And my new passion is…

love keyboardI recently discovered that I have another passion besides writing. Because we are moving house, I needed to find a few items of furniture. When someone suggested that I try the second hand furniture shops, I was a little surprised. As weird as it sounds, I had never really set foot in one before.

When my family went to visit one the first time, it was closed. I looked through the windows and saw a lot of things that I really liked, so I planned to return. The next time I went on my own, and I could browse to my heart’s content. Instead of one shop, it was actually two. I enjoyed it so much, that I almost began to feel like I was doing something illicit.

A myriad of emotions went through me as I browsed. First of all there was sadness because I saw the type of furniture that had been in my grandparents’ home – well-loved and well used. Then there was joy at knowing that such pieces were still being given life and then, as I browsed further, I felt totally amazed at what bargains I could find. I was like a kid in a sweet shop – literally. I went from cabinet to table to sofa to drawers to mirrors, looking over each and every one, trying to picture them in my new home. It was heady, and I spent longer in those shops than I’ve spent shopping in quite a while.

I wanted to talk to my husband about some of the pieces before making a final decision. I took a few photos and could hardly wait for my husband to get home from work. The anticipation of sharing this discovery with him felt just like Christmas Eve.

AKARAKINGDOMS via freedigitalphotos.net

AKARAKINGDOMS via freedigitalphotos.net

Not unexpectedly, he liked the idea that we were saving money, but he didn’t share my joy and enthusiasm. I, however, wasn’t deterred. When I went back the next day, accompanied by my eldest, I felt such a ridiculous sense of excitement, I almost skipped inside. I re-visited the items that I had seen the previous day, but then I started searching again. I needed to check, in case I had missed anything. Initially my son was much like his father, but before long, he began to pick up on my enthusiasm. Soon we both hunted around like pirates searching for treasure. I showed him furniture that I remembered from my childhood, and we looked nostalgically at a few items that are no longer in fashion.

The table that I had spotted the previous day was a real winner. When you pull the table apart, a hidden panel opens in the middle to provide extra space. When I first saw it, I was amazed at the clever design and the smoothness of the mechanism. On this day, when I showed it to my son, it was love at first sight.

As we approached someone to pay, we passed the most adorable little sofa. I didn’t need a sofa, I had no place for it, but I fell in love with it. I sat on it. My son sat on it. We talked about it. Then I decided, “What the heck! With a bigger house, I’m sure we can find somewhere for it.” So we bought the sofa as well. In the meantime, while we still prepare for the move, you can bet your bottom dollar that the little sofa is going to be squeezed into my current lounge even if it doesn’t fit.

The new sofa with the only seal of approval that matters!

The new sofa with the only seal of approval that matters!

On the day the items were due to be delivered, I walked around with a ridiculous smile on my face. I can’t believe how this experience has affected me. I have discovered a new passion, something that feels like part of me. So even though I don’t need more furniture right now, I plan to continue to browse – on a very regular basis.

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If we were having coffee…

zirconicusso via freedigitalphotos.net

zirconicusso via freedigitalphotos.net

I kind of pinched this idea from another blogger, but I have a feeling that she won’t mind. As it’s been a while, I thought this would be a great way to get you all caught up with what has been happening on this side of the pond. So here goes.

If we were having coffee I would tell you…

That I would be drinking tea. I hate coffee. Sorry.

Image courtesy of gubgib via freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of gubgib via freedigitalphotos.net

That we finally have a date for moving house. It’s all happening on the 2nd December, which means that I am currently living in a house dominated by boxes and odd furniture. 

That the trees to the rear of our new house have dropped their leaves and I can now see the river from what will be my new office. I am one very lucky girl!

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That editing on book one is still ongoing but we are making massive breakthroughs every day. The first chapters have been difficult to get right but we are finally getting there. Along the way I have learned so much and realised how much I still have to learn.

That I am going to be getting back into blogging as soon as I can. I have started reading some again and I have to say, that feels pretty good.

That I have managed to get my exercise regime going and I am now doing a half hour ‘power’ walk every day on my treadmill. Keeping it up is hard work and I have to deal with some pain but I feel so much happier when I am able to exercise regularly.

Female legs jogging on a trail

That I finally have a much more positive outlook on life. It’s taken time but at last I am able to allow myself the luxury of being happy, something that has escaped me for a long time. This still requires work, but I now know how to deal with the bad days.

That I have found a new passion. There will be a blog post on this soon, so be sure to look out for it.

And that’s about it for now.

If we were having coffee, what would you tell me?

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Do less, achieve more

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn via freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn via freedigitalphotos.net

You are running late, rushing around, the cat needs feeding, the kids need their lunch, the phone is ringing and your favourite jeans are in the wash. It’s crazy, it’s mayhem and it is a scene to which we can all relate. The issue with this scene however is that it doesn’t just happen once, it happens every single day. And each night, when you go to bed, you plan as best as you can to make sure that you avoid the same thing the following day but as soon as you get up – bam – you’re running crazy again.

My recent enforced sabbatical has necessitated in me challenging this way of existence. The endless running all over the place, the million and one things on the go, the long list of things to remember and the places that you should be and you are not. I had no choice but to take a step back and to allow life to an extent, take care of itself. It sounds daft but it was tough, really tough, to go from being crazy busy to suddenly being forced to rest and yet I was so in need of it, my body was crying out for it.

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap via freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap via freedigitalphotos.net

A few days in and I began to feel stronger again and so I tackled, bit by bit, the odd job that I had left undone. I set myself a goal, one, two or maybe three things each day (over and above the basic needs of my family) and if I felt the stress kicking in, then I just took another step back. At first I convinced myself that I was being lazy. I was used to running around all of the time and just sitting, relaxing, snoozing, contemplating, it all felt wrong to me. I felt that I was letting everyone down by just taking it easy but I also understood that I would never feel better unless I gave myself the time to heal.

