Just ‘let it go’…

let-it-goSometimes things don’t work out quite as you planned, and how you deal with it can have a huge impact on the rest of your day and most definitely your mood! I had a day a bit like this yesterday, with lots of things planned out and a to-do list of things I wanted to get done. I was really motivated and woke up with a spring in my step.

The first major task of the day was where it all went wrong, and I actually surprised myself with how I felt about it and dealt with it. I decided to take my two children to a playgroup session which I regularly attend with a friend – this would be the first time I went on my own and I tried not to think about running about watching two of them at the same time without back-up! Anyway, it took me longer to get the two of them out of the car, in the buggy and into the play area in the building, than it did for my son to decide he would have a meltdown resulting in me deciding to leave -after just 15 mins!! I then had two hours of meltdown to deal with whilst trying to keep calm for the other one, so my plans went out of the window.

The rest of the day kind of followed suit – I couldn’t do some of the jobs I had planned as my son decided not to sleep at lunchtime, and continued to test me throughout the day;  the dog carried a whole load of mud into the house and decided to roll it on the cream rug (that DID test me!); I spilt a whole carton of milk on the floor (I know ‘don’t cry over spilt milk’!); my son decided he didn’t like any food put in front of him; and then my daughter had teething issues and didn’t want anyone else but me at bedtime, which meant I couldn’t go out to play netball.

let-it-go-disneyI could have had a meltdown myself, and got annoyed, but I actually stayed calm and just decided to ‘write the day off’ or in the words of that famous Disney movie (Frozen) ‘Let it go….’. I decided that I would just have to let it go and deal with my to-do list and every other plan tomorrow. But, one thing I did decide I needed to to to help me with that, was ensure I did one thing for myself that day – because that would help me feel better and I wouldn’t feel I had totally lost it. So, I enlisted the help of my mum for babysitting duties and I went for a run, and I felt so good for doing it.

So if you can do one thing for yourself, something that makes you feel good – read a book, go for a walk or run, take time out to watch your favourite film or TV programme, have a bath etc. it will help you re-focus, put things into perspective and ‘let it go’. everything else will still be there tomorrow and you will have done something for you 🙂

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Cake – just how do I find the time?!

Last night was the final in the Great British Bake Off and as a fan of baking I was glued to the TV.What really surprised me was that in each of the challenges they had to complete, I actually felt I could have done quite well myself – the technical challenge was to make a Victoria Sandwich cake which is one of my husband’s favourite cakes so I bake it fairly frequently. And chocolate cake for the main ‘Showstopper Challenge’ – that has my name all over it!

Anyway, as I was discussing this with my husband, he got a bit frustrated with me and said ‘of course you can, you’re good at baking, just like you’re good at lots of things, you just don’t believe in yourself enough’. This is indeed something he says to me quite a bit, and I think I am beginning to understand it now.

As I have been off work for a couple of months, I’ve managed to bake a lot more frequently and have posted pics on my social media feeds, to which many of my friends have commented ‘how do you find the time when you have two small children at home?!’ Well, that all comes down to good organisation and letting go of the things that don’t matter. I bake when my children are playing and I can see them, or when they are having a nap. It does mean that the washing or tidying has to wait until later in the day, or that some of my ‘jobs’ just don’t get done that day. And I bake because I enjoy it, and it’s important to do things you enjoy.

I’m also trying out new recipes and really enjoying the challenges! And finally, if the cake doesn’t turn out well, that doesn’t matter because I know plenty of people who will eat it if

I make the most of it. One lemon cake I made just collapsed on the top as I had too much liquid in it, but I salvaged what I could (see pic) and still managed to serve up a few dreamy creamy lemon curd slices!

So the moral of that episode was – make the most of what you’ve got and focus on the positives. And have faith in your abilities – other people do…..

Surprise yourself!

My life and general routine has changed dramatically in the last six weeks, as my husband and I welcomed our two beautiful children into our lives. All through the journey to this point, many people told us ‘your life is going to change…..you won’t be able to do the things you do now…..your health and fitness lifestyle will be no more….’ and many other things along those lines, as well as the more positive ‘it’s an amazing thing and change is for the better’ comments.

Prior to the children I was an early riser and a morning gym/run person, and I often went on long weekend runs with my friend who had recently got into running. I will admit it, I did start to think that maybe these people could be right and that I would lose it all and would be tied to these children with no ‘me time’ for years to come. BUT that has definitely not happened. In fact, I am out running and in the gym getting better results more frequently – so what’s happened?

Well, OK I have had to modify my timings and yes the children have to come first at times. But if I can get my mum to sit with them, or I am willing to get up even earlier before my husband leaves for work, then I can fit things in and no-one suffers. But the biggest change for me has been when I have gone out running at a completely different time of the day…….

I constantly tell myself ‘I am a morning person and I can’t do exercise at any other time of the day – if I miss that window I am useless and I won’t enjoy it/achieve anything with it’. That means I start out with the wrong attitude. Now though, because I have to take the opportunity when I can get it, I have found myself running at lunchtime, or in the evenings. And the biggest surprise has been my performance – I have racked up new PBs at lunchtime, run further in the evening, and the one that surprised me the most…..I ran a regular route with the children in the double buggy and was only 20 seconds slower than my PB!

So it got me thinking – sometimes if you break your normal routine, and take an opportunity even if you think it may not work out, it can be the best decision you ever made. It can also get you questioning your attitude and approach to life – it certainly has with me. Don’t get stuck in a rut, and don’t listen to your inner negative voice (or that of others). Take the opportunity and try the change – at least you tried, and that’s better than thinking ‘what if?’.