Monday, 15 February 2016

Line

.................................................................................................................................................
Line drawn. 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Fitness Journal weeks 6,7,8 and I don't know

Right well, the illness that I wrote about that Matt had was disgusting and he gave to me and some how I had it worse... so for a week I just lay on the sofa with tissues scattered around me,  I looked greasy and sweaty and red and white, snot and mucus everywhere, and ...... sorry too much??

The next week I tried to be as healthy as possible, the next week I tried the Ripped in 30 week 3 which I did and didn't like the next I did the week 4 session which I also didn't mind apart from the whole arm routine, yes I'm still a complete weakling when it comes to my arms. The last ab exercise I loved, it was like a Blogilates work out and the meditation-al talk at the end was nice although it kind of made me feel like a failure 'Well done for completing it . . you put in your all...' oh well...

So, it's Easter today, I have made some Hot Cross buns and devoured them, my mum made an Easter cake with mini eggs, that's been demolished and I'm just polishing off my chocolate eggs now .... yeah I feel obese .... TOMORROW I will be starting again, I will be starting the Kayla Itsines workout beginning with the 4 week starter weeks. I've got a few more chocolate bunnys and egglets to get through but I WILL take my time and eat them only when I'm hungry or as an after dinner treat. 

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll be good, tomorrow ......     

I really will though I promise myself!

Zoe

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Cats the Musical | Review

 Jellicle cats come out tonight 
Jellicle cats come one come all
The Jellicle moon is shining bright
Jellicles come to the Jellicle ball

Cats 
Two Saturdays ago I went to see one of the best musicals ever made at the London Palladium, (you probably know which one now) Cats! I have loved this musical for a very long time, I guess lots of you have too if you're reading this. The first time I saw it was in 1996 for my 8th birthday and I thought it was so exciting; a whole musical about cats, and they were all jumping and dancing about and the songs stuck with me for ever. I remember feeling really involved in the production as it felt like I was peering over a few bin bags spying on theses cats having a meet up and dance and when the pollicles walked straight past me to the scrap yard and some of the cats came up to me as well. I saw it again two years later for Christmas and I was equally amazed, I just love the cats costumes and the way they move, I love the songs, I was given T.S.Eliott's book of cats as a present one time and found them quite amusing trying to work out which one of our cats fitted which poem, I just think the music and tune that has been put to the words is just so clever and really brings it to life. Even though I didn't really know what was going on, as the story is quite weird; Jellicle cats having a ball every year and one gets chosen to go to the heaviside layer to start again. I just remember thinking this is wonderful!! (Anyway a musical about cats doesn't have to have a logical story does it)
  
Cats Cast
It closed and I was so sad, I'd told Matt about it and really wanted him to see it (he is a cat person too, just maybe not so mad).So when my mum and I heard on the radio that it was coming back for a few weeks we just went a booked those tickets!! My mum booked 8, so the first time all 3 daughters and all 3 boyfriends had been together on mass was to see this show (I don't even think they all like cats or musicals ... oh well). On the night of the ball my mum and I donned our cat ears, no one else was brave enough, we walked into the Palladium and found our seats; front row of royal circle ooh yeah, and let me just tell you now it was AMAZING! First of all the stage was great, I was a bit worried because it wouldn't be revolving etc but the amount of detail in the rubbish heap like Felix boxes and old rackets and the fact that it came up and out to the audience was incredible. The music started and the cats came creeping out and then started singing the Jellicle song and I just came over all emotional and started tearing up. I was so happy watching this again and the fact the Matt was seeing it with me and just the impact of that song which happens to be my favourite was so powerful, I just had a great time.

Rum Tum Tugger
Ok here's what I think about that production and general Cats favourites:

