Committed to myself 

I’ve always been a romantic, for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I’d imagine a fairytale wedding, a beautiful marriage, that one perfect person who would love me forever.

Gosh, with expectations that high, I should have known I was in for a rude awakening! I’d still like to think of myself as a romantic, but just with much more realistic expectations. So what changed? Me!

When I first moved back to London I remember many people telling me “Don’t let your experiences put you off marriage and love “. And I couldn’t for the life of me understand why anyone thought at the mere age of 30, I was going to be put off marriage and love. However, I was only 30, and what did I know? Because 2 years down the line, I have to admit, I was sort of put off. 

BUT what I realised is, I’m not put off by the idea, I just stopped trusting myself. When you make a choice in life and that choice isn’t what you expected, there’s a sense of disappointment. And with that disappointment comes a lack of trust in yourself, and the belief that you may make another wrong choice. And I wanted to make damn sure that didn’t happen again. So I decided to work on me.

At my dad’s suggestion I read “Committed” by Elizabeth Gilbert. This is a wonderful book. I actually listened to the audio version and Liz is a joy to listen to. For anyone who’s been hurt in love, let down by their decisions or just single and sceptical about marriage in general, this is the book for you.

  
Einstein once said “Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result is insanity.” And I too realised that in order to make different choices, I had to be different. In my 20’s my choices came from a lack of assertiveness (on my part), from not knowing what I wanted and from allowing myself to be pushed around like a leaf in the wind. If I wanted to make better choices in my 30’s (and I mean choices about anything, not just love/marriage) then I had to know better. I have to know what I want, I have to stand my ground and I have to be unafraid.

But being these things is not always easy. We all need a little help along the way. Where does my help and inspiration come from? One person…Brooke Castillo. At the beginning of this year I stumbled upon Brooke’s podcast “The Life Coach School” podcast. She is absolutely amazing and everyone I have recommended her to has come back to say how inspired they feel listening to her. I refer to her as Brooke, as if she’s my buddy. And in some ways I feel like she is. When I listen to her podcasts at the gym, I feel like she is talking solely to me!

What she says is pretty profound. A lot of it is common knowledge but we forget. We allow our minds trick us, we fall into old habits, old patterns of thinking. It’s so much easier to fall backwards than it is to leap forwards. But leap we must! And change we must!

  
It’s really easy when you go through a divorce or any life changing event that hurts you to play the blame game. To find someone else to blame for how you’re feeling. But I can tell you, the only way to be happy is to change yourself. We can’t change other people  (not for lack of trying) but ultimately our joy and our choices lie in our hands. And there’s no one who deserves our love more than ourselves.

Equipped with more knowledge and a far better understanding of myself, I have no doubt that the choices I make in my 30’s will be the right ones.

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
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Girlfriends – which type are you?

Back in my youth, I was quite the tom boy and naturally most of my friends were boys. I loved running around, playing football and generally preferred male company. A lot less drama back then! However, all changed when I got married and moved to Hong Kong. Thrown into the deep end in a city that wasn’t home, I came to rely on some really close girl friends who I now think of as my family.

Last week I was chatting to one of them about love and life. This particular friend is my voice of reason and she has no issues with telling me how it is, disagreeing with my view or presenting me with advice I’ve given her in the past. Talking to her felt like taking a weight off.

It’s not international woman’s day or friendship day but I just felt the need to thank the women in my life. These are the 4 type of women I’m blessed to have in my life:

1. The one that isn’t afraid to tell you how it is

As a Virgo, I can get quite carried away with my imagination. I have big dreams and sometimes unrealistic expectations but this friend has no issues with bringing me back down to earth or giving me a different perspective.

2. The one that will indulge you

We all need one of these because sometimes we don’t want to chat with the devil’s advocate. Sometimes we just need to have a good ol’ moan and have someone listen. Chatting about life changing decisions is however a no-go if that person is not going to set me on the straight and narrow.

3. The one with a child/children

As moms, we all need one of these and I’m lucky to have a good few. Whether it’s chatting about schools, mandarin class, unisex schools vs. co-ed. or simply moaning about toddlerhood over a bottle glass of wine, this friendship is a sanity saver!

