Day 4 of the Daily Gratitude Challenge focuses on advice. Whether the advice we receive comes directly from the words and actions of family, close friends and colleagues or from books, TV and films, people in power or celebrities, I have taken advice from all areas of my life and am grateful for it. Continue reading →
Day 3 focuses on moments and memories. I take hundreds of photographs wherever I go because I feel the need to record the moments I experience and preserve the memories I have of amazing places and people, but I always make sure to stop and take a few minutes to be mindful of where I am and what is happening. I value the memories that I have, particularly when things are tough. Here are just a select few,
Moments and Memories I am Grateful For:
Note: I haven’t included as many travel memories as there is a specific travel topic later in the challenge.
Time I spent with my Grandfather. A northern Englishman to the core, he wore a flat cap and grey cardigans and regularly asked me if I was ‘courting’ anyone (despite the fact that I was 10 at the time). He liked musicals and snooker, made up his own lyrics to songs and whenever visited he always had a little white paper bag with a selection of chocolates for us. He was adopted, and so in 2014 I set out to trace his ancestry and I found his birth mother – it was a fascinating journey and not only gave me a bit more of an understanding as to what his early life must have been like, but a greater appreciation of his kindness despite that adversity that he faced. He passed away when I was 16, and it would have been his 100th birthday last year.
The day I surprised my mum by turning up unexpectedly on my 21st birthday when she thought I was at uni. I loved the look on her face when I told her to look outside her office window. Continue reading →
Day 1 focuses on the little things – the everyday things that are all too easy to take for granted. Whether it is that first cup of coffee in a morning, a letter from a friend, a beautiful sunset or the unconditional love of a pet, there are lots of things in our daily lives that pass us by without acknowledgement. Continue reading →
Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough – Oprah Winfrey
In times of struggle, it can often be difficult not to become permanently focused on the negative, and this year is certainly one of the most challenging periods in living memory. In a era of great change, the online world has become an even bigger cesspool of animosity and hatred.
We all have those days when things seemingly go from bad to worse, but when reflecting we all have things to be grateful for every day, however small they may be. In an effort to inject a little positivity, I decided to set myself a Daily Gratitude Challenge for the entire month of July, and I am inviting everyone else to join in. I try to be as mindful as possible by taking the time to be grateful for the people around me, the lifestyle that I lead and the positive things that have happened in my day when filling out a Daily Gratitude Journal in my Bullet Journal. I find this enormously helpful when it feels like the world is imploding.
This Daily Gratitude Challenge is designed to be more in-depth. Instead of a sentence or two, each day will focus on things to be grateful for, with the act of writing becoming a larger part of my self-care routine. And with a sizeable following on Suzie Speaks, I am encouraging anyone and everyone to do the same.Continue reading →
Is anybody else getting sick of the phrase ‘The New Normal,’ or is it just me?
Unfortunately, it’s the perfect term to describe how we’re living at the moment. It doesn’t necessarily provide lots of inspiration for the journal-esque blogging content that I usually create, unless you’re interested in the rather sad-looking cheese sandwich I often make myself for lunch? Continue reading →
I’ve been working from home pretty much every day since 2015. While at first glance it may seem like the perfect situation (and in many ways it is), but there are lots of potential pitfalls and distractions when you’re solely accountable for your own workload. Over the years I have had to remain self-motivated and develop a routine in order to be able to stay productive and keep doing it successfully.
Here are some hints and tips that I have found useful when working from home.
Set up a dedicated working area. Whether it is a small desk a the back of a room or a shed at the bottom of the garden, create an area that is solely used for work-based activities.
Have a shower and get dressed. Getting up and ready as you would do for a working day elsewhere will help to change the mindset between work and home. It’s also useful should a last-minute video chat should happen – it’s unlikely that clients or colleagues will be impressed by your pyjamas and bed hair and being ready will avoid having to quickly jump in the shower or getting changed when you’re in the middle of something.
Plan your tasks in advance. When I start the day knowing what it is that I need to be working on, I find it much easier to plan and prioritise my tasks for the day, and for this I use a Bullet Journal. I use simple trackers for daily repeated tasks that are drawn out in a simple grid form, and I fill out individual tasks in a monthly calendar layout, colouring in the boxes as I go. This saves an enormous amount of time and I find the colouring rather therapeutic. Continue reading →
It’s been just nearly seven weeks since lockdown began, and I’m getting used to a slightly different way of living. Granted, compared to many people my daily life hasn’t changed that much – I’ve worked from home for the last 4 1/2 years and so I’m used to my own company and being self-motivated enough to stay productive – but I have to regularly remind myself that I can’t just hop out to the local shops for things I need, visit a friend or organise a date night somewhere fun in the city.
However, if these are the only things I have to worry about then I count The Bloke and I incredibly fortunate. Our families and friends are healthy, our jobs are consistent, we have food in the cupboards and the bills are paid, and we have taken to expressing daily gratitude for this to each other in conversations should one of us feel a little low. Continue reading →
Three weeks ago I went to Manchester. I took my mum out for an early Mother’s Day lunch, booked a hotel room to myself, shopped, walked around in the glorious sunshine, admired the local street-art and caught up with some of my oldest girlie friends, where I got so squiffy that my hangover took several days to subside.
And then, the apocalypse seemingly happened.
It is always easy to sympathise, but equally as easy to be nonchalant when awful things are happening in a different part of the world. Despite the rapidly growing numbers of people affected and the increasing panic as Coronavirus cases arrived in the UK, it didn’t really hit home until the last ten days when the process of shutting everything down in Birmingham began. Continue reading →
It’s been a while since I blogged without purpose. I’ve missed it – the act of writing has always been therapeutic. On a personal level I’ve been busier than ever – I’ve met a whole bunch of brilliant people and my workload has reached capacity, which is amazing, but the downside of this is there’s little time for doing nothing.
I received a message from my friends from 6th form to meet up for a meal in Manchester – we have known each other for over twenty years and have stayed in contact, meeting up every so often to catch up. They’re a great group of women – all are doing well for themselves with families and jobs, and I love the fact that even though I don’t see or speak to them for months at a time, we slip back into conversation as though I had seen them yesterday.
Emmeline Pankhurst’s house
I decided to make an extended trip out of it and booked myself into a hotel room for the night. To my recollection there has only been a single time I’ve done that during the time The Bloke and I have been together (which was when he had a minor heart operation) so the concept was somewhat of a novelty, despite the fact that The Bloke is more than supportive of any time I want to myself.Continue reading →
As I was creating my Bullet Journal spreads at the beginning of the year I decided to incorporate a Memories and Highlights page, not only to keep track of all the positive things that I experienced, but also to serve as a gratitude list. I have diligently filled it in all year.
It turned out to be invaluable. I haven’t particularly felt like I have enjoyed this year very much and my mental health has been low at times, but being able to look at an entire page of experiences, events and things that have brought joy to my daily life has successfully served as a reminder of how much fun I’ve had and how lucky I am. Granted, there have been a few things personally and professionally that haven’t been pleasant, but these have been far outweighed by the positive.