Tag Archives: Appreciation

A to Z – thoughts and thanks my reflection

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So it is done, the A to Z has been packed up in April’s hand luggage and placed on the carousel of memories it is time to move to the next challenge to set course on my next path in the blog-o-sphere but before we wave good-bye to April and the fun that has been had. I would like to share reflections on what has been learnt and enjoyed over the course of the 26 posts from A to Z.

Blogging takes time, commitment and brain cells. Tales from Tedium was but a few posts old when I signed up. Posting to schedule was nigh on impossible at times but between long shifts and needed sleep breaks I did get the whole alphabet covered. Time is precious and to create a post worth reading takes contemplation planning and preparation followed by editing, tweaking and revising. I shall not be winging it next year, next year I shall properly prepare and perhaps even pre write some letters to make sure I keep up.

I am very lucky. Posting on gratitude thinking of  things I appreciate and am blessed to have experience has been a fabulous exercise for me personally. During the month of April there have been a number of issues that needed to be dealt with M – moan day is perhaps the only evidence of this frustration that dripped into the blog posts https://talesfromtedium.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/m-moan-day , so sorry about that blip. I maintained a positive outlook during challenging times and I am sure that it was my alphabetical obsession with being grateful that facilitated this. (Lets not get to a chicken and egg situation here but you know where I am heading.)

On to the lessons, I can improve! Thanks to the stats I can peer into the blog records and see what was enjoyed most, what you as my readers have liked and also what might have fallen a bit flat.
1st lesson , comments posted on my mobile phone do not upload, I am sorry to those who thought I was being ignorant and not answering I tried and failed but will repost shortly.
2nd lesson (needed) my wordpress basics are just that BASIC I need to improve layouts and menus to make things easier to navigate.
3rd lesson, is to stay a blog ahead, I am going to aim to always keep something up sleeve and to be able to prepare properly to post.
4th lesson, a big part of the A to Z is to visit other blogs I tried and while I have read over 500 posts on other A to Zs  this is just a drop in the ocean. Next year I shall have to set aside dedicated reading time.

Time to say thanks!
Today I am tired but I am thankful. I am grateful that I did not have to get out bed till lunch time (ok 10 am) I am please I sat there with my laptop and read. My daily reads have tripled many others I have liked some I have laughed with. To each  blogger a huge thank you for sharing!

A special thanks goes out to you the reader. There are some of you I know in person, (Swedish one don’t kick my butt this is not an Oscar speech gone wrong! Friends from long ago, to followers from recent weeks I thank you. Your clicking of the like buttons and comments have cheered me on and I shall not forget this. A special thanks to  http://galeriaredelius.wordpress.com , K.Jacqleene from http://graceandcandor.wordpress.com ,Joe from http://joeowensblog.wordpress.com and http://mauldinfamily1.wordpress.com who have shown constant support in their words over the last month.

One last substantial thank you, a gift of appreciation in words to the organisers of the challenge to Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, http://tossingitout.blogspot.co.uk and all who helped him behind the scenes. Sir I salute you.

So now April is over,
the challenge has been done,
It time to keep on blogging more,
it is time to have some fun.
To all who posted A to Z
Who typed the A,B C
Unleash your keybords once again
It’s time for typing free.
As May sun shines upon us
Just have a little rest
The April challenge was brilliant
As a participant I was blessed.
I thank the Genius Arlee Bird
His challenge took on wings,
A brilliant months of posting
On so many different things.
In just eleven months
The A will call to me.
For one things guaranteed
I will participate in next April’s A to Z.

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Zara Kuchi

 

Z may have been on my letters of doom list when I first signed up for the A to Z challenge. No sooner had I started to panic about it than inspiration came in the form of a Facebook post. For today I am to show thanks gratitude and appreciation for art, I know this does not start with the letter Z but an old school friend, a talented artist Zara Kuchi is my Z of choice.

When I moved from Wales I lost contact with a number of class mates, by the power of Facebook many of us have made contact again. I found (not surprisingly) that great talent had grown. For Z today I would like to share my appreciation of the art of Zara Kuchi, please look her up on Facebook where more of her work is available to peruse.

I have shared a few of my favourite pieces,

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This Zingy Cockerel makes me smile, the first time I saw him I wanted to hang him on my wall I am sure that the life and movement that is captured on the canvass spills into the room where he now sits.

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If music could be captured in brush strokes then I am sure that this handsome chap has been painted with a fine tune. I love the energy that is conveyed and the concentration that has been captured.

