Do I really look like that?

Was the question of the week.

Firstly, I need to apologise to my family, friends, team members, hairdresser, hair colourist, postman and generally anyone I came across this past week who has been subjected to this question, quickly followed by a ‘viewing’ of all the recent photos taken of me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a celebrity who is followed by paparazzi all day, I’m just someone who is ok with having my photo taken. In fact, as long as you give me time to fluff my hair and apply lip gloss – I’m often photo ready.

So why new photos?

Well I’m in the process of setting up my website and all the experts tell me ‘make sure you get professional photographs taken’. Lucky for me I know someone who has a passion for photography and has just finished their course. We agreed a time last week and for three hours I pretended to be some sort of super model, in fact at one point there was even a breeze blowing through the windows which felt like a wind machine.

This week was the big reveal, I was actually excited, I’d never had my photo taken professionally before, well except at a work awards ceremony years ago.

I saw the email land and there, in full techni-colour, full screen were a series of photos that kind of looked like me, I think they were me, were they me? did I really look like that?

This surprise, actually more shock, began my constant questioning of anyone I came across – ‘do I really look like that?’

As I began discussing my photos with people around me, I realised that how I see myself, isn’t how others see me. How they see themselves isn’t necessarily how I see them. So who is right?

Am I delusional? do they have defective eye sight? are we all right in our own way? does it really matter? I guess it only matters if I let it!

Someone asked me this week ‘is there anything you would change about yourself?’ I thought long and hard. Would I really change anything about myself if I could? All I know for sure today is that apart from some extra curves that have no business being on my body, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’ve come to the conclusion this week that it doesn’t really matter what others think of me, it only matters what I think of myself!

Nx


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Thank you Olga for being generous with your time, taking some great photos and laughing with me. We shall always have ‘half a smile’.

And the memories keep coming…

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So maybe tomorrow I’ll find my way home…I love this song now as much as I loved it in 2003 and now the tune is stuck in my head.

Whilst packing up my CDs and DVDs earlier today I noticed something interesting, every single, album and film sitting on my shelf had a story or a memory of a person or place associated with it.

Now the story for this Stereophonics single is very interesting and very long and requires lots of coffee and cake lol.

For now, what I will say is I had about 200 plus memories sitting on my shelf for the past four years and I hadn’t touched them. Not once, oh wait, they may have been dusted every now and then!

For your amusement I thought I’d share some highlights of where my memories have taken me today.

  • Madonna’s Bedtime Stories – bought at LHR, Terminal 1 whilst on my way to Glasgow for work. This album always reminds me of Positano, Italy laying on the beach under the warm sun. Probably because I played it on repeat all holiday
  • Bebel Gilberto remixed – bought at HMV on Oxford Street and played in my Nissan Figaro with the roof down all through spring and summer 2005. Oh and I went to see her in concert in Hammersmith
  • Maroon 5 Songs about Jane – I can sing along to each track on this album…I must try this out at karaoke sometime
  • Star Wars – My uncles took me to see this in 1977 – my first sci-fi movie and I loved it
  • James Bond – pick any one. James has been the one constant man in my life lol

As you can see it took me a while to pack them up as the memories kept on coming.

Over the years instead of recalling these memories from time to time, I created new ones, with new songs and new movies. I had left these old ones buried in my past, only to resurface today and send me into some sort of emotion filled time warp.

Memories do that right, you’re sent back to that time, with those people or in that place, wearing what you were wearing, saying what you were saying and doing whatever it was you were doing. It’s like an instant recall.

This got me thinking, if you keep reliving the same old memories day in and day out, do they keep you ‘stuck’ in that place or time? Do you ever really move on? Is it ok to keep reliving good memories but move on from bad ones?

What do you think?

Before I sign off, I encourage you to go and look at your CD shelf (if you have one) and play a song that reminds you of the old you, of a time that you loved and one that makes you smile and dance, because it’s those memories that got you here today, in exactly the place you’re meant to be.

Happy Monday everyone.

Nx


Written for all those people like me, who have neatly organised and filed away stuff never to be seen again. Also I’m wondering if my friend Tracy has gone through the same process as me today, as we both pack up and prepare for our next exciting adventure.

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Take one step, just one little baby step…

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Full disclosure, be warned the next paragraph may disturb some people…are you ready? I’m a lists person, yes lists. I have them in notebooks, in my phone, on pieces of paper, I make lists for other people, I even have an app that manages lists – now that’s what I call worshipping at the temple of lists. Added to this I’m a books person, in fact I’m a shoes, handbags, stationery, clothes, wallets, candles, scarves, perfume, skincare, art, jewellery, greeting cards, paper clips, yes paper clips and home accessories person. Phew, it’s all out there!

A year ago I decided enough is enough, I want to live a simpler life with only the things I love and want, so I started clearing out, I mean how much does one person need right? I started small, with just one drawer in my bedroom. Now, I don’t know about you, for me I feel a wave of relief when I’ve cleared out, I know what’s in the drawer, I’ve got rid of the stuff I don’t need and nothing is hidden away.

This clearing out continued for a short time and then life took over, so it all came to a stand still. Then at the end of May this year I agreed a sale on my apartment.

Oops, time to kick-start the clearing out again. And here’s what happened, in this order. I thought ‘oh I remember reading an article about clearing out’ followed promptly by me frantically logging onto Amazon and searching for books about clearing out. After a bit (ok maybe an hour or two) of research I found the book that I thought could help me, one-click and it was on its way.

Around the same time I began to notice that when I thought about my upcoming move as one big move, it felt overwhelming. So overwhelming that I would literally do nothing other than ask myself the following questions:

  • do I have enough time to do this?
  • how many boxes do I need?
  • where will I stack all the boxes once I’ve packed them?
  • am I willing to pay for storage for all these things I don’t use or need?
  • can I donate stuff to friends?
  • could the charity shop come and collect?
  • could I sell things on eBay?
  • oh I love that..do I want to keep it?
  • I remember when I bought that, I was in Denver, will I find something like that again?
  • should I have a pizza and packing party?

You get the picture (and yes I have noticed that I’ve made a list of my questions, old habits are the best don’t you think?).

Fast forward to today, just three or so weeks before I move. Packing boxes have arrived, all clothes that I don’t love have left the building, books I don’t want anymore have been sold via Amazon and all drawers have been cleared out and only hold things I want in my life, Next on my clearing out hit list comes my office, finally followed by my kitchen cupboards.

How did I get to this point in just five weeks?

It was simple really, I began noticing when I felt like clearing out. It was just a thought to start off with, a simple thought like someone whispering in my ear ‘I fancy clearing out some stuff’. So, when the urge took me to clear out, off I went to one drawer, one side of the wardrobe, one box and just worked my way through that one thing until it was done. One little baby step at a time.

I’ve noticed that I’m on fire when I actually want to do things – when I think I should, need to, have to, I’m more like a book-match that has been lit and burns out quickly. So I’ve begun to accept that what works for me is doing things when I want to and starting with something small.

This all started with me wanting to live a simpler life and that hasn’t changed, every day I take one small step towards that, now I’m off to shred some paperwork in my office…If I’m not back soon don’t worry it could take a while. Oh and by the way, I’ve added the book on clearing out to my pile of unread books that interest me! Nx


This blog is inspired by my friend Fiona who I have known for 28 years. For as long as I can remember she has always told me I have too much stuff. Fi fi I finally hear you and slowly the stuff is leaving the building, my life and my consciousness. You are living your life in a way that inspires the rest of us, you’re out there going places, trying things and changing your life with one little baby step each day. Loving that I am sharing my journey with someone who is so open, loving, giving and a little crazy, just like me.

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