I am fortunate. I have the most amazing husband and family and they supported me, as they always do, whilst I took the time that I needed to get myself back to where I wanted to be. And what I realised a week or so in was that in actual fact, I was being far from lazy. On the days before I had taken time out, I had been so busy, so stressed, so wiped out that I was failing to properly achieve anything. I would start something, then flit to the next thing, open up a blog post and then type the first page of a manuscript – I was all over the place and the fact that nothing was getting done, actually added to the stress. When I stopped, allowed myself the time to breathe and then took it slowly, step by step, I finally realised that this was the way to be productive. Even though before I thought I was doing great because I was running around all over the place, in actuality, I was achieving nothing. However when I stopped and took it slow, I managed to complete  more tasks during the day than I had in a long while. It seemed odd, but somehow it made perfect sense.

Image courtesy of dan via freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of dan via freedigitalphotos.net

I understand that we don’t all have the opportunity to take a break but by recognising that I was running on empty and giving myself the time to reflect, I have brought so much more happiness and contentment into my life. No longer am I trying to juggle every single thing, I am achieving what I need to and dedicating the rejuvenated energy that I have found back into my family and my writing. By doing less I am achieving significantly more, which can only be a good thing.

Perhaps it doesn’t make sense for everyone, but it is certainly working for me.

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In case you were wondering…

nubes en el aguaThe last couple of weeks I have taken a much needed sabbatical, both from writing and my day job. This sabbatical has culminated in some decisions that will have lasting benefits for me and my family and one of my biggest discoveries, is that I kind of forgot how to enjoy life. I forgot how to celebrate who I am. In fact, I wasn’t celebrating much of anything. For quite a while now, I have been missing small moments of joy and well-being. That became glaringly apparent when I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I’ve let music into my life.

Music, much like writing, is in my heart. I started playing instruments including the violin and clarinet at a young age and even though I no longer play, music still moves me emotionally. That was something that I had forgotten until last week. Pushing myself to use the treadmill in the garage, I decided to put on my iPod and as the music came bursting through the headphones, I was reminded of how much pleasure I had been denying myself. After finishing my workout, I took some time out to just listen to more music and with each track that played, a part of me came back into focus.

cooldesign @ freedigitalphotos.net

cooldesign @ freedigitalphotos.net

The process of this discovery has been challenging, but I am so glad that I finally realised that I had lost my sense of who I really am. I am not saying that it will be easy, but I will make a place for all the things that are important to me—those parts that have come back into focus. A whole new world has opened up to me. Music and — dare I say it — exercise are part of my ongoing commitment to my family and to myself. As for writing? That is even further entrenched into my vision for the future.

I am now looking in one direction only and that is forwards, to where I will be fully embracing life and all of its possibilities.

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That was a heck of a week…

1ed57-tenthingsbannerThe last week or so has tested me to my limits and I have found it increasingly hard to remain upbeat and positive. Thus, the prompt to find ten things to be thankful for, could not have come at a more prudent time.

Here are ten good things to come out of this week:-

  1. That my car didn’t break down whilst stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway for an hour.

    Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici via freedigitalphotos.net

    Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici via freedigitalphotos.net

  2. The floor tiles have been laid in our new house and they look pretty swanky.
  3. A wonderful weekend with well-timed visits from both sets of parents.
  4. One good nights’ sleep. Yay!
  5. More great progress on the editing of book one. It is really hard work but so rewarding and I am continuing to love every minute of this process.The Beginning Front Final
  6. Vanilla scented candles were on offer so I treated myself to one – yummy.
  7. My ever patient and understanding husband.
  8. The ongoing late summer that is still giving us plenty of warmth and sunshine over here.2013-11-26 10.14.22
  9. The at least twice daily fly by of geese flocks. Their chatter as they fly over is such an uplifting sound.
  10. The never ending love and support of my whole family.love keyboard

Typing the last one really kind of says it all. Life is all about family. It’s all about those who are there for the good and the bad, the ones that will hug you when you are low and celebrate with you when you are high. Family is all that matters and I will always be eternally grateful for the entirety of mine.

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This post is part of the Ten Things of Thankful prompt run by Lizzie over at Considerings.

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For You

For You

I never thought that loving you
Would be a crime

From the moment we first met
I knew that my love would be eternal

My need to protect you
Overwhelming as I held you

The day that our eyes met
Something in me changed

I knew with absolute certainty
That I would lay my life down

For you

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jscreationz @ freedigitalphotos.net

jscreationz @ freedigitalphotos.net

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I never thought that loving you
Would be a crime

I wanted to bring everything joyous and good
Into your life

To give you all that I could
To see you smile, be happy

To know that every single day
You would be in my life

And to watch you explore the world
And I would capture the world

For you

*

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I never thought that loving you
Would be a crime

But somehow I feel like a criminal
Lock me up

For loving you, for caring
For protecting you

I never once doubted you
Every day I fought for you

I thought that I knew you, cared for you
Better than anyone else cared

For you

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I never thought that loving you
Would be a crime

Yet my punishment is that of
A condemned soul

Physically the pain is insignificant
External ills that will heal

But inside where it matters
Is my heart

The heart that burns with love for you
Every day and especially now

A heart that is broken, smashed, barely beating
Yet still overflowing with feelings

For you

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I never thought that loving you
Would be a crime

I never thought that we would
End this way

I thought that together we would
Conquer the world

And between us bring nothing
But happiness upon ourselves

Yet a crime I have committed
And so my sentence I will serve

For you

*

© Jade Reyner 2014

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