For the past couple of weeks we've been buried in snow. Okay that's a slight exaggeration; but for Norfolk it was a lot. My limited trips out became even more limited as the roads turned to ice rinks.
Don't get me wrong, I love snow; it's one of my favourite things in the world, at least for about a week. After that I just want it to go so life can get back to normal.
Our garden has been hidden under a blanket of white and I was beginning to forget what it even looked like. There was no sign of it changing, of it going away and I had resigned myself to it. That was until last weekend when it rained all night on Saturday.
I woke up to see every last trace of snow had been washed away, to reveal the world looking bright and fresh in the winter sunshine. It was beautiful and exciting; but also quite shocking. I couldn't believe that something that looked so permanent had just vanished, literally overnight. It made me realise that things are changing all the time, often gradually, painfully slowly; but big changes can happen quickly too.
It gave me hope, a belief that being stuck didn't mean being stuck forever. Life is moving forward all the time, we just have to go with it and know that it's okay for it to move at a snail’s pace, because maybe we're just resting up before the big sprint of sudden change and growth.
Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I wanted to wish you a merry Christmas. Where ever you are, whatever you are able to do, I hope it's a special day for you and that you find ways to be able to enjoy it.
It can be tough, if you're ill, alone, stuck in bed and feeling left out. You're not alone, there are others going through it too. I'm thinking of you and hoping that you can find some joy during the hard times.
Isn't it easy to get caught up in life and your daily routine? You get so used to all the things you have to do every day, the pacing, the resting, and the tasks that you have to get done just to live. Life becomes a job, a chore and fun things that you love get pushed to the bottom of your To Do list.
I've been really bad at this in the past, I get so caught up in achieving things while still managing my health, that I forget it's okay to take time to just have fun. I end up feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, desperate for a break, for things to change; but I forget that I'm the one with the power to do something about that. I can't magically get better or change my circumstances; but I can give myself permission to do some of the things I enjoy - like having a read in the middle of the day, sitting down with a mug of tea and watching a film, or even having some chocolate without feeling guilty! What do you wish you could do right now? What's stopping you? Is there a way you can break it down into smaller steps so you can enjoy a little part of it now or work towards being able to do it?
The really funny thing for me is that most of the things on my To Do list have been about putting together the Parties in your Pad, for Halloween and Bonfire Night. I got so busy writing the pumpkin picking and trick or treating experiences for Halloween and the bonfire party for 5th November that I forgot that I want to join in with them too! The whole reason I set Live in Love in Laugh in up was because I wanted to be able to have fun and more of a social life within my four walls and meet people who feel the same.
When I realised that I hadn't got any of the ingredients for our Halloween feast or chosen the film I wanted to watch I realised I was doing something wrong. It was time to allow myself to join in and have fun and that's exactly what I'm doing. Suddenly I feel more relaxed, more optimistic and life just feels better and easier to cope with.
If you're feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by life and you want to have some fun right now, then you can join me and the Live in Love in Laugh in members for a great time and lots of fun. We're all about living the best life we can and sharing that with others. . Join us now...
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I recently got in touch with Disability Sanctuary, who have a great website for people with all kinds of disabilities and illnesses. It's a great mix of facts, blogs and community. I wondered if they might be interested in a guest blog post, something I've wanted to do; but not really known where to start - I was also a little bit nervous about putting myself out there; but since I've resolved to make mroe connections and be brave about telling people about Live in Love in Laugh in, I decided it was time to go for it.
They were happy for me to write something and looking through their site I saw that they had some brilliant fact sheets, including one on ME which I can obviously relate to. I thought they might like one on being housebound or homebound. I did some research and discovered that there is actually very little coverage on what it's live to be unable to go out which surprised me.
I realised that my years of experience of being bed and house bound could be put to some use so I put together this Housebound or Homebound Facts - you can read it here... http://www.disabilitysanctuary.com/housebound-or-homebound/
Does this sound familiar?
