The Best Things in Life

HI THERE Y’ALL, FROM A VERY SUNNY (AND HOT) TEXAS!

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Outside Our New Home

We made it…at last! Thank you so very, very much for all the messages of support up until now…..we certainly felt them! As soon as we heard the good news the kids and I booked our flights and got out here as fast as we could. We needed to enrol them into their new schools before the new term (I mean ‘semester’) started on the 24th!  Angus followed shortly after, once the actual ‘ok we’ll have you’ visa arrived. Yes we’re here……but it feels more like we’re on holiday than in our new home! (How long ’til that reality bites?!)

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Our ‘Back Yard’

Anyway, whilst I was waiting for our container to arrive it dawned on me that there was very little in it that we’d actually missed in the last few months……VERY little! And now that it’s here and unpacked, it’s lovely to be with our things again, but we haven’t actually needed them! Living out of a suitcase for a few months gave us more freedom than I knew at the time. We didn’t have anything but ourselves and a few clothes to look after so it made more room for other, more essential things. Sounds cheesy but we spent more time together!

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With Cousins In Cornwall (Photo by Michael Tufnell)

Aaaaaah, Cornwall! We hung out in nature every day, whatever the weather! We surfed, explored, tried new things, visited new places and swam….a lot! I’m not trying to sound like an ‘everything’s perfect in my life’ kind of person, (OF COURSE it wasn’t!), but I can see now that living like that without our stuff was really liberating. Whilst in that space I also started drawing and painting again for the first time in thirty odd years!  Even that was freer (well, childish!). And I began this blog! Would I have done all that anyway? (I’m thinking not!) Who knows! No, I’m not going to go and live off grid (although part of me is tempted!). I’m just saying that this whole process has reminded me of something:

THAT THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE AREN’T THINGS!

Just over a year ago I read about a man who packed up all his belongings into boxes as if he were moving house. He only took things out if he needed them.  If they hadn’t been used for a certain amount of time he either sold them or gave them away. He found it liberating! I thought it was a great idea at the time and really, really wanted to do the same. I managed to empty out a few drawers but I didn’t get much further than that…….until I HAD to! (Be very careful what you wish for!!)

Now I see that the man was right…..it does feel freeing. Freeing in mind (feels clearer), in body (reduced stress) and in spirit (less housework, more fun!). So I’m announcing today that they’ll be no more hoarding or cluttering for me. (And I give you full permission to hold me to that!)

That’s it for now my lovelies.  I promise I’ll try to post more regularly from here on in!

Bye for now!

Yx

Let It All Out!

Hi there! Welcome back!

Thanks so much for the lovely comments I’ve received on here, Facebook and private messages. They’ve really inspired, encouraged and spurred me on to write some more! I was initially soooo tentative about putting my words ‘out there’ because I kept telling myself I wasn’t a proper writer! But bashing that thought around in my journal made me realise that, actually, I AM! It may not be well known but I’ve been writing for over thirty years (albeit to myself)!

I don’t write every day and I don’t list what I ate for breakfast (!) but I do use it to express, express, express! Express what? Well, all sorts of things…..my thoughts, feelings, mulling ideas over, problem solving, reflecting on inspiring stuff, getting to the bottom of why things push my buttons, dream analysis or just a frustrated…..

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Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that journaling helps me feel happier, calmer, clearer-headed and focused on the present. I recently read about Dr James Pennebaker, a professor of Psychology at The University of Texas (of all places!), whose research has shown that ‘writing about emotional experiences can have tangible health benefits’.  Better health too? Even more reason to write, write, write!

As you can imagine, this move to Houston has been coming up in my journal quite a lot over the past few months! The latest is we’re at the final stage of the immigration process (yay!).  Angus has an interview at the US embassy in London on 30th July when they’ll give him a defintie ‘yay’ or ‘nay’! (Why wouldn’t they give him the visa, right?!) I’ll report back on that soon after but if you have a spare, positive, thought for us on the day (1pm to be precise) then please do send it over!

In the meantime, we’re enjoying being here…….now!

Oh yes….nearly forgot! If you fancy getting notifications via email when I post something new…..then please just click the ‘Follow’ button to the right and below. I didn’t know to add that particular little ‘widget’ to my last post…..ooops! Learning as I go!

Bye for now

Yx

One last thing……someone asked it I’d mind if a friend of hers read this blog. I said of course I didn’t! If someone doesn’t know us and reads this it’s still a story…..and if it can inspire along the way, then all the better! So please feel free to pass on to a friend if you think they’d be interested!

Hi there!

An enormous WELCOME to my very first post!

I thought I’d be brave and dip my toe into the blogging world….so I have! Mainly to write about our transition from the UK to Houston but also to highlight some (hopefully) inspirational stuff on the way! I must warn you though – it won’t be a literary masterpiece. More like colloquial scribble! Anyway, here goes!

As you may know, it’s been a weird old time for us preparing for something that was meant to be happening and then wasn’t! We moved out of the house, sold the car, pulled the kids out of school, sent our belongings off to the States and then a day before we were meant to leave…BOOM! The US weren’t ready to have us yet! Not without the correct paperwork anyway! So for the last four months, whilst that’s being compiled, we’ve been living out of a suitcase, borrowing cars, staying mostly with my in-laws and attempting home schooling (more like ‘unschooling’!)

It’s certainly been tense at times, to say the least, but there’s been something that’s really helped through the ‘what ifs’ (worrying about what the future holds) and the ‘if onlys’ (dwelling on the past). When my mind goes wandering into the future, I can get anxious! Very anxious! Or when it goes back into the past, I can feel really very sad. Either way it does my head in!  The past is done…..there’s nothing I can do to change that. And I’ll just have to wait to cross future’s bridge before I worry about what the conditions may be like there.

So I bring myself back to the present moment. How? I’ll give you an example……I’m sitting in a car jam, which’ll make me late for my appointment, and I start getting stressed about it. But what can I do? That stress won’t make the jam disappear or get me to my appointment any earlier. So I send a message to say I’ll be late, then take a couple of very deep breaths in and deep breaths out! I start looking around…..seeing what’s there…..listening for sounds…..becoming aware of what I’m sitting on and how that feels. Why? Because it helps me realise that right in that moment I’m actually absolutely fine. And that rebalances me.  (And I notice the stress disappearing!) I may very well be arriving late for my appointment…..but at least I’ll be arriving happier!

My best teachers on this? The kids……and our dogs! They’re all naturals at it! Plus Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now has been hugely inspiring.  If you haven’t read it …..I highly recommend it! It’s certainly transformed my thinking!

For now, thanks for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed it. I’ll be back in touch again soon.

Until then, may we….

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Bye…for now!