2 Spuds in a Pod

Looking after your mental and physical wellbeing.

Category: Happiness (page 1 of 2)

Still feeling good!

The shift I talked about a few posts ago (read about it here) is continuing. I certainly feel that I am more efficient, I have more energy and I procrastinate less. Making decisions is also a lot easier, which in turn makes me more efficient and more energised. It is all connected.

Efficiency

I do have a list of things to do, well several in fact, depending on what it is and how soon it needs to get done. I started writing lists last year as I was struggling to remember things, and if it was written down then I didn’t have to waste time and energy on remembering what I needed to do. This also keeps the anxiety at bay as I’m not constantly worrying about remembering what I need to do, or forgetting those important things.
Helen talked about lists in her previous post (read it here), and we both swear by them. I find it very satisfying ticking things off my list as done, and this raises my overall feeling of feeling good.

Energy

It is one thing having all of these things to do, and another to have the energy to do them. I have just had a couple of days off, and I did not really sit down for long. Gone are the days of taking it as it comes, perhaps doing a thing or two in the afternoon after a lazy morning. Looking back at last year, I spent a lot of time doing just that. But that was ok too, because it was what I had to do at the time. Fast-forward to now, and by 0730 yesterday I was halfway through the second load of washing, the dishwasher was nearly done, the kitchen was sparkling, bed made, plants watered, I had had my breakfast and was on my second cup of coffee. This then continued for the rest of the day, and I got so much done.

Less procrastinating

This is a big one, and something the counsellor has brought up a few times too. He explains that procrastinating is when you are afraid of failing, that you don’t do things because you think you will fail at doing it. So you end up just avoiding it. It is better not to do something, than doing it and fail. Well it is to the procrastinator anyway…

However failing is not a bad thing! This is something I’m slowly coming to terms with. It is so obvious to me that I’ve not been doing what I want as I’ve been afraid of failing at it, or I might not get the results I want. This fear takes over. It sounds crazy, right?

I am setting you a challenge!

For the next week, have a look at what it is that is stopping you from moving forward. Grab the bull by the horn: what is it that you need to do? Break it down into small chunks then get it underway. Yes there might be a possibility of failing, but what is the alternative? That you don’t fail! If it turns out how you wanted then that is a tick in a box with great feeling of accomplishment, if not then maybe now is not the right time for that to happen, or it might not be for you at all. At least you tried.

-Rosita

Routine, habits and self-care

I’m back at work now following the operation on my hand. Needless to say, any routines I may have had before have now long gone, and I need to pick them up again. It is easy to forget how good it is to have good routines, to be efficient but more so for your own self-care.

Do what you love!

To me this is becoming more and more important. I spent a few years in a previous job where I was working all sort of hours and days, and was not able to do the things I wanted and needed to, at a time that suited me. Just think of it, working a 24 hour shift then going back to work following 8 hours break (including travelling to and from work, eating and sleeping) really messes you around. You end up in this vicious circle of only work, and not enough down time. And we all know where that got me, right? But I’ve learnt from this, and I’m still learning. The purpose of these blogs is to share my/our experiences so that perhaps some of you can make some healthy changes to avoid getting to this bad place.

Starting your day

For a long time, when I got up in the morning I only had enough time to shower, get ready and eat before heading to work. I always stayed in bed for as long as I possible could. Working long days means that there is no time in the evening for the good stuff, including spending time with Helen who is not a morning person but she is around in the evenings. This leaves me with one option: having good quality me time in the morning. After all, this is what the high flying, important, successful people do, right? I never thought I would also be advocating this. I fully appreciate that sleep is very important, but so is everything else.

Getting off to a good start

My alarm now rings 0530. This gives me a couple of hours before I have to leave for work. I make a very large cup of coffee then go through to the living room and sit down. This time of years is great in that I can light candles all around, and the smell and light is very calming. I normally take some time just there in the moment. Nothing fancy, just me sitting there in the glowing light. I try to empty my brain and fill it with positive thoughts. I find that if I set myself up this way, my mood is so much better, and I feel a lot more positive about the day ahead.

