Journal Jar – Halloween

The next journal jar prompt to be pulled out of my jar is:

What is the best Halloween party you ever attended?  What did you wear?

Well, I only ever attended two Halloween parties and they were both when I was at boarding school.  We just went in our normal out of school clothes and didn’t dress up in costumes.



*WARNING* If you don’t want to read about periods and lady things then stop reading NOW!  Don’t say I didn’t warn you if you keep on reading.

OK, so this is really happening, probably … menopause has started.  I’m actually OK with it.  I mean I have had the one and only child I am ever going to have.  Trust me, I’m not starting again in my mid-40s, I really couldn’t go through all that again!  As it is my hands-on parenting days are going to last a lot longer than most without the patter of tiny feet.

When my step-daughter, Becky, started going through early menopause last year (she’s blogged about HRT so I’m sure she won’t mind the mention), I spoke to my mum about it as Becky wasn’t getting much, if any, advice from her Nanna who, apparently sailed through with no problems.  Unfortunately, my mum wasn’t any help either because she (and my grandma) sailed through it too!  Great!  Let’s hope I sail through, that would be nice.  It’s not looking likely that I’ll get through unscathed.

So, the symptoms include (only listing the ones affecting me right now if you want to see the list click on the link to the NHS website):

Night sweats – I have those which is really disconcerting when I have to wear socks to bed, until I warm up, because I also have Raynaud’s Syndrome which mean I have cold hands and feet, a lot.  Oh, and I have a really warm husband who emits a lot of heat – I don’t need any more heat, please!

Difficulty sleeping – well, duh, thanks to the night sweats I’m waking up!  Apparently this can make you more irritable during the day.

Headaches – nothing new there, I get headaches with my period anyway and always have.  That’s just something I have lived with for over 30 years.

… but there’s more …

Most of us know that your periods start getting a bit hit and miss, right?  OK, I can cope with missing periods and not knowing when it’s going to come along next.  What I didn’t know, until I googled it because it started happening to me late last year, is that your periods can get more frequent (like every 2 to 3 weeks!) and longer!  What?!?  Yes!  I am one of the “lucky” ones who has gone from a 28 day cycle to a 23 day cycle and the period itself lasts 7 days!  Oh, and the first 2 days are *heavy*, like goes through the super plus extra tampons in 2 hours heavy.  The NHS website helpfully says:

You may start having either unusually light or heavy periods.

The frequency of your periods may also be affected. You may have one every two or three weeks, or you may not have one for months at a time.

I wish I’d known that earlier.  Ah well, I know now.

Here’s hoping that this will be the extent of my symptoms as I don’t seem to be getting hot flushes but you never know that may come.

Apparently, a good diet (avoiding caffeine and spicy food) and exercise can help with the symptoms and yoga/meditation helps with mood swings and irritability.  Well, I don’t like spicy food and I don’t drink tea or coffee, although I do like my diet coke so maybe it’s time to find an alternative or maybe I’ll just start out by cutting down the amount I drink.  I also have a healthy diet, most of the time after all you have to have treats occasionally.  With regards to exercise, ever since discovering parkrun I’ve found that I actually like running and as of 2nd January I have been taking part in Yoga with Adriene’s True 30 Day Yoga Journey.  I’ve really been enjoying my daily yoga and will be continuing it into February and beyond.

Q & A

So, the lovely Becky, decided to nominate her step-mum (me) as her one and only nomination for this Q&A.  Now, if anyone else had nominated me I’d probably have politely declined to answer the questions but as it’s Becky, I’ll give it a shot.  I will, however, not be setting any of my own questions or nominating anyone as the only person I’d nominate would be … Becky.

Here goes.  Firstly, the rules as copied and pasted from Becky’s post:


(as taken from AJ’s blog post)

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the questions sent to you. 
  • Nominate around ten bloggers. I will nominate one blogger – my step-mum, Fi (and whoever else wants to answer my questions).
  • Create your set of questions for your nominees. See below…
  • List the rules and display the Brotherhood Of The World logo in your post.

Now onto Becky’s questions:

1.  Why did you start your blog?
I initially started my blog on MSN as a private blog in about 2006 as an online journal to record my thoughts about being a mature student at college, and then university.  I then started a public blog when the MSN one was moved on to WordPress in around 2010 and I couldn’t be bothered to keep it all private anymore.  The WordPress blog started as somewhere to record my exercise goals and whether or not I reached those goals as well as some of the challenges faced having a child with a disability.

