A Half Year Review

This blog has been avoided completely for the last 7 weeks. I had a bit of trouble where my online life and real life collided in spectacular fashion and I just backed off.  Backed off from the blog, backed off from Twitter, made Instagram private and just backed off from lots of things really.

I started to question whether I really wanted my own life laid bare for all to judge and have an opinion on.  I do go through these phases quite a lot in life. Having a past as a performer means I generally have no shame and will share with all and sundry. I spent the best part of a decade sharing my own life with others via the airwaves but occasionally something happens, someone or something challenges me, gets me wrong, thinks I have an ulterior motive (I never do – I get a genuine buzz out of helping others and making people laugh) and I get upset. Really upset. Devastated in fact. And then I back off and shy away, wondering who’s watching and who’s talking.

The reality is, people will talk.  I’m not saying I never bitch but I try my best not to. I like to be open and honest with people and I tend to shut off to two facedness and negativity.  I see the good in everyone, I don’t believe people’s opinions of others until I’ve had time to make up my own mind and I am friendly to all. It means I generally am a shit judge of character and in turn I get hurt and I feel vulnerable when everyone isn’t like me. I’ve got to develop that thick skin and learn that people talk, and as long as I can’t hear it, it doesn’t matter.

So what’s this got to do with a half year review? Well last week I was going to take this blog offline. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, where to go with it.  I’ve got so many different things in my life that are worthy of sharing but I started to question this platform and whether it was worth it.

6 months ago, on the 1st of January I started my Facebook group about gratitude and positivity.  I’m really pleased to say that it’s still going and people are finding comfort and inspiration from it.  That really fills me with pride and it is so touching and humbling to read the stories of others who share their struggles, their triumphs and their feelings with a group of strangers all loosely connected to me in some way.  I love connecting others, connecting their experiences and it’s just a lovely corner of the t’interweb for anyone who wants to be a part of it.

Today my friend Darren posted something profound:

Today is the first day in the second half of the year. Look at where you were on New Year’s Day, take stock, plan ahead and plough on to the end of the year before looking back again.

When I look back to New Years Day it’s actually INSANE just how much has changed.

1. I have quit my job and become a freelancer. I am now a jack of all trades, master of none! Working in PR and Social Media 3 days a week for a fantastic friend in a great team and 2 days a week from home heading up the online writing team for Salon Guru – a flexible job that fits round Blake and I just love how much I learn from it.  I also take photos for great clients like these and I make videos like these.  It’s varied, it’s fun and it makes me very happy.  I miss my old friends from the old job but I still get to see them, just not every day anymore.

2. Blake is a joy, an absolute joy and I’m honoured to be lucky enough to be his Mummy.  I was in Mothercare yesterday and the lady on the till was making small talk, remembering me.  She said “How’s your little one? Isn’t he about 2 now?” to which I replied “Yes, a big 2 and a half, changing every day, making me smile and the happiest I think I could possibly be. He’s just amazing”.  She stopped what she was doing, looked me in the eye and said “Do you know what? That is so refreshing. I think you’re the first person I’ve asked that today who hasn’t said anything negative about their kids!”.  And then we got into a brief but deep conversation about how our children are a joy, not a curse and we should celebrate every precious moment with them.  Back on New Year’s Day I don’t think that would’ve been my answer at all.  I would’ve complained about something to do with him and his age, told a tale of woe or stress (like this one) and had a good moan.  Because, let’s face it, it’s easier to be negative isn’t it?  Turning my thoughts into ones of positivity since starting my group at the start of January has definitely had a lasting impact and it’s one that benefits all those around me.

3. I’ve lost weight since the beginning of the year. I’ve done a week long juice cleanse which was wonderful and buying a juicer was a bit of a selfish purchase at first but Blake now just absolutely loves his fresh vegetable and fruit juices in a morning, as does Shaun. It sets both my boys up for the day ahead.

In doing my cleanse I’ve also been waking up earlier which has meant I’ve been out early with the dog, taking him on walks down the canal near my house. The scenery at 6am is just breathtaking and it puts me in such a grateful and happy mood for the day, plus I’m happy the dog gets a good run! I’ve not managed to exercise as much as I had wanted but I’m hoping the second part of this year will change that.

photo 1 photo 3 photo 2

4. I have a wonderful group of friends and family around me. I’m not sure if it’s this positivity stuff or not but this year I just honestly feel like I could burst with the love I have for my family and friends. I’ve just been lucky enough to spend a long weekend in Spain with a group of women who I now know are my friends for life. It was a truly magical, amazing weekend full of tears of laughter and joy. I was honoured to be a part of it.

I’ve also met new friends through my desire to be more positive.  One of which is Jackie O’Carroll who is a personal growth and development coach and I am so excited to start a coaching journey with her in August. I went on one of her half day courses which just blew my mind. Awesome awesome woman! Another awesome person is the inspirational Andy Grant who is a very new friend. Andy is an inspirational speaker who helps others overcome adversity by telling his own story.  His own story which I urge you to see here…

Andy’s teachings about life being 10% the situation you’re in and 90% reaction have really hit home to me. It resonates, it makes sense and it’s something I want to think about in every aspect of my life.

So with that in mind, I don’t want to delete this blog. I can’t change or influence how people react to me. I just need to keep doing what I believe in and living my life as thankful and as positive as I can. I can’t often get the time to post as regularly as I’d like but you’ll probably see a shift from parenting towards positivity. After all, it’s ditching negative and unnecessary behaviour that has got me here, halfway along 2013 with nothing to moan about and everything to look forward to.

My 10% situation is pretty damn awesome which means the remaining 90% has the potential to be incredible. I hope you’ve had a great year so far and if not, I wish you brighter and happier times from this day forward.

10% situation… 90% reaction


16 responses to “A Half Year Review

  1. Brilliant, so glad to have met you, this is exactly what I need to be reading right now xx

  2. Gemma, that was a fantastic read. Brought tears to my eyes.
    I have had a horrendous start to the year and just couldn’t wait to see the back of it. But after reading this blog I am definatley going to try and put a positive spin on it and encourage this second half to shine. X

  3. So glad you haven’t deleted it, I love reading it. Because of reading the secret, due to you, I feel so much happier and extremely grateful. You’re a fab person and shouldn’t change for anyone. Keep doing what you’re doing. They’re only jealous anyway x

  4. Gemma, I am so glad you haven’t decided to delete this blog. I understand you feeling bad for having time off, but you need to have some time to live your life to have something lovely things to write!! Thank you for writing this it was so lovely to read and brought a tear to my eye, I even feel quite famous my hen do has been included ha ha. Thank you for helping make my hen do so magical, loved every minute of it, thank you for being a lovely friend, thank you for being so positive and encouraging me to do the same, thank you for being there for me last year when I was down. and generally just a big thanks for everything, please continue to write lovely things, and take your own words of wisdom on too! Not everyone will like everything you do, but we all have choices and anyone who does not like to ready your lovely blog can choose not to do s, which allows you to continue writing us for all of us who love to read it! Keep up the good work, love u! xxx

  5. Gemma I really enjoy reading your blog I can hear your gorgeous accent with every word I read! You are a true friend and glad to have you in my life. Lots if love xxx

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