#MondayBlogs ‘To Do Lists and To Be Lists’ #MondayMotivation

I’m a compulsive writer of ‘To do lists’.

Before I leave my office, at school, every day, I check my notepad and cross out the things I’ve done which were on yesterday’s list and I add my new tasks for the following day.

It makes me feel as if I’m in control of my work life and it actually works, because it means I usually get (almost) everything done (almost always) on time.

I also write shopping lists and weekly menus. Having three children and four grandchildren, who still often come home for lunch or dinner, this also makes me feel I’m in control of domestic matters.

There is a wonderful lady who’s been looking after the rest of the housework once a week for the last twenty years, which means I rarely have to worry about it.

Fortunately, work and housekeeping, (usually) run smoothly, which frees my mind, so I can devote the rest of my time to my writing.

I also write (sort of) to do lists related to my writer’s life. When I wrap up, I write down my word count, what I’ve done (writing, editing, rereading, researching, etc.), how I feel about it, and what I’d like to start with the following session. These reflections are a great help in focussing because I can’t always write every day, and losing track would be far too easy.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do away with my lists, but as a result of recently reading a short yet enlightening post by GunRoswell, I realised I wasn’t writing the most important list of all: My to be list.

So I’ve put it up on the window of the room I usually write in, to remind myself to make sure I take care of being as well as doing.

I’m going to be thankful every day for everything I am and have. The importance of gratitude can’t be overstated.

I’m going to be kind(er) to those I interact with, because we don’t know what other people are dealing with and because we all know what goes round comes round (ain’t karma a bitch!).

I’m a teacher a wife, mother and a grandmother, so being patient should be a priority, and it is, but sometimes I it isn’t easy, and on other occasions, I forget.

I need t find time to nurture my mind and be creative by devoting time every day to either reading, writing, playing the piano, photography, etc.

I need to remember to be in love, because love is the strongest feeling which binds people together. I must never forget to make sure those people around me who are special, such as family and friends, know I love them.

I also have the right to be happy. In spite of tragedy, pain and suffering which exists around me, I can allow myself to enjoy moments of joy.

I also need to be at peace with myself. I have made mistakes, and probably will continue to do so, but I need to forgive myself for making mistakes, as long as amends are made as soon as possible, stating the reason, expressing regret and offering repair.

I can’t do much without taking care of my physical health. If I’m sick or unfit, it would affect every aspect of life negatively, so I need to be healthy take care of my body by doing exercise, eating well, and making sure I keep up with my regular check ups…

I should never forget to be prepared for the worst and yet be optimistic and expect the best to happen.

Finally I need to be alive, ‘feel the rain on my skin’, because ‘no-one else can feel it for me’.

Do you write lists?

What’s on your To Be List?

#SilentSunday #Sixwordstory #sixwordstories If Life Deals You Oranges, Enjoy!

 

Sometimes life deals us sour lemons, and others we’re lucky enough to get sweet oranges, so let’s enjoy those wonderful moments and allow ourselves to recharge our batteries and embrace happiness. Perhaps next weeks’ lemons will be sweet, too!

I hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday.

Thank you for being there 🙂

My camera picked up these beautiful early spring flowers yesterday, just for you… 

My #GAPP_Week 4th July 2016

My #Gapp_Week 4th July

Gratitude: I’m Grateful for the summer holidays, for the lovely weather, for being able to rest and do my own thing (which is reading, writing, blogging and playing with my grandchildren) for six weeks!

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Achievement: I’m really pleased that I was able to wrap up everything at work. My work desk had been a mess all month due to end of term exams, evaluations, and final paperwork, but I managed to get it all sorted out.

Final staff meeting. The final report was typed up shortly after!

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I’m Proud of helping my colleague prepare his exam for a permanent teaching post. He has a temporary post at my school. I only met him five months ago, and he’s a hard-working and enthusiastic teacher who deserves to pass, but he needed a little help with some of the theory and encouragement for the exam.

