social spark Aisling Beatha: December 2009

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thursday 13 - 13 things about my theme for 2010

13 things about my theme for 2010



  1. So, last time I participated in Thursday 13 i shared some things about yearly themes. About what they are, how i receive mine, how the last year has gone with its theme and so on. Go read it if you have any questions.


  2. In that previous post I shared that despite declaring I was not yet ready to even think about a theme for 2010, I did indeed know what it was. SIMPLIFY, or to put it another way SIMPLIFICATION.


  3. So what does that mean? Well, to an extent it means a variety of things because I believe it is going to affect many areas of my life. But in essence it means working smarter instead of harder, focussing on the things that matter and decluttering.


  4. I believe I need to SIMPLIFY in terms of health, I need to focus on what matters, losing some weight so I can eventually get off the CPAP and live a normal life without it. This in turn will affect many of my other health issues. Along with that will go exercise. SIMPLIFY that by just getting on with it and doing it rather than making excuses. If it's too cold and wet to walk outside, get on the blasted treadmill and DO IT! It's not complicated, it's not difficult, it's SIMPLE!

    There is no easy way out, no quick fix, the only long term way that is going to do this is to eat less and move more, deny yourself some of the time, but not all of the time, and if you believe emotional crap from your past is affecting your ability to do that, do the hard emotional work of working through it, with help if you need it.


  5. I believe I need to SIMPLIFY in terms of my work. STOP stressing over which schools to send the letters to and which not and just send them to all the schools in our target area. I also believe I need to bring it back before god far more. Pray daily, weekly, monthly and yearly, each in slightly different ways, but with a focus on this work, on the children that need to hear the good news, on the teaching staff that need a break from having to lead assemblies, on the heart and soul of our future - children.


  6. I believe I need to SIMPLIFY in terms of chores around the house. I am still working my way out of the situation it got into when I had so little energy due to the sleep apnoea. I still don't have the energy levels I would like but they ARE so much better than they had been. Some of the problems are also because with the reduced energy levels I got out of the habit of doing stuff. I need a simple, easy to use and follow schedule that takes into account that my work hours are at different times on different days every week of the year.


  7. Along with SIMPLIFYING the chores, I think I seriously need to de-clutter, SIMPLIFY what we have. I am not as extreme as some people, but we do have too much stuff, stuff we don't use, don't need and sometimes don't even want. for instance, this morning we have thrown out at least a dozen pairs of old shoes that we were all hanging onto "just in case" or because we hadn't got around to throwing them out yet.

    I wouldn't go as far as to say "If you haven't used it or needed it in a year, you need to throw it out", but I do believe we can seriously streamline our belongings. As mentioned above we have begun this process, on a gentle scale, but gradually things are being taken to the charity shop, or if they are not good enough for that, to the local tip.


  8. There is something in my gut that says we may NEED that de-cluttering. Maybe that is jsut so that if and when we take advantage of our better financial position to refinance with a better deal, the valuer who comes to the house sees a much tidier, in better condition house. Or, maybe there is a move in our future. I don't know, MAYBE there is, maybe there isn't, to be honest it's not something I see, strongly, just that there's enough of a stirring in my stomach that we NEED to do this de-cluttering to make me wonder.


  9. I need to SIMPLIFY my spiritual life. I try to make things so complicated, looking for this book, or that method. And the truth is, I need to read my bible, pray and journal each day. Anything else comes on top of that, anything else while useful is not vital. The only VITAL thing is KNOWING that God loves me beyond measure and moving towards deeper relationship and walk with Him.


  10. I need to maintain a SIMPLICITY to my trip to America. there are many many people who want me to make time to see them. I cannot do everything, see everyone or go everywhere. I ONLY have 2 weeks. I have chosen a focus, and will have to practise using the words "I'm sorry, I just can't." I need to keep hold of the reason for this trip. This trip is about friendship first and foremost, about meeting up with a group of crazy women whom I love as if I had known them all my life. But I am coming to understand that it is also about my relationship with God. About getting me out of comfort zone, out of routine and in a position to listen in different ways to what he is speaking to me.

    Dana, BTW, I am looking forward to making great use of those chairs out back of your house! heeheee. Journal, chair, beautiful view, good friends, oh YES! hmm, might need a pen to go with that journal!


