The joys of commuting!

My daily journey to and from work is a few minutes shy of four hours.  Most days I do not give it much thought at all – just get on with it.  On the odd day when I am utterly exhausted I can throw a bit of a pity party. Surprisingly nobody turns up!

I have made this journey for 8.5 years, well 6.5 years if you discount my maternity leave x2. In the mornings I am bouncy and full of life as my 20 minute stroll to the station wakes me up. Come the evening I am grateful for a seat on the train, any seat (except those situated directly outside the public toilet for reasons I do not need to explain).

Ever since I left secondary school (high school), I have always travelled at least an hour to college, university and places of work. I guess I like the idea of having a clear divide between work and home.  

I usually accuse my husband of being over optimistic but here I am with my tablet and mobile phone intending to do something worthwhile and my eyes close from tiredness every so often. On opening my eyes I have a quick look around on the train and wonder if anyone saw me – my eyes fluttering and my head falling forward!

Having established my productive mode is in the morning and very late evening, I set tasks for myself at these times. For example this blog is being typed early hours of the morning and I honestly feel I am on a roll. 

For those of you who have long commutes, I suggest you make it work for you until your situation changes.  Aim to use your time constructively whether to work on a project, read a book leisurely or for studying or simply to reflect. I guarantee this will ensure your commute is more bearable.

We cannot always change our situation but we can change our mindset and approach towards it.

How long is your commute? 

What do you do with your time assuming you travel by bus/train/coach? 

Do you enjoy “the” moment?

Group of multi racial people jumping in the City
Group of multi racial people jumping in the City

Hermann J Steinherr quoted:

“Life is to live, so enjoy every moment it offers us.”

Moments are with us but for seconds and minutes. If we do not enjoy or appreciate them the first time round – there is no second chance.

Often, I can become caught up in the organising of an occasion, forgetting I should also be enjoying myself. Organising is great but there has to be a time in which one switches off.  I am not the solution to everything, nor should I want to be. It is too much of a responsibility! 

Sometimes the mishaps of a day out or occasion can actually help one to remember the day. How many people do you know who roar with laughter about funny events which took place years ago?  I can think of several which my family bring up from time to time. Life is short and to be honest there are often quick solutions when things do not go to plan. 

I recall my wedding 11 years ago (how time flies);  a few day guests left their seats and an evening guest sat in what they thought was a spare seat. I beckoned over one of the co-ordinators and asked them to deal with the issue. What was the worst that could have happened? It really was not that big a deal but I wanted my wedding day to run as smoothly as possible.  There were several other mishaps which guests would not have even noticed. Of course, I will be keeping these to myself! 

I have found when we are focused on the process rather than the person – we miss it.  My husband always reminds me that people matter far more than anything.  Take my children for example; when they spill a drink either on the kitchen floor or themselves, my first thought is “Look at the mess I now have to clean up”. 

I may will tell them off which only makes them feel bad. Cleaning up the mess/changing their clothes is easily rectified whereas restoring a strained relationship is not.

Are you thankful for each moment in your life? If not for the event itself then perhaps for the lessons learnt.

How do you stop taking life for granted?

It is all in the bag!

Ladies, if I were to take a look in your handbag what would I find; make up, body freshener, comb and brush, keys, travel pass, mints, snacks, hand cream, diary and not forgetting your mobile phone?

Generally women carry the world and its friend in their handbag. It is our safety net, we can turn to it in emergencies. I cannot imagine going anywhere without a handbag – I would feel lost. I wonder how men cope with just slipping their wallet and mobile in their pocket and going on their way. Are they not worried an item may slip out? This has happened to my husband but we will not go there today!

I have all the above mentioned in my handbag which is sturdy enough to accommodate my “must haves”. When we are out and about my husband will often slip his wallet in my handbag. On Sundays when we are leaving church both my husband and daughter’s bibles find their way into my bag. I have come to the conclusion that they walk in of their own accord! 