  • I had heard Nicole Sherzinger was going to be Grizabella which I wasn't that hyped about because I don't like her singing voice and I didn't want the show to be all about her. Luckily she only did a few performances and we got Kerry Ellis who is a musical and stage pro and she sung beautifully. When I was younger I wasn't fussed about Memory, I liked all the upbeat dancing ones, I love this one now and it made me cry partly because it was moving and partly because I was really listening to the words and thinking about Lily oh poor old lady.
  • I had also heard that Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber was changing Rum Tum Tugger's song and making it more hip ...... I was not keen on this idea I love that song and didn't feel like it needed changing. However the new Tugger and his new rap version was marvellous, one of my sisters wasn't convinced and I wasn't sure about the change in harmony in the chorus the "for he will do as he do do" bit, the "he do do" was different. Overall Rum Tum Tugger was great and he looked and moved differently to all the other cats, I mean he wore medallions and joggers and he had dreads and a cap and all the lady cats swooned ha, I think this was Matt's fav song. Alfie definitely has a touch of the Tugger about him.
  • My favourite songs from Cats are Jellicle songs for Jellicle cats, because it's just the best I've got the CD and I turn it up really loud so I can sing along in the shower (all singing sounds better in the shower), the Invitation to the Jellicle ball, again pretty much the same.  Rum Tum Tugger, Skimble Shanks the railway cat, I adore this song and the dance for it, I have a ginger cat toy called Skimble that I've had for a very long time and a little one (skimblina ssh). The only thing that I wasn't best pleased with for this production was (I'm going to sound really mean now) the actual Skimble Shanks, I always though of him as really tall and wise and this one was mini and more bumbly. Just a personal preference. Mr Mistoffelees because he's magical hahaha ..... he really was good though all those pirouettes were incredible and everyone loves this song it's so easy to sing a long to. Lastly Macavity the ladies that sung this were so talented and it's such a fun song because we've had many naughty kittens in our house including Mont and Alf. 
  • My new favourite songs are Old Deuteronomy, it's really simple and cute (my first performance I was brave and walked on stage by myself in the interval and asked for his autograph, I had balls then.) Bustopher Jones, I had forgotten all about this one, when this song came on i was really confused and thought that that cat was old Deuteronomy. I think it's because we only had the highlights CD when I was younger and I didn't like the slow songs anyway so it was just gone from my memory but I really like it now "Bustopher Jones, is not skin and bones, in fact he's remarkably fat". Memories it's really sad but it's just so powerful. 
  • I do like Mungojerrrie and Rumpleteazer, they remind me of Monty and Alfie and that actual performance was great. The Old Gumbie Cat which I think Lily is like also and maybe Monty too because in winter all he does is sit and sit and sit.....
  • The songs that I could do without are Gus and Growltiger. They don't interest me, the cat costumes for Growltiger are great but the actual song is a bit pants, I think anyway you may happily disagree with me I don't mind. 
  • The cat I thought was amazing in this production was Munkustrap, the narrator-y sort of cat. he sang so well and gave a great performance. I also thought that the hairless cat Cassandra gave her all and was entrancing along with a gingery/white cat that doesn't have a name I don't think but they looked like they were having so much fun and made me want to be a cat.
Munkustrap
If you haven't already guessed I thought this show was fantastic and I would thoroughly recommend it to everyone. You'll be humming these songs for the next month even if you don't like it!

Zoe

PS Yes I haven't mentioned Timmy's likeness to any of these cats and that is because I'm not entirely sure he is a cat, he's a creature unbeknownst to himself. He can look beautiful though and is sometimes known to do a bit of modelling for certain musicals.

Timmy's Cats Poster
...... joke but aww don't you think it looks like he was the original cat! 
And if you have no clue who Alfie, Monty, Timmy and Lily are then check my About page

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Fitness Journal week 5

Monday:
Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30 week 2. This workout was alright, I hated the cardio in this though as most of the moves were in plank position, I don't know why it hurts me so much? I've tried just doing it and breathing through the pain but I just end up stopping and then not doing the move at all which is sooo annoying. I hate Plank position!!! and Push ups!!!! Also I don't understand why for the first strength move in the circuit Jillian says it's going to get really weird and tough and I'm thinking 'shit' and the move was easy?? and throughout the whole movement of it she's like ooch ahh oww??

Tuesday:
It's spring, finally, we've been having such good weather recently, it's still a bit chilly but in the sun it's so nice. I went for a 2 mile walk in the fields near my village.

Wednesday:
Ri30 again, I changed all the cardio moves to regular versions so plank jacks to jumping jacks, plank squats to normal squats, mountain climbers to high knees because any exercise move is better than none right? I still think that side lunge with leg raise doesn't hurt, I don't get it. Maybe my legs are strong and my arms a really weak.. . I did the whole workout really well and I know I'm definitely fitter now than 6 weeks ago.

