Posts Tagged With: self love

mental self five

I keep thinking about the war between desire and effort and the more I consider the whole situation, the more I need to clarify for myself, y’all just reap the benefits of the process.

YBW and I do most things together. As a matter of fact, outside of the people we work with, we spend the most time with each other. We do our normal daily routine things together because we live in the same physical space. But we also go out in the world together and do things. Some times things he likes, some times things I like, often times things we both like, or like to do together.
That said, there are some days when YBW doesn’t want to leave the house and I’m itching to get out. Even if it’s simple errand running to Target or whatever. Some days I’ll go alone, other’s I’ll choose to stay put because I don’t feel like going by myself.
There are some times when YBW wants to be in front of his computer in his jammies to play video games all day long. And though I’m cool with that, me spending time alone in this house is something I do most days so I don’t always love it.
My husband loves to game. I don’t. He should be able to do what he loves even if I want to do something else. And y’all, that man will often times do what I want instead of gaming. It’s not always fair to him.

The obvious solution when it comes to one of us wanting to do something the other does not is to be social with friends.
Here’s what’s tricky about that. Most of the people I’m closest to live far far away from me.
When I was in SC, I had many friends to go and do things with. I also had my girls to go and do things with.

The local people I’m friends with mostly have young children.
Because I’m passionate about education and young children, that’s how I spend my time. I don’t really see people that aren’t either moms of young children, or educators of young children.
I have a couple of friends that have grown kids, but they have established friend groups. This means we can sometimes get together, but those friendship bonds are different than those of established relationships.
Even some of the teachers at school that I’m friendly with have children that aren’t old enough to be left alone.
So, unless we’re doing a kid friendly activity, most of my local friends don’t have the freedom of movement I have. That leaves me to fend for myself, or YBW and I do things as a couple.

As I read what I’m writing, it may sound as though I’m making excuses. I’m actually not. These are simply the facts of my life.
Since making new friends is not as easy as it sounds, I’m going to consider how to best spend time with the friends I have.
I’m also going to continue to spend time with YBW.
But, I’m also going to continue to do things on my own.

I want to learn to rock climb, and there’s a great indoor place three miles from home called Vertical Rock. I’ve been considering this for some time and finally decided I’m going to investigate what it takes to learn. YBW is anxious about heights. This is something he would not remotely enjoy doing with me. I’m not sure I know anyone (local) that would like to learn to climb with me and that’s OK, because I just discovered that Vertical Rock has it’s own meet up group! Can’t wait to share that with my therapist!

However I consider any of these things, this is my life.
The question is: Does if fulfill me?
The answer is: Yes…for the most part.

Follow up question: How can I be more fulfilled in my life?
Answer here is keep going and growing.
I’m enthusiastic about learning. I’m enthusiastic about life.
I’m hearing ‘ephphatha‘ in my head: be opened.
I am open to new and different things. To new and different ways of doing old things.
I am ready to be opened up to the world around me.
I have a keen sense of adventure!
It is time for my desire to outweigh my effort.

Who knows?
Stepping out of my comfort zone may be the beginning of something wonderful.
It may blow up in my face.
Doesn’t matter, because I’m up for it.

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the war between desire and effort

Had an interesting conversation with my therapist on Monday about life satisfaction.
I’ve been thinking for a few days, perhaps even a week now about how my life is a quiet, sort of prosaic suburban existence, and I’m not sure how satisfied I am with that. We specifically focused on things I like to do but am disinclined to do alone.
She and I tossed around the whys and wherefores of this.
We examined whether it was fear or laziness. (my vote was lazy and we both laughed)
Using my hands as a scale I talked about weighing my desire against my effort.
Specifically, did I want to go by myself to a Sylvia Plath exhibit at the NPG.
Would I enjoy the exhibit?
Absolutely.
Do I want to physically get myself into the district?
Not so much.
(It’s not as much that I dislike driving in DC, it’s more that I hate parking in DC. And just so we’re clear, I hate the Metro even more.)

