Hello everyone, it feels like ages since I have been here or on any of my social media to be exact. I started doing Susannah Conway’s August break and then I took a total break from all my social media just about. I totally unplugged for most of this month till today and it has been great but I do miss you all and I have a few bits I need to tell you all over the next few blog posts. I won’t put it all into this one or to be honest you would be here reading for the next hour so here it is in point form !.
Over the last few weeks so much has happened and things in this house are moving fast in all directions at the moment it has been a month of changes. The farm is moving at a huge rate at the moment at times my head starts to spin with all the talk, I have moved jobs to a school I have wanted to work in for years and can’t wait for the 4th of September to start that, I spent the full five days at the RDS Dublin International Horse show, I took out my Canon 1300D and have signed up for a diploma course in photography which I am studying from home and I am also trying to grasp how to use Lightroom, I started a second Instagram account to share my photography journey from the start its here if you would like to give it a follow Moments I Capture and I started a blog to also share my journey which is here Moments I Capture but I haven’t posted there yet and lastly the magazine I will be writing in has launched its Facebook page and the first edition will be hopefully be ready for the end of September.
God when you write it down its a lot for one month ! but thats a quick summery of my unplugged few weeks but I am back now rested and with challenges set .
How has your month been so far? Are you ready for back to school?
One of the first ever blogs I read was one by Susannah Conway , her Instagram was also one of the first I started following. Her blog is beautiful , well written and a joy to read and her photos are just an inspiration. When I started blogging first I felt bad that one of my favourite bloggers wasn’t an Irish one, I felt at times I should have been following more Irish bloggers and sharing the love but I just couldn’t find many that I enjoyed and even now most of my favourite blogs and Instagram accounts are based outside of Ireland but sshhhh don’t tell anyone.
So this break I am talking about is a break from the usual, a break to try something different, an excuse to take different photos than you would normally and an excuse to have fun for a month. So I will be back to posting daily but just a lot more photos for the month, maybe some days I will have a chat, maybe it will be just a picture of what ever that days prompt is or maybe it will be ten photos. I am really looking forward to this because I loved the month I blogged everyday and I am missing it a little which is why I am so looking forward to this.
If you would like to join in then Susannah has a prompt for everyday on her blog for us all to follow and share, here they are.
The hashtag is #augustbreak2017 so everyone taking part can see your photos and there is also a Facebook page but all details are on her blog so go have a look.
So tomorrow is the first day and its all about the morning, I will be sharing mine on my Instagram so come have a look and will be sharing on my stories as well.
See you all in the morning.
One question I am away’s asked is ” How do you manage to fit in everything you have to do in a day?” and up until a few months ago I wonder as well how I managed it. I do know that a lot of things were missed on and I was constantly chasing my tail in a state of constant stress about what I had to do and beating myself up about stuff that was forgotten or just not done. I wasn’t as organised as I am now and I had no direction from week to week.
That was when I started to look at Slow living a lot more and I came across planning your day into three’s. Now this might not work for everyone but it has been a huge help to me and I actually get so much more done now than I ever have. I am not beating myself up anymore that I haven’t reached on my to do list for the day/week and I am not stressed about how much I have to do, so I wanted to share it with you as well.
At the start of my week, normally Monday morning at breakfast I take a few minutes to see what really needs to be done that week, the things that just can’t be put off and I pick three as my main todo’s for the week. If there is more than three that could be done I add them to the list in case I get the three main ones done and have some time to do more.
So for example for me this week my main three are : order a skip , cut the grass and sort college for Liam. These are my main three but then I have six others on the list if I have time to get them done then it’s a bonus this week and if not at least the main three are done. I do the same when I am in work so I will have a list for work and for home.
I then break each day down into three’s as well, so say today my three is pony camp, moving calves and going to the bank on top of my ususal housework, dinner making jobs. I will be delighted to get these all done but I also have extras on the list if I get to them and if I don’t I will be happy with getting my three done. This system for me has been a life saver and has taken all the stress and pressure out of my day because I am always getting my three done and that’s such a good feeling, it also makes me more organised so I nearly always get all the extras on the list done. As well I have found if I have reached my three at lunch time I don’t feel guilty anymore heading off with Sid somewhere in the afternoon because I have reached my set goal for the day.
Three things a week and three things a day is also a very reachable goal for anyone, setting yourself three goals a day you are getting 18 little jobs done in six days on top of your general day to day which is a lot of extra done a week. I have found it a total life saver and I am on top of all my jobs which were just piling up on me because now I have been slowly chipping away at them with no pressure. Now there will be times when you might have to change your three a day half way through the week, maybe you or a little person in your house is sick or you have visitors or just life in general gets in the way. When this happens me I still stick to my three main things for the week but am freer with my three for the day.
The power of three is so good, I have no stress now at the start of the week about all that has to be done and none of that feeling you get when you set yourself a target and don’t meet it which is great. It motivates me to do more each week with no pressure because if I only reach my three I am happy its not 23 things I have to do.