Write it down

If I have a lot to do, I make mental notes of what this is. For anything else, in particular the important stuff, I have both a notebook and a diary. I spend a couple of minutes looking through the diary. For most of last year I had to write absolutely everything down or it would have been forgotten about. I’m now in a place where I still write things down but I often don’t have to read it to remember.
Another advantage of writing things down is that I am accountable to myself. If it is written down it’s not as easy to get out of.

Get moving

Whilst sitting there I try to feel how the body feels. I often have niggles in various places, at the moment it is my lower back. So having finished the coffee it’s time to move. I spend the next few minutes (how ever long is necessary) on the floor, stretching and mobilizing the whole body. This sets me up physically as well as mentally.

Eat a good breakfast

A bowl of porridge and home made apple sauce sets me up nicely for the day. If I have time I will have some more coffee.

No social media

I used to spend maybe 30 minutes every morning just mindlessly scrolling through the usual social media accounts every morning. This accomplished the great total of absolutely nothing! I never gained anything from it, on the contrary I felt there were far too many cool things out there and places to go and I’d never get there. If anything, I felt more depressed and anxious because of it.
I have gradually reduced the time I spend on social media. I now spend just a couple of minutes in the mornings checking the news.

Reading

A few minutes are spent looking at useful stuff, such as books I like to read, training I would like to do, a show I want to see and suggestions for days out for me and Helen. I also spend time reading books. At the moment I am reading computer books as well as life coach/mindset books. I only read a little at the time, and this keeps my brain happy too. The other day there was some maths to be done in the computer book and I loved it! So note to self: read/do more to stimulate the brain too.

Ready to take on the day

Having spent the morning this way I feel ready to get on with the day. We all know what we need to do in order to keep ourselves physically and mentally happy, but it is often not easy to do just that. If you implement just one little tiny change tomorrow morning, try it just for tomorrow and see how you feel. It may well be a game changer.

Setting up good routines, good habits and looking after yourself is so important. We sometimes forget this, or we simply don’t have the time. I urge you though to make a few little changes here and there, it can change a lot!

I hope you have a great Sunday wherever you are. I will be at work, having had some quality me-time in the morning.

-Rosita

The road to recovery

Facebook poll

A couple of weeks ago we asked on Facebook what blog you would like to see. The options were mental health conditions, signs and symptoms or how can I help myself on the road to recovery. It was a close call between the two options but with 57% it is the road to recovery. Rosita will take you through her recovery and Helen will take you through hers in Wednesday’s blog.

A road walked

This is a road I walk every day, some days more than others. It has become a way of life, making sustainable and healthy changes. I have come a long way from completely losing the plot having drunk Helen’s glass of juice. You know you’re in a bit of a mess when something so trivial tips you over the edge. It certainly put things into perspective for us. The next day we went to the doctor who signed me off for 2 weeks. 5 months later I resigned from work, having not been back to work. I spent the first few weeks/months crying and not doing a lot. Pretty much everything stressed me out. Most of this time is a bit of a blur. We made a few changes which helped enormously and that is why I am in such a good place today. 

Not going to work

It soon became obvious that my job was the main reason for me no longer functioning. I probably knew that before but could not see a way out of the situation. I loved the job itself, and the good days were fab. But working in the public sector, for a service with over 50,000 officers and staff, became difficult. There were a lot of changes made by people having to justify their existence at work, none for the best in my opinion. There never is a need to reinvent the wheel. I love helping people, and I’m damn good at it too. It got to a point where I could no longer do that. This is all very clear to me now, but it has taken a while to realise that, with a lot of conversations with the professionals and Helen. In the end, the job I loved broke me. Simple as that. 

Leaving London

We had been talking about leaving London and took action. This resulted in us finding a lovely flat in Scotland which also has a little garden. Having outdoor space means the world to me. I can make coffee and sit outside in the sun. You might think this is nothing, but to me it is what keeps me sane. It involves coffee, me-time, fresh air and hopefully sun too. All of this is pretty essential. 

Medication

Being prescribed medication was a massive thing. I only started with the pills after a couple of months, when I realised that I was not getting any better. They have made a huge difference, and I was able to get more from the counselling as well as my brain started to calm down. Constantly crying is hard and tiring.

