Do Different…

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This sunny, autumnal afternoon I was taking my usual route along a well-trodden path when the nearby sound of screeching children assaulted my ears (forgot it was half term). Keen to avoid anything spoiling my peace and tranquillity I took a left turn instead of going right, and there in front of me appeared to be a hidden pathway through the undergrowth. I even never knew it existed!

As I explored these unfamiliar surroundings I came across all manner of woodland treats such as beautiful dragonflies, a pretty little wooden bridge and the crystal clear water of a stream. Epiphanies can happen when you least expect them, and as I glanced at my own reflection, a metaphor for life entered my head; If, when you get to a junction you always ALWAYS turn right, just for once in your life turn left. You never know what hidden treasures you might find

How exciting!!

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Pushing Boundaries…

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Whether you work for yourself or somebody else, if an opportunity ever arises where you can mix business with pleasure don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take up the opportunity of networking. This can mean anything from accepting an invitation to join a breakfast club in order to gain valuable new connections of your own, to being asked to represent your firm at a large charity event.

I chose the latter and stepped into my boss’s formidable shoes to attend a very posh and grown-up Cancer Research fundraiser hosted by an important client. A year ago I would never have had the self-confidence to take on such a daunting task, however, since being single I’ve been pushing my own boundries more and more by grabbing life with both hands and simply ‘going for it!’ I have to admit that spending an evening with lovely people, enjoying a superb buffet in spectacular surroundings while chatting informally over a glass of something pink, fizzy and mildly alcoholic was infinitely more enjoyable than sitting on the sofa watching repeats of old sitcoms with a cup of tea. In fact, I now can’t wait for the next one. Bring it on!

Familiar Faces…

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When you’re moving forward with your new, single life, it’s comforting to know that you can rely on close friends and family members to be there for you, and it’s especially nice when your grown-up children decide that they want to play an even bigger part in your life now that you’re living on your own. Even if you’ve always had regular contact with them, it can be extremely reassuring to know that there’s still plenty of hugs and kisses for their ‘dear old mum‘.

No matter how much busier your schedule is now to what it was a year ago, and no matter how many great new people you’ve met and exciting new places you’ve been to, there’s nothing quite like spending a chilly autumn evening enjoying an uninterrupted, cosy, fireside chat with those who always have been, and always will be, the most important people in your life.

 

 

What Was That Song By Madonna?

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Oh yes…. H-O-L-I-D-A-Y!

When the weather’s turned decidedly autumnal, and the cold & miserable winter is looming on the horizon, there’s only one thing for it – book a fabulous, all-inclusive holiday somewhere hot! Obviously, this won’t be a practical solution for everyone, but if you try to plan ahead and put aside whatever cash you can, it might not be beyond the realms of possibility that while everyone else has their central heating on full blast and are frozen solid simply walking to the car and back, you and your mates could be lounging around under a palm tree, sipping cocktails while letching at fit Spanish waiters! It’s certainly something nice to focus on to get you through the misery of dark, damp mornings and even darker, damper evenings.

Even if funds are a little too low to consider such a luxury right at this moment in time, if you enjoy foreign travel and feel in need of some RnR in the not too distant future, there’s nothing stopping you from creating a ‘holiday fund’ which you can stash any birthday and xmas money in, along with any unexpected windfalls. If you shop around you really can find some extremely affordable deals out there. The world is your oyster – so tuck in!

New Friends…

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When making a new life for yourself it can be quite useful to make some new friends, whether this means joining a new group or club, taking up a new hobby or just frequenting a new bar. By no means does this imply that you should immediately abandon all of your old mates; quite the opposite in fact; these people always have been and always will be a very important part of your life (although I could’ve done without the unexpected ‘chummy’ texts from my ex 9 months after he left), it simply means that you will now have a brand new group of pals who have only ever known you as ‘you’ and not as part of a couple. A few months ago, I’d have gladly stuck rusty nails in my eyes rather than join a gym class, but join I did and in all honesty it’s completely changed my attitude.

Meeting fabulous new people can lead to a variety of different and exciting experiences, including visiting places you’d never actually been before, trying out new pastimes and exploring ideas and concepts you never thought possible. It also inevitably leads onto making even more new friends, which can only be a good thing. Highly recommended for anyone trying to start afresh.

 

 

Kerching!

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I’ve spent most of my adult life making ends meet on a somewhat limited budget, so in January, when the number of household residents at Chez Moi became 50% less, it made sense to me to budget for 50% lower monthly Direct Debits for the utility bills.

Nine months down the line it appears that one of us in my previous relationship must’ve been using rather more fuel and water than the other, as both Eon and Anglian Water have now delivered me a lovely big refund due to my current usage now being just 1/3 of what it was this time last year.

Apparently, several months of overpaying my bills equals an unexpected windfall which means I can really treat myself this Christmas, and the luxury of being single means I don’t have to share it with anyone else! Ho ho ho!

New Wicks for Old Flames…

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When your ex finds a new love it can bring mixed emotions. Depending on the circumstances, they may have already begun this relationship before they became your ex of course, but even if they managed to keep it in their pants for a week or two after walking out of the front door it can be quite a strange thing for you to deal with at first. (Although it should hardly come as a surprise that they instantly swap your bedsheets for someone else’s when your guitarist ex’s favourite joke of all time is ‘What do you call a musician without a girlfriend? Homeless!‘)

My advice is to resist the temptation to drag the nearest person off the street and swing them from the chandelier in a blatant act of revenge sex. This may make a strangers day a bit more ‘special‘ than they imagined when they woke up that morning, especially if they’d just popped out to buy a newspaper(!), but in the longrun you’ll just feel cheap and nasty.

Just sit back and feel smug knowing that once the ‘honeymoon period’ is over someone else is eventually going to have to deal with all of the challenging stuff which you went through. You can also take great pleasure in the fact that if she was remotely involved in his mysterious vanishing acts during his relationship with you it’ll only be a matter of time before he’s playing Secret Squirrel once again with somebody else – a leopard never changes it’s spots. Simply count your blessings that it’s no longer YOUR problem.