Feeling Proud

Good morning blogging world, I hope that you’re having a great day! I thought I’d share with you a little something and nothing just because I am feeling rather proud about it. Those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while will know that, in the past, I haven’t had an awful lot of self-confidence and found social situations quite challenging; I know that many of you have had the same problem.

Good morning blogging world, I hope that you’re having a great day! I thought I’d share with you a little something and nothing just because I am feeling rather proud about it. Those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while will know that, in the past, I haven’t had an awful lot of self-confidence and found social situations quite challenging; I know that many of you have had the same problem.

Anyway, to get to the point, I joined a social group a couple of years ago but had never attended an event because, quite frankly, I didn’t have the balls. The thought of going somewhere on my own and talking to people I didn’t know scared the bejesus out of me but, last night, all that changed. I received an invitation to go to a ‘red carpet’ evening at a hotel in Monaco and I went! Alone! I dressed up in my best frock, stuck on some high heels, slapped on some make-up and a big smile and entered a room full of people I’d never met.

Within 2 minutes I was chatting away to a lovely woman who I spent most of the evening with, within 15 minutes we were talking to two other ladies (in French which usually doubles the anxiety for me) and it went on from there. I must have spoken to at least a dozen new people! I was even chatted up two or three times and, do you know what, I had no fear……it could have been the couple of glasses of wine but I honestly don’t think so. You know what it feels like to have mad butterflies in your stomach when you’re anxious but I didn’t even have that just a mild sense of anticipation.

So, what changed? Well, one I have been listening to motivational talks on Youtube about self-confidence which have really helped but, more importantly, I suppose I just got sick and tired of hiding from the rest of the World and feeling sad. I decided that, whatever time I have left on this planet, I want to enjoy it, I want to live my life and be happy. Now, I’ve said that, it all seems so simple and I wonder why I’ve waited all this time but, I guess, I just wasn’t ready. I’m ready now, it’s my time to shine and I’m feeling pretty damn good!

Have you ever had a breakthrough moment like that? Please let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

Lisa x

Happy Day!

Do you ever have those moments when you just sit and quietly think to yourself ‘today is a good day?’ Aren’t they just the best?! I hope that you will have many of them in your life because we all deserve a good day every now and again.

Do you ever have those moments when you just sit and quietly think to yourself ‘today is a good day?’ Aren’t they just the best?! I hope that you will have many of them in your life because we all deserve a good day every now and again.

Thanks to the lovely people over at Spillwords, today is one of those days for me as they have very kindly published my poem Roses are Red. I hope you’ll pop over there and have a read and I also hope that any of you out there who are poetically inclined will decide to submit some of your work because seeing yourself in print is the best feeling. I’m sitting here writing this with a smile on my face thinking ‘Yes!’; today is a happy day.

Lisa x

ps. just to give you a quick update – the book has now grown to more than 36,000 words and they’re still coming ;O)

Published!

I am chuffed to little mint balls to be able to announce that I have had a short story published over here at Literally Stories. Honestly, these guys absolutely rock, unlike many sites, they respond quickly and, more importantly, they actually give excellent constructive criticism, especially Hugh, (who’s lovely). 

I am absolutely chuffed to little mint balls because today my short story has been published over here at Literally Stories. Honestly, these guys absolutely rock; unlike many sites, they respond quickly and, more importantly, they actually give excellent constructive criticism. I’ve sent a few stories off to them over the last couple of months and this is the one that they’ve chosen for publication. I couldn’t be more thrilled or proud :O)

Not only that and, I confess I had to read the email 3 times this morning to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, my poem The Promise has been nominated for Publication of the Month by the lovely people at Spillwords. The award will be decided by public vote so, if you’re not busy and can spare a minute I’d be really grateful if you could put a check in my box (if you see what I mean).

Lastly and, most importantly, I like to give a big virtual hug to all the wonderful people in the blogging community who gave me the confidence to submit my writing in the first place :O)

Lisa x

I’m So Excited!

I just can’t hide it! I’m about to lose control and I think I like it! If you’re wondering what I am babbling about and whether I’ve finally lost the plot – it’s this and I haven’t (well not yet I don’t think):

I just can’t hide it! I’m about to lose control and I think I like it! If you’re wondering what I am babbling about and whether I’ve finally lost the plot – it’s this and I haven’t (well not yet I don’t think):

I’ve had a poem published :O) I’ve been putting a few things out there over the last few weeks and have had a few rejections but then the lovely people at Spillwords contacted me to say that they were going to publish my poem today!!!

Added to that I also had an email from another site yesterday to say that they were going to publish one of my stories so you’ll be getting another thoroughly over-excited post towards the end of the month.

When I started this blog I had no idea that I would find a love of writing or so many wonderful people who would give me the encouragement and support I needed to even think about doing it professionally. Love and hugs to you all.