Counselling 

Counselling gave me a lot of advice and tips, which was essential to my recovery. I have high standards for myself, our home, nutrition and exercise, to name a few. It became apparent that I could not keep this up. So the counsellor suggested to ask myself this: “if I don’t do this particular thing now, is anyone gonna die?”. The answer is simple. This helped me to lower my standards, giving me more time for me. This was when I was really struggling to do anything.

Me-time

I started taking time for me. This involves me doing things I love. To name a few:

  • Listen to music
  • Read a book
  • Taking photos
  • Going for walks
  • Sit and drink coffee
  • Being outside in the sun

These are just a few things that give me a buzz. All of which, apart from drinking coffee, I had stopped doing because I was stressing too much to get chores done. I can now take half a day or a few hours or even a whole day and do nothing. Nothing to me involves me-time. We now have a saying in our house that it’s time for me-time, and this overrides all chores. You should try it. You need to look after yourself. 

Helen

I know not everyone has partner in these circumstances, and I do not know what would have happened had I not had Helen by my side. She’s been, and still is, my rock. Words can’t emphasise enough how I feel. So I will just say this: thank you buddy.

-Rosita

The Power of the Mind

The mind is so very powerful, and it is great when it is working properly. I feel as if my mind has been doing it’s own thing for the last few years (and not necessarily working to a satisfying standard), but every now and then it now comes back and shines. The buzz this gives me is immense! It gives me a little hope and I feel as if I am starting to turn a corner. This in turns makes me more relaxed.

I am proud

Following on from Helen’s posts about going on holiday and holiday blues, we’re now back in rainy Scotland, having had a fabulous time away. It is hard to believe that Friday last week we were in Sweden, having swum in the sea! I am so very proud of myself for doing so, and I will tell you why.

Swimming

We both went swimming in the sea in Sweden a couple of years ago now. It was about 14 degrees in the water that day. For anyone wanting to know, this is cold. It is just enough to get in, get under the water then back out again, wrapping up warm very quickly. Helen took a few minutes to get in then spent about 20 minutes swimming and having fun. I thought she was crazy as it was far too cold, and as a Swede you just don’t do that when the temperature is so low.
However, I did not want to be beaten by a Scot. I decided I would get in too.

Too late to go back

I felt that I could not go back on my decision, but I had to go in. It was so cold! All the while she was just swimming around and having a great time. To cut it short, it took me about 15 minutes to get in the water. Once in, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Since then we often joke about this, her being a bit nuts for being in the water for so long when it is so cold, and the amount of time it took me to get in the water at all.

17 degrees

She wanted to go swimming again this year. On our day out last Friday we brought our stuff so we could go swimming if we found a suitable spot. It was also a bit drizzly that day and cold so not the best day for it. Towards late afternoon we got to a place called Norrkrog (have a look on Google maps here). I checked the water with a thermometer (very important to a Swede) and it was 17 degrees. So warmer than 14 but still freezing. It was also windy and the air temperature was cool. We got changed and Helen got almost straight in. I started to go in then felt that it was far too cold, that I’m stupid for getting in and that it will take forever to get in. I also did not want to spend 20 minutes trying to get in the water.

The power of the mind

I took a moment and said to myself “imagine if you just go straight in, how amazing would that be?” A part of me felt that it would actually be possible, and this made me excited. I knew I was going to get wet and cold but also how great would it not be? Finally swimming in the sea in Sweden with Helen, something we keep talking about!
So in I went. It took perhaps a couple of minutes, and not before running around acting silly. But in I went. I swam, I went under the water, I swam out to the jetty where Helen had set up camp whilst watching me getting in the water. And I felt so immensely proud of myself. I made the decision and acted on it straight away.

You might think it’s nothing

To me this is a massive thing to achieve. It shows that I am not the somewhat useless person I often think that I am, that my mind is actually great and I can do great things.
Over the last years I have learnt that this is what anxiety can do. It is not rational at all. There is no reasoning with it. I still have good and bad days, and I always will. And that is absolutely fine too.

