Blink and you miss it…two months of 2017 are now over and done with…time flies when you’re having fun.  Welcome back to my monthly Gratitude Journal entry for February 2017.  I think it’s fair to say that I have a number of things to be grateful for this month so let’s get this party started!

The Gratitude Journal: February 2017 Edition

Operation Time

Both dad and I had operations this month which we are both bloody grateful about and fingers crossed it should be smooth sailing ahead health wise for both of us albeit we both require a second operation.

I managed to have my operation a month early as a lady hadn’t turned up for her pre-op appointments and the hospital struggled to get hold of her…so I got her spot…she then turned up on the day though.  Our consultant tried to fit her in but couldn’t make it work with the theatre time she had allocated; while I feel sorry for the other lady, I am truly grateful that the consultant tried her best to get us both operated on and it’s a gentle reminder to make sure you attend all your appointments.

The Gratitude Journal: February 2017 Edition

^Post Op Selfie, the day after my operation…I’ve taken a few photos as a record of getting Frida Fibroid removed (that’s me with no make up, hair not washed for over two days and having very little sleep as was under hourly obs during the night)

G Man

Bless G’s little cotton socks…he does try…as I wasn’t meant to be staying overnight and I didn’t have any pre-op appointments I was pretty unprepared for my operation.  G managed to pack an overnight bag that consisted of 3 pairs of undies, a pair of trainers, my toiletries, a red lippie, an empty bottle of rose oil serum and two tops…I’m still giggling over the missing trousers, bra and sock situation…I haven’t told him either but it does make me chuckle…I just chucked on the dress from the day before, easily sorted.  G made sure I was looked after when I got onto the ward and it meant him having to have a stern word with the staff about getting me something to eat…gluten free no less…I’m very grateful that he put a rocket up their bottom as I was starting to get peckish and all G could find in the shop was a gluten free brownie.  (I possibly wasn’t that grateful when he was playing with the bed, making it go up and down when I was still feeling a bit nauseous from the morphine…ahh boys!).

Ma & Pa

I don’t disguise the fact that I love my family…I love my Mummy and Daddy so much and I know that I’m lucky that I have great parents as not everyone has that support.  Case in point, I could message my folks in the middle of the night from England as it was daytime in New Zealand after my operation when I was wide awake in hospital…something that we did when my little sister had her big operation in NZ years ago…I would do the night shift from England and chat to her when she felt unwell or just needed a little talk…my parents did that for me this time round…and Daddy calls me every morning on FaceTime to check that I’m okay and that I’ve eaten.  I was cranky this morning…sorry!

The Staff at Luton & Dunstable Hospital

I’ve never stayed overnight in hospital before and I’m not good with dealing with people that have needles.  The staff at L&D Hospital were fantastic, from the team in the Women’s Health Clinic, the nurses in the Surgical Short Stay Unit, the Recovery Team and everyone on Ward 34 that looked after me.  I was absolutely petrified of having to use a bedpan but they didn’t force me and were on hand to wipe the first time I needed to wee…I had bambi legs you see.  I’m grateful for these teams and that the experience was a goodie.

Finding New Spots to Visit

At times you can get stuck in a right ol’ rut with life and this also includes travel…I felt like I lost my English Travel Mojo at the end of last year however a visit to Chilham in Kent during the month really gave me the kick up the bottom I required and made me start thinking of finishing my 2016 New Years Resolution which was to visit every county so I’m grateful to Chilham for helping me find my mojo…thank you, you sexy little wobbly beast of a village!

Listening to Other Business Women 

The world has changed a lot in the last ten years, social media really has changed our lives and possibly not in a good way.  Recently I’ve struggled with a team member and it’s really opened my eyes to peoples expectations and how they act in their first role within a company now.  Lately I’ve had a number of chats with Business Women about taking on young workers and why many are choosing not to take them on full stop…attitude issues, not wanting to work, time keeping and playing with their phones constantly are the top issues…I’m grateful for the many conversations that I’ve had lately and have come to realise it’s not me (well maybe it’s me a little as well…especially when I lose faith in the individual…I just want them to succeed) and that it’s really up to the individual to grab opportunities and realise that an entry level job is a stepping stone to brighter and much better opportunities however you do need to prove yourself first!