2. What do you wish others would blog about more often?
I’m not particularly bothered about what other people blog about.  I have some which I follow but I don’t wish they would blog about certain topics more than others.  I choose to read them because they are interesting to me.

3.  Where do you go to for blog post ideas when you’re out of them yourself?
A few years ago I found a list of questions for a “Journal Jar” and printed them out.  I have them sat on my desk and every so often I’ll put my hand in a pull out a prompt.  I also have a list of “interesting dates” in the front of my diary which is useful too.  Did you know it’s Strawberry Ice Cream Day today and Nothing Day tomorrow?

4.  Have you made many friends through blogging?
I haven’t made any friends who I’ve met up with or anything but I have a few bloggers who I follow and who follow me and we interact fairly regularly.  Well, we used to when I was blogging a lot more regularly/frequently than I do now.  I don’t have time to read loads of blogs and then comment on them too.  Sorry fellow bloggers x

5.  What are the best things about reading blog posts written by others?
I love reading lots of different blogs for different reasons.  Some will inspire me to get out there and get my butt in gear to reach my exercise goals.  Others will give me ideas for things to make or do.  Others make me laugh out loud.  I love reading Becky’s blog because it gives me an insight into what she’s been going through even though we do speak to each other on a fairly regular basis, some things are easier to write about than talk about.  Also, if you haven’t read some of Becky’s earlier posts, there are some laugh out loud reads on there.  Her recent stuff is good too 😉

Thanks for this Becky.  I promise, I’ll try to blog more regularly this year but I can’t guarantee it.

Journal Jar – Favourite toy?

I decided to put my hand in my Journal Jar again and today I came out with:

Did you have a favourite blanket or toy? Tell about it.

I did have a favourite toy as a child.  I had a blue and pink bear called Herbert.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember much about him as he decided to take a trip out of the packing box when we moved between countries.  I don’t know why he wasn’t travelling with me in my bag on the plane but he wasn’t so he got lost.  After he got lost, my dad bought me a Care Bear (Grumpy Bear) and named him Bill.  He was then my favourite.  I gave Bill to Adam when he was little but he is now back to being mine and sits on a shelf in the bedroom with my Eeyore and a few other cuddly toys.

It’s Saturday so …

it must be parkrun day 🙂 I’d like to say it was a lovely parkrun day but it really wasn’t.  There was hail!  At least I think it was hail, if it wasn’t it was heavy rain which hurt like hail.  At least Poppy Coffee were there for post-run tea (for Adam), chili mocha (for the Man) and hot chocolate (for me).

After finishing 2017 with two good runs of sub-31 minutes, I was a little disappointed to run 32:08.  However, as I only went for one run this week instead of the planned 2-3 and I reduced the running interval to 3 minutes, we have been doing 4 minutes, with a view to running faster (the rain and wind meant the running interval wasn’t faster) a 1:20 drop in time for 5k wasn’t too bad.

I got Jeff Galloway‘s Run Walk Run book for Christmas and have been reading it.  I’m a great believer in run walk run and all of my running PBs have come from run walk run intervals and Adam has never completed anything longer than 1 mile as a constant run, and his 5K PB is 30:18!  From reading the book, it looks like a 7-minute mile pace is achievable on 3 minute run, 30 second walk, that would be around 21 minutes for a 5K! I don’t think I’ll ever get that fast but I’m going to work on bringing my intervals down to that and then aim to get the running part faster.  Next week, I’m going to try 3 minute run, 55 second walk.  I’ll be borrowing the interval timer I bought my husband for Christmas for that 😉

After getting cold and wet at parkrun, we walked home and while Adam and my husband were having their showers I thought I’d do day 5 of True (Yoga with Adriene).  I’m loving this “me time” which I have created by doing the yoga.  For the first 4 days, I made a conscious effort to turn off the TV between 9.15 and 9.30 pm so I can do the day’s practice before going up to bed at 10 pm.  I’m hoping this will become a regular routine which will continue after the 30 day journey/challenge is over.

