Sunday, 24 February 2019

Ups and Downs.


This week has been a weird one. It had many ups and downs. 

Ups include:

  • I completed my first week of Couch to 5k, and I did 4 sessions without stopping! I'm trying to get into running because Jon and I are signing up to do tough mudder, and although I work out a lot, it's always strength training. Cardio normally feels like death to me and I hate it so much. I've tried to do couch to 5k 3 times in my lifetime, each time giving up. The longest I got was when I was 18 and me and my younger brother would get up at 6:30am and run. We got to about week 6 before giving up because I hated it so much. But this time I'm pacing myself and I'm actually enjoying it - and I'm forcing myself to get to week 9. I'll keep you updated!
  • Mother-in-law, father-in-law and brother-in-law coming to visit for an evening. Jon and I are homebirds and get very home-sick from time-to-time. Whilst we know for this season God has called us here, it's difficult to be away from the family we love so much, so it was lovely seeing them and playing boardgames and eating pizza.
  • The sun! As I'm writing this, it's 16°C in London which is right next to us, and I'm just loving it! SPRING IS COMINGGGGGG!
  • Getting better with my driving lessons. It's starting to feel a lot more natural driving, and I'm so proud of myself! We even spoke about maybe booking my test soon. EEeeeeekkk!
  • Working out with my sister-in-law and 2 step-sisters (SO weird after spending 19 years with 4 brothers and no sisters, to now have all these ladies in my life!) what we're going to do for my mum's hen-do!! There have been a few disagreements - but with family, what do you expect?! But we're thinking a chill spa day with lots of Prosecco - just how Mumma would like it!!
Downs include:
  • I thought I had so many, but as I started to write all the ups of the week, I started to forget all the down things I was going to write. Weird, eh?
  • I had what Jon calls my 'Monthly Breakdown'. I am someone who feels things deeply, and so when I'm happy, I'm ecstatic, but when I'm sad, I'm like super sad. And about once a month, I have a little anxiety induced breakdown which involves a lot of tears, and Jon having to talk me up from it. He's great. So I had one of them this week. Not great, but there you go. Life. This one was about feeling too much pressure from my new job. New jobs are always hard because not only is it always a lot to take in, but there's the added fact that you're the 'new girl' and so you feel like you have to make a good impression even though you don't really exactly know what you're doing. So there's that. 
  • Also, washing up. I'm waiting for Jon to do the washing up and he's taking agessss and it's taking over the kitchen side. Aaaaarghhh I just hate clutter.
All in all though, not a bad week. And we're going bowling later for a friends birthday, so I'm going to put on some lipstick and have a good time!

Sunday, 17 February 2019

The Little Things

Training for my new job meant that I had to commute into London for 3 weeks.. It was long and I hated the tube in rush hour, but there were some things I learnt from it. The following was something I wrote on my train home one night... 

 "This morning I was on the tube. It was about 8:50 and I was standing and squished against two different people and in desperate need of a wee. I was not really in a great mood and looking around at others, most keeping their heads down and looking a bit glum, no one else was either. Although we were on the London tube at rush hour so can you really blame us?! 

We got to a stop, and the doors slide open. People are pushing past to get off, and then people start to push the other way to allow people on. An older lady gets on. She's got curly hair brown hair, greying a little, and she's wearing big blush headphones. She has a big smile on her face. As the train pulled away she starts to bop and smiling along to the music playing on her phone, totally unaware of the rest of us squished in this carriage not having a great time. As I looked at her, I couldn’t help but smile along. 

She was such a breath of fresh air amongst a carriage full of solemn suit-wearers and I think we should all be a little more like that lady; making the most of the little things in life. 

 After all, isn’t that the secret to a happy life?!"

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Retail.


This week is my last week working in retail. It's weird because it's been where I've spent most of my  life for the past 2 and a half years. Most of the time I would dread going into work, sometimes because I would spend days doing nothing and I being horrendously bored, sometimes because my legs ached, sometimes because I would have preferred to spend my day putting my time into other things, but mostly because I knew that this was not where I was going to spend the rest of my life. 