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I also helped another colleague correct exams, because she was very busy with personal matters. She’s also one of my best friends, and you may think that doesn’t count, but it does. Friendship has to be nurtured, and friends shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Here are my two colleagues in another staff meeting. We were actually working, but we have so much fun!

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I’ve also posted some reviews on amazon for authors I don’t personally know or interact with. We all know how important reviews are for both readers and authors.

I looked after my grandson last Monday, while his parents were working. I don’t help them as often as I’d like to because I’m working full-time, so I’m pleased to help out when I’m on holiday. I’m not sure I’ve put this in the right slot, because really it’s a pleasure to look after Alex. I’m grateful for the games we play and the laughter we share.

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        Painting in the patio!

PLANS: My plans for next week are to finish proof-reading the print copy of my third novel…

Lucy Editing

Write some overdue reviews…

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Tidy up my study at home, which is a terrible mess!

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What about you?

Join in, pingback and read other GAPP_Weeks.

Or just read and comment, if you prefer 🙂

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RULES (short version, longer version here):

Few rules. Life has enough of them!

1- Tell us about your GAPP_Week.

  • What are you GRATEFUL for? Beautiful yet simple things which make life wonderful.
  • What have you ACHIEVED? Things that you’ve done for yourself .
  • What are you PROUD of? Things you’ve done for others.
  • What are your PLANS for next week? Doable and simple, realistic steps towards your goals.

2- Pingback to Lucy’s GAPP_Week weekly post on my blog.

3- Add #GAPP_Week to your post title.

If you like, you can:

  • Write four sentences, 400 words, or 4,000 words!
  • Add pictures.
  • Join in every week, or whenever you like.
  • Write your post on Monday, or any other day of the week.
  • Check out other posts.
  • Add the logo to your post or to your page (when it’s available. I’m working on that!)
  • Retweet as much as you like!

Happy #GAPP_Week!

I do like Mondays! #Gapp_Week @Gapp_Week

Modern blogging started in the last decade of the 20th century. It evolved from an online diary, where people shared their thoughts, reflection and lives publicly on the Internet through the use of Blogs, derived as we all know from the terms web (World Wide Web) + log (as in diary).  Some blogs were focused on news, others on fashion, literature, the arts, education, or just bloggers’ own random thoughts.

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I haven’t actually done much of that type of blogging. I do have some personal posts, but I wouldn’t call them a diary because they’re not consistent in theme or regular in their publication. They simply crop up now and again, and they’re closely related to my writer’s life, not my personal or private life.

Well, I’ve decided that’s going to change. I’m going to give real blogging, as in diary blogging, a go, at least until December, and probably longer, I hope…

The idea behind this (very) personal blogging initiative is that I believe I (and we) can improve our lives through consciously and publicly striving for a better quality of life for ourselves and those we interact with.

I’ll be channelling my random thoughts into four basic pillars and I hope you’ll join me:

1. The first pillar is Gratitude. The benefits of gratitude have been widely discussed by people who are much more qualified than me on this topic. If you’re not convinced, you can type ‘the benefits of gratitude’ and you’ll find plenty of pages. One of my favourite is the great Deepak Chopra: A two and a half-minute explanation. ‘We are all made of stardust’. I love it. If you want to read more about his theories here are his books. Here’s his amazon author page    

Gratitude Chopra

The first question I’m going to answer is: What am I GRATEFUL for?

Things that made me smile, laugh, feel good. It could be a phone call from a friend, a hug from my son/grandson, a beautiful sunset….

2. The second pillar is Achievement. Each week I need to feel I’ve progressed at least a little, because I’m nearer to accomplishing my goals. I need to identify the steps I’ve taken and the things I’m proud of having achieved. I need to feel I’m moving on, progressing, getting better. I need to believe in myself and encourage myself by pointing out my achievements.