Thursday:
A lovely walk outside again, my boys desperately wanted to go with me so I had walk down the garden and then sprint and leave them so they wouldn't follow me down the road ha. We've been having so much fun in the garden with them, there are still lots of old leaves on the ground that are the same colour as them and they've been rustling in them and charging each other.

Friday:
I swapped my exercise day with Saturday as I was left home alone today and felt like doing whatever I wanted whilst no-one was around (the music was loud and the dancing was bad .... so I guess a mini workout).

Saturday:
Last day of Ri30, I tried really hard to do the actual moves in plank positions and I was rubbish .... done, move on.

Sunday:
Chillax day, Matt had a cold and I had to nurse him back to health so I made chocolate banana bread and a cooked breakfast.

Diet this week has been good, still a lot of bready things but I've been having less cows milk and that has definitely helped with bloat, I've bought some chia seeds as well which I know don't taste like anything but seeing as I'm not the great with good vegetables then I can get some nutrients from them. I have seen some good improvements on my body shape this week, I'm starting to look less squishy and my hips look narrower when i stand straight on, so that's good. 

Keep going people, the weather is picking up and we'll have to show more flesh now, so get moving!

Zoe 

PS no photos of progress I know I'm sorry, but I don't feel brave enough to put them up yet!



Monday, 2 March 2015

Fitness Journal | Week 4



Ok I have had a serious chat with myself and decided to stop half-assing it! What am I doing? I said I wanted to change but I'm not going to at this rate, I'm going to put more effort it and just fricking get on with it! :)

This picture works doesn't it?

Monday:
Ripped in 30, week 1. I found this one alright actually it started with push ups (argh) but the rest of the moves were quite nice to do. I liked the fact that there are 3 moves for the strength sections now meaning you only have to do each one for 30 seconds which is a lot easier to get through. I still got a bit puffed and slowed down near the end, but over all a good work-out.

Tuesday:
Ooch those stiff leg dead lifts and the good mornings really got to the back of my thighs. When I was doing them I was thinking 'this is fun I can't feel it doing anything though?' but now .... I've been walking round all day not being able to bend my knees... is this normal?? I "walked" round town today and did some light stretching to try and relieve the pain.

Wednesday:
Not so sore today and tackled week 1 again. It was even more enjoyable this time and I really went for it especially with that cross country running move haha what an idiot I must've looked. I did the Elle fit stretching guide for a while, trying out all the moves I'm definitely not flexi yet but I'm gradually being able to reach further and further.

Thursday:
No walk damn it, but I had a major arm work out crocheting all day, I was making something really tight so I was really lifting and moving it, so I'll have one really strong arm ha.

Friday:
Last day of week 1. It was good I smashed it again like Wednesday but I'm ready to do a different session. I can really feel it in my legs especially me thighs which I'm happy about because they need improving. I stretched again for a while and tried to work on my arm flexibility, I think my arms are the weakest part on me which is weird seeing as I use them all the time??

Meals of the week; Dinners have been good, halloumi cheese, sausage and apple casserole thing, beef stir fry, pasta with tuna. Breakfasts have been a new invention; almond milk with some Noisella (it's pretty much Nutella bought from Le Pan Qoutidien)  in the microwave, mix then add muesli mmm, more apples etc. I'm trying to eat less carby foods but waah I love them which is annoying I do like spinach now which is odd?! So hopefully my taste buds will change and I'll start to like more veggies. 

As for results I don't think I have any physical differences from when I started but I do feel stronger and my body doesn't feel so heavy.... you know when you feel like you've been really lazy and everything feels like such an effort. I feel more springy if that makes sense ... more ready to go and do.

Zoe

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Fitness Journal | Write Off week

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday :
Fail, fail fail!! I honestly was just in a pretty poop frame of mind. I don't know what it was, I was happy on Tuesday evening as it was mine and Matt's anniversary of 9 years and it was pancake day in which I may have over indulged a little. Other than that I just was feeling pretty down about myself and couldn't shake it off.

