Happy Campus…

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I’d maintained loose links with my local university ever since I graduated back in 2008, but now I’m happily single I’ve re-connected with campus and it’s given me some really positive new experiences. During 2014 I took part in numerous paid experiments for psychology students; as you might imagine, I’ve participated in some extremely bizarre and amusing tests! The extensive grounds are a haven for wildlife and it’s been a joy to wander around with my Nikon Coolpix snapping flora and fauna around the lakes and woodland and I even joined the gym!

Today was another first for me – I attended the Student Union Carnival to celebrate One World Week. Mother Nature treated us to near-perfect blue skies and glorious sunshine while the performers delighted onlookers with an array of dancing from around the world, juggling displays and a variety of multicultural food and drink stalls. Flags were flying all around the square and everyone was smiling and clapping along to the beats. It might not have been in quite the same league as Rio, but it was fabulous.

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Goodbye 2014 – Hello 2015…!

2015

After almost a year of being single, 31st December seems a good time to reflect on the past twelve months and see just how much I’ve achieved. While a relationship break up right at the start of 2014 and being part of a horrific police investigation in June (long story) must rate as the lows, I can honestly say that the highs have been more than I could’ve ever hoped for.

On the work front I had a pay rise, was given extra hours and more responsibilities which has not only boosted my income but also my self esteem. Regarding my health, I lost weight and got fitter, and on a personal level becoming closer to my children has obviously been the icing on the cake. I’ve also met some lovely new people, learnt different skills, featured in a local newspaper, attended several large events and even enjoyed a fabulous winter holiday in the sunshine.

Now I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months have in store for me.
Happy New Year!

Festive Cheers…

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I’m not usually a fan of this time of year, quite the opposite in fact, and my first single Christmas could’ve seemed quite daunting had it not been for my wonderfully supportive friends and family members. My social life has come on in leaps and bounds in recent months and instead of potentially facing a rather uneventful yuletide, my diary is positively brimming.

So, while Jack Frost ensures the outdoor temperatures remain sub-zero, I’ve been all toasty and warm in my lounge writing on endless Christmas cards and wrapping an enormous pile of gifts; a task made all the merrier when accompanied by a large glass of mulled wine… without the mulled bits. Cheers!

Every Journey Begins With a Single Step…

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If you’ve made some great new friends since being single, chances are they’ve recently introduced you to some equally great new places and experiences. This can be quite an eye-opener, especially if you’ve been a bit ‘set in your ways’ up until now. If you’d previously been too unsure of yourself to hop across the channel on a ferry, or not had the confidence to join an evening class, then these types of activities, along with hundreds more, can now become a regular part of your exciting new life.

Instead of being a hermit or sticking to a familiar routine to avoid anything ‘scary’, the world can now potentially be your oyster. Don’t make excuses any more, jump in with both feet and allow yourself to feel truly alive.

Milestones…

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When you hit that milestone of 6 months post-break-up it’s a good time to take a moment to evaluate. Quite likely by now you’ve managed to get the household bills sorted and done lots of new stuff by yourself. Things won’t have all gone to plan; there’s probably been several upsets along the way but you’re dealing with it.

Six months ago, when it was all fresh and raw, you might not have believed you could manage on your own, but putting some distance between emotional upheaval and current reality things become a little clearer. You’ve been given an opportunity to show the world (and yourself) what you’re made of, so don’t waste it.

However, no matter how fabulous and independent you’ve become, don’t be afraid to ask for help – you haven’t turned into Wonder-Woman in the past 6 months, and if you weren’t able to do certain stuff before your break-up there’s every likelihood you still can’t do some of it. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness and definitely does NOT mean you can’t cope as a single person.

Minus One…

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The minute you’re single, it seems that certain ‘well-meaning’ chums can’t wait for an opportunity to drag out the clichés – “Plenty more fish in the sea” or “You’ve got to get straight back in the saddle” and my personal favourite “You’re not getting any younger!” Since when has ‘singlehood’ been stigmatized to the point at which your nearest and dearest can’t bear to think of you without some bloke hanging off your arm?!Being ‘single’ isn’t an illness you should be ‘cured’ of as soon as possible, nor does it imply you’re utterly ‘unlovable’. It just means that at this moment in time you’re enjoying your own company, probably recovering from the trials and tribulations of a bad relationship and (for once) you’re getting used to being YOU again.

If and when you decide that you’re willing/able to begin searching for your next ‘plus one’ is entirely your own choice. Personally, at this moment in time, especially after my ex sent me stroppy texts for refusing to allow him to keep his credit cards registered at MY address three months after he moved out, Hell would need to be substantially sub-zero before I’d consider walking down that particular road again.

Not So Fast…

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With your new single status and fresh enthusiasm for being ‘whoever you want to be’, try not to be too much all at once. While it’s a really positive sign that you’re focussing on moving forward with your life, and being pro-active regarding your new social life, additional work commitments, recently acquired hobbies and so forth, do bear in mind that there is still only ONE of you and unless you have a time machine stashed away in your loft there are STILL only 24 hours in any given day.

Just because you made a ‘to do’ list it doesn’t mean that you have to ‘do’ it all at once, no matter how much you want to. Try to reign it in a little and actually enjoy yourself rather than indulging in some manic, whirlwind of activities that can only realistically end with you holed up in bed suffering from exhaustion a couple of months down the line.

I know it’s all new and scary and exciting and that once you get to a certain age, when you have more birthdays behind you than potentially ahead of you, it’s tempting to make the most of every second of every minute, of every hour…. But do try to take a moment or two out of your jam-packed schedule to savour these new experiences. You’ll get far more pleasure out of it if you do.