Self-care

I’m liking the way my year is turning out to be. For the first time in a really long time, if ever, I am in a happy place. I’m appreciating my life and those in it. I’m proud of myself for taking the step of ridding myself of what I do not need. I’m embracing the positive and shunning the rest. I’m moving forward, skipping actually, perhaps with less people around me but with an overall much better aura.

The decision to stop pleasing others and focusing on myself proved to be the turning-point. Perhaps it’s my age or reaching a saturation point of sorts, but my priorities have changed and with them, my life has shifted. I have come to realize that any time spent on things or people who are not worth it, is wasted time. I have given up on past friendships not with any antagonism, not at all. I just choose to spend the time I have with friends and family who give me something worth holding onto. It is a hard decision giving up on something or someone who meant so much to you in the past. But when you do so, the feeling of lightness and rightness which accompanies the action, is mind-lifting.

I do not care for any bull in my life. At 36 years of age, I finally know what I want in my life. And I consider myself fortunate to have people in my life who can and are giving it to me. Gone are the times when I used to set off, going out of my way to please someone, without any acknowledgment, thanks or reciprocated action. How many times have I done something for someone, only for them to shun away when I used to ask for something in return? We are all humans. We all expect help from our close ones in times of need. And when your priorities are not theirs, then there is a problem.

In every post I have written this year, I have always said how this year was going to be my year. I made it a priority to better my life and myself . It was not easy and it took hard work and keeping my eyes on the prize to move forward. Today I am with less people around me. I probably come across as sometimes direct and abrupt. But I am no less sensitive. than I was before. I am not crass or arrogant.  I only choose more carefully when to show what side of me.

I have, in a way, spring-cleansed my life. I have opened up myself, let the negative air and presences go out, and allowed the positive in my life. I have found the courage to admit to myself what I want out of this life, whom I want in my life, and what I need to do to achieve my own peace, and I’m slowly getting there.

I will not apologize for this. I am looking out for myself and my own. I suggest you try doing this. Clarify what and who you want in your life, and set out the way to achieve it.

I am telling you – the feeling is great.

I may not be doing it right. This may be the least correct way of doing it, but what works…works.

 

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This is not about hate or disrespect. It’s about self-care.

 

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A Special One

This weekend was a special one for the most simplest reasons. Nothing special was planned and nothing monumental was executed. All we wanted and all we did was spend the weekend as a family – us three. We’d all been longing for some time alone as a family, it’s something we’d been seriously lacking these past two months. So in all its simplicity, this weekend proved to be a success.

Cesca and myself went to the airport to welcome A back. While waiting for the hour-long delay to pass, Cesca managed to sweep clean the whole of the airport flooring, she was amazed by the planes landing and leaving, and was slightly bemused when A walked out of the terminal. It took a couple of days for her to realize that papa’ was here to stay. Finally!

We visited the beach and Cesca was the first one to walk straight into the sea. No shivering, no cries of ‘cold cold’, no pulling back – nothing. An hour after playing in the water, splashing around and building sand-castles, we finally managed to pull her out of the water and head home. It was the first time for us on the beach with Cesca as a toddler, and I’ve already started making a proper list of things to take with us because with every passing minute I started realizing how many things I had forgotten. Next time we definitely need to take an extra towel, some spare bags for the wet things, a bottle of water to rinse off the last stubborn sands and less toys. The more the toys, the more the rinsing off and picking up afterwards. Plus, the sea and sand proved enough fun for C! The ice-cream afterwards was a hit with C, and while half of it ended up on her face and in her hair, I think it was one of the happiest times for her! Heading back home she was quite a sight. Wet, messy hair, sand everywhere and her face, hair and hands all sticky with melted ice-cream. But her giggles and smiles more than made up for it!

Things were pretty laid back this weekend, so much so that I was not even bothered with taking a single photo. But every scene is clearly stored in my head. The simplest things are sometimes the best.