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This beautiful trio of miniatures, so tiny and delicate, so precise. The delicate hand that has produced these images leads me to wonder what each of the subjects might be focusing on, could be thinking of.

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The last of the painting that I shall post is this one, again the depth of spirit that is held on this canvas intrigues me, the light dancing on the skin to me the subject is emitting hope seeing something beyond the canvas that draws me to seeing her image as the subject herself.

So my Z of choice, my last post in the A to Z this year is a post to thank Zara Kuchi for producing such diverse delicate and vibrant work. If you would like to look her up please click https://www.facebook.com/ZaraKuchi

I am grateful to all of you who have followed the posts this April and hope you stick around to see what the rest of the year will bring.

Woops we are running late again … Well Wubble-u if for wishful thinking.

When all this started I may have been suffering from March Madness, the April challenge seemed a doddle, throw a few words together and hey there is a blog post. Not too difficult is it…. but then the W word became involved work, which I am grateful for, work which is paying the bills, work which has taken up 31 of the last 50 hours. So work is being blamed for my recent tardy posting in the April challenge, with only W, X, Y and Z to go I shall hope to be caught up by this time tomorrow and have only Z to post.  So with apologies for the delay here is my W for today.

I forget how many times I have heard the sigh of despair that is followed by the words “it’s wishful thinking” denoting the failure of hopes or the disappointment at the outcome of a situation. So things didn’t work out, plans flopped outcomes were not as hoped. When I hear that sigh I want to stand up and shout a bit… “So keep wishing”, keep looking for the best and become the change that you want. For it is up to the individual to put wishful thinking into place. Working with challenging behaviours, be it with children, adults or perhaps even the odd work college (in the past) operating on optimum positivity can be hard, but when my grin factor fades and the challenge becomes a chore I know I am on  a hiding to nothing. It is then more than ever that I need to sit and think – it is time for wishful thinking.

Some time ago, I worked with a person who had a personality that tended to clash with mine; lets call him Mr Difficult. I was consumed by the negative aura that he omitted as soon as  he entered the building, it affected everyone. The service users behaviours would change and it was a chain reaction that led to many difficulties that I cannot disclose. There was not option, I was either going to have to change jobs or change my daytime routine, the latter was easier.

Mornings were the worst, so instead of turning up with the minimum amount of time to spare getting in and out as quickly as possible I got in early. I made Mr Difficult a cup of tea, checked the task list for the day and prepared as much as I could. Mr Difficult also came in early (but I beat him in), I greeted him with a smile and a cheerful hello, confused he responded in a curt but polite manner we did not converse but worked in silence. That day was better.

When I got home that night, I wondered if the change was “wishful thinking” I sat and listed all the things that had perturbed me in the previous weeks and wondered how I could change them, IF I could change them. I chose three things that could be altered to benefit us all and sent a polite email. Mr Difficult did not reply before I left for work the next day, but while I waited for his response I continued to smile and be cheerful. Over the next week if I was on days I would make us both a cup of tea, write lists to do and work quietly waiting for something to be said slowly changing displays and work areas.

Two weeks after I had emailed Mr Difficult, I walked into to work on a Monday morning to find a cup of tea waiting for me, “Morning” was called out from the store cupboard Mr Difficult had it seemed succumbed to the wishful thinking. Things were never easy between us, as colleges we both knew that we were perhaps too similar, to stubborn  but while we never became friends once we had both embraced wishful thinking we were able to make a difference to the team.

Todays wishful thinking is that I will complete this A to Z … so from a little Miss (not quite so) Difficult, Today I am grateful for wishful thinking, for hopes and dreams for time to ponder on how we can improve things and for becoming the difference we want to see.

V is for The Vicar and the Circus Performer.

What do you get if you cross a Vicar and a Circus Performer? No, this is not a bad joke, unless I am.

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My father was born almost 71 years ago in an area that he describes as the “Slums” of Birmingham. He was the youngest of 13 children, money was sparse. Dad tells of being sent to school in Aunty Jean’s boots because that was all he had, he made his parents proud and was accepted to Grammar School passing his eleven plus with flying colours. His place was passed up because the uniform was too expensive. My father soon began his working life, he was a glazier, he was a bit of a lad, he wanted adventure and he joined Billy Smarts Circus. A fire-eater, a sword swallower, I love to think of my Dad as a legend of the big top.