  11. Church fellowship? Well since it turned out that my theme for last year, AND the scripture God gave me to back it up, was used by the couple who came to speak at our church camp in October, who knows what this could mean for our church this year. We are still in a situation where we could be moving from the building, so it could be to do with that, but it doesn't have to be. How do we as a fellowship need to SIMPLIFY? This is something I need to think about, write about and share with the leaders in the next week or so. I need to LISTEN and share.


  12. I can SIMPLIFY my online life and time. Each day I need to check emails, facebook, 2 particular message boards and my googlemail. I would also like to add writing a blog post each day but again that is not essential. What I need to cut out is the amount of time I spend sat at this computer desk just looking for something to fill my time. SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY!


  13. And so, we're at number 13. I am not sure if I mentioned in the previous post abotu themes. But one of the things we like to do is find a scripture to focus on during the year to go with our themes. Usually my scripture comes a week or two behind my theme.

    I haven't yet discovered what that is for the coming year. This is another thing I need to look into and listen for.


If you want to read more Thursday 13 posts, head on over to Thursday 13 by clicking on that banner at the top of this post!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Review on the Year 2009 - Part Five

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
What a question to start the day with. I really have no idea, too tired and cold for a question like that.


How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Comfortable!


What kept you sane?

Faith. I mean, seriously I wonder how people who don't have a belief in and relationship with god ever manage to cope. I KNOW I have somewhere to go, someone to turn to when things get tough, someone to strengthen me, someone to renew me, someone to hold me and give me peace, someone to challenge me to grow and never leave me in the dirt and the dust of life.


Who did you miss?
Another hard question. I think the people I miss the most are people who are here, haven't gone anywhere but just don't communicate. How can you live with someone and keep yourself so closed off to them that they never know what you think or feel about pretty much anything? OK, so not every day is like that, but sometimes at home is the loneliest place to be. This year that is going to change! Breakthrough is NOT over.


Who was the best new person you met?

Not huge numbers of new people this year, and most of the ones I can think of have actually ben around since before the start of the year.
I met some of my son's teachers for the first time this year. They are an interesting bunch. Working in a tough school, with all the issues that entails and yet totally committed to these kids and their futures. Because my son is an incredibly able student we have all sorts of in jokes with some of the teachers and I think they say stuff to me they wouldn't say to some of the other parents.
I'll have to tell you the exam room joke sometime.


Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
It's time to stop making excuses, stop blaming other people, stand up and walk through life as an adult inside, not a child. And at the same time as taking up responsibility that I have been trying to avoid, to stop carrying responsibility that is not mine.


Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I always struggle with this question.
Never heard this song before, but searched for songs with a particular keyword in the lyrics and this is what I found, it's perfect.

You got me
Just in time
I never knew
Just how long it'd take
To get to this place
I can't believe it's been this hard
Now I'm finally moving on
Yeah, it's really coming true

I know it's a breakthrough
To see what you've always wanted me to
I know it's a breakthrough
And I don't have to live like this anymore


Well, we have finally reached the end of the review on the year, and just in time it seems.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Review on the Year 2009 - Part Four

What was the best book you read?
I haven't done an awful lot of reading this year. But I do have a favourite book. It's called Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache, by Harry Eastwood (who BTW is a girl). It's a book of gluten free cake recipes that use a lot of vegetable in them and thereby reduces the amount of fat you need to use. They are absolutely amazing. My favourite is the raspberry and white chocolate blondies, although we also enjoy the beetroot brownies.
Most fo the recipes are also dairy free as well.
My copy is a signed copy because I bought it after I watched her do a demonstration at the Ludlow Food Festival earlier this year.


What was your greatest musical discovery of 2009?

I have just spent a fair bit of the this morning loading new artists into my Spotify playlists. I now have SO MANY playlists it's almost scary, but I guess you could say my musical discovery is SPOTIFY. I love it! As long as my internet hasn't gone down I can listen to free music, the tracks I want to listen to, when I want to listen to them with the occasional interruption of a short advert. I love it!
OK so they don't have absolutely everything but they are working all the time to increase the number of artists who agree to them using their music.


What did you want and get?

Deeper friendship relationships with other women. Both with someone I see in real life and also with a group of ladies I know online. I have really been blessed in this area this year.


What did you want and not get?

hmmmmm, I wanted an easy way to lose weight, but truth be told there is no easy way. The ONLY way to do this is to work hard, eat less and move more!


What was your favourite film of this year?

For a lot of people it's going to be either the latest Harry Potter or the very newly released Avatar. For me it's neither. The first film that I enjoyed this year, was just for the sake of it, lots of fun
Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian
and the 2nd one was just recently, and brought to life an old story we have known for years.
A Christmas Carol in 3D.
Neither of them particularly ground breaking movies, neither of them particularly rated by the critics, but I enjoyed them!


What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 38 on my birthday back in January and I have absolutely no recollection of how I spent the day at all!

Review on the Year 2009 - Part Three

What song will always remind you of 2009?
I don't think there is ONE song as such. There's nothing I can think of that really sums up this year, no one song that I have played over and over.


Compared to this time last year, are you:
a. happier or sadder?

Much happier! This time last year I was struggling with diagnosed but untreated sleep apnoea, as i was waiting to get my CPAP machine. I was having to take daily naps of 2, 3 even 4 hours and still not able to function normally. being THAT tired really does have an effect on your ability to find the joy even in the small things.
NOW, with CPAP, I rarely need daytime naps, and although I would still like more energy and to be able accomplish more, I have so much more than I did a year ago that I am over the moon.

b. thinner or fatter?

THINNER! Yeeeaaaaahhhhhh! Put a bit of it back on the last 2 and a half months, BUT still thinner than this time last year and raring to go getting back into the swing of things.

c. richer or poorer?

hmmmmmmm, hubby has done a lot of overtime and it has allowed us to get "caught up" so on the whole we wre better off than this time last year.


What do you wish you'd done more of?

hmmmmm. I wish I had walked MORE, I mean I wish I had not let the busyness of life and the colder and wetter weather keep me from my walks towards the end of the year. NEXT year, should not be quite as busy through those particular months, and hopefully with a focus on simplifying things, I should be able to keep on with the things that really matter.


What do you wish you'd done less of?

Wasting time and energy on worrying about things that I could do nothing to change, or even possibilities, things that hadn't even happened yet.


How did you spend Christmas?

Just the 4 of us. We had invited friends, but they couldn't come, so it was just me, hubby, and our two boys, aged 15 and 18. We went to church in the morning and had a generally lazy day. Spoke to family later on, which was nice.


What was your favourite TV program?
I have watched much less tv this year than ever before, spending (or possibly wasting) more time on the computer. There were a number of shows i enjoyed watching but nothing that I worried about if I missed an episode. I still enjoy Doctor Who, but on the whole my favourite shows tend to be the lifestyle stuff, food shows, home decor shows, that kind of thing.
I don't watch the reality tv stuff such as "I'm a Celebrity" or "Big Brother". I also steer clear of X factor and the similar dance shows, BUT do enjoy Strictly Come Dancing, the UK version of Dancing With The Stars.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Review on the Year 2009 - Part Two

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
WALKING. As I began to lose weight I began to tackle walks I would never have thought of attempting before. The first big achievement one was to reach the top of the "mountain" over the road from the camp we use for church camp. I did that earlier in the day, the same day I scalded myself. The 2nd came about a week or so later when I finally climbed THE WREKIN! We have lived here in Telford for 16 years and this was the first time I had managed to climb that hill! Then life got busier and the weather began to get colder and wetter and I haven't walked much anywhere in the last 3 months. But I WILL BE BACK!


What was your biggest failure?
hmmmmmmm. . . . . . I don't like to think of this in terms of "failure", rather in terms of "areas in which I still need to grow". I still need to grow in being consistent, particularly around the house and in my spiritual life. Also in taking proper care of me.


Did you suffer illness or injury?
What, other than chucking a kettle full of hot water over myself (see the previous post if you missed all that)? I would not call this other situation an "illness" as such, but I do have Sleep Apnoea. I was finally diagnosed at the end of 2008 after many years of knowing that i had but not being able to get doctors to take me seriously. I picked up my CPAP machine in January and have to use that every night as I sleep. It was hard getting used to it, then things settled down into a really good routine. More recently I have struggled with it a bit again, but things are still SO MUCH BETTER than they were before I started.


What was the best thing you bought?
A PLANE TICKET! GRIN!


Where did most of your money go?
Well the biggest cost for a single item was indeed that plane ticket, and the vast majority of the money we have going on the usual bills, but I guess you want to know about things other than that huh? Well, I tried to curtail my spending on craft products towards the end of the year and even though I made 3 scrapbook calendars as Christmas gifts, I did that with NO NEW PAPERS! I had to buy the kits to decorate and needed extra adhesives to complete them, but I managed to complete all 36 pages without adding any extra paper to my stash.


What did you get really, really, really excited about?
errmmmm, let me see, errrmmmm, oh it might be...... you know,...... something that is happening next year.......... that I already bought tickets for.................
yes

I AM GOING TO AMERICA! ME! By myself, without my family to meet a load of crazy women who are very dear friends! Woooohooooooo!

Review on the Year 2009 - Part One

So here we are, approaching the end of the year. It's time for that long list of questions again.
I think I got these off Angie years ago, THANKS!


What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
I booked a flight to America. For a long time now I have dreamed of making a trip to America to meet all the wonderful women I only know online. Well, not all of them, but some of them, there is only 2 weeks to fit it all in. Just over a year ago I took the step of setting up a separate bank account specifically for this purpose. All birthday and Christmas gifts went in there as did any money I earned from online surveys or paid blogging. A couple of months ago, I realised that with what I had been promised for this year's Christmas I now had enough!

A friend from church asked me something on facebook this morning

"R U not worried about meeting people you have never met except on the net......they could be anyone...."

YES, they COULD be anyone. But these are not people I only met online last month, these are women I have known for years! They are NOT online friends, they are real people and therefore real friends, and I KNOW that for a core group of them, I could call on them day and night if I really needed them and they would do what they could. They have blessed me and caused me to grow in faith and maturity. They have laughed with me and cried with me. I have watched them and learnt from them and I cannot wait to meet them in person.


Did you keep your new years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I don't make new years resolutions. I did begin some healthy lifestyle changes in the Spring and although these stalled around the end of September, I had lost 2 stones (a stone is 14 pounds for my American readers) by then. I have possibly put as much as half a stone back on but that is OK, I am ready to knuckle back down and get on with it all again.


Did anyone close to you give birth?
Oooh YES! Dearest Monika gave birth, early, to a darling baby. And hopefully by the time this post makes it to my blog my friend Kate will also have given birth. She was due a few days before Christmas and the hospital will intervene on Tuesday, so one way or the other that baby will be born before the year is out.


Did anyone close to you die?
Not this year, thankfully, although I know other friends who have not been so fortunate.


What countries did you visit?
Wales! That was it this year. The year before included a trip to Belarus via Prague, and next year obviously brings the trip to America, but this year has just been England and Wales.


What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A smaller body. Seriously! By the end of this year I NEED to have lost some considerable weight for my health. I really am NOT bothered about the way I look, but the effects on my health are taking a toll and causing problems. I can change that. I can get back on track and do what needs to be done. How? The easy answer but the hard way, Eat less, Move more!


What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
It's not so much the date as the event.

At church camp, in October, I managed to spill a kettle full of hot water all down my left side. I leapt up and ran for the showers before the woman who was in the kitchen with me even realised what had happened. We couldn't switch the showers to cold only as they were ones that you just press a button and the water heats up as it goes. So we had a chain of people brining me containers of cold water which I was throwing over myself stood in the shower.

Someone else went and alerted the members of our church in other cabins to pray, yet another person went and found out the route to the nearest hospital minor injuries unit. Then, when we were ready to go, with wet towels wrapped around my arm and blankets thrown on top of that, I made my way out to the car, between lines of cheering people, and headed off to the hospital.

That took a while, it was quite a distance and I was swearing a lot on the way. I am really sorry to the family that was coming out of the hospital as we arrived who probably heard some of that, honestly I am. We were seen immediately, there was no one waiting in front of us and I was given a gel dressing for my arm and side. The nurse told me that would kick in soon and begin to feel cold, which would in turn provide pain relief! HA "soon" was well over 2 hours later! OUCH! My arm healed well and the only remaining evidence is that the freckles (yes I am one of the spotty people!) on the arm that was scalded are paler than on the other arm.


....... to be continued. stay tuned for the other instalments of my review on the year.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Journal

I've been doing Shimelle's Christmas Journal this year.
Today is the 10th and I'm STILL going. This is not the latest I've ever gone with this but it IS the most consistent I've been. I have done EVERY DAY SO FAR!

And here for your delight are my pages.

1st December
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2nd December
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3rd December
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4th December
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5th December
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6th December
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7th December
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8th December
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9th December
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10th December
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