Wednesday, 12 October 2011

It's funny............ your life can twist and turn at any one given moment.

I was reminded again the other day just how precious life is. I watched the documentary Alex: A Life Fast Forward . Within minutes of watching it, the tears ran silently down my face.

They didn't stop.

I kept my face at the tv as not to show that I was so emotionally moved by it. At the end, I turned to Mr H and attempted to be lighthearted and say what a gusher it was...then promptly burst into tears. It was close to home for us. Mr H couldn't speak as he was a bit choked too. We are still grieving, and this documentary mirrored much. It was incredibly sad, but also incredibly heart warming.

It made me think on things.

 This year has made me realise how you just get the one life so it's worth REALLY living it. When I stop and life has flown by so far (I'm sure you must all think the same thing about your own lives). Most of it with mundane day to day stuff. You know, head down, stuck in your own little hub of a family just getting through a day at a time. Now, not that I want to jet off around the world and do the whole bungee jumping, jump out of a plane kind of thing.......and when you have children, you are a tad constrained......but i'm thinking on these words.....'live each day like it was your last'. Good advice. And maybe just the little things I can do, will make my days less mundane and more fab................

Lighting up the 'expensive' candles (why save them for a special occasion? They get dusty. Light them and smell how lovely they are)

Smiling to people on the school run (Usually pre-occupied with kids forgetting everything)

Talking to my family and friends more (Sometimes a week has gone and I have realised I have been so pre-occupied with things I haven't said hello to anyone that week)

Don't hold grudges, life's too short. (True. I am working on it)

Using my 'best' china daily, not just for me but for the children too. (if it's my 'favourite', why do I have it stuck in a cupboard? Why not use it every day and let it bring a smile to my face)

Don't spend time doing the stuff you hate. (again true.......housework is at its bare minimum!)

Be more appreciative.

I read an article at the beginning of the year in a newspaper. It stuck with me.
I managed to find it online here

Okay, well I could go on.....but I wont bore you. I have already started these, and I have to say that, I can't think why I didn't do them before...especially the whole 'save things for best' one. Mr H was a little harder to convince about letting the kids at the nice china, but I could be struck down by a bus tomorrow and what a waste of china use that would be! The grudge one, is one I am trying to conquer. I am dreadful. I sulk a lot too........but inwardly and many people never know it, so where's the point in that? (No, I don't get me either!). I have in the past couple of years made a point of being grateful and appreciative of a lot more. I am not a natural optimist. I never have been, and I never will be. I have to work hard at concentrating more on the postive than the negitive, and have found that giving myself little pep talks first thing in the morning or last thing at night helps. My alarm app tells me one every day and it's been so great and really picks me up. Just reminding myself of all the good things that have happened that day, week etc. Reminding myself that even though the boys drive me mad and take my stress levels through the roof some days, the house is a mess and the dinner I spent ages working on, no one will eat...........I am grateful for it all. I appreciate it and I don't take it for granted. am not going to bother with much housework, the bare minimum to get by. I am going to have tea and toast in a nice cup and plate. I am going to sit with my feet up and enjoy a nice coffee, just how I like it.

I am going to call a few people and have a good catch up, I am going to smile at people who have really cheesed me off this week, and I am going to have a piece of chocolate!

There, that's a good start don't you think?



  1. A perfect start and the best to go on and on.


  2. It is a perfect start. I recognize a lot you write. Life can be a bit...I don't know...confusing sometimes. I am a very lucky girl, I have everything and still it isn't enough sometimes. For me family and friends and my partner can always, ALWAYS turn a tear in to a smile. Treasure them!

    Love your blog, you are a very talented writer and crafter.

