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  1. I'm fed-up. Proper fed-up.

    We've had no boiler for over a week now, and this arctic weekend especially has been a bit miserable as we all tried to keep warm huddled round an electric heater. I'm fed-up of being cold, I'm fed-up of not being able to have a hot shower and I'm fed-up of struggling to dry all our clothes.

    And you know it's ok for me to feel fed-up because it hasn't been a particularly pleasant week – and because my fedupness (that's a word, honest) is vastly overshadowed by my gratefulness.


    • I am so grateful that we do actually have a roof over our heads and ways of keeping warm under it, even when the central heating isn't working.

    • I am grateful to have amazing parents who have helped us out, least of all with the use of their shower and radiators!

    • I am grateful to have had lots of offers of help from friends and to now have some hypothermia preventing electric heaters that some amazing friends did a late night dash to get us from their office.

    • I am grateful that if we do need hot water I can boil the kettle or heat up a pan of water.

    • I am grateful that I have got plenty clothes so have been wearing on average 4 layers a day!

    • I am grateful that me, my husband and our 2 children are all robust and healthy and able to cope with a bit of cold and disruption.

    • And I am grateful that tomorrow, hopefully, our brand new boiler will be being fitted and our short-lived but challenging boilerless life will come to an end.

    And I could go on. (But don't worry, I won't)

    Being grateful isn't about everything being perfect, or even everything going right! It is about being genuinely thankful for the things you do have and for recognising all the good things in your life even when things do go a bit pear-shaped. And sometimes remembering to do this can be hard – especially when things are really tough.

    But I do, sincerely believe, that even in the darkest times there are things to be grateful for. We just need to be willing to find them. Being grateful doesn't take the bad times or the challenges away – it just makes them more manageable to get through!

    So, I remain fed-up (and yeah, verging on feeling sorry for myself sometimes!) but never once, am I losing sight of how lucky I am.


    Helen x

  2. Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I'm not the bold, risk-taking type. I like security, rules and putting my pyjamas on at teatime. But, the older I've got and the more of life's 'bad times' I have seen, I have come to firmly believe that we have to take a risk in life every now and then – and sometimes an almighty huge one.

    The treadmill of adulthood can be relentless – the responsibility of bills to pay, food that needs buying and cooking (sometimes for little people that need feeding too!) and a seemingly never-ending list of grown-up chores that need doing can make us feel that we have our choices taken away from us. The need to meet all these things means we stay in a secure job, (one with a regular pay packet that pays the mortgage!), or stay with habits and routines which are familiar and safe to us.

    Often, fear keeps us in the safe zone – but sometimes we have a niggle for something more. Sometimes we face something that means taking a risk, taking a chance, taking a leap. It might be applying for a promotion, starting a new relationship, or giving up that secure job to follow a calling – an ambition for something more. Whatever it is, sometimes we need to take a deep breathe and take the risk.

    risk it quote

    'He that is afraid to throw the dice will never throw a six' is a painting all about this (I told you it had a long title..!) You can never reap the rewards of taking a bold step, if you never take the step in the first place. You can never throw a six if the dice never leaves your hand.

    And this is what I am doing now. I took the initial leap away from a well-paid job a few years ago – but it has taken me until now to take the final leap towards following the path I have always dreamt of taking. I have finally thrown the dice – and have yet to see where it will land.

    I am still in the stomach churning land of watching it spin – wondering if I can pay my mortgage, wondering if people will laugh at what I am saying, wondering if I've made a big mistake. Or indeed, if this is the start of the greatest success of my life – a big fat six!

    One thing is for sure, however it lands I will never regret throwing the dice, and I know I would never have been happy not giving it a go.

    And anyway, I'm holding out for that six...! :)