pexels-photo-296878

Making Time when you have no time

You know the drill, you have a million and one things to do, and not enough time to do it. Everyday is a constant struggle, to keep on top of your daily chores, it feels like a giant hamster wheel, where you wake up and hit the floor running.

Thirteen hours tick by and you are depleted, by all the things you have had to do, whether it gave you pleasure or not. You sleep and wake up more exhausted from the night before, body in knots, not having slept as well as you had hoped, to only jump back on the wheel.

Repeat this for 20 years, and the prime of your life just passed you by, filled with excuses and exhaustion. I’ve heard this story, repeatedly, across generations, by individuals full of regret, not pursuing passions, that they had wished they had time for. You and I know we are not born for 9-5 slogging. I am born for a higher cause aren’t you?
Well it’s time to shake it up, take the day by the horns and own it. Get more out of your day, squeezing out hours you thought you didn’t have, making up for lost time and living a life worth living.

See below ways I carve out more hours in my day, doing less of the mundane and more things that excite me and reignite my passions.

Write a To Do List

Simple as it may seem – all my tips are as it happens- a day that starts with a to do list can only be a good day. You’ll be more focused, tackling your top priorities first and knocking them out of the park with visor since you get to do what you like once its done.

Write down all your important tasks of the day that you must get done. This clears your mind and unblocks it with new and creative positive thoughts since you don’t need to burden yourself with million and one things to remember.

Don’t have so many things on your to do list have 3-5 things max that you want to get done. The more you have the more stressed you will be that you have too many things to do and you’ll overburden yourself and use up needless time tackling anxiety. Think attainable goals for the day. Happy vibes all around.

Golden Nugget: Have 3- 5 attainable tasks for the day.

 

Plan out your day

Just think, everyone has the same mount of hours in the day, yet some people seem to get more done, even though they have a lot of balls juggling in the air.

The trick is, not to think you don’t have time. You do.  Its just a matter of priorities, act smart with the time you have. Plan wisely the things that you are doing now.

What things are sucking out the excruciating hours of your day, which you can change? Your commute? Your hair dresser? Your car wash? Your grocery? Whatever it is, see how you can change, fix or adapt it.
I know men, who wake up at 7.30am, every weekend, to get their haircut, just so they save an hour of waiting time. Thats not vanity, thats knowing the value of time.

I also know a guy who to avoid 90 minute morning traffic, get out the house at 5.30am, reaching their work an hour early and sleeping in the car as apposed to sleeping at the wheel of slow moving traffic.

I also knew a guy, who went to work 2 hours earlier than when his work started, to avoid congestion charges and traffic. No surprise then, that the two men are related.

I’m not suggesting you go to work early, I mean you can, if you want to be dedicated. But once at the location you can do something with that extra time you have.

  • Join a gym near work,
  • cycle in the park near work,
  • write a book whilst waiting for work,
  • learn a new language whilst waiting for work
  • Go for a walk
  • Grab a bite to eat,
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Listen to audiobook on commute to work
  • Read a book whilst waiting for work
  • Write out a meal planner for the week
  • Make a shopping list from meal plan, save time on mindless shopping

The list is endless, and can take you where ever you want. Point is, you just bought yourself more time on your hands, Bingo!

Golden nugget: Avoid places and busy times, so you dodge waiting and queuing.

 

Automate

Are you a traditionalist? Why do you still have to go to the bank and wait in queues to pay your bills. Every department these days has an online payment system. Save yourself time by using it.Fix up and shape up your time spent in queues, unless you enjoy it of course.

  • Everything is online no more juggling paper and filing it away, you can see your incomings and outgoing all on one page.

 

  • If you’re a forgetful person note down your big expenses, since you don’t want your expenses running out of control, have a sit down and put in reminders, so that you are in sync when money is coming in and out of your account.

 

  • Also have a general idea of how much is your total monthly expenditure, this includes grocery, loans, other monthly commitments. Your monthly outgoings should not exceed your incomings, come on I learnt that much being married to an accountant. This way you’ll always be on top of your money and not have nasty surprises because you let the ball slip out your hand.

 

  • If you don’t know how to do it ask a trusted person to guide you. Once set up you don’t need to do anything. All is taken care of every month, you just need to keep track of it with your eyes and finger tips and not by your feet and carbon miles.

Golden nugget: Automate bills and forgerabourit- after putting in a fool proof system of course.

Potential time saved 1 hour

Have a Routine

It’s a bit like automating, saves you time, since your daily tasks, are like you’re on auto pilot. You can perform them, with our eyes closed.

