You are an inspiration

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Over the last few years, I have had several people tell me that they find me inspirational; look up to me and admire me. To me I find this quite incredulous. Why because I am nothing special. In fact if you ask me to describe myself I would probably tell you, that I am selfish, self-centred, socially inept, a loud and proud Geek bordering on Nerdom at times (husband would probably say quite frequently). I am a loner and I struggle to make friends. Over the last 10 years I have lost more friends than I care to think of. Some just disappeared off the planet, others told me I was a bad friend and they wanted nothing more to do with me because they asked me a question and they did not like my answer, as I flagged my concerns about the rationale behind specific decisions. I am intensely private and find small talk uncomfortable, trying and most often than not unnecessary. I am a classic introvert. Shy, quiet, bookish and prefer my own company to that of others.

Yesterday when we we met up with friends and she said to me you know I find you inspirational and I really admire you. I was like what is wrong with you girl, I am no one to be admired or look up to. My friends response surprised me. Her answer was you are always so positive even when things can seem the bleakest. You always wear a smile and you are there for others regardless of your own difficulties. You are brutally honest without being unkind, even if the words, can sometimes be hard to swallow but they are always said with the best of intentions and to challenge and make sure the reasons behind doing something are the right ones. You are not afraid of to do things and you live life to the full.

Naturally overwhelmed by this response, I felt somewhat flattered that people could see me this way. I felt uncomfortable as if I was being some guiding light, person on a pedestal to all. After all if you are on a pedestal there is only place to go and that it is downwards. For me, I am none of these things. I made hard decisions early on in my life about how I wanted to be and what I was prepared to do to be me
regardless of societies rules and limitations. One of those was to always wear a smile. I have always felt a simple smile can lighten anyone’s day without the need of kind words . Showing respect to everyone and having time and patience to talk to people as if they are people regardless of walks of life, past, present or future. Wearing a smile when all you want to do is cry or curl in a ball and die or never get up, can be tough. I had decided I would not be swallowed up by the grief and anxiety and injustice of some of my life events. I wanted them to be learning activities. I needed to be in control of what I did and what I choose to do. I would be solely responsible for my actions and the direction of my life.

People find this fascinating. I know in my previous role when people told me they hated their job an I would say then leave, don’t stay they would look at me as if that was the most ridiculous idea ever. For me the situations was simple, if you hated your job that much and it made you unhappy , find something else. If on the other hand, you just wanted something to moan about be more specific, because as a manager I might have the power to change that. It is that simple philosophy, I cant help you if you are not prepared to help yourself a little. I still carry this with me today. My current company has been going through some major re-structures and lots of job insecurity issues have arisen. Not wanting to leave, as this was a company I had always wanted to work for and despite everything I loved my job. However, as stated above, I am not a person to leave my fate in the hands of others. So I updated my linked in profile, and re-activated some job search pages, more to see what possibilities existed rather than to move and there it happened. An agent called with an amazing opportunity for me. I had several conversations with the company and was offered a new role. Has stated although I was not actively looking the new role is a great opportunity and was too good to pass up. As such I have chosen to move my career forwards then wait to see if I have a role in the new environment or not. Most people find this odd, others have looked on in awe, as I walk away from a job I love, I company I have always wanted to work for, to pastures new and new challenges. I am sure the new role will have its own struggles but it is a path I have chosen and a path I will walk until it is time to find something new. It is as Sheryl Sandberg says in ‘Lean In’ it is a Jungle Gym out there. Gone are the days of career ladders, unless you are prepared to forge your own path, you may well become stale and mouldy like old cheese.

Does this make feel like I am worthy to be looked up to, admired and be an inspiration to others. Not really. But if people can learn something and understand that their future is in their hands and they are responsible for their own decisions. If I can teach people, young women that the world is yours for the taking and take every opportunity that comes your way. Life is hard, but hard work, dedication & focus can make a lot of things happen. Never be afraid to step into the unknown despite how scary it may seem. To conquer those fears and to remember keep that small child alive to help keep you dreaming to become bigger, better and be the best you can be. Then I think we will start to see a better world, a brighter world. A happier world not only for today but for the future generations to come.


facing my fears and surviVing to tell the tale

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As anyone who knows me will tell you.  Over the last 38 years I have numerous fears over time and become comfortable or conquered most of them to not have them play an issue in my life.  The only one remaining free that can still have my paralysed is my fear of heights.  I can get incessant vertigo in a cinema and come out in sweats  depending on the camera shot.  For my achievements in this area has been able to ride roller coasters that do loops, inverted helix’s heart rate lines etc… without breaking a sweat.  This has resulted in numerous of hours of fun at places like Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Chessington, where I have ridden things like, Saw, Nemesis, Smiler, Rattlesnake, Swarm etc… to name but a few.

This also meant that when I met up with my oldest friend a few months back I was able to climb up onto her roof top in Notting Hill, and although it gave me the sweats I managed to do it without too many problems.

