Life Sparkles ✨

Graduation

Long time readers of my blog may remember that when I was working and looking after my parents, I was also studying for a BSc (Hons) in Health and Social Care with the Open University. http://www.open.ac.uk/ I graduated in July 2017 and I was scheduled to attend my graduation ceremony in October 2017. Unfortunately on the day of the event my Mom wasn’t well and I couldn’t attend.

I was re-scheduled to attend the following October however my Mom was in hospital and I was staying with her in the hospital and I therefore missed the ceremony. I contacted the Open University to explain why I had missed this second ceremony and they were very supportive of my situation and arranged for me to re-book for October 2019. Little did I know that by then I would have lost both of my parents.

As graduation day drew closer I really didn’t feel like going at all. The two people who had gone through all the studying with me, read all my assignments, revised for exams with me weren’t here anymore. Himself, my cousins and my friends all told me to attend. After so much studying and having to cancel twice before it would be a shame to not go and celebrate my achievement and that Mom and Dad would be watching from above, so proud of me.

I was allowed one guest at the ceremony so himself was with me. It felt amazing to be amongst all these people of various ages who had all managed to study and pass a degree in all manner of subjects whilst working, bringing up a family, caring for someone or suffering ill health themselves. It wasn’t a straight laced and staid event, it was full of fun, laughter and shared community spirit. Afterwards there was glasses of Prosecco to celebrate and you know how much I love fizz!

We then met up with my wonderful cousins for a fabulous celebration afternoon tea at The Ivy in Birmingham. https://theivybirmingham.com/ followed by cocktails at The Cosy Club https://cosyclub.co.uk/location/birmingham/ which was a favourite haunt of mine when I worked in the city. It was an unexpectedly wonderfully happy day and although I did shed a few tears, I really did feel the presence of my parents.

Ever the poser…
I really did do it!!!
I may have enjoyed more than one glass.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

Ask yourself…what is really important?

Over the past months I’ve had it in mind to take a complete leap of faith into a different life. We all lead such busy lives, rushing here and there, doing this and that. Even when we sit down in the evenings we’re connected to social media, the Internet, emails or messages, we rarely switch off. 

I wonder why making changes is so scary? Fear of the unknown? Fear of failure? But is it not better to have tried something you really want to do than stay in your comfort zone and dream about it? What if you succeed? What if you fly? It is all possible but not if we don’t take any steps towards achieving the changes we want to make.

Thankfully I passed my recent exam and I achieved the grade two I needed. This leaves me with one final module to complete which commences in October this year. “Promoting Public Health”. It sounds interesting and I’m ready to take on the workload. But how much easier it would be if I had more time. I could be up to date instead of my usual three weeks behind. I could read articles properly instead of skim reading…

I want to learn the guitar. I can’t possibly take this on at the moment with my caring responsibilities, looking after the home, working, studying…but what if I had more time?

I want to spend more time around my parents, looking after them, giving them as many happy days as possible…when I leave the house to go to work these days, I worry about them, I’m anxious about their health…but what is really important, them or the job…they win hands down every time.

I totally understand why people think I should stay with the day job, that it would be wrong for my health and wellbeing not to be engaged in the outside world. I know that being at home all day would be wrong for both me and my parents. They need to keep the independence they currently have. But surely I can plot and plan weekly to suit us all and ensure I’m out and about in the world. I don’t want to go from feeling caged in an office to caged in the house.

Maybe now is the time to reflect on what really is important. I feel I have reached a time of my life where if I don’t take a chance now and do the right thing, follow my heart, follow my dreams, I never will. The opportunities are there now. 

Do I really want to spend the next 20 years sitting at a desk, working on spreadsheets…or is it now time to spread those wings of mine and really sparkle ✨🌟💫


Picture via Pinterest.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Life Sparkles ✨

New Year – Another Fresh Start

Happy New Year and welcome to 2016!! How fast the years roll by these days. 2015 appears to have gone by in a flash. Did you keep your resolutions? You remember those? The promises we made to ourselves of all the things we were going to do for the new year. Nope? Me neither. I don’t remember any specific resolutions although I’m sure I made them, I always do.

I have heard lots of folk say “you don’t need to wait until New Years Eve to make resolutions, you can start over any day”. I agree with that, we can decide to swap and change our goals at anytime but I think there is something different about making our fresh starts at the beginning of a fresh new year. January 1st holds such promise of the year to come. Our hopes and dreams and also our worries and concerns. We for the most part think positive and decide what it is that we want to do, to change, to improve, to make happen.

Once again I will start a healthy eating plan and I have already shopped, loaded my fridge with fresh fruit and vegetables and ordered a Nutri Ninja which I am now impatiently awaiting delivery of. I know of numerous people with Nutri Bullets and Nutri Ninja’s who all love what they can do and some of these people have kept to their healthy eating plan all year!!! What an achievement 👏👏👏. My difficulty will be suddenly avoiding the chocolates, biscuits, cakes and goodies still in the house from Christmas. No point in easing myself out of them…time to turn cold turkey.

  
Picture via Pinterest

My next new plan is to set aside some time each week for some self care. I totally understand how and why folk say “you can’t look after another person well if you haven’t taken care of yourself”. I have two people to look after and I hope that my swap to healthier eating will not only benefit me, but them also. I need to feel better, more energy, less pains and aches…Nutri Ninja I’m expecting serious results.

As you know I commenced vocal coaching last June, took a long break from August due to caring responsibilities and then returned to it a few weeks ago. I have no hesitations or issues getting around to my singing homework and I hope that this year, even if it takes until December, that I will get the confidence to sing on stage, maybe even do a whole gig!!!

  
Picture via Pinterest

Although I enjoy my Open University course, there is so much reading and research now I’m at level three, I’m struggling to find time. Today I am five weeks behind with twenty three days to go before my next assignment is due in. Yes, I need to knuckle down. I only have one more module to study after this one so time must be found to get up to date and stay there. I can always find something more sparkle igniting to do instead of this reading, it is usually singing.

So, there are my resolutions for the year. Have you made any this year? Are they similar to mine? Whether you have or not, I’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year, may all your dreams come true.

  
Picture via Pinterest

Thank you for reading my blog 🙂