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I Forgot To Stop And Smell The Roses

 

I’ve didn’t feel too well this weekend and so I decided to take a rest from my allotment.  I think I am just feeling a bit run down and needed some time to relax.

So today I was wondering what I could write about and decided to look through some of my older posts.

As I have lots of new followers now I thought it would be a good idea to share my favourite post, which I wrote not long after I started to blog.  I wrote this post knowing my good friend was very poorly and as you know in February 2013 she passed away.

  For a while after my friend died, I spent a lot of time pondering whether I needed to change things in my life and how we live as a family.  Last month as you know, another family friend passed away and the same questions surfaced in my mind.

Last week we spent time with old friends and I was asked why I don’t get a ‘proper job’…this really threw me, as I didn’t know how to answer.  This isn’t like me at all and I have been feeling really unsettled since…..but reading my post below has made me put things back in perspective and reminded me of why we chose for me to stay at home and run my four allotments.

For a while now I have forgotten to ‘stop and smell the roses’ and this post has made me realise I need to make a bigger effort to take time out every so often to do this.  I will then be able to answer confidently, that I don’t have a ‘proper job’ because I am one of the luckiest people on earth.

I hope you enjoy reading the blog post below:

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Stop and smell the roses

(written Sept 18th 2012)

This is a phrase that we are all familiar with.  It simply means that we should take time to appreciate something we have, or to pay attention to the good things that happen right under our noses.

If we are all honest, how often can we say that we do actually ‘sit back and smell the roses’ ourselves.  I would put money on it, that it’s not that often.

Life is so so busy now for everyone.  Time goes so quickly and we are all trying to get ‘this and that’ finished, before we go on to the next ‘this and that’.

Today I did sit back and smell the roses:

Remember my wild flowers?  You can read about my wild flower patch here.

They are still flowering beautifully and there are so many insects still flying around.  So much activity is going on, it takes my breath away to just stand still and watch it.

I feel very privileged to be able to just ‘stop and stare’, especially on such a beautiful sunny morning.

We chose for me to give up work, when our first daughter was born.  This was very scary at the time, as money was a big issue.  But looking back, I am very proud of how we managed.  We have two beautiful daughters and a nice home.  It doesn’t have posh furniture or the latest gadgets, but it is a ‘home’, where we have shared so many happy memories together.

What we didn’t realise when I gave up working and our so called ‘luxuries’, was how much happiness it would bring.

In fact, looking back at our old life, ‘keeping up with the Jones’ gave us a ‘carousel’ life, that just went round and round:

‘We worked hard to pay for new gadgets and expensive holidays and worked more hours to pay for the gadgets and expensive holidays, we brought more things, worked more hours, became more in debt, so we worked more hours and took a bank loan to pay off the credit cards and then had another expensive holiday, bought more gadgets etc. etc.’

  All the time we thought the holidays and new gadgets etc. would make us happy, but if they made us so happy then why did we keep on spending money on more and more things?  The carousel would never have stopped if we hadn’t made that life changing decision, for me to give up my job and we would never have known about the surprising benefits.

Do I have any regrets?…  NO.  If we had the chance to go back in time, with the same circumstances and the same money coming in, we would live exactly the same.

When I reach those pearly gates, my only regret is that I didn’t meet my husband earlier and live this life with him sooner.

My blog was a little bit different today.   I hope you still enjoyed reading it.

When things go wrong, put it in perspective

I’ve had a few days recently, that haven’t gone to plan and a few things have gone wrong or broken.  Even after all these years of living the way we do, my immediate ‘ throw-back reaction’ is to wish I had more money, so I could buy a better ‘this’ or ‘that’.  These are the days, I find this way of living hard.

Today and yesterday were such days.  On Sunday, after my Diwali meal, my oven broke.  The cooker was in the house when we moved in ten years ago.  It was always our plan to buy a new one as soon as possible, but it cooked so well, we decided to keep it for as long as it worked, so it really did well for us.

We decided it really wasn’t worth repairing, as the handle on the grill pan was broken, the door had a big dent in, the oven door handle had broken off  and the hob had the remains of a plastic bowl which my husband had set a light a few years ago, by accident, which melted and gelled onto the hob (I’ll tell you that story another time)….so it wasn’t worth repairing.