  3. I had to come out of lurk mode to say I LOVE this post. Thanks for posting it. It really made me think. :o)

    I agree about the good china. We've had ours since we got married - 32 years ago - and it only comes out at Christmas. It's been used 32 times in 32 years?? How ridiculous is that? I don't know about using it every day but maybe we could use it on Sundays. That would be 52 times a year instead of once. Yep, I like that idea a lot! :o)

  4. I can't stop crying now. It's too close for comfort. x

  5. Well, you've got ME all choked up too Vanessa ;-) Such is the power of the written word. I am sure I'm not the only one to feel that every single word you wrote echoes my feelings EXACTLY. I am constantly wondering where my life has flown too.

    But what does it mean exactly; living every day as if it is your last? I often ponder that one. As you so rightly said the daily humdrum gets in the way.

    I must say, also, how refreshing it is to see you proclaiming how little housework you choose to do as there has been a wonderful tide of Flylady bloggers putting me deliciously to shame. Housework is NOT on my list of priorities these days (this may change one day). Thank goodness I am not alone.

    Enjoy your coffee and chocolate dearest Vanessa.

  6. Bless you what a beautiful written post. I didn't see Alex's story but i followed your link and life can be so very cruel at times. I agree with you though we should live each day as if it was our last and i say those words a lot to myself. Your day sounds great to me enjoy and have fun ;-) And as for using the best china each day i couldn't agree more with you ;-)) Hugs, dee xx

  7. Dear Vanessa,
    Thank you for sharing your heart today. You are truly a beautiful woman! I am encouraged to be more grateful for my lot. I have so many blessings that I just take for granted. Thanks for reminding me!
    Jo xxx

  8. what an absolutely wonderful post...thank you x
    you have made me think.
    I am off now to phone my dear friend who i haven't spoken to for nearly 3 weeks
    have a lovely lovely day
    love jooles x

  9. Hi Vanessa, what a lovely post; it is so easy to get caught up in every day life and let the beautiful moments slip by, and to be grateful anyway for the moments that aren't always so beautiful. I'm sure what you have written will resonate with many people. Thanks for your lovely writing

  10. I absolutely love your posts and this one was very touching. I followed your links and read the stories and now I am just sat here drawing up my own virtual list of "how to live every day as your last".

    I agree with everyone else, that sometimes everyday life takes over and you just get caught up in it and before you know it weeks have passed and you're no better off.

    Enjoy your coffee and your chocolate, put your feet up, cherish life and smile every day.

    Much love x

  11. Lovely, sweet post, really thought provoking!!!!
    Love it Karen x

  12. You have taken so many things right out of my mouth here. I haven't blogged for a little while as I just have nothing to say. Life has been pretty rubbish recently and I have really been trying to think more positively and live for the moment, this has helped so much, to be able to see some of my thoughts in writing by someone else, to know that other people feel the same way is really encouraging.
    Thank you xxxxx

  13. It seems that you, like me, are exploring your soul in recent days. I don't think you commonly visit my blog, but I do think my recent post would touch you right about now. Here is a link to that post:

    I nearly lost my husband last weekend in a fishing accident. I've always been soulful and aware of the fragile state of each of our lives, but I think he had an eye opening experience as he fought to keep his head above water. We never know when it might be our last day - for whatever reason.

    Be blessed and the thoughts you've expressed here in this post are so profound and all so true! Hugs, Annette

  14. What a lovely post. The article about the man on the train had me in tears. I never save anything for best for this very reason :)

  15. Excellent post Vanessa, couldn't agree more with the 'make the most of each day' ethos, I am also trying to appreciate all the great things about my life and family and how lucky I am to have the life I have, even the frustrating and annoying tiny bits. There must be something in the air at the minute, lots of people are feeling introspective and reflective, or is it I am just having a midlife thingy? Haha... anyway, hope you are feeling ok over in the uk, regards from oz, Jules :)
    PS I tear up at the drop of a hat these days, very embarrassing, since I had the boys my emotional tolerance is very low, I have never recovered my pre-baby trigger point of crying, I have a much lower threshold now, must be a hormonal thing, or maybe my empathy level has risen heaps:) x

