Headstart for the Day

Headstart for the Day

Hello there,
Thanks for popping in on Mindful Wednesday.
Today’s where we look at matters of the heart & soul.
It’s been a hectic few weeks here, I can tell you!
Hectic but good.
The Clarity team has rallied,
 and even though we aren’t filling orders 
as quickly as some would like, 
we are going like the clappers – Dave and myself included.
This morning at the crack of sparrows,
Dave and I were having a cuppa before darting off to work.
It was dark outside, and the day was barely awake.
Dave. “You okay?’
Me. “I’m fine. You?”
Dave. “All good. Positive thoughts, positive headstart.”
And that, methinks, is the key to a happy life.
Too simple for you?
I have to keep things simple though, 
because this mad head of mine will make a science out of ANYTHING if I let it.
So the answer’s that simple:  I don’t let it.  
Anyway, back to the positive head thing.
He’s so right.
If I wake up and I allow my head to fire up a resentment about somebody or something first thing in the morning, 
it pretty much sets the scene for the rest of the day.
Once I have let one person or one thing in, 
and had a little negative rant in my head,
then before I can shut the door and clean my teeth, 
there’s the next one. And the next one. And his mate,
And in what seems like an age, 
but is actually probably less than a minute, 
I have got a headful of gremlins, 
and am all set for a fight. 
Do you know, sometimes I have cried all the way to work, 
and I don’t even know why. 
I mean, that’s no way to start a day, now is it!!
The weird thing is though, I haven’t spoken to anybody, 
haven’t read anything, nothing.
My head can raise a battlefield before I have even put the kettle on. 
So if I want to have a good day, I have to be very mindful first thing in the morning.
And don’t scramble. 
Don’t panic about everything that needs doing. 
With what’s going down at Clarity at the moment, 
if I get on the “Can’t Manage Pity Pot” I am doomed!
I was listening to one of my mates the other day.
She was having a complete meltdown about how she couldn’t cope with Christmas, how she was dreading having to do all the cooking.
She hadn’t finished making her cards yet,
and hadn’t wrapped a single present. 
This friend doesn’t work; she’s a housewife. 
I listened carefully.
“Is your tree up?” I asked her optimistically.
“Yes, but it’s already shedding its needles. ”
Mmm…I haven’t made any cards at all.
I haven’t bought a single present.
No, I lie.
I have bought a nice present, but it hasn’t arrived yet. 
I am so excited about Christmas because the whole family 
is at ours, including Grace and Mark,
I am really looking forward to having us all round the big table. 
Have I ordered the turkey?
Not yet. I’ll let Dave do that!
And that’s me in the kitchen for 2 whole days, 
and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m 56 years old!
I have had about 35 years to practice!
If I can’t cook a blimming turkey with a few trimmings yet, 
dip me in honey, roll me in breadcrumbs and feed me to the lions!
You see, that kind of thing doesn’t phase me in the least.
It’s other things like bitching on Facebook
or backstabbing in the industry which can get to me. 
That’s where I have to be very careful not to buy into the bull.
What happens in the first hour of the day 
will pretty much set the pace all the way!  
Have I got our tree up yet?
What do you think?
But I do have a spiffing picture of last year’s!!!
And the year before!
plenty of practice there too….
And one thing I know from experience is to 
leave the tree outside till much closer to the 24th.
My Mum taught me that one!
I’ve even got photographic evidence of what 
the dining-room is supposed to look like, 
in case I forget!
It doesn’t look like that at the moment!
It’s been a Groovi Plate Packing Station for the last 2 months !!
Anyway, enough woffle.
All I wanted to say was that I, for one, 
have to be very vigilant about where I let my thoughts go first thing in the morning.
Nowhere is best !!!! 
Love & hugs 

79 thoughts on “Headstart for the Day

  1. Dear Barbara, please remember that people are coming to your house for your love and company not the best cooked turkey this side of Westerham. Sausage and chips on Christmas day with your loved ones round about you! that's a feast! Moira x

  2. Evening Barbara, nice to read that you are upbeat and keeping the daemons firmly under lock and key! Tree is up here, cards…sort of on the make, presents….hmmm ask me next week!

