When the lovely Azaria from Being Mrs Lynch tagged me in the blog post challenge to share my happiness non negotiables, it really made me stop and think. Just what exactly would I include? What is it that makes me tick? Being a mum is wonderful, but even with the best of intentions and without meaning to do so, you do lose a little bit of ‘you’. Everything is so focused around the needs of a certain little someone that you don’t have time for the things that made your list previously.
This Lighty List is therefore somewhat adjusted from what would’ve been on there previously, but it’s been a good exercise to stop and think about what really keeps me balanced in life, what my guilty pleasures are and how I can keep these non-negotiables happening.
Mrs Lighty’s happiness non negotiables therefore are:
5. My Not-so-Secret Garden
At the risk of sounding middle aged (who am I kidding? Mrs Lighty is certainly heading that way!), I really, really love my garden!! When we were searching for Casa del Lighty, we may have seen just a *few* houses before making our final decision…ok, so in truth we actually saw 42 houses in the space of 5 months. And we were guzumped on three of the houses we put an offer in on. But it all turned out for the good, as the current Lighty Residence is by far the best house we saw.
One of the reasons we were so picky? Many of the houses we viewed didn’t have a big enough garden for our liking. The estate agents kept telling us that it was really unusal for a young couple like Mr and Mrs Lighty to want a big garden, that small gardens are lower maintenance, and yes, that’s true, but we wanted a big garden for three reasons: 1) to throw parties (if you’ve read my baby shower post, you’ll understand Mrs Lighty’s love of a party), 2) because we were hoping to add a Little Lighty to our brood not long after moving in and 3) because I really, really love a garden!
Yes it’s true, Baby Lighty’s arrival last summer meant that the garden was slightly neglected in comparison to previous years (luckily “the wall”, as it is known, took on a life of its own, see below!) and it is hard work, but both Mr and Mrs Lighty enjoy gardening. I was frequently getting told off by friends for being heavily pregnant and out in the garden planting seedlings and veg. We previously lived in a starter home with only a tiny patch of overlooked, communal garden, which is why we now spend the majority of our summers outside in our very own little patch of land. So this year, I’m determined to get back to both enjoying some gardening and the garden itself.
4. Reading (not just Writing)
Ok so I’m definitely starting to sound middle aged, but I do miss my reading. I’ve only managed two books since Baby Lighty’s arrival (both of them by Jane Green, as they had to be something that would keep me hooked, and I knew that her novels would!). Considering I used to devour a novel a week on average when I was commuting into London, this feels like a very poor show, and I can remember in one of my particularly low motherhood moments, when Baby Lighty was about 4 months old, wailing to Mr Lighty that I hadn’t read a book in months. This needs to change before that moment reoccurs!
3. The Women’s Institute
Erm, what was I saying about being middle aged?! I really, really love being a member of the Brentwood Belles Women’s Institute, and it’s actually something that I haven’t let slide too much since Baby Lighty’s arrival. That one Wednesday a month is my little escape from it all, and I’m so proud of what we do and what we achieve as a band of women. And that’s before even mentioning the lovely friends I’ve made there and the many giggles we’ve had!
2. Blogging, Blogging and more Blogging!!!!!!
This had to be included, obvs. I love it so much, and as I’m not crafting as much as I’d like nowadays (crafting was something else that I debated putting on this list! I didn’t realise how much of me I’d put to one side until I started this post!), blogging has become my creative outlet. Yes, I have periods of ‘blogging drought’ or ‘blogging block’, but then I have other times when the ideas are pouring out of my brain quicker than I can get them down on paper (or, in modern terms, WordPress app). I highly recommend a blogging journal for those moments like the one my friend Becky at Retro from Scratch gifted me at Christmas.
My current blogging goals are to grow my readership and reach and possibly go self hosted, or at least get a domain name of my own. My blog needs some more styling up, I feel, too – it’s bugging more and more that the site doesn’t have a cohesive style yet, nor a proper blog header – so that’s something else to work on. Mrs Lighty is very much a technophobe though, so we’ll see how we go with these!! Even though I’ve blogged for years over at An Answer on a Postcard, as well as copywriting and contributing to online magazines, I’ve become more and more obsessed with blogging since All Things Spliced began 8 and a bit months ago. I love pouring my thoughts out into my blog, and finding that other people often feel the way that I do. It’s certainly cheaper than therapy, that’s for sure!!
1. Me and Mine
The Mighty Lightys had to be at the top of the list of course. Both Mr and Mrs Lighty seem to be working harder and harder at the moment, so I’m hoping that we’ll be able to make more time for us as a family. I love our little days out and weekends away – whether a day out to the zoo, a National Trust property, a long weekend at a gorgeous country cottage or even just to our local bootsale for a mooch and a wander – and it does us all good, so we definitely need to make more time for this. After all, there will be no Lighty Family if we don’t make time for us!
Thank you for the nomination for this post, Azaria, it’s really made me stop and think! I now nominate Dawn at Rhyming with Wine and Charlene at Note to Self:Employed Mum, looking forward to seeing what’s on your lists!
Please note, I was gifted my Retro from Scratch blogging notebook for Christmas, it was not a requirement that I mention it in a blog. I just happen to really, really love it!!
Proud to be linking up with: