2014 in review

WordPress new year resolutions: Try and do more posts and see if I can get my followers up to 200 🙂

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 670 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 11 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos…Terry Matlen #bookreview

Synopsis: Do you rule the realm of disorganization, clutter, and chaos? Are you constantly battling to get things done? Are you ready to give up and toss your day planner into the dungeon (otherwise known as your closet)? If so, you might just be The Queen of Distraction. And whether or not you’ve been formally diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you probably already know that something’s got to give.  .
Me: Once upon a time someone suggested I may have ADHD. Discussions with my doctor resulted in me still not knowing as I decided against tests. What I do know is I have depression, anxiety and am often chaotic. One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was that while it is aimed at women with ADHD the support, advice and many tips are useful for any woman with a stressful life or mental health problem. In fact in this age where we are expected to have everything, do everything and be a superwoman all whilst looking like a supermodel on the catwalk it’s great to read a book that says it doesn’t matter if you don’t get everything done, if one day you decide to say ‘sod it’ and just feed the kids fish finger sandwiches for tea instead of some culinary masterpiece.

I’ve done some reading up in ADHD in general and where this book differs is by being solely about women – why in some cases they have hypersensitivity to fabrics, why not every woman is addicted to going to the mall and how to get by at work.

Not a reflection about Matlen’s book but I found it sad that in some cases she recommends non-disclosure and not discussing with employers. Maybe I’m naive in my thinking as I have an excellently understanding set of bosses but it saddens me in this day and age that not every employer is supportive.

Like many self help books written by Americans all the links are for America only so you may have to look up your own disability discrimination legislation to see where you stand in terms of employment support and again for education. There’s a slight obsession with plugging her own website although at the end does also supply some further reading and links to follow.

It’s an accessible book, not heavy on jargon and quite easy to read. It helps that Matlen herself has ADHD so understands the audience she’s writing for. Highly recommended and a must read for any woman with ADHD, stress & anxiety suffers or friends of sufferers.

Extreme shopping, mental health and donating

One of the larger goals I mentioned in my 2015 post was to move house. As that’s quite a big goal I need to have several smaller ones to achieve it. For a start the doors are so old they’re falling apart. Several have tons of layers of paint left over from the former owners love of gloss and my laziness to strip them down and fix them. Others are just  badly fit (thanks ex-husband) so they need replacing. I also need to change my lovely colourful walls into some kind of beige nightmare as apparently that’s what sells so lots of paint to buy.

There are a couple of other odds and sods to get to tidy it up as it’s an old house so I’ve got my ‘moving fund’ tub all ready to start saving.

I also intend to have a good clear-out and see what can be sold, donated or thrown away. Yesterday I started on a cupboard as I thought there were a few coats that could be donated. It became an interesting experience as I found coats I didn’t think I still had. Sadly they aren’t winter coats but they are in good condition so will do for giving away. I found two that haven’t been worn in over 4 years (probably haven’t fit in that long either) that like I say I thought had gone long ago. And then I found another that I don’t remember buying at all. i checked with my son as it’s a bit of a unisex design and it doesn’t belong to him.

So I have a coat that no-one wants to take ownership of. It’s most likely that in my darkest pre-breakdown days when I developed an addiction to shopping thinking that the brief buzz from some shopping would make up for the fact I was so miserable. I spent a lot of time on ebay spending hundreds on items I didn’t really want, constantly rebidding trying to get that happy feeling. I imagine the coat came from then, was put in a cupboard and forgotten. So now hopefully it will end up with someone who can get some wear from my money,

So a bit of space in my house, some people to benefit from it and the realisation of how far I have come from those dark days.

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2015 and positive goal setting

So fair to say this year has seen numerous challenges for me, a close friend and my son. It’s getting better and hopefully soon we will all be bidding farewell to the year on a more positive note. Yesterday me and my friend got a notebook and tried to set some goals for 2015 and what we could do.

For both of us that means study and looking at changing careers further down the line. I wanted to continue Open University as much as possible but also look at Life Coaching or Spiritual Counselling. I flip between the two so I need to settle on something and make a commitment next year.

I want to do more exercise. We talked about various dance classes but I’d like to lose some weight first. I’ve researched a few other classes but as money is tight I may just buy a few exercise DVDs and do something from the comfort of my own home. The key I think is to do something no matter what that may be. Even changing ideas week to week is fine as long as something gets done. We want to do some kind of 10k run. Or possibly if I don’t get enough exercise done it may be a 10k walk for me! As long as I take part and finish one though, that’s my main goal.

There are small goals as part of a much bigger one. I need to finally get to grips with my money issues and start fixing it. I can’t pay all my debts off next year but I can start. Cutting up the credit cards is step 1. They’re maxed out so it’s not like it will make much difference to get rid of them. If I can achieve my other goal of selling my house then I can pay off my loan with the equity and take another step forward. These issues are linked to my mental health issues so I need to learn how to make myself feel better on black days without buying meaningless things for the short term burst of endorphins.

We made a huge list of nearby places we can go visit, possibly review but most of all just have fun checking out. It’s amazing the amount of things in our area if you look hard enough. As shown in an earlier blog reviewing 2014 we got to attend a few good things completely free so that’s something else to continue.

I thought about making 2015 the year of the kindle as I have around 970 books unread on mine. I’ll never get them all read even over 2 years but it would be fun to see it the number goes down. I don’t help myself though. I bought 2 more paperbacks today alone! The to-read paper books pile is huge too.

I want to volunteer but I want to do that with fun events. I spend my days working with the vulnerable and I donate direct to these places when I can. I want to volunteer for events like being a zombie for Halloween and other fun stuff. Yesterday I came to the conclusion I’ve forgotten how to be silly. For a long time I let society judge how I should look and behave and I want to leave that behind. So I want to take part in fun events, dress up and not care what people think of me. I’ve a few ideas so watch this space!

And then I’ll be back in London for Hamlet. My first girls trip away in about 5 or 6 years and I can’t wait. So I need to plan for that too. And somewhere in the middle of all that I want to do some craft fairs, finish the book I’m writing, learn to meditate, learn reiki and so much more! And that’s just the things off the top of our heads. With all that going on how can 2015 fail to be dull??

Have you set any goals yet? Do you do resolutions? I’m interested to know

On the diet trail and setting positive goals

So today I went to Weughtwatchers for my weekly weigh in and had gained a pound. It’s fair to say I haven’t really put much effort into this week. My schedule has been a little off from the way it was planned, my son graduated with lots of celebration and my mum turned 60. I also let the tracking of what I ate slack. I knew what I was eating was fattening and not healthy but I did it anyway.

This is actually quite normal for me with any diet. I do really well for the first two weeks then go off the rails completely. However this time things feel a bit different. For a start I didn’t miss group. In the past I would go off the rails and then not go to a group or weigh in as ‘there was no point’. I almost did the same again today but in the end I went for several reasons.

1-a text from my group leader mentioning free gifts.(I’m so easily bribeable)

2-Go to 4 meetings in a row, get your card stamp and you’re entered into a prize draw. My OCD side really hated the idea of not getting the final stamp regardless of any prize.

3- I do want to make some changes however slow I might be at it.

Option 3 is the one I use with my customers. Out of work for a long time, often homeless and lacking in forward mobility we look at setting small goals to eventually achieve a bigger goal. This is something I need to learn to do myself. The bigger goal is to be a slinky, mid-40’s lady. Numbers are great but I’m thinking a comfy size 10-12 rather than 16-18. I want to be able to wear 40’s tea dresses and 50’s style dresses without needing double the material. I want to be able to be healthy.

To do that I need smaller goals. So this weeks events and the 2 Xmas parties I have next week, the goal is simply to get through them. Then I have a week to get back on track with no distractions before we hit Xmas week itself. I have an advantage with that week in that I hate mince pies, fruit cake, stuffing and lots of things people go crazy buying at this time of the year. So if I keep it simple I could do ok. Our leader talked about wanting to give out some 1/2 stone awards in the first Saturday of the new year. That gives me 4 weeks to lose 3lbs. So that’s my next small goal. I’ll set the next small goal after that.

There’s another positive to mention. Up to Thursday I’d lost 5lb when I attended my son’s graduation. I dug out a little black dress from the wardrobe to go that had been tight. It still is tight but slightly less so and I could wear it respectably without feeling uncomfortable. Hopefully by the end of January it will be loose. I feel good this time, I’ve already proved I could give up chocolate managing 60 days earlier this year and diet fizzy drinks (I don’t drink the full fat ones) for 3 weeks last month so I’ve shown to myself I can make the changes this time around. I’m looking forward to whatever other changes I can make going forward

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