    Much love

    Kim x

  3. My package arrived this morning with a knock on the door from the postie. I only ordered the mini mounts and a word chain but it was lovely to get them all securely boxed up. My husband hates Christmas, working in retail for 28 years is bound to feel like that, especially the repetitive Christmas tunes on repeat!! They even want staff to work on Christmas day to stack the shelves with more food for those who HAVE to go shopping on boxing day, like people run out of food for one day, grrrr!! I'm still job hunting so thank goodness we don't get into debt for one day of the year, but we still have a nice meal, just the two of us and our cats Chester and Moby (and some strays who keep coming in!). I at least managed to make all my Christmas cards in good time this year! Just do what you do best Barbara, be you! Xx

  4. Wow Well erm Thank you…. This really went deep and made me think hard about the things that go on in my head every morning and during the night when I often struggle to sleep. You have inspired me to look at what is really important and how to redirect my thoughts each day to be more positive. Like you Barbara I do not like the face bitch nor craft bitch world and avoid it at all costs. Sending you and your love for Christmastime xxxx

  5. Glad to hear you being thankful for family and not stressing about the frivolous stuff. This year for the first time since I was at school I am sending bought cards (I left school in 1989!!). I am working three jobs just now which is adding up to about 40hours (my temp job for October is still going and will continue into January!), but it has meant that I could afford the groovi starter set and some plates and other items in the sale without worry. It was a nice feeling. I too have a friend who doesn't work and is stressing about how she doesn't have time to do what she has to do for Christmas! It pulls me down just listening to all her lists of things to do, but I know that they are her issues and not mine, so in between work I am doing lots of little things in prep and letting go of what really isn't important!! My house may not look like a show house, but it is nearly clean and strewn with craft stuff which everyone else thinks is clutter, and I have my daughter is coming home from Edinburgh this week for four weeks which means she is bringing lots of her stuff back to fill all the cleared out spaces I have created recently! I am glad that I have taken time to tidy and clean her room before she gets home. It will be nice to have here and see her every day for a while, and the time will go by so quickly.

  6. Oh Barbara…You'll get it all sorted….Christmas hasn't arrived here yet.. Yes I've made my cards…I made them in August knowing full well I would not have time right now …half are written…and the rest will get done in good time! I have a cake to decorate.. A special one for a party on Saturday and tomorrow I am being observed by my line manager. Am I phased by anything….well I'll leave you to decide that!
    But all this to do is absolutely fine because it reminds me how lucky I am!
    To have a job
    To be reasonably healthy… Fat but I always have been!
    To have a good and loving hubby!
    To have a warm and dry home…so many haven't got that especially after this weekend!
    To have a wonderful daughter who makes me proud every day!
    And to have so many lovely friends and a happy life!
    Puts it all into perspective for me really!

    Hope the gremlins don't get up tomorrow and leave you alone for some time!
    Love and hugs! Xxx

  7. Oh Barbara…You'll get it all sorted….Christmas hasn't arrived here yet.. Yes I've made my cards…I made them in August knowing full well I would not have time right now …half are written…and the rest will get done in good time! I have a cake to decorate.. A special one for a party on Saturday and tomorrow I am being observed by my line manager. Am I phased by anything….well I'll leave you to decide that!
    But all this to do is absolutely fine because it reminds me how lucky I am!
    To have a job
    To be reasonably healthy… Fat but I always have been!
    To have a good and loving hubby!
    To have a warm and dry home…so many haven't got that especially after this weekend!
    To have a wonderful daughter who makes me proud every day!
    And to have so many lovely friends and a happy life!
    Puts it all into perspective for me really!