  16. You know it's important to stop short sometimes and take stock of what's important. It takes a little nudge usually to get me on this track and I sometimes wander back off into stress and selfish territory, but you have been the nudge today. Thank You.
    Kandi x

  17. I think that's a bloody good start x life's too short that's for sure. Got to get bust living, being who we want to be, be real to ourselves, the one person we can count on is ourselves, let's not let ourselves down x x

    I'm sitting drinking coffee with my feet up right now :) and it feels good! No room for guilt or self flagellation any more :)despite anything, I'm happy being me. So I may be over weight and not the prettiest of ladies but hey it's taken A LOT of work to get to this point and at nearly 40 I'm determind to live how I want to live as my life moves forward.

    Ah well, I'll shut up :) reading this back I can see how obvious it is that I've had my counselling session today! Lol

    Put your feet, use that china, crochet and cuddle those you love today x x x

    Jo x x x

  18. So true this post.

    I have to admit I can be a glass is half empty kinda gal by nature. Over the past few years I have learnt to appreciate the good things in my life. I am afraid the holding a grudge thing is one that wont fade for me. But then it really depends on who and the circumstances.

    Although the best china will have to wait. Still using the horrid set we brough from Asda years ago. I do will those to get broken they never do though.....

    MBB x

  19. What a lovely post. A welcome reminder to us all of the way we should live and think, but often don't for one reason or another. Thanks. M x

  20. Wow i have just read good samaritan story, it gave me goose bumps. Amazing, thank you for being thoughtful enough to share this x

  21. Loved to read that post, it was just today that I told a friend how fast my days pass by since a while, how I wish I could fill them with much more pretty seconds to make them seem long and precious to me. Sometimes we all wish that the outer circumstances are changing a bit to let us live the life we are dreaming of, but you are so very right, it´s only own will and power to change it, to make it special and happy every single day. And for the boring housework: it often helps me to say to myself how I love my home, to have such a lovely safe place to live, and how good it is to care for it and to make it shine and sparkle and good smelling only for me and my family. This often works. Not always, but often.

  22. Such a lovely post Vanessa - it's always good to remember and to be honest - life is way too short.

    Candles all the way with you on that one and I always make the effort to smile - unless it is never returned then I give up after a while, but I always make sure my biggest grin is saved for a little old lady or gent - do you know when there comes a time in your life and you've seen too many people slip away and your still left standing wondering why - then a smile from a stranger can make all the difference and to be honest make someones day.

    take care,

    Nina x

    ps. sorry for the blub. N xxxx

  23. Hi Vanessa

    It is a very good post. The story of the person on the train is a very moving one and gives hope that there are still good people out there willing to go that extra mile to help people.
    So many would have just walked on and ignored him but the person working on the train was s very special person who wanted to help.
    I have such admiration for people who are willing to take a chance on helping others even if at first the other person does not make it easy for them to help.
    It was hard for me to read the article bout Alex but I did. I felt compelled to. A loved one is terminally ill and has gone over the time given, I often wonder how much longer do they have left. This person had several plans involving relatives but each time the plans had to be cancelled due to not being up to it. Knowing you are going to die is a tough one and for friends and family to deal with too. I have known for two years and it's still hard, not knowing if when I visit if it will be the last time I shall see them. knowing, in a way it gives you a chance to say some of the things you want to say but on the other hand, it is heartbreaking. I am still trying to learn how to deal with it. Trying to hide my sadness from daughter is not easy either. I have bottled up a lot as I am that type but your post struck a chord and found myself not being able to bottle up. What amazes me about people like Alex and my loved one is how brave they are and never complain...
    It has made me look at life in a whole new way and over the past few weeks I have been making some conscious decisions about how to lead a better and happier life. I have made a number of changes which I will blog about when I am ready.
    I hesitated about posting this as I tend to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself but I decided to open up for once...
    I hope that as time goes by you will be able to replace the sorrow of your loss with happy memories.
    Take care
    Isabelle x