I hope you all have a great weekend. Think of me when you’re relaxing and having a great time, I will be working in the rain outdoors around Glasgow. That is also absolutely fine, I might get wet but I will dry.

As always, please get in touch if you want to, for any reason at all. We are always here, happy to listen and to help.

-Rosita

Holiday Blues

Holidays can…

Holidays can be interesting experiences. They can make you see, hear and taste things you may never have experienced before. They can make you experience cultures and adrenalin sports that you swore you would never try. They can make you happy, alive and laugh more.

Sweden

Sweden was amazing. I ate loads of Swedish ice cream. Swam in water about 15 degrees warm. Was terrified of falling out of the sea kayak when we went on an archipelago island trip. Saw family that I hadn’t seen since last year. I saw parts of Sweden I had never seen before too. Slept lots and laughed my little socks off. Both of us had an amazing time.

The holiday has been and gone

The holiday has just that. It has been, as I say it was fantastic, but it has now gone away too. The holiday blues remain though. I would say that this is a normal feeling. You have gone from long lie ins, to sunshine, to iced cold drinks by the pool, to doing what you want when you want. Suddenly you are back to your alarm going off at 0600, the work “to do” list as long as your arm and you are counting down the days to the next holiday.

Holidays can also make you reflect

This is very true, a holiday can make you think about your life, your family, your work and your goals as well. When Rosie and I were on holiday in February of this year we started talking about 2 Spuds and here we are several months later with a website, blog, Instagram page and hopefully much more still to come. When we were in Sweden, we did speak about 2 Spuds and the direction we wanted to take it. This is what we are working on now. Sometimes you need to go away from your normal routine to make sense of life around you. All I can say at this point is stay tuned for exciting news to come.

Make a change

Here is the thing though. If your work is not making you happy, if you goal is too far out of reach or if you feel like you should be on a different adventure then make that change. Yes, it can be a scary thing to make a change but at the end of the day it is your happiness that we are talking about. A holiday can make you reflect on these questions and perhaps even make a plan to help you reach whatever goal you want.

Love the work, hate the sales

I love the work I do. I love working with gym clients or standing at the front of a class instructing it, but I hate with a passion that my job seems to involve targets and sales strategies. Now, I am sorry, but if it is so important for me to be doing sales then why is it not in the personal training qualification. I am fully aware that I need to promote personal training and how it can help you as an individual but complying by a number is not my style. It infuriates me no end. From our trip to Sweden it is making me think long and hard about what my next steps may be.

My point

A holiday can be fun and exciting, but it can also make you reflect which leads to questions, realisations and perhaps even change.

-Helen

Holidays

It is that time of year when everyone seems to be going on holiday. Cases get packed and left in the hallway ready to go. You finally manage to get that airport transport booked and the passports are checked for the thousandth time. Here is the thing though a holiday can take you anywhere. It can take you away for a weekend, a week or a month if you are lucky. You could go anywhere in the world. A few miles down the road to a spa hotel for instance. Or it could take you three flights and get you to the other side of the world. As I say it could take you anywhere but it would still be a holiday.

What is a holiday?

For me a holiday is that ultimate me time. The time that you dedicate to you and you only. It can be a time to relax, spend time in the warmth of the sunshine, read a book all day drinking an iced lemonade. Well this is if you are good at relaxing. However, me time to me is being active, not really a surprise. I like to go on long walks, swim in a lake, run around doing a garden or house project, see cultural things that I may not get to see being at home. As I say I like to be active on holiday. If I get chance I also like to do adrenalin filled excursions like sky diving too.

Sometimes we forget to take holidays

This is very true. I have done it twice in the personal training world. The first year I was in the industry I put it down to the fact I was just starting and getting used to it. I had changed careers in the March, started as a personal trainer in the May and then kept going till the December. We had gone to Sweden for Christmas and I caused great concern when I slept for around twelve hours straight. It was up to Rosie to explain why to her parents and that I was ok. You would have thought I had learnt my lesson after that but no. When I first moved to Scotland, I started the new job in the January and worked straight through till the December. The only days off I had last year were for my Wedding. Not good, not good at all. I was tired, I was irritable, I was grumpy, my body hurt as I kept pushing forwards and I knew I was exhausted.

