You are not alone this Christmas

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So this is a slightly different post from me, I came across it on Kellie’s blog Big Fashionista  - and decided that I would share as well.

I am lucky enough to be spending Christmas around people who I love and who love me back, I will be safe and warm and have everything I could want.

So many of us take our families for granted at Christmas. We assume that we’ll spend 3 or 4 days visiting and receiving guests, and in some cases bemoan this fact.

Please take some time this season to remember those who may not have visitors, who may be feeling low or alone. If you have neighbors who are alone this Christmas  pop your head in to say hello, take round some chocolates and spend a little time with them.

And if you are feeling alone this year, there are people ready and waiting to talk with you.

This list was compiled by the lovely Kellie at www.bigfashionista.co.uk

MIND http://www.mind.org.uk 0300 123 3393

Samaritans http://www.samaritans.org 08457 90 90 90

Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/newcomers 0845 769 7555

Stonewall http://www.stonewall.org.uk Info line 08000 50 20 20

London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard 0207 837 7324

SANELine http://www.sane.org.uk 0845 767 8000

Preventing young suicide http://www.papyrus-uk.org For people in Northern Irelandhttp://www.lifeline.info 0808 808 8000

Childline http://www.childline.org.uk 0800 1111

Depression alliance http://www.depressionalliance.org

Refuge http://www.refuge.org.uk 0808 2000 247

Eating Disorders Association http://www.edauk.com 0845 634 1414

Shelter http://www.shelter.org.uk 0808 800 4444

NHS Direct http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk 0845 4647

No Panic http://www.no-panic.co.uk 0808 808 0545

Please don’t suffer alone, these people are waiting to answer your call.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I have had a funny old weekend, starting with some really rather horrid tests to try to work out whats up with my heart – my doctor found it very amusing when I told him maybe I was the tin woman and I just did’t have one!

I’ve found whenever I am ill it makes me think back to being a child and how things seemed so much easier when I was poorly and 7 than poorly and almost 27.

Got me to thinking about the others things that change. Whilst feeling sorry for myself on Saturday I watched Eat Pray Love, a movie I have seen more times than I care to mention. Yes, yes I know its not as good as the book and there are parts that are just too outlandish to really believe, there are also parts that really resonate with me, that make me analyse the life that I live.

When Liz ( Julia Roberts) is in Italy she talks with her friends about what ‘word’ she is – if you had just one word to describe yourself what would it be? Would it be the same as the word you would have used as a child to describe what you wanted to be when you were grown? When did it change, more importantly why?

When we are little we learn all about “explaining words” ways to describe things, people, places. We are wildly imaginative as children, using words far above and beyond what we could ever have experienced. But with that lack of experience came a sense of wonder and hope that one day we would travel through space and time to a land where the clouds were made of candy floss and sand on the beaches made of sherbet. We were asked as children ” What do you want to be when you grow up” how many of you wanted to be a Fireman, a Nurse, an Astronaut…a footballer or a CEO? What are you now?

So what happens when we are grown ups, is that it? No more dreaming wildly of ‘when we grow up’ because here we are, we are grown up, are we where we wanted to be 20 years ago?

Me aged 7

I am intrigued by how many people have dreams as adults, they have aspirations to do something life changing, sadly I have found that mostly when they admit these dreams out loud people are less than supportive. Think back to when you were a kid and you told your mum that you wanted to be a Princess or the Prime Minister, how did she react, did she laugh in your face and tell you not to be so ridiculous, did she list the numerous down sides and reasons that it simply would not work out, doubtful. Instead she listened with care, consideration and support your dreams. Now if like me, you are a lucky bean and have a mum who supports you regardless of your wild grown up dreams, I am thrilled for you. However if you don’t then here I am offering my support and care for whatever you want to do.

This all came to a head for me the other week when I was chatting to one of my closest friends. She had decided to do a night climb up Ben Nevis for charity, what an awesome thing to do I thought, however her hopes were dashed when her mum told her she didn’t think it was a good idea, in turn that made my friend feel like her mum didn’t support her dream and therefore didn’t support her.

Sadly although my mum is a never ending beacon of hope and support for me, the same cannot be said of the rest of my family, when I told them I was starting my own cake company the majority of comments were along the lines of “but you have no training”, “there’s a recession you know” & “you’ve never run your own business”.

Not once did any of them say, “that’s amazing, good luck”. As a kid I have a lemonade stand with a friend when I was on holiday in San Francisco  everyone cooed about how industrious we were, fast forward 20 years and I am being irresponsible and it wont work.

I have many people in my life, from a little girl who just turned 3 to my grandmother who is 85. I plan on being as supportive of them every day of their lives as possible, no matter age, time of life, ideas or dreams. So Gracie if you want to be a Princess in 20 years then I will be there with a big ass hat sitting proudly in the Church, Amy if you want to make your books into movies then I will be more than happy to audition the leading man :-) and Gran if you want to run a marathon I will buy trainers and run with you.

If I had listened to the negative comments, I would never have owned my own cake shop, I would never have made cakes for everyone from Radio 1 to First Direct, I wouldn’t have been a part of so many amazing weddings, I would never have sold up and had the money to travel America & Canada, I would never have started writing a blog whilst travelling, I would never have had the nerve to go for my dream job and I doubt I would have got it. So if you think that I dream too big then go right on ahead but know this, I might be 20 years older and wiser than I was when I had my first dream of being a CEO but I still have the dreams, I still aspire to greatness and that wont ever change.

So today do me, and yourself a little favour and be supportive of someone, even if they are not doing things exactly how you think they should, give them praise for dreaming big, for wanting more than the mundane.

Think to yourself, how would you have described yourself 20 years ago, and how do you describe yourself now?

E x