Turning up to work on time is generally seen as professional in most work environments. Often, starting and finishing times are enshrined in your contract of employment. I remember my fascination as a child in watching people on the television clock in and out. I remember asking about it and my parents saying that boss needed a way to tell his employees were in work on time and also that they did not leave early.

I have worked in environments such as advice agencies where members of the public expected a service at certain times of day. If you did not turn up on time, you really were letting your clients down as well as your employer. Your time and attendance records were one way of assessing whether you were professional or not.

However, I have also worked in environments doing management, promotional and administrative roles where I really did question why there could not be more flexibility in working hours. We presumably all have our own individual body clocks so in some roles, I feel it would be better to work to those to enhance employee morale.

I was relatively OK at managing the 9-5 routine until I became a parent. Then it became more challenging. Although the 9-5 may be OK with most nursery hours, it certainly bears little relation to school hours never mind all the events your child would like you to be at such as the Nativity Play and Sports Day.

I think the challenges of trying to be all things to all people leads to many mums giving up work, freelancing or going part-time. Juggling it all can mean that time and attendance goes badly wrong leading to stress for the employee and potentially adverse impacts on the business and its stakeholders.

Although there will always be people who want to play the system and get away with things, I really did want to do the best by my employers. When I realised I could no longer do that due to the demands of parenting and caring, I became a stay at home mum and then a blogger. We don’t have to clock in as bloggers although ironically lots of us end up working harder than we ever have and longer hours too. Having said that, they are the hours we choose so there is more flexibility when the school holidays arrive or little Daniel is poorly and needs a duvet day.

Are you good at turning up to work on time?

Did you find this more challenging when you became a parent?

Chasing the Sun with Henry is a novel I probably would not have chosen and for a quite embarrassing reason. It is written by a man and written in the first person with a man as the protagonist. I would normally go for a female author which is ridiculous because some of my favourite authors are men but there you have it. I may as well be honest.

Chasing The Sun With Henry

I read the blurb on the back of the novel which was sent to me for review. I was told that Eddie was a children’s entertainer and close hand magician who was bored in his marriage. I still did not feel inspired thinking from the look of the fact that he meets a beautiful stranger this would be just about some affair.

The novel starts with a familiar enough scene as Eddie returns from a dog walk on the beach with his Collie-Spaniel cross, Henry. His wife Sally moans and he takes it in stride for once as he is excited having met a woman whilst out. The marriage seems to be stale perhaps and also troubled but it is not clear why but I sensed something big would be revealed in due course. I liked both Eddie and Sally and also enjoyed how the affection and memories between them are still there although threatened by a number of things including domestic irritations, family dynamics and stress.

We are introduced to the couple and their friends quite quickly. All are drawn really well including Henry the dog. I was interested in each and every one of them and not quite sure where their stories would take them. The book held my attention and I was keen to return to it regularly.

The woman on the beach who attracts Eddie’s interest remains an enigma to the reader and to Eddie for that matter until about halfway through the book when their paths cross again although this time Cerys’ dog is missing and this is going to tie different aspects of the book together.

I am about halfway through the book and I love it. I would want to return to the same author again and look forward to sharing more of my thoughts with you soon.

The author comments:

“My novel portrays the various guises of love that we encounter in life; from parental, platonic and sexual, to a love of nature and the natural world. The story offsets the positive influences we gain from such relationships against the losses we are also forced to face,” says Gary.

So far, I think that is a good description and these themes surely would appeal to most of us.

Family Fever

Today I talk to inspirational woman Eli Zheleva who moved from Bulgaria to Great Britain and now runs a successful business.
Inspirational Woman
What does it feel like to move to the UK from another country?
I’ve always wanted to see what the Great in Great Britain was, so coming here was a dream come true. I’ve loved it since the first day I arrived. Of course, I’ve had ups and downs, but on the whole it’s been amazing. I think part of the reason I’ve managed to stay positive in tougher times is because I wanted to be here, and I knew I had to make it work. Many people come here with the main reason of making money, so when things don’t go to plan, they are more likely to think of giving in and going back home.
 
