Friday, 18 November 2011

A slight hiccup in the dream department....

When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take the step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly. (Frank Outlaw)

My dream is still alive...
Just have to get someone else on board to start the journey and he is proving to be hesitant... To give up what he knows and the security he feels is a big step for him...
Things will work out - in time a way will be found ...

I believe:-))

Monday, 24 October 2011

Dreams and projects (2)

Continuing from part one....
Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and step off the path and see what opens up....

After six months we made the decision that it would be best for Alan to give up work and move to Cumbria to enable him to search for work in earnest. Trying to do it from so far away was just not working. He had only got one interview in all that time.
We had to believe he would find a job and we wouldn't be left with both of us out of work and no income. It was a risk - so much could have gone wrong - but it paid of. He was able to concentrate wholly on finding work. He got asked to interviews and it wasn't long before he was offered a position.
Shortly after he began work we started house hunting.
We saw a lot of properties but none were suitable.
 In one of the local papers I saw an image of a house for sale that leapt out at me. I remembered I had seen it in the estate agents but had dismissed it because it was just over our price range.

We decided to view it just in case a deal could be done and it could be bought within budget.
It was an ex housing association house and although it would require a lot of work to make it ours it 'felt' right straight away.

It had gardens on three sides - the back being a field - with three large sycamores in - that needed complete landscaping. In total there were 6 mature trees in back and side gardens. The gardens were very overgrown and would need a lot of work.
The house itself had a living/dining room that had french doors out to the garden. It had a large kitchen diner. There was also a garage attached and accessed through the kitchen. The owners had built it to be wider than normal making it an ideal size to convert it into another living space.
It had all the potential to make it into the home from my 'dream book'.

 We were lucky to get it within our budget and moved in and began the long process of making it  into our dream home.
Over 14 years the garage has been converted with french doors that lead out to a patio - no arbour though!  The kitchen cupboards were initially painted until we could afford to change the units. It has has now been replaced and has an island unit in the middle. a conservatory has been added.
The garden has been an ongoing project and has evolved over the time we have lived here.Alan and I work well as a team. I design and he produces the end product. It now has mature shrubbery and is very private. There are different 'rooms' with seating. There is a play area and a veg garden. The driveway has also been widened.

The dream has been realised. It has not been recreated exactly as I envisaged it all those years ago - I dream big and the house I dreamt about was of mansion proportions:-)
 It wasn't a finished package - it took vision to see how the property we veiwed could be transformed. Thankfully I had spent so long 'dreaming ' that I had the blueprint :-) It may not be a large property in it's own grounds but it has all the elements of the house I dreamt about and it has become our home.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


I have to find time to carry on my previous post... I found this link and wanted to share it.

Dreams and projects (1)

I class myself as a dreamer.
People often say not to dream big because you will be disappointed if it doesn't work out.
 I love to dream - I enjoy the whole process from the initial glimmer of an idea to working out the details and planning what I can do to make it happen. I can honestly say I have never been sorry that I spent time imagining and daydreaming what might happen - even if the dream isn't realised ( as is often the case ). I find that even if the original idea doesn't come to fruition there are spin off ideas or the possibility to move in a different direction previously un-thought of....

For me dreams are positive things and I believe when you are thinking positively you are receptive and see the paths that open up for life to change.

Like most people my life has had many challenges and has - at times - been very difficult. I have always considered myself a lucky person though and I have come to see those challenges as positive incidents. They have made me the person I am today and - after many years thinking otherwise - I like who I am :-)

As this blog is about us changing our lives in the future I thought I would give you a little of my recent history - the ups and downs - how our life has changed and how dreams and projects have fitted in.