But, in spite of that, there are definitely things I'm going to miss. These include:

  • The creativity. Floor moves are literally my favourite and I could spend days doing it. I just love building outfits, whether that be on mannequins, or on individual rails. I love the puzzle of making sure every single style, colour and outfit has a place on the mat. 
  • I loved having my own brand that I had free reign over. A little section that was mine and I could love on. 
  • I love the people I work with. I love all the laughter - which there is always a lot.
  • I love setting up for sale. Siphoning through the different brands clutching a sheet full of different codes to try and find which items would be either sticker-ed or marked down. And then after spending most of the day doing that, hunting down all the relevant signage. 
  • I love the freedom of wearing whatever I want. A cosy jumper, jeans and trainers?! Hell yeah!
  • The variety of people, which was so vast. I could spend time chatting to the part-timers who are also doing their ALevels one minute, to chatting to people who are pensioner age, but still working to keep them busy, to Mums with big families, to single people in their 20's who house share. So many different people in all walks of life.
  • The occasional nice customers, who chat to you about their lives. Who ask for your opinion in the fitting room, and actually care what you say.
  • Being comfortable. I know everything about everything there is to know, and that is comfortable. I feel at home, and know where I am with everything.
I am going to miss it: especially the people, but I know it's time for that chapter to be over, and for me to embark on something new. I currently know nothing about what it's going to be like working for a bank, but I'm excited to learn and get stuck in. I'm excited for this next chapter, and whenever I stumble or experience doubt, I'm going to keep focused on God because I know this is what he's led me to. 

Friday, 14 December 2018

Home.

Retail is always a super busy time in the run up to Christmas, the hours get longer and the customers get ruder. And if you manage to bag yourself two days off in a row, you're a winner. 

Well guess what?! Through some kind of miracle, I managed to bag myself 3 days off in a row. I have no idea how I pulled it off, considering no one's allowed annual leave from 18th. Not complaining though, and I decided to use the long weekend to go back to my hometown and spend some time with my favourite people. 


I had to walk to the train station at half six in the pouring rain to get the tube to be able to go home. Wasn't too impressed with that whole situation, but considering I usually get super nervous before travelling anywhere on any trains, I'm so proud of myself that I done it, and on the busy tube as well!


The Saturday started with me going to Aldi with Mother (standard), after her picking me up from the train station. Then I went Christmas shopping with Mum and the step-dad, and then I met up with the bestie, where we had afternoon tea, catched up about anything and everything. 

Then we went to Tesco, bumped into mum there (weird coincidence), and stocked up on snacks, wine and face masks. I also got cinnamon zoflora which I have been looking for for agesssssss, but that's irrelevant so then we went to hers and had an old school sleepover. We listened to Fergie and danced. We watched Bridget Jones' Diary and The Holiday, and ate crap whilst wearing sheet masks that made us look ridiculous. 


Then it was Sunday. I went back home and ate breakfast with Mum, before we went to church. After church, I managed to rope the two youngest brothers into putting up the Christmas tree. The only picture I got of that is blurry, me taking it surreptitiously because if they had known they would have not let me take it, and the picture is of them arguing about how to correctly 'fan' the tree branches out. It's imperfect, but I LOVE it. It's just us. They're great,

Then I had a little discussion with brother number 3 about evolution and whether or not humans came from ape type things, and then we ate Sunday dinner, which was great.

Then that night, I went to the pub quiz that Mum and Geoff go to weekly. I contributed to one answer (proud of that), and Mum and I drank rosé.

And that's it. The Monday I used to travel back home, and when I got home I watched 3 episodes of I'm a Celebrity, and did two loads of washing and washed up.

Such an amazing weekend off, some normality before a lotttt of change in the next few weeks. Bliss.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

When God Steps In


This morning I woke up an hour earlier than I usually do, and dread filled my stomach. Today was going to be a busy busy day. 

On Monday, my boss had told me that on Thursday she had a mifdwife appointment and asked if I could come into work an hour and a half earlier to cover her absence. I agreed and thought it was all good until that night as I was walking home, I realised I had booked a driving lesson that morning. I worked out that there would be a half hour gap between me finishing my driving lesson and having to be at work, so it was do-able but it was going to be a squeeze. I figured it would be fine. but I knew that the following 4 days were also super busy so it wasn't ideal.