We have some money put by for emergencies, so we did some homework, looking at reviews and prices and on Monday we went to a local shop and brought a Beko, free-standing double oven and grill.   They even agreed to fit it yesterday, which they did.  The only trouble is, it doesn’t work.

Yesterday, I made a tried and tested cake in the new oven and it took nearly 45 minutes to cook, whereas my old cooker would only take 25 minutes for this recipe, so I knew something wasn’t quite right.  So I went out and bought an oven thermometer and found that even after pre heating the oven for twenty minutes each time, Gas Mark 3, 4, 5, and 6 were all at a temperature of 170C which is gas Mark 3.  I turned the oven up to Gas Mark 9 and the temperature shot up to 280C which is way over Gas Mark 9, which incidentally is 240C.  So it was definitely faulty.

As you well know, I use my cooker a lot, so I was distraught.  So we toddled back to the shop first thing this morning and after a bit of a disagreement, the manager agreed to exchange it for another cooker.  I have chosen a cooker with a high level grill, because it was the only one in our price range in the shop, that we knew had good reviews and I think this is very important.

The down side is, they can’t fit the new cooker until Tuesday next week (even though they could fit the other cooker the day after we purchased it).  So for now, I’m left without a cooker, which is going to be difficult with a dairy intolerant daughter.

So this is where I started my post today, saying that on days like these, I find this way of living hard……but then I went to see my friend.

I have known my friend for many years and shared most of my adult life with her, working together, girlie holidays, children etc.  In fact, all those years ago, she was the one that named me ‘The Packet Mix Queen’, which I mention in the ‘About Us’’ page.  Over the years her and her husband have been here for me at my low points and have always, always helped me through them.

My friend is now very poorly.  I won’t go into details, but what I will say is, every week I visit, I realise that money isn’t everything and I am so lucky to be who I am and live the life I have.

Sometimes, I need to be reminded of this and this was one of these days.  My cooker is just a tiny hindrance in my life, not a big life changing disaster.  We may not have lots of money, expensive holidays and the latest gadgets, but we have our health and each other, what more could I ask for in life.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

“Stop And Smell The Roses”

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Recently, someone at my allotment site died, due to cancer.  I walked past his plot today and it made me think of him.

Stop and smell the roses

This is a phrase that we are all familiar with.  It simply means that we should take time to appreciate something we have, or to pay attention to the good things that happen right under our noses.

If we are all honest, how often can we say, that we do actually ‘sit back and smell the roses’ ourselves.  I would put money on it, that it’s not that often.

Life is so so busy now for everyone.  Time goes so quickly and we are all trying to get ‘this and that’ finished, before we go on to the next ‘this and that’.

Today I did sit back and smell the roses:

Remember my wild flowers?  You can read about my wild flower patch here.

My wildflower patch today

They are still flowering beautifully and there are so many insects still flying around.  So much activity is going on, it takes my breath away to just stand still and watch it.

I feel very privileged to be able to just ‘stop and stare’, especially on such a beautiful sunny morning.

We chose for me to give up work, when our first daughter was born.  This was very scary at the time, as money was a big issue.  But looking back, I am very proud of how we managed.  We have two beautiful daughters and a nice home.  It doesn’t have posh furniture or the latest gadgets, but it is a ‘home’, where we have shared so many happy memories together.

What we didn’t realise when I gave up working and our so called ‘luxuries’, was how much happiness it would bring.

In fact, looking back at our old life, ‘keeping up with the Jones’ gave us a ‘carousel’ life, that just went round and round:

‘We worked hard to pay for new gadgets and expensive holidays and worked more hours to pay for the gadgets and expensive holidays, we brought more things, worked more hours, became more in debt, so we worked more hours and took a bank loan to pay off the credit cards and then had another expensive holiday, bought more gadgets etc. etc.’

  All the time we thought the holidays and new gadgets etc would make us happy, but if they made us so happy, then why did we keep on spending money on more and more things?  The carousel would never have stopped if we hadn’t made that life changing decision, for me to give up my job and we would never have known about the surprising benefits.

Do I have any regrets?…  NO.  If we had the chance to go back in time, with the same circumstances and the same money coming in, we would live exactly the same.

When I reach those pearly gates, my only regret is that I didn’t meet my husband earlier and lived this life with him sooner.

My blog was a little bit different today.   I hope you still enjoyed reading it.