A digital reboot

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Last week, I read an excellent article from the Financial Times by Tim Harford  entitled My Digital Reboot.  It was one of those articles which really resonated with me and had me examining my online behaviour.  We live in a digital world and it’s an integral part of my professional and personal life, I am not going to stop using it.  However I have noticed how my phone is always near and I spend too long scrolling through Twitter and Instagram.  I get great inspiration from these sites but it’s too easy to start looking at something that leads to something else and suddenly the evening has disappeared.  I am not going to delete my accounts, I enjoy the social network sites but I am going to remove them from my phone to stop the ease at which I browse.  At the start of this year, I organised my week as part of a self care project (yes I’m a sucker for all the latest trends) for example, Sunday is house admin, Saturday blog writing so I’m planning to add a social network evening too.

This week I’ve minimised the use of my phone and enjoyed more creative projects and felt so much more refreshed and focused for it. There are apps which I will keep on my phone, my Spotify account as I love my music and podcasts, some photography apps, email, Parentmail, the school app and of course Scrabble which has always been one of my favourite way to spend a free 10 minutes.  As well as spring cleaning my phone, I’m also going to keep it away from me, to keep it in my handbag or on my bureau at home and just use it when I purposefully want to rather than as a distraction.  I realise I’m now the role model for my children, I want them to have a mobile as a phone and not to be an essential part of their being.

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#nourish

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My weekly nourishment continued this week with a focus on putting down my Smartphone in the evening and ‘doing’ rather than the mindless distraction of scrolling, tapping and ‘liking.’  I’ll write more about this in a different post but it’s something that I intend to continue.

My nourishing moments this week include

An early morning Sunday trail run in the light.  I run at 7am on a Sunday morning and for the past weeks it’s been dark and on the roads.  No running fills my soul like a trail run through the local country park.

Whilst this week has been about the red moon, I’ve been wowed by the morning skies, the colours have been spectacular, the pinks and greys beautiful.

We’ve had our 6 monthly check up with the dentist and all was fine.  I’ve switched recently to a bamboo brush and natural toothpaste with no noticeable difference.

Whilst I’m not watching Marie Kondo’s new tv programme, I have been revisiting her book which I read a few years ago.  I tend to pick what I think I can do and one of the best pieces of advice was to organise your wardrobe in colours.  I did it before and it worked well but of course without maintaining it weekly it all mixed together.  This week I have rearranged my clothes into colours and it does help with choosing outfits for the day.  I also donated some clothes to charity and threw away (recycled at the tip) a few loved but worn or damaged items.  I love Kondo’s motto of only keeping things which spark joy.

Given the clothes sorting, I did some work on choosing clothes for the spring and summer, courtesy of a few magazines, the Next catalogue and a White Stuff mailing shot.  I tried not to go online but to look for inspiration, jot down a few ideas, cut out a few pictures etc..

Finally, Mr S works some weekends so on those that he doesn’t we try and do something together as a family.  Today a local attraction was offering half price entry for locals so we took advantage and spent our day looking at the animals, learning about the conservation work and just walking around in the fresh winter air.  It did us all good and as we were well wrapped up, I love a hat, scarf and globves combo, it was a pleasant and enjoyable trip.

#nourish

This week has been full of nourishment and my list is impressive. However it has made me reflect that sometimes doing nothing may give me the greatest benefit. I did lots of my acts on Thursday, my day off and enjoyed doing them but was exhausted at fitting so much in. I think it’s important to balance and sometimes just take time to relax, the best nourishment for the body and soul.

My nourishing moments this week included

1. Tidying up my office at work!

We moved into our new office last week on the day we got the Ofsted call, our professional lives all boxed up. During the inspection our office was a mass of paperwork, drinks cans and even more folders, a chaotic mess. It felt so good on Monday to properly tidy up, file, shred and organise. I feel much more productive and in control now.

2. A long distance phone call.

I had a lovely unexpected call from a friend one evening, it was so good to catch up and plan a weekend.

3. A car valet.

Much like number 1 my clean car makes me happy, with its fresh smell, nice interior and sparkly exterior.

4. Neat eyebrows

If I don’t have my eye brows done, I would have a uni brow so I’m grateful when I have them done and they are all neat and tidy ( neat and tidy seems to be a theme this week )

5. A new jumper

I popped in to HM and found a lovely mint green jumper. I had vouchers so treated myself. I’ve worn the jumper today with a long star necklace and my jeans and felt confident and sparkly.

