Saturday 31 May 2014

On Turning 31

Today I turned 31.
31 on the 31st May; that feels meaningful.
Turning 31 feels different to turning 30, better; 30 hangs in the air like a partially deflated balloon from a party that you should have already left. 31 on the other hand has a sense of purpose to it.  I am now IN my 30's as opposed to clinging hopelessly to my late 20s. The party is most definitely over and it's time to clean up, it's time to get serious.  Oh, that sounds very dull, I don't mean it to.  It's not going to be dull, it's going to be awesome, but it is going to be more purposeful.
I am going to seriously start to enjoy myself, I am going to seriously start to be grateful for all the wonderful things I have, I am going to seriously be positive, I am going to seriously start making meaning in my life and I am going to seriously start crafting a joyful life.
I love that my birthday falls about halfway through the year, it gives me a chance to reflect on the first half of the year and re-focus on my goals, and create new ones. It occurred to me that 10 years ago I was celebrating my 21st birthday, a great milestone year, I had a look through my photos to see what I was up to this time 10 years ago.  I was in my second year of uni at Oxford Brookes studying Fine Art, my house mates and I had a house party with some old school friends and new uni friends. It was an awesome party involving plenty of alcohol, an epic balloon fight, birthday cake and plenty of drunken antics.  Oh now times have changed in 10 years, not just where I am in life but also who my friends are and what I feel is important.  This year all I wanted to do for my birthday was go for a walk in the woods, eat some lunch in a pub, then chill out at home for the afternoon!  No partying here!  But it was all good, it was what I wanted to do and it felt special.  I felt special.  Even hanging the washing on the washing line this morning felt special and different because it was my birthday and it made me realise how important your outlook is on the way you feel.  I have been thinking a lot recently about positivity and more specifically the power of positive thinking, how consciously thinking positively can change how you feel and maybe even what happens to you.  I fully intend on doing some positive thinking in the coming weeks (made easier by the warmer weather and lighter evenings), lets see where that leads!
When we went for a walk in the woods today and I received a message, a little piece of plastic that my husband picked up from the bushes with the words "yes you can" printed on it.  I took this as an answer to a few questions I have had recently.
I feel really good about turning 31 and I think this is going to be a really amazing year. Watch this space!

10 years ago


Tuesday 6 May 2014

Fun things to do with toddlers - Small World Play

 A little while ago I bought some wooden dollies from Etsy with the idea that I could set up some small worlds as invitations to play for my toddler.

I laid some sand in a large, shallow plastic storage box and added pebbles, sticks and a few herbs. 

We played together moving the dollies around and arranging them in different ways,  Boris also had a go at standing up the sticks and balancing the pebbles.

I also really enjoyed the photographic opportunities I had with this activity.  As an ex photography teacher I thought about how fun something like this would be as an exercise for students. 

I think this activity definitely has potential.  Boris was a bit young for any imaginative play but it was a good sensory experience with the textures of the sand, the smooth pebbles and the sticks and the smells of the different herds.  Have you ever done invitations to play?  What did you use?  I am thinking of setting up another small world with water, and maybe one with gravel.  I also saw a friend's set up with rice and glitter which was fun. Might have to give that one a go if I can overcome my phobia of glitter!