One thing the pandemic has proved to us all is that change can happen, unannounced and it can happen at super speed.
Though some fear change as it catapults you into the unknown, or makes you feel out of control, I’ve always enjoyed change. I find it exciting; an opportunity to create or try something new.
I’m addicted to trying new things. It gives me the sense of adventure that I seek in my every day.
While I don’t see the pandemic as an adventure of course, I’m not writing off 2020 altogether like I hear so many people have. 2020 could be your year of opportunity. You could see the change brought by C-19 as time to reflect, look inward and make the changes you know you needed to make all along. Because when your life is stripped back to basics, when there are no distractions, when the shit hits the fan and you’re worried for your life and future – that certainly makes me sit up and notice.
So let’s get the show on the road.
The need for adventure.
I have been hooked on adventure for as long as I can remember. As a child, the light only flickered. I found a sense of adventure in being outside; I’d spend all day playing in the mud, running around, climbing, playing chase. But then, most kids did.
As I grew older, my sense of adventure moved to curiosity and I became more and more aware of the big wide world, and all its beauty. I wanted to protect it. At the age of eight, I set up a club of other kids called The Ozone Gang. Embarrassing I know, but our mission was to literally clean up our estate in my naive yet passionate attempt to clean up the world. I’d march everyone around the place, scrubbing off graffiti from walls, asking for homes to donate cleaning products, campaign against littering while galvanising others to pick it up.
As a young woman, my perception of adventure grew to squeezing every last drop out of every moment – with a dose of debauchery thrown in.
I’d savour travel, holidays, camping, working all hours followed by partying all hours; burning the candle at both ends. I’m not advocating this by the way, but this earnest taught me a powerful realisation.
The excitement these experience brought; that I created myself, made me realise I had the power to feel this fulfilled; this alive at any given moment.
All I had to do was decide, then leap.
The time it all changed.
These days, in addition to variations of all of the above, I feel a sense of adventure through learning a new skill, taking a risk and through my two children.
Yes they can give me a headache, yes they can seem like little ungrateful pricks at times, but to me – children are the greatest teachers. The way they look at life; wide-eyed, untarnished, curious and exploratory – is admirable and magical. I often look at the world through their eyes and listen to the way they describe something that I might ordinarily not notice, possibly avoid or even fear. They help me care less about the stuff I should care less about.
Just DO it.
My kids help me to open my eyes, my mind and my heart. They make me feel alive.
Last week my son wanted to go on the carousel and I instantly put up barriers. ‘I can’t see the person who works it’. ‘I don’t have any change’. ‘There’s no one else on it’. I saw pausing to have fun as an inconvenience.
My son’s reply, ‘do you want to go on it mummy? Do you think it will be fun?’
To which I replied, ‘actually yes, I think it’d be fun’.
‘So if you you want to go on it, let’s just go on it’, he said simply.
And so we did. And guess what? We had so much fun. Y’see, kids just DO stuff. There’s less procrastination in their world, less thinking – more doing, being, enjoying. And who doesn’t want more of that?
During the pandemic, I was working from home like many of us – running a senior full time job alongside a home with two children, a dog and a husband who also has a senior full time role. My husband also had the actual coronavirus right at the start of all this chaos, so it’s fair to say that our household was under immense pressure – suddenly and without warning. It became very apparent that this was not sustainable.
I was pushing my kids away to answer emails (yep, those kids that give my life true meaning), trying to juggle home schooling with work, my husbands work, general house and life duties and nursing my family back to health.
I was desperate for more time with my kids, and they were with me. Being honest, this was not just during lockdown but long before. My husband was understandably ready to implode from too much pressure and, while I felt overwhelmingly sad at the state of the world, my instinct kept screaming at me – MAKE A CHANGE.
Getting the show on the road.
So…I handed in my notice from my very wonderful, comfortable job in senior management to go with my gut and do something that matched my passion for doing business for good, and on a part time basis so I could see and support my family more, and seek that adventure that I’ve always needed.
Let me take you through that again.
I handed in my notice. From a comfortable job. With a good salary. At a great company. In the middle of a global pandemic.
Yep, I’m that girl.
While I miss the guys I worked with immensely, I missed adventure more and had too little time and headspace for the things that helped me get it and so, I changed my life.
As Brené Brown said, ‘you can have courage or comfort. You can not have both’.
It’s not the first time I’ve placed courage over comfort to put health first, happiness first, family first, me first.
I share some of these bold changes and the gumption it took in my four short stories at the SheSays Brighton event back in March (before it all went pear-shaped and we could be in a crowded room together).
Watch the video here:
Today, I’m now Head of Marketing for The Good Business Club on a part time basis, I’m taking on other projects and have started to create Regarding Life; the sustainability, styling and coaching bubble that you see unfolding and evolving right here on this blog.
I realised these changes needed to happen to help me live the life I truly want to, and that in turn, benefits the people and causes I care about the most. So it wasn’t the job, the company, the expectations. It wasn’t even the effects of C-19. It was just the realisation that none of that was me.
You might be thinking, ‘yeah, whatever love – it’s easy for you to say, we don’t all have the luxury of such choice’.
– and I hear you, but I didn’t just go, ‘I’m not happy, f*ck it – I’m off’. I calculated a fall-back plan and became strategic about my steps. I hustled. I involved my family in my decision making process – placing them at the heart of it all. I got their support, I built savings and I grew some tits and made it happen.
Easy? Hell no.
Scary? Hell yes.
My approach Re:life is about unbecoming everything you’re not, identifying what you need then having the tits to go out and get it.
