May 2018

“It’s August! This year is flying by, isn’t it?!

Now that some areas of my life are starting to calm down, or maybe just get more settled, I decided that it was time to re-start this journal/blog/therapy, whatever you want to call it.”

This is what I wrote 9 months ago when I was determined to find time to write again… Since then there has been zero activity – well at least not here! Elsewhere there has been PLENTY! I read the words “Now that some areas of my life are starting to calm down” and had a little chuckle to myself…

New Challenges

So what has been going on for the last nine months, and why do I start writing again now? I haven’t had a baby or anything silly like that. Well, not a human one. I’ve had a digital one! My new business finally launches this month and I couldn’t be more excited. It has taken a year of development, money, stress and shifting goalposts but we are finally there.

de62117fc872e4f2730474b500c8c059

Check it out here

Family & Friends

Ah, the real reason for me writing here again… My girls. I don’t just mean my children, I mean all my girls. Family and friends who are inspiring me every single day.

The wee ones have been adamant that they want to start their own YouTube channel for a while now. I’ve not had the time or the energy but have finally relented! It won’t be pretty as my video editing skills are less than zero, but hey, we’ve got to start somewhere.

Millie is also keen to start writing too, she’s joined a book club and she loves writing reviews, so we’re going to set up a book and film review section for her and Ella to give their opinions on the things that really matter. Like Harry Potter and The Greatest Showman. Oh, and places that we go adventuring.

As for the older girls in my life, I’ve seen some incredible bravery being shown in the face of some major life curveballs, also quiet demons being faced and fought. Some don’t want to share, some do. It can be so therapeutic to write, so here this is a place for them to do just that. Who knows where it will take us, but expect thoughts and tales from age 9 up. The stories we share might be hard to read, they might be inspiring, funny, emotional or questioning, but they all share this: they are true and are what women and girls go through every day.

*** Takes Deep Breath ***

Health & Wellbeing

I’ll write more about this in a separate post, but this month marks the start of a pretty major life shift for me. The sun has come out and I can finally get a bit of clarity. The doc reckons I have to have my medication permanently managed to deal with the changing daylight levels, I think that if I change my lifestyle for the better then I can hopefully escape the constant cycle of 20mg, 10mg, 5mg, 10mg, 20mg…

I have great support at my second favourite place – Strength & Performance – so with a good dollop of determination and willpower, I will get there! Oh, and I’ll have a waist again…

Image Credit: Emily Quinton – http://www.makelight.com – find her on Instagram here 🌸

 

A Fresh Start

It’s August! This year is flying by, isn’t it?!

Now that some areas of my life are starting to calm down, or maybe just get more settled, I decided that it was time to re-start this journal/blog/therapy, whatever you want to call it. There are a few reasons for this.

I ❤️ Digital Mums!

The first is undoubtedly thanks to my fabulous experience so far with Digital Mums.

LR_Digital-mums_Day-1_Z7A9546

They are currently running a fantastic campaign called #CleanUpTheFWord – all about changing the the culture around flexible working in the UK and to “stop it being seen as a dirty word or an employee perk”. Get involved! Sign the petition here.

Anyway, I digress. I started their Social Media Management Course back in March. My original campaign was a foodie campaign that I was running with my girls to promote healthy eating and lifestyle for children. I switched to a different campaign about 8 weeks in as I decided to start a new business, more of that later… However, Millie and Ella really wanted to carry on the foodie campaign. As I can’t fit in three blogs, as well as actual real life, we decided to re-engage That Girl Thing as the platform for them to start writing, sharing and generally getting involved.

I’m well aware of the dangers of over exposure to young girls, so all their content (and what they are allowed to watch and for how long) will be fully monitored by me and their Dad. The way I see it, they are going to eventually get sucked into the world of social media whether we like it or not, so they might as well go in with their eyes open, knowing all about the dangers and delights shining back out from their screens.

The second reason is down to confidence.