How much effort am I willing to put forth to do the things I want to do?
Depends on how badly I want to do them.
Ah ha!
There’s the rub.
Too much weight on ‘not putting forth the effort’ side of the scale and ‘doing things’ side of the scale will never find balance.
In theory, well, my theory. Well, more like I sorta-kinda-had-part-of-a-thought-a-couple-days-ago…this all comes down to stepping outside of my comfort zone.

I’m completely capable of stepping outside my comfort zone, I just don’t like to.
I mean seriously, do you see how comfy it is in here? What’s out there that’s so freaking great?

Lucille feels me.

I love the idea of being adaptable. And y’all, however much of a tightly wound control freak I am, for the love of all things holy, I am adaptable.
But I’m only adaptable when I must be. I’m less inclined to adapt when it’s not absolutely necessary.
I’ve got a great big sense of adventure. I love to consider all kinds of adventures! I also am willing to go on all kinds of adventures. And I’m even willing to go on all kinds of adventures by myself.
But I have a really hard time with going on adventures by myself because I feel as though I’m not actively sharing that experience. I love to be able to talk about experiences as they’re happening. I love making special moments and memories with other people, it seems that somehow makes them stronger or reinforces them because I can experience them from more points of view.
When sharing this with my therapist, she suggested an app called meet up.
That gave me pause.

I’m over here like:

Of course, I’m teasing…mostly.
We discussed the pros and cons of meeting up with strangers to do thing we like to do. For the most part, the pros outweighed the cons. She was quick to point out how this was not the building of relationships, but just like minded folks looking to do things together. For me the biggest con is that even when I’m acting somewhat normal, I’m kind of a big spazz.
Out of context, I’m just plain weird.
(Hmmm…little bit of social anxiety there. wonder if my girls know they get it from me.)

In reality, I’m relatively confident.
I act like a fully functioning adult most days and I can interact with a wide variety of people.
It’s the idea of ‘being on display’ without any one I know and trust to deflect attention from me. It’s funny, I think we all feel like folks are watching us even though we realize nobody is watching anybody else because we’re all too busy being on our best behavior.
It occurs to me as I write this that I may be using this whole ‘I’m weird, but also normal, but kind of spazzy, but capable’ thought process as an excuse.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve really developed this attitude:

And if I look at it from that point of view I should just bust out and do whatever the hell I want and everyone else be damned.
Which brings us back to the whys and wherefores.
I’m making excuses.
Is it fear? Is it laziness?
It doesn’t matter!
With every excuse, I’m actually reducing the size of my comfort zone.
And that is just ridiculous!

There is magic in the world, but I know there is magic down deep in me.

No more boring!
I’ll stay in my comfort zone when I want to, because let’s face it, I love being comfy. But I’ll be working on making it grow, letting a little of the magic in me mix it up more with the magic out in the world.
This will be a process. One which I will journal about to really understand, but I’ll also be actively leaving my comfort zone to experience a different sort of existence. Learning to better balance my effort and desire. I remember being able to do it rather well. I just let my comfort zone shrink.

The best part about all of this is I’m aware.
I realize I’m not satisfied with the status quo.
I’m being mindful about how I feel and how I might best go about changing it.
However I end up moving forward, I can only do it by acknowledging where I am and working on where I’d like to be.

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the power of forgiveness

As far as I can tell, this holds true for each and every one of us.
It’s easy to want to rid yourself of the ‘bad things’. It’s actually rather simple to begin the process. But what happens when you just destroy your monsters without really examining them? I agree with Erin. I think you have to really understand your monsters before you can kick them in the ass. With examination comes the ability to truly understand. Understand not only your monsters, but yourself.
Knowing and understanding oneself is a pretty scary concept. I think that’s why it’s simpler to choose to destroy that which we don’t like about our selves. Destroying those monsters (or demons, or whatever you like to call them) is freeing! We’re so strong! To rid yourself of the absolute worst bits is a truly empowering experience.
But it’s fleeting, y’all.

