Lists

I love writing lists. I have maybe 5 or 6 notepads on the go at any one time, each full of lists. Lists of to dos, lists of shopping, lists of ideas, lists of things to make, lists of renovation ideas/plans, lists of birthdays.

Tick that to do list
To do list

Each week I sit down with my weekly planner and write lists of all the things, activities, and events that are happening, the meals I will cook, the things I should do. Then the next week I transfer all undone things to a new to do list! In fact I was just about to write another list of things to do to this blog, when I spotted this list – waiting to be completed.

Weekly Planner by The Organised Housewife
My Weekly Planner with lists, Design by The Organised Housewife!

 

Making: a new business – here, online, supporting others mental wellbeing by sharing my experiences
Cooking: Banana bread with the 2 brown bananas in front of me
Drinking: earl grey tea – I made a pot
Reading:  ‘Slow’ by Brooke McAlary – re-reading this wonderful book to find more knowledge nuggs
Trawling: mid century vintage furniture items on gumtree
Wanting: more warm sunny weather – this winter in the South West has been brutal
Looking: outside at the sun shining, but wind blowing the hedges
Deciding: whether to invest in another online course, or just do the work!
Wishing: I knew how to make my ideas into a viable business that supports others mental wellbeing
Enjoying: Crochet – I’ve made a few wash cloths and soap sacks lately – I learnt from Crochet Coach
Waiting: for our tax return to come through……$
Liking: the sound of the native birds around my home
Wondering: if anyone actually reads my blog?!
Loving: my family of boys + fluffy dog
Pondering: how lucky I am to live where I live
Listening: Podcasts – ‘The Slow Home’ & ‘Straight and Curly’  they warm my soul and are like listening to your friends chat
Considering: more ways to reduce our use of single use plastic
Buying: nothing until that tax return comes through
Watching: War on Waste, Grand Designs and Poldark (but the season just ended!)
Hoping: I can make a successful business
Marvelling: At how fortunate we are as a family to have made the change and move to live our ‘why’
Cringing: at how grumpy I am at the kids in the morning  “brush your teeth” etc
Needing: Courage to go head first into my new business, and to approach those I want to ask for advice
Questioning: how I will ever make money from writing about my mental illness journey?
Smelling: Lavender – ok so I popped outside just to run my fingers through it and see the little flowers budding
Wearing: my super comfy go to black sneakers by Frankie4
Noticing: the sound of the wind howling around the chimney
Knowing: I need to be consistent at putting in the work to make this into a business
Thinking: I have so much I want to share with others to make their lives simpler and happier
Admiring: my Blogging & Simple living Gurus – Brooke McAlary, Kelly Exeter, Tsh Oxenrider, BabyMac
Getting: annoyed at my dog for her constant growling at the wind
Bookmarking: every awesome article that relates to my business, and every beautiful inspiring image for my dream build home
Opening: browser windows
Closing: none of them!
Feeling: a bit cold – need a cardigan AGAIN!
Hearing: the wind howling, my dog growling, the windows rattling – seriously WA is ‘Windy Always’
Celebrating: my 40th Birthday in October!
Pretending: I’ll stay young forever
Embracing: getting older and wiser

I had fun answering the prompts on this list, it was a great way to kick start my week. But sometimes I feel overwhelmed on Monday mornings, with all those things to do, to remember, to buy, appointments to  go to, all swirling around in my head. So thats why I love lists. I write down ALL THE THINGS on a list and it gets them out of my head. Then I can see what is really bothering me and what truly needs to be addressed. I then follow the advice of Brooke McAlary and chose just 3 things to get done. Yep 3 things are achievable and create a greater sense of wellbeing when they are done!

So over to you, do you write lists? Are they to help you remember what you need to do? or do you write lists because you enjoy ticking things off like me?!

Don't forget the milk
Don’t forget the milk – Shopping lists

Below is the full list for you to try- credit to Pip from Meet me at Mikes and thanks to Carly at Smaggle for her post that inspired me to write another list!

Making:
Cooking:
Drinking:
Reading:
Trawling:
Wanting:
Looking:
Deciding:
Wishing:
Enjoying:
Waiting:
Liking:
Wondering:
Loving:
Pondering:
Listening:
Considering:
Buying:
Watching:
Hoping:
Marvelling:
Cringing:
Needing:
Questioning:
Smelling:
Wearing:
Noticing:
Knowing:
Thinking:
Admiring:
Getting:
Bookmarking:
Opening:
Closing:
Feeling:
Hearing:
Celebrating:
Pretending:
Embracing:

Not just a cup of coffee

I got a text message from woman I briefly worked with, who wanted to catch up for coffee. Sure, I love a coffee catch up. So we arranged a time and place in our lovely little town. However, I kept wondering why she would bother keeping in touch with me? What did she want to talk about? I felt quite insecure about it to be honest.
When I arrived on my bike, all my concerns dissipated with her friendly wave, smile and a hug. We ordered drinks and sat in the autumn sunshine. Our conversation flowed quite easily from parenting to long weekend traffic. Then somehow quite smoothly we were talking about anxiety, and emotional struggles. It clicked, we clicked.

cup of coffee with cake
Coffee and Cake <3

My openness about my mental illness had given this wonderful women the key to connect, the permission to reach out and ask, the sense of safety to raise an awkward topic.
When things had gotten more stressful in our workplace I had been honest that it was triggering my anxiety. I had said to a couple of colleagues that I had Bipolar Disorder. I hoped by being open about my mental illness it would help alleviate the work stress, and lengthen my period of employment. It sadly didn’t, but that says more about the leaders of the organisation than the employees.
But, and its a Big BUT, it has opened this meaningful connection, this possibility for friendship and mutual support. This is so meaningful and important to me especially as I have only moved to this little town 6months ago and want to make new friends.

Having friends to talk to about everyday life and the harder things in life is necessary. Women often do this instinctively, we chat at the school gate, we meet up and talk over coffee or lunch, we ring distant friends to stay in touch. But when you are struggling with your mental health, when you are feeling anxious or lonely or stressed, we can withdraw or worry that talking about it won’t be well accepted by others. Are we being a Debbie downer? Will we scare others away with our craziness? or She won’t want to be my friend if I talk about that!

My recent experiences have proved to me that when you do talk about your emotions it builds human connections. I was chatting with a school mum who is also new to town and she opened up about her struggle to make friends. So I invited her over for a cuppa while our kids played. Our conversation easily moved from parenting to stress, frustration and anxiety. I shared my mental illness struggles and some supportive advice.

I believe that honesty and truth build our relationships with others. We all need an opportunity to share, to feel connected. So please remember that its not just a cup of coffee, but opportunity to be a good friend.

Just 5 things

My anxiety overwhelmed me last week. I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest and I burst into sobs and tears.

A dear friend texted me, I reached out to her. She told me to write down 5 things I have control over right now and text her back. For about 5 minutes all I could manage was to slow my breathing. Then I slowly thought of other things. I wrote the list in my notebook, and pressed the lavender flower.

I took this photo to share with her and to remind me of this wonderful gesture of a friend reaching out to help me. And that it works! 😍🙌

lavender heart
just 5 things

I am not alone even when I feel overwhelmed and the darkness swallowing. Reach out to someone you can trust.

Even when I feel out of control, I can still control at least 5 things, starting with my breathing. Just breathe

Self care activities do work and are definitely worthy of your effort and time. Smell the lavender, colour in the heart.

Thank you to my dear friend 💜