Thursday:
I woke feeling better and annoyed that I was wasting this time off I have (nobody has invited me for an interview yet :( ). I decided to do some Blogilates work-outs specifically for abs. I chose the Ultimate Hot Body workout which I finished off pretty strong actually and then did Extreme Abs and 6 min to a Sexy Little Waist, I liked that one, I hated the first one, banana boat.... who can do that?? It just kills me everywhere and I feel like my butt muscles get squished out. Ate pretty well also but maybe not enough as I was trying to flush all the sugar out with lots and lots of green tea and water.

Friday:
I did more Blogilates workouts today, I did Muffin top massacre because well I need to massacre the muffin top and I found that one fun to do even though I couldn't do one of the moves and just made something else up, Crazy Abs,Butt and Legs but I didn't like it the first move felt like it was squishing my butt down so then I did Call Me Maybe Squats which HURT but a good feels like it's working kind of hurt. I then stretched out my legs and and my back which was in pain for some reason. Mont and Alf where watching me the whole time thinking 'what is she doing, we look handsome no matter how lazy we are...' hmph.

Saturday:
Again no exercise, but I went to London for a second Saturday in a row to see Cats!! It was amazing! and before that we ate out in Carluccio's and I had 3 courses and a ice-cream in the interval . . .  well you have to right?

Sunday:
Breaking Bad day on the sofa but I was quite healthy today as I was still full from Saturday night's stuffing.

So I'm going to draw a line through this week and carry on as if  next week is week 4, so I guess my plan is until 12th July now.

Zoe

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Fitness Journal Weeks 1, 2 & 3

The beginning of a very trying new plan.


Week 1 
Monday:
Not a good start to the plan, we had a painter and decorator in to do mine and my sister's bathroom (through my bedroom), which meant a lot of awkwardness about showers and changing etc.

Tuesday:
Same as Monday! poop!

Wednesday:
Jillian's 30 Day Shred Level 1! I remember when I though that workout was easy, why? why did I let it slide? Why does it have to start with push-ups? I definitely prefer the abs and cardio moves to the strength ones, there was an initial shock to my body that this was happening but by the end of it I was feeling pretty good. Worked on stretches after. By the end of the day I was sore.

Thursday:
My calf muscles are really tight today and my butt hurts when I sit down, which I suppose is a good thing. I did some stretches and a walk on the treadmill for 35 mins as there was a mini blizzard outside.

Friday:
Level 1 again, much better than Wednesday, I still hate the first strength moves, I'm glad that it was just a walk yesterday to give my muscles a little break. Elle Fit stretches after, I can't do them very well I'm not flexi at all but I can touch my toes when I'm standing up.

Saturday:
I was lazy and sat watching Breaking Bad all day then went to the cinema haha!

Sunday:
Went for a 3.5 mile walk round the countryside near my house, it was a little cold and started snowing but I felt a lot better for doing it.

All week I generally had porridge with cinnamon and banana, peanut butter toast or with apple, museli hot cross buns and whatever my mum cooked us all for supper; pasta, salmon or halloumi cheese. Drank a lot of water, green tea every morning and tea throughout the day. Hardly had any coffee this week which is weird. I did make a mistake Friday of drinking lemon green tea just before my workout and I could taste it in my throat, not good.

Week 2
Monday:
............. umm same as last Monday but I don't have an excuse this time... I just didn't get round to it.

Tuesday:
I did a bit of a walk in town hehe what's with Mondays and Tuesdays??

Wednesday:
Jillian Michaels level 2! What's with all the planks?? My hands are killing me and I don't think they're supposed to. I have to admit I swapped a few of her moves for different versions not in plank i.e the plank jacks to normal jumping jacks, but I was still moving it's all good. I'm definitely following Anita's moves. Nice little stretches after trying to touch my toes and stuff which I can do but for not very long.

Thursday:
Brisk walk on the treadmill, followed by playing with very energetic cats.

Friday:
Level 2 again, a lot better this time, I tried much harder with the plank moves though they still hurt and I really went for it with the cardio! Smashed that one! I stretched out for quite a bit after with the Elle fit guide working on my hip flexers and my arms.

Saturday:
No exercise apart from walking to a shop and back.

Sunday:
Looong walk around a nearby woodland park with Matt. It was so sunny and clear and we had fun n the mud with our wellies, now that Matt finally owns a pair.

Meals of the week consisted of a lot of salads for dinner; avocado and bacon, chicken, antipasti stylee. Prawn curry, chicken curry, pasta with tuna and then carbonara on Sunday. For Breakfast I mainly had museli or hot cross buns. Apples and bananas for snacks etc. Quite healthy I think oh but on Thursday I caved and had Nutella on toast, well it was World Nutella Day!!