But on Thursday morning I woke up, and it was raining. It was early. I don't really like driving lessons at the best of times, but this morning with the combination of the rain and knowing it was going to be really difficult have my lesson and not be late for work, I just felt dread. 

And so I reluctantly got ready, listened to a podcast, did my makeup and drank my coffee. I was all ready to leave until 1 minute before my lesson was to start and I suddenly thought, "wait a minute, she hasn't texted me to confirm my lesson." I went online to my account with the driving school I'm at, and sure enough the lesson wasn't there. I felt so much better.

God had known that it would be good for me to have the morning to relax before the crazy few days I've got ahead of me. He is a good Father, and I love him.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Moving Forward


Many times over the past year, I've written on this thing about the fact that I feel a little stuck in a rut. I don't like where I am (career-wise), but also, I don't know where I want to be. Which makes things really difficult. And makes it really difficult to move forward if I don't know where I want to move to. 

And I've felt like I've made no progress for the past year and a half. 

Until this past week, where I was offered a job AND I passed my driving theory test. Two massive steps in what I feel was the right direction!

The job, although it's not a job I feel will be my career, means I now don't have to work any Sundays, and I also won't have to work any evenings. This means that I can devote more time to what I believe Jonno and I's calling is at the moment: serving the youth of our church.

And the theory test is not only a massive step in my exam anxiety I seem to annoyingly get, but it's a step forward to learning to drive and so not having to use Jon as my taxi (bless him).

And so the moral of the story is, that it has taken a year for me to get a job and 6 months work of revision for me to feel confident enough to feel ready to take the test. Day-to-day it felt like nothing was happening, but actually it was all building up to last week. 

So this is to encourage me when I look back - sometimes it takes a year's trudging along to make a week of massive things happening at once. One step at a time means that one day, you'll get up to the next level, but to get there you just need to take the next small step. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Driving Theory Anxiety


In normal life I would consider myself someone who worries a lot. I just panics about the little things. 

Just yesterday, Jonno and I were in Tesco and I got my clubcard stuck in my purse. I started to panic about it. Jon? He just laughed at me.

Like, I literally panic about everything and anything. 

Exams are no different - in fact they're worse. I have literally cried in many an exam. I have had to fixate my eyes on a wall and focus on my breathing to stop the panic from rising. I never have gotten a good grade from an exam because I spend half the time trying to not panic and calm myself down. 

So when I new I had to take my driving theory test, it was no different.

I've been out of education for a few years now, and this was the only thing I had to focus on, so I decided to put my all into theory revision. I spent 25 minutes a day for about 6 months on practice questions, practice tests, filling a notebook. Many times in a practice test I got 100%.

I was ready for this. But it didn't stop the panic from rising. Even though I new I couldn't be more ready for the test, something was telling me that it was still going to go wrong. The week of was the worst. I got a migraine on the Sunday (why does your brain even do that?! Surely being in bed all day because your head feels like it's going to explode isn't going to help anything?!?), a headache on the Monday. The Tuesday I felt sick all day and don't even get me started on the Wednesday which was the day of the test. I literally didn't eat anything all day (and the exam wasn't until 3:30pm).

I know this sounds really silly. The test was only £30, and if I failed it, I could just take it again. I tried to keep telling myself this, but it's just the way exams make me feel. 

An hour before, I just felt like I needed to just sit and be still. So I put on Bethel's 'It Is Well', and I just sat on my sofa, closed my eyes and sang along. I felt so much peace. So. Much. Peace.

I took the exam and I passed. I didn't even need to be worried. I put the work in. God was on my side. He even gave me a sign during the test when in the hazard perception part, a BMW driver pulled out in-front of the car (me and Jon have this running joke about BMW's). I may have looked a bit loopy chuckling to myself in the test centre, but I knew that that was God telling me it was going to be ok. 

So, future Liv, just know that you may always find tests difficult, but if God's in it, you've no need to feel afraid.