Taking things for granted is one of the themes set for us by the lovely Chloe this week as we celebrate Best Boot Forward week 8.

Love Letter

One thing I and other women can take for granted is that the Best Boot Forward network will always have your back in challenging times and be there as virtual cheerleaders as you make positive changes to your life and world.

Back to my personal take on Chloe’s questions this week.

What do you take for granted? Do you take something or someone for granted and how does that effect your outlook on life? Could appreciating something or someone a little more help improve things for yourself or those around you? Is being able to take something for granted a total positive in your life too?

I think it is all too easy to take the people around you for granted. I think it happens a lot in family life and that it is a shame. It is only recently that I have started to realise that whilst feeling unappreciated myself, I was guilty of taking my husband for granted. I appreciate him more these days as we pursue a new adventure together. He is funny, he is caring if a little clumsy in how he expresses that sometimes and he gets me where I need to be and nearly always son time both literally and metaphorically.

I also think I have taken for granted that my children will always be around and that sometimes that can lead to a little neglect in putting other things above spending quality time with them. As they get older and will soon be making their own moves into the world, I need to cherish the now that I have with them. Work and other stuff should sometimes take a back seat.

Finally, I think I have taken relative good health for granted. That led to me not looking at my needs enough in a quest to be a perfect partner, parent and worker. As I hit middle-age, I need to realise the body is more vulnerable and to treat is at the shrine that it should be.

Could you change a habit to improve your life? Giving something up can be extremely difficult, particularly when we think about habits such as smoking, negative thought patterns or cake eating. Could you shake up your routine a tiny bit to change your habits or perhaps you could look at cutting down? What rituals allow you to partake in a “vice” and how could you avoid that?

I have changed my habits a lot recently and live a far more balanced and happy life. I am cutting down my alcohol limit aware that our new social life could take its toll on my liver. I am strong-minded enough to not be bothered when friends criticise me for sticking to soft drinks.

Negative thought patterns are all but gone although weirdly in very recent weeks, I have really hated my body. I can of course change how it looks but I am not quite sure where the self-denigration on my levels of attractiveness has come from in the last month or so.

I am looking forward to warmer weather so I can incorporate far more time outdoors in a comfortable way – it is freezing at the moment!

What good habits do you have or could you get into? Do you have a great morning routine which sets you up for the day or would you like to pick up a better work ethos? What practical steps can you take to get into these good habits. What advice would you offer to others on making good practices?

I think I have answered some of this above, another bad habit of mine! I don’t think I have ever had a morning routine really always counting it as a victory to get out of bed to be honest. I work hard but learn to do this at a more relaxed pace these days knowing the world really will not end if I take a break. I would like to look at my daily schedule to ensure there is more input with the children both on the fun and learning fronts. I also want to make a list to ensure the housework gets done to some sort of timetable rather than in a haphazard manner.

My advice to others on making good practices is to ensure your mental and physical health is at its best first and foremost. Then celebrate yourself as an individual and tell yourself you deserve the best quality of life as defined by you and then take baby steps to create it. Of course if you tap into a strong peer support network like Best Boot Forward, you are a huge step ahead of the life game already.

Have you ever sent a love letter or perhaps you have received one? Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day so I am using that as a neat little hook so that we can all feel the love but in a bit of a different way.

Love Letter

So as ever, we would love you to link up any post about how you are making you life more positive.

If you really want to go for it and take up my challenge, it would melt my heart if you could link up a love letter to yourself. I know this will be difficult to tackle for some readers but I also think it is a really worthwhile exercise to do. Write it in a way you see fit – some of you may want do a poem and of course prose is wonderful too.

Just in case you need a little help to get you started, try these questions.

1. What physical feature of yours is particularly attractive?
2. What qualities and personality traits make you loveable?
3. What skills do you have that you are really proud of?
4. What challenge have you overcome in the most inspiring way?
5. What gets in the way of you loving yourself as much as you should?

If you blog about how you are improving your life one baby step at a time, please link up with us. You don’t have to answer the questions or even think about them so long as you have a post about positive life change, you are welcome to the Best Boot Forward linky.

BESTBOOTFORWARD LINKY RULES:

1. Add a backlink to this post using #bestbootforward and fear not, our badge is coming soon!

2. Please comment on this post and the one from Chloe at Indigo Wilderness and at least one other. Obviously the more you comment, the better and it is a super way to get to know other people and to interest them in your blog.