As I mentioned before, I have also decided to take the massive leap of faith and start my own business again. It’s back in the world of weddings where I once owned a very beautiful bridal shop, but this time on the other side of the screen. I’m setting up an online marketplace for bridal retailers to sell their sample stock online. High stock value is a massive problem within the bridal industry, and one that needs fixing. Hopefully my new venture will be the answer! Before joining Digital Mums I never would’ve had the confidence to do this, now on a wing and a prayer it’s happening!

What does this have to do with That Girl Thing? Well, this journal is, in part, a way for me to track my emotional levels throughout the year. Right now I’m confident, full of energy and positivity. Things are looking up! My good friend Adele Hartshorn is a life coach  and she suggests setting interim goals to break down the bigger picture. Weekly, monthly, every three months etc. So I’ve decided to make myself accountable. I’m going to set myself monthly goals and diarise them here. I definitely think that bringing method and madness together has some merit, so thanks for that Adele. To find out more about her work here.

Finally, accountability. There’s that word again.

I’ve recently been introduced to a gym. Not just any old gym, but Strength and Performance.

S&Ptribe

This is a ‘proper’ gym. Not your half-arsed, ‘let’s take a quick selfie while I pretend to sweat’ kind of gym. These guys have got your back. Their main aim is to make members be accountable for their fitness journey and the successes or failures along the way. Nutrition is logged, sessions are led and monitored by the incredible team of coaches and the community that they have built there is truly inspiring. I’ll be writing a post about my 30 day introduction to S&P later in the week, for now just know that their approach to progress has rubbled off and I’m making myself accountable. Follow my monthly journals for goals, successes and failures – both of which there’ll be plenty I’m sure.

Goals for this month:

1 // Enjoy a holiday to France with my bestie and all of our children without any drama. Easy.

2 // Manage my time effectively to keep up-to-date with my DMs course and business launch timeline.

3 // Keep on enjoying my S&P journey, and lose another dress size.

Peace.

LB Xx

📷 Header image credit: Emily Quinton, Makelight.

NB // If you don’t know about Emily and Makelight yet, you should! She is the QUEEN of pretty and she’s also a fab teacher. Check out her website here.

Goals – January 2017

2016 had its ups and downs, generally a year of not much personal growth or development. High points were delivering a rocking opening night at my ex-place of work, buying a house and, in June, celebrating a year of amicable separation and co-parenting. Low points were having to pull out of Tough Mudder due to injury, arguing with the ExOH towards the end of the year and the mid-December realisation that I’m still coasting through life with no strong direction.

January 2017 so far has followed a similar pattern as 2016. Generally winging it through the chaos with no clear direction, polished off with a good guzzle of wine at the end of the day. What I don’t want to do is reach my birthday in mid-December, and again have that sinking feeling that yet another year has passed and I’m still in the same place. So, it’s time to change things up a bit. So, what are my goals for this year?

Family

Family comes first. Since our separation, the ExOH and I have worked hard to maintain our amicable co-parenting relationship. Things are changing now as he has a new lady in his life. I’ll be honest, it’s not been the smoothest of introductions, so this year’s challenge will be to manage this new dynamic in our lives, without causing friction or, more importantly, confusion or displacement for the children.

Oh, and we need to get divorced at some point.

I am also going to up my parenting game. At the end of last year I felt that the girls had not had the best of me at all. Homework had been missed, in favour of trips to the park. Playdates hadn’t been arranged, because my house was always so full of stuff. Bedtimes had been late because I favoured cuddle time on the sofa. I figured if I was only going to see them for half of the week, I was going to make sure it was fun time. I was a selfish parent. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t suffer. We had a great time! But this year the focus will be on what’s good for them, and not me.

Career

This year I want to focus on growing myself a new business. It’s always going to be a tricky one as I have two children and an ExOH with his own business. As their mother, I feel like I need to be the one to give them the stability and care that they need. So I’m looking for #workthatworks, and I’m contemplating taking on the Digital Mums course to boost my credentials. If it’s going to help me build something that I can do to fit around my life as a parent, then that’s a winner for me.