    Hope the gremlins don't get up tomorrow and leave you alone for some time!
    Love and hugs! Xxx

    1. Jane this is so true, we have a lot of things to be thankful for don't we that we take for granted. Good luck with your observation tomorrow xxxxx

  8. As far as the tree is concerned, I am sure Grace and Mark would love to be a part of that. It was always a family thing in our house, with lots of old baubles which all had so many memories attached to them. That is the important thing, not presents and fancy food, but family, remembering old memories and making new ones. Do you remember six months ago when you are worried to death as to whether the Groovi was going to be liked? I am sure your house will emerge from under the outstanding success in time for your celebrations. I hope you can remain positive till then so that you can enjoy it You have such a positive thought to hold in your head, that your lovely Dave is recovering so well. Concentrate on that and you will be fine. love Maggie xx

    1. PS my house looks as though as bomb has hit it. My chair in the living room is surrounded by all the things I am using right now. The dining room is hidden from view behind the blinds and I might just find enough room in the kitchen to fit my shopping in tomorrow. As for upstairs, that is a no-go area until I have time to find my craft room. But it is clean and it is my house. So, even if you still have piles of Groovi around, you could all play with it after Christmas dinner. xx Maggie

  9. Wise words this year I won't make all my own cards ,do any shopping, cooking,asxI have just had a hysterectomy (endermetrial cancer) . I am just very thankful that the op has gone well and hopefully all the nasty bits have gone …..So grateful to all the staff at Maidstone hospital.. Family and friends for help and support ….love your blogs and inspiration Barbara looking forward to receiving my parcels .

  10. I think everyone has a wobble of sorts about the upcoming festivities! I usually do however seeing and hearing the heartbreaking stories coming out of Cumbria at the moment I certainly have nothing to stress over. I sincerely hope that any one living in Cumbria are safe and my thoughts are with them.
    Thanks to the Clarity team as my husband told me today a parcel has arrived! Yay only just over two weeks to open it! So happy you will have all your family home for Christmas. There is nothing better! X

  11. Well I retired this yr after being a nurse for 30+ yrs working shifts and this is the first year in I dont know how long that I will have all of christmas off. I also have a clean but messy crafty house, only me and 2 westies, still making christmas cards. My stress has been deciding who to go to for christmas, daughter, son or any one of three friends who all think I shouldnt be on my own on christmas day. I was quite looking forward to just vegging out & catching up with TV in my PJ's, then a long doggy walk on the beach. Decision made, set tv record, daughters for christmas day then travel down to sons in Gloucester on boxing day, then catch up with friends after, Christmas sorted stress over. Loved Maria's shows today, oops seem to need the new groovi plates – early pressie me to me xx Hugs to all

  12. Don't panic – there is another 16 days yet. Christmas is about family, and if they don't like it stuff them in the turkey – lolo – but I know that won't be the case. I love Christmas and I was the chief cook for 35 years, wen I took over the main day from my mum, and my daughter took over from me after my mum died. So we shall all be at hers for Christmas (well she does have a range cooker!), and although it will be difficult this year, with all that has gone on in the family in the past 3 months (that not everybody is aware of), but we WILL enjoy ourselves.

    I am beginning to get back on track. Cards all posted (ok only half handmadem but didn't start until 1 Dec). Bought the turkey and gammon today, which will be cooked and portioned tomorrow and put in freezer, as I expect to have the family over at some point, ss we all love playing games and cards (and we all have our "penny" bags for playing Newmarket etc!)

    As for the tree, as it is only me there will just be the little artificial one I bought a couple of years ago – but the greenery won't come in until Christmas Eve and and am hoping the birds haven't pinched all the holly berries!

    I believe in family at Christmas, and havoc and mess and friends are welcome to drop in any time, although I must admit that the days of the mega New Years Eve parties with mad games are over, until the grandchildren get a bit older! hugs Mags x

  13. My tree is still in the loft and unless someone comes to get it down it will be staying..my cards are mostly done..a couple for very close family but the others have gone in the post. Christmas dinner not a panic. No idea what we are having but it will just be the two of us.mmmm egg and chips sounds lol.

    It will be what it will be. True friends don't give a monkey's what state the house is in or what food they get..it's all about being together and sharing the love. Xx

  14. My tree is still in the loft and unless someone comes to get it down it will be staying..my cards are mostly done..a couple for very close family but the others have gone in the post. Christmas dinner not a panic. No idea what we are having but it will just be the two of us.mmmm egg and chips sounds lol.

