Challenge track: week 2 – hmmm

So, I’m writing this as I said I would keep you up to date on how I was meeting the challenge. It is fair to say there has been very little progress this week. My back is still bad and I have been struggling, there has been movement around the house but I have been been getting lifts if I’ve been going out. There has been a LOT of improvement in the last couple of days and I was able to stand whilst giving my talks at church today which I wasn’t entirely convinced I would manage!

Im going to get in the mindset of the beloved E, the BPF, so how can we be positive? Once I’m able to get walking again it really is going to be a challenge to get the miles completed in the time and that’s what I’m actually looking forward to, rather than just doing a mile a day – but going for longer walks and enjoying it.

I hope next Sunday I’ll have a few more miles to share with you but for now if you want a reminder of the link to support me here it is…

Wednesday Wonders: Grateful

What are you grateful for?

This morning I was at a drop-in place and one of my friends kept asking people to name something they were grateful for. I was so pleased that most could come up with something easily, whereas one person didn’t seem to be able to stop listing things that they were grateful for – how great!

This, of course, got me thinking about what my answer would be. My top three would probably be my Family, my Friends, and my Faith. With a tricky few years if it wasn’t for these three things I’m not sure I would have made it through.

Those would be my three overriding things that I’m grateful for but what am I grateful for today? I’m grateful that my friend was able to pick me up to take me to the drop-in centre this morning (I’ve still got a bad back) we were able to have a nice chat and I was able to make it there in the first place.

It is so important that we recognise things that we are grateful for, whether that is the larger things that play a big part in our lives and provide a foundation for us, or whether that is recognising something each day that THANK YOU for.

So I ask again, what are you grateful for?

Challenge track: week 1 – disappointment

So it’s the end of the first week of my Challenge 100; covering 100 miles in 100 days to raise money for the epilepsy society. I’m a bit gutted though as I’ve only managed 5.9 miles.

I was hoping to have completed at least 7 miles, and secretly hoping a lot more, and hoping to have gone on extravagant walks to start off the challenge in style. However most of these miles have been completed walking to the pharmacy, to the dr, or to the hospital for an X-ray! I’ve had a bad back all week and standing has been a struggle let alone walking!

I know I can’t help it, especially as I have no idea how I did it in the first place, but I can’t help but feel disappointed!

The medication and rest seem to be having an effect so hopefully next week I’ll be able to report more! If you are interested in supporting me with this challenge then the link is below…

Wednesday Wonders: a bit of luxury

I do like a latte, but I especially enjoy it when the Christmas specials come out and I can have a gingerbread latte. Above is a picture of one a had in the week before Christmas, usually there’s nutmeg on top but, as you can see, this one came with gingernut biscuits. To say I was excited is an understatement! I love a gingernut biscuit, so to have them on top of my favourite latte – could life get any better? I think we safely say, for me, this was a bit of luxury. Maybe not for others but it was for me.

My first gingerbread latte of the year was my sign that Christmas was close, the season was beginning. However, over recent years there have been places where gingerbread latte has been available throughout the year, and I would have it whenever I saw it. So it hasn’t been as special this year as it has been previously.

Can something be a luxury if it’s something you have regularly? Going by the definition it can, as the definition suggests it’s about cost, comfort and elegance. However in my mind I link luxury with rarity and I’m going to try and keep the gingerbread latte for next Christmas and hope that I get one with gingernuts again! Honestly I cannot fully express how luxurious and amazing it was!

What are your luxuries?

Challenge Track: day 1

I’m not so great at the keeping of new year resolutions. They seem to be the same each year and don’t seem to last very long.

This year, it’s not quite a resolution but I’ve signed up to a challenge. The challenge is to do 100 miles in 100 days, this can be done through walking, running, any way you choose or are able. The aim is to raise money for the epilepsy society, they chose this challenge because 1 in 100 people are diagnosed with epilepsy. 1 of those being me!

Because of the epilepsy I can’t drive anyway so I’m often walking. I made the choice to make sure that my miles would be above/beyond the ‘normal’ miles. Unfortunately 2023 has started with a bad back, so although I managed to walk to church this morning I couldn’t manage an extended walk back. So I’m going to record daily miles, but only excess miles on those days when I can (if that makes sense). Essentially I’m going to try to do as many miles as possible in the next 100 days as possible.

I will be writing a blog each week to share how many miles I’ve accomplished, where I’ve been, and how I’m finding it. If you would like to support me with this challenge please feel free to visit this page…

Wednesday Wonders: Together Time

I was really struggling to decide what to wonder about this evening (partly when I suddenly remembered it was a Wednesday). There’s a very clear thing that I would like to write about but until I know the ins and outs I can’t really, but believe me I am still wondering!