Have you ever had issues with self-esteem and how have you overcome them?
When I was a teenager I had big problems with that. I didn’t show it to many, but deep down I knew I wasn’t confident in who I was. Nowadays I have moments when for less than a minute I doubt myself, but then I look back on what I’ve achieved and those doubts are gone. If I had to pin point one thing that has made a massive difference, that should be reading personal development books. Those books showed me a different world of possibilities and gave me the mindset to reach for that world. The rest is time. Over time we meet different people and I was lucky enough to have fantastic people in my life who were my friends and mentors. People with more self-esteem and positivity than I had. It is true that the people you surround yourself with, you become.
What health issues have you confronted and how?
When I was 19 I was diagnosed with a rare Hepatitis B and some doctors even thought I wouldn’t be around for long. I decided to ignore everything they said though and lived my life the way I wanted it. Well, I must admit I wasn’t completely reckless and I stopped drinking, had tons of supplements, live bacteria and all sorts of natural remedies. However, I was supposed to reduce the fried food intake – I was carrying on with the chips. I was not supposed to stress my body physically – I was playing badminton 5 times a week. Basically, I decided to get in control of the situation and to enjoy myself whilst looking after my health.
 
How did you choose your career and why do you enjoy it?
My career chose me. I have always had a passion for computers, and friends were coming to me to help them out. Because people knew I was computer savvy, one day my English teacher asked me to go and work with her in a marketing agency, as a data admin person. I agreed and because I was getting things done quicker than anticipated, my boss asked me if I could do the SEO. I said “of course I could do it”, and straight after went to Google to ask what that really was. It turned out to be Search Engine Optimisation, a branch of digital marketing. I loved how it worked, the challenge and seeing the results of what I was doing, and gradually that became my career.
 
Are you happiest single or in a relationship?
Although I love my freedom, I’m happiest in a relationship. It’s important to have someone to share your time, emotions and passion with.
 
Apart from your own, if you could recommend one website to a woman what would it be and why?
I would wholeheartedly recommend Tony Robbins’ website. I’ve followed Tony’s work for years and last year I had the privilege to see him live twice. On his website there are articles about relationships, relationships with money, mindset and other personal development topics. Tony’s teachings have helped me reach a new level of understanding about myself and those around me. I believe in what he stands for, and have found tremendous value in that, so every woman should spend at least a little bit of time on that site.
 
Who  supports you as you move forwards positively in life?
The usual suspects – family and friends. I have been blessed with having great people in my life and they have been the support, and often the drive of what I do. Sometimes I push myself just so I can become a stronger person emotionally and financially and can help them more. 
 
If you had to choose between love and money, what would you go with?
Love. Money comes and goes. You can win money playing the lottery tomorrow, you can’t win love like that. Love is a destination, whereas money is a means to an end. I’m a hopeless flirt and a romantic, so love wins for me every time.
 
What is your favourite quotation?
“Life is like an automatic door. It wouldn’t close in front of you unless you take too long to make a move.” – my own quote.
 
If you could recommend one book for a woman to read, what would it be and why?
That’s always a tricky question for me, as there’s no one size fits all. I’d recommend different books to different people depending on what they want to achieve and what their current outlook on life is. If I had to choose one, I’d go for the classic “Think and grow rich” by Napoleon Hill.
 
What would you like a reader to do after reading your interview?
I would encourage every reader to find their “why”. To think about what they want, and more importantly why they want it. Is it possible that the ultimate outcome they want is not what they thought they wanted? As I mentioned above, people sometimes say they want money. It is rarely one wants money for the sake of money. It’s more so the perceived outcome the money will give the person.
Are you an inspirational woman with an interesting story that might help others? If you are I would love to hear from you.

How To Change Country

The Pramshed
Hot Pink Wellingtons

When you’re young, full of ideas, and bursting with energy, it can be very easy to feel as though the government leading you is doing a lot of negative things. Normal laws can seem designed to hold you back, and changes going into the future can seem far too hastily chosen. Of course, though, in reality, this body is almost always acting in the interest of the largest portion of people, and most will come to understand this as they get older.

Government

(Image Source)

Once you reach this point, the real issues which come with a government can come to light and will be especially prevalent if you ever have to deal with them. Mistakes can be made when so many people are being managed, often leading to issues for citizens. To get around this, this post will be exploring some of the best ways to open a dispute with your government, along with the methods which can be used to give yourself an upper hand.

  • Collecting Evidence

 

Going into any sort of dispute, having a clear set of evidence to back you up will always be better than going at it unprepared. At this stage, it is likely that you have had to have some phone conversations surrounding your issue, and a record of these could prove to be incredibly useful. Most mobile phones have apps available which enable you to create copies of the calls you have. Coupled with the screenshots, letters, and other details you have, using your phone time will be a great way to collect hard proof of your argument.