    It will be what it will be. True friends don't give a monkey's what state the house is in or what food they get..it's all about being together and sharing the love. Xx

  15. Oh dear Barbara you have a mini meltdown while driving to work some days could that mean that your pushing your body too much ?if you look back on this year with Dave been so ill and you not knowing why no wonder you cried .
    Just having all your family around you this Christmas is so special and plenty off help to help you through .
    My partner / full time carer has put up our tree has helped me craft so my Christmas cards are ready just need to write some more to post write a few each day everything now is a daily struggle but when I look at what we have been through this year and how life for many of my friends have change this year I'm blessed I'm here Christmas is just another day what's important is thanking for what we have here and now as in flash it can all change I'm very lucky as I have a wonderful partner who makes each day a special day
    Hugs to all on this blog xxx

    1. Evening Sheila, I do love putting the Christmas tree up. Now are you a multi coloured light girl or a white light girl? Multi colored for me, just like when I was little. Xx

    2. Sheila my lovely lady sending you a big hug and a cheeky one for your partner too. Take each day as it comes. Lovely to seethe trees going up – Donna we've got new lights this year, sophisticated white – until they flash!!! The new Groovi boards were lovely today weren't they, good thing I had my hands full of cards otherwise the cushions would have been on the floor! Xxxx

    3. Our tree doesn't have lights it is a half tree in a half basket that hangs on the wall I bought a small cute one for the table this year . Thank you for your hugs xxx

  16. Family is so much more important than all of the mundane part of Christmas. I will be all ready , as usual, in the hope that I will see some of my family. Which deep in my heart I know won't happen. But I will still have a lovely Christmas. So enjoy your family Christmas Barbara, and take joy in the fact that you will be making a difference to so many people's Christmases. Mine included. When we all have some of your well packed goodies to open on Christmas morning. x

  17. Oh I so identify with you and the gremlins first thing – mostly industrial – aka – b….. management interfering in things they know nothing about. We are about to go and I mean go – totally digital. What a laugh. What will happen when the system, which cost the Gov – trillions goes down because we have muppets working – somewhere along the IT line. But hey hoy – that is not my problem and have to let the gremlins go. I drive, walk, get my coffee, say good morning to all the usual happy people on route and then have to say PMA over and over again and try to have a reasonable day. I will have a rest come Tuesday – having a minor op and saying my prayers that all is well for Christmas. Got to get on – tree to dress, hair to press, presents to find, husband to find and kiss.
    You will have a great Christmas with Dave and the kids – so happy for you all. You really do deserve every moment.
    Much love
    Anne (Reading)

  18. Oh Barb. What is important at Christmas is the people we are with, not the trimmings. It's just a day to be together. This coming from the girl who chooses to work to avoid the commercialism and what the season has become. I can make a difference by working the night shifts at the hospice, not just patients and their family but to colleagues who want to be at home with family and friends. It is absolutely OK to be alone if it is by choice too! Love the new Groovi boards from TV today. Oh and got my delivery today too Thank you team. Lots of love. V X

  19. I think generally I am a positive person, but like you I do have to be wary of letting negative thoughts take hold. I always try and think of the positives moments in the day before going to sleep. Most days are easy, others can be harder. A huge positive for me today is that i picked up my parcel from the post office and it was my Gray sale order. Then I got home and in my box was my order I placed on Sunday from your shows! Now that's service. I do love unpacking Clarity orders! I read your comment about Facebook and it just confirms why I don't do it, never felt the compulsions to bitch and moan about people in real life so I wouldn't want to do it online either. I don't know why but I always thought the crafting industry would be supportive of each other, but I suppose its like any other business all after the same fish in the same ocean, means you get nasty sharks!
    Off to bed to watch Maria's shows, that's a good way to end a Wednesday. Xx

    1. Evening Donna now that's a treat, two orders in one, what a brilliant company Clarity is. Have you had a little play yet? The new plates were lovely today and Maria was fab. Night night sleep tight xxxx