The Laughing Matter…

Cesca will soon turn one.

I need to stop for a second to take in that reality. One year already – WHAT??

In just over a fortnight, my once-upon-a-time little tummy flutter will be a baby no more. This time last year I was 34 weeks pregnant, feeling my weight and super-excited to meet her. Now she’s growing and growing quickly, her clothes don’t fit from one week to the other and she’s still adamant not to crawl or walk. Which I have to say is fine by me. I find it reassuring that I can leave her sitting down in one place and finding her in the same spot (well nearly anyways). Having said that I’m counting on her to be able to wobble a few steps by next December – she HAS to walk down the aisle at her aunt’s wedding. It’s either that or me pushing her in her pushchair, which I’m afraid does not quite do it. So that’s six months to go to get going C! AND to get her hair growing as well, though I honestly can’t really lament about that because recently it’s been growing at a fast rate, her sides can now easily tuck behind her ears and her back-of-head patch she had is slowly filling up. She will not hold a hair-band, so for now I’m relying on clips, of which we’ve lost a lot. Once she realizes she has a clip on, she won’t stop till it’s off her head and onto the floor.

But the one thing which really has me glowing inside, is her cheerful character. This month it’s been all about smiles and laughing. I love nothing more in the world than seeing her play by herself and giggling away at her toys, or putting her down for a nap and hearing her laugh by herself. When I recite some nursery rhymes to her, she will crack up from laughter and sometimes she laughs until she’s got tears streaming down her face! She squeals in public, she sometimes screams as well (especially in supermarkets for some odd reason) and she has started ‘saying’ new words. “Dada” is the newest word to be said. She recognizes more words as day passes – the latest words she now recognizes are  ‘flowers’, ‘butterfly’, ‘Minnie’ and ‘water’. She makes funny faces at any given moment and as soon as she sees someone smiling or laughing at her, that’ll just give her more ammunition to do it more and more!

It’s amazing to see her life changing so much and to see her growing up so much and learning more and more everyday. It’s also sad that my baby is now a baby no more. A couple of months ago I wrote about how I wished babies would come with a ‘pause’ button. I’m can tell you quite surely now – they definitely don’t.

😦

Watching the game with papa’, but she couldn’t keep a serious face 🙂

 

Sunny Days and Dark Shadows!

Those of you who follow me here and on my Facebook page, know that I was in a real jolly state yesterday. I was smiling all the time, I was laughing for no reason at all and the day was a wonderful one as a result. The reason of my giddiness I do not know. I’m still on this high today, and with the weekend coming up, I have good reason to 🙂

Most probably, the weather is the reason. I see the sun and I’m a happy girl. After the dumps that was English weather for these past couple of weeks, this week has been nothing short of beautiful. We have been out walking, we’ve been eating ice-cream and we’re all wearing summery outfits. What is there to not be happy about?

Back to yesterday.

We had C’s Sing and Sign class and this time I had to take her out ten minutes before it ended because she was crying WITH tears and I couldn’t stop her. I’m thinking it was the over-heated room we were in,  because once we were outside she was back to chatting and playing as if nothing had happened. She’s making the acquaintances of lovely babies, but I’m not sure she really knows what’s going on. She doesn’t really bother with them, she’s so wrapped up in her own little world she will just give them a look and continue playing or looking around. Whether it helps her or not, I’ve a clear conscience that I at least tried. They’re fun classes, I enjoy the singing and playing. And I think (at least, hope) that C does as well.

Afterwards we went to the centre for some ice-cream in the park. I then wanted to go to Monsoon for some Jubilee celebrations. They were offering champagne, orange juice and strawberries at their shop, together with a 30% discount and a free bag when purchasing! I needed no further reason to go do some shopping as you can imagine. What made me smile was the ‘organized’ way everything was set up in. You see, if something like this had been done in Malta I can tell you what would have happened. Things would have gone something like this: people shoving to get to the free drinks and nibbles, empty glasses everywhere and no manners whatsoever. Whereas here people were actually queueing to get their drinks – when the table was already set up for people to help themselves!