4. The spiritual one

Ahhhh….calm! That’s how you feel after chatting to this friend. She puts life into perspective and you leave her feeling like you’ve just had an amazing conversation. This friend is usually also quite positive and so you come away feeling energetically high.

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What type of girl friend are you?

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Late Fragments by Kate Gross

I stumbled upon Kate’s blog a few months ago and was saddened to read of her illness. I think it makes it sadder when the world loses someone who was doing so much for it. In her mid 20’s, Kate was working at No. 10 Downing Street with Tony Blair followed by Gordon Brown, as their personal secretary’s. She then went on to be CEO of the Africa Governance Initiative of which Tony Blair is a patron.

She passed away on Christmas day but what makes her story even more tragic is it happened 10 minutes before her 5 year old twin boys came running in to ask “Is it morning?” Earlier this month her book Late Fragments was published and I immediately ordered a copy which I practically devoured in one sitting.

You wouldn’t be wrong for thinking this is a book about cancer and in many ways of course it is (it’s the reason she writes the book). It tells of Kate’s story and how she deals with knowing death is coming knocking at her door. But to me it’s also a book about life. The book is filled with one liners that make you sit up and think. When asked by someone “What is the best thing cancer has given you?” her response was “a feeling of being alive, awake”.

It reminds you to really live your days, make the most of your life and follow your heart. She wrote the book for her two “knights” whom she hopes will one day read it and know her a bit better.

This book will bring you to tears but it will also raise your spirits. From the little I’ve read about Kate and the work she did, I think this was exactly the kind of reaction she was hoping for.

MamaMummyMum

Life and Death

I attended my mom’s uncles funeral today. He’d been ill for a while and passed away 2 days ago at a little over 80 years old. I wasn’t particularly close in the last few years but I do have memories of him growing up and wanted to pay my respect to the family.

I’ve had many conversations about life and death with my family and friends. I do believe that we live more than once, although I like to justify doing certain things in my life by saying #yolo (You Only Live Once). But that doesn’t take away from the sadness felt at a funeral. Because although the soul lives on, the person you love, respect, admire and
lean on, has gone. No more conversations, laughter and smiles. No more jokes, memories and experiences.

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As morbid as it sounds, I have previously thought about the sort of funeral I’d like. It’s ironic because when it actually comes down to it, it won’t really make any difference to my life. Sitting at the funeral today also brought home what really matters. I have a lot on my plate at the moment and often find myself frustrated at the actions of another. I’ve always chosen to see the positive side of things but lately I feel like life’s experiences have made me cynical. And that’s not the type of person I am or would like to be.

Listening to the memories shared by the family today got me thinking of how I’d like to be remembered. Most importantly, how I’d want my son to remember me. I feel like social websites play such a big part in our lives these days and eventually what we share on social sites will be available for our children to read/see.

A few years ago I read the obituary of someone who is still young and alive. I suppose she’d written it because it’s a good way to think about how you’d like to be remembered and also what you’d like to achieve in your life. It gives you a future plan and something to literally live up to.

So I’m off to think about how I’d like to be remembered. Is it something you’ve thought about?

When it’s time, it’s time…

I woke up to some very sad news today. A close friends brother in law passed away in a car accident last night. It’s not that I knew him (I’d met him once a few years ago) but he left behind a wife and 4 year old son. What saddens me is the family would never have got to say goodbye. It was so sudden.

Later in the morning I read a headline about Michael Schumacher. Michael who is one of the worlds best race car drivers has been in an induced coma for over 2 months after suffering from a head injury while skiing in the French alps and chances of him making a full recovery are slim. He’s spent years driving Formula 1 cars and yet what’s hurt him is not racing but actually just going on holiday.

Days like this remind me how much I have to be grateful for and also reiterate to me how important it is to be happy. To live a life that brings me joy through my days. To let go of negativity in my life and replace it with happiness – be it people, thoughts or situations.

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I truly believe God has a plan for all of us. As morbid as it sounds, we don’t know how long we’re going to be around for. Our birth and our death are the only things we can’t plan. What we can choose is how to spend the days in between.

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