Making a gratitude list – and checking it twice …

gratitudeˈɡratɪtjuːd-nounthe quality of….. there are many people who have been very nice, and none that have been naughty.

I have a lot to be thankful for.  Over the last couple of months I have been through a bit. I have moved home twice, started a new job, said farewell to friends and hello to new friends.

Throughout it all, there has been one constant.  Gratitude.  I have so very much to be thankful for. My family and friends near and far have been there for me.

Sometimes it is the big things like a the gift of a holiday or a bed for a month that I am extremely grateful for, but then again there are those smaller things that simply come along at just the right time when you need them.

The day I moved to my new home I had so much help.  I simply could not have done it without the kindness of others.

I was moved in and was surrounded by boxes and memories, all the helpers had left and I must admit I was feeling a bit sorry for myself.  A little bit lonely to be honest.  The next thing I was greeted at my front door by a fellow South African I had ‘met’ on Facebook.  She had those moving day essentials, a bottle of wine and a cake!

I am no good at scrubbing and cleaning because it hurts my hands.  How blessed am I to have a friend who came and cleaned my bathrooms for me.  True friendship,

I have honestly been so humbled when I wrote my gratitude list.   It is something quite personal but very important.to remind us of the true meaning of gratitude.

This definition is very true.  It is not enough to simply be thankful.  We need to show appreciation and return kindness.It is also really important that amidst the hustle and bustle of life, it is important to make a call, send a text or even send a card to say thank you.

I challenge you to make a gratitude list.

Thank you for reading

Kerry xx

Pushing beyond your limits

Push beyond your limits (2)We all have limits.  I know I have reached mine when I am ‘crying tired’.  It was my mom who first used that phrase.  It really is so descriptive.

Yesterday I reached crying tired.  I have been putting my all into learning my new job, where I have literally hit the ground running.   Throw in horrific traffic problems where it is taking me up to an hour and a half in stop start traffic to travel a normal 20 minute journey. And then for a final flourish add in packing up my home.

In addition to this I had reached the end of my ‘battery life’.  Let me explain, I have pernicious anaemia.  As I cannot absorb B12 through my tummy – and B12 is what oxygenates your blood – I have to have it injected on a regular basis.  I compare myself to a battery operated toy.  Twenty-four hours after receiving my injection I am at full battery capacity.  The couple of days before it is due and I am really run down and tired.

I am not looking for sympathy here, just explaining how I came to reach my limits.

The only problem is that when you do reach your limits sometimes you have no option but to push through them.  I had to get up early this morning to travel to work, put my brave face on and handle the job in front of me.  I had to think up some solutions to my move which is was becoming a logistical nightmare and simply push on.  Giving up isn’t an option.

Today as I am reading the post I am calm.  I pushed beyond my limits – not quite sure how, but I found that extra 10 percent needed to keep going.  I had a great day and am now fully ‘charged’.

Next time I get crying tired, I need to remember to keep pushing beyond my limits.

Thanks for reading my belated Wednesday quotation.  Please feel free to share.

Kerry xx

 

The happiness and horrors of house hunting

My new front door (2)

Our home is so important to our happiness.  When I started house hunting six weeks ago I was honestly dreading it.  I put on my brave face and logged onto Daft.ie.

Where would I find a house that was going to be my home?

There were moments when I laughed and moments when I was ready to cry, but some stories just have to be shared …..

There was the house which was a converted B&B.  On arriving I wasn’t sure as I would be sharing a home that had been divided.  I am a free spirit and I like my privacy, but considering the lack of housing in Galway I had to keep an open mind (I just didn’t realise how open it needed to be).

He showed me around the house which wasn’t too bad.  Two bedrooms, both en suite, a little sitting room and a tiny kitchen.  I was clean and I was thinking that perhaps I could make it work.  Then I saw that the dividing door between the two houses was glass!  I had a vision of myself nipping into the kitchen wrapped in my bath towel to make a cuppa, as I often do this!  I commented on the glass door and the gentleman honestly seemed shocked that it would be a problem.  I was still pondering where I would do my arty crafty stuff.  There was one door next to the kitchen that hadn’t been revealed.  I asked about it and he promptly replied that it was his bathroom, in my potential house!  I must have looked terribly shocked.  ‘I am very discreet’ he said. ‘I won’t use the bathroom until you have gone to work.’  I didn’t really know what to say.  He was asking premium money to rent a house in which he would be doing his bathroom business.

Being I positive person, I ventured back onto Daft.  Ooh look a new property!  Five minutes from work and it looked gorgeous and more to the point was within my budget.  I was buzzing this was going to be it.  It was small but really well fitted out.  A gorgeous curved red sofa and some sparkling mosaic in the bathroom.  I showed it to a friend and she recognised the development straight away.