This year

This year I made sure I took holidays and that is why I am writing a blog on holidays. I am off on one tomorrow morning (well if one particular airline does not strike). I am off to Sweden until Monday. We have forest walks and swimming planned, barbecues, a trip to the big sports warehouse and Rosie has a surprise planned for me too. I have been to Sweden so much over the last five years it is like a second home now. We stay with Rosie’s parents in the middle of the Swedish countryside which means it is quiet, full of forest trees, wildlife and my favourite, a starry sky. A tranquil place to recharge the batteries, have some fun and just have some me time.

Work, work, work

As I have said we sometimes forget to take holidays. We have a major report due in, in two months’ time that we need to spend every waking moment writing. We have to meet the sales targets, or our job is on the line. We have to make sure that we attend that weeklong course we are booked on so the company can proceed forwards. We have to manage teams, attend meetings, make sure there is enough tea in the cupboard and so on.

Home, home, home

Then there are our home lives. We need to make sure the family are fed. That we look after our elderly relatives. That the kids schoolwork is complete on time and that volcano project you spent every night working on is handed in. We need to make sure the grass is mowed so the neighbours don’t start talking and again so on.

Take it from me

In short, take a holiday. Give yourself two days off for just you. Trust me. You will feel better, refreshed, relaxed and happy.

Saturday’s blog

Rosie and I discussed what we would do here. We could write the blog in advance and put it up or we could give the blog a holiday. As we have never been good at the towing the line thing and we march to the beat of our own drum, we have decided to give the blog a holiday. It is only one day after all. We will of course be back to it next week.

-Helen

Happiness

I have had a couple of great days now, and I feel very grateful and happy. Mental health can be a heavy topic so I want to try and share some of my happiness. I feel it is as important to share the good stuff as it is the bad. This post will look at what it is that has made me feel this way.

Time off

This is self explanatory. When you work long shifts with 5 or 6 days in a run with only 2 days off in between then you really appreciate having 6 days off. We had already made a few plans over these days, and it has turned out to be a very busy few days. I really try to make the most of them, and I get to spend more time than normal with the wife. So amongst the chores we planned some good stuff too. I’ve been looking forward to these days a long time now, and that is one of the points I want to make here. Put a date, or several, in the diary. Plan fun things to do and do them. This could be absolutely anything, but it is important that they are things that you think are fun. I think it’s great to have things to look forward to, that helps me a lot.

Spending time with loved ones

It is easy to take your partners, friends and family for granted. Helen and I booked a day away for Friday just gone. Something we love doing is going away on little adventures, and we had planned to go to Crieff to do Segway and air rifle shooting. We had a fabulous time! I loved the Segway in the morning, Helen less so but then she had a very close encounter with a tree. Now this was apparently because she did not want to scare the horses nearby. This is one of those things that makes perfect sense to her but no one else. Following lunch on a blanket in the sun it was time for air rifle shooting. I was quite bad at this and I find it hilarious that Helen, who always needs her glasses, took them off whilst shooting and she did way better than me!

This was followed by a walk in the gardens at Drummond Gardens. They are absolutely amazing, and we learnt that they were used as one of the locations for Outlander.

Drummond Gardens

Photography

I’ve started taking photos again, and that in itself makes me very happy. For a long time I did not take any at all, but I’m now getting back to it.

Cake and flowers

It was my birthday on Friday. What I appreciated the most was that I was off and so was Helen. As mentioned above we had made plans for a fun day, and we did have a great day. She also made me a cake with lots of cream and fresh berries. She did a marvellous job! It is delicious. We make sure we have smaller pieces and still do lots of exercise.

She also presented me with 5 (!) bouquets of flowers. I am so lucky!

Pink, yellow and red rose

Top up the good stuff

As you can see, the last few days have been full of things that make me happy. There are a few mundane chores too, but I’ve planned them in with the fun things. What also works is getting rid of the boring chores first so that what is left is the fun stuff.