 

  • If you have kids you know what I mean, the nagging will never stop but when the kids know the drill there is no surprises when mom is so shrill- wow that rhymed. They know what is expected of them, the little dough eyed souls oblige, because you have a plan, with charts, stickers and rewards.

 

  • If you don’t have kids, congratulations! You can watch the news in the morning, have a breakfast, a shower and comb your hair. Whatever your ritual is in the morning, time yourself and see if everyday you are rushing or you are at ease. If you’re rushing and running out the door as apposed to whistling out the door, you need to fix it.

 

  • Reduce screen time whether it be on the phone computer tv if this is where all your time is warping away limit yourself to 30 minutes at the end of the day.

 

  • Get rid of mediocre game and social media apps that beg for your attention. You can’t afford it with your time, you’re too busy, building yourself in being awesome.

 

  • Wake up 5 minutes – not two hours like my friend above – come on you owe it to yourself. 

 

  • Set out your clothes the night before, this reduces crucial decision making time in the morning. Have your clothes ironed and laid out ready to slip on and look awesome.

 

  • I would even go a step further and think way ahead at the buying process. Only buy clothes that go together, when you choose pieces make sure to have an outfit in mind, so you quickly can put things together

Golden Nugget: Build a morning routine, an evening routine, a bedtime routine a routine about having routines. You get the picture. You’re not boring, you’re just doing things, that you like, and that work for you, repeatedly. Simples.

 

Potential time saved an 2 hours

Outsource

If the washing, grocery and other mundane tasks are sucking away your energy and time give it some one else to do, if you have the means. I hate ironing and cleaning the bathrooms its the bain of my life so those two things I happily outsource. The list of things to outsource though is as long as your mind can stretch

  • Have someone help you with your weekly cleaning challenges
  • Have your clothes ironed and delivered to your house
  • Have you’re groceries delivered
  • Have your meals planned out and ingredients sent out
  • Have a cook make your food
  • Have a babysitter come in one or two hours a week so you can get things done
  • Have your car washed at your door step
  • Have a tutor for your kids

Golden nugget: Outsource mundane tasks that you hate to bring some sunshine and bounce back into your life.

Potential time saved 2 hours

Delegate

I used to be the sacrificial mom, juggling home and school, groceries, after school clubs. Having two children, who were finishing school two hours apart, when school was a 25 minute drive away, was not nice.

Then with the birth of my third child, breastfeeding, sleep less nights and all the above I felt like a ping pong, rushing housework and always on the road picking and dropping the kids.

I was a grumpy, uptight, no fun mom, running a tight ship. Always snapping at my kids, because we need to be somewhere, and do something, before it was too late.

Something had to change, I had to change, I couldn’t do it all alone. I shouldn’t think that have to.

My husband stepped in and shared the school drop offs, so I wasn’t on the road three times a day. This was a huge relief. It meant that, he had to wake up an hour earlier and reach work an hour earlier. But hey partners in crime, partners in time, right?

Let go of the guilt, if you’re anything like me, don’t try to do everything by yourself. Delegate tasks, that you know other members of the family can do. Like, I don’t give the husband breastfeeding, but I do, give him nappy changing. If you’re kids are old enough, rope them in also!

  • Give out chores to kids such as making beds, taking out the garbage, washing dishes, putting clothes away, hanging out laundry etc
  • Give tasks out to partner picking up daily things like bread, milk on way from home saves me an additional trip with one or three kids in tow.
  • Carpool school pick up, drop offs with neighbours to reduce the time spent on the road

Golden nugget: You are not a sacrificial lamb, repeat, you are not a sacrificial lamb. Share out the tasks.

Potential time Saved 1 hour

 

Now I just reclaimed several hours of my day and week so that I can dedicate and focus on self development, growth and progress on my passions. How do you squeeze out every hour of your day?  Let me know in the comments below. Happy living!

klgeq1487747744

typewriter-801921_1920

Urgency of Mindful Living

We live in a fast paced time, full of stimuli, comfort and ease. There has never been a time like what we are living in now. With information at our finger tips, whether it be useful or not, we have access to it.

The sheer amount of information, we are bombarded with, day in day out, is energy consuming. Text messages, phone calls, Whatsapp, Skype, video messages, snaps, gifs, pictures, tv, radio, music all this abstract information that seeps into our lives, our minds, our subconscious being.

Then there’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram desperately seeking our attention and time, demanding we be ‘present’ in the social media world. If you are offline for over 24 hours, alarm bells are ringing, people start to panic, something has happened to you! You could just be having a bad day or presumably busy, but if you are offline you are not connected, you are not even alive, some would assume.

