Posted in Personal Development

36 Things I’ve Learned in 36 Years…

I’ve had a blogging break. Not intentionally but life has been so busy as usual! I’m feeling slightly inspired this morning so here I am. This Saturday just gone I turned 36 years old, happy birthday to meee! The past few years I use to dread being another year older. I’m so over that now… a quote I read had a really profound effect on me…

I am fortunate enough not to have lost anyone my age that I’m close to. But I know of people I went to school with, friends of friends my age who didn’t make it to the age I am now. Sure when I take a selfie I might try a million angels so the light hits right and round my eyes look better! But who doesn’t?! It is an absolute privilege to grow older and we should never forget that. Cliche it may sound but every day is a gift and you never know what tomorrow may bring. I am grateful for every one of my thirty six years. My life has been the winding road that it’s meant to be… lessons have been learned but memories have been made.

I feel like it’s only in the last two years I have really become comfortable with being me. I was far too worried about what others think and afraid of looking bad. Whilst this does still bother me occasionally I’m so glad most the time I’m confident enough stay true to myself. This is my life and I realise I must do what’s right for me… I value others opinion but I’m the one holding the pen to my story. You will never keep everyone happy. So here’s 36 things I’ve learned in my 36 years so far…

1. One of the best things that can happen to you in life is to have a happy childhood

2. If you know what you want to do when you leave school then you are lucky, I’m still doing now what I did at seventeen and I love it just as much now as I did then

3. Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life… so true… when the thing that you do to get money doesn’t feel like work you are living your best life

4. Child birth was the most excruciating pain ever and maybe you will forget but I certainly haven’t

5. Being a parent is the hardest job you will ever do. It’s basically giving up the life you know for a completely new one

6. There is no love quite like being somebody’s mummy

7. You will discover your parents were always right even though you probably still won’t admit it to them

8. Don’t strive for perfection in everything you do, it’s just an illusion. Striving for perfection will leave you in a constant state of frustration

9. Travel will make your soul soar, money spent on holidays is never money wasted

10. A few good genuine friends are better than many. As you grow older you will learn which ones are in it for the long haul with you. Cherish them

11. Not everyone has the same heart as you but don’t let that change yours

12. Know what you need and be unapologetic about caring for yourself. Self care is not selfish it’s necessary to your wellbeing

13. Gratitude is the way forward. Wake up every day thankful for all the amazing things in your life. Remember there’s always something to be thankful for

14. Forgiveness is a super power. Forgive others not because they deserve it but because you deserve peace. This is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned

15. Learn the art of growing without loosing your inner child… some of my favourite days now are still spent colouring, going to the zoo, building sandcastles or playing on swings

16. Never ignore the feeling in your gut… trust your vibes… energy doesn’t lie. I have learnt to listen to my intuition more as I have got older

17. What you say about other people says more about you than it does about them. Be kind with your words, never gossip

18. Protect your energy… surround yourself with positive people who lift you higher

19. It’s never too late to start over in any area of life. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Yes you can! You can do anything you put your mind to!

20. It’s free to dream but dreams only come into reality with hard work. When you look at people who seemingly have it all, respect the hustle they went through to get there

21. Your reality really is a projection of your thoughts. Keep them good, positive and inspiring.

22. Good manners will take you far in life

23. Always Smile… smile when you wake up, smile to yourself, smile at strangers – better to be the one who smiled than the one who didn’t smile back. Smiling makes your eyes sparkle…

24. Having love in your life is everything… family, friends, relationships. Without love… there is nothing

25. Look after your body… it’s the only place you have to live. Nourish it with good food but don’t deny yourself treats. Keep it moving… remember your only as young as your spine is flexible

26. Read… the more you read the more things you will know. A good book is a wonderful way of escapism

27. You can never take too many photos! Snapshots of moments gone by will make you smile in your future, even when you ‘weren’t looking your best that day’

28. Practice mindfulness, savour the moment you are in. We live in a fast paced world… remember to pause and smell the sea air, the cut grass, savour the taste of the food you eat, hug someone a little longer

29. You get what you pay for. Quality over quantity every time

30. You can’t change other people… you can only change your reactions to them. Walk away from people and situations that no longer serve you

31. Keep an open mind… it takes all kinds of people to make a world and what a wonderful thing that is

32. Never make a promise you can’t keep

33. Disappointments are part of life but never loose hope… keep pushing forward

34. Mistakes are our greatest teachers. Don’t linger in regret about them, acknowledge them and move on

35. Not everybody will like you or understand you and that’s okay… they are not your people

36. Happiness is an inside job. It’s letting go of what you think your life should look like and embracing every moment. Always strive to find joy in the day to day.

So that’s it! Cheers to me and my 36 years… let’s see what lessons my next 36 will bring me – I hope I’m blessed enough to see them.