The year starts with a business project with a friend of mine, building their brand and helping launch their new business. How much of a part of it I will become as the project continues is currently unknown. But for now, it’s looking good!

Home

My house is currently a bit of a shambles. I was granted planning to extend it just before Christmas. So this year, I’m part building project manager too! At the end of it I will have a fabulous great big kitchen which, after two years of attempting to cook in a cupboard I can’t flipping’ wait! Pinterest goals all over it… The challenge lies in living through the mess in an organised way with as little disruption as possible to the girls. Wish me luck!

Health

Well, first of all, I want to shift the extra pounds I put on due to aforementioned injury and lack of exercise. So, I’ve entered the Wilmslow Half Marathon. Nothing like a challenge to get me motivated! It’s 8 weeks today and I’m terrified. I can currently run about 3 miles before I’m done in! Gulp. 18lbs and a hell of a lot of training to go…

I’m also going to address The Wine Problem. I, like many other parents I know, am more than happy to get stuck into a bottle of wine of an evening. It’s a widely known fact that alcohol and depression are not happy bedfellows. If I’m ever going to quash my nemesis, then the wine has to be significantly reduced. A necessary evil.

Friends

I have an amazing group of friends. We are all very busy with children, babies, jobs and businesses and it’s difficult to see each other a lot. After years of not being able to have them around for dinner (In the large part due to my ExOH not being very sociable, more recently due to my cupboard-sized kitchen(s) and teeny tiny house situation), I want to build my kitchen and be proud to have them all around for a party – in six months time I’m hoping there will be lots to celebrate!

 

 

What’s the story?

So, what is That Girl Thing all about? And why now?

It has taken me a very long time to pluck up the courage to write this blog, but now that the dust is settling on my total life reset, I’m ready to share.

When my babies were born, I was well aware that I might be affected by the thing that many pregnant women dread, post natal depression. And, just as my own Mama predicted, I was. It happened differently with both children, and wiped me out for two years both times. I won’t lie,  it was horrendous. I’ll go into more detail in the posts to follow, find them under Wellbeing.

Yep, that.
Yep, that.

So why now? My youngest is 4! Well, after the initial PND induced fog had cleared, I also lost my business and livelihood during the recession, and then decided to leave my husband. It’s a long story, and one I will be sharing, but yes, I’ve been a busy girl!

IMG_8450

I am also a very lucky girl. My ex (RB) and I have a fantastic relationship now, and we are one of success stories of amicable separation. This is my second reason for writing. I am very proud of my decision to call time on our marriage, and doubly proud of how we have both dealt with it – but it hasn’t been easy. There have been lots of compromises, bitten tongues and tolerance on both parts. We are now at the stage where we are both open to meeting new partners, this is the next step in our journey as co-parents, and one that I hope will continue to be easy and open. If nothing else, it’ll be interesting.

And then there is the horror of realising that I am now a 36 year old single woman, who might need to get naked in front of a new man at some point. RB and I got together early 2004 – twelve years of easy street! You get lazy, I’m sure you know what I mean. It scary! I have now idea of The Rules?? Well, I’m about to find out about the new world of dating, sex and love. It is both exciting and terrifying in equal measure…

Horror

That Girl Thing is about loving the girl/woman within. Putting her first (sometimes) and respecting her for all her awesomeness. After all, a happy mama equals happy babas. So, today is the day. Today is the day that I took my last antidepressant. And I like the date, 1.11. It feels like a good day for day 1.

N.B. // A parenting blog, this ain’t. I’ll happily admit that I’m not the best parent in the world, but I’m not the worst. My kids think I’m OK so that’s fine with me, although I feel that I could be a lot better at it. There is always room for improvement, so I suspect there will be the occasional ‘imperfect parent’ post along the way…