Mum was the oldest of three, daughter of a woodwork master, some might suggest that my mother’s family were middle class, they bought their house they owned a car Mum sang a song about “peep-toed shoes” in the garden. Growing up in Kent, the garden of England, Mum studied hard, she graduated university with a classics degree. My mother became a social worker. When I was 19 my mum took the brave step to change her path, she studied once again, my Mum followed her calling and was ordained.

We all know the saying two sides to every story. While typing this tale I realised that what I know of my parents meeting, the early romance and marriage has been told to me by my Dad. They met through work. Dad decided not to go with the big top on an Australian tour, he somehow started working in childcare. He met this a raven haired social worker wearing an ankle sweeping skirt as she bought a referral to the home in which he worked. He fell head over heels for my mother, eventually she agreed to marry him. A happy ever after…. it is for me.

I know I do not say this often enough, but I am so fortunate to be the daughter of this unusual mix. My Mum and Dad might have come from opposite ends of England, different backgrounds and contrasting experiences but their union has created a family I am blessed to be part of. Last year as Mr & Mrs they celebrated 40 years of marriage. As a family we dined together in celebration, three generations, six grandchildren at the centre of the day Grandma and Granddad who despite the challenges they faced remained together supported each other and still do.

In posting alphabetically on themes of gratitude over the last month I have considered a great deal. Thought of what makes me smile and laugh, reflected on what has kept me going during times of difficulty. I sit in awe of what my parents share, they have a lifetime together, their lifetime created mine and through all the chaos I created my Mum and Dad have been a constant support.

A terrible teenager I put strain on the patience of my parents, a strain that most would have buckled under, but they never turned away. When I left, moved out at only 17 I wanted to prove my parents wrong, it didn’t work out that way but not once did I hear the words “I told you so”. Now as I face the trials of a teenager’s parent I cringe to think what I subjected them too, but I thank them with an open heart for their example has been an inspiration to me.

My greatest fear in posting this on my blog is that I fail to convey the patience, love and kindness my mum and dad have bestowed on my life. It is so easy to take things for granted, I love my parents very much, for the examples they have set and the inspiration they continue to be. I am the luckiest daughter of a Vicar and a Circus Performer and will always be grateful that they are parents to me.

Time to post my T early. Thank you!

Time to reflect seems to have been an ongoing theme in my posts on appreciation, thanks and gratitude as part of my April A to Z. Today I am posting a day early trying to get ahead of the game while time allows. This week will be chaotic as I have a number of twelve-hour shifts to face.

Today I aim to reflect on what a month of blogging has bought me, and yes it is a month since I started Tales from tedium. I shall also try to look at what will come next, for my first post I should perhaps have called myself an accidental blogger. Most posts were not pre-planned or prepared for just typed in the moment and edited once before putting them out there.

So first to my readers – A massive thank you for being here and sharing my words I hope you enjoy them and I also hope you will continue with me to see what comes next. For the comments I am grateful, you have all been so kind, I appreciate the time you take to read and post all in such a positive manner.
To the plans for the future, well as I have found on my journeys through other blogs, the world is my lobster and lobsters have claws, I can grab on to what I choose and grow in the way that fits me most. I have wondered about posting some of my short fiction, and possibly a poem or two. I hope to indulge my imagination more freely. I am pleased I have time to plan time to prepare and through the blog I will be able to set my own pace, possibly introducing a part of my blog for recipes and frugal tips, (please don’t hope for house-keeping advice I operate on the fire fighting strategy with that). The A to Z has taught me lot about blogging, the most important lesson is that there is so much more to learn.

Tales from tedium, was so named not because I think of my life as boring, but that I feel I am nothing extra ordinary, just another single mum trying to make ends meet. Even in the most mundane of moments there is a tale to tell, if it is interesting or not is down to the teller. I hope that my tales are not tedious and with time the telling will become more polished and more pleasurable. Time will be needed in the months that come and time is a commodity that cannot be recycled.

Today is a post on gratitude as part of my A to Z, I would like to mention a few bloggers that have brightened my reading time, given inspiration and taught me a great deal just by being on the web …there are many more out there (because of time pressures I have limited myself to three)

Mancakes, Oh Mancakes, http://mancakestheblog.wordpress.com/ you do make me smile the pace of your writing the tone that is set when I log on and see a new post in my feed from you I pause and grab a cuppa so I can chuckle and read…. this might not be a recommended reading method unless you can prevent the tea shooting from your nose.