    2. Donna Wonderful you got to pick up your parcel and was your clarity orders
      I'm still waiting for mine but know it will be with me soon I'm sure I've got something to craft with while I wait xxx

    3. Hi Donna, Diane, Brenda and Dot, glad your parcel was from Clarity, sending you love and hugs. Hope you are ok Brenda and enjoying your sewing and not fretting., where are you Dot, ok I hope.xx

    4. I was hoping it would be Clarity while waiting in the line at the post office. All my stamps were lovely, haven't played yet but will put them into their storage folders tonight. Xx

  20. I need to be vigilante every moment of the day or my Ego will try to take over and he's a Nasty little fellow ,so l try very hard to not let that happen . A lot easier Sid than done ,but life is so much happier when I squelch the wee fellow . Great Wednesday blog Barbara . Joy now Jan

  21. Dear Barb, you are probably the one person (blog) I turn to for inspiration and positive thinking. I don't know how you do it, but it rubs off. Why people cannot say to your face what they say on social media is beyond me. You keep going Girl! I am sure there are people out there that understand the huge response to the offers will cause delays. Bx

  22. I would just like to say a big thank you to the lady who took my order for the groovi plate on the Saturday morning of the sale weekend. I asked if I could get it before I left for Danville California where I am spending Christmas with my family. It did arrive in time, so now looking forward to trying it out. Best wishes to you all for a happy Christmas.. Enjoy having the family home. I have mine in several places in the world. I do enjoy your blog Love Josie

  23. For the first time in a number of years I decided not to make all my cards, and guess what it feels good not to have the pressure of running around on the hamster wheel like a loony to get them all finished in time. Only the people I think really appreciate them have got a handmade one this year. Keep going with those positive thoughts. Having Grace and mark back for Christmas will be so special for you all x

  24. I so enjoy reading your blog, lovely lady! You are doing just great – take no notice of any negativity – what the heck do they know! Christmas – and the tree – will come in its own time and I am sure it will be just wonderful! Relax and enjoy it – and remember the joy and delight you bring into so many lives – mine included!

  25. The gremlins are there because you care. You care about your team the products the crafters, the job. If you didn't care you would not inspire so many. Cont the positive comments then double them lots of people don't praise when pleased but complain when displeased. Compare the positives with the negatives and I would lay bets on positives winning. As for those who moan behind our backs, they are always two steps behind!

    Christmas will be magic because you will all be together.

  26. I have only been following your blog for the last couple of months, but been a Barbara fan for over 15 years, and I just love it. Firstly I love the crafting…oops, I mean art and then I love the mindfulness. I could have written today's blog. I have too many demons in my head but not enough angels, however over time my angels have been increasing in number reducing my demons overthinking and making for a better life.

    BTW, If anyone wants to come, we are having Christmas at our house, you'll have to take as us we come but there will be plenty of alcohol and the wood burner will be on. I live in the Scottish Highlands so it might be a bit far for some so bring your sleeping bags.

  27. well my tree isn't up and i haven't bought any presents, no not true. i have bought a few but none of the important ones. as for the cards I have posted the ones for my family only today. i send them all to my mum and then she kindly posts them out. i am never ready and what i have learnt over the years is that no matter hoe much time i have in the end it is always a mad rush, hugs xx

  28. Our tree up and hopefully by end next week presents all got wrapped worrying doesn't get it done so I try not to get there like you said we have had lots practise to me as long as we are together that's all that matters. Git my order Monday thank you so much hopefully the Elfes will work while you sleep and orders will be finished so you can enjoy the lead up to Christmas and sure Grace and Mark love helping do the tree hugs Joy xx

  29. Well, I always believed that going to bed with a mess in the head will make you wake up with a mess in the head. As simple as that.

    Clear your head before you to to bed, like never leave an open argument between you when you are a couple, and you will wake up with a clear head. Trust me, that works. Whoever gets into hectic about shopping or to-do lists for christmas (or whatever else the occasion might be) will never get out of it because it will be the first thing to wake up with.