Off  I went at lunch time.  I arrived and was greeted by a staircase with a carpet that was unravelling.  The smell of mould and damp greeted my nostrils.  I was told that the house was available as it stood (in other words no upgrades).  A broken single bed occupied the main bedroom, black mould on the bathroom walls and no red sofa. The sofa that was in place had seen plenty of action, that I really didn’t want to think about. There was also no mosaic in the bathroom.  When I questioned the landlady she was quite indignant. ‘ I need to know if I should add you to the list before 5pm,’ she said. This was not the same apartment in the photos!  With a heavy heard and a small bit of frustration I returned to looking.

Happily I do have a new home to move into.  It came through a thoughtful colleague from my previous job.  He has heard me bemoaning the house hunting task.  ‘Call this lady, and use my name’ he said.  I am delighted with my new house in the little town of Athenry in County Galway.  I move in next week.

Thanks for listening to me rant about house hunting.

Kerry xx

 

Take time to simply be …

Take time to simply be (2)We really do live at a hectic pace.  From when we get up in the morning it is go go go.  We try to keep as productive as possible and pack as much as we can into the 24 hours that make up a day. If you know me you know I also subscribe to the philosophy of you only live once, and that can make me very tired.

However sometimes we simply have to stop and be.  Perhaps take an early night and go to bed with a good book, or even better get up early and simply sit with a cup of tea and be.

Meditation comes in different forms for different people, and I am not suggesting that you sit down cross-legged and chant (although that can work too).  Just simply take a minute, or preferably ten, to just be at one with yourself.  Try and empty your mind and get yourself to a place of rest.  Breathe and just be.

I always start my quiet times with thanks.  I run through my day, or couple of days and think of the things I am thankful for.  My sister and niece for a roof over my head.  The lovely welcome I have received at my new job. My little holiday in London coming up.  Somehow the stresses of the day, the mad traffic and the worry recede when I simply take time to be.

I hope you enjoyed today’s quote post.  Too excited to think that my next post will be from London.

Thanks so much for reading.

Kerry x

My sofa is an important part of my life

3-seater-grey-fabric-sofa-waldorf

When I watch Gogglebox on Channel 4,  I realise that for many of us it isn’t TV that is the centre of the home, but rather the sofa.  Best friends, husbands and wives, families or all shapes and sizes congregate on the sofa night after night.  Yes, it is our seat in front of the TV but it is so much more than that.

It is that comfy squishy sofa that we sink into at the end of a long day.

So how exciting is it that sofas are now part of my life?  Today I started my new job as Marketing Manager for EZ Living Furniture.

My sofa is sometimes my desk with my laptop, papers strewn and a cup of tea by my side as I write blog posts.  Sometimes it is a haven for confidences as my best friend and I sit side by side pouring our hearts out.  My sofa is the place that my son first found out that he had received first class honours for his first year at university.

We were also sitting together when he received a skype message to say that his video game  Boxman Begins had been greenlit on Steam (for the non-gamers, this is the biggest online gaming portal for PC games).  It is also where I Skype my family in South Africa

I share my sofa with my memories, and many friends and family, but writing this blog post I realise I also share it with myself.  I am happy in my own company and have had many contented hours sitting in my spot (shades of Sheldon from the Big Bang here as I always sit in the same place) simply enjoying a nice cup of tea and a scone, and maybe indulging in some Netflix.

So the question is – who do you share your sofa with?  Or perhaps even who would you like to share your sofa with?  For Patrick Dempsey I might even move out of my spot.

I would love to hear your comments.

Kerry xx

Trying to take one day at a time

quote taking one day at a time.

 

You know when you get a point where you could either laugh or cry? Well I was at that point yesterday.  As crying will give me panda eyes, I think I will just have to laugh.

I love this quote which I heard years ago – I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several attack me at once.  No matter how organised or controlled you get, and no matter how many lists you make, sometimes thing get simply overwhelming.

For me it is a combination of finishing up a job that has been a huge part of my life for two and half years, packing up my home, trying to find a new home, and of course saying goodbye to my friends in Westport and to the town itself, a really special town that deserves the title of the best place to live in Ireland.

I know I am not going far, but it is still quite a thing.  Twenty plus boxes packed (so far …), and I am tripping over the empty boxes in the hall.  My lists are out of control as I remember something else and dash to add it to the list only to find out that I have packed the kitchen pens.

The paintbrushes and paint are packed but not the gleaming white canvasses which are sending out a siren call for colour.

The bedroom looks like a clothes cannon has gone off as I pack into piles.  One for the charity shop, one for my London holiday, one for the new job.  And I must remember to leave out clothes to wear for the next few days.

My work desk is still chaotic, but it tidier than it was a week ago and the drawers are empty so that is good.  Imagine by tomorrow, this desk will be clear of clutter and awaiting a new owner.

Daft.ie and Rent.ie are my new go to places for web news.  House hunting is fun – for some people, but not for me!

Now, I realise that this post is not a how to, or motivational, or particularly positive.  That is because some days you just have to accept that several days are attacking you at once.

Thanks for reading and feel free to share the quote with others that are being attacked.  I think it happens to all of us.

