Tag Archives: reflection

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.

X What should it be…

During this A to Z I have pondered and perplexed when I think of the letter X. I deliberated over cheating and stating (e)xtra, or (e)xtravagant dropping the E but this seems like a cheat so I shall try to complete my post of gratitude on the letter X although this is extraordinarily hard.

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I did something I have not done for a long time, I hit the dictionaries. I have a pair of beautiful leather-bound lexicons that were gifted to me by my father when I started my degree, printed by the Funk & Wagnalls Company in 1955. The sit on my shelf idly holding words waiting for a moment such as this. There must be some phrase,some gem that I can harvest and manipulate to fit my X post. Opening the second volume of this very Old “New Practical Standard Dictionary” I smiled and wondered when the last time I thumbed the pages was, perhaps four years ago maybe more.

Under the letter X there are listed a total of eighty-two entries. A plethora of possibilities, or perhaps not. I scanned them and my eye was taken to Xebec, I could have fun with this word, twist in into a journey of letters turning it into gratitude to have walked away from bad relationships and become the Xe bec… but no not when I read that an Xebec is a small three-masted Mediterranean vessel. Even I cannot stretch word play this far.

Xmas is the next word of the eighty-two that draws my eye, but this is an abbreviation and should we abbreviate a day that is supposed to be a celebration, cutting short on the good things in life is not something I can condone. Drat my principles. I fear that I am going to fall back on the internet, that these 58 year old books are not going to be of any help. So I close them gently just to reopen them to check the printing date for the purpose of this post.

My old dictionaries were first owned by an L S Benson who lived in 20 Stoke Newington, written on the inside of volume one with the date 1956. The second volume has a different hand written message. It reads “To my daughter, don’t be lost for words love from Ken xxx” a simple message in a hand that I shall not see reproduced again. My Dad is still with us but he is not able to write in the same way. Parkinson’s has taken his handwriting from him so finding this short message after so long is something to be truly grateful for, as are the three x’s that have been penned to communicate his love for me.

So today in the post of X, that is exactly what I am grateful for. I am thankful that I did not find a word to use but turned the page to see my Dad’s hand written x’s for me.

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.

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

S.O.S … seeing the best, simply taking it slow or staying single.

Yes I begin this post with an S.O.S for to blog on gratitude as part of the April A to Z is substantially more difficult than one could assume! So many options, so many hurdles to overcome. Do I post from the heart and sod the consequence of purging my soul to the blogosphere?
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Shooting from the hip, jumping in with both feet, acting first and then seeing what the outcome is. I wish I didn’t but hey we all have flaws. To shoot from the hip can and does often backfire. But I always speak the truth, take people as I find them not as rumour suggests and try to see the best in those I meet. So should I be grateful for these qualities? Perhaps, I shall let you be the judge.

The last time I dated, I offered a disclaimer. I “specialise in shit” my date bless him did not know what to say to that so I explained. “I see the best in people, sometimes that is great, but when you mix that with my stubbornness I seem to end up in the shitty situations clearing up the mess.” Sarcasm was identified and fortunately he was able to laugh at my satirical appraisal of my dating history. I don’t mean to pigeon-hole my past, but for easy of tale telling there was; the gambler, the man-slut, the alcoholic, the bully, the liar and then the painful optimist.

Now as a specialist in dating failures I did not want this lovely funny man to think he would be the next on the list in my own personal disaster zone. The truth is I have survived, I chose to become involved with these people because I saw the best in them. Sadly focusing on this stopped me from seeing the worst until one or both of us was too involved and well people get hurt in the fall out from the failed relationship it is inevitable. So we talked we laughed we smiled, we shared our thoughts and histories and we took things slow, things didn’t work out but hey we shared some fun and still think of each other with fondness.

Single life is simpler, so you would think. I am grateful for the time and the freedom I have as a single girl (yes mother I know). I have not dated in over a year and feel no inclination to do so. Should I upset the status quo? I’ll just go with the flow.

I spoke to Swedeling about my S post. I was stuck, swamped with suggestions and endeavouring to produce something worth reading, “sing alongs” were suggested and hey to be fair I am grateful for those. The sport of Wisk singing should be in the Olympics as far as I am concerned. One evening we  shared a top-notch Abba fest in Swedeling’s new flat. The kitchen window had been open as the three of us, the Swede, her hubster and I belted out S.O.S at 9pm powered by beer and giggles. Surprisingly the next morning my dear friends’ neighbours thought we were an Abba tribute of sorts and she suggested that we were “professionals practicing”.

Silliness keeps us going when the serious side of life takes it toll, or so I like to think. The A to Z posts have led to a great deal of reflection for me. There have been many tears shed over my 36 years on the planet but these are cast into the shadows by the smiles, so far I have survived! For each of my dating disasters there is gratitude, each taught me lesson, made me stronger, each had their redeeming qualities. I am sad that at times I should have walked away or ran for the hills, but the stubborn me stayed to fix things until the reality of the situation was undeniable.

I am unsure why this became my S of choice, perhaps today became a day to purge my thoughts to see what was going on in my head. I might be a specialist in shit, but I have chosen a new path if that means walking alone then so be it. Sadly this is the end of the S post, so I shall bid you good cheer till tomorrow I am pleased to see myself as a strong person, I am grateful for the smiles and the singing, So I might have dealt with some shit along the way but haven’t we all so today I am pleased I am still standing, still smiling, still single.

