needed to change, so I put my house on the market and waited for months on end for an offer to come through. It eventually did and last January I finally made the move. It has brought so much happiness to my life! I am within walking distance of my office and my friends, and because of being nearby, I have been able to socialise more, therefore widening my circle of friends and meeting some fantastic people. That same month I got a new job in the same company. It is in an area I'd been interested in for some time, and it hasn't disappointed.
Another highlight of the past year was a week long trip to Southern California to visit a friend. I had such a blast! Our friend Phil, who was hosting, was incredible and organised such a variety of activities. We went sailing, hiking in Joshua Tree National Park, went to see Jimmy Kimmel Live the day he was interviewing Pharrell Williams, had a crazy night out in West Hollywood and even appeared as extras in a friend's film! I have to pinch myself to believe I really experienced all this.
However, whilst the year couldn't have started better, it took a turn for the worse during the second half, when a dear friend passed away. It wasn't a surprise, but it has been deeply painful nevertheless. She was far too young, and her loss was a reminder of how precious our lives and our health are. When you are confronted with something like this, cliches suddenly have a genuine meaning, and you realise that you truly don't know what is around the corner.
Although I haven't been able to articulate this until a few days ago, I have been (and to a certain extent still am) a bit lost for the past few months. My heart is full of hope and vitality, of thirst to do lots of things, but it is also full of sadness. Something I have found to help during this time is doing yoga, exercising and eating healthily, which I intend to make a priority in the New Year.
Moving to a bigger house gave me the opportunity to be creative and my Pinterest is now bursting at the seams with photos of bedrooms, mirrors, gallery walls, DIY projects,.... Reflecting as I like to do, I realised that I have always had a bit of a dormant creative side which I have always been scared to tap into, for fear of not being good enough.
I was trawling through Pinterest and came across this quote from Henri Matisse. It caught my eye because I love this style of illustration, with the handwritten font and bright cheerful colours, but also because of what it said. Creativity does indeed take courage, it requires to take a leap of faith in none other than yourself (why is it sometimes so much harder than having faith in others?) and put your creations in front of others, whether it is a handmade cushion, a room layout, a make up look or a blog post.
This year I am going to take that leap of faith and believe in myself, be ready to make mistakes and embrace my creative side. Writing this blog is only one small part, although perhaps one of the scariest. I have written other blogs in the past, but always kept them anonymous, hiding behind a pseudonym, trying to erase any details that would help anyone work out it was me, and ended up having something that I couldn't be proud of. This time will be different. I have not set myself with a specific topic, or at least not to begin with. I plan to write about what I am genuinely interested about, about the things that help me be happier, and see where that takes me!
If you have ever wished you could be better at something, give it a go this year! All you need is a bit of courage and an open mind. Who knows, there is every chance that you will be great at it.
See you soon,