Until further notice

I’m the happiest of Bronwens today. Autumn simply is the second most wonderful time of year (Christmas being the most wonderful time of the year, of course) and I’m so happy it is here.

What’s not to love? Good TV. Jumper weather. Beautiful crisp colourful leaves. Monthly reasons to get together with friends and family and have a good time in the form of Halloween and Bonfire night and Christmas (oops I said it again). Yes, it’s too soon to talk about Christmas, I know, but we all know that really that build up starts here. HOW EXCITING!

Tuesday night just gone, Dave and I went to see Foo Fighters at the O2 and it was unforgettable! My goodness what a night. If I didn’t already think they were an incredible band, I do now. They are mind blowing. They all have such presence! They’re all so talented and they’re innovative too. They’re growing all the time. They’re concert was the perfect mix of old and new and even featured Rick Astley! In the flesh. Singing ‘Never gonna give you up’. No word of a lie.

I also helped out at a couple of Alzheimer’s Society’s memory walks this month and I’m so glad I did. I was so overwhelmed. I attended the Watford walk first. The event site was at the bottom of a hill and we’d barely finished setting up before people started emerging over the top in blue memory walk t-shirt after t-shirt. They all looked amazing and even more so when they eventually headed off on the walk itself. I had a lump in my throat for the duration of both events. So many people and each one there for the same incredible cause and all with names and pictures on their back. All remembering someone. It was simply amazing.

Today, I’ve had an epiphany and, although it’s been a long time in the making, it’s today I feel like I’ve got a kind of a plan for the future.

Leaving my parents’ home and moving out. Moving away from my home town and starting a new job. It all threw me off balance just a little bit. I’ve been tumbling through. And, hey! I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with tumbling through, but for the first time in my twenties so far, I kind of know where I’m going. Or where I want to go. I think. And it feels FAB.

The wonderful thing is that for now, I think that for starters, I wanna stay exactly where I am. I’ve always been a floater, thrived off change. I get bored quickly, but as much as the change does good things for the part of me that is always seeking the new and exciting, each and every change drives the butterflies in my tummy into flutters.

I feel very lucky to be where I am right now and I know that with enough determination, I can get to where I want to be, starting from right here. I don’t need to jump head first into another deep sea full of unknowns and drag my mental health down again with me.

For a little while I’m just doing more of the same. And I’m so excited for all of the joys staying put will bring.

After that? These lips are sealed I’m afraid. Until further notice.

Mayhem

Our living room is SUPER cosy now. Not only do we have the house plant and the cactus and two sofas but we now have lots of cushions, one that’s particularly fluffy, and a rug and a coffee table. Right now I’m sat with a spotify playlist called ‘The Stress Buster’ playing, I have scented candles lit and I’m sipping my way through a beautiful cup of coffee. I reckon the playlist is doing its job, because I feel very chilled.

Monday was a fun-filled indoorsy day. I cleaned, I put washing on, I watched a few too many episodes of Gilmore Girls, I started trying to work out how I’m going to prove I’m competent to do the job I have an interview for and I cooked an amazing pasta dish. Pasta has become my niche. It’s even easier to cook than they say it is and it always tastes great. I wish I’d experimented more at university. Pasta bake was the extent of my knowledge. I ate a lot of pastabake.

Tuesday, I braved the Tesco Car Wash. Sounds simple, but I went all hot and clammy and breathless walking around Tesco after parking up and handing the keys over! I was so full of butterflies the whole time I did my shop and then when I eventually got back, having calmed a little, shopping in hand, to find it looking beautiful and to realise that the whole thing had been a massive success, I was so relieved. Small triumphs.

Tuesday evening we had a friend over to watch the football. We’re Manchester United supporters and therefore we were tense, stressed and frustrated for the majority of the evening. That aside, it was a good evening. We ordered an amazing Chinese takeaway and got through a few beers between us.

Yesterday three lovely friends came over to visit me for the day. We went out for lunch at Prezzo, I gave them a brief tour of Watford town centre (in all its glory), we played card games and it was great. Just to have the flat so alive with the buzz of a few more people made me smile hugely.

Today I finally went to register at a new doctor’s surgery. I’ve been putting it off because as per, I was super scared. Also as per, all was plain and simple, the ladies behind reception were nice and I had nothing to worry about.

This afternoon I went shopping for interview clothes and smart shoes. I spent two stressful hours checking every shop twice and still coming out empty handed. Suddenly, walking around the shops in a flustered mess, this interview felt terrifyingly close. I got home, reminded myself to breathe, made myself a cuppa and within ten minutes had ordered everything I wanted online. Why is it I never think to online shop right away? Need to get with the times.

