It has been a soul-gratingly bad spell at work recently. I have been working hard on building my resilience and emotional strength. This failed miserably last Monday when I ended up drowning my sorrows at the pub - on a Monday!
On Tuesday, I pulled myself out for a late evening walk with the dog. I have been practicing mindfulness recently, inspired by this life changing book, and used the walk as an opportunity to be mindful in a bid to master my whirring brain.
I tried to just let my bad thoughts come and go and remember that a thought is just a thought - not necessarily the truth - and to always come back to the moment. I forced myself to really notice what was around me - the cows hurrying to meet the farmer; the splash of little creatures in the disused canal; the warm air; the light shining through the trees.
I also tried hard to turn the negative thoughts into positive ones and to see the opportunities to learn and grow. I would have scoffed at the thought of anything positive coming out of a shitty week like this six months ago, but I dug deep and did come back home feeling better about life. I don't meditate as such, only managing five minutes once or twice - it's SO hard! But I think the benefits may very well be worth it, so again, I will persevere.
The wedding preparations are eclipsing everything at the moment and last weekend was my hen do. Downing shots in a cheap plastic tiara just didn't appeal, so myself and 6 of my closest friends spent a weekend in a wooden ark, in the middle of the deepest Welsh countryside.
This is my favourite place on earth. There is no wifi signal and the scenery is amazing. Life just slows down - we ate cheese and drank our way through plenty of wine, with the occasional dog walk - utter bliss! Everyone agreed that without wifi it was such a relief not to be entirely glued to our phones, checking them all the time. Definitely a lesson to be learned there.
I have also bought some clothes this week - rare for me. As I get firmly into my 30's I feel like I understand my style so much better, possibly even for the first time. It seems to mainly revolve around involve shapeless linen, leather sandals and silver jewellery! I have totally fallen in love with TOAST. Their clothes are just so simple - sort of Amish chic which definitely isn't 'trendy' but almost outside of fashion and therefore, somehow stylish in it's own way!
So, as this mixed fortnight draws to a close, I am home alone this Friday night with just the little dog for company. The weather has turned a little and we are facing a wet spell, so not much chance of digging the plot, which I had been looking forward to.
I fancied a bit of a treat for my Friday night dinner, so cooked myself a Vietnamese Noodle Pho (a noodle soup) from Gwyneth Paltrow's It's All Easy cookbook.
It was fantastic - hot, sour, spicy and sweet thanks to the basil.
I know, I know - roll eyes, celebrity cookbook. I am glad I gave it a chance though - admittedly, there are lots of carefully engineered shots of GP prancing around in designer clothes in beautiful places. But sometimes you need to try something different (read: you can't just cook Nigel Slater recipes forever). I might try the black bean Mexican soup on Sunday.
Have a great weekend, whatever you are doing.