Starry moments: day 17

Today was a HUGE starry moment in my relatively small world.

For most of you, the next bit will probably sound odd, as in, what’s the big deal? But for anyone with social anxiety – get this – I went for drinks and food with people I don’t usually socialise with, in a pub I’d never been too. I’m so chuffed with myself.

This weekend I’m going to write how I did it, as a reminder to me and hopefully some help to others.

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Starry moments: day 16

In no particular order:

A fox scurrying through a hedge

An invite to a house party

A blog award

Appreciating my glasses, because without them I mistook this jumper for my cat:
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The moon (one day past a full moon, but a clearer sky tonight, even if my phone doesn’t do it justice, pop out and have a look):
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A bottle of snowball waiting on my desk because I said I’d never tried one!wpid-IMAG1917_1_1.jpg

Sunshine on a cloudy day

I feel slightly embarrassed, but too chuffed and grateful not to mention it, I have another blog award!

sunshine-award-2

Thank you to the wonderful Kate aka Kate the lost wanderer, who I met through Zero to hero (I can hear my Dad saying “whom, not who”, but grammar evolves, right?).

So, I’m afraid I’m going to bore / perplex you all with 10 random facts about me:

  1. I love cats, I have two, but I am also ridiculously allergic to them. The doctor’s helpful suggestion was a carrier bag, some stones and a river, I kid you not. I think he was more of a dog lover. In a way it is just as well I’m allergic or I would have hundreds of cats.
  2. I hate flying – it’s not that I think its dangerous, it’s just” that I don’t like not being able to get off at any point. However, I can appreciate that this is an important rule…
  3. I love reading, but can’t stop mid chapter. Is this familiar to anyone?
  4. I hate queue jumpers, don’t get me started. Manners cost nothing.
  5. I love people with flaws, I find them much more interesting than “perfect”people, and I can relate to them so much better!
  6. I hate spiders, all those legs and unpredictability.
  7. I love lists, lists of lists, colour coded lists….
  8. I hate frogs – again, all that unpredictability due to their ability to move REALLy quickly in any given direction
  9. I love marzipan, or anything almond related (including almonds)
  10. I hate being too hot or too cold, but unfortunately I have about a 5 degree window of comfort.
  11. (I have to finish on a positive!) I love you guys!

Now for the nominations. I’m going to pick just one blogger, and that is  Wonderland Lashes for her Stay Positive Project – pop over and have a look!

Starry moments: days 14 and 15

Yesterday was one of those days when I had to have a little word with myself. I’ve noticed that sometimes I get so caught up with blogging about life that I find it hard to stop and actually live life, let alone mindfully! Mr Silver Linings and I went to his brother’s for the evening and had some wonderful family time, just kicking back and enjoying the company. We had also promised ourselves an early night after a few too many late nights, but I hadn’t updated my blog – what to do? So, perfectionism was put aside, life came before blog. Despite my promise to blog a starry moment each day, it seemed daft to miss out on the starry moment of an early night. Does anyone else struggle to put their blog down?

Source: John Lewis
Source: John Lewis

Anyways, starry moments. Yesterday:

I had some lovely banter with a student who had changed his name, and it reminded me of how much I love these random little interactions, life would be so much less without them.

I realised that I always take the same route to the bus stop, but a shortcut meant I could cut through Waterstones and have a quick look at the mindfulness books. (It seems I dreamt up Mindfulness for cyclists, strange but true). I wonder how many moments we miss by taking the same route every day, by being on autopilot?

And of course, an inbox full of blog awards, banter with family and an early night. Bliss.

Today:

Being able to help a new blogger, both with his blog and with the suggestion of a trip to the beach to help lift the spirits (he is an amazing guy and I hope to introduce you to him when the time is right)

Being described as awesome, on 3 completely separate occasions by 3 completely different people. Awesome is SUCH an amazing word, it just makes me feel, well, AWESOME! It is never a word I would have used to describe myself, but wow, thank you.

Speechless!

Another Liebster award!!! I did start to wonder if Liebster awards were part of the Zero to Hero WordPress challenge! To say I was chuffed to get this would be a HUGE understatement. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Kathy, I am sending you a big squeezy over excited hug!

liebster

There are rules associated with the Liebster award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.

2. You must answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominee before you.  (That list is below the nominations.)

3. You must nominate 10 of your favorite blogs with fewer than 200 followers and notify them of their nomination.

4. You must come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

Here are Kathy’s ten questions:

When did you start your blog?

I started it in September 2013, so it is a semi new blog, but with a few posts under my belt. I don’t want to look back at the first posts or I’ll end up re-writing everything!

2. What made you do the Zero to Hero challenge?

I started it for purely technical reasons – I wanted to make sure I hadn’t missed anything in the process of setting up my blog. I had gone with the trial and error approach (and lots of time over on the Wordpess.com support pages), but always had a nagging feeling that there was so much more I could do. However, it has been an added bonus to meet other new bloggers in the same boat!

3. Do you have any pets?

Yes, two Devon Rex cats, the monkeys of the cat world…

4. What is your favorite hobby?

I would honestly have to say it is blogging, whether reading or writing.

5. What do you do most of the day?

I work in a library. I look after various online bits and pieces, and help students with their queries. I love it. However, if I could blog for a living I would be pleased as punch – but then wouldn’t we all?

6. Do you believe in magic?

I believe that Dynamo is magic, or an alien, or a time traveller.

7. If you could have another life, what would you be?

I have always wanted to be a domestic cat.

8. Why?

I just want to curl up all day and be cuddled! And (on a slightly deeper note), have you ever noticed how mindful cats are? They live in the moment, their wants and needs are simple, and if these are met, they’re content. Big purrs all round!

9. How big is your immediate family?

Me, my Mum and my Dad. I live with my boyfriend, who I also consider to be my immediate family.

10. What do you like about writing?

This is going to sound strange. I never thought of blogging as writing when I set out, I started so I could record and share what I’m up, but it turns out I love writing! I know my grammar is terrible and I’m prone to typos, but I really enjoy it. I love the thought process and the act of getting those thoughts out of my head and into some sort of logical (and hopefully inspirational) order. I love how this helps my brain make sense of things. Most of all I love connecting with people.

 

I have to admit I am struggling with nominations as I am still discovering people, so please see my last post for nominees….

A liebster award!

A HUGE thank you to the lovely Cabin pressure may change  for nominating me for a Liebster award, an award for new bloggers. Definitely one to add to the starry moments! (Thank you can seem such an overused word, in type it never comes across quite as much as if you saw me jumping up and down and beaming from ear to ear, which is exactly what happened!)

liebster

So, on to the rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog
2. You must answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominee before you.
3. You must nominate 10 of your favorite blogs with fewer than 200 followers and notify them of their nomination
4. You must come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

Here are the blogs that I’m nominating (in no particular order):

  1. Stumbling into bliss
  2. Delightful Dystopia
  3. Change your mind
  4. The Atidecrem Life Project
  5. On becoming myself
  6. Both sides of the wall

Sorry, only 6 nominations from me, a lot of the blogs I follow are apparently not that new, it’s not something I’ve ever paid attention too!

Questions given to me:

Why did you start your blog?

I started my blog as a way of recording my journey towards a happier Amy, as a way of making it public so that I would commit to it, and as a way of being open and honest about my anxiety in the hope that it might help the next person.

What is your favorite thing about having a blog?

Two things spring to mine, the first being connecting with people, both on my blog and through posts that pop up in my Reader. The comments that I get are truly helping me along my journey, reassuring me that I am not alone, encouraging me to keep doing what I’m doing, and offering their own wonderful suggestions.

The other thing (is it cheating to have two?) is the process of writing. I wasn’t expecting this, but in writing down my thoughts and my “starry moment” each day, it seems to be helping the whole thing to sink in. (IS this the same for you?)

What do you do for fun?

Blog! I also have a strange affinity with the sea – I hate being in it, but I could watch and listen to it for hours. I’m a homebody, no adrenalin fuelled bungee jumps for me!

What is your favorite book?

Oh, this is a tough one! I work in a library, probably because I love books, but how to narrow it down to just one? My favourite book recently has been The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. It is such a beautiful book, based on a Russian fairytale. I nearly didn’t get past the first few pages as they were quite depressing, but I’m so glad I did.

What is your favorite movie?

This is easier, True Romance by Quentin Tarantino. It is a quirky love story, with a great sound track. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I love it. If you like Tarantino, have a look.

If you had really good news to share who would you call first?

Whoever was available first out of my Mum and boyfriend.

On your 85th birthday what do you hope your loved ones are saying about you as they celebrate your life so far?

That I am a great friend with a wicked sense of humour and love of life. (I’m working on the last one, sometimes life can be tough, but I’m now learning how to ride the waves).

Thinking back to the last time you laughed so hard you couldn’t breathe, what was so funny?

It was a Michael McIntyre standup sketch about going to the dentist. I laughed so much I was in pain, but I still couldn’t stop. I don’t think I heard any other sketches, I was doubled up in agony….

Thinking back to the last time you cried, what moved you?

I cried because of something someone said, but mainly because I was tired and emotional (in the literal sense rather than the drunken sense).

What is one of your favorite quotes?

“Every cloud has a silver lining”. A simple quote, but so powerful. I am discovering that by deliberately looking for positives instead of negatives, it is not only becoming a way of life, but life changing.

Here are my 10 questions for my nominees:

  1. Who or what inspired you to start blogging?
  2. When did you start blogging?
  3. What has surprised you most about blogging?
  4. Please tell us more about the name of your blog
  5. Which blog post are you most proud of and why?
  6. If your blog became a film, who would play you?
  7. If your blog had a soundtrack, what would be the opening song?
  8. What are you grateful for today? (big or small)?
  9. What is your favourite quote?
  10. What has been the best advice you’ve received?

The power of a password

How many times a day do you type a password? Each time you log onto your laptop or work PC, to look at your emails, to update your blog…

According to The Telegraph (2013), the most common passwords are:

  1. Password
  2. Paswword1
  3. 123456
  4. Qwerty
  5. Pet name
  6. Place of birth
  7. Iloveyou
  8. Monkey
  9. Name of a loved one
  10. Yourfirstname1

Imagine if every time you typed your password, you were reinforcing positive thinking? It needs to be a word that is important to you, that you want to see more of in your life.

  • Mindful
  • Positive
  • Awesome
  • Brave
  • SilverLinings

Do you think you might try this? What would you choose? (Perhaps given an example, it’s best not to share your actual password!)

Starry moments: day 13

A funny mix of a day, it went a bit like this…

The bus sailed past, making me late for work. Hmph. BUT, previously I would have let this ruin my day, telling anyone and everyone who would listen. Instead I made the conscious decision to put it behind me and move on with my day. I read a quote today, ” how people react is their karma, how you react is your karma”. The bus driver was not going to spoil my day.
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A compliment from a student I had helped soon put my day back on track. Little comments / compliments can make or break someone’s day, so I aim to make sure anything I say is only going to make someone’s day a little better.

Then, a farewell to a colleague. But I know it isnt goodbye as this colleague has become the most wonderful friend. I cant remember how we shifted from colleagues to friends, and I cant begin to tell you what a friend she has been. On my first day back at work after being signed off with anxiety, I struggled with every step of the walk to work. Just as I was wondering if I could make it, she rang to see if I wanted her to meet me. We sat (I sobbed onto her shoulder), and she gave me the strength to get back to work. We’ve shared many hugs and a few secrets, and I miss her already, yet know it’s not goodbye.

So, it turns out Monday’s aren’t so bad after all! How was your Monday?

Becoming my own best friend

Each week I am going to concentrate on one aspect of self-improvement as I explore different ways of becoming the happiest Amy I can be.

This week I will be working on becoming my own best friend. I strive to be a good friend to others, but I’m quite possibly my own worst enemy. Ok, I am my own worst enemy. But from now on, every time I catch myself having a little dig, I’m going to stop and think what I would say to a friend was in the same situation.
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Qualities of my own best friend:

  • Listen without judging
  • Speak kindly
  • Be supportive
  • Be encouraging
  • Be gentle
  • Be present, through thick and thin
  • Stay positive, look for the silver linings at all times!

Are you your own best friend? Do you have any tips for me this week?

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