    Barbara, you do a great job (and when I said earlier you seem to focus on the Groovy stuff this year and hardly doing any stamps that does not belittle that) and you are a great inspiration and your mindful Wednesday always hits the spot. I have been a professional artist for some 40 years or so, but I still learn something new from you once in a while I didn't either know before or didn't think of ( trust me I am very adventurous when it comes to use tools or materials).

    Since we speak of Christmas, I always write my cards on the 1st Advent (the English might not know what that is: in Germany we have the four Sundays before Christmas the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Advent where we lit a candle (one candle, two candles… we also put the tree up on Christmas Eve morning and not already end of October)and then post them on time depending where there are going to. Because I also make cards for business (as well as other stuff like paintings)I have all Christmas cards (around 2500) made latest begin of August as they have to go into the shops.

    We all have negative thoughts here and then.. like I have right know about my laptop which, being bought as I lived in the UK, has of course an English keyboard and I can't bloody find anything, wanting to throw it out of the window. But never go to bed with these thoughts or you end up waking up with them and they will run your day. (I mean run, but ruin would be correct as well). So I will love my beautiful red laptop and everything will be ok in the morning.

  30. The tree can wait huni, you need to do what's best for you and Dave and let go of the rest of it. Ours is up BTW but only because it's in the conservatory and never got put down after Xmas last year – our health has been that much worse this year and I've had to learn to let go of the rest of it. The bitchiness and nastiness is there no matter what because there are always at least a few bad eggs in the barrel. As long as my other half is here I am happy – sadly some of my family moved earlier this year and my relationship with my mum has gotten bad again but I'm trying to let go of all of that and look forward to Boxing Day as that's when they are going to visit and I will be so happy to see them all, even mam! In the end that's all that matters hun. Big gentle soft hugs for you Karen xx

  31. Dear Barbara I can relate to your gremlins and its ongoing during the day ! I've been in the groove tonight which has relaxed me, thank you so much for the safe arrival of my order today. No tree for us this year as we have two five month old kittens who would trash it ! I'm cooking for three and so far have done nothing Christmas wise.

    Don't stress and enjoy every moment with your family
    Pauline & co

  32. Thanks for sharing Barbara….soon the stress of packing up orders etc will be behind you , and you will look back and be amazed at how much you have accomplished…..people receiving lovely Clarity products, everyone rallying round and working together…your children arriving and Dave recovering well.
    I really hope and pray you will have a wonderful Christmas and have some time to recharge your batteries xxRuth
    "Busy life, work and strife
    Running a business and being a wife
    Being a mum , a friend, a daughter
    Trying hard to be all you oughta
    Blogging away every day
    Listening to what your customers say
    It gets a bit hairy, sometimes even scary
    So sorry you cried ….but put that aside
    The best's yet to come
    And you're going to have fun!! "

  33. Well if it's not done now it never will be as my parcel was waiting for me when I got home from work – did I really order all that?!
    Have been in the groove all evening & even forgot to check your blog!
    Thanks to everyone for putting all my orders into one box & sending them so promptly. I'm one happy bunny!

  34. Christmas is family time and that is what you will be having. Silly hats even sillier games probably if you got a bit of energy left. Does not matter if your tree not up there are still more than two weeks to go. Keep the gremlins away, I really don't know why people have to be hurtful, where does it get them. Wasted energy. You Dave and your team are fantastic and by the way TV shows are brilliant too. Thank-you for all that you do. xx

  35. Your comments Barb could be the words out of my own mouth. I have to consciously think a positive thought when I awake. It is much better to get up thinking it is a brand new unspoilt day – a blank canvas – what can I paint on it first? Much better than dragging yourself out of bed with a heavy sigh. Just plod on and keep ticking things off that long list. Enjoy! Lynn x