I hope you try it and find it as helpful as I have ! if you do try it let me know how you get on.
My summer childhood memories are some of the best I have of my whole childhood the only thing that might beat them is the horses. My summers started about May when I started to pray the last few days of school away and head to my Grandparents house for the summer, the whole summer, I very seldom ever went home and at the end of the summer I never wanted to go home but that’s another story. The excitement of the last day of school, knowing that possibly that evening or at the latest the next morning I was heading to Courtown for at least two months.
The time was spend swimming everyday twice a day no matter what the weather, playing for hours on the beach with the constant stream of cousins that also came to visit. We spend it getting ready for the kids/teenage disco that was on every week, spending all our money on sweets and bars of Chocolate, having adventures, having many summer crushes and just being kids and teenagers. There was no technology to distract us from our own imaginations, the freedom to come and go as we pleased even with no phones to keep track of us. We went outside in the mornings, managed to be home on time for lunch and dinner, no one ever got lost or into trouble. We were free to be kids, free to explore and free to make friends.
This weekend got me thinking about my summers after I meet some of the many kids/teenagers we spent our summers with for the first time in 25yrs. It got me thinking about my own kids summers, how 25yrs can go by in a flash and how times have changed now for kids.
We used to just sit and talk for hours, kids wouldn’t be able to do that now. We were happy if our Gran gave us enough money to go to the shop in the local caravan park so we could get a bar of chocolate, Mars bars were my weakness. We were happy with swimming everyday and getting the Tv only in the afternoons or evenings. Kids now, even my own kids couldn’t cope with a summer like that they would be bored and have withdrawl symptoms from all the technology they need now. Where has kids getting bored and having to find ways to keep themselves happy gone? My Grandad used to have a saying that drove me mad every time he said it ” only boring people get bored ” , this is what you would hear if anyone said they were bored and now I am older I see he was right. Kids are missing out now on summers like we had, a chance to make amazing memories, a chance to be bored and having to make your own fun so you aren’t bored and the chance to really take in the world around them. I worry that when our kids get to my age they won’t be able to cope with a time when they might not have all the distractions they have now.
I am 39yrs old now and every summer I miss my childhood summers, there are times I wish I was 14 again and for just one day could go back to that time of freedom and fun. A time when the biggest problem we had was if it was a wet day and everyday was an adventure. I haven’t been back to see our old beach or where we used to hangout in years but I will have to take a trip soon and maybe bring Sid minus any technology,let him have a fun day on the beach just me, him and his imagination maybe we would even get a Mars bar at the end.
What were your summers like? what do you miss the most about them ?
- I learned yesterday how to to take moody photos like the one of Sid above.
- I learned that its really nice to meet people you know for years online off line.
- That I have an idea for something floating around in my head for a while and maybe I should start seeing can I get it into action.
- I learned that if you work hard enough anything is possible after a really nice email from my editor.
- I learned that the only way to stop having to go everyday to the shop is to do a really good weekly food shop, only had to go for milk and read once this week.
- I had thought all my hormonal issues were easing up the last few months but no it hit with force again this month.
- I learned that the only way I can have a productive week is to use my planning by three.
- I also learned that even when I have it all planned and have the best intentions there are times when I just won’t get it all done.
- That we need to just stop and make the most of time when we are off from work, myself and Sid decided on Wednesday to just head to the beach and we had a great time.
- That I would read a lot of books if I didn’t have to work.
What did you learn this week?
This is one of my favourite times of year, I get the chance to be off for the school summer holidays. It’s so nice to be at home full time for these few weeks, all those jobs around the house and yard that have been bothering me can now be sorted or at least a plan put in place to get them sorted. So today I have had my first full week off and what a busy week it was, from pony camp to going back riding blue and pulling ragwort, cleaning out a huge bookshelf to trying to clean the whole place inside and out, helping with sheep and mucking out, I possibly didn’t spread out the work enough and wore myself out.
It was lovely to be able to get up and take my time over breakfast, to be able to turn off the alarm that tells me I need to get ready for work and to have time to go watch Sid play because I am not against the clock from morning till night. Now in saying that last week was a very busy, stressful and tiring week and it was because I did too much all at once. I felt angry when I didn’t reach on everything I wanted to do (i wasn’t thinking I have 9 weeks off) and that hadn’t been happening since I started setting my three jobs a day, it made me much more content and productive so this week it’s back to my three goals.
So how I have planned my week this week is I have set three goals that have to be done at some stage this week, they are to write my first three pieces for the new magazine and send them to the editor, strim all the weeds and long grass out of the paddock at the front of the house and strim around the house as well and to get my hair colour done for a wedding I have on Saturday. Then each day I have a list of three jobs that need to be done that day with extra jobs listed if I get the first three done. I have found this for me makes my life seem so much easier, makes me feel that I am getting what I need to get done everyday and if I get more than the three done its a bonus, I also know at the end of the week I will have reached every target I set myself and that’s a really good feeling.
So that’s the plan for this week, how do you organise your time each week? or do you just let it all fall into place each week?