Acknowledging our achievements


I’ve been neglectful of this little blog over the last couple of weeks. There’s no real reason for it, I guess I just ‘haven’t found the time’ to blog, but that’s a poor excuse. There is always time, I just need to utilise it more efficiently.

One thing I did find time for was writing an article to submit to the Huffington Post. The last 12 months have been significant for me for a number of reasons, one being my career change. Ok, my two career changes. Writing about this was, in some way, soothing. Taking thoughts from my head and leaking them through my computer keyboard on to a screen is incredibly therapeutic, and the Huffington Post article was no exception. Those changes were a big deal for me, and my life has totally changed as a result. So to know that I was being judged on that was a little scary. What if the editors didn’t like it? What if it wasn’t interesting enough? What if the writing was too weak?

When I found out it had been accepted for publication I was really, really happy. My thoughts, my words, were going to be available to the millions of readers of the site. That is an achievement. A success. And I’m going to be able to contribute on a regular basis. That is even more of an achievement. I think it’s something worthy of some pride.

Shortly after my article was published, I had a comment from a reader. It wasn’t negative, but it challenged some of my advice (not that I would like to class it as advice, per se). For example, the commenter said that if a person had children, they couldn’t just ‘decide’ to change their career path if it resulted in a drop in earnings. Obviously, individual circumstances determine the decisions we make, but I honestly believe there is always a way to make your life better. It might mean making a sacrifice, but that sacrifice isn’t necessarily a pay-cut. Plus, I don’t have children, so I didn’t have to worry about that when making my decision.

I guess what the comments taught me is that my writing – naturally – relates to my own personal experiences, so I cannot resonate with everyone who might read it. That would be impossible. And to try and write something to please everyone would probably result in a poor piece of writing. I need to feel confident in my abilities to reach out to a particular group of people. A group of people who might be at a similar stage of life, who might have had similar experiences, who might need that something to help them on their way, or who might simply like my writing!

If I am to put myself out there then I need to accept there are potential consequences. Negative reactions and comments that challenge or criticise. But that shouldn’t take away from the fact that my writing is out there in the first place, having been deemed good enough to publish. And it shouldn’t stop me from going to find new success.

My own personal achievements still exist, and I should acknowledge them. Just as you should acknowledge yours.


Addicted to snoozing


How I wish I was one of those ‘morning people’.  Someone who springs out of bed at 06.00, does a full body workout, sings with the birds as I rustle up a 3 course breakfast, reads all the papers, and makes myself look a million dollars before leaving for work.  The sad truth is that I get up about 07.40, put some cereal in a plastic bag, slap some foundation on my face and leave the house about 08.00 (ok, 08.05).  I do my mascara in the car (don’t worry, the other half drives), wolf down my special k (or coco pops) at work, and promise myself I will exercise that evening.  Unfortunately, said exercise does not happen often enough.

It’s fair to say I wasn’t born a morning person.  My mother even used to call me sloth because I liked to hang out under the duvet for as long as possible.  Even these days I stay up too late and when I do go to bed it takes me a while to get to sleep.  So, come the morning, I like to spend some time with my best friend, the snooze button.  Despite setting my alarm the night before, the temptation of snoozing in the morning is just too strong.   The snooze button cannot exist without me pressing it.  It’s like putting a bag of cool doritos in front of me and expecting me not to eat them.  It Does Not Happen.

Imagine my dismay when I read this article earlier.  I could be screwing up my whole day just because of my addiction to snoozing!  Not ideal.  The advice to battle ‘sleep inertia’ – the confused fuzzy feeling you get when your alarm has gone off for a second time – is ever so simple.  Set your alarm for the time you actually need to get up, sack off the snooze button, and just get up.  Easy, right?  WRONG.  I can almost guarantee that when I try this tomorrow it is going to feel like someone stole my last piece of chocolate orange and ate it in front of me.  In other words, awful.

I guess only time will tell (no pun intended).