  36. Hi Barbara
    You are such a lovely kind person so I find it sad that you cry on the way to work sometimes as I know you do love work but not the rubbish and stress that go alongside it – mins you, who does like rubbish and stress. Hubby was on the phone earlier to good friends trying to arrange a get together , he said the magic words, come here for a change, we will get a take away! You should have seen my face as I glances at the pile that's our lounge and dining room! It's ok, it's after Christmas, might just be tidy by then! Part of the Christmas fun is all mucking in at Christmas, can't put tree up til Emma gets home, she likes to decorate the cake too with characters granny gave her when she was little, cards almost done and dozens of mince pies will get made eventually. Mother in law is panicking about Christmas food already but it will get done and we will eat. I like to make lists, but always put on a few things I can cross off quickly – makes me happier and gives me the boost to carry on. This Christmas will be wonderful for you with Grace and Mark home so enjoy the build up, put that smile back on your face and give that Dave a big cuddle.
    Lots of love Diane xxxx

    Ps Maria – don't know if you read Barbara's blog – you were brilliant today. Loved the top you were wearing too – I know you probably worry about what to wear like Barbara does but you looked lovely. Xxx

  37. Oh Barbara I love your posts! I to can have world war three in my head.i haven't got any decorations up no pressies, grandsons birthday next Tuesday , my other daughters first baby is due Christmas Day , just finished a card order but have not started mine yet. My beautiful Great Dane died on Friday oh and I've just started training for a new job as I was bored with early retirement! Must get on with my homework!

  38. Thank you once again Barbara – for letting us all into your life and indeed into your head! You are so right about keeping positive, I for one know this by experience. I have suffered from CFS/ME for many years, and have found it to be the only way to actually be able to get out of bed every morning. This is why I first started to make cards – many years ago. I got into it by accident, and found it to be great therapy for me – I was able to concentrate on something that I CAN do and not the many things that I can't. I haven't had my order yet, and that is absolutely fine! I am sure that I won't be able to have time to use it before Christmas anyway. It's such a shame that so many people have nothing better to do, than complain. Unfortunately, that is how it is in the world. As for being ready for Christmas – should we all really set such a high bar with our expectations? The main thing is to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, and to spend time with family and friends. That is the true magic of Christmas – not cards or presents or food. I have some friends who live in a small Spanish village – they have found that they couldn't now live somewhere, which has the frenzy of the commercial side of Christmas. I think that the key is moderation and if something is forgotten so what! Thank you once again for your Inspirational Blog – we are all honoured to be a part of it.

  39. Excellent advice, I've recently been to a local class on learning about mindfulness, even better it's run by a friend, I really enjoyed it. Lots to learn and practice but I shall keep your wise words in mind when I wake up tomorrow morning xx

  40. Hi Barbara
    I wonder why such a lot of us wake up to negative thoughts. I know just how you feel. Within minutes of waking I have a head full of what if I can't get such and such done today or will this or that be OK. Everything is usually fine of course and by the time I have had my second cuppa I am ready to get my sleeves rolled up and get on with it. You have a business to run as well as a home and Dave to look after and you are doing it brilliantly. There is plenty of time to get the tree sorted before Grace & Mark arrive.
    A big HUG from Chris X

  41. Hi Barbara, I think you've got it all under control. You do a splendid job in everything you tackle, don't let anyone tell you differently. Stay positive, stay happy, think of only lovely thoughts, like of Dave first thing in the morning and you won't get those gremlins muscling in.xxx

  42. Its so good of you to let us all in to your thoughts as well as your art, of course it can't be easy for you to read the bitching on facebook or the back stabbing in your industry, I personally wouldn't go anywhere near social media I think it causes more heartache than good to a lot of people I even read this blog for a long time before I commented, but its a big part off advertising your company so its part and parcel that you will get the cowards who will sit at the back of a screen just to hurt good hearted successful people its jealousy Barbara keep that in mind, so put your 2 fingers up to them collect your awards and smile.
    Bye the way have you noticed they wouldn't dare come on here and if they did were ready for them…Love Dot..xx

