Do you know sometimes when you have lots of rambling thoughts and things to say, but they don't quite warrant enough space for a post solely on their own? That's sort of how I am feeling. In fact that's kind of how my whole mind is feeling at the moment- it's jumbled up, full of random thoughts and I don't seem to be able to focus on anything in particular depth.
As a family we are about to embark on some seriously exciting and scary changes. On Friday morning my husband handed his notice in to his work. He is our main breadwinner and the one secure salary that we have, but as of eight weeks time when his notice period finishes, he will be joining me in the world of working for yourself. He has worked on freelance projects in his spare time on and off for a long time, but an unexpected opportunity came up for him to have a six month contract to do some work with a company and after much discussion we decided that it was too good to pass up. It means that he has a certain amount of stability for six months and it gives him time to build a name for himself, before he is very much on his own and it is up to him to find new clients. We are actually starting a business together- our skills very much go hand in hand, he is a designer, I work in online marketing, and so it makes sense to combine the two. I have my freelance life already so that won't change, but I will become a partner in his new company too- it's all very official and exciting, but incredibly scary too.
I am so excited for him and I am excited for our family. It isn't something we have entered in to lightly, after all we have two small children and a mortgage to pay. But if he didn't do it now he would have always been wondering 'what if?' I know myself, on even a small level, how hard the freelance lifestyle can be sometimes. Some months I worry about money non stop and some months I have lots coming in- it's certainly unstable at times. But he is very ambitious and he has his head switched on so I know he will be ok. It feels like the right step, albeit a slightly daunting one.
We have decided for six months or so that he will work from home, so it means that it is even more necessary to get our new study done now. Then after that he may look into getting a little office somewhere. It is going to take a while to adjust to him being at home, I do rely on him a lot when he is here, so I know that I am going to have to bite my tongue and not ask him to help me with things when he should be working. The girls and I are out and about most mornings on the days they aren't at nursery anyway, and then on the days when they are we can sit and work together. I am looking forward to having him home with me, but it's going to take a little getting used to.
Unrelated photo, but I just love this one of myself and my big girl.
Aside from that exciting and rather life changing news, I have been thinking a lot recently about the fact that I don't ever really switch off. I don't just mean from my 'online life', I mean from life in general. My brain seems to whirl constantly with thoughts, ideas and just general things, and I never seem to be able to relax anymore. Even when I am supposed to be relaxing, say for example in the evenings when I am not doing blog stuff, I am looking at my phone- I even take it in the bath. It is such a stimulus and I have been thinking a lot lately that I need to get a better balance. The other evening Mr E and I watched a film called 'Disconnect'- it's a drama/thriller all about life online (I definitely recommend watching it, it gave me chills), and that also really made us both think about the way in which social media especially has crept into our lives- how we will occasionally absentmindedly check our phones when we are sat having dinner- what a bad example to set to our girls. I am by no means terrible or the worst out there, but I do flick and waste a lot of time on social media (especially you instagram!) when I am not even actually responding or commenting on anything. It's so hard when your work and hobby are all part of being online, but I don't think that what I am doing is all that healthy.
I have decided to make little changes just to try and help me switch off more than I do at the moment. The biggest one is that Mr E and I are going back to our regularly weekly 'date night'. We started this last year and loved it, but slowly we allowed phone's to creep back in- each week it's someone's turn to 'host' it- it might be make a nice dinner, choose a nice film to watch, or plan a little surprise for the other person, but we make one rule- absolutely no technology whatsoever. (bar the TV!) I turn my phone off and that's it for the evening. While I probably only go on my laptop maybe once or twice in the week, as I said before I am on my phone far too much, and our date night is our way of spending quality time together rather than just being semi engaged in each other while spending time on our computers or phones.
My other big thing is that I have been going to bed far too late. I have decided that I am going to go to bed at a sensible (ish) time each night and make sure I don't look at my phone in bed, I am going to spend at least half an hour each night reading my book and winding down. Obviously a phone or iPad is a stimulus and I wonder if that's another reason I don't sleep that well. I used to read a book a week before children and blogging came into my life, and so this is something I am going to make sure I do every night in the hope that it relaxes me a bit more and helps me switch off. I am pretty good at not really checking my phone at the weekend as that is our family time, bar putting the odd instagram photo on, but I want to try and reinforce this a little more too.
Last weekend I went away on a girly weekend with three of my lovely friends Lucy, Morgana and Jenny. They are all friends that I made via blogging, but friends that I now consider to be close 'real life' friends as well. I had such a lovely few days, it was the longest I spent away from the girls, and although I missed them terribly, I really needed it. It was wonderful to be in the company of such kind, yet also inspiring women, and going away and having a bit of girl time and head space made me realise that I need to switch off more and try different ways of relaxing. On one of the days we went to a yoga class and while Jenny and Lucy often do yoga, Morgana and I were a little cynical- but I actually really loved it and it did help me relax and unwind. I am going to start trying to do the odd You Tube yoga session in the evenings to help me unwind before bed. I do online kettlebell workouts and run in the evening a couple of times a week though too, so it's trying to fit it all in.
What is it about a girly weekend that's good for the soul though? I came away feeling really inspired in all manner of different ways- inspired by mine and Mr E's new business due to Morgana and her dreams for her shop Little and Fierce, inspired by Jenny and how organised and driven she is, and inspired by Lucy and her ability to switch off and not let things bother her. (oh and inspired by her amazing Mexican Soup recipe too- who would have ever thought I would be inspired to get in the kitchen!) We laughed non stop, confided in each other and chatting about deep and meaningful stuff- I feel so lucky to have met them all.
Last year I was heavily involved in my fitness mission and that has helped me feel like a new person. But since Christmas and our holiday, old habits have been creeping back in and although I did a bit of exercise, I stopped running. I found myself getting lethargic and a bit snappy, while also putting on a bit of weight as although I was still eating reasonably healthily, I was letting myself have a lot more sweet treats again. About three weeks ago I decided that I needed to stop or I would end up going back to my old ways. I have started running again, even joining a running club. Yesterday morning I got up at 5am and went for a ten mile run- I must be mad. It's so easy to get back into the habit though, and now I am back training for five races this year- I am also determined to get some ab muscles for the summer! Excercise makes me feel so much more confident and eating better makes me feel good too. (I will do a fitness update soon!) I also had my hair cut the other day, I have had my hair the same for so long now, just varying shades of brown, but this time I had some ombre put in the ends- I have been meaning to do it for about two years- and I am really pleased with it. There's nothing like a slight change of style to help renew a bit of confidence.
New hair. Stupid pose. Never been any good at selfies. ;)
This post doesn't really have any sort of purpose but it was therapeutic writing it all down and giving a bit of a life update! I feel so genuinely lucky to have the opportunity to do the work I do, both my freelance work and of course blog things as well, and I really am so happy with our life and my little family. I just want to make simple changes in order to be a better Mummy, wife and become even happier and more motivated in all aspects of my life.