You have to be ‘seen’ on media having a presence, always posting, performing, to be known as doing something successful. We live in an artificial reality of superficial frivolity. Showing all the frills of a highly edited airbrushed life, far from angst and struggle, no blips or bloopers.

I have started to turn away from all of this, as I can see, not only is it damaging my self, it’s also negatively impacting the eyes that watch me, my children. With every little moment, they have learnt to reach for my phone, trying to capture everything, rather than actually live the moment and have fun like no ones watching.

 c9BZE1486362671.png

How was it when we didn’t have phones and we didn’t have camera’s attached to our hands?

No one was really interested in what we ate in the morning.

Were we not living? Were we not having fun? Were we not successful?

I would argue we were more focused on our goals and mindful of the people around us. We could hold a decent length of conversation without being disturbed by noisy notifications by messages that were one consonant long.

We had childhoods that didn’t involve videoing everything that we did. Did our parents love us any less?

Were we always incessantly concerned about what others were doing throughout their day?

Our society is obsessed with the lives of the successful, be it socialites, celebrities, sport stars, YouTubers. Anybody can be famous, but what are they famous for? What are you willing to lose by being famous? Your real friends for millions of fake friends? Your identity? Your privacy? Your time?

Its time we reclaim our privacy, reevaluating our sense of being yourself for yourself, not seeking others comments and approval. To be lost in your thoughts and not have to share every brain fart with the world hoping it will go viral.

Silence the noise and the information overload and get in touch with your inner voice, it is being muted by this constant news feed and by the ‘like’ driven posts.

This mindless interaction with information needs to stop. Social media is making us over stimulated, to the point where it desensitises us to the sensation of disgust, shock and the power to act. The news feed that we scroll through often contains many devastating images we can’t bare to witness. We scroll past it fast because we cannot see it a second longer, we scroll and we scroll, till we get to something more appetising, something that makes us feel good or numbs our brain into feeling anything. But what of the disturbing picture, does that no longer exist? It’s still there, people are still suffering, but we don’t want to deal with that, we just want the cheap thrills and frills.

The creeping feeling of societies numbness, of not being shocked by what we see and read, is very disturbing, we are being disarmed of our voice. If we have no empathy towards each other, how can we stand up for one another? Its time to stop. Its time to stop this, with urgency and reflect who is this hurting? Those people are suffering physically but our heart is already dead!

 

p2zqd1486362278

Being mindful, takes care of not just your outer beauty and aesthetics, but the true beauty that is neglected by social media, which needs the most amount of work and attention, your inner self.

The care you can give to yourself, no one else can. Listening to your inner most thoughts, you will always be true to yourself and not get swept up with any current hype. Regularly check in on yourself and question your actions and intentions, how is it developing you, are you going in a direction you want to.

Its time to have theses questions with yourself, put the hand break on heedlessness because the reality is, we will all die, and as morbid as it seems, how do you want to remembered. If you want to be remembered at all, live an epic life and leave behind a legacy. Work on it, not for other people’s praise, but so that your work, that you carved away at during your life, can be carried on once you are gone.

Make sure you are benefiting society, and humanity and not hindering it by going along like a lost sheep, because even lost sheeps are part of the problem. By shutting off your brain and letting others decide on how life should be is a big problem. Stand up and be counted, make sure you are at the table, make life decisions.

aloaf1486361465

Being Mindless

You may say, stop being so uptight, it doesn’t hurt anyone really. We’re just having fun, living in the moment, not thinking about tomorrow, yolo and all.

Who are you fooling? Are you living the moment by taking hundred selfies so you can capture the light, the angle, minus all the people? Are you enjoying the sight and smells of the place? Are you failing to hold eyes with the little child who watches you do all these things?

Chilling fact is whether we have children or not, we fail to see that we are all connected, and our behaviour effects the society, the community the neighbourhood we live in whether we want to accept it or not.

Social media is so huge and so fast, that it doesn’t take a day for something to go viral, which means the whole world knows about something, be it a message, a thought, an idea good or bad, we have greater influence over people more than we think to take responsibility for.

usGS11486361840.png

Start now…

Stop and reclaim that beating heart and do not let it die in the hands of social media.

Wake up and thank the powers of be that you are waking up to other day.

Wake up and be thankful that you have been given another taste of life, what will you do with it?

Wake up and think that what things can make this day great for you, for the people around you?

What can I do that can make my yesterday more better?

It can be as simple as I will smile at every person that I go past today.

I will keep my calm with my kids.

I will make an effort to get to know my neighbours.

Cut out the noise, don’t always feel the need to fill up your head with something. Just breathe and be. It might feel awkward and even meaningless at first. But the very reason why you feel it is awkward, meaningless and time consuming is exactly why you need it. You qualify, so just do it!