Let’s be real, the majority of the monsters inside you originated externally. They were formed in childhood, they exist as part of your belief system. But at some point these monsters are nourished by you. You’ve grown accustomed to them. Sometimes so much so that your belief system becomes dependent upon them.
The most elaborately designed catch 22 in the history of all catch 22s. You and the monsters are trapped together, woven into one curious being because of mutually conflicting and dependent conditions.

Once (most of us) realize we’re dependent upon these monsters that conflict with our concept of self our simplest solution is to rid ourselves of our monsters for good.
Destroying your monsters without accepting and releasing them leads to more chaos down the road. To know the monsters, to really know them is hard and scary work. Most folks aren’t brave enough to tackle that.
Here’s whats tricky. That bravery is really reactivity in disguise.
As humans, we tend to be reactive.
What we need to be is mindful.
I get it, y’all! It really does feel brave to destroy those monsters. But going about it all willy-nilly, slashing and stabbing and standing over your (seemingly) dead monsters is a delusion!
They’re not really gone.
Sure, you may feel victorious, bathing in their heart’s blood as empowered as you’ve ever been, but I promise you they’ll be back. It may seem different versions, but it’s the same old monsters dressed up all shiny and new. And because they exist based on rigid belief systems they come back stronger and meaner than before. This fight will never end.

This is where being mindful comes in.
Until you understand and make peace with your monsters, you’re destined to lather, rinse and repeat for your entire life. (And after bathing in heart’s blood, you better be washing that gore right out of your hair!)

The monsters don’t function from their own cognition. They function from the oldest patterns. The monsters aren’t actively malevolent. They’re just doing what they’ve always done. What they were trained to do by others before we learned to take over that job.
Destroying your monsters will ultimately destroy the precious me inside you.
We cannot truly embrace the me inside us unless and until we accept and understand our monsters.
It’s the most difficult work you’ll ever do.
That is what makes one brave.
It’s easy to slay dragons (monsters)! That’s just a bit of blood, sweat and tears with a sharp blade at the end.

But to examine those monsters, to do the hard work to understand their very existence, that is real bravery. By being mindful and doing the most difficult work, we can accept and release our monsters.
Forgiveness is harder than slaying.
The monsters didn’t create themselves. They simply exist.
We must forgive those who may have created the monsters in the first place. We must forgive that part of ourselves that fostered the monsters growth.

The most precious part of who I am is that me. By learning to embrace and celebrate that me, I was able to understand and accept my monsters. I work each day to forgive them, even though it’s not their fault.
I promise you, I’m a better me for it.
A better human for it.

My bravest moments are ones of forgiveness. (even though I didn’t feel particularly brave)
Yours can be too.

Stop looking outward. Stop pointing fingers and laying blame. Stop picking up your sword.
Forgive your monsters and set them free. They’re just as much prisoners of the belief system as you are.
Forgive yourself and accept that your me wouldn’t exist without your monsters.
Embrace and celebrate the me.
Be the me inside you with grace and humility, and as much love as humanly possible.

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inner Momma voice

I’ve written before about inner speech. I even took the time to kind of explain it for those of you that don’t really know much about brain development.
Inner speech is pretty much the most important thing any of us have. But, the importance comes down to the type of inner speech one has.
If you read the linked posts, you know I have critical inner speech. I had a mother who loved me but that didn’t always come across in the way she spoke to me. And those moments when I hear her in my brain, I am immediately a little girl again. Only I’ve spent a good bit of time actively learning new ways to use my inner voice. It’s a minefield up in that brain of mine…which probably isn’t good considering the pinball thoughts that tend to roll and crash around in there…but, with concentrated effort, I’m learning to hear kinder, much less critical thoughts.

Thing 2 was in crisis mode on Saturday. We texted a great deal and had a long conversation.
She sent this text after we talked.

My joy knew no bounds! Here inner speech was positive. It was kind. It was self-loving. And she knew it came from me!
In that moment I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that I had not ruined her!!
What a relief!