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Let’s think about what we’ve ACHIEVED? Things that you’ve done for yourself that you’re happy about. Perhaps you wrote 1,000 words of your novel, learnt something new, finished reading a book, ran a mile!

3. The third pillar is Pride in doing things for others. Paying it Forward or Random Acts of Kindness.

Our interaction with world shouldn’t be selfish. We need to help others creating a pay it forward chain. The third pillar is Pride in helping others. What are you PROUD of? Things you’ve done for others. Perhaps you’ve listened to a friend who needed to chat?, written a review for an indie author’s book you enjoyed, helped a student with their homework, held someone’s hand when they were ill, helped someone who was lost or couldn’t speak your language very well?

Make sure you do random things for people who are not necessarily your family and friends, but of course kindness to them is also included!

We can all make the world a better place if we each try. The ripple effect starts with one person.

Pay it forward

Planning ahead in small steps. Instead of ‘Find a Job’, which is a long-term goal, think of smaller, but vital things you can do to get there such as, update my CV, or search online for places to send my CV, or look for a training course to do while I find a new job…

Goals

What are your PLANS for next week? What would you like to achieve for yourself and do for others. Thinking about this can help you write next weeks’ Achieved and Proud. Every large goal is achieved by a series of smaller steps. Think  of doable, realistic steps towards your goals.

Single step

How is this going to become a reality? We need something tangible. Something we can look back on and think about at a later date, so we need to write it down.

My Gapp_Week Jar

I saw this idea in January. Everyone writes New Year’s Resolutions, but what about being grateful every day for a year and reading all your gratitude notes on 31st of December.

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I thought about this a lot, and while it’s a good idea, I wanted to make it into something that would help me keep my life in a more general perspective. I’ve come up with a similar idea. Below is my jar with my first Gapp_Week post-it, neatly folded inside. I plan to add one each week and open it to read them whenever I need reminding that life has lots of wonderful things we sometimes forget about.

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If this doesn’t work for you, that’s fine. Yo can use a diary or notebook to jot down your GAPP_Week pillars, or simply use twitter, or your blog. Whatever works for you. You might like to show us a picture of what you’ll be using to keep track, a jar or a notebook.

Why Mondays?

Well, let’s face it, Monday isn’t the most popular day of the week! It’s a good day to get some good vibrations going. Reminding ourselves of the positive things we’ve done the previous week and planning ahead for the following week could help increase our motivation. It might even be a wise idea to plan or write it on Sunday evening and post on Monday…

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I think it will help me be happy and focus on what I want and do what I need to do in order to be a better and happier person. It’s a big aim, but I’ll be taking it in small steps.

To sum up. I want us (you and me) to concentrate on four simple, but vital aspects of our lives every week to help us on our way to a better and happier life.

Do you want to join in?

RULES (short version, longer explanation above):

Few rules. Life has enough of them!

1- Tell us about your GAPP_Week.

  • What are you GRATEFUL for? Beautiful yet simple things which make life wonderful.
  • What have you ACHIEVED? Things that you’ve done for yourself .
  • What are you PROUD of? Things you’ve done for others.
  • What are your PLANS for next week? Doable and simple, realistic steps towards your goals.

2- Pingback to Lucy’s GAPP_Week weekly post on my blog.

3- Add #GAPP_Week to your post title.

If you like, you can:

  • Write four sentences, 400 words, or 4,000 words!
  • Add pictures.
  • Join in every week, or whenever you like.
  • Write your post on Monday, or any other day of the week.
  • Check out other posts.
  • Add the logo to your post or to your page (when it’s available. I’m working on that!)
  • Retweet as much as you like!

I’ll be including my #GAPP_Week for 4th July in the following post.

What do you think of this idea? Any suggestions?