Make breakfast, that in itself is mindful, instead of grabbing and going, make it yourself.

Already make breakfast? Ok hot shot, try making it with no white noise, just be in the moment of making breakfast and now think how grateful you are at having food of your own choosing.

Wash the dishes and be thankful that you have a family to feed and you have for in your bellies be in the moment without having a million other things going on. be thankful for the clean running water you have.

Put your phone away, eat your nutritious food, this a opportunity to be one with your self, have little one to one with your inner thoughts, who is being shoved to the back of the line.

  • Reintroduce yourself to yourself it might seem awkward because you have neglected yourself so long, talk to yourself you’ve been waiting to hear from you. You now have centre stage and no one is watching you, you can be free to think and develop how you like.
  • Do you like who you are and if you don’t why not? Tell yourself you’re amazing and you have so much value to give. Be your own cheerleader, you don’t need anyone else to tell you how unique you are, and how much you matter, the 100+ likes can wait.
  • Care for others, help others, yes think about your well-being but don’t be self absorbed. Facebook, Twitter and all the other social platforms promote the ‘me me me’ generation. Hey look at what I’m doing, what I’m wearing, what I’m enjoying, its all doing but not actually doing much.
  • How about you take care of someone and not tell a soul, now that is really caring for that person, genuinely and also taking care of your mental health, because that buzz of helping someone can not be told, only be felt. Word.

 

kjcfp1487243850

What mindful living looks like?

Once you become mindful you start being more aware of your surroundings.

You are more intune with yourself.

You are more aware of what you see, read, hear, watch and witness. You live with intent and purpose. You are mindful or what your kids watch, eat, see and hear.

You are more sensitive to others, you are more open to others. You value peoples time and not their likes. You cherish relations and not fleeting thrills.

Well once you become mindful you realise the power in yourself and not in others. You reclaim your voice. You become activists, humanists, vocalists. Reclaim your inner worth and the gift you have that you want to share with the world without being glory hunters.

You seek to be a positive influence on people with everyone you meet. You echo oneness with the universe and unity with all. You pick up litter, you buy a hybrid, and go paperless. 

Ok maybe not all that, thats wishful thinking, but its a start, to a life long journey of mindful living. The point being the list is endless.

So do you unplug yourself?  Which pill do you take the red or blue pill? Its your call.

 

 

 

 

 

book-791652_1920

Girl Power Book Wish List

Now that I’ve gotten the reading bug, after a decade of exile from Bookdom, I have been creeping on a few books, that I can’t wait to get my hands on. It’s no coincidence that my reading list is dominated by books written by strong badass women. I tend to be drawn to non-fiction, this is partly because I want to be in the company of these fierce women, as explained in my previous post Books: People I Want to Hang Out With. Although I don’t completely shy away from fiction, I only choose books that I know have a underlying message, that I can take away from the book. I love productive books, that have a self help element to it and a life lesson attached, so these are the kind of books you will see feature heavily in my list.

So, here are my Girl Power books wish list for 2017. I hope to write up follow up posts as and when I read them, so watch out for them.

 

The Gutsy Girls by Caroline Paul

images-5

I first heard about Caroline Paul on the Tim Ferris show where she was being interviewed, she was so inspiring in her adventurous and somewhat fearless life, that I just had to get my hands on this book. I have two girls who of no fault of their own, are very cautious, maybe because both my husband and I are very hesitant in letting our kids venture off on their own without shouting ‘careful!’ behind them. They are very timid at taking risks because we don’t allow them to. We live in very different times where gadgets are the corner stone to boredom breakers in a kids eyes. Hopefully this book will give me a few pointers on how to loosen up and remember how being a kid was, as its a necessary step. How to judge on your own, the risks, assessing and exploring without always being ‘careful’.

 

We Should All Be Feminists

images-7

Why I want this book, is pretty self explanatory. We should all be feminist, I already believe this. I am not a man hater far from it, but I am a human lover. For centuries women have been short changed. Its a question of, are we not the same? If it were not for women we wouldn’t be here, and vice versa we can not function without the other. Both sexes are reliant of the other for the survival of our species yet only one is given the upper hand. I was initially recommended the Ted Talks by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche were she delivers a powerful speech that has been viewed over 3 million times.  I can’t wait to have this in my collection and hand it down to my young girls.

 

Lean in By Sheryl Sandberg

images-9

I am an aspiring entrepreneur, so naturally I gravitated towards this book. Written by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer, she is an inspiration to women, who want that work and life balance. Working moms who juggle both realms  are superhuman. Can it really be possible, to have it all, without having one side slip up?