I had many years as a manager in a busy discount retail chain. It was a job I was good at.
I gave a lot - as I tend to do - no half measures :-) It wasn't a career path I choose - it kind of chose me. I started as a sales assistant and got offered promotion to supervisor, assistant manager and then eventually manager.
 As a manager I chose - instead of being very office based - to be involved in all the very physical day to day stock movement and shelf filling. I was first in, last out. I enjoyed the challenge and felt confident in my ability to do a good job. The days were full of projects. I enjoyed taking hundreds of boxes of stock and creating displays I had designed. I ordered my own stock and had control over how much I ordered and then how I then promoted it in store. 
Over time working practices changed and more and more decisions were made at head office level and managers were given less and less freedoms to order stock and influence sales at branch level. Working for a large company meant constant demands for more - more profit - more productivity - more blood - more sweat and there were often tears!  I loved the job but not the pressure.
17 years ago - after a safari holiday to Kenya - I became unwell and was eventually diagnosed as having ME. Over two years or so I spent time off work and as soon as my health improved I would try to return only to have a relapse. This meant I would be off work for months again.
 I had hoped my health would improve and I would be able to return to work. That wasn't to happen though. After numerous attempts to return to work - including reducing my hours - it became obvious that I was not going to recover quickly and we had to take the hard decision that I would resign. It would enable me to get well without the stress of trying to go back to work time and again.
It was hard though ... I felt such a failure for having to give in and quit. It took me many, many months if not years to move through those emotions. With hindsight I could see how much I had to change my personality to fulfill the demands the job put on me. I didn't like the pressure I had to put on my staff - I didn't like the person I had to be in that role. The silver lining in the situation didn't become obvious for many years though!
Alan continued to work and would bring me a paper home each day. At the time The Daily Mail was running a competition to win a house. All you had to do was to collect tokens. Not too energetic and within my capabilities ;-)) This became my project. Granted it was a very small project :-) however - in the circumstances it was enough.... I religiously cut them out every day and after some months sent the envelope off and thought no more about it. I was dumbstruck some months later when I got a call to let me know I was one of fifteen who had won a house!!! A dream come true...
After much discussion we decided that instead of taking the house ( a new build in Sale Manchester )  we would take the cash alternative. In the long term the house would have increased in value but in the short term the money gave us the financial freedom to sell the house and make the move back to be near family. Money is not everything...
 Alan didn't give up his job and was still living in Liverpool - he rented a room and came up to Cumbria at weekends. I was living in a small cottage we rented. I was often bedridden and day to day living involved spending the majority of the day resting. My wonderful staff had bought me a chocolate Labrador as my leaving gift and he gave me a reason to get out of bed. I would walk the short distance to the beach and sit on a dune and throw a ball for him. He would spend hours searching for it and bringing it back again - he got his exercise without it being too strenuous for me and I got the full healing benefits being near the sea. I really needed something to keep my mind active - it couldn't be anything to taxing though as any mental exertion had the same affect as physical activity.
Hoping that one day we would be back together in our own home I decided to set myself a project and began to collect home design and decoration magazines. Interior design had never been a topic I was particularly interested in but it seemed something I could dip in and out of  when health permitted. I cut out all the images I liked and had a folder to keep them all in. The 'dream book' enabled me to be positive about getting back to a home of our own. I drew the floor plan of the ideal house and I envisaged the layout of the grounds. The house had french doors from the living room onto a patio. It also had french doors from the dining room onto another patio with an pergola above it. There were three reception rooms and a lovely large kitchen with room for a table or an island unit. The gardens were expansive and had mature trees and shrubs.It also had seating areas in various areas of the garden.
I spent ages collating images and in the many hours I was resting I was dreaming about what it would be like to live in the house I had created...

Friday, 7 October 2011

Link ...

This format doesn't seem to support links on the side at the mo so I will continue to put them on a post til I find our how or decide to change the format - although I do like these new ones :-)

Be more with less....
 life on purpose.

Choose to Change...

Symbol of life transformation.

My time browsing the internet is never a fruitless or time wasting activity. The links I find enrich my mind and often serve to change my life. If I spent the time reading books it would not be seen in the same light at all. During this time of change I am searching for articles that inspire and inform me to keep me motivated and enable the process to keep moving.
Such a link cropped up this morning.
"Like it or not, every choice you make, creates the life you live. Even when things happen to you and your life, your choice in how you deal with it determines the outcome. Since you only get to live your life one time, make your choices count."

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Life is good - but - it can be even better!

Butterflies are symbols of flying free, which speaks of human longing for joy.

The truth is you don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed. Eminem
Our life is good... We have love and support, we have a warm and comfortable home. Alan has employment and a wage coming in each month... We have everything we need.
There are things we want though....
We want Alan to be able to give up work - to leave behind the stress of a job that is becoming more and more difficult and less and less rewarding for him. We want to spend our days together earning a living. Not earning a fortune - just enough for our needs. We want to do work that is rewarding and create a business that can be flexible so that we can decide our own working hours.
Pipe dream?
Maybe... but until we try we will never know.
We can discuss it some more and then maybe wait a while and talk some more or..... we can begin to make it happen.
Plans are being made and options are being talked about.
It can't happen overnight but small steps can be taken in the right direction.
Until you step off one path and onto another you will never know what doors will open to you.
It might be a bumpy path strewn with potholes and it might not lead very far but we are willing to set foot off this path we are on and see where we end up....
This is the start of the journey.
Climb on board ;-)

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. Ralph Waldo Emerson