Get some dates in your diaries for the things that you know you want to do but never get around to. Have some fun!

-Rosita

What a difference a year makes

Looking at the photos from our day out on Loch Ard with paddleboard and kayak, I’m struck by how happy and confident I seem (have a look here), I have found the photos we took last year, at the same place and around the same time.
That I am looking happy and confident does not have anything to do with being a fantastic paddler (trust me, I’m not), but it simply shows how far I have come. Naturally this gives cause for reflection.

Standup paddleboarding last year

When we arrived at Loch Ard for the first time last year, I was simply blown away by how beautiful it was. The sun was shining and it was warm.

Loch Ard
Loch Ard
Loch Ard
Loch Ard

What’s not to love, right? We hired a board for me and I was very nervous when I first got on it. I sat down a lot and paddled that way, whilst trying to build up the courage to stand up. Eventually I managed to stand up on it, at least for a very short while.
I can see that I am nervous and anxious. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s when it takes over that it becomes an issue. It’s obvious in my body language that I am really uncomfortable.

Rosita on a paddleboard
Rosita on a paddleboard on Loch Ard

Standup paddleboarding this year

What a difference a year has made! It shines through in the photos, I’m so much happier and more confident. This is not just confident with being on a paddleboard, I mean this in general too, with everyday life. I still have days when everything just feels rubbish, I can’t stop worrying and being anxious about the most ridiculous things. There are a lot less tears these days which is quite nice.

Rosita on her paddleboard
Rosita on her paddleboard on Loch Ard

Using photos as a cue

I find that having a photo to look at from a certain event or situation helps me remember it much more clearly. In some instances it helps me remember that it happened in the first place. I am not sure why this is although I believe it is to do with stress and all the negativity that the brain has endured. It simply cannot keep up. It does bother me because I have always considered myself organised and thorough, however I’m feeling less so these days.

It does get better

It might not seem like it, but it does. I cannot say how much is down to lifestyle changes or medication, but I am in a good place now. Medication is a topic for another blog, I am not quite ready for this yet.

-Rosita

Do something you love!

Do exactly that. Do that one thing that will put a smile on your face, will give you that extra spring in your step and will make you feel happy. Take some time out for you and do something nice. Now, this doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. It could mean running a warm bubble bath, lighting some candles and taking a long soak with a glass of wine and a (waterproof) book. It could mean going away for a spa weekend or it could mean spending time friends and family. Last weekend I did just that. Something that I love.

I haven’t been cycling for ages

This is very true. The last time I did any type of long distance on a bike was about 18 months to 2 years ago. I used to do it all the time. Almost every weekend I would be seen on a bike heading out to the Thames Tow Path, Richmond Park or over to Windsor Castle. Rosie and I met through a cycling group as well. On top of that I was doing a long of long-distance charity cycle rides. I did the Thames Bridges, London to Brighton and Pedal for Scotland to name a few. I cycled at least 4 times a week then did the strength and conditioning in the gym. Once I started working closer to home, I started cycling to and from work which could mean up to 7 days a week. For those of you who are London based sometimes cycling was the best way to get from A to B. So, as you can see, I cycled a lot.

Life got in the way

Once we had moved up to Scotland life unfortunately life got in the way, we started new jobs where the commute was much longer than 15-minute cycle. Rosie also got sick. The bikes were put at the back of the garage with a tarpaulin over them and were just “left”.

The preparation

Last Sunday after I felt like going on a cycle to see how far I could get before having to give up. I first had to get my bike out. Not an easy task as we have been using the garage as a storage area and there were hose pipes, barbecue, shelves and garden kit in front of it. I was not going to be defeated at the first hurdle. Let’s just say our garage is now re-arranged into a tidy mess now and I got to the bike. For being neglected for the last year or so it wasn’t in too bad a shape. I cleaned it up, checked and inflated the tyres, check and re-oiled it, triple checked the brakes and gave it a good once over.