Quiet by Susan Cain

images-8

 

As a person who is naturally introverted, preferring quiet to noise, I’m interested at what this book has to say. I believe we all have each our own qualities, as extroverts and introverts alike. Its refreshing to finally see a book that puts the spotlight on introverts, when extroverts have managed to blow the self promoting trumpet for so long.

 

Have you read any of these books on my wish list? Let me know in the comments below which you recommend and any other girl power or self help books you think are worth a read.

 

 

book-791652_1920

30 Ways to Self Love

There’s always time for self love no matter how insignificant it might seem, it is so necessary. Taking time out to take care of yourself daily is crucial to your well being both mentally and physically. You and I have lots of responsibilities and duties to be fulfilled, but if mama ain’t happy then the kids are not happy. You are of no use to anyone, if you grudgingly get through your day, so don’t think of it as being selfish, you are doing a favour on the world!

Here are some quick simple pick me ups to keep you bouncing everyday.

  1. Drink water blah blah blah I know everyone says it but we STILL forget, so just do it. Keep a litre bottle of water filled everyday and see how much you have been sipping on. Keep it visible so you are reminded all day.
  2. Go to the toilet when you need it, don’t put it off, seriously it’s the little things and yes the world can wait!
  3. Dress up, get out of your pyjamas, even if you are not planning on going out. So often I lounge all day in my sleepwear, that neither do I want to go out nor do I want people coming to my house. Get out of the funk, change your clothes first thing and be ready for the day.
  4. Wear makeup, not because you intend to go out or to impress someone or because your face is hideous, but the extra effort you make on your appearance, you feel good inside that you made your self ready to seize the day. It doesn’t need to be layers of war paint, it can just be that you put on a moisturiser and lip balm if thats what makes you feel put together. Don’t be a zombie with drool on your face all day, that is all.
  5. Have a coffee/tea drink whatever floats your boat in a special ‘go to’ nook. It makes all the difference, trust me, that 2 minutes of absolute bliss is like a head massage without hands.
  6. Get a massage, Oh my God just do it! Head, neck, foot, full body or whatever you can, your body will be singing after.
  7. Accept compliments that come your way, don’t back hand them, but don’t fill up with pride either. Just acknowledge the exchange of good towards good, simple.
  8. Smile and don’t tell me you have nothing to smile about, make yourself smile, you maniac!
  9. Read books… Think… Expand… Grow.
  10. Paint your nails not because you are girly or because you aren’t, but again the time you spent in just applying polish, being mindful, of not getting it all over the place and waiting impatiently or patiently, is a little more time spent on yourself and thats a good thing so do it and feel all sparkly and shit.
  11. Go for a walk, get some fresh air, it will do wonders for you and it’s free.
  12. Eat your food outside, be it on a balcony, or in the garden and if its too cold for that, at least crack open a window.
  13. Kick some leaves about, find your inner child and let your hair down. Don’t always be so uptight, remember how rolling on grass felt? Splashing in puddles? If you can’t, it’s time you did. Refresh that memory of when life was simple and you just wanted a to have fun.
  14. Slap some face mask on, let it soak in, get all glowy.
  15. Eat the last piece of cake.
  16. Eat the first piece of cake.
  17. Drink slowly.
  18. Eat slowly, mothers must be laughing right now, but yeh its a thing.
  19. Wear clothes that make you feel confident, not sexy they are not necessarily the same thing.
  20. Plan your clothes the night before, lay them out, come on girl you got this
  21. Moisturise like crazy and feel like a million bucks. You may want to do this last thing at night, as you don’t wanna look like a shiny lightbulb.
  22. Exfoliate polish let that inner glow shine.
  23. Comb your hair! Twenty something year olds most be grossing out right now, but mama aint got time and so mama needs reminding.
  24. Try out a new hairstyle, go on live on the edge.
  25. Breathe inhale (through your nose)…1…2…3…4…5…6…7 exhale…1…2…3…4…5…6…7 (through your mouth) repeat till you get bored.
  26. Read a book I know I said that already but I’m serious.
  27. Clean up and declutter, a clean and clutter free house is a clean and clutter free mind. You want to have clear thoughts, new ideas, get out the funk get your environment in order. If this mean simply doing your bed in the morning, loading the dishwasher, keeping the sink free of dishes just do that. It’s these little habits that only take a minute to do but can burden us if we let it accumulate if we start to slack.
  28. Say hello or smile at random non creepy people in a non creepy way.
  29. Keep a journal, be your own cheerleader, write down what you are grateful for as reminders to how awesome life is. Write down your goals, be grateful that you have goals, something to live for, something strive to for.
  30. Learn a new skill. When was the last time you learnt something? May be you have a talent that has gone unnoticed, explore new things and reach goals you’ve been putting off, one little step each day and you’ll be happier for it.