Week 3
 
Monday:
I've broken the barrier, I did a work out on a Monday!! Jillian Michaels level 3, more frigging plank positions stupid travelling push ups, ab holds and mountain climbers. I liked the supermans and the lunges though (again all Anita stylee). I really felt my butt moving and hopefully changing shape. I quite liked all the jumpiness too, getting quite into it now. I followed it up with more stretching for about 20 minutes and Alfie was so cute and got involved with the lying down poses, then I went in the garden with Mont as it was so sunny and we had a little bathing session down the end.

Tuesday:
Ow I ache! My butt and my thighs and the tops of my arms, it's a good thing but I don't want to move. No walk just a few stretches.

Wednesday:
Level 3 again, much better. I started to just take my time and not really think that much about what I was doing so I couldn't concentrate on how uncomfortable I was. The jump training is really fun and I definitely felt it working. I did more stretches after trying to sort my back out, I think it's a bit wonky, I can make my fingers touch behind my back (putting one arm up and over my shoulder and the other down and under my armpit) one way but not the other??? weird.
 
Thursday:
I'm really crap at this walking thing which is weird because I really want to go for walks but then I just get involved with what I'm doing and leave it too late..... something to work on.
 
Friday:
Oopsy no work out for me. I thought about it .... and didn't do it. I ended up having a shower at the wrong time and didn't want to get skanky .... I know excuses, excuses.
 
Saturday:
I think I probably walked about 15 miles today. Matt and I went on a Chocolate Ecstasy walking tour round Mayfair in London, I know! So although we did taste a lot of samples along the way, it was mainly dark chocolate we were eating which is good for you ha! Then we walked round Notting Hill and Kensington Gardens which was great and didn't even realised how far we had walked.
 
Sunday:
Felt the pain from the walk, my calves and feet    owww. So sat on my butt all day apart from a quick nip into town to get some needles and pins, as you do.
 
So yeah apart from Saturday, where I finished the day of eating chocolate with a bratwurst in the market and a mahoosive pancake at My Old Dutch in the evening, the rest of the week I ate pretty well. I had muselli with almond milk for breakfast, apple with peanut butter and cinnamon for snacks and more hot cross buns. For dinners I had, lamb with pittas, ravioli, tuna salad, chicken curry, prawn and spinach curry.
 
So that's the end of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, probably not the best effort but it was a lot more moving and eating healthier than the previous weeks, so all in all it is an improvement. I definitely recommend this DVD as she is really great in getting you going and explains everything really well for not even how you are supposed to be doing the moves but also why you are doing them and in  that order. Next up Ripped in 30 ..... help.
 
Zoe
 

Thursday, 29 January 2015

My Fitness and Health Plan

I've talked about changing my body and image and now it's time to put those words into action! I'm going to start exercising everyday; no matter how little and I'm cutting out any un-needed foods (not unwanted because I still want them, now anyway).



Fitness First
I stumbled upon Kayla Itsine's Instagram and she had before and after shots of different women who had completed her guide. They were amazing, it was all done in 12 weeks! I bought the downloadable guide and started doing it sometime last year and found it quite hard, I'm really not very strong on my arms at all and my wrists are only little so I felt like I was in pain a lot and just stood there for most of the workout which didn't get me very far ha! Nevertheless I am going to tackle it again and she has since updated it so there are now 4 pre-training weeks which should help me get there. Kayla has a blog and her Instagram account is so motivational along with all her followers', as they are all going through it together and help each other. Her guides, whilst a bit expensive, are very interesting as she breaks down everything you need to know and how to get the body you want; with commitment! She specialises in young women's diet and fitness though older women have followed her plan and succeeded also. She now has a 24 week plan for mega fit determined people, which I don't have but you know maybe ... one day..? Ok so I want to do Kayla's workout but ... it's all on paper and for the first few weeks of getting back into the swing of things I need someone shouting at me! Telling me to 'Come on' and 'One more, push!' I'm going to start off with Jillian Michaels' DVDs. These are really good, I have all of them, I started with the 30 Day Shred and completed it one January and found it was amazing, I had actually lost weight and toned up in 30 days, I bought most her DVDs and some are a lot more difficult than others, i.e Ripped in 30. I find Jillian a great driving force in getting me going and pushing myself so she can kick me back into gear. I also really enjoy Cassey's Blogilates channel on YouTube, she too is very motivational and so friendly and happy. She has varying videos in stretching or full on 'pop pilates' workouts or dance routines (oh Gangnam style is the best). She also has monthly guides to follow if you want to solely commit to that but I think I'm going to try different videos every now and then depending on what body part I feel needs work. Finally I want to stretch and feel empowered so I'm going to do Elle's stretching guide, she has an Instagram account also which is so interesting and she posts different challenges every now and then for you to try. I bought her stretching guide from her blog and she also has a poster with all the stretches on. So all those people's guides to fit into to a fitness plan felt quite daunting but I've come up with one to last me from now until July! Here it is:
 