Now that’s not to say that when her inner speech is about chilling and breathing she doesn’t also hear things like, “Jesus Christ, Magdeline!” in a frustrated voice. I mean, I know I’m critical. I don’t honestly think I stood a chance not being…consider my own inner speech.
And while I’m sure my second daughter has some critical or even negative inner speech, it truly warms my heart that she has soothing and positive inner speech. That she can hear her Momma’s voice in her head and it’s kind and loving. That she can choose to use those words to take the best possible care of herself.

I’m going to call this a win for Thing 2.
You know, I also think I’m going to call this a parenting win!

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

my (love) cup runneth over

Captain and Tennille said, “Love will keep us together.”
Ann and Nancy Wilson asked, “What about love?”
The King was ‘a hunk of burning love’.
Bendan Benson is ‘forever in search of the alternative to love’.
Landon Pigg spent some time ‘falling in love in a coffee shop’.
David Cassidy said, “I think I love you.”
Barry White ‘can’t get enough of your love, babe’.
Billy Idol ‘rocked the cradle of love’.
Grand Funk Railroad was ‘hooked on love’.
Cole Porter said, “Let’s do it. Let’s fall in love.”
Led Zeppelin had a ‘whole lotta love’.

And so on and so on…

But(!!!!!!!!!!)
What about the most important love?
The love of self.

Y’all, I’m here to tell you…ain’t nobody gonna be able to love you the way you can love yourself.
It starts deep within you and bubbles up until your cup runneth over.

I encourage all y’all to swim in that ocean of self love till your fingers get all pruney. Then let it spill over those you love. Beau’s right. It starts with you.
The Beatles said, “All you need is love.”
And they weren’t lying.

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feeling inspired

screenshot_2017-01-17-09-17-15-copy

Inspiration sometimes comes from the most surprising places. Thing 2 shared this old photo on facebook this morning. She has been uberpositive of late and it moves me greatly!

I took a screenshot to share.
It got me thinking:
Love the you that you are!
And love the you that you were. Sure, those you(s) need work…so do the work! But always love yourself unconditionally while you do the work.
Treat yourself with kindness!
You deserve to be treated with kindness. That starts in you, be kind to yourself. How else will others know to treat you with kindness?
Share your inspiration!
Stories of ‘failures’ are just as powerful as stories of ‘success’. We all “wore Crocs” at some point in our lives. That is both a good and perhaps a not so good thing. Embrace it. Let it be a source of hope and inspiration!

And in the words of my daughter: “Just freaking worship yourselves, okay?”
You deserve it!

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

pony in the middle

I went to see my therapist Friday morning.
Mostly it was all, blah blah living my intention…love and gratitude and grace blah blah…my friend’s email…moral courage blah blah…changing my life and lives of others blah blah…love and joy and calmness and fortitude blah blah…
(pretty much the stuff I told y’all the other day mixed in with a bit of “none ya”)

And then she said something that triggered a thought I had the night before right as I fell asleep.
It was something about how I’m the linchpin holding my family and YBW’s family together…only I knew that wasn’t right the night before when I tried to put language to the nugget of thought…

So, when I explained it to my therapist I said, “Imagine a venn diagram.”

venn

It’s not that I’m a linchpin. It’s not even that I’m in that overlapping space alone.
It’s that I’m not really in either family.
I’m no longer in my own family because one member of that family is 500 miles away from me and the other is 900 miles away from me on a daily basis.
I’m not really in his family either.
I’m the “mom of this house” according to Thing G, but being the person who prepares their daily meals is me being a house elf, not me being their mom. That, and they’re 23 and 16, they hardly need the mom they have, much less a surplus one.

At first I thought what bothered me was that in the middle should be both YBW and me. I had this naive idea that even though we each came from a family, we would be creating a new one together. This isn’t really happening…and I’ve gotten to the point where I no longer worry about whether or not it’s OK, I simply accept that he’s not ready for that phase of his life yet. Eventually we’ll get around to it…

The more I think on this, journal on this, I discover that’s not what bothers me about it. What bothers me about it is that I don’t really seem to belong in either family.
Not the one I made.
Not the one he made.
I’m the monkey in the middle.

pony-in-the-middle

Well, maybe I’m the pony in the middle…

What does that mean?
And that’s where I get stuck.