Today however, I faced my biggest challenge Stealth.  For a vertigo freak going some  62M in the air was not a height that filled me with pleasure and although the tallest Roller Coaster is currently 139M at Six Flags Great Adventure with their Kingda Ka, for me this was a do or die day.  Seeing the queue length begin a paltry 50 minutes we choose just to go for it.  As we neared the tension rose as the ride broke down several times and a test run was done when we were 2 from the front of the line.  But as I climbed aboard the seats, I knew the G-Force would not be so terrifying having ridden RITA at Alton Towers.  Stealth itself is considerable shorter in ride length and in G-Force.  So all I kept telling myself is that the total ride is 6 seconds.  Yes that is right 6 seconds.

After being catapulted to  80 MPH in 2 seconds and climbing to the top of the 60M and commencing the vertical drop into the descent I managed to let out a whoop realising not only had I managed to face my fear but actually quite enjoyed it and sadistically wanted to ride it again, but at the front of the queue line …. oh dear what will come next will surely be a story for another time.

22 days and counting

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With now nearly just over 3 weeks to go to our annual holiday, the 2nd in 2 years, a first for both my  partner and I. I must admit I am getting a little excited; especially given that today I had my first exam for my professional qualification for CIPS today too.  My priority has always been exam and then holiday, although I am sure work colleagues and people who know me will tell you that this has not always Ben the case. In fact at times when I have found the going tough,knowing tat the holiday is just around the corner had just keep me going, especially when I have just wanted to throw in the towel.  However having one out of the way and feeling that it went  quite well, especially having for getting home and checked a couple of points that I had felt I had got back to front, I cannot help feel that unless something has gone disastrously wrong then all should be well when the results are issued on then 8th of October.

So why all the excitement over the holiday well we are off to Disney Florida of course.  Having never been and always wanted to go, I am slowly reverting back to an even smaller child then what I already am.  However between now then I have several big tasks to complete at work including account transitions as I move into my new role and all the challenges that brings. Preparing and finalising my presentation for our women in technology event , which is a 6 week paid internship to A-level students looking to work in the IT and finance sectors.

Despite this I know Disney is calling and with days also  planned for universal – with the new wizarding world of harry potter & diagon alley, sea world, NASA and Busch gardens whilst we are put that, I am not sure how much of a restful vacation this will be.  I am also concerned that since it has been a life long dream I am not convinced I won’t blub the moment we get to the resort, see cinders castle for the first time or Downtown Disney, either which way I expect it to be a holiday we  won’t forget.  In addition to this it is our first real holiday as a family as my step-daughter is also coming along, which makes the event even more exciting for myself and my husband too.  As she commented on a recent post by her father you are never too old for Disney and I thought excellent may Disney holidays to come woo hoo, which is great once my niece and nephew have expressed a wish for us to take to them yo see mickey and Minnie too.

Why I love Disney

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I have always been a kid at heart and at nearly 40 not much has really changed, I hold down a high-powered job in the city, act like a professional 5 days of the week but when it comes to Disney I revert to a 5-year-old child.  Therefore my coming holiday to Disney Florida has me being all geeky, emotional and child like in one big sweep.  Many argue that Disney glamorizes girls into being nothing but searching for the unrealistic, the one and only true soul mate to capture your heart and that it expects women to be weak and under the thumb of her man.  This is not what I see at all.  I see strong women, who believe in themselves, what they want and wont sacrifice their beliefs for others.  All maidens that were punished by Disney/ladybird books were punished because they failed to conform somehow to the ‘norm’ somehow.  They refused to marry the first person they were told to marry, each man they successfully fell in love with had to prove themselves.  I myself have been told several times I live in fantasy world, and I have too high standards and no one would ever be good enough.  My response was not true, I know what I want and I won’t settle for less.  I never wanted a lot just simply a man who would treat me like a lady and fight for me.  Not necessarily in the form of jousting but if things got tough and hard decisions would be made, they would make the decision that meant they were serious about us.  All charming’s in the Disney world,  had to pass a test, including Shrek, it is about loving whose underneath the polished exterior and loving the women who has overcome hardship but has stayed true to herself.  My mother taught me always be truthful, honest and never beholden to a man.  In other words always be independent and true to yourself.  Men come and go but your true friends will always be there for you.  I think that is something that comes across with all Disney tales, the women never give up who they truly are,  and those whom can’t handle that quickly fall be the wayside.

For me I am an independent, strong-willed and opinionated and have always been a tom boy, but I can be extremely feminine with the right person, soft and warm.  Those who don’t know me never see this side of me and only ever say the hard tom boy exterior, my husband however loves that hidden side which he knows he has earned the right to see.

So why do I love Disney it gives me a chance to be child but remind me that all that is right with me is what I learnt from loving ladybird books and Disney at young age.  Along with careful guidance form a patience mother who had a very demanding and challenging daughter.