SO… over the last week we’ve had Christmas. For me, Christmas is all about the celebration of the birth of Jesus, light entering the world. However, I also recognise how much I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with people, whether that’s eating meals with families, playing games, or going along to services and worshipping alongside others.

As well as enjoying the opportunity I’ve recognised the importance of being able to share that time with them. There are so many people who do not have such an opportunity and will have spent days alone.

I hope that you have been able to spend time with others, and be blessed by their company. I also hope that you will be aware of those who do not have such blessings, so we can be a blessing to them in some way.

I’ll be more prepared next week – I promise – hopefully!

Wednesday Wonders: Rest

When playing music the rest plays an important part. It punctuates the tune, in the middle of lots of notes being played there are periods of silence. Sometimes this may be short points, but sometimes much longer. More importantly the rest needs to be counted, it has purposefully been placed to have an impact on the tune. It’s easy to just hold on to the note, but it’s necessary to ‘play’ the rest.

Do we make the space to play the rests in our lives? I’ve just got back from a few days away, life had been getting slightly crazy for me and I had been struggling, as much as my life isn’t ‘normal’ at the moment, the life I have had been causing me stress. So I was grateful to take a rest, as always my time at home meant catching up with family and friends but it was a punctuation in my ‘usual’ life.

I played the rest.

This is where we’re going to have a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. We can’t always know when we are going to need to play the rest and there may well be times when we suddenly realise we are overwhelmed by the noise of life. BUT we may be aware of what our limitations are (that’s not the right word but hopefully you’ll know what I mean) and therefore we can plan our rests, we will also know what rests can be good. It may be a day of going somewhere or doing something different, it may be a week or more of going away from it all to somewhere completely different.

No piece of music is the same or has the same pattern of rests. However the rests will always punctuate a piece and play a very important part in the final composition.

Be mindful of the tune of your life. Play the rests where you need to. Play the rests that you need to.

Wednesday Wonders: playing with purpose

Regular readers will know how much playing the piano helps me, how much I enjoy it. Whilst going through a course of CBT recently I discovered that I especially found it beneficial when I wasn’t having to practice for anything in particular but was just sitting down to play. This also makes sense when I think back to starting my degree which was joint honours of Music and Religious Studies but I dropped Music at the end of my first year due to all of the enjoyment being taken away.

Following university I probably went quite a while without really playing, especially not with any purpose, but recently I’ve started leading musical worship at church. There were quite a few very nervous months with shaky hands and a shaky voice (that I noticed anyway). However, on Sunday, it was the first time I really felt like I was lost in the music, I was solely playing for the purpose of worship, not playing for anyone else.

Purpose can be helpful, it can also be constricting. It’s important that we allow the purpose of our actions to help us not to bind us. When I was at uni I allowed the practice required for music take away from the enjoyment I got from playing individually and corporally – but I think that says a lot more about me than anything else and I think that can easily be another blog post!

Wednesday Wonders: Time to rest

I’ve always loved leaves at autumn, especially when I see red leaves standing out amongst the others. It wasn’t until I was reading a book a few weeks ago that I fully understood that leaves were green when the trees were working to use chlorophyll, that they were always ‘autumn colours’ it’s just that we only saw those colours when the trees were resting.

When I read that, it honestly made me stop and think. It’s easy to tell people the importance of rest, but do we fully understand that our beauty can show more, we can stand out more, when we allow ourselves to rest. When we are busy things take over and hide our gifts.

Take some time to stop, to rest, to show your brightness whatever that might be.

Wednesday Wonders: Love

LOVE. A four letter word that means so much, makes us feel special, but can also leave us utterly bamboozled!!!

This morning I was gifted this beautiful plant in an awesome plant by a friend, for no apparent reason, just because. It made my grin from ear to ear and feel warm inside. Later on I asked her what her favourite word was (already with the plan to use it for my blog) and she said ‘love’ and straight away I felt dread! How was I going to write about love?

It isn’t something we can write about easily, it’s not something that we can explain, however it is something that we can demonstrate, something that can be seen in people’s actions.

Tomorrow it’s December, we’re already in the season of Advent as the Church. Christmas is all about love, in this time amidst the lights, presents, food etc… why don’t we take some time to show love – helping an elderly lady pay on the self-checkout at Boots; buying coffees for stall holders; giving a plant for no reason.

Love can be bamboozling but it can also be the easiest and greatest thing in the world.