What I’m supposed to be doing is figuring out how to live my intention. Not just live with love for other people, but for me too. Live with love for me.
Being the pony in the middle doesn’t feel like love to me.

Need to keep the focus on me.
Not on “his family”.
Not even on “my family”.
Must focus on that little sliver of me in the middle.

Here’s what I know about me right now.
I am so resentful.
I don’t get to enjoy the company of my daughters, but I am without choice that YBW’s sons enter this house every six days.
I don’t actually resent his sons. I love them greatly and have incorporated them into my brood. It’s more that I resent what they represent. I’m not even sure I resent their father…but I absolutely resent being their bitch.

I love food.
I love to cook.
Feeding these people who only like a handful of things, who complain at every meal has made me hate food so much that I don’t even want to feed myself anymore.

I don’t know what the big deal is. I mean, it seems a bit dramatic to be resentful about feeding people. But there it is.

I’m resentful because my life has to be put on hold every other week.
I’m resentful because I want to give more time and love to my own family.
I’m resentful because I’m lie to myself about who I really am in this life.
I’m resentful because my biggest fear is that I’ll never again be in the circle labeled “my family”.
I’m resentful because I’m not comfortable in my own home…because it’s not really my home.
I’m resentful because I have all this freaking resentment!

Perhaps I should consider my own independence before the wishes of others?
Perhaps I should put myself first?
Perhaps I should stop doing things because I think I should?

It has come to my attention that I’m deeply unhappy and need to make some changes or possibly lose myself completely.
I’m the only me I’ve got.
I’m the only Momma Thing 1 and Thing 2 to have.
I need to be me for me.
I want to be me for them.
Can’t lose myself.
Don’t want to be unhappy.
Don’t want to be resentful.

It’s not actual hard work to feed people. But it’s really emotionally hard work.
I don’t feel comfortable in the house I live every other week. But I have no recourse of action. It’s a hand-me-down home for my hand-me-down life.

I don’t know how to put myself first. It feels selfish.
I feel a bit like Carrie Bradshaw asking questions…but here’s another: When is putting yourself first self-preservation, and when is it just selfish?

I’m not sure where I found this quote:

We can only go so far in making our life the way we would wish it to be.

I’m feeling it, yet I question it at the same time.
If we can only go so far…how do we end up where we want to be? Where we belong?

Categories: me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

love is my intention

I recently decided it’s time for me to go back into therapy. I did a little research and found someone I thought I might like. After a bit of phone tag, she and I finally talked for about twenty minutes and made an appointment.
I saw her Tuesday and we instantly began to connect. She has a decent sense of humor and appreciates my snark.

Before we said goodbye, she asked me: What is your intention for your life? How do you intend to live your life? She told me the answer must be one word and one word only. That then I would have to define this word. Not via Webster’s or Oxford English, but my own definition. What does the word I choose as my intention mean to me? She suggested I use all my senses. What does is look and feel and taste like? She wanted me to journal this.

This fascinated me. I was electrified at the idea of this task.
From the moment she asked the question, my entire being knew the word I would use.
But I stopped for a second and promised myself to sit with it for a while before answering. And I did. (sit with it, that is) The word never changed.
20160907_201039.jpg
I came home and wrote in my journal.