  24. What a beautiful post.I have only recently started following your blog and I absolutely love both the design and your posts. Thank-you

  25. Love your post, makes me want to try and be more appreciative in my day to day life! I usually do okay looking for the nice things, but I also get very frustrated by the annoying little things, and I need to get away from that, so thank you for pointing me in the right direction :)

  26. Lovely, beautiful, motivational post! Thanks&congrats!

  27. You are completely right, and we would all do better to take a leaf out of your blog!

    Today I need this tips more than usual, I will try to do the same! Thank you for sharing! x

  28. It's a fabulous start Vanessa!!!!

    Hope you had a lovely day :-)

    Lieve groet, Madelief x

  29. Hej Vanessa

    You are just soo lovely.
    The story about the train conductor had me in floods...
    As my Mum always taught me the love you give out to others comes back to you 10 fold...
    PASS IT ON ;-)
    Have just posted Wise Words Wednesday and just had to share your wonderful post.
    I hope that was okay.
    LOVE PEACE enJOY those candles, the best china, etc, etc, etc

  30. My Nanny Dot was a little magpie. Any thing shiny and she'd be drawn to it. There was never ever any dust in her house as it took the shine away. There was also never any dust because she had OCD but that's another story....anyway, her whole life she wanted an eternity ring so after Grandad Bill died she took a bit of the money from the sale of their house and bought herself an eternity ring. She wore it for a week. "I don't want to lose it/ruin it/break it/be mugged!" she said. She died four years later, she never allowed herself to enjoy her ring. She wouldn't have lost it, she didn't do anything that could have ruined it and, to my knowledge, was never mugged. Observing her taught me a lesson. Never save anything for best, life is way too short even if you die of old age. I drink squash from our wedding crystal, I wear silly shoes on the school run, I use my fragile china whenever I can, although I keep it for special 'me time' moments. I do light my candles, I use my best make up whenever I can, I wear my best jewellery often, I put on nice perfume every day and I use the lotion that goes with it (when I've got some, it runs out sooner than the spray).

    Anyway what I'm saying is I'm right there with you. Also I don't think that you need to bungee jump, go travelling, do amazing news worthy things for your life to be valuable or for you to feel like you are really LIVING. I think you do very well noticing the little things. At least it comes across that way. I guess it's all about being grateful for the small things, taking time to notice stuff and if an article or a tv program moves you, encourages you to re-evaluate then that's brilliant and I'm sure you have made many other have a rethink today.

    We all get swept along by life, the trick is to not beat yourself up if a day or two goes by and you've had your head in the washing machine and didn't notice the colour of the sky...that's life, warts and all!! To notice the little things and be grateful for all that is good as often as you can is all you can do. How many people do you know (in real life) who would think to take a photograph of their child's misty window drawing? Not many.

    I've noticed two main things about you through your blog. Through your photographs I see you enjoy beauty be it nature, objects, food, days out..... through your words I hear your love for your family, your enthusiasm for your life. I think you are doing marvellously.

    I sound like a right old groupie. Don't care!!!!

    Right I must go and finish off a blog post I have been doing about the last two weekends. I'm struggling with the words, you can probably see that from this waffly comment!


  31. Thanks for the nudge. We all need to be reminded of the simple things in life that we forget so easily and can get lost in the shuffle of everyday living :)

    Now...where did I put those M & M's?

  32. I agree with everything you say! Life is way too short not to make the most of each day.It's so important to make time for those you love and do things you love to do.
    In our home we use our 'best' everyday and make time to count our blessings, we know what it's like to have your plans and aspirations changed by fate.
    Forget the housework and light your candles! ♥

  33. Thank you for such a very touching post, I am not surprised that the story of the Good Samaritan stayed with you. Sometimes it almost seems as though they could be angels on earth. I sometimes play the Pollyanna 'Glad Game' to look on things in a more positive way. I must admit I have been thinking about using my best china everyday, it does seem a shame not to.

  34. Hello from New Zealand. I have just recently discovered your blog. I read todays post and read teh articles that you linked too. I was a little choked by them both. I am a use "best china" person. And like Sue above me in the comments I play teh glad game too. One thing I have been working on this year is forgiveness and I knew I turned a corner three weeks ago when I bumped into a person that had caused me some distress last year. I could actually talk to her and not feel anything, however I came away feeling empowered, no resentment and no anger. Took me nine months to get there but wow what a feeling. Janine

  35. First time to visit your blog. What a lovely way to start my day. And you are so right. Live life to the fullest. How hard it may be sometimes...but hey we are doing a nice job aren't we??!!! Have a lovely day.

  36. Nice advice and beautiful words for everyone. Because things happens I do now really appreciate "mundane day to day stuff" the most and don't make planns in advance. Love your blogg. Ana.

  37. This is such a wonderful, thoughtful and moving post, Vanessa. You have had a very sad experience this year and it affects so much in your life. You are so right to value and enjoy each moment and make the very most of life. And you write so beautifully and honestly. Take care. Helen x

  38. brilliant post- you have me thinking and smiling and tears sliding down my face...

    melissa -Miss Sew & So

  39. I really needed this post today Lovely Vanessa, Makes me realise life is to short to grumble over what i havent got...Some peps dont even get a choice, life sometimes snatched when they have only just begun their lives...I was feeling very low/ mixed with decisions and not knowing what to do...And you've answered alot of my inner feelings...That making the most of what you have got is worth more than waiting for what you havent got...I have alot of my Nannys special china...Only used at christmas and special days- most of the year round Nanny would use her everyday tea set and plates and tuck the special things in a box so not to get dusty and damaged...But whats the point hiding things away/ in boxes!...I always live by that rule now...Make use of the things you treasure, dont hide them like hidden treasure! is for living and making the most of everyday- everyday matters!
    Every day is a special day too...even the ordinary might not be ordinary to some ;0)x

    Alex's story is so moving!
    We all learn alot from others...Things in life can never be taken for granted.
    Two sets of twins from my school days are back in touch with me on Facebook and one recently lost her twin!!!! of the other twins lost her daughter and she was only 3!...I felt so shocked!...

    best wishes Vanessa, I was thinking how you have been coping, but grief sometimes never leaves you you just learn to live with it, It must be hard for you and hubby...glad you are a strong team helping eachother through ;0)xxxx

    best wishes sweet hearts xxxx

  40. I am a new follower and new blogger and I absolutely loved this post. I am off to get the good china out!

    Love Lemon x

  41. exactly, i'm 54 years old, have been living by that for the last 20 or so years and our house still dind't get stuck under tons of dust, garbage, dirt and dirty clothes. i´ve always had time for my kids (3, who incidentally didn't starve or turn out overweight)and family and friends. in short, the china isn't all broken (yet) anyway, there is tons of beautiful china in fleamarkets to replace that, nothing can replace our time together. keep it up! xo, jo

  42. I used to think I was a grown up & then one day out of the blue I felt the pain of losing a loved one & realised I that had been playing at 'grown up'. It did teach me that life is too short & for that Im thankful. I've no time to bear grudges, but neither have I time to suffer fools & mean people.
    I never go to bed without telling the children I love them, or without that kiss goodnight when they are in dreamland.

  43. Such a lovely post. Makes me stop and think about things hard. I am having one of those days where nothing seems to go right and then I read your blog and realize that your right life is too short to worry over petty things and not enjoy what we have. Thank you so much for the heart lightener and mood lifter. Your a true inspiration. Have a lovely weekend.

    Misty and Pets.

  44. Thank you for the beautiful post. It is always nice to be reminded of what we should be focusing on. And it fit in with some bible readings etc that have come my way today

  45. This is an inspiring post. Thankyou! I am going to try very hard to do more of the things on that list.


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