Now I’m about to pick up Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Every time I finish a serious book off the shelf, I’m rewarding myself by reading a Harry Potter. They break it up a bit. They’re such good reads and when I picked up the first one a few months ago, it had been a very long time since my dad read them to me as bedtime stories. It’s about time I rediscovered them in all their wonder.

The last time my anxiety was exacerbated by a big change, it took a lot of adjusting for me to get to a point where I felt like I could live freely again. Perhaps it’s cos I’m older and wiser, perhaps it’s because I have Dave or perhaps it’s actually because this time I’ve been open about how I’m feeling, but I already feel like I’m doing better. Perhaps writing Chapter three is doing more good than I know. Whatever the reason, the way I was feeling when I wrote ‘Mind over Matter’ is a mystery to me now and I feel like I’ve come a long way in a few weeks. I hope this positive attitude is here to stay.

Let her sleep for when she wakes she will move mountains

Today is my grandad’s and my sister’s birthday. I love birthdays. Waking up this morning and jumping out of bed to give them my birthday wishes made me so happy. I love how everyone comes together too. My grandparents were here for the weekend and my brother came home too. My sister’s friends popped ’round with presents, we had bacon sandwiches, looked through old photos for memories sake and then I had to get off to work.

I’ve been at work for most of the afternoon so I’m now feasting on left over birthday cake and drinking the last of the red wine. Did feel a little down about the fact I had to work, but all in all I think it’s worked out okay: I got home in time to see them blow out their birthday candles and it seems to me the two of them have had really lovely days. Well deserved too!

It’s been another long and busy week. Not all work this week though. Managed to fit in an afternoon with the Alzheimer’s Society, an evening with Dave and a couple of evenings with friends. Spent Thursday night drinking cocktails which made a very nice change from carrying them on trays.

Can’t quite believe how quickly Christmas is coming up. Going to have to start making some time for Christmas shopping too. Can definitely tell winter is on the way. I’ve attached the fur back onto the hood of my coat, my scarf rack is out from behind the cupboard and so are my winter boots.

Another busy week ahead, for now I’m just looking forward to an early night. Bed’s going to feel amazing – it always does when you’re tired, especially when you’ve had a glass of wine.

Monday’s the new Sunday

Sun’s shining. I slept in until 10. I’m still in my pyjamas. I’ve done my washing and tidied my room. Other than that, I spent the morning lounging in bed reading and I’ve spent the majority of this afternoon watching The Walking Dead. There’s no roast dinner cooking. That’s the only way I know it’s not Sunday. Just cooked myself up some pasta though and although it’s nothing in comparison, it is pretty yummy.

Life’s a little crazy. Last week, my only day off was Thursday and this week I don’t have a day off. I’m back at the restaurant waitressing tonight and the days that I’m not there this week, I’ll be at the school. The days are merging into one. Weekends are a thing of the past. First week spent properly working two jobs and for now I’m feeling positive. I’m not grumbling! I’m happily busy and whenever I do get a moment to chill I’m making the most of it.

Working at the restaurant is great fun. There’s a real team spirit and no matter how much I complain about my feet hurting, I really enjoy myself while I’m there. There’s so much to think about, I don’t dwell on anything else either.

I’m so excited about getting back into the school this week too! I enjoyed my last week there so much and hope it’ll get better and better moving forwards. With half term behind us, I’m looking forward to the lead up to Christmas too.

For a while there I thought I was crazy to take on more work; I wasn’t sure if taking a waitressing position was at all the right thing to do. I’m an easily stressed person, creating an easily stressful life for myself BUT I am glad I applied and so glad they hired me. I stand by the fact when it comes to life, there is not right or wrong thing to do. It’s all a matter of trial and error. I tried and I’m a happy bunny. No stressed face yet. Here’s hoping the smile sticks.

September already, say what?

Seriously, where did the summer go!? It’s raining, I’m wearing socks and a cardigan, I feel the sudden urge to light candles again, I used my umbrella last night, help!

You know what? No need to panic. September is a funny kind of month. It might be raining now, but the sun could reappear at any point. I betcha I’ll just get used to grabbing a jacket on the way out of the house and suddenly it’ll be my sunglasses I need again. Britain is the king of mini heat waves.

For the whole of my life so far September has been a fresh start. It’s like the new year, except it’s only applicable to those still in education. New teachers, new classes, brand new exercise books, new homework diaries, new everything.

It seems that if you decide to work in education, when you finish education, the same still applies. I just can’t shake the feeling that a new chapter is beginning. I’m sad that summer is over, but also a little excited about the prospect of a new school year.

I’ve got a job on the horizon at another school for children with special educational needs, one a little closer to home and one where I hope to explore the music therapy avenue a little more.

Until that job begins, I’m going to get back into volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Society. I went into the office to get all signed up again this week and I loved it. If Alzheimer’s Society could afford to pay me to do what I do as a volunteer, I’d do it for the rest of my life. I’m grateful I have some time to help again, before getting back to work.