February’s Reading Material

I managed to get through two books and I kinda started another one but have put it aside as my heart wasn’t in it right at this time (anyone else feel like that at times when it comes to a particular genre?)...this month was all about chick lit which I’m a fan of and I don’t care who knows it!

We Were On a Break by Lindsey Kelk

I’m a big fan of the I Heart series by Lindsey Kelk however have struggled with her other books as I just couldn’t connect with them however with We Were On A Break I managed to connect…yay!  The book is set in a tiny village, where the folks have real jobs, they don’t live anywhere close to London (actually Nottingham gets a mention!) and it’s not a Ross and Rachel, We Were on a Break storyline…it’s more about self doubt, getting stuck in a rut with life and realising not to take people for granted.  I will say that it’s very different to the I Heart series in tone and 50 pages needed to be chopped out but it was on point in regards to dating, social media and how sometimes lifestyles aren’t really what they seem.  Links for We Were on A Break by Lindsey Kelk on Amazon here or via the Book Depository which offers free worldwide delivery.

The Gratitude Journal: February 2017 Edition

Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella

Becky Brandon nee Bloomwood and I have been friends since 2003…I still remember buying the first Shopaholic book in a tiny bookshop in the Old Town of Dubrovnik and I instantly fell in love and went back and bought the rest of the available series.  Honestly, the last few books in the series were pretty sh*t (no beating around the bush) however when I saw this book was available, I decided to add it to my birthday amazon wish list and hoped that Sophie Kinsella had got her shopaholic mojo back which I think she has slightly (it was better than the last few books at least but once again the book was about 50 pages to long again…can authors stop with the fluff please!)…Becky has calmed down slightly but you would expect that as the character has gotten older like the rest of us, she has curbed her spending which felt a bit weird but life happens…I actually really liked this book as it reminded me that you do get caught up in bubbles and sometimes when you step out of said bubble, you don’t actually really need things that you once wanted and that your family is the most important thing in the world.

The Gratitude Journal: February 2017 Edition

Here’s a cute story, I used to work with a guy that had read the complete series and loved it…he was more into the series than his wife…we were chatting in the office one day and he told me he finally realised who I reminded him of…Becky Bloomwood…strangely this wasn’t the first time the comparison was made…not the compulsive spending more just the whirlwind!   Links for Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella on Amazon here or via the Book Depository which offers free worldwide delivery.

So what are you grateful for this month and what are you reading…I like to be a nosey parker!

xx

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As I mentioned in my last post, I have decided to do a monthly Gratitude Journal entry on the blog…why, well there are so many moments that I do feel grateful for however I don’t share them and unfortunately these moments are easily forgotten in this fast paced and sometimes ugly world that we live in.

The Gratitude Journal: January 2017 Edition

^A pretty flower from my daddy’s garden that he sent me this week.

A New Year

When I went to bed on the 31st December 2016, I was glad to see the end of that god awful year…I’m one of those individuals that don’t feel the need to drink way too much or stay up until midnight to welcome in the New Year; I love to wake up as fresh as a daisy in the New Year.  I’m so grateful for the New Year…it’s a time to start afresh with new hopes and dreams.

Pretty Little Snowflakes Falling On My Nose

Remember that huge deluge of snow that we received a few weeks ago…I refused to go to work if a single snowflake fell in England (The English and the mention of snow causes the country to go into meltdown…this still makes me giggle!)..anyway I worked from home as there was a snowflake somewhere up north.  Thankfully it did snow in Bedfordshire and I jumped on FaceTime to my family to show them…mum wanted me to catch one (seriously easier than it sounds!).  

I love snow and the joy it can bring…we live next to a care home for adults with severe disabilities and the staff took them outside to feel the snow against their skin and this made me smile as I could hear their moans of delight.   Simple things can bring people great pleasure regardless of circumstance and I felt grateful that I heard that special moment.

The Light At The End Of A Very Long Tunnel

I’m SOOOO grateful for this one…G and I have finally got somewhere on the NHS and I couldn’t be happier.  While I haven’t been pleased about the treatment we have received over the past two years, finally knowing that it wasn’t all in my head (as was implied) and that I am unwell but can be treated is a starting point for me.  I had 14 polyps removed on Monday much to the shock of the doctor and nurses performing the colonoscopy…I’m grateful that my previous GP surgery went into liquidation and a new doctor looked at my notes and rushed me through on the 2 week NHS rule as I had all the symptoms for colon cancer.  Next stop is getting my fibroid removed next month…and I’m looking forward to getting back to the old Kelly and some new adventures with my polyp free colon and fibroid free uterus!

