Pen and I

Sharing my passion for writing, juicing and travel

Being eighty percent happy

Posted on June 28, 2018

After writing my post on enjoying contentment I thought it was funny to pick up the paper (Telegraph) and read an article saying something similar.

The article focused on a study published in the journal Psychological Science.

The study has highlighted the fact that people are actually more content with an unremarkable life than they are one that involves striving for or following their dreams.

In fact people only want to be happy 80% of the time.

The research interviewed more than 8,000 people from 27 countries.

The aim was to find out whether we had universal ideas and aspirations.

It turned out that only a small minority felt the need to strive for things like a great job, physique or relationship. Most people enjoyed limited ambitions.

They are hoping the outcome of this study might play a part in helping us understand why we take part in self-defeating habits.

It has totally helped me understand mine. It’s because I really am okay with an unremarkable life and am not that bothered about striving for the perfect body!

Maintaining great health is my focus and right now my health is great.

My body could do with some consistent exercise routine to help it build strength and stamina and I am working on that.

So it looks like despite all those motivational messages telling us to go for our dreams (and I have been guilty of buying into all of that and spending a whole load of money on “finding my purpose” and the like) deep down we may just be happy with what is.

Are you?

Enjoying contentment

Posted on June 27, 2018

I have spent most of the last 20 years striving for something.

Some goal that I truly believed would make life better, happy, stronger.

For the most part I have come to the conclusion that all I really did was miss out on living in the present moment. All that striving for something or waiting for life to get better robbed me of enjoying what is right here in front of me.

Worse than that, sometimes it robbed me of what is right now because I was so focused on what will be at some point.

My weight loss journey is the best example of that as I spent my time striving to be thinner and fitter – which is a great goal – but over the last four years I haven’t stopped to say “hey, be happy with you now as well”,

Being happy with me now doesn’t mean I settle for being unhealthy.

Just because I choose to be happy with myself in the present moment I don’t use that as an excuse to remain unhealthy. It would just be a way for me to stop my future focus. To stop only being happy when I reach a particular goal.

I knew I would be happier when I lost my first 24 lbs (2 stones) and I was, really happy, but I didn’t stop to enjoy the me I was then at 24 lbs lighter. I just focused on the next 24 lbs.

Now 73 lbs (5 stones) lighter I want to change my focus.

I choose to stop striving for the next weight loss goal and simply be happy where I am now, knowing that this happiness is not an excuse to stay where I am.

I still need to be mindful of my BMI which is way too high.

I have another 50 lbs to lose to be a healthy weight and I want to continue to work towards staying healthy using a plant-based diet.

I am not missing dairy at all now (cheese was difficult to remove from my diet) and I don’t miss meat. I still eat cheese and have some meat if I ever fancy it but for the most part I stay away from meat and dairy.

I am content with the way I eat now and I have decided to stop beating myself up when I don’t eat what I believe I should be eating (I ate a ham and cheese sandwich today).

I am content with the progress I have made although I still have some way to go and sometimes wish all this excess fat would simply melt away without effort.

Finding it harder to lose weight as you age really is true, it’s not an excuse, I can gain 5 lbs within a day or two of unhealthy eating and to remove those 5lbs I will need around a month to six weeks!

It’s frustratingly unfair but it is what it is.

Back on WordPress.com

Posted on June 25, 2018

I have been “fighting” hackers on my self-hosted WordPress site.

Annoying cyber bullies who take over self-hosted WordPress blogs and serve up inappropriate advertising.

Every time someone clicked to read a blog post a naked lady appeared inviting them over to watch her and her friends at play.

Maybe I should have chosen better hosting, I don’t know, but what I do know is I just don’t have the patience to deal with them so I deleted everything. I tried removing them a couple of times but it’s an expensive business and they always returned. Sometimes within days!!!!

Now, I am using my old wordpress.com blog.

I will upgrade and use my domain plus have the luxury of adding audio and video here too.

Added to that is the wonderful community of bloggers that I can connect with easily.  I love reading blogs and now I have a few million of them at my fingertips.

Working as a live-in carer means my time is limited. I have an hour in the morning before 8am and an hour or two after 10pm, plus a 2-hour break during the day but otherwise my time is not my own. It will just ensure I use it wisely.

First Solo Travel Trip

Posted on June 24, 2018

They say you never forget your first time and I really hope that’s true because more than 15 years after deciding I want to spend a part of my life travelling I am finally getting to do just that.

I have booked myself a trip in July to Crete in Greece.

I left my desk job back in March and took up a job as a live-in carer. I live with the people I look after. The role is a rewarding challenge and with it comes no rent to pay and very few bills leaving plenty of extra income to travel.

After hours and hours of searching for a place to visit I settled on this one because

  • The hotel cater for solo travellers / singles – so there will be no children and no romantic couples!
  • Included in the price is airport transfer because for my first few trips I don’t want to have to work out how to get from the airport to the hotel.
  • The price – it was really, really reasonable and no surcharge because I am booking for one.

So dreams really do come true at some point if you never give up.

It feels so good to know this is finally happening and as well as Greece in July two other potential trips are

Europe in September (maybe using trains to get around a few different countries)

Cuba in November. I have read that November is past the hurricane/rainy season so a good time to go. If I don’t make it in November the other opportunity is around May.

I want a winter break around early January 2019 but have no idea where to go.

Are you a solo traveller? Or do you have a passion for travel? I would love to know where in the world you have had the good fortune to visit.

You Matter

Posted on March 12, 2018

Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50

Ok.  It’s secret day.  First secret:  I buy the majority of my skin care products from the drug store.  I don’t use big name, expensive brands.  Second secret: I’m a little crazy with skin care.  There is nothing I hate more than dry skin, and the older I get, the dryer my skin gets.  It’s like the ‘be careful what you wish for’ thing- when I was younger my skin was a bit oily and I longed for it to dry out.  Well, I got what I wished for.

I believe I have separate lotions for every part of me.  I don’t go anywhere without hand cream.  My life is a constant battle to not have my skin crack off.  So I use a product on my face known as serum.  It goes on before moisturizer, and adds an extra level of protection.  I’ve been buying No. 7 for a…

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