What ways do you give more time to yourself? I would love to know in the comments below.

girl-1746286_1920

How to Make Friends Like an Introvert

So it’s been 4 years now I have moved to the UAE from the UK. Although I have lots of family here (albeit inlaws) I have yet to replace good friends from the UK. It’s a hard task to do especially difficult when you don’t work and the only people you meet are passerby type. The friends I have accumulated over the years have pretty much come from school, college, university and then work. Now a stay at home mom, I am not in a scenario where I see people day in day out for long periods of time like I did in other organisations, I feel I’m left to fend for myself. In a country where I didn’t grow up, I don’t have my catalogue of friends that I can just hang with.  Another  weird realisation was that I hadn’t made much friends from my neighbourhood growing up. I always went to a school that was just enough far away that all my friends lived in a different area code. I only met my friends at school. At college and univeristy again I went to a different city to study and all my friends lived far. Now in my 30’s I’m finding it difficult to just say hey to anyone as I’m not used to just doing that.

Having three kids I’m so much aware of how introverted I am and how much I don’t want my kids to face the same problems I faced or face even now. So I have made up my mind that I will push myself to get out of my comfort zone in a mission to seek meaningful friendships. If you don’t seek you won’t find right?

So here’s my plan of how to make friends when you’re naturally introverted .

1. Go out more regular, to the same places, then you’ll likely to meet the same people who have similar interests to you. E.g.I have started going to the coffee mornings at my daughters school. Although all the moms I meet are not normally people I would hang out with you see familiar faces and you start to build a rapport and soon enough you see them in a different light to than when you first met them.

Also I hang out a lot more in the playground of the school. I used to shoot of home because I had lot more mundane things to do. However now on my self proclaimed ‘bff mission’ I pretend to give my kids more time to play on the jungle gym while I am actually giving more time to myself to get out of my comfort zone and meet more people. I see my kids feeling shy around kids at first, playing around kids, not asking their names, not even saying a word when kids push in front of them and they continue waitting patiently for their turn on the swing. They remind me of myself at that age not speaking up when kids jumped the line. Just after a few extra afternoons spending time there Ive seen such a difference in my kids behaviour. They are more adventurous, taking more risks, going higher and higher up on the gym, they have started to play with kids who they don’t know, have made relationships with older kids and enjoy the experience much more even though its awkward sometimes. They used to always look at me like a safety net, looking at me for my approval at every little step they went higher. Now they’re busy playing and interacting that they don’t even see me or run away from me least they hear me telling them it’s time to go. And me? I’ve made a few friends that I talk to with the extra 20 minutes that I spend at the end of the day. No one is in a rush to get anywhere everyone has their kids playing with each other so we have a common bond. I’ve joined several parents whatsap groups but nothing as satisfying as having a friend who you can talk about anything or nothing about. We mostly talk about kids,  struggles of being a mom, the traffic, the weather and homework. So still looking for the one.

2. Get involved in the community, do a fundraiser, collecting clothes, offering your services, get yourself known. People will soon associate you with a friendly face and you are bound to meet like minded people. During Ramadan the Islamic holy month of fasting, I organised a fridge for workers in our community. Labourer where offered to come and pick up free food. The whole community chipped in, it was amazing. This is the kind of people I want to hang out with. People were knocking on my door all throughout the day, asking what was needed,bringing food, new faces, regular faces it was so heartwarming. It was amazing, but after the month had finished, it all kind of fizzled out. Now I can’t wait for next Ramadan for that community feel.

img_3961

Ramadan fridge

3. Make a group on Facebook just to start with eg book club, moms group, coffee mornings, toddler group, bikers group gardeners group, fitness group walking with your buggy group, whatever interests you and keep it up, turn up at meetings regularly. Swap numbers and there you go. I’ve joined a ton of groups that are local to me and met up women in big groups and on individual level, I found some real friends, so really recommend this.

4. Go to your local park go on regular walks that’s the only way you’ll meet new people who have time on their hands. Strike a conversation and see where it leads you. I take the kids out more regular to the park in our area and they have made so many friends who invite them back to their house and they come over to our house. I’ve made friendships with their moms so win win.

5. Go knock on your neighbours door, introduce yourself if you’re new in the area. Ask any questions you have where’s the nearest…( you fill in the blank) and offer them tea and coffee with them the next day so that’s one friend you’ve made at least. Offer to help them whenever they need anything and you’re as good as gold!

image

Get to know your neighbours

Those are my ideas and so far the joining groups and getting involved in the community has been the most successful for me.

