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Learning to take risks and living with disappointment

This  morning, I should be taking 7 ladies on a walk round a mountain range. I had bought bacon, gin, bread and worked hard on getting guides and maps laminated. Tomorrow I have a meeting with a guy to see if I can start of project with which I would have a lot of autonomy.

It is weird because when I was a teacher, I had spent years telling kids to “Be more resilient”, and to “take more risks.” I had lots of training on developing a “Growth mind set” and it is only now I realise that I have never done any of those things. Starting a small business means doing all this stuff on a daily basis. You don’t need a degree in business to succeed, just a big pair of balls. I am on a humongous learning curve.

The met office have issued a yellow weather warning with a big pink blog right over the Brecon beacons. It is one thing to be a pansy about British weather. It is another to risk hypothermia and getting lost in the name of resilience.  But it leaves me with a growing doubt in my mind about trying to carve a new profession which could be so seasonal.

Trying to stay positives about the victories this week, I loved my Wednesday and Thursday work. I honestly wake up excited and look forward to going to work. I devised this weeks creative activity. I was inspired by a conversation I had with my brother earlier on in the week and used this to create a “Bristol rocks” idea. I did not know if grown women would go for this, but it was lovely to see them show enthusiasm, and when I went back and told my brother about it, he also wanted to make one.

The idea is that you decorate a pebble or stone. You can write a message on the back if you want to and the idea is that you hide it somewhere in the city for someone else to find. They can take a photo, upload it onto the Facebook “Bristol Rocks” page, and then they re-hide it in a new location for someone else to find. A simple idea, but with a lovely message.

My Thursday forest school was all about running about in the woods with 6 and 7 year olds all with a dragon theme. I got to draw dragons on trees, turn knots into dragon eyes, play catch the tail and drink fiery dragon brew (ginger tea).

Taking risks and doing new things takes tenacity, grit and resilience. All of the things I have managed to avoid doing to 16 years, but if I can do it, everyone can.  

Less screen time, more green time, even when it’s raining cats and dogs.

Eastville park

My mood is really effected by the weather. It has been a really difficult week, but I know that I could cope better if it had not poured with rain all week.

I read a fantastic article on Wednesday about how a long study saw a very significant correlation between incidents of mental health decline and being not around nature. Inner city concrete jungles are making us depressed. Not really a revelation. The thing I did find surprising was how little changes, a few trees, a couple of raised beds in a small communal square, seemed to make a difference.

I had been avoiding going to my allotment. It can be really bitter sweet. You have a busy week and don’t see it for a while and come back to a cornucopia of goodies. Or you can return to find you are only doing a roaring trade in nettles and Blackberries and your patch resembles that scene at the end of sleeping beauty where the prince has to hack through thorns and brambles for hours. It can be humiliating when the person next to you has lawn that resembles a bowling green and fruit trees which would make the garden of Eden itself blush.

I forced myself with rain drops dripping from my nose and not another living soul around. I was expecting everything in the green house to be dead, for the grass to be up to my waist. When I arrived, I realised I had been catastrophising.

Pumpkins and pea shoots greeted me. There were lettuces and broad beans and chard and random potatoes I had not even planted. Nature is wonderful. And I felt so thankful. I went into my potting shed and drank in its smell. I love it. I felt much happier. It is my private little space. No one can tell me I am too messy, or lazy or useless. I can’t miss deadlines or get numbers wrong in a spread sheet. It is my space and I can do as I please. I need to reclaim it.

When the weather is terrible, we tend to stay in and cocoon ourselves. But rain is not toxic. We can stand and feel it on our faces. Sometimes the joy is in coming home after, putting on the log fire and having hot chocolate with a loved one.