If this is you then you're why I do what I do and why I set up Live in Love in Laugh in. I know exactly how you feel, because I feel like it too and I'm doing all I can to stop feeling like this and help you stop feeling like it too. I know how horrible it is and I wish I had a magic wand for you, me and everyone out there who has to live like that. Until I find that wand, I want to create something to lessen the pain, to distract you from the harsh reality of everyday and give you something fun to enjoy and look forward to. See how I'm doing that with Live in Love in Laugh in here...
I love the magic of seeing a live performance, whether that's a concert, play, musical or ballet; but a trip to the theatre can be exhausting and expensive. This Friday the members of Live in Love in Laugh in are "going" to see a show at the theatre; but without ever leaving home. We wondered if you might like to join us on this free trip?
We've decided to see Chicago, because those that want to can watch the film and anyone that can't watch TV can listen to the audio instead. If you're not into musicals, you can watch a film of your choice instead, preferably a play that has been adapted into a film or vice verse. For example The Lion King, Shrek, Matilda or Dirty Dancing.
Read the e-magazine online or download the audio guide which will take you on a shopping trip to "choose" your outfit and then drive you to the theatre in a limo to your front row seats. The guides will help you feel like you're really there. www.clairewade.com/freebies.html
Let me know how you get on and what you "see" at the theatre, leave a comment on the Facebook page.www.facebook.com/liveinlovein Feel free to invite your friends by sharing this link - www.clairewade.com/freebies.html - the more the merrier!
I hope you have fun, I can't wait!
Have you been glued to your television or radio over the past few weeks? Even if you haven't you'll no doubt have heard about all the sporting success that has been taking place - it's been hard to miss! I've been having a lovely time in virtual London with my fellow virtual travellers. It's the first group holiday I've ever been on and it's been so much fun. I think my favourite days were going to Buckingham Palace and also Afternoon Tea at the Dorchester - yum!
During our holiday we've been enjoying some ring themed foods, to honour the famous rings. Take a look at the picture of my tea from the Opening Ceremony night - I thought it might inspire you for the Closing Ceremony on Sunday night.
Some of the foods I had to eat were:-
• Bagels - spread with different colour toppings:
Red - jam, tomatoes
Yellow - lemon curd, peanut butter, cheese
Blue - blueberries on cream cheese, blueberry or blackcurrant jam
Green - salad, cucumber, lime marmalade
Black - Marmite/Vegemite, liquorice
• Bagel chips
• Hula hoops
• Onion rings
• Spaghetti hoops
• Slices of cucumber with the seeds scraped out
• A cored apple sliced horizontally to make rings
• Party Ring Biscuits
• Jam Ring Biscuits
• Starmix jelly rings
• Polos - fruit or mint
I also created my own special non-alcoholic cocktail or rather a mocktail, which we enjoyed during our night in The Dorchester bar. Why not have a go:-
• 1 cup (250 ml) lemonade, 7up, Sprite etc
• 2 tbsp (25 ml) grenadine
• Strip of lemon zest
• Strip of lime zest
• maraschino cherry
1. Fill a tall glass with ice.
2. Add grenadine.
3. Top up with lemonade.
4. Place a maraschino cherry, blueberry, blackberry and maraschino cherry on a
cocktail stick and drop into the drink.
5. Garnish with the lemon and lime zest on the side of the glass.
This Sunday I will be sitting in front of the television, with my picnic and cocktail. I can't wait to see who's going to perform! I'd love it if you wanted to join me. Stop by and say "hi" on the Facebook Page and let me know what you're up to!
Early Bird Discount Ends Sunday Night!
If you've been thinking of signing up to Live in Love in Laugh in Now is the time to do it - because the half price offer ends at midnight on Sunday 12th August. If you're fed up of not being able to have a social life. If you feel bored and frustrated at being at home and want more from life, then this is for you. There's a whole year of fun activities, parties and events including film clubs, book groups, craft clubs as well as some exciting virtual parties and day trips to enjoy, with other like-minded people who want exactly the same thing. You'll even get access to the London holiday - we've been enjoying it so much we decided to stay a bit longer!
The current price is £29.99 but that's going up to £49.99 on Monday 13th, so join now and banish the house bound boredom and blues away for the next year.
