Week Zero

I’m curled up on the sofa at my parents’ and I’ve spent the whole day in my PJs. The Christmas tree is twinkling and the living room is super cosy.

It’s odd isn’t it? This week between Christmas and New Year. No-one knows which day of the week it is. Our New Year’s resolutions don’t need putting into action until January 1st so we’re all in limbo.

Some people strip the decorations down, find places for all their gifts and spring clean a few months early. Other people cling onto Christmas for as long as humanely possible; cooking turkey everything, leaving the decorations up, watching Christmas films, eating chocolate and being extremely lazy. Others among us sit in traffic and battle the crowds to browse the sale racks for bargains. I myself fully intend to treat myself to some new jeans, that don’t have holes in, asap. Many of us have family and friends to visit and find ourselves doing the rounds. The parents among you have to find ways to entertain the kids until the school term starts again. I do not envy you. Some of you have had to go back to work already. Ugh. Poor you guys.

New Year’s Resolutions are a funny thing. Why do we feel we need to improve ourselves every year? Why are we so hard on ourselves and why should this year be any different from the last anyway?

Ridiculously, I always imagine I’ll have sooooo much more time when the new year begins. For example, this year I’m telling myself that I’ll join a couple of fitness classes, sing more, join a choir, find a rehearsal space for songwriting, make my lunch and take it into work every day, study, get out more, stay on top of the laundry and cook proper meals. I’m resolving to do all of these things despite the fact that I struggled through November and December barely finding the time to buy Christmas presents or paint my nails. Supposedly, in January, anything is possible. No wonder we all end up feeling sad and deflated when the 1st Feb comes around.

I also want to worry less. How I’ll manage that with so many goals to achieve, who knows? Most of all, I just want to worry less about what other people are thinking. I cannot read minds, so why do I waste so much time trying to? What even is the point? It’s irrational and oh, who am I kidding?

These will be the good old days. Regardless of whether I worry too much or I make time for all of the above, I want to remember that. I want to remember to make the most of every moment because time is flying by.

HELLO CHAPTER FIVE!

Proud

Another post already!? Can you believe it?

I remember when I went through a phase of wishing and hoping and dreaming of my blog becoming a massive hit and me being given my own column in a hugely famous magazine. I went and read all these posts from other bloggers about how to gain a following and how to keep them captivated.

Keeping your followers captivated. Rule number one. Write consistently and frequently. One day, the same day, every week or something like that. Every day if possible.

My inspiration comes and goes. My blogspiration comes at the most random times and goes again in a flash! I admire all of the bloggers and writers out there that have deadlines and meet them. I honestly don’t know if I could ever actually write in such a regulated way and I suppose I’m just grateful for the small following I do have.

Right now I feel blogspired, because I’m ill and mopey and yet I just stuck some music on, grabbed my book, got tea and within a few minutes, perked myself right up! I just caught myself smiling and I felt this overwhelming sense of accomplishment and happiness.

My throat hurts and I’ve got a cough. Isn’t that just the most annoying combination!?Apparently this is the week everyone gets sick. Monday was National Sickie Day. Unfairly named I’d say, seeing as the vast majority of people probably are genuinely ill and are not just faking it. After all, we’ve been cold for too long. We need spring.

I tell you what though… Dave’s been nagging me to have Lemon and Ginger tea when I’m full of cold for years and I don’t like lemon so I’ve been ignoring him. Until today that is. Today I’m drinking Pukka’s Lemon, Ginger and Honey tea and my goodness he was right all along! The ultimate cold buster. It’s a shame he’s not here to tell me he told me so.

Smiling goofily at my laptop right now’s got me thinking, it really is the little things in life. What makes you feel proud might seem to someone else not to be an accomplishment at all. But that’s why we should never ever compare ourselves to others. I think that’s why I wanted to write; just to say I’m proud. And you should be too, of whatever little thing you’ve overcome today.

Today, I feel proud because I’m home alone and I’m unwell and I’ve no idea what I’m cooking for dinner and usually my butterflies would be fluttering, but instead I’m smiling. Hooray to that!

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.