Let me know your ideas and suggestions on making new friends and any problems you have faced when moving into a new city.

golden-791072_1920

Books: People I Want to Hang Out With

I’ve recently realised how much I have missed reading books. This is mainly because, I don’t get the luxury of sitting in a place more than 5 minutes, without being summoned or tugged at by my three delightful kids. I let my book reading obsession dwindle for a decade and only recently I thought you know what? I will be wild, and I will buy a book and see if I can manage to read it! I know, crazy mom living on the edge, right? I had deprived myself of books for so long that when I went in a bookstore I spent hours musing over shelves and shelves of books I want to read, I realised how much I missed it. It felt so satisfying to own a book after so long, with no added feeling of guilt that it won’t be used because I just couldn’t wait to sit and read and read and read. I romanticised in my head how I will read to the wee hours till I finish one in one sitting, like I did as a teenager. I would read one book after another like a monkey clasping at branches swinging through a jungle. Oh but wait, those days are gone! I barely read a sentence before getting interrupted. At night when I have less disturbances, all I can manage is a couple of pages before conking out, from sheer exhaustion of the long day.

I have been hunting out more bookstores and creeping on books that I want to read and absorb in an instant. Actually scrap that, I don’t want to absorb the words in an instant, I want to brew in the pages. I love the journey of growth and the change of mindset where you get the ‘ah ha’ moment. However, my list of things I want read is taking over my notes, I really need to increase my reading speed somewhere in between an instant and a page a day. So I have promised myself more reading, less Netflix and mindless social media trawling and instead, I will try to substitute it with clasping at my books.

Reading a book, an actual book with pages, no kindle nonsense, has such a calming effect on me. It might be because we are surrounded by touch screens and bright lights and gadgets and gizmos all the time, that a simple book gives a breathe of life to such tech concentrated lives. It maybe that its nostalgic and reminds me of my childhood. Or it could just be that I like the idea of being bookish and geeky.  Whatever the reason it feels great to read. It feels like I’m actively participating in conjuring up images in my head. In grasping the ideas. There is no dumbing down of ideas to manipulate the masses, like news and social media. It doesn’t feel like I am cramming my brain with mindless junk.

So anyway the point to this isn’t that I love reading, of course l love it! It goes hand in hand with my coffee, like a perfect friendship. Not marriage, because I am married to coffee, no one and nothing can take that place. No, the reason why I write this is because books have filled that gapping hole in my life where I meet people that I actually want to be around. The like minded warrior women that I wish I was friends with. The women that inspire me to be better, to raise my standard, to aim higher, to not accept mediocre, to not sabotage myself and those women empower me, those women are my tribe. The books that I choose are full of information that I want to indulge in. I am learning, I’m surrounding myself with great thinkers, I’m being exposed by their life wisdom. When I pick up a book I hear the authors’ voice as they cram their lives into the little pages. I feel their presence, the books ARE the authors’, they ARE the people I want to hang out with.

So here’s my list of books/ people I’d most like to hang out with. No surprise then, my list comprises of non fiction books written by fierce influential women.

1. ‘I am Malala’ by Malala Yousafzai.

Wow this is such a powerful book. As a woman and a mother of two daughters I am drawn to Malala’s gutsy story naturally. At such a young age she is such a strong and bold thinker. I was curious to know how she was shaped into being so brave and outspoken. I wanted to know how she was different to any of the thousand of girls who were in her shoes. Out of so many pakistanis who duck their heads daily from menacing threats that hang over them for basic rights such as  education how did she became so fearless? In the western world so many people live in a situation that they hate and it might not be life threatening but they just put up with it. Malala doesn’t. Even when it means risking her own life. She is a stark reminder to all of us that we do not have to go with the mainstream. We can fight against it, even if we are one voice. As long as we have free will we have choice and it might feel like a mammoth task but we should never forget that we have a voice and we should never fail to us it. The people of power threaten to silence one voice because they know it will lead to people raising their own voice. They go to so much trouble in weeding out people because they know the power of a single voice and what it inspires. So next time when you think that you are not enough to change your situation remind yourself that you are. One person can change your world don’t wait for a hero, be your own hero.