Rachael 🙂 x

Posted in Winning at Parenting

Redundant Parenting…

I’m having a real hard time with my son growing up (he’s 10 going on 16!) You obviously know that it’s going to happen but you don’t really notice it happening until one day it hits you. Being a single mum I’ve just been so busy trying to juggle everything alone. But when I do stop and think about our journey together tears come to my eyes. For we have had the most fun times. Some would say he’s been spoilt as I mention in a previous post. Yes he has with days out, experiences and holidays. But amongst all the stress and hard work of being a parent I believe these moments are the little rewards. Quality time together making memories.

I couldn’t wait for the summer holidays… I got my diary and pen and set to making lots of plans for us. I joined the National Trust as well for some outdoor time in some beautiful spots close to us. We were going on holiday to Cyprus too which I couldn’t wait for. Amongst this I planned a trip to the zoo, cinema and other things.

When I excitedly produced my diary and shared my plans they were met with face pulling and ‘I don’t want to do that’. Well ‘what do you want to do son?’ ‘I just want to hang out with my mates’ and just like that I was binned… on the occasions I dragged him out I put up with constant asking ‘what time we going back?’ I felt I had lost my little friend. He even told me I should have another baby!!

On holiday he made new friends (which was lovely to see) but in turn I was left a bit bored and alone. It’s funny because there were days when I prayed to read a book in peace for longer than five minutes on a sun-bed! At meal times he often finished before me and raced back to his new friends excitedly leaving me nursing a glass of red alone, ha ha! He did come and find me to sign for whatever he was ordering for him and sometimes his friends at our hotel of course…

I spent a few days getting all emotional reminiscing about days gone by… asking myself where time had gone? As a parent each stage so far has been different and come with its own challenges but I realise now how special those younger years were. I shouldn’t say it but they were my favourite. The years when you are literally their world, everything is new, magical and exciting to them. Probably from age two to maybe five.

So in my emotional state I wrote a poem for my son… really just to try and express my own feelings at a time when I’m feeling rather redundant. I thought I would share it here too as maybe some others can relate?

It’s back to school soon for you son

I will miss our summer fun

Your growing up so fast

It’s plain to see

That you don’t want to hang out with silly old me

I wish for the days when we played in the sand

When you skipped along holding my hand

The hours in the farm and picnic by the swings

These are now by gone things

For at the time I never knew that one day you would feel too grown up for the zoo

Our adventures have changed and my heart is heavy

As I watch you grow and I don’t feel ready

I try to persuade you to do things with me but you would rather have friends over for tea

But now and then I see a glimpse of that boy, the one who used to play with toys

You think I am boring but I’m doing my best

To be your friend still, you put me to the test

We’ll soon be heading into the teenage years

which no doubt will cause me further tears

I will treasure our memories all the way through

For every stage is a blessing with you. So, don’t push me away, your silly old mum

I only want to have some fun

For one day you will realise that really it’s me.. the best friend you will ever have – you’ll see 💞 x

Rachael x

Posted in relationships

Loving a Strong Minded Women 

I’ve recently been thinking about how strong-minded I am and when I decide something it’s happening. I don’t care how far fetched an idea may seem if I want something I make it happen. I’m a driven girl and failure is not an option to me. This is not something everyone can deal with… I thought it would make for a good blog post to look at what to expect when falling for a strong-minded women…

She is a relentless dream pursuer

Strong minded women are relentless is pursuing their dreams. Nothing is out of reach for a women like this. She whole heartedly believes if she wants to achieve something or desires something nothing will stand in her way. Why? This is because she’s proved this to herself time and time again. A wise man will not dismiss her latest crazy idea she expresses to him. He will support her. As once she decides something it’s happening!

She makes her man feel needed

A strong-minded women doesn’t need a man but she knows a man needs to feel needed. She will fulfill his needs by asking for just enough to make to make him feel important and dependable on. But she’s got this…

She is a seed planter

They have a usual knack for making you think something was your idea – strong-minded women know this is the key to getting what you want. Don’t ask how they do it… they just do! It’s a skill! Leaving her man telling his friends & family about his latest holiday plan or decorating like he’s had all the ideas… when really a strong-minded women has planted the seed.

She is a planner

You will need to be held accountable. You say you will stay in and have a movie night, this is as important to her as if you have booked a 5* restaurant. Strong minded women are planners and plans need to be kept… don’t let her down.

She will speak her mind

She will speak her mind. If she’s not happy about something you will know about it! But equally if you are not she will see your point of view & try to understand. She doesn’t like conflict, she likes talking things through.

She has zest for life

A strong-minded women has a zest for life. An unshakeable vision for her future, a dream, vision, goals. You will need to be ready to support these but equally she will support yours. She will be like your own personal cheerleader. Her zest for life should also be infectious and fire you up!