Off I go

I had decided that I would go along the Forth and Clyde Canal Tow Path. I had been along parts of it before but had never done a full stretch of it. Today was the day. I started at Croy and joined the path at Auchinstarry Marina. It took a good few kilometres to get my legs into the rhythm of it all again and remember to keep my posture in the correct position as well. It took me even longer to figure out the gear system. But as the kilometres passed on, I became more comfortable and as the say I was back in the saddle (so to speak).

Before I knew it

I was at the Falkirk Wheel and had a decision to make. One way would take me to the Kelpies and the other way could take me to Linlithgow and Edinburgh. I decided on the Kelpies. Once I had got there, I thought about taking the train back home but my legs were enjoying the cycling, so I ended up cycling all the way home.

I was tired and hungry

Rosie and I have a saying: a good exercise session is where you are falling back through the front door tired, hungry but happy. And that is exactly what I did. I had cycled for around the 4-hour mark (including breaks) and I had clocked up an impressive 53 kilometres. For someone who hasn’t done that distance in a year or two I thought it was a great start.

Do something you love!

And this is my point. Go out and do what you love. Put a smile on your face, put a spring into your step and be happy.

Challenge update

We are in week 3 of the challenge. Last week I got 1063 minutes of exercise. This week is a bit of a struggle though as I have a lot of things to do which leave a lot less time for exercise. At present I am 338 minutes in. This means I have 662 minutes left (11 hours) and 4 days to do it in. I will give it my best shot but at present I think I will fall short. Time will tell, I guess.

-Helen

I am what I am!

I am pretty sure from the title you will already know the singers. There are three that come to mind. These being Gloria Gaynor, Shirley Bassey and John Barrowman. Everyone of them has sung it, put their own take on it, performed it live on stage in various countries and at various points of their career. It has become an anthem of sorts and it is an important one.

The reason I am telling you this

There is a reason. I was at the John Barrowman Fabulous tour yesterday evening at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. It was 30 years of his career, his family, his husband and marriage, his dogs, his charity work, the LGBTQ community and his MBE all nicely packaged into a two-hour music extravaganza. Now this is a man who has had a varied career, has built it from the bottom, has taken opportunities and run with them all the while learning along the way. However, at one point during the show he says there is one thing I have done throughout my career. I have not listened to what other people have told me to do or told me not to do. I have done things my way. The lights then dim, and, in the shadows, there is this one line. I am what I am! The music picks up pace, the lights get brighter and he belts it out for everyone to hear. It is a very powerful song and Mr Barrowman has done it justice. At the end of the day (and in my opinion) Mr John Barrowman is a wonderful performer who just does what he does best, entertain and does what makes him happy regardless of what others may think.

Go and see the show if you can

I encourage you if you don’t have tickets to see any of his shows in the next week or so to get on to ticketing websites and get some. It is a fantastic feel good performance. Just right if you are feeling a little down right now. It is funny stories, it is photos, it is a live band, there is a little dancing but most importantly there is music and lots of it.
(2 Spuds is not into promotion however, we are into good music and feeling fantastic!)

The lyrics of I am what I am

The lyrics to this song are very important as they say look at me. I am me and I am the best of me. I need to accept the very best version of myself and then I need to shout it from the roof tops. Some people may not like me but that is ok. Not everyone is going to, but I am ok with this. At the end of the day I am what I am. The Gloria Gaynor version of the song has a slightly different ending where it states –

“I am, I am, good/strong/somebody
I am, I do belong
I am, I am, useful/true/worthy
I am as good as you”

Personally I feel it breaks down the lyrics a little more and gives a lot more meaning to an already fantastic song. At the end of the day you can repeat these words to yourself be the greatest person you want to be.

Life can throw curved balls

This is very true; life can throw us curved balls and it usually happens at a time when we are least expecting it. Both physically and mentally we can be changed and challenged. Your confidence can be knocked down, thrown in the washing machine, had a trillion spin cycles and then handed back to you to try and put it back together. But this is the thing. Rise above it. Get back to being the best version of you. This may take time, but you will get there. Because as the above lyrics state you are strong, you are useful, and you are worthy.

Go ahead

So, go ahead, find the version you like on Youtube or in your Spotify list. Turn that volume up and shout it loud and proud from the rooftops, because at the end of the day:

I am what I am!

– Helen

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