The count down to Christmas

Holidays are comin, holidays are comin…

To me Christmas is the best time of year, starting with the Bradbury bonfire extravaganza and ending with a bang on New Year’s Eve, there’s no beating that warm fuzzy feeling returning home on a cold dark night to a house that flashes with fairy lights and emits a warm, homely glow.

I mean who doesn’t get excited when they see the coca cola advert for the first time that year?

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=2M_ybyFREJQ&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D2M_ybyFREJQ

I myself enjoy nothing more than to spend the run up to Christmas drinking mulled wine, meeting with friends and family and joining the crowds late night shopping to pick up a few last minute items in time for the big day.

Life isn’t always easy and for much of the year we all find ourselves struggling through one day to the next, living for the weekend and looking forward to what might change or come next in our lives … The grass is always greener on the other side right? But at Christmas we stop and actually enjoy the present, focussing on what we have rather than what we think we should have. We become more friendly to one another and the ‘Christmas spirit’ wins out.

With the festive season well and truly on its way, my first two presents bought and the Christmas tunes beginning to be played I can’t wait to open the first door on my advent calendar and start the count down to Christmas!

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful”

41 days till Christmas everyone!

The age of the gizmo gadget!

As a 23 year old, life up until now has involved (amongst other things) school, the internet, sixth form, social media, university, and my mobile phone.

I am of that generation where any new gadget that is a must have, I decide I need. End of.

I have spent countless hours sat in front of my computer searching the internet for clothes or the latest gossip, chatting to friends on Twitter, Facebook or, back in the day, MySpace and relied on my mobile phone to get me through the day because – who can live without their phone?! Sad I know.

But isn’t it all too much?

The other day I sat having a drink with family and friends only to look up from my own phone to realise that everyone sat before me was staring at their screens, completely immersed – we might as well have been at opposite ends of the country texting one another, we would have had more interaction than the amount going on when sitting in the same room!

Now I’m not saying that we should all give up our devices whenever we decide to meet for a coffee – I can’t see Starbucks installing an airport security system to ensure no one texts in store any time soon! And lord help anyone who tries to take my i phone or i pad away from me – they’ll have one hell of a fight on their hands!

But…..

Come on people! I’m right here so talk to me!

Be honest, who else finds themselves sat outside on a warm summers evening, enjoying a glass of wine in the sunshine, when you think to yourself “I must tweet about this!”?

Crazy!

It’s a fact – we are all becoming more and more reliant on everything digital and as much as I hate to say it – I love it!

But here’s the thing, let’s not let our gizmo gadgets take over our lives completely people! When you’re out being social that doesn’t mean Facebook! And if someone’s in the same room as you, you don’t need to text them!

So next time you’re out for coffee – put the phone down.

Thanks for reading, have a great week x

The world is your oyster!

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” Oscar Wilde

Have you ever done anything extraordinary? Have you fulfilled your dreams?

If your sat in front of your computer in a rainforest or at the top of Mount Everest then feel free to stop reading now, you’re already where most of us dream of.

BUT!

If you’re sat there thinking no then

Why not?

I recently sat and watched a programme which followed a group of wounded British soldiers on their quest to climb Everest, some only had one arm, others had been shot through the chest and one had survived major burns…..and yet not only had they endured those severe injuries but they had decided to take on one of the most physically demanding adventures in the world.

Amazing.

So why do the rest of us chicken out?

Are you too busy with work? …… You get holiday don’t you!

Not sure how to get it organised? ……. Don’t be lazy! What’s the internet for?!

I have my next target firmly in my sights – To climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Why you ask? Simple. Because I want to be able to look back when I’m older and think “hell yeh – I lived!”

Having seen photos a friend had taken when climbing it herself – I couldn’t help but think ‘I have to do that!’ And so I am going to do that!

Sometimes we get so caught up in life’s busy schedule that we forget to make the most of it; why is it that as children the stars are the limit but as adults the supermarket is?

Come on people where’s the fun in that?!

So here’s what I think: travel, have adventures, learn a new skill – in short do what ever you want and enjoy it!

Anyway enough ramblings from me this week – have a great week everyone x

The start of a new chapter……

Now in my last week of Gateway, a graduate programme which helps to build experience and skills, I realise just how far I’ve come. At the beginning of the programme I entered as a deflated and demoralised individual, just about ready to give up on the career I had dreamed of since leaving university two long years ago. 10 weeks on I have worked on a variety of projects, learnt new skills, gained valuable contacts, and finally, attained my first graduate level job; something which seemed impossible to me just a couple of months ago.

I begin my new job next week and although the prospect is obviously daunting, I am so excited to finally get my career started and to know that my determination not to settle for second best has paid off, even if it took a little more time than I would have hoped.

This is, I hope, the start of a new chapter in my life.

But this is not the only great highlight of the project; I have also met and got to know some great people. Both the eight other graduates on the programme and the UCP team who were there to support us throughout have all made the experience that much enjoyable. I hope we stay in touch and that everyone has the success that they deserve.

So here’s my message for this week, for all you grads out there that may be losing hope – don’t. It will happen. Just keep working at it.

Thanks for reading and have a great week.

Standard

Can’t live with them, can’t live without them

‘Families are forever’ and ‘Old friends are the best antiques’

I am sure that at one time or another everyone has had an argument with a close family member or friend. That feeling as you put the phone down in anger or turn your back and walk away, of regret for leaving the problem unsolved. And yet do we turn around or pick the phone straight back up to apologise?

Most of the time? No.

My sister and I are a prime examples, we can have blazing rows on a regular basis, started over the most trivial point. The end to the argument usually results in one or both of us leaving, or slamming the phone down. And then that’s it. No contact. No backing down for the rest of the day. We do not like to lose.