Right now though, I’m sat on my bed, an old One Republic tune just shuffled its way into my speakers and I’m feeling sleepy. I’m wondering whether to read a new book or just carry on watching Homeland on Netflix. Reading might just make me want to nap, but watching Netflix always turns my brain to mush. Sometimes it’s hard being lazy. I know I’ll be dreaming of days like this in a month or two. Must enjoy it while it lasts. Lazy Sundays are tradition after all.

Hip Hip Hip Hip Hooray

I’m sat at my desk, the sun has got its hat on, Passenger’s album ‘All the Little Lights’ is whizzing ’round the record player and I’m making my way through a massive mug of tea. I can’t contain my excitement: It’s GAME OF THRONES DAY. 

Last week, I worked my first day in a school! I was ridiculously nervous; I think I forgot to breathe for the first two hours after I arrived, but when I got back home at the end of the day I was feeling positive. I had a really good day. Everything came to me surprisingly naturally and I was in my element being back in the school environment again. I was too busy getting stuck in to sit back and think too much so I haven’t made any big life decisions yet, but I loved it. I know that much.

In October 2013, I wrote a post called ‘Busy is Best’.

You’ll find it in Chapter One, Finding Bronwen:  https://bronwensamantha.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/537/.

When I went back to university for my second year, I very quickly discovered that I was noticeably happier when I kept myself busy. To this day, I swear by it. A busy life is a happy one; for me at least. Time to think has never done me much good. A day in with my best mate Netflix only ever turns my brain to moosh.

I’ve had a wonderfully busy week. I’ve been to the cinema and I’ve been out for dinner. I popped into town for cheap work clothes. I’ve been to work. I went along to a fundraising quiz night, in aid of a brave young girl who has been diagnosed with a rare terminal illness and whose family are raising money for her treatment*. Saturday was such a long day that when I woke up Sunday morning I blamed my aching muscles on the dancing I’d done Saturday night, forgetting about the fitness class I’d done first thing Saturday morning. Yesterday was spent eating BBQ food and drinking Prosecco to celebrate my beautiful twin cousins’ birthday. I cannot believe they are going to be 18.  I’ve also come to realise that keeping busy isn’t the only thing that makes me happy: I’ve done a singing practice every day without fail. I don’t think I’ve truthfully been able to say that since I finished my degree.

I’d began to forget just how much joy singing brings me. Tuesday, I rang Dave at the end of the first proper singing practice I’d done in ages. I tried to explain in words how I felt and how much it meant to me. I tried to explain how it had made me feel and in the end I just told him that nothing compares to it. Nothing gives me more freedom than singing. Nothing makes me feel stronger and nothing makes me happier.

I’m off to set up at the piano for a little while. If you can, go play your favourite song at top volume and whether you think you can or not, sing along at the top of your voice. After all, I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing. 

 

*Follow the link to donate to help fund treatement for Phoebe Flo: https://www.gofundme.com/phoebeflo

Busy is Best

When I woke up Tuesday morning it was still dark. I felt like I should be jumping on an aeroplane and heading somewhere exciting, jumping behind the steering wheel of my car and driving across the country or just retreating under the duvet until the sun decided to put his hat on. In reality I’d set myself an early alarm so I would have enough time to wash my hair and get organised before my two hour lecture and my work induction. Being me, I still didn’t have enough time and I spent the morning running around like a headless chicken. The induction at work was almost a complete disaster, but I made it through and back out the shop with The Entertainer uniform in hand and rumbles in my tummy. I gave into temptation and dropped into Gregg’s, browsed all the shelves trying to convince myself to be experimental and try something new and then ordered my usual. (“A sausage, bean and cheese melt and a piece of Rocky Road, please?”) I had an amazingly productive afternoon, Chinese went really well, yet another walk home was filled with mine and my flatmates Chinese conversation and then I got an early night.

Wednesday was just as busy and just as amazing. I got up early, although it wasn’t dark this time. Had time for a cup of tea before leaving for lectures. Managed to enjoy lectures. Had an amazing lunch. Spent half the afternoon singing, first at choir and then in a practice room. Flopped in my flat mate’s room for hours while she baked bread (Inspired by the Great British Bake Off). Had a beautiful beef casserole dinner. Puzzled over more articles on the T’i-yung dichotomy in China. Went to a choir social at a pub five minutes walk from my front door and met lovely new people. Bought Chinese take away and curled up with my flatmates in the lounge, sharing jokes until the early hours of the morning.

I never thought I’d say it, but I think early mornings are the way forward. I’ve been up since eight today as well and I’ve been so productive that every part of me is buzzing. Laying in bed for hours every morning just leaves me feeling tired, smelly and lazy. Being busy is best. Goodbye wasted mornings.