Summer’s arrived here in Kent!

In the evening a couple of friends and myself went to watch Dark Shadows with Mr. Depp himself. C was left with papa’ and I got no messages/calls from home so I could relax. The film was a good one to watch. If you plan on seeing it, don’t take it too seriously and go with the flow of the film. I love the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp combination, and of course as ever, Helena Bonham-Carter featured as well. The film is mainly featured in the 1970s so be prepared for some real classics – Moody Blues, Alice Cooper and Berry White. The costumes are beautiful and the make-up even more. Johnny Depp was wonderful and quite sexy (apart from the geeky hairdo he has going on), Michelle Pfeiffer is still as beautiful as ever, and Eva Green is simply great. Apart from Johnny Depp (of course),  Eva Green was my favourite actor. She plays the evil Angelique, and is simply perfect. Her movements, her way of speaking and her evil glare make her the most-hated and yet so-enticing character of the film.

Does she look evil enough here?

So if I were you, I would watch it, if nothing then just to see the actors and hear the great music this film features. It has flaws, sometimes it felt as if something were missing, and it’s definitely not the greatest film Tim Burton has given us. But the visuals are great and the setting is great to look at. As is Johnny Depp 😉

And this song features in the beginning of the film. My father had the Moody Blues’ LP and I loved listening to this song. It is just magic!

Sunny Days…

You know when you’re happy for no particular reason at all?

Today is one of those days for me. I woke up feeling happy. I’ve woken up, cleaned up the place, showered, did my hair, fed C, she’s now playing and I’m running around bare-foot and in a skirt – without tights! It’s a bit hazy outside, but it’s hot weather. C has her Sing and Sign class later on in the day, and tonight a friend of mine and myself have a date with Johnny Depp. We’re watching Dark Shadows. Vampires AND Johnny Depp? There’s no thinking about that one really!

Johnny’s always a welcome sight 🙂

I’ve just painted my toe-nails a beautiful coral and opted for a nude colour for my finger-nails. Of course my horrible pale colouring ruins the whole summery image I’m trying to project thanks to months of covering up. In fact C is darker than I am! I’m hoping that will change next week (my colouring, not C’s!)

So I’m hoping you’re having a wonderful day. I’m hoping you’re smiling a lot and laughing even more. Make this day a beautiful one. Remember, it’ll never come back again!

xxx Jos

There was no real idea behind this post. Just one of those things that came out of my head and onto my computer. But then there shouldn’t be an excuse to be cheerful and write about it, is there 😉

The Happiness Project – What Makes You Happy?

I have just come across Kate’s post, tackling the question,

What makes you happy?

C is too young for me to ask her that question. Hopefully one day I will, and I’ll be part of her answer. In the meantime, I’ll ask myself that question. What made/makes me happy?

When I was a child, my answer would be simple. Ice-cream, a new Barbie, school holidays, riding my bike, watching Sesame Street and playing with my friends. And my parents, who were my one and only source of pure happiness.

Sesame Street

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?

As a teenager, my priorities obviously changed. Happiness was discovering the newfound freedom secondary school gave you. Happiness was meeting up with your school-mates on a Monday morning and discussing each other’s weekend antics (so to say). Happiness was buying the latest issue of Shout magazine and cutting out Mark Owen pictures to stick on your desk. Happiness, in a naughty way, was discovering the other sex, and realizing that deceiving your parents was evil, but fun.

When at University, happiness took the form of liberty. Of freedom. Of moving to another island, away from all that was familiar and finding your own feet. I suddenly realized what fun it was to live with your best friend for the university years,  go out together and spend countless hours gossiping together. Happiness then was knowing that the world did not have to be limited to the familiar. The unknown was scary yes, but fun too.