10 reasons to read more

One – Reading is for everyone. Okay, so you read one book by Dan Brown and you can’t handle the suspense, or decipher the intellectual gobbeldy-goop. I’d disagree with you when you said you didn’t enjoy it, but I wouldn’t judge you for it. Maybe you’ll say that means reading isn’t for you. Except there are millions of other books out there, all different. There’s one out there somewhere that’ll get you hooked. I know it.

Two – It’s fun and easy. You can claim that reading’s too much like hard work, but when you start reading you’ll realise it’s not. In fact, I feel more brain dead after a netflix binge than I do at the end of a book. Stick with it, the more you read the better your brain gets at it. Eventually, with perseverance and a little patience, you’ll forget to try. The story will come alive before your eyes.

Continue reading “10 reasons to read more”

There’s no place like home

It felt like the entirety of my weekend at home had been nothing more than a dream when I woke up this morning; the horribly stressful journey back to Cardiff being the disastrous ending that finally woke me up. It feels like I went to sleep after the Halloween party last Thursday and I’ve been asleep ever since. A big part of me wants to curl up and go back to dreaming of home so I don’t have to face today. Today is my first day at work and the day of my first rehearsal for my first concert of the semester. Today is terrifying.

Friday morning I wasn’t anywhere near as excited as I expected to be. I woke up with the biggest smile on my face, but only because the night before had been such great fun. I was happy because Halloween had been amazing and it hadn’t quite clicked that a megabus was going to take me home that afternoon. I got up, got ready and headed out to hand in my first music assignment of the year. I daydreamed my way through the entirety of my history lecture and then when I realised the time, half walked half ran home to pack. Time went by ridiculously quickly and before I knew it, I was sat on my bed eating my lunch as quickly as Bronwenly possible, because I knew I needed to get to the bus stop. In true Bronwen fashion I got half way up the road before realising I’d forgotten my purse and had to turn around to grab it. I caught the bus just as it was about to leave. The driver thankfully got down from his seat, smiled at me and let me chuck my bag in the hold. It took me six hours to get home, but when I did I was beyond happy. Home looked amazing and smelled amazing and my mum had left me a portion of chille con carne to reheat and eat when I got in.

Saturday morning my mum woke me up with a cup of tea and asked if I fancied a drive out of Chelmsford to pick my sister up from a family friend’s house. At first it felt ridiculous to even consider leaving my warm and comfortable bed, especially now I had a cup of tea in hand. As it dawned on me that this was day 1 of 2 at home I began to change my mind. I didn’t want to waste anymore time in bed. I jumped in the shower, my mum made us the most amazing breakfast and then we jumped in the car. I think I had forgotten just how much I love being behind the steering wheel. The drive left me on cloud nine. I spent the whole journey head bobbing and steering wheel tapping without shame. We joined our friends for a coffee in Costa before heading back. Sat with my mum and our family friends, drinking a Costa Caramel Latte I was ridiculously happy. I spent the afternoon being the laziest I’ve been in weeks and my dad ordered pizza in for dinner. We went to see the Fireworks display in Danbury (a Maggs family tradition at this time of year) and as usual it was incredible. Stood linking arms with my mum and brother, my dad with his arm around my sister just in front of us, I felt like I had the leading role in the very happy ending to a film. I was really ill when I got home, my guess is the cold got to me and the tiredness hit too. I missed out on joining some of my friends at the pub and had to head to bed at eleven before it felt like I had quite made the most of my day.

I got up fairly early again on Sunday, feeling much better after sleeping. It felt like I’d never left: I helped myself to cereal and joined my mum in the lounge. She was watching a Christmas film. Normally I would have objected considering November has only just begun but I was drawn in when one of the characters announced he was banning Christmas and the sale of toys. My mum made an amazing lamb roast dinner, I went shopping for work trousers and before I knew it I was packing up and heading back to Cardiff again. Saying a temporary goodbye to my family once again made me feel just as sad as usual. The journey home was horrible: Trains were late, I was late, buses were late, it rained loads, I did the walk home in a complete daze thinking only of bed and of putting my heavy bag down.

And then I woke up, back in Cardiff, curled up in bed as if I’d never been away.