That's the general gist of what I'm planning to do, I'm not going to take it so seriously so that it stresses me out, If I can't do one one day that's ok I'll just jiggle it about till I can fit them in. And If I miss a day out completely it's ok too, I'll just pick up and start where I left it. I'm planning on working out in the middle of my day to break up the knitting/ crocheting time and give my poor fingers a break. Luckily we have a treadmill so anytime the weather is just too bad I'll go for a walk on that. (As you can see I'm not doing the full JM 30 days, just a week of each level).

Food, Glorious Food
I love food, I love eating and making yummy treats, so I'm not going to restrict myself because that won't make me happy. I like eating pastries and chocolate. ice-cream, bread and cakes, and I'm going to eat them just not as much and not the quantities (oops) that I was eating them before and instead of going out and buying chocolate bars for example I'll bake something instead. I'm going to eat healthier and have more thought out lunches instead of grabbing anything and when it's someone's Birthday or Easter I just have to accept that I'm going to indulge, it's going to set me back but I'm just going to enjoy it. Everything in moderation.
 
I'll be posting weekly or two weekly summaries of how it's going, I'm not focusing on what I weigh, just what I feel and see in the mirror. If I have an off day I'm not going to beat myself up about it, I'll reward myself with a pamper session when I get back up and do it the next day. Good luck to anyone else on a fitness mission; We Can Do It!
 
Zoe

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Body Confidence



I've never felt comfortable with my appearance; I'm extremely conscious of how I look and how I feel others perceive me. For example I could never go up to a group of people and talk to them; with all their eyes on me I automatically think that they're noticing all the hang-ups that I have about myself, which makes me feel very uncomfortable and act very awkwardly. Even when I 'do' myself up I still look bluh which makes me feel even worse because I have spent ages trying to look nice and nothing works. I have tried with diets in the past but for whatever reason they haven't worked. I've felt trapped in thinking that I'll look silly if I wear that or dress like that and I feel that I'm not being who I really am and want to be. I have felt self conscious for long enough now, I have to deal with it so I can enjoy life more. I'm not going to do anything too extreme like go under the knife, (I don't want to be a clone)  I'm going to take extra care of myself so I feel free and content.
 
I want to be slimmer and toned, so that I have no 'wobbles' to worry about, this goes with wearing clothes that I want to and won't feel self conscious in and hopefully give me the confidence to dress like me. I want to have nice clear skin that looks fresh and alive. I want to have healthy soft hair and I want to cut it! At the moment my hair is like my security blanket as it is the most stand out thing on me, so I feel more people will take notice of my hair instead of everything else, but I don't want to hide under it anymore and I want to get rid of those ratty ends!
 
The first thing I'm going to do is work on accepting that this is me and we are all different. Comparing is not good and I just end up being bitter and jealous. This is my one body and I'm going to learn to love it, I don't have anyone else's and it's not going to magically change. Yes, there will always be things I don't like but if I change the way I think I'll be happy with them. I know this will take time and be an on going process but if it means a happier state of mind and feeling boundless and just get out there and do things then it's worth it.
 