Frugal Friday

This year I really wanted to get my finances under control and have set up my own little spreadsheet that I update every Friday aka Frugal Friday.  I’ve never really tracked my spending and doing so has really opened my eyes to how silly I am at times with my credit card.  I am so grateful to Rachel for introducing me to Financial podcasts this month – Rachel recommended The Dave Ramsey Show which I love and feel very motivated by and have added in Money Box and a few other podcasts…okay these financial podcasts have really tickled my financial brain and I have become slightly obsessed.

Looking For Silver Linings

I used to be very good at finding a silver lining at bad times, I used to just laugh myself through it all however it got really hard when I was dealing with G’s mental illness (if you have a loved one with a mental illness you will understand what I mean…until you walk in those shoes you have no idea) and my exhaustion due to various health issues…I felt like I was walking through life on egg shells.  This month I have felt more like the old happier Kelly (and I love the old Kelly, not a fan of this one…so I’m grateful to be seeing my old self again)...I can see the silver linings in so many things again…when I was told that I had to have a colonoscopy my instant reaction was let’s do this and then remembering the laxatives (oh shit…excuse the pun!) and then thinking of the silver lining = weight loss!

Kindness is catching

Thankfully I’m not the only person in the office that has taken on the kindness never goes out of fashion as their mantra for 2017 and beyond – there are times when individuals are just plain nasty and you feel like you’re starring in the Mean Girls movie…smiling and being really nice rattles their cages even more.  I unfortunately pushed an Engineer to breaking point a few weeks ago (he took offence to an email telling him to do his job..a 1 minute job but anyway…he was having a bad day!)…I backed off and he later sent me an email to apologise.  I took the time to call him and have a quick chat so that we both cleared the air and he told me he was grateful that I did that…nothing like kissing and making up.  I’m grateful to be working with a number of Engineers that remind me of the characters from the tv show, The Big Bang Theory…we have a few Sheldon Coopers at work which makes me giggle.

The Great Social Media Detox

So after saying I was going to keep off Twitter, I have succeeded and I can’t tell you how much better I feel for it; I used to feel myself getting so angry and frustrated over silly 140 character tweets so I have decided to stay off twitter for the long term for my sanity and also I think there are just way too many lies and half truths floating around.  I haven’t spent much time on Instagram either as it feels to polished for my liking these days…I may have a spring clean in the future.  I’m so thankful that I took the time to do this as it has really changed my happiness and stress levels and I would highly recommend taking the time to do this as you really do reconnect with yourself while disconnecting from others.

I also finally put something into action that I’ve read about for the past few years which sounded like a great idea but I hadn’t introduced into my life…don’t play with your phone, kindle or any other electronic device before you go to bed.  I now switch everything off at 9pm and head to bed to read my book….and boy has this made a huge change in my quality of sleep!  I won’t be going back – 9pm, if the blog post isn’t finished, well there is always tomorrow…laptop down and let your eyes relax.

January’s Reading Material

I decided that I was going to read more books in paper form this as year as I found it so difficult to finish a book via the kindle recently.  I’m not the fastest reader but this doesn’t bother me.  This month I fell in love with Sister Agatha in A Nun’s Story as I found it fascinating for a number of reasons – firstly Shirley was about to get married when she got her calling and decided to become a nun leaving behind her love and a life of luxury; secondly, I’m intrigued about the life of a nun so this book answered a number of my burning questions but it also covered various parts about her life including living during World War 2, her childhood living in a wealthy family (her mum sounds a bit like Lady Violet from Downton Abbey) and how she was able to save The Nunnery thanks to a special meeting on a train.

The Gratitude Journal: January 2017 Edition

I’m not religious however I respect all religions; it’s a book that I normally wouldn’t read however it jumped out and grabbed me when I was at WH Smith.  I will say, if you skim read you will find this book difficult…you really need to take the time to appreciate every word.  Here’s the link via amazon or via Book Depository (they offer free worldwide shipping!)

xx

If you liked this post on The Gratitude Journal: January 2017 Edition then why not come and join me on TwitterGoogle+InstagramFacebook and Pinterest – I won’t bite!