Chilli Sage and lemon, savoury, sensible but with a smile and a shopping list, not a blog for the hungry reader, thank you for I am back to budgeting and planning my weekly meals. Many interesting recipes have been salivated over … http://chillisageandlemon.wordpress.com/

Hey Beergut, essays from the cougars den. Again I can only issue praise, the posts are thought-provoking led me to a long discussion with my son on how women were perceived. A recommended read. http://thecougarden.wordpress.com/
These three are but a few of the blogs I enjoy there are so many more… and so many more to discover!
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Today I am posting early in the A to Z I might get my U post up tomorrow but it is time dependant. I am grateful today for many things and the time to enjoy to reflect and to plan.
Have a great day, Becs xxx

I- Inquiry call… ?

letter-iI am sure that each of you who read this will remember a time that you were juggling cooking dinner, irony laundry, running a bath when phone rings. It will be some one important, a family member, friend or possibly work. You rush to answer leaving in your wake a boiling pots or bubbling bath suds to be asked “Is possible to speak to Mrs Home-owner?” How fluffed off are you at this point? “It is just a quick inquiry call today to regarding…” The purpose of this call cannot be of interest to you can it, I am certain like so many others you see this as an imposition, an invasion of your home.

Do you take a breath, exercise your varied and colourful vocabulary and slam down the receiver?
Are you one of the more creative protestors, who will listen and question then demand how this invasion has been implicated? Or do you inform your interrupter that the person they need to speak to is in the other room, place the handset on the side and continue with the task at hand ignoring the faint calls of “hello” till you know they have disconnected at their end. I should inform you that these options have been brought to you from experience; I worked in a hell-centre.

For those of you who are familiar with my April posts themed in appreciation thanks and gratitude as part of the A to Z challenge, you might be wondering why I would be grateful for such things as interruptions by unsolicited callers. Well I am not, but it has been some time since I had to hit targets of seven a shift, to sell opportunities that I wouldn’t want to take, to talk to people who loathed me invading their home via telephonic means and yes I am thankful that I escaped the hell-centre never to return.

Today I am thankful for caller ID, I am pleased to say that I am registered with T.P.S  but mostly I am grateful of the experience gained from those hours at the work station, where discussions with colleges was forbidden, tedious hours were spent repeatedly being told what to say for those days they did pay the rent.

I had a call this morning, mid snooze I answered without a second thought, “Good morning” the caller chirped in that tone that signifies they have been calling people for the last 3 hours with no positive outcomes. “Could I just speak to …?” Oh my reply was firm but fair, most of all it was effective.

“I am pleased to say it is she speaking, though I recommend this call is ended forthwith for my number is registered with the telephone preference service calls to this number can result in fines of up to £5000.”  I appreciated her hasty apology and with that the call was disconnected.

A to the Aim of my Alphabet Blog!

 

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Aims and goals drive us though life set our focus generate motivation. Or at least they do with me. I was blank when I sat down this morning trying to think of an A to start my April Alphabet Challenge. I had been able to cover almost every other letter in my mind while Fluke and I walked this morning, but the A it avoided me.

A is about …(again a barrage of B’s came to mind so tomorrows post should be a doddle) so with a second coffee I set to reading the other alphabet posts that were hitting the web, so many to read and all so ambitious to a new little blogger like me.

“A” remained ambiguous but somewhere in the annex of my mind I hoped that I could locate an “A” to start the day. I could write of Abba Driven Whisk Singing, this is a lesser known pass time I think may be unique to Weston Super Mare which requires a Swedish friend, her hubster and tea-cosy hats but surely that should be included under “M” for music or “S” for singing.

Almost at the point of brain implosion, I thought “Aberaeron” a coastal town in West Wales where the best fish and chips can be found at the Celtic Cafe on the harbour side. A fabulous location full of childhood and adult memories, but how would it fit with the rest of my month?
Again I reverted to the drawing board, you see my Alphabet blog may not have an official theme or topic but the more I read and think the more I am aware that it needs one.

Adamant not to give up I pondered on…
Perhaps it is prudent at this point to show my appreciation to Arlee Bird, http://tossingitout.blogspot.com who has presented us with the A to Z April Challenge. Many thanks are extended and already so many brain cells expended.

And there we have it, in a nutshell. My “A”, I shall Aim to show my Appreciation through the Alphabet. I am sure it will be a personal journey I hope those who follow will enjoy the posts along the way.

It is all too easy to lose direction, to become distracted become complacent in our fast-moving world. So though April I shall attempt to appreciate those aspects of my life that have added to the experience of being me.

A is for Appreciation, Aims, Ambitions, and so much more.
I thank you for reading.