3. Link as many posts as you like so long as they are about you moving your life forward positively in some way.

4. The linky is open for a week so there is plenty of time to link up.

5. Tag myself @kateonthinice and Chloe at @IndigoChlo on Twitter for a Retweet with #Bestbootforward

Link up below and we would LOVE to have you!


100 years of women’s right to vote in the UK certainly sounded like something to celebrate and there was a lot of coverage of this anniversary in the media.

Woman

The reality is only women who were over the ago of 30 and who met a property qualification were allowed to vote. That meant 60 per cent of women in the UK remained without the vote. Quite why you needed to be over 30 to have a view on who should govern the country I do not know. It is also worth noting that this Act we were supposed to celebrate so much also let men over the age of 21 vote because apparently they had the brains to do so at a much younger age than their female counterparts. The property qualification makes me smile but wryly. The UK and its over-emphasis on the value of person according to their property status does so much damage.

So yes I am pleased by any move towards an increase in fairness for women but there were flaws in this act and women 100 years later clearly still have a lot of battles to fight for a fair deal.

I can’t cover everything that needs to change for women and men in one blog post so let’s tackle Chloe’s questions for Best Boot Forward this week.

If you could change one thing, and one thing only about the world we live in today, what would that be? We’re talking anything you like here. Would you want to close the pay gap? Would you banish all modern technology? Or might you fancy living in a world where wearing socks with sandals was compulsory..?

I used to fight a lot for women’s rights and still hate the injustices they face. However I am starting to question why always aligning with our own gender does us any favours at all. If we looked at the abuse of power against anyone whatever their gender, perhaps we could remove a lot of the battles and win the war for a better world for all of us. I hate the abuse of power and one thing that I would wave a magic wand for immediately if I could is to remove domestic violence from our world. I would also like us to be able to walk without fear on our streets. I would like all landlords, employers and government agencies to act with fairness too.

2.How do you think making that change would affect you personally?

I would do a merry jig! Seriously I have certainly had my share of abusive employers and landlords in my time. If there was a fair distribution of power in society, I would also be less scared of offending the men in my life over the years and do less housework allowing me to do more merry jigs in my best boots of course.

3.If we wound the clock back 100 or so years, would you see yourself as a Suffragist, a Suffragette or neither? Why would you have made this choice?

Suffragist is a generic term that includes not just women but also men who supported the cause of women’s suffrage. I do wish more men would stand up for women’s rights but then again perhaps more women should stand up for men’s too. Suffragists behaved in a peaceful manner and sent letters to their elected representatives to raise voice in their support. I use words persuasively I think so perhaps this would have appealed to me.

Suffragette is a term used to refer to women members of the groups that were violent and aggressive and indulged in acts of violence to draw attention of people to their cause. I am not a violent person but there is the odd rare occasion where I see people being attacked or abused where I can head that way a little. I get very passionate about things so who knows?

Such a challenging question as if I am completely honest, I am not convinced by democracy as the best system that it is held up to be. That’s a whole blog post in its own right!

”Best

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.

Putting things off is on my mind today and it appears I have even put off the Best Boot Forward weekly post until late evening.

Putting Things Off

Putting things off can certainly bring us a lot of pleasure if we want to avoid something. However, in  the end the task or situation at hand will catch up with us. Perhaps that means putting things off is a negative thing.

However, although we might commonly associate putting things off with negative things, we should ask ourselves if we are also putting off the good stuff. We can really make some powerful  arguments as to why we want to do something  but can’t just yet. It is almost as if some of us are scared of being happy and/or following our dreams. We too easily take that huge gamble that we have all the time in the world when the truth is none of us can know that.

So my questions for you to reflect on this week if it helps you at all are ..

  1. What are you putting off?
  2. How does putting it off make you feel?
  3. What would happen if you took action instead of procrastinating?
  4. How risky is the gamble you are taking by putting something off?

I will be answering these myself and posting later this week.

If you blog about how you are improving your life one baby step at a time, please link up with us. You don’t have to answer the questions or even think about them so long as you have a post about positive life change, you are welcome to the Best Boot Forward linky.

BESTBOOTFORWARD LINKY RULES:

1. Add a backlink to this post using #bestbootforward and fear not, our badge is coming soon!

2. Please comment on this post and the one from Chloe at Indigo Wilderness and at least one other. Obviously the more you comment, the better and it is a super way to get to know other people and to interest them in your blog.

3. Link a maximum of 1 post per week.

4. The linky is open for a week so there is plenty of time to link up.

5. Tag myself @kateonthinice and Chloe at @IndigoChlo on Twitter for a Retweet with #Bestbootforward