I'd love it if you could join us for out next party! Sign up here...
For me, happiness always looked a certain way - it was me, healthy, busy, in a relationship with a good man for me, married or at least engaged, with a successful career, a good income, in my own house, with a great social life, a big group of friends and a few best friends. Fairly standard really, nothing out of the ordinary and it didn't feel like I was asking for too much - I mean that's what most people have, right?
For a long time I've thought that I wouldn't or couldn't be happy until I achieved all of those things - not just a couple; but every single thing on the "happiness list". I even had a mental check-list in my head to cross things off. I wasn't doing very well with it though. Still living at home, a long way from healthy, relationship? Well that would involve me being able to actually meet anyone, plus how could I expect somebody to deal with my health limitations, hardly seemed fair. Friendships - tick; but I'm not able to see them much - especially the ones who live on the other side of the country or even the world.
The only thing I knew I'd found was my passion - you're looking at it - helping people who feel stuck, just like me, and who want more from life.
It was the only thing in my life I was really sure of and it has brought me happiness; but I thought that didn't count because there were so many other areas in my life that I wasn't happy about. Surely the negatives out-weigh the positives and then make it a negative too? The frustration has to overwhelm the joy, right?
Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn't; but either way the aching lack of the things I wanted, made happiness seem impossible.
Then a few weeks ago I read a book which was saying that the happiness millionaires experience is no different to the happiness that you or I feel when we're doing something we love. There's only one type of joy and if you feel it, it's real and important. That struck such a chord with me, this sudden realisation that I could be healthy, I could be rich, I could be a million different things; but the moments when I feel the world light up around me, when I'm watching my favourite TV show, I'm eating a piece of cake, preferably chocolate, I'm playing solitaire on the computer (yes I know all these fancy new games and my favourite is still solitaire), when my favourite song comes on the radio or I'm lost in a good book - those moments of happiness are real and true. That joy couldn't get any better, in that moment I couldn't be any happier. It was such a huge realisation for me!
Of course that doesn't change the fact that there are still lots of things in my life I wish I could change; but I realised that I don't have to wait for them to be different for me to acknowledge happiness. I never really understood the saying "Happiness is a journey, not a destination". I mean theoretically I understood it; but I didn't "get" it. Now I do. Now it makes sense.
I'm not happy 100% of the time, I'm not even sure how much of the time I am truly happy; but I am starting to recognise it more and know that it is real and that I want to appreciate it. To be aware so that I can see it when it happens again and it's like I'm becoming more attuned to it, so that I know what happiness feels like for me, it even seems to be happening more, or at least I can "see" it when it does happen.
The vision of what I want my life to be like still exists in my head, it's still the place I desperately want to get to; but until it does happen (if/when) then I'm going to enjoy happiness wherever I find it.
Where do you find happiness? What makes you smile? Are you aware of it when it happens? I'd love to hear your experiences.
This has been one of the most exciting weeks of my life, I've gone from idea to new website in a week and that's because the idea for Live in Love in Laugh in literally came into my mind almost fully formed. I've wanted to get it all together and out into the real world, so that it can start making a difference and supporting people like me who are stuck at home and want more from life than daytime TV; but often wonder how they can get it.
Live in Love in Laugh in is a new community set up to bring people together and help fill their calendar full of things to look forward to including parties, holidays and trips; but all without ever leaving home! Perfect if you're housebound or are unable to go out much, for whatever reason.
I've been house bound and bed bound for a lot of years and I know how boring it is, so this is me using my frustrations to find a solution, the best one I can get!
I sometimes wonder why I bother with my big dreams and crazy plans, they can seem insane. Why not just stay in bed, watch TV and read - it sounds like fun, for about a day; but I know I want more from life. I don't want my days to blur together; I want to create events, full of fun and joy. Memories that will last forever, so that I can look back on my year and know that I have lived the best I possibly can right now. I don't want to fade into my illness, to just be an ill young woman who could have been someone. I want to be someone now and I want to live now! I'd love it if you'd like to join me.
Find out how here...