So, this is also day 6 of REDJanuary completed 😀

Are you still meeting your goals this week?

Motive …

Yesterday was day 1 of Yoga with Adriene’s new True 30 day yoga programme with the theme of Motive.  If you sign up to the programme via the website, you get a daily email to help you get the most out of the practice (today’s theme is Trust).  In yesterday’s email, and through the 24 minute practice, Adriene asks:

What is your motive for joining True?

Now, I hadn’t really thought about it but, having followed 9 days of one of the previous 30 day challenges in the past, I know that daily yoga helps me in so many ways.  It isn’t only the stretching, although that certainly helps, and it is more than the self reflection.  It helps my mood, my running, my posture, my body has less aches and pains.  It’s time for me to concentrate on me for anywhere between 24 and 40 minutes before I go to fight with Adam about bedtime.

I also find that yoga practice also complements, and maybe even enhances, all the other changes that I have made/am making to my life.  I am, usually, careful about what I eat.  I don’t eat “clean” but I don’t overeat and I don’t eat cakes and chocolates as much as I would love to.  I exercise on a regular basis with running or walking most days, if not every day.  I am aiming to add strength training back into the mix too but at the moment the yoga will have to fill that void.

However, this time round, I think my main goal/motive is to get further than day 9 and, maybe, even get to day 31!

If you haven’t done yoga before, or even if you have and haven’t found Adriene yet, check out her youtube videos.  The runners’ post run practice is a must for me and, when I have time (and I’m not doing a 30 day challenge) the runners’ yoga is great too.  What I really like is that Adriene tells you to do what feels good to you, you don’t have to stay and hold a pose with out moving, if you want to wag your tail while doing cat/cow then do it!

Day 1 of True was completed last night.  Bring on day 2 this evening.

Look for the good

I think I’m on about day 17 of my #100happydays challenge.  I say, I think, because although I have written them down in a book I don’t have the book with me and can’t be bothered to get up and find it.  I have tweeted them either as @fisefton or @TupperwareYork, or both, with the hashtag #100happydays.  For the past couple of days, I have been using Action for Happiness’ Happy New Year calendar for prompts and here is day 2 of that:

Look for the good in others and notice their strengths

I try to look for the best in people and one of the best places to do that, outside of my own family, is at parkrun.  Where else can you get a large group of people, even the core group of volunteers is huge, who get up on a Saturday morning to go out and organise an event for people to complete a 5k route and get a time … for free?  At lots of parks and open spaces around the UK and, I think, about 15 other countries in the world.  At our local parkrun, we have at least 30 people volunteer their time each week so that an average of around 450 people can run and/or walk the 5k course and get a timed result.  It isn’t the same group of 30+ people each week either.  There are also a number of people who, even if they don’t volunteer, will run with other people to help them improve or will stay in the finish area to cheer home those who finish after them.

Today, I went for a run this morning.  Fortunately, it was before the rain started otherwise I don’t think I would have got outside, REDJanuary pledge or not.  I will be starting the yoga challenge today too so I would have completed some activity today.


Looking forward to 2018

As I mentioned in my Making 2018 Happy post a few days ago, I found the Action for Happiness calendar for January and printed it off.  Well, being 1st January, it is day 1.  Today’s “action” is:

Find three good things to look forward to this year

So, here they are:

1.  It is my, and my husband’s, 25th wedding anniversary this year and we are going to celebrate at, where else, Disney World!  Very much looking forward to that 😀

2. More running and volunteering at parkrun.  We went to the New Year’s Day parkrun this morning and all volunteered as run/walk pacers.  Adam has been a run/walk pacer before but my husband hasn’t.  He volunteered as the 1 minute run, 1 minute walk pacer and absolutely loved it.  Adam and I were both 2 minute run, 1 minute walk pacers but took separate groups round as there were runners who wanted to try to finish in different times.  It’s one of the things I love about the run/walk pacing, you go at the pace that the people you are running with want to go rather than having to keep to a time.  Don’t get me wrong, the timed pacers are great and I’ve chased down a few of them in the past couple of years but I have a special affection for the run/walk pacer role.

3.  Decluttering my house!  Our house is quite small and we have a lot of stuff.  I need to go through each room, one at a time and sort through everything to see if I can clear the floors.

What are you looking forward to most this year?