Disney Planning & Preparation

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This week we have had my step-daughter staying with us so hubby and I thought it would be a great excuse to really start the Disney planning- well that was until they saw they volume of data and just went pop!  So the initial data cleanse and collecting was left into my capable or not so capable hands. Two nights later I had a reasonable spreadsheet that I could use to book arrival dates, costs, quiet days, busy days and visit options.  For me it is big kid in a tuck shop.  Having never been to Disney and it being a live long dream to do so whenever I get excited I curl my hands into balls put them on the side of my head jump up and down and squeal Mickkkeeeeyyyyy !!!!! Hubby has decided I look like a demented Reindeer – I am sure he will post clips or images at some point, which will be much to the amusement of friends and colleagues.  Step daughter just laughs and says she loves her not so sane parents…  In between now and then though I still have to finish paying for everything the plan is to have most things closed down by the end of May, with insurance and a few tit and tats to be done in June such as buying the long awaited  tablet, and some halter tops and new under garments for myself and then we are ready to go.  In the intervening time we are planning sites, to visit on quiet or moderate days including the new Universal studies and its Gringotts Bank Tour.  There are many things which excite us about this trip, having being to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, it will be intersting to see how the US have adopted this to their environment. Things that excite us about the HPWorld is the Gringotts bank tour, the ability to ride from platform 9 and three quarters on the Hogwart Express there feels like so much going on we are not sure how we are going to cram it all in.


As result of all this roller coasting and jostling about we are planning on doing over the summer we have renewed our Merlin passes for the coming year and are planning much of the weekends on rides, experiencing the thrills and get our adrenaline fuelling through our bodies for the fun that is to come.  Some of the rides we intend to throw ourselves onto our listed below

Frustrating week, Celebratory week, Ill week

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Well I missed my blog entry for last week, mainly due to playing catch up on my CIPS study.  Then managing to catch up I have promptly fallen behind again, because I was too lazy and tired this week to read 10 pages.  It has definitely been a frustrating week, as I try to manage work, study and healing.  My foot as of late as started to look more look a foot then a holy foot.  This in itself is great, however,  looking at how well it is now healing, it would appear that I wont even have a scar for all the pain I have gone through.  Although this is good news there is a sense of disappointment too.

This week was a special week, as it was my husbands birthday on Wednesday and I have been like a kid in a candy store waiting to give him his presents, which naturally he loved.  Today we are having a birthday celebration.  As a result of this I spent most of last night in the kitchen baking a chocolate cake.  Today I am completing it with a butter icing filling and a milk chocolate ganache covering.  It is going to be a small affair with family and a selection of friends but should be a fun-filled afternoon.

As I had to work for his birthday, I took him our for a special meal for his birthday.  We went to an Argentinian Steak House called Gaucho’s, at Canary Wharf.  The food was divine, the service was impeccable and well worth the small fortune we spent on the two of us to dine there.  Meat was cooked to perfection and with a sommelier to help with wine choices or to go with recommended wines, which were also included within the menu.  The whole experience was exactly what one would expect from a full on fine dining experience.  It is one experience we are planning to repeat with tale of two books knowing her love of food and good cooking.  It will also give her some good exposure to writing some food critic reports for her blog.

Despite all this on the Thursday evening I have ended up with a nasty ear infection which is causing pain and broken sleep.  My foot then started to feel left out and started to irritate me again too, however, I wonder with my foot if it was because I was told I could shower.  My dressing started to lift when I came out and if it has been re-infected.  I guess I wont know until I go to the vascular clinic on Tuesday. Nonetheless it has all been a good week.

Looking forward to moving onwards and upwards and an enjoyable if even busy week to come.


Study struggle

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So I got my materials through the other day for the first section of my professional study materials.  I have been slowly reading through this since Monday, between working full time, husband having guests over and playing D&D.  Today was going to be my optimal day of being dedicated, focussed and getting things done.  My target was to to finish chapter one.

However, three hours after starting I find I am only 10 pages further on from where I had started and effectively only half way through the chapter.  Okay so it’s not perfect I tell myself it is progress.  Then I remind myself that next weekend I am supposed to be a 1/4 of the way through this module and ie at the end of Chapter 3 if I want to meet any of the deadlines and have the course completed in time for the 2 year deadline date.  I then had to remind myself my books were a week late in turning up so as long as I am at the end of Chapter 2 next week I am on time – but at the moment, I don’t even think I will manage that.

I then decided to look at preparation time suggested on the study website and it advises 115 minutes to complete the whole chapter, and now I feel even more demoralized with the situation then I did before I had talked myself out of the resigned slump I had put myself into thinking I am never going to reach my 1/4 milestone target.

Emotionally I now feel a wreck.  My stress levels have had hit the roof and all I really want to do right now is cry.  Throw the books out the window like a child and quit.  None of which I know are really productive and that it is purely an emotive knee jerk reaction.  I am sure a good night’s sleep and some time away will make everything better again.

As a result of this I have decided to draw a blank on this today and come back to things fresh tomorrow.

Close the door as I think the background noise is not helping with my concentration levels and just shut the world out and get on with it.  Naturally if I dont complete the deadlines then my treat of the cinema next week is off the agenda.  Might as well start giving myself the treat enhancement option as an incentive to try and get things done.  Let’s see how well it works moving forwards.

Wish me well and lets hope I can catch up


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