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Time-Travelling #Angels #SoCS

This post is written in response to Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS) prompt

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “an-”  Use it as a word or find a word that starts with the letters “an” and make it your post’s theme. Have fun! Everyone’s welcome. Join in if you like! Just let your mind go there…

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Angels

When I was a child, I went to St Joseph’s Primary School, a convent school where I was taught among other things to believe in angels; invisible spirits sent by God on a mission to accompany me and help me make difficult decisions, especially regarding good and evil. 

As a child, evil was never anywhere near my mind, and I never actually felt I needed an angel for that purpose, although I would have appreciated someone to talk to, like an older sister, or a sympathetic adult, but that didn’t happen, so I’m repairing that situation now, with my time-travelling angel. 

I’ve become my own angel. I’m the sympathetic adult who listens to the confused child and tells her what a wonderful life is waiting for her. I’m helping the little girl I was, become the self-confident and happy adult I am.

How do I heal the insecure, shy, and scared child I once was? How can you do it?

Easy. Here’s my method.

It all started with an old school picture, which I placed in a frame on my landing some years ago. I’m about seven or eight years old. Every time I saw myself, I smiled and said, sometimes out loud and sometimes in my mind, something positive. ‘You look great!’, ‘Lovely smile!’, ‘Clever girl’, etc… and I realised it made me feel good.

Lucy at 7

It grew from there. 

Later, with or without the picture prompt, I remember events, which happened, sometimes just a normal, boring, or sad day, and I mentally chat to the little girl, reminding her that she’s preparing herself for the future, and that wonderful experiences and events await her. 

I tell her about something that has happened or is happening years later, like: ‘You’ll publish your novel in the end,’ or ‘you’ll travel to such a place or meet such a person…’ 

I also advise her about how she should behave, like, ‘read as much as you can,’ or ‘don’t waste time with people you don’t like,’ or ‘look after yourself’ etc. 

I also listen to how she feels. I have a sort of interior dialogue and I help her think things through. I feel much better after our ‘conversations’.

I’m sure it works, because I feel happier in my skin the older I get.

Who’s your angel?

#SoCS Oct 10/17 Still Standing

This post was written in response to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness prompt

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Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “still.”  Use any definition of the word in your post. Have fun! Here’s mine.

I’m ‘Still’ Standing

As soon as I saw today’s prompt Elton John’s song came to my mind. It’s one of my favourites and of course, ‘still’ is the most important word in the chorus and the most important concept in the song. I’ve been humming it all day, while I was with my daughter and grandchildren, trying to remember the lyrics, but I’m afraid I only got as far as some of the lines of the chorus.

The first line I remember is ‘I’m still standing better than I ever did’. And that’s how I feel. It’s not easy to ‘stand’ after so many years of coping with life’s ups and downs. I have three grandchildren, which implies I’ve had my own children, brought them up, kept up a full-time job in a demanding profession, and I’m now watching them do the same.

It is ‘better’ now because I’m back to square one, almost on my own again, and able to look after myself and cater for my own needs, most of the time. Which is nice because I do actually feel ‘better than I ever did’. I’m not competing with life or with anyone any more. This is who I am and this is what you get. Like it or leave it. And believe me, that takes a load off my mind!

The next line says something about, ‘Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid’, and that’s true too. I’m well into my fifth decade, with no major physical or emotional scars, and I still feel young enough to have a go at plenty of new and exciting projects.

I am indeed still standing after all this time’, and proud of it.

The next line says, ‘Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind’, which I interpret as leaving behind hang ups and people who no longer have a place in my life. I’ve done that too, although it’s an ongoing process. I have no time for negative people who rock my boat, pull me down, or behave like emotional vampires. I recognise them a mile off. I make sure I keep well away. On the other hand, wonderful people keep popping into my life, literally every day. I feel very fortunate in my ‘physical world’ friends as well as my ‘virtual’ friends.

In short, I’m glad I’ve come this far and still have projects and positive expectations for the future. I’d say that’s an achievement!

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Thanks for reminding me Elton John!

Would you like to watch him singing?

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Check out some of the other posts here.