  43. Morning Barbara and all you lovely ladies – The best Christmas lunch we ever had was marmalade sandwiches to celebrate my son getting out of hospital at Christmas after weeks of worry . I am looking forward to my parcels arriving but realise such a fabulous offer from yourselves mean lots of orders and so longer despatch. Wish that was the worst thing I had to get annoyed about – They say if you want something done ask a busy person – take care of yourself and Dave xxx

  44. Hi Barb,
    I did feel really sad when I read that on some mornings you have been crying in the car! You have had a very trying year with the launch of the wonder that is Groovi and of course Dave's health. Now you know that the first is a mega triumph and the second is almost back to his normal self must give you a lot of relief. Some of the pressure for tv has also gone now that Paul and Maria are on board with that. Speaking of Maria, the shows were great — really love the new plates and have decided I need them all! As for Christmas, I have to post my cards today and have got two to make for my close family but am really proud of myself that I have made them all in record time this year (100 of them) and a lot of this was down to Groovi. My tree is going up this weekend – much to Dave's disgust ( " It's too early!"), new lights have been bought. Presents, only have Dave's to get. House needs a good tidy, but if it doesn't get done what the heck! Try to ignore the horrible people on Facebook, and just read the lovely comments on here!!! Pleased Mark and Grace will be with you for Christmas- that must put a real smile on your face. Lots of love Alison xxx

  45. Dear Barbara the trees are beautiful I've always had a very tall one but this year we have a smaller one I'm sad but I can't manage dressing the other one now. So pleased you will all be together at Christmas and Dave is feeling better love always June Horrocks xxxxxxx

  46. Morning, Very true in all you say. Just go with the flow and what will be will be. Although I have been making Christmas Cards for ages I have only sent my sisters with an order she placed for an Engagement card she wanted. Must start to think about others.

    Love the trees

    Crafty hugs Pen x

  47. I love reading this. We all think the grass is greener at some time in our lives but do you know what we should all beg restful for what we've got. Yesterday water decided to start seeping through my dining area ceiling. I was calm…do you know why…because it's nowhere like the water some of my crafting buddies are tackling in Cumbria. There is always someone worse off somewhere. I'm lucky enough to be at home now and I'm still so far behind for Christmas which is my own fault…still I'm calm…I'm looking forward to it as my son is coming to us for a few days…he now lives 100 miles away. It will be what it will be. To finish I will say you are doing an amazing job Barbara as are your amazing team…you don't get where you are without the few tears you are entitled to shed. Keep your chins up dear x

  48. Barbara, you're so like me or me like you, whatver 🙂 I struggle so much, especially when someone has upset me, and very often they don't even know they have. When something niggles me it takes over my mind. Perhaps it's because if you don't care about something, or love someone, then you wouldn't be bothered would you.

    When I saw your Christmas tree on facebook, I thought to myself, blimey Barbara's on the ball, my decorations haven't made it downstairs yet, I feel so much better now I know it's an old photo 🙂

    Keep positive Barb and it will all come together in the end, love and a hug, Julie xxx

  49. I am pretty much the same no cards done no presents wrapped but a few bought, no Christmas tree done hey ho still got two weeks. When my daughter started doing Christmas dinner a few years ago I was really miffed as I wasn't ready to give all that up but now we all muck in and that is lovely.

  50. You are so right about positive thinking and starting the day as you mean to go on Barbara. This time of year seems to always be so stressed and far too busy but I try to say to myself that everything will get done, probably rather close to the wire but not to worry. I am glad you will have Grace and Mark around for Christmas as it counts for so much more than anything else having family to share the occasion. We have our son home from Australia this year and it will be the best Christmas for quite a few years as he doesn't normally manage to get here right at this time and it will be his first visit for nearly two years. We are so lucky to be dry and warm and not be flooded out like the poor people up north are and they certainly won't be having a good Christmas this year, so we must be grateful for what we have. x

  51. Never mind what you think other people think of you! Do what makes you happy, friends visit to see you not to judge you, if they do are they really a friend? Barbara you are so right! Start out positive and your day is much more likely to stay positive. Enjoy your Christmas everyone, however you choose to celebrate, and raise a glass to absent friends (miss you Pops x)

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