6. Fresh flowers

In big town there’s always a street stall selling flowers cheaply. I love a bit of colour in my kitchen and bought the roses to give me that colour pop. The best £1 I spent this week.

7. A thank you card

I had a lovely card this week with some very kind comments from a good friend. I appreciated the gesture and words.

8. Cricket practice in the garden

With Little Miss on a school sports fixture, it was just me and Little Man on Thursday. He was really keen to play cricket and on a sunny afternoon, we got the kit out and played together (in the cold with hats and gloves!). He was so happy that I agreed to play and it was a great half hour together, followed by a hot chocolate to warm ourselves up.

9. A Mexican Feast

Today has been a wet and miserable day and this afternoon Little Miss and I spent the time prepping a Mexican themed dinner. Home made salsa, guacamole, refried beans etc… I love cooking and it’s a genuine pleasure to be in the kitchen with fresh ingredients, prepping and cooking and listening to music. It’s fun having a sous chef although she’s not so good on the clearing up as you go along …

#nourish

My word of the year is nourish and similar to a gratitude journal I’m going to try and do a weekly post of what has nourished me in the past week.

1. Mary Poppins Returns

We finally got to see Mary Poppins Returns at the cinema last Sunday and it was so special and magical. The songs, characters, animations etc.. were ‘practically perfect’ and the soundtrack has been on my playlist this week. I left the cinema feeling so light and happy, delighted at a perfect little film shared with my children.

2. Home made soup

I love home made soup and although I often take soup to work for lunch, I have a new Chilly tumbler. The pink is unusual for me but I’m really quite taken by it. On the cold January lunchtimes, I’ve enjoyed red pepper, tomato and lentil soup and my favourite, celeriac. Lunchtimes are to be enjoyed and to simply pause.

3. Family bike ride in the forest.

It was a mad week at work with an Ofsted inspection. Much of my week has been spent in front of a computer creating documents and producing and analysing data, far too much screen time! This morning we went on a much needed bike ride in the forest, corny as it might sound, I needed to reconnect with my family and nature. For a January morning it was a beautiful crisp day and the ride was fun for us all. It was the first time that we’ve all been able to ride together as the children are now both confident cyclists and don’t need us to run alongside them. Little Man was really chuffed at being able to ride his mountain bike and asked for us to take his photo so he could put it in his proud book at school. After a long ride we all enjoyed our picnic lunch, I’m impressed that we had our first outdoor picnic of the year in January.

Nourish

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I really enjoy listening to the Happier podcast with the writer Gretchen Rubin and one of her recent talks was on creating a theme for your upcoming year.  I liked this idea and started to think of words which could shape my year.  After much thought, I have chosen nourish.  There are a number of reasons for this, I want to focus on my health and lifestyle this year.  At times I feel overwhelmed by the toxicity in life, the relentless 24 hour lifestyle and I want to step back and choose what I want my life to look like.  I also feel that this is a year where I need to be there for my family, its a tough year for Little Miss, SATS, the move to secondary school and some other personal bits and for Little Man ensuring that his learning difficulties don’t lead to isolation.  Mr S also needs a little TLC too.  Whilst my primary focus is my family, I feel the theme will also trickle out into our community.

I think that my first part of the project is myself, I can’t support others without being nourished myself.  Although the main things, preparing healthy, fresh, local food, being outside more etc.. will have an immediate effect on my family as we eat the same meals and given the children’s ages, share the same leisure activities.  To stop the feeling of being overwhelmed, I have already put a plan of the week together, choosing nights for different areas, eg Tues, lifestyle, Sat, blog, Sun, household admin.  I have also added a ‘Nourish Thursday’ once a month in my diary up until August (I need the new school year dates to continue further) Once a month I have put aside a day to do something solely for myself, my ideas include a massage, visit a museum, shopping etc..

I love that there is so much one can explore on this project, to nourish the mind, body  and soul. I started brainstorming a few ideas and created the word art below.  I am looking forward to a year of nourishment for us all.

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Ideas for the theme (excuse the lack of commas, the programme didn’t seem to like them or spaces!)

#19for2019

So here is my list of #19for2019, an idea inspired by the Happier podcast by Gretchen Rubin.  It is not a list of resolutions, simply a list of things you want to do in 2019 which will make you happy.  I’m just publishing today and as I tick each one off, I’ll explain the story behind the activity.  I did it last year and it really did make me much happier and excited at planning and participating in these new opportunities.  I’m looking forward to 2019!

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