She has an endless bucket list

She’s all about doing things, experiences, adventures and making the most of life. Get ready for a fast paced ride! Her bucket list is so long and ambitious it makes your eyes water! But she believes it’s doable and more so with you by her side.

She is never bored

Boredom is not a concept she can grasp. She is never bored and you will not have time to be bored dating her – trust me!

She will provide for herself

She wants for the nice things in life but she is happy to provide them for herself. That said she does love being surprised and spoiled like any women. But she doesn’t expect you to keep her. She’s happy to have you by her side to build a lovely home and future together.

To conclude…

For all her strong-minded ways she wants to feel loved, protected & appreciated by her man. In a lot of ways he is her rock even though she may not always show it he further empowers her by being by her side.

Loving a strong-minded women can be draining at times, its life in the fast lane, but it’s worth it. This type of women does everything whole heartedly and that includes loving you.

Posted in relationships

Make time for your Grandparents…

Hey guys,

I set up the blog about 2 months ago. You see I always have so much to say, I am a little miss chatterbox and my friend once referred to me as a social butterfly – I quite like that! My life is chaotic so I thought I know why not write a blog?! something else I can try fit in my  already full days, ha ha! I’m hoping it might be a nice outlet for me and you guys might just enjoy reading it. But then I got like blog phobia… I suddenly had this silly anxiety over writing my first post. All of a sudden it seemed a big deal… So I shut down the page and here I am now 2 months later… today the sun is shinning, I’m off work, I’ve been on holiday last week, the house is tidy, I am refreshed! so here goes….

Like many adults my age (33! eek!) I’m grateful to still have a Grandparent around. My Grandad aka Dada has always been a big presence in my life. He is the kind of Grandad every kid deserves. I have many happy memories from being younger and playing at my grandparents house, sleepovers occasionally, holidays and lots of days out with them. Unfortunately we lost my Grandma 5 years ago and devastation hit my family like it would any. But its not my Grandma I want to talk about today I will save that for another post. 

See since I got older and my busy adult life has consumed me I have sadly seen less of my Dada. Don’t get me wrong I still see him but not as much as I would like ideally. Today I was child free and stress free! So I called him up for a lunch date just me and him. He was made up to say the least. Knowing he likes me dressed girly I put a summery dress and sandals on. When I arrived to pick him up he instantly commented on my dress, but I was touched to see he was wearing a shirt and tie for the occasion.

I drove him to a nice local pub with benches out the front as the sun was shinning for once. It was lovely to just sit outside with him watching the world go by. He told me how when he was younger that you would be lucky to see one car go past this location let alone several per minute. When he tells me how things have changed I am still fascinated to hear. He reminisces about how things were but marvel’s at the wonder of the world today. He is 88 years old – hes seen a lot of changes in his lifetime. I watched as he squinted his wrinkly eyes in the sun searching back for his memories of times gone by.

He told me about Burtonwood airbase that was once in our town… full of Americans that my Grandma and all the young girls were in awe of. He said they thought of them like movie stars! the airbase has obviously long since gone. He told me many stories that he’s told me a million times… with a cheeky glint in his eye and a chuckle in his voice. I sit there patiently listening and nodding although I know where the story is going. I ask questions and smile at his memories. It makes me sad that he’s lost my grandma and all his friends slowly , I cant comprehend what that must be like. I know he loves sharing these memories still …that’s what makes him happy… remembering the good times. I like listening… I like that he tells me them again and again probably unknowingly that he’s told me before. Old age will come to us all if we are lucky enough. One day I hope my grandchildren (If I’m lucky enough to have them) will be patient with me and listen to my stories again and again… I hope they will let me relive my favourite memories – just like I let my Dada.

We spent almost 3 hours sitting in the sunshine eating, drinking and chatting. Like a true gentleman should he paid.. no matter how much I protest he never lets me pay still. I drove him home to his house that he and my Grandma shared pretty much all their lives. I helped him in and made sure he took his tablets. I still love his house… it smells a bit old, not in a bad way but just like it should. The dated carpets and wallpaper are endearing. He has photos up everywhere of family, especially of us grandchildren. Nothing much has changed since we were kids. But I like this… this is his house full of his lifetime of memories and some of mine. He still watches the traffic for me as I move away from his house and turn the car round… just like he did when I was seventeen. As I drive off he makes my heart smile shuffling back to his door waving.

I have had a wonderful afternoon today and I know I’ve brought a little more fulfilment to his otherwise quiet week, this makes me happy. You should always try and make time for your Grandparents… you never know when it may be the last time you listen to their stories… cherish them. I’m grateful to still have my Dada here to spend time with… hes a legend 🙂

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Me and my Grandad… he’s a legend!