  • Getting Support

 

When getting started with a process like this, it can feel very tempting to rush and follow your instinct when you’re taking action to fix it. In reality, though, this will often result in issues down the line, and you could make a big mistake if you take this approach. Instead, before making any choices, it’s vital that you do plenty of research to ensure that you’re going down the right route. There are loads of websites out there to help you with this, including a massive host of blogs, forums, and other places to get feedback from other users.

In some cases, the dispute you find yourself in could be a lot bigger than one which you can handle without some help. Nowadays, though, there are loads of ways to get help with your money, even when the government is on your back. Using services like tax fraud investigation, you can make sure to find any issues before your leaders do, giving yourself the chance to put it right before someone else notices. This sort of approach could end up saving you a small fortune.

  • Your Approach

 

Finding yourself in the midst of a battle with your government is never a nice idea. During something like this, you are likely going to have to do loads of work, determining your success at the end. Of course, at each stage, people will play a large role in helping you through this, and this is where your approach will make all the difference. Being as helpful as possible will show that you are a good person, and that you want to get things resolved as soon as possible. It will be hard to march to the beat of someone else’s drum for a little bit, though it will be worth it once you’re able to reap the benefits.

Along with making sure that you are making the process smooth, it can also be worth taking it seriously. In most cases, being in trouble with an organization like this will mean that you have done something wrong. Whether this is something small or large, though, the impact that it could have on your life is enough to warrant putting some of your spare time into it. Once the dispute process has begun, you need to be on time with everything you do, while also working hard to remain professional with those you speak to.

Hopefully, with all of this in mind, it will be a lot easier to start working harder on the time you put into any government disputes you might get into. In a lot of cases, issues like this are the result of computer malfunctions or human error, and can be solved with a couple of phone calls. Sometimes, though, you might have to take the fight further, and this could mean a couple of years of work to make sure that you’re fairly treated and represented.

Is putting things off a good or bad idea? I suspect delaying things can be both depending on the situation involved. The Best Boot Forward questions this week are all about such matters so I will answer them as best I can.

Delaying Things

1.What are you putting off?

I am putting less things off to be honest partly because I faced up to the fact that I was doing so when I wrote these questions last week. Paperwork of various sorts was getting on top of me and I worked out if it was stressing me out so much I would probably feel way better for tackling it.

In my life, I have put off looking after my mental and physical wellbeing. That has changed in recent years and although there is more work to do on the physical side of things, I am taking action and feeling better for that. Never neglect your wellbeing – it is not good for you but also terrible for those around you.

The other area I put off was looking after my relationship. Who knew? They take work and hard work at that. Like many mums, I put the children first which is great but can mean you neglect who you are and also who the “us” that  made the children in the first place is/was. At the start of the year I reflected that my marriage was stale. Somehow again the magic of acknowledging that has made things improve. We are going out more, communicating better and perhaps learning to adapt to a new chapter in our lives. I am still not 100 per cent happy with the relationship but the friendship that got us together in the first place is back and that’s a good foundation for future progress.

2.How does putting it off make you feel?

Putting things off like paperwork and work tasks ends up making me feel very stressed. In fact last week it resulted in tears which is most unusual these days. I knew that was a warning sign and took action.

Putting off looking after my wellbeing resulted in 10 years of depression and mental health difficulties. The only good to come of that is that I can hopefully act as a warning to others and also that I really value my happiness nowadays.

Putting off the work on my relationship made me seriously question  whether I wanted to stay in it. It also led to boredom on both sides. We had different strategies for dealing with that but we could have kept the spark if we had watched our partnership with a little more vigilance along the way.

3.What would happen if you took action instead of procrastinating?

It appears that taking action even if baby steps does work wonders but also makes me feel empowered. I have really recognised that the tiniest step taken should be celebrated and that suddenly a momentum builds up and things can change radically for the better.

4.How risky is the gamble you are taking by putting something off?

They say life is too short. My brother died young last year but he lived in a full-on way whilst he was on the planet despite health issues from a very early age. That gave me great comfort during the grieving journey. I hope when I die my children can say that I lived!

Some things can be put off positively I think. I don’t need to write that novel. I don’t need to be a perfect mum or educator. I should make my own choices and they may be new ones.

Well those are my thoughts on delaying things in life for what they are worth.