Promise

Of life ever after, of love ever after
Conditional on blind devotion, a jest?
Exquisite manipulation of senseless souls
Lost in the search of meaning and lifelong purpose
Led, oh so willingly, to believe there is more
What lies after? More lies? Eternal life? Like this?
Endlessly searching the missing piece of my soul
Forcibly ripped by all knowing, all powerful
There is reason, a reason, no comprehension
Given and taken, a blessing. Eternal curse.
We shoulder the burden of a heart that can break
I will love you forever, with you forever
I am weary of promises made and broken…..

 

Lisa x

 

If you Don’t Like it, Don’t do It!

How many of you remember Tommy Cooper? He used to tell this joke about going to the doctor and saying “My arm really hurts when I do this”; the doctor’s replies “Well don’t do it then”. Not a particularly funny joke but really great advice don’t you think? How much of your life do you spend doing things you don’t like? Maybe you hate your job, you’re unhappy in your relationship, don’t like the way you look? If so, I have a question for you – why do you keep doing things you don’t enjoy?

How many of you remember Tommy Cooper? He used to tell this joke about going to the doctor and saying “My arm really hurts when I do this”; the doctor’s replies “Well don’t do it then”. Not a particularly funny joke but really great advice don’t you think? How much of your life do you spend doing things you don’t like? Maybe you hate your job, you’re unhappy in your relationship, don’t like the way you look? If so, I have a question for you – why do you keep doing things you don’t enjoy?

Responsibility?

Sure, you can’t just give up work, for instance, you have to eat, but why do a job that you hate? You could argue that you have a family to look after and your job pays the bills but do you think that the people who love you really want to see you unhappy when you set out for work and stressed when you get home? What’s to stop you finding another job or even re-training in order to do something completely different; something that you might actually love?

selfishThe same applies to relationships, you may feel a sense of responsibility towards your partner, perhaps you’ve been together for a long time and you know that you’ll hurt them if you end things. You may feel that they need you and you stay out of a sense of guilt but is that what you would want from a relationship? Would you want someone to stay with you purely out of loyalty or pity? I would guess that the answer would be no so why do you stay? Why not break away and give yourself and your partner a chance at real happiness?

When it comes to the way we feel about ourselves it’s often because we don’t take responsibility that we have negative feelings. We feel fat and hate the way that we look in the mirror but we don’t do anything about it even though we know that we are capable. We know that we would feel less down if we got up off the couch and went out for a walk but we stay in front of the TV wallowing in misery and hoping that someone will do something to make us feel better.

Is it really irresponsible to want to enjoy our lives? Is it wrong to want to do things that make us feel good? Make us happy? If the answer is no then why do we spend so much time doing things we hate? Do we feel that other people will think we’re selfish or self-indulgent if we pursue only the things that give us pleasure? Maybe but who is living our life? Who has no choice but to live it? Us or them?

Personally, what I am aiming for is to get to the end of my life and not have as my last thought:

“I wish I had…………..”

What about you? Do you do things you hate? My advice would be ‘stop doing it’ but maybe you feel that you can’t…….

Please let me know, I’d love to hear from you

Lisa x

Are You Happier than a Cow?

If another cow starts eating beside her, she might lift up her head and give a slight umprph! but then she’ll move over and carry on eating somewhere else; she certainly won’t kick the other cow in the udders and demand that she sticks to her side of the field.

Have you ever watched a cow, standing in a field, munching away on grass? She doesn’t care if she looks fat, she’s not worried about the other cows talking about her behind her back (although they might be – who knows), she doesn’t worry about whether she’s being oppressed by the farmer……..she eats grass, craps and sleeps. Sounds like bullShe doesn’t worry about whether the bull will find her attractive or will call her back the next day if they have sex (I think we can safely assume he won’t – your average bull has a pretty one track mind).

She doesn’t worry about her calves; she’ll love them and make sure they eat, sleep and crap but that’s as far as it goes. She doesn’t try to interpret the side long glances that she gets from other cows or to find meaning in, what could be considered to be, a strategically placed cow pat.

She notices food when it arrives but doesn’t give a shit who delivers it or what they look like and she never worries about eating too much hay or whether it would be a good idea to run round the field a bit more often. If another cow starts eating beside her, she might lift up her head and give a slight umprph! but then she’ll move over and carry on eating somewhere else; she certainly won’t kick the other cow in the udders and demand that she sticks to her side of the field.

She might experience fear sometimes, if a rogue plastic bag goes flying across her field but, if that should happen, she’ll run away and she’ll assume that her fellow cows will do the same if they know what’s good for them.

Earth to cowShe doesn’t worry about the grass running out – it was there yesterday and tomorrow?…..well cows don’t really have much of an imagination so they don’t tend to think much further ahead than the next mouthful of grass and possibly the next crap, they’re not really what you’d call big thinkers…

When a cow is sick or tired she stops until she feels better. If she doesn’t feel better she doesn’t concern herself with why or worry about the things that she could have done better in her life. She thinks about grass and then she dies, without worrying beforehand about whether or not she’ll go to cow heaven or indeed whether a not such a place even exists. (Let’s face it, if cow heaven did exist, it would be full of grass and bulls so nice place to be but what will she be missing out on if she doesn’t go).

So there you have it – a cow’s life. Now, let me ask you, are you happier than a cow?

Lisa

x

The Sunshine Blogger Award – Spreading the Joy

Since becoming part of the blogging community I’ve discovered new ideas and so much positivity that I’m afraid that my days on Twitter are becoming a thing of the past – it’s a wonderfully inspiring world to be in :O)

The Sunshine Blogger award is given by bloggers to bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community. I am so very happy to have been nominated.

Sally CroninA huge thank you for the nomination goes out to Sally G Cronin at the wonderfully entertaining Smorgasbord-Variety is the Spice of Life.  In this post Sally talks about her book Turning Back the Clock: How to Feel and Look 10 Years Younger – a subject very close to my heart; I especially love her ‘Old Fogey’ questions ;O)

She says: “This book takes a look at the physical, mental and emotional aspects of aging and how a little attitude adjustment goes a long way!” Right on Sally!

 

The rules for accepting the award are as follows:

Thank the Blogger who nominated you.

Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
Display the rules and the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

Here are the questions given to me to answer:

  1. Can you tell us about yourself in 100 words or less?

My name is Lisa and I’m English but I live in the beautiful and sunny South of France. I moved here after I lost my husband because my old life had ended and I desperately needed to do something to start a new one. I’m 51 3/4 and do what I can to help my body to keep up with my 25 year old mind.

2.Can you tell us more about your blog in 100 words of less that would encourage people to follow you?

 I’d like to say that I have a blog that is focused and carefully constructed but, the fact is, I write about things that interest me. I have always loved exercise and, over the last few years I have developed an interest in the benefits of a healthy diet so many of my posts are about that. I also enjoy yoga and meditation so they crop up too and sometimes something in the media will catch my attention and I’ll write about that. Sometimes serious and sometimes frivolous – like me ;O)

3.What is the strongest memory from your childhood?

Being with my Grandad, who died when I was about 5 I think; we were in his garden and he held me up so that I could collect black cherries from the roof of their little garden shed.

4.Can you tell us more about where you live and why you call it home?

I am lucky enough to live on the Cote D’Azur, just down the road from Monaco. My apartment has a view of the sea and, as I have always felt more peaceful when I am close to water, it’s perfect for me. I first came here after I lost my husband and, although I am not sure why, it felt like I was coming home and it was a very easy decision to relocate here. That’s not to say that I don’t miss friends and family back in the UK, I do, but for me, now, this is home.

5.Do you have someone in your family that is your role model?

My brother. He is a successful businessman, an author, a racing driver and a martial arts expert. He is utterly, utterly focused and if he starts something he will always finish it no matter how long it takes. I admire his tenacity and wish I had even a 10th of it!

6Is there a country that you have not visited but is on your wish list?

There are 2 actually: India, specifically the Isha Centre in Delhi because the teachings of Sadhguru have helped me a great deal in the last year as has regular yoga practice. The second is the Seychelles because it looks stunningly beautiful and I love lying on the beach and swimming in beautiful, clear, calm seas.

7.Who is your favourite author and why?

That one I can’t answer because it changes all the time depending on my mood but my favourite book is The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory as it brings to life my favourite period in history. It tells the story of Anne Boleyn and her sister Mary and the time that they spent in and out of favour with the most brutal and, in some ways, charismatic monarch in history – Henry VIII.

8.What is your favourite meal?

Any combination of chicken and avocado as a main course and, although I don’t often eat desert it would be tiramisu with Grand Marnier – sinfully rich but delicious!

9.What is your favourite musician and can you let us have a YouTube link so that we can listen to them?

Again that’s  very difficult question as I love music but find that my musical tastes change with my mood. I suppose the band I never get tired of listening to is Mumford and Sons; their music is original and the lyrics are very poetic and thought provoking:

Thistle and Weeds by Mumford and Sons

10.What is your favourite film and why?

Dangerous Liaisons with John Malkovich, Glenn Close and Michelle Pfeiffer because it’s a love story but without a happy ending; it shows all the frailties of human emotion and how destructive they can be. It’s also beautifully filmed, funny in places and desperately sad at the end; I’ve watched in countless times. The fact that, for me, John Malkovich is wildly attractive in this film could also have something to do with it.

11.If you could live in another time.. decade or century.. what would that be?

Honestly? I wouldn’t. We can never go backwards only forward :O)

These are my nominees and I’ve chosen them because, with each of them, I’ve found something to interest or inspire me; I’ve included recent posts of theirs with the hope that they’ll do the same for you:

Dr Perry Phdhttps://makeitultrapsychology.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/how-to-manage-your-anxiety-in-an-anxious-world/

Tony: https://guysandgoodhealth.com/2018/03/28/breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response-harvard/

Kristin: https://runawaywidow.com/2018/03/21/saying-goodbye-five-stages-of-grief/

Simon Thomas: https://agriefshared.com/2018/02/09/my-secret-battle/

Dave: https://roadtoahealthierlife.com/you-might-just-feel-a-bit-of-a-prick/

JoyPassionDesire: https://joypassiondesire.com/2018/03/24/always-the-same-nightmare-what-does-it-mean/

Michelle Fyfehttps://healthylivingtribe.ca/2018/03/01/do-you-know-all-the-dangers-of-soda/

Katie Rosehttps://katiessanctuaryblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/5-things-that-totally-kick-ass-women-have-taught-me/

Gail: https://capablefitness.com/2018/01/07/in-dog-years-im-dead/

Christy Bhttps://whenwomeninspire.com/2018/01/23/putting-fun-back-into-fitness-team/

Alok Singhal: https://alok-singhal.com/2018/01/24/take-charge-of-your-health-with-vitamin-e/ 

These are my questions to all of you; I really hope that you’ll be able to find time to answer them so that your fans and followers will be able to find out a little more about you, your life and your work:

  1. What was your inspiration for starting your blog?
  2. What do you think it is that appeals to others about your writing?
  3. What do you most fear?
  4. Have you ever cried tears of joy and, if so, why?
  5. What was the biggest turning point in your life?
  6. What is your biggest temptation?
  7. What is your secret pleasure?
  8. Who is your favourite person in the world and why?
  9. What do you like most about yourself?
  10. If you had one day left on earth what would you do?
  11. Of all the things you’ve done, what has given you your biggest adrenaline rush?

I haven’t been at this blogging lark for very long so, once again, a big thank you to Sally for nominating me and a big thank you to all you guys out there – your likes and follows really make my day! Since becoming part of the blogging community I’ve discovered new ideas and so much positivity that I’m afraid that my days on Twitter are becoming a thing of the past – it’s a wonderfully inspiring world to be in :O)

Who are you?

…biting people’s necks has only a limited appeal

Some years ago, during a business interview, someone asked me ‘Who is the real you?’ I’d like to say that I came back with a well thought out and snappy response but what I actually said was ‘ummm…..well…..urrrrr….’; to be honest the question absolutely floored me because I had no idea how to answer. So began my long, long journey of self-discovery  trying to work out who the bloody hell I am.

Do you remember the scene in the Runaway Bride where Julia Roberts is trying to work out what type of eggs she really likes? She’d spent so many years going along with her current partners’ egg preferences, she had no idea what SHE liked? Well, it’s been a bit like that but with pretty much everything….

runaway-bride-eggs

At the same time I’ve tried to find some sort of emotional freedom and have spent many hours listening to gurus like Osho and Sadhguru who tell you that the secret to happiness is not to have ‘likes’ or ‘dislikes’ but merely to be accepting of what life offers you. Can you see how it’s all got a little bit confusing?

Bearing all this in mind, I’ve decided to focus on the things that make me happy rather than worrying about what I don’t like or shouldn’t like according to other people so here goes:

I enjoy being on my own with a good book, especially a trashy, romantic book (think Jilly Cooper or Tilly Bagshawe) that bears no resemblance to mine or anyone else’s reality but gives an hour or two of harmless escapism

I love speed – motorbikes, sports cars, galloping on horse-back – all dangerous but, probably for that reason; they all make me feel alive

A particular style of humour that I’m completely at a loss to explain:

TV shows and films about Vampires. I think I like the idea of living forever young, beautiful and brooding.  Of course, if I really think about it, I like sunbathing too much to only be able to go out at night and biting people’s necks has only a limited appeal..

Walking whilst listening to music – I’ll literally go for miles and can sometimes even be spotted skipping rather than walking if it’s a particularly good song (the latest being Believe by Imagine Dragons which I actually skipped to whilst on a treadmill).

Going to the gym. This has never, ever been a chore for me and I hope it never will be!

Hugs. I haven’t been in a relationship with anyone since I lost my husband but happily I have lots of friends who are quite content to give me a hug as and when required.

Not sure what any of this says about me but it was fun thinking about it

PS. my favourite kind of eggs are lightly poached :O)