Talk About Cheesecake

Musings, meanderings and meditation for my mind.

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Project Optimism – Let’s get past the Pants

It’s only lunchtime and I feel like today has been a bit up, a bit down.

It started well. The sun was streaming through the windows right into my face. (I’ll be having a word with Mr G about shutting the darn curtains at night!) and I woke up to find some new comments on my post from the lovely Maddie who has been MIA for a bit. She explains why in her post When Blogging Takes a Backseat.

Maddie is right on the other side of the world to me, so I guess she may have been on her way to bed as I was waking up to start the school run. Either way, it meant she was online and responding as I commented back. How amazing is that! Chatting to someone thousands of miles away with such ease. Sometimes the internet just amazes me.

Of course, then we start the ‘get the kids dressed in time for school’ game. By the time we got past Botboy’s morning refusal of the 1st 4 pairs of pants I show him because of their colour, his absolute meltdown at the idea of brushing his teeth and moved on to pulling him out from behind the chair by an ankle so I could reach his face with a flannel, the day was going downhill.

Botboy has a real problem with pants. I bought him some fab, colourful ‘Big Boy’ boxer shorts as a reward when he went fully nappy free. We picked them out together. Superman, Moshi Monsters, Animal – he chose a selection of characters. He was delighted. We got home. He has refused to wear them.

Not even once. 


Then it’s Sackgirl’s turn. She is getting herself dressed. Very slowly. Seriously, why do kids need to sit on the floor to get dressed. She sits down to go through a drawer to find her school clothes. She sits down while taking off her PJ’s. She sits down while trying to put on her skirt! Surely standing up would make that easier?

Then I discover that, despite last weeks discussion about why wiping snot on the ceiling is not showing respect for her bedroom or our house, she has proceeded to sharpen a pencil during the night. Without using a bin. Because the floor was adequate!

Mood is turning south at this point.

I’ll move past the breakfast debacle. I got the kids to school – then realised that they had both jumped into the cars without coats. “Because it’s sunny, mummy.” Let’s hope they are inside when the huge black cloud in the distance reaches us!

That’s when everything seemed to get really pants.

I do like the use of the word pants as an adjective. It’s so clear in it’s meaning, despite being absolutely unrelated to anything to do with underwear. The Urban Dictionary does clarify that use of pants as an adjective is British for rubbish! While looking that up, I just learnt that in the US it’s a derogatory term to inflict a crushing defeat or crushing criticism on someone. I’m going with the British meaning here – things seemed rubbish, but not crushingly so!

Firstly, a mum at the school gates informed me that a committee with whom I am loosely associated had to settle on some employment matter. This means a financial cost to some parents who, at the beginning, had just been volunteers trying to set up some after school care to help out our kids. I am gutted – they were doing a good thing and it has cost them. The person who has taken the money did not deserve a penny, being, in my mind, at least 90% responsible. Now that is pants.

Then I went to drop Botboy at his nursery, only to find that his usually cheerful carer was in floods of tears over a personal matter. It did put me on a bit of a downer. Not nice to see people we like upset!

And finally I sat back in my car, flipped on the news and heard about another shooting in the US at a Mother’s Day parade. I’m not about to join the debate on guns in the US, I don’t live there, I don’t know enough about it. But I am glad it’s not a way of life here in the UK! There were kids shot. Again.

The daily dog walk with the uncontrollable puppy always cheers me up. It’s warmer now the spring is here, bluebells are out in the wood and fresh air lifts the mood wonderfully.

Bluebells in the wood
Bluebells in the wood

Until 10 minutes after we got home, it lashed down with rain again.

Seriously – this is my view. Not even my rainbow maker will be putting out today!

Lashing down with rain.
Lashing down with rain.

BUT – this is a post about Optimism. So let’s get past the pants and look for the good things.

1. My kids are safe. I know that’s selfish. But when I think about the shootings in the US it makes me hug my kids that much harder. So there was snot on the ceiling and shards of pencil on the floor. Really, that’s not such a big deal!

2. I got to spend my morning walking my puppy through beautiful woodland before coming home to sit in my office. On my own time. Eighteen months ago I would have had to drop the kids at a childminders hours before school started to hit rush hour traffic in order to get to my windowless desk at the bank in time. This is not a bad life!

3. I have not had a call this morning about something personal that has made me break down in tears. If you have, I hope you had someone there to hug you.

No matter how pants (British = rubbish) the day is, somewhere not far away someone else is having a day that is truly more pants (American = crushingly so). Look for the good things around you and share the optimism, people!

This post was written as part of Project Optimism. Other great blogs who take part are WhenCrazyMeetsExhaustion and The Best Life


Bring a smile to a face today

I am feeling totally in love with the world today.

There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, I am uber-excited about our secret getaway we have planned.

Secondly, I am really happy to get some delightful feedback and comments by some lovely people on my blog. I don’t have many readers, but I cherish every one of you and love getting to know you all better.

Thirdly, the sun is out. Ok, it is cold, there is frost on the grass and I had to scrape ice off the windscreen this morning. But the sun is out and it is a beautiful day. I am a Leo, which could explain why I love sunshine so much. It doesn’t have to be hot, although I love to be warm too.

Take today for example. The sunshine is sparkling along the frosty branches of our willow tree, making the dangling fronds glisten like a beautiful chandelier. The sky is a light, crisp blue. Snowdrops are showing along the pathways and soon the daffodils will be out for Easter. New growth is everywhere. It’s like the whole world took a breath today and said ‘Let Spring begin!’

Here I am sitting in my office with this beautiful view, by my nice warm radiator and listening to the delightful sound of squeals and giggles from Mini Monster 1 and her cousins playing in the next room. There are rainbows sailing around the room, courtesy of my rainbow maker. It’s a good day and I feel like smiling.

The sun is shining on the willow - the view from my office.

The sun is shining on the willow – the view from my office.



The thing is, I love to smile. I love to make other people smile too. Cuddling my babies makes me smile. Tickling their tummies and blowing raspberries in their necks makes them smile and giggle, which in turn makes everyone who can hear them smile too. A smile is infectious.

Try it.

Smile at a complete stranger as you interact with them today. When you are paying for your coffee, smile when you thank the waitress. As you open the door for the old lady behind you, smile as you say ‘After you.’ I bet they smile back. Smiling is infectious and just using those smiley muscles in your face makes you feel better inside.

I love to give presents too. I love to get them of course – take my rainbow maker. Such a simple thing given to me by a friend. Not for a special occasion, but just to brighten my office and make me smile. And it does!

My mum will be here soon to stay with us for a few days. I have her Christmas present waiting. I haven’t seen her since November. It’s nice receiving a present, but putting the time into choosing something special for a family member or a friend is satisfying too. Making family smile will make you smile too. I tell you, smiles are infectious.

In a way, smiling is selfish. Every time you smile, you feel happier. Every time you make someone else smile, you catch the smile right back, doubling your happy. So go on. Be selfish. Get out there and infect everyone with some happy. What can you do to make someone smile today?