I call this brave living.
Want to make a change? Want to live bravely? Delve in and discover what’s coming up in your bravery toolkit.
It’s fair to say that Covid has had a profound effect on us all and continues to do so. For me, I’ve had a huge awakening on the crisis that our planet faces.
My mindset shift has led to me making some tough decisions and epic changes but you only have to scroll down my personal instagram feed to see I haven’t always been this way, nor had these beliefs, or practiced these ways. So if I can do it, you can too.
There’s tons more to expect from me on this but to kick things off, I visited Supermarket Rebels, HISBE and chatted to the the Co-founder Ruth Anslow who gives us a realistic view of the simple changes we can make to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
‘Aim for good rather than perfect.’
Watch the video:
We all love a relaxing Radox bubble bath, right?..when we have the chance to have one. Well I’m not promising the new Radox and Disney children’s bath and body range will chill out your kids in the same way, but they are fun…
The partnership sees products sporting popular characters Anna and Elsa, a Frozen limited edition and Star Wars versions.
With kids skin and bathing products, I always look for mild formulas to protect their delicate skin and avoid the dreaded eye sting. Radox Kids provide all the gentle, expert care for delicate skin that you would expect from the UK’s No.1 family skin cleansing brand. The bath & body wash for instance, was non-drying and both my 10 month old and three year old could enjoy the bath together without any sore eyes – testament to its mild formula, which is pH skin neutral and contains Vitamin E.
As for the kids hand wash, thyme and teatree effectively cleanse and wash away bacteria, plus having Olaf on the front of the bottle persuaded my toddler to actually wash his hands – always a bonus.
We love the range. I’m now hoping Radox will introduce a no-tears formula of shampoo, though the current one is very gentle with an effective non-taggling solution and gorgeous apple scent. I’d also love to see a paraben-free, entirely natural body lotion or oil that both parents and kids can use.
If Radox can also introduce a butler to run a bubble bath for me and put a different kind of bubbles in my glass while I’m at it, then I’d welcome that too 😉
Radox Frozen Bath & Body Wash, RRP £2.50
Radox Frozen Shampoo & Conditioner, RRP £2.50
Radox Frozen Handwash, RRP £1.80
Radox Star Wars Bath & Body Wash, RRP £2.50
Radox Star Wars Shampoo, RRP £2.50 all from most good chemists and supermarkets.
Cuddledry‘s grey stars baby apron bath towel, which launched earlier this autumn, is genius. Before now, I had been struggling to get my baby out of the bath, laying her against my chest and drying her – only to end up with a sopping wet front and unhappy, wriggly baby.
Their award-winning hands-free apron towel allows you to wear it by fastening it around your neck with the poppers (we’re all pros at those now, right?), holding your baby against you – but without getting wet this time – and then enveloping her with the rest of the towel that you simply pull up and wrap around her. There’s a hood to keep their little heads dry and snug too. Simple yet revolutionary and I do love a product that makes any element of parenting easier!
You should also check out the Cuddledeer character towel for Christmas. They last for years, my son still has his dinosaur Cuddledry towel from two years ago so they tick the cost per wear and washing machine friendly boxes too. Yay.
What an adventure by new business partner, Lucy Tatton and I have had so far. We’re working on setting up our own online retail business, Café of Curiosities and it is blummin’ HARD. There’s no other way to put it.
It’s hard because Lucy is doing it while her house is being renovated and is effectively living in a building site. She’s also a mama and has a day job as Insight & Strategy Director for premium retailers. I’m a mama, had my second child just eight months ago and I work as a writer, vlogger and personal shopper. Phew.
So between us, we’re pretty time poor but have heaps of passion on making our dreams come true, working for what we believe in and getting shit done.
Café of Curiosities will offer seasonal and limited edition ‘menus’ of quirky, fun and comic merch to cheer you up, make a statement or kick you up the arse as needed.
We’re starting out with our Laughter & Boom menu, offering a selection of mugs emblazoned with quotes to help motivate and titillate. When you’re sipping your perfect cuppa be it a flat white, chai tea or mug of vino (my personal favourite three), you’ll be able to do it with a message that makes your day.
The range is so frikkin marvelous, we’re very proud of it and hope you love it too but we want to get it just right for you.
The challenges in setting up your own business while y’know, life is happening, just seem to keep on coming. We’ve discovered that shaping a brand is a long but exciting task – and one you should never let go of if you have that ‘feeling’ that it’s meant to be. We now know that you should not only have a plan b, c and d but a plan e, f and g too, and that setting up a shopping cart is a bugger.
We knew much of this from working in the industry for over 20 years each, but it has seemed so different doing it for ourselves. I have launched over 20 new brands into the UK, used to run my own PR Agency and still consult for brands now. Lucy has over 20 years’ experience in digital marketing strategy, brand building and data insight for premium and retail brands. But we have still got so much wrong when it has come to our own ‘baby’. Not big things thankfully, just a few niggly little things.
We’re realistic enough to know that setting up in business takes time, that things don’t always go to plan and that it’s how you roll with the punches that counts.
We also know that first impressions count, that you should start as you mean to go on and that some things are out of your control, and so – we have delayed our launch date a couple of weeks so we can impress the pants off you, while knowing there are no technical worries. This way it’ll be the bloody brilliant experience you deserve.
In the meantime, follow us on Instagram to see what we’re getting up to and for news on when we launch. Thank you for your support. xx
Stay tuned for your slice of fun and magic, coming soon. What tips can you share on starting out in business, working for yourself and juggling work and motherhood?