What is my intention for my life? How do I intend to live my life?
one word
The word is: love
How do I define love?

love is everything
love is paying attention to myself and everyone around me
love is being mindful
love is dancing in the rain
love is jumping in puddles
love is warm and soft
love knows what’s up
love is spending time behind the lens of my camera
love is writing
love is the girlie giggles of my girls together
love is learning
love is books
love is music
love is movies
love is kindness
love is a sincere apology
love is feeling everything but never feeling terribly overwhelmed
love sounds like giggles
love looks like a beach sunrise
love smells like an old bookshop
love is a bicycle bell
love is delicious kisses
love tastes like fresh strawberries
love is baseball season
love is the crack of a bat
love is the cool crisp air of autumn
love is Saturday mornings on the porch with YBW
love is me at home in my own skin
love is great conversations with dear friends
love takes its time
love is knowing what’s right in my gut
love is feeling hopeful
love is being peaceful
love is being creative
love is collaboration
love is being stimulated in my brain
love is sacred memories
love is knowing I always do my best
love is a hot bubble bath
love is cool drinking water
love is emotionally embracing everybody I care about most
love smells like peonies
love is art
love is the arts
love is pointe shoes and tutus
love is faith
love is being kind
love is doing what’s right even and especially when I don’t want to
love is learning from my mistakes
love is defending the innocent
love is teaching and learning
love is new experiences
love is robin birds
love is a good pedicure
love is creating
love is strength and vulnerability
love is taking a big breath
love is being patient
love is fighting the good fight
love is knowing I’m enough

Now I’m not sure if that’s exactly what Mezeline had in mind…but that’s my version of how I intend to live my life…with love.

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sense of urgency: true or false

I woke early this morning with a sense of urgency.
I find this peculiar for two reasons. The first being that I didn’t even get in bed until after midnight, then to be that ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ before 6:00? #needmybeautysleepyo
The second is that I have a simple day planned. Quick and easy errands, and meeting with a couple of lula consultants to swap out inventory. #lifeofleisuremuch
This is not earth shattering stuff, people. So why this acute sense of urgency?

Actually, I’m not sure that’s the right question…for once in my life I may not need to ask why. #stopthepresses
I have a sneaking suspicion the question should be more along the lines of: Is this a true sense of urgency?
Not why is there urgency, but is the urgency real or is it false?
A false sense of urgency (must find thesaurus) is nothing more than excuse to spin your wheels. I have no patience for that. I spent enough of my life spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. #aintnobodygottimeforthat
Of course, this doesn’t feel false. And I’m really examining it. Like, with tweezers and a microscope examining it. And here’s what I’ve come up with.
It is a true sense of urgency. But it has little to do what I may or may not need to accomplish in the world today. In (my) reality, it has everything to do with who I am and want to become.

It took me forty years to realize that I was smarter and more capable than I’d ever been given credit for. And that every choice I made, good, bad, indifferent, got me to that place within myself. The best part was that I actually liked the me I was.
At the time, forty years was my entire life. I had been kept down by the naysayers and never really knew it. I didn’t believe in myself because I’d been taught negative inner speech and spent a lifetime listening to it.
When I discovered I was brave and strong and capable I was finally able to tune out the naysayers. #damntheman
I was creating my own new and positive inner speech. #imatotalbamf

Of course, life actually gets in the way of this knowing and it’s easy to forget. It’s easy to hear that old negative inner speech as I go through the motions of daily life.
I flounder. I get lost. But that spark of knowledge is always there. I simply must remember to look for it. I found a glimpse of it recently! I even wrote about it, here.
Knowing my truest self has been a curious journey. I’ve been run off the road a few times, I stopped for food and fuel and chose not to get back on the road. I drove the party bus, not caring about the journey, just having fun. But I am a destination girl, the journey makes me weary. Luckily, I’ve met my truest self and spent sacred time traveling with her. Makes the journey less tedious.

This sense of urgency inside me is to remind me to keep tightly the knowledge of who I am and what it means. The sense of urgency is to guide me on my journey. To keep me on the right path. To help me create new positive inner speech, because if I do that enough, my brain will seek these new patterns and no longer fall into the old negative ones.
This sense of urgency is the fire in my belly stoking itself. To keep me from becoming complacent. To help me not let life get in the way of knowing.

I find it’s very rarely about what you accomplish out in the world.
I find it’s almost always about who you are and are becoming every day.
Be the truest you.
Not the “best possible you”. That’s holding yourself to external standards. #ohhellno
Be the truest you. Only you know what that means.

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. ~ Golda Meir #word

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