And yet if you were to watch us the next time we meet, the problem is forgotten, no grudges held and often no mention of what happened the previous day.

Because at the end of the day it’s just not worth it.

Friends suffer a different problem in my life, and that is our tendency to neglect one another for long periods of time. Since leaving sixth form or school and going our separate ways, keeping in contact has become increasingly hard. Having spent years spending time together five or in some cases seven days a week, you are suddenly thrown in to a different world were contact is usually via text message, Facebook or Twitter. How sad is that? No wonder conversations become less frequent and new friends who are close by are made.

But do we let those old friends go completely? The ones that have known us for almost as long as we have know ourselves?

I hope not.

I of course realise that some friends are always going to be lost along the way, life is a journey and things change, but wherever possible I believe it is important to hold on to as many of the important people in our lives as we can; you never know when you will need them.

And this is my point – family and friends may not always be the easiest people in your life, you will fall out with them, ignore them, and sometimes consider losing them but at the end of the day who do you turn to when things go wrong? Humans are not solitary creatures and we all need that support network to get us through the trials and tribulations that we face each day of our lives. So make the effort, keep in contact and alway remember that as long as you have your friends and family around you, you have everything you need.

Thanks for reading and have a great week everyone! x

Work experience – get it while it’s hot!

“All things are difficult before they are easy” (Thomas Fuller)

For the last two years I have strived to find a graduate level job that I could finally be proud of. After months of retail work, temporary placements and filling in countless application forms, a light began to flicker at the end of a very long and dark tunnel. Having applied for a position on the Graduate Gateway programme with UCP I was invited to attend their assessment centre – two days of team work, projects and presentations, or in other words two days of nerves, sweaty palms and a constant anticipation of what they’d ask us to do next! However I threw myself in to each task with my team and found that I began to enjoy the experience rather than dread it.

Driving home that night I felt a renewed determination to achieve my career aspirations and not settle for second best……

A day later I received the call to say I was in!

Of course my first reaction was total relief and excitement, calling friends and family to let them know my exciting news, but this was followed by a heavy feeling of trepidation and the worry that I won’t live up to expectations – a feeling I am sure most of you will have felt at some point in your life.

It’s a week since that phone call and I have completed my first three days of the programme. I have met and begun to get to know each of the other graduates and UCP staff, learnt about  Gateway in more detail and realised that although I am still nervous of what’s to come, I am not alone – there are eight other graduates by my side going through the exact same experience and feelings. The UCP staff are here to support us 100% of the way and although we are each here to grow and learn individually we are also a team and are ready to support each other.

Although I have a further ten weeks to go and know I will face difficult challenges and nerve-racking experiences, I now feel ready to take the next step and look forward to moving forward within the programme and ultimately in my career because at the end of the day “all things are difficult before they are easy”.

So here’s my advice:

For all of you Cornish graduates out there finding it hard to break in to the world of work, all is not lost, programmes like Gateway are here to help and could potentially be the stepping stone to the career you’ve been waiting for. So at least consider it as an option.

And for all you under graduates still studying, don’t wait until after your degree to find work experience, make the most of the support and stability you have whilst at university and be proactive in finding ways to improve your employability. If you are motivated enough to do this then you may be one of the lucky ones that finds the job of your dreams waiting for you at the end of your degree.

Thanks for reading and have a great week x

‘Life’s too short’

…Because “life’s too short” – An excuse we all like to use when wanting to be free of the guilt of indulging ourselves. But why the guilt in the first place?

I recently spent time with a friend who, through a mixture of spending time working in a hospital and recent personal events has found a new meaning in the phrase. As we sat and chatted about life, friendships, work, the good times in our lives and the bad it began to dawn on me how true this quote really is. On returning home I came across an article on the most common regrets people have before they die, three of these ring true for myself and so many people I know – 1. ‘I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me’ 2.’I wish I hadn’t worked so hard’ 3. ‘I wish that I had let myself be happier’. If these relate to you now then I guess the questions you need to be asking yourself are these:

  • How much time do you spend working in comparison to the amount of time your totally switched off from your job?
  • When you are away from work, do you always take the time to do the things that make YOU happy , seeking out new ways to have fun and enjoy yourself or do you always seem to end up looking out for the people around you, ensuring their happiness rather than your own? 

Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t care for all those around you or that working hard is a bad thing – I personally think both are very important in life! BUT I also believe that we should all keep a check on ourselves so that when we’re old, full of memories and stories ready to share, we can be content that although there may still be some regrets, there are many more moments of happy contentment.

Last week my Mum, who is one of the most hard-working, supportive and caring people I know booked a trip to Rome for her and myself at the last-minute, we both needed a break and at the end of the day why wait? Because isn’t ‘life too short’?. For four days we explored, shopped, ate (a lot!) and generally let the world and it’s worries be lifted from our shoulders for the duration of the trip. For me it was a chance to take my mind off job applications and difficult life choices whilst for my Mum, it was a temporary time out from all the stresses and strains that come with such a busy working and personal life.

SO……

Why not break the mold, refuse to keep to the same old routine day after day, take up new hobbies, book a holiday, spend time with friends, your family or just take some time to be by yourself. Make sure you know who your true friends are and stop clinging on to the one’s who aren’t – they only waste your time and energy. Simply put: Do whatever it is that makes you happy.

Because at the end of the day, you only get one life so make the most of it.


Thanks for reading everyone and have a great week x

 

 

Here’s the link to the article mentioned in this weeks blog:

(http://m.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying?cat=lifeandstyle&type=article)