I own several large tote bags which are perfect for work. They have various sections (as bags do), one stores my travel pass, another my concealer, lip gloss, Vaseline, hand gel and cream and the third my work passes. When rushing I can grab what I need with my eyes closed as every item has its rightful place. It is important to maintain a level of order in your bag.

I own several cross over bags for the weekend, one of which I bought in Marrakech, Morocco. I recall spending what seemed like half a day bargaining with this young man whose intention was to get as much money as he could out of me. In the end I walked away loudly stating I would buy from another vendor and bingo – the price came down! 

My daughter is a lover of bags and carries one wherever we go. It has lip balm, hairbands, pencils and paper in it which of course spill out into the car. I guess she wants to be like mummy!

Ladies – do you have a love for pretty bags or do you place your belongings in the nearest holder?

Men – do you feel your wife/partner carries far too many belongings?

De-clutter your home today!

You may remember me stating in previous posts, I am somewhat allergic to clutter in my home! I am a stickler for items being stored in specific places in my home. One of my pet peeves is when a particular item has been used by a member of my family (ahem my husband) and not returned back to its rightful place. I then spend a few minutes looking high and low for it. There goes two minutes of my life I will never see again!

Adopting the “every item has a home” rule ensures that your home is kept tidier and the general running of it is smoother. 

I prefer to tidy up as I go along – little and often is far more enticing than spending half a day at the weekends doing housework. My husband works alongside me – we are a team!

We still need to prompt our children to pack away their toys come early evening. Strangely enough my daughter tends to feel achy and tired the moment we ask her to pack away her toys. The fact that she was dancing and singing two minutes earlier does not appear to phase her at all!

My six tips for keeping your home in tip top shape;

1. Tidy up as you go along with cleaning and general housework. It then feels manageable rather than overwhelming.

2. If you have children, encourage them to play with a few toys at a time. Rotate their toys, specifically those which take up space. Allocate a set time in which they pack them away each evening.

3. Deal with letters as soon as you receive them, preferably in date order.

4. Keep hallways and entrances to rooms clear. If possible move your coats and jackets upstairs. 

5. Encourage your children to take part in keeping the home tidy. As much as my daughter complains, she is responsible for packing away her clothes once they have been washed, dried and folded. Yes, it takes longer and would be far easier to do myself but how will she learn if we do not encourage this from now?

6. Have a good look around each room in your home and identify what is neither pretty to look or of any use. Do not have more than you need in each room as it grows more and more challenging to keep in order.

Do you keep your home clutter free?

If not, what do you find most challenging?

Disappointments will come – what are your coping strategies?

Illustration depicting a green roadsign with a disappointment concept. Blue sky background.
Illustration depicting a green roadsign with a disappointment concept. Blue sky background.

My blog this week has taken a complete turn! Last Thursday I wrote on the subject of keeping your home free of clutter.  I came up with wonderful ideas of living with little chaos. 

Generally I save my blog as a draft email, update it, spell check and load it onto WordPress.  Well, today unable to retrieve my emails, I set about deleting pictures, downloads from Whatsapp and emails. You can see where I am going here…………..

In a bid to free up space I mistakenly deleted all my draft emails bar three. My draft blog was not one of the three! 

Initially I was annoyed and then disheartened. I had put time and effort into drafting that blog and was pretty pleased with the end result. Fellow bloggers will know that feeling of completing a blog which hit the mark. 

Unless there is an emergency, Sunday evening is my blog posting day. I welcome the routine and I am part of a LinkedIn forum where we post weekly from Sundays.  It would not be the end of the world if I were to post my blog one or two days late but I believe in discipline and consistency. 

This “blip” made me ponder on the disappointments we face in life, some through our own doing and others no fault of ours. There was not a thing I could do to bring back that draft so I had two choices; to feel downtrodden or to move on and draft a new blog. 

You can guess which choice I made!

How do you deal with disappointment?
How flexible are you when life takes an unexpected turn?