Zoe
 
 

Friday, 23 January 2015

Figuring Out What To Do To Make Money

Finding something to do for a living for some people can be extremely easy; they've known from a young age, taken all the right GCSEs, A levels, degrees, PHDs, courses, diplomas, apprenticeships, whatever and haven't even thought about it. Others, like me (at least I hope there are others) seriously have had no clue. I didn't even think, didn't think at all when I was at school about a career or learning something for a trade, then suddenly it was the end of sixth form and people I knew where going to uni or college or joining the family business or going off travelling and I felt a bit lost. I didn't have anything I excelled in nor felt I wanted to pursue and I did particularly the idea of 'growing up'. I think in some part that was my problem. I never wanted to wear make up when everyone else did or dress up and go into town, I wasn't even interested in boys till a long time after my friends were and had to pretend to like someone so I wasn't thought of as weird. Anyway off subject now completely....
 
Finding what to spend your days doing to make money is difficult. Some days you think you can do anything and you apply for so many jobs but when you get round to an interview (if you're lucky enough to get one) you're thinking 'crap, I can't do this, I can't remember what I said I could do.' I hate that especially when it's a phone interview there and then and you don't even know what job it's for. Some days you feel there is nothing there worth applying for; it's all boring and same-y. Or you have a freak-out, get desperate and take any old crappy job, which you'll then end up hating yourself for or leaving, again. So I've made lots of lists of what I don't like and don't even bother looking at on ads pages. Lists of what I do like and then written down any job I can think of to do vaguely with those areas.

I know what I don't want to do which is a start, I don't want to be bored in front of a screen all day, I don't want to actively sell things to customers or piss anyone off and I really don't want to be stressed or treated like I'm not a human. I've thought about subjects I'm interested in but as I have not taken any qualifications in those areas and haven't the funds to then sadly I can't do them i.e. zoo keeper, working with animals in general (not like a vet though), bake in a bakery or looking after children whether at home as a nanny or in a school. Some of these I could try and do if they weren't always looking for people with experience, I'm not sure if children even like me anyway.

But now I think I have the answer, finally.
 

I have always been quite artistic; at school I did textiles, chemistry and maths which I think is quite creative. Solving equations and algebra do look quite creative and mixing chemicals and periodic tables all look quite cool (no?) I like logic and puzzles, I like working things out, I like doing Killer Sudoku and I also quite enjoyed doing spread sheets and payroll at work (is this weird?), I love baking which I have done since I was little, knitting and sewing and now crochet which all involve patterns and measurements, so I guess I love numbers. I knew I definitely liked doing all these things and this time off has really let my creative juices flow and made me realise just how happy I am when I'm doing it. I just didn't think I was that great at it until I started to get positive feedback from people I'd shown my creations to saying that I should sell them! Therefore I have come up with an excellent idea; I should sell them! I know what I want to do now, I know what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. I want to knit, I want to crochet, I want to sew, I want to make my own creations for people to enjoy, I want to make my hobby into a full time hobby, I'm so excited!
 
OK back to less excitement for a minute. Obviously I need to make money while I'm getting started so I'm going to be looking for a nice stable job for 2 - 3 days a week that will keep me interested but not overwhelm me, something I can go to, come back from and not have it playing on my mind, but rewarding nonetheless. I've thought of jobs such as a post lady or post office lady, a receptionist in a vets, a cattery helper or cleaner for stately homes and such. These are all things I like to do; be on my feet/active, admin, animals and helping people. Then on my days off I'm going to be beavering away making, designing, engineering ways to make beautiful things that people will want. (Matt's just going to have to get used to the fact that there will always be stuff everywhere and we'll just have to buy a house that will have a room especially for my crafts).
 
I know I haven't chosen an easy route and there is definitely going to be a lot of hard work if I want my work to be successful but, keeping in my calm optimistic state of mind, I know that even if people aren't interested in what I make, I'm happy doing it and that is important. So hopefully you have found this helpful if you're in this situation. If you are stuck and don't know where to go or what to do think about these things:
  1. Do you want a job to be your life or one where you go in, do it, come home.
  2. If you are not yet 24 you can still have funding for an NVQ at college.
  3. Write down exactly what it is you don't want from a job and don't either bother looking at adverts for those on the computer.
  4. Make a list of things you like, no matter how small or insignificant and start thinking of jobs that may involve those things. Mess around with anything you enjoy doing, like looking it up on-line and learning more about it, it may lead on to other interests.
  5. Consider your hobby as your way of making money. 
NB: If you find it rewarding and it fits into the life you want then who cares what anyone else thinks.
 
Zoe