Meeting A was an unexpected but obviously happy episode. Looking back, I smile at the circumstances that surrounded our first date. I remember being happy and as giddy as a school girl at the thought, constantly checking my mobile phone for new messages. Happiness was the butterfly sensation I’d get in my tummy just before I’d meet A and knowing that he was different. Happiness was discovering the pillar of strength he was during difficult times. Happiness was accepting his marriage proposal and setting out on our married life in July 2010.

The following July delivered the ultimate source of my happiness. The little bundle of joy that lights up my days and makes every problem disappear. This little being gave me a wonderful pregnancy, and with her in my life, all is perfect. Happiness was watching the first pregnancy stick giving me the positive sign, watching my tummy grow with every passing day and feeling her kicking inside me. Nowadays, happiness is watching her whole face light up when she sees me, when she hears my out-of-tune singing and crazy gestures. Happiness is my total fascination with everything she does and with watching her discovering the whole world. Happiness is knowing that A and myself are her total world, as she is to us.

Today happiness is finding the time to be A’s partner and having our ‘couple time’, enjoying my daughter’s journey in discovering everything that is still so new to her, enjoying time with my family, having a coffee with good friends, finding a good book, writing here and having wonderful followers, and of course, shopping.  I am only human.

One day happiness will be fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans 😉

You can’t be happy all the time – life deals us some horrible blows at times. The important thing is learning how to overcome these problems, and not to forget that life is too short to be anything but happy.

The Beauty of Beauty

Having just watched a naked chef on live television cause havoc with the female presenter and audience present on the show, along with twitter fans twittering like mad about this very fine chef’s sculpted torso (not that I looked too much…), and requesting the knitted ‘little’ goodies which were covering the same chef’s ‘crown jewels’, this just goes to show you how no one is unsusceptible to the beauty of beauty.

We all recognize beauty and appreciate it, be it a human being, a piece of clothing, those lovely pair of Louboutins, architecture or even one special moment which holds all the beauty in the world for you.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and whether we like to admit it or not, everyone wants to surround themselves with things which are beautiful, for beauty enhances happiness, and happiness does make the world go round. And the wonderful thing about beauty’s objectivity is that every single thing is capable of being the most beautiful thing in the world for one person, making it even more and more special.

I am no different. I love looking at and touching sky-high priced outfits, handbags and shoes. Even though I do not afford buying them, I get a pure sense of pleasure and happiness by feeling them and looking at their pure beauty. I can wear myself pretty when feeling a bit low – putting on my favourite pair of boots and new bag always puts a big smile on my face. I appreciate the beauty in men and women and it is not the first time that I have nudged A in the middle of the street, telling him “Just look at how beautiful that girl is!”

Of course only I am allowed to say those words in our relationship.

So if you have something which is bothering you, which you can change, and which you decide to change because you want to, why not do it? If it makes you happier, you will feel and look happier. I agree with the concept of changing one’s appearance when done reasonably and for the right reasons. I do not understand how some people can claim that humans ought to learn to live with the face and body God gave them and not do anything about it. But why? I have had alterations to myself which I do not regret for one little instant. I love the result I got and it has made me so much happier and more confident than I was before. It was my choice, I did it knowing the risks involved, it was not an easy-peasy cheap ride in the park, but it was worth every penny and twinge of pain I may have felt afterwards. My only regret is delaying in doing something about it. I am no pillar of excellency in beauty, but in my own way I feel more attractive and much happier than I was before. I have tried botox, and unsurprisingly enough, I loved the result! There was no face-freezing as I had read on magazines, where the people undergoing botox end up with no facial expression whatsoever. The slight tightening of the face, especially the crow’s feet round the eyes and wrinkles in the forehead area, are the result I wanted and got. The result lasted for around four months, and when it was time to top-up, I found out I was pregnant. So I’m currently on hold for my next shoot up.

So do not judge and you won’t be judged. Everyone strives for happiness, and if beauty helps you achieve that, then go for it!