1. Big 40 hits soon

    Big 40 hits soon

    Turning 40 is starting to get to me.  In my last post, my perspective was very positive and I was getting on fine, but as the day gets closer, I’ve started to unravel.

    At work there are a few ‘events’ to celebrate my birthday, and I have a party as I mentioned so I guess it just becomes a bit more real.

    A trigger may also have been my parent’s 45th wedding anniversary as I thought “hmm… I’m unlikely to get that”.  We went on holiday and time to think which is usually welcomed became a bit of a crazy time for me.

    I wasn’t sleeping that well.  We were keeping busy going out and about doing things to maximise our time there.  I then saw an article in the Daily Mail which said that “lack of sleep turns us into ‘social lepers'” and that made me feel slightly better.  My Dad reminded me that I’m not unique, but it’s quite easy to get lost in thoughts in your own head.  A good night’s sleep can right many wrongs.

    It’s funny how what is essentially a number can play so much on your mind.  I think it’s natural though to take time to reflect on where you are in life.  A milestone like 40 is bound to do that.

    Grease recently turned 40 so there are lots of good things the same age as me (including Garfield – see previous post).  Kylie turned 50 this year and Madonna turned 60, so there’s a lot of milestones around.

    Life Stage

    Jennifer Aniston recently did an interview with InStyle magazine where she talked about her life stage and about society’s view on women without children.  This again made me feel better.  There are lots of people in the same position and life isn’t always a fairytale, or probably never is really (though I’m still a big Disney fan).

    I can get into a panic about things and worry ahead of time, but actually if you just take each day as it comes then you can actually achieve a lot.  Yesterday I spent much of the day on party organisation which made things feel a bit more in control.

    Fearne Cotton writes in her Happy journal about how the summer holidays always felt like forever when you were a kid.  This rang true with me.  She said it’s because you are enjoying the moment rather than worrying about the future.  It comes back to the whole mindfulness thing and to enjoy today.  It is all that we have.

    Beautiful Lake District

    FairySteps

    FairySteps

    I recently spent two (separate) weeks in the Lake District.  What a beautiful part of the country.

    We visited lots of National Trust places especially those related to Beatrix Potter such as Hill Top.  We also re-watched Miss Potter – it had to be done.  Film and music definitely help to get you into the spirit of things.

    We visited Allan Bank which is where one of the co-founders of the National Trust lived for a time, along with William Wordsworth.

    AllanBank

    AllanBank

    The Fairy Steps in Beetham were tricky to find, but I pushed myself to climb them as I started over-thinking it and nearly bottled out.  Next we went to Arnside on someone’s recommendations for fish and chips.  The shop was closed and as we arrived rain was thudding down.  We noticed people were sheltering themselves by the shops but assumed this was because of the rain, not knowing that there is a tidal bore so going into a pub for a meal (which was lovely – The Albion) we went from seeing loads of sand, to the water covering it.  I imagine it would have been amazing to see.  Apparently Helen Skelton sat in a canoe for CountryFile and travelled on the water coming in.

    In Grasmere, which is a lovely village, I visited a local bookshop as my Mum was after a book in their window.  This reminded me actually of Notting Hill (the film).  Around the same time, JK Rowling put out a tweet about a second-hand bookshop she had visited on holiday.  They hadn’t recognised her… I’m currently really enjoying re-reading Harry Potter.  There are lots of good quotes in there that will appear in my Twitter in due course.

    Next door was a little takeaway food vendor (Lucia’s) which we went to twice as we enjoyed it so much.

    Returning to work

    I went back to work and felt really welcomed by the team, so that made me feel good.

    You can always draw positives and write gratitude lists if you do have a wobble in life. Of course there will be times that was going to be very sad, but for now enjoy today.

  2. Music soothes as things start to make sense

    Month 3: Things start to make sense.  Listening to music helps.

    Month 3 and I feel like I am starting to settle in and that things are slowly starting to make sense.  I still have moments of panic here and there, or feel a bit overwhelmed.  But I am making progress.  I know people better now, I know my commute, I know more about the tasks at work etc etc.  Everything just takes time and I can be impatient.  As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been listening to more music lately as I drive longer to work and back.  This led me to thinking…

    What’s your favourite song?

    I bet you have one.  Or maybe you have many.  I’ve just started writing a list of my favourite songs.  Music is a powerful thing.  Just look at how much money and influence pop stars or musicians have generally.  Music has a big impact on us and touches many points in our lives.  People win Oscars for movie scores.  What an amazing job! Shonda Rhimes uses music to great effect in her TV shows.  The latest episode of Scandal (potential spoiler alert so don’t click if you haven’t seen it!) had two characters singing Britney Spears’ ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ and it was probably my favourite Scandal moment.  I’m going to be very sad once Scandal finishes because it’s thoroughly enjoyable.

    Musicals and Concerts

    Andrew Lloyd Webber is celebrating his 70th birthday this year and I found an article on the BBC website about his career in seven songs.  I love to see shows at the theatre and attend concerts because it makes me feel alive.  Being in either venue makes you forget any cares and worries you might have to instead get lost in the moment.  It’s the same with TV and film for me.  Escapism really, but I suppose that is what entertainment is all about.

    Movies

    I recently watched Sing and loved the quote: “Don’t let fear stop you from doing the thing you love”.  It resonated with me.  I found another blog by Amy Rees Anderson which explains how it impacted her too.

    Dancing

    If I go to a party I enjoy getting up on the dance floor and having a dance (although I’m not that good!).

    Music - Kylie Christmas

    Music – Kylie Christmas

    Being a Kylie fan (see below) … ‘when I go out, I wanna go out dancing‘.

    My Favourite Songs

    I also like to sing in the car or shower.  It’s therapeutic and definitely lifts my spirits.  There are plenty of TED Talks about the impact of music too.

    I was looking for inspirational quotes as I post a daily quote via Twitter and found this article on LifeHack about Music about thirty inspirational songs to keep you motivated.

    Following on from the BBC article, if I had to pick seven songs about my life so far they would be:

    1. Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky.  I am an ardent Kylie fan and have been all my life.  It’s been a constant (along with a love of the Royal Family).
    2. Snow White – Some Day My Prince Will Come.  I’m also a massive Disney fan, and love Snow White.
    3. Frozen – Let It Go.  Continuing the Disney theme, this song meant a lot to me last year especially.  The Royal/Princess theme continues!
    4. Kelly Clarkson – Because of You.  The fact that Kelly wrote this when she was 16, and has such a powerful voice (I’ve seen her live – amazing).  I find it so moving.  Just love it.
    5. Cindi Lauper – Time After Time.  Again this song just moves me.  It’s quiet and poignant.
    6. Bon Jovi – Always.  A romantic at heart, again just love this song.  I have been lucky and see Bon Jovi live as well.
    7. Carrie Underwood – Before He Cheats.  Not exactly a topic that you’d want to happen to you, but love Carrie’s voice (again seen her live) and like the revenge side of this song, so that probably says a bit about me.

    There are so many songs that I love, but these are my list.  It’s great to be able to see artists that I like live, sometimes travelling to different countries.  I like to get good seats and sometimes a little mini-break is fun too.

    I asked my Mum to write out the songs she’d want at her funeral because music is so powerful and I thought I’d be in a bit of a state when that actually happened.  There are lists for the top songs at funerals.

    You might pick the song from the first dance at your wedding, there are plenty of lists for popular wedding songs too.

    What songs have had an impact on you and why?

    Enjoy today and maybe blast out some of your favourite tunes.

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