Back to the daily grind? Or another step forwards?

It’s that time of year again, the air seems fresher, the holiday clothes and suitcases are being packed away, school uniforms bought. In the words of the great Don Henley ‘The summer’s out of reach ..’

I hope you made the most of the long hot summer days (and the rainy ones too) to make the most of being outdoors and late nights with your loved ones.

Some of you might be looking forward to the kids going back so you can finally take some holiday and spend time together. But eventually we get home, and wouldn’t it be nice to hold on to some of that connection, to slow things down the rest of the year.

I was thinking about this for myself. Spending time away from work has been great for family relationships, so I put together some ideas about how to continue this for the rest of the year. Here are some of the ideas I came up with, some of which I do already and some I’m going to try out.

  • Booking at least one full day every month and clearing it as couple or family time.
  • Trying something completely new as a couple or family once a month
  • Putting phones away as much as possible
  • Getting outdoors whatever the weather
  • Being a ‘tourist at home’ and exploring your local area
  • Starting conversations with strangers and friends about what’s fun to do in your local area

Which of these ideas are catching your eye?

Would they be easy or difficult to do, and why?

Could you commit to trying just one of these and letting me know how you get on?

Stepping Forwards

I’m up early again today .. not just to enjoy a beautiful North Tyneside sunrise, but to put my walking boots on to raise money for Acorns, a charity that supports the recovery of children and young people affected by domestic abuse.

I spotted the charity walk in January on the North East Guides website when I was feeling a bit run down and looking for things to get me out. At the time April seemed pretty far away and I had ideas of sauntering along Hadrian’s Wall on a sunny Spring day, enjoying the views.

Well .. it’s looking a bit different now, rain forecast, and it’s pretty exposed up on the tops there.

I know it’s going to be tough. Sitting in a counselling room with my clients is massively rewarding for me, and together we make so many mental and emotional leaps forward that sometimes I forget to physically move enough. I’ve been practising but this will be the longest walk I’ve done in a long while.

I chose Acorns because I know what drives me in work and life is playing a part in making kids lives safer and happier. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realised how much fear had played a part when I was growing up, and that’s what led me to what I do today. Acorns provides a safe and welcoming place where children can make sense of what they’ve seen and heard, and start to recognise what loving behaviour looks like.

We can’t choose where we came from, and often we don’t choose what happens to us, but we can choose where we go from here.

So when I’m wet and cold and I can’t see the end in sight I’m going to put my head up and keep stepping forwards. I’m going to think of all the wonderful people who are supporting me in doing this walk and I’m going to remember that although sometimes life can be tough I am so very blessed in this life I’ve stepped into.