Reflection, Reserch and Rabbit Pies!

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Reflection has played a massive part of my posts on the theme of gratitude. Looking back over my life so far has given me a great deal to smile over. Reflecting on past joys should not detract from the right now, indeed memories should inform our happiness and guide us through experience to future smiles. Right now is the most important moment, we can plan for our futures celebrate our past but we must ensure that the moment we are in is the best it can be. Being grateful for the moment we are in is not always possible but even in the difficult situations we can always see good.

Right now I am greatful for rabbit pies, not something you would expect from the average pescetarian. Research was not required for I pulled out the old tried and tested recipe popped the top on a bottle of cider and stewed two bunnies with onion, carrots, herbs and mustard seeds until the flesh fell off the bone then rolled out short crust for the bases and puff pastry for the tops- “Simples” as the meerkats say. I made these little “Bright eyed pies” for a local charity fund-raiser and they went down a storm, the first pie variety to sell out and guess what, when the results were called yes you guessed it my pies were announced the winner.
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People choose not to eat meat for various reasons, I am not a card-carrying, preaching carrot cruncher and I never will be. I choose not to eat meat because I find it upsets my digestion, I do not think that affordable, ethical meat is readily available and after the best part of ten year not eating it I don’t miss it, I don’t hanker after it, in fact I just don’t want to eat it. I respect the choice of those choose to eat meat along with those who choose not to, I hope that they respect my choice too.

When I presented my Rabbit pies, much discussion was had over my diet. I found myself almost defending my choice to a certain party. Now I know that I did not research before the fact so here is the post-mortem as to why carnivores in Britain should perhaps look at Wild Rabbit as an option if they are going to choose to eat meat. Three reasons to consider Rabbit.

1. There are an estimated 38 million rabbits in the UK and rising. (Guess what they breed like rabbits)
2. Collectively they cause approximately £100 million pounds worth of damage to crops each year. (If I hazard an educated guess there that will push up vegetable prices so everyone including the vegetarians will suffer as a consequence)

3. These animals are truly free range and never have to suffer the trauma of the slaughter house. Death for the rabbit might not be nice but it is swift.

So for those of you who have only met me through the blog posts you might be surprised by my offering for the local charity pie off. Yes this vegetarian presented rabbit pies and WON! Right now I am grateful for the rabbit pies, for the money that has been raised for local charities, Rabbit was not my only entry I also made a Mushroom and Stilton pie selection, but I knew I was catering for carnivorous. Recipe for Rabbit Pie will be posted once I have learned a little more about wordpress, I want to have a part of my blog that will be used to share recipes – so more research required.

H – How pleased we were with our aprons? Hilarious moments.

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There is nothing worse than someone telling you a funny story which at its conclusion falls flat with out a giggle. So I shall declare now that this will not be a funny post just an appreciation of funny moments, there is nothing to laugh at here.

Have you heard the joke about the clown that got fired from the circus, he took his employers to court for fun-fair dismissal. Ok so you didn’t laugh, nor did I when that particular little gem of humour was shared the first time, yet the telling of that gag has become it’s own joke part of pub life. We might all roll our eyes but comedy is all in the …
… timing.

Or perhaps not, I am lucky for I have some very funny friends, funny haha and funny odd, however I am aware that I fall into at least one of those categories. During sleep-overs as a kid I recall laughing till my sides ached with antenna’s in my hair made from bendy curlers, trying to balance stacks of mini chedders on my forehead. The actions of the downright weird I know, yet shared moments remembered with a smirk.

Other childhood moments when we truly laughed included a time when one of our classmates stitched her sewing project to her skirt, at the time we howled with laughter. Her cries of “I am stuck stuck stuck and it’s not funny” made us laugh all the more but this saddens me as an adult, for it is my first memory of laughing at some one else’s expense.
To be fair, my fellow student sustained no injury (other than to her pride) and her sewing project was completed when it had been unstitched from her skirt.

When I recently made my Swedish friend howl with laughter cannot declare that I remained unscathed. Crossing the road should be a simple thing but no, not for me with hands in my pockets I located the pavement in a most undignified manner, as the kerb jumped up in front of me I found myself Rugby tackling an innocent wheelie bin while I limped and hobbled up her stairs to dress my wounds, she followed doubled over with giggles at the fact that no alcohol was consumed in the production of that disaster.

Comedy is not all in the timing, it is in the sharing. Can you name a time when you have stood without other human influence and found something properly funny when you laughed out loud alone? I will not admit to being able to think of such a moment in case those men with back fastening jackets want to collect me again.
The people who you stand with as the tears run down your cheeks and you ache from the involuntary chuckles, they make those moments funny so to them I say thank you. I also need to show my appreciation to two good traveller buddies who returned from a recent trip to Italy and brought gifts.

Gratitude is expressed today for many things, I am grateful that i giggle lots and have friends to giggle with. I am grateful that we do not laugh at the misfortune of others unless they are laughing themselves. I am mostly chuffed to bits that my apron from Italy was presented to me yesterday. Clearly my travelling friends had been overwhelmed with the culture and history of their holiday… here is a photo of Swedeling and I modeling or new pinnies
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I must state that mine will stay in the kitchen drawer when mother visits. We have howled with laughter while modelling them, I am thankful for the smiles that have been shared the laughs that are laughed and in the bigger picture,  that my apron needed the largest plate to hide my modesty… the smaller pate on the left was far far more than ample in that aprons case.