i-am-malala-book-cover

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

2. ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Ms Gilbert captivates the masses with her style of writing. I was hooked by ‘Eat Pray Love’ which I haven’t seen the movie or read the book but listened to the audio book, which I am not ashamed to admit. Im a obsessive book lover as you may have noticed and so didn’t think I would like audiobooks. So when I experienced my first audiobook with ‘Eat Pray Love’ I was like oh yes! Maybe because I had no time to read and thought this is a great way into listening to so many books in so little time. Or maybe because Lizzie is a badass story teller that she made the experience so much more enjoyable. So anyway I digress the fact is I became a fangirl of Liz and her great charismatic charm that I had to just know what she wants to say in Big Magic. This book may feel like that its just for creatives but its not. Its for everyone. Everyone, that is who wants to bring a dose of magic into their lives. She talks about creativeness as being spiritually guided and I can see how it is good for the soul. Her tone is conversational throughout and she gives a straight talk with no BS of how you shouldn’t fear living a creative life. We self sabotage ourselves into a negative spiral of how we cannot possibly do something before the idea even takes of the ground. We are our own worst enemy and we should silence that demon inside our head and do whatever we feel like doing that makes us feel alive. Run with an idea and see wear it leads you, take the leap you never know where you will end up without trying. Pick up passions that you left dormant its never to late. What is life if not a series of moments where we took chances than 70 years of doing the same thing over and over.

images

Being creative means letting go of your own fears of failing.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

3. ‘Rising Strong’ by Brene Brown.

I first stumbled across Brene on Ted Talks where she was total badass researcher. She’s a funny witty and strong woman, I was sold. I want her in my gang. So I picked up Rising Strong expecting it to be about how to raise my girls in a bold way. This book isn’t about how not to be vulnerable but by facing up to our vulnerability we conquer it and rise above it so that it doesn’t paralyse us. By showing our vulnerability we are being more open and genuine not just to other people but to ourselves. we are living a real life and not a charade of who we should be with an armour that shrouds us everyday that we are scared to be ourselves. i grew up in a home where we hardly talked about our feelings our emotions till it came catastrophically crashing down. We never gave out hugs to each other growing up or said I love you. If we had a problem we would bury it inside and deal with it ourselves thus never exposing our vulnerability. By doing this we isolated ourselves from the people that actually love us. This book brings back so many emotions for me of how vulnerability is not a bad thing and it can actually make you a better person.

images-2

No fear of being vulnerable, you are now unstoppable.

Rising Strong

Those are my companions for now who hang with me in my down time. My tribe will grow and I will write about them if and when I meet them. Till then let me know in the comments who is in your gang? Who do you hang with and can I borrow them?

beautiful-day-1374424_1920

5 Easy Ways to Kick Ass at Resolutions.

Happy 2017! A new year, a new promise of greater things. You’re all pumped up and have a spring in you step of new beginnings, new habits, new life, new YOU.

The resolution lists are out, they are long, they are crisp and they have us buzzing.

But how to kick ass this 2017?

How to make sure that those resolutions are not a cliche and are not dwindling come February 1st. Take your resolutions on a revolution!

Here are 5 easy ways to kick start and kick ass this year. Here we go…

  1. Create a mantra a song to get you in the mood every morning. It doesn’t have to rhyme or have smart words its just something that keeps you focused. My mantra when I want to pull myself out of a rut and stay positive is sing with my girls. Our song? well its simple and goes like this… “Are we gonna have a good day?” and they shout at me “yes we are!!!”then” Are we gonna be happy? yes we are!!!” and we march out of bed and get our shit together. It really works!
  2. Organise you’re brain. Write down why you are doing what you are doing this is your intention of this new thing that you are trying to achieve. When you have a purpose, an intention and clear goals set out you are more likely to succeed. Keep your brain engaged on why you are doing it and the how will naturally manifest. Jot down things you have to do on your phone or planner so your brain is clear of these lists and things to do this will make you more focused and clearer in your goals.
  3. Work on it everyday. Make your goals big but the steps need to be daily attainable goals. It takes 21 days to build a habit but if you get so daunted by the goal and how big a task it is you are less likely to stick to it. For me on my positive road mindset I say to myself I won’t use negative language. This comes with lots of minor hurdles I can’t be zen straight of the bat its daily things I do to reach that personal goal.
  4. The goal is not the end. In fact the goal is the beginning its a point where you can measure your progress but it doesn’t finish. You have to keep at it if you can do it for 21 days you can do it for 3 months if you can do it for 3 months you can do it 6 months and a year and you continue to push yourself and push yourself.
  5. Tell a friend. When you tell someone of your intentions you are not only being accountable to yourself but you’re being accountable to someone else that you are making a promise that you want to attain something. When they see you going of track, if their a good friend they will call you up on it and veer you back without shaming you and reminding you that everyone has bad days but let the day not become a year.

Those are 5 top ways that I will kick ass this 2017!

Let me know what you intend to do this year and your ways you will make 2017 the year where it all begins and not where it ends.