 

Kerry x

 

Talking about blogging, and more on the Radio

Kerry Manning talks to Angela Faull on the Chatroom on CRCfm 102.9 by Crcfm on Mixcloud

 

I was delighted to talk to the lovely Angela Faull on CRCfm – the local community radio station in Castlebar.

I really love blogging and sharing ideas and this was a fantastic opportunity to have a chat.  I honestly forgot it was going out live on the radio until it was over.

We started talking about blogging but, Angela is a skilled interviewer and I landed up talking about some subjects like depression and pain, that I normally shy away from. We also talked about friendship and how I learned the joy of walking.

I would love it if you would have a listen, and would appreciate any feedback.

Thanks for listening.

Kerry xx

Why making lists improves my productivity

lists quote

I am a real list maker.  I make them on yellow pads, on notebooks, on the back of envelopes and more recently on ColorNote and Out of Milk – two great phone apps that do seem to make my life simpler.It also means the lists come with me rather than staying on my desk or the kitchen table.

All these methods work, but today I am reminding myself to make those lists count.  There is great satisfaction in ticking things off!

In amongst the moving boxes, there are many lists being created.  Here is my current list of lists

  1. Invitees for my going away party (back of an envelope)
  2. The Food and drink list for the party – as above and on Pinterest
  3. Boxes to be packed (notebook)
  4. Social arrangements before I leave (Yellow note)
  5. Shopping lists – (Out of Milk)
  6. Packing for my temporary home at my sisters – not started but I need a list for that!
  7. Work tasks to be finished (yellow note on my desk)
  8. Blogging ideas (ColourNote)
  9. TV watching (ColourNote)
  10. Ideas for new job (new notebook)
  11. Packing list for my trip to London
  12. Crafting and arty ideas (Pinterest) – important as I don’t want to forget those while all my stuff is packed up.

I think it is really important to use lists, simply because I forget things.  An idea pops into my head that I know will make a great blog post and then when I sit down to write – whoosh it is gone.

I also tend to forget my phone charger when travelling and also my toothbrush.  I won’t even consider that this is about getting older.  I go with the idea that my mind is simply overfull and things tend to fall out!

Looking back on the list of lists, I think that I could aim to be a little better organised.  Perhaps one place for making lists and do away with the numerous yellow notes and used envelopes.

 

I would love to hear your list tips and techniques.

Thanks for reading this Wednesday’s quotation post.

 

Kerry xx

 

Treating my hands to a bit of Revive

icarevive

 

I love magazines, I guess I have a bit of an addiction to them.  As you can imagine I was delighted to receive a copy of the first ICA magazine, and after setting myself up with a cup of tea I sat down for a good read.

Tucked in the back was an advert for Revive, a Galway based company who are developing some fabulous health supplements.  I knew about the ‘green’ Revive (Revive Active) as my sister had been raving about it.  I had also had a little sample in my ITWBN goody bag!  But here was a blue one – and one especially for joints.

My hands are a constant struggle for me since being diagnosed with arthritis.  They simply hurt all the time, and I am struggling with flexibility.  Because I am me, I am doing everything I can to keep going, including injecting with methotrexate which is a bit hectic to say the least.

I am delighted to say that I have added the Revive joint formula to my anti- arthritis arsenal.  The supplement that comes in a sachet and is mixed with water doesn’t taste like chocolate, but it isn’t bad at all.  It has all the building block ingredients that are supposed to reduce pain and increase mobility.  With any luck it is also going to repair cartilage, and reduce inflammation ( a biggie for me).

My new breakfast addition from ReviveI have been taking it for over two weeks now.  Last night a friend was over and asked me how my hands were.  I had to stop for a minute to think.  They hadn’t been hurting all day!    Could be a coincidence, but I will take whatever pain-free days are available.

This is a long-term solution and I will be updating everyone on the blog regularly.  Revive uses the slogan the science of nature.  I can do that!  I am delighted that I am not adding any more baddies into my blood stream, and feeling better to boot!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your feedback.

Kerry xx

 

How bumpy roads can make me a better person?

I have come to accept the bumpy roads of (3)Today it was time to stop and think.  To contemplate the changes in my life over the past few years, and now doubt the changes to come.

When I am working on my Wednesday quote series, sometimes I start with a word, sometimes a picture and sometimes a quote, and then pull it all together.

Today I started with this photo of a bumpy road that I often walked when I lived in Connemara.  Not only did you have to watch out for stones, and potholes, but also for cow pats – which where possibly a more distressing hazard.

When I came across this quote from author and motivational speaker Dr Steve Maraboli it all made sense.

I seem to bump along, sometimes dodging the debris on the road and sometimes stepping into it, but somehow we get through it.

At the end of this road pictured is a beautiful lake that I often sat beside.  A little further is a fabulous waterfall.

Most roads like that are a reflection of life.  Right now I am in a bumpy patch, but I look forward to some tranquil time overlooking a beautiful lake soon.

Thanks you to Dr Steve Maroboli for the inspiration – I will certainly be back to your blog for more.

Thanks for reading

 

Kerry xx

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