So after my personal revelation that I don't ever reflect on what I've done or pause to think, here goes for October:
Considering our own mortality
What should have been a sad start to the month, was rightfully a joyous occasion. we went to an Aunt's Memorial service who died of cancer a couple of months ago. She was an incredibly passionate and positive person. She donated her body to medical science, which in itself is a wonderful idea that I'd never really thought of before and she had no interest in people moping so she insisted that people celebrate with a big party. She was really fond of music and the arts and with choirs and quartets filling the stage, it was a memory that really will stay with me for a long time.
It was a day that made us all pause and ask ourselves what we would do when that time comes, it's a conversation that only normally happens when you start to get older and your own mortality kicks in but it does create a sense of peace when you've made a plan that you know you don't need to think about it again.
I'm not sure anyone could have not realised that there was a World Cup going on, and being in London, it was impossible to miss. So much of my month has been spent huddled up in pubs, perching on a stool trying to see what was going on behind the tall guy in front's head. The moment England got knocked out actually upset me. Not being a big sport fan normally, I can imagine this is a feeling that happens regularly when your team loses a game or gets knocked out of a tournament etc but for me, it probably only happens every 4 years - maybe just maybe in 4 years time, I won't experience that feeling...
I do like being part of the spirit of sport, I can't see it ever taking over my life but it's nice to be able to dip in and out of something that has such a sense of pride and passion around it. I can commit one month every 4 years.
Catching up with old friends
You tend to be friends with people that are similar to you which means that in my case, I have a lot of very busy friends. Catching up with a friend who I haven't seen for a few months, and that last time was at our wedding so we couldn't have a full on gossip, was exactly what the doctor ordered. Easy conversation and it was as though we still spoke to each other every day. Good friends and definitely those that you can pick up where you left off and it was nice to be reminded that I have a very good friend in her.
I also somehow managed to fit in seeing another few sets of friends for relaxed, autumnal walks, herds of cows, pub crawls and good old fashioned silliness. These are even older friends and whilst it does make me wince when I think how long I've known them for, it does make me happy to know that there are people out there who know everything about me, and still want to be my friend!
Being big sister
Every year for the last few years, we have given my 2 littlest sisters, the present of coming to stay with us for the weekend (they live in Scotland) and getting away from the parents. They are 15 and 10 now and it's definately getting harder work to think of things to entertain them - I have huge respect to all parents out there.
They are lovely girls and I'm so proud that they are growing up to be gorgeous #modernwomen. A weekend of shopping, prosecco, dinners, terrifying them at Go Ape (see my other post on fear!) and a big family lunch was tiring but wonderful. These are the kind of weekends that make me realise how much of a family girl I am, I adore my sisters and I admit, I feel sorry for my friends that are only children that they don't get to experience what I have, I know that I am very blessed.
Last Christmas we were given an experience day voucher by the now parents-in-law (eek!), yes, I know it's October and we've only just done it, and believe me, I wish we'd done it earlier in the year, it was white water rafting. When it was cold and windy that morning, I couldn't stop wishing that we'd picked the spa option or the wine tasting but when we got started, I found that I have a huge new love. I had so much fun, it was only a couple of hours and I'm not sure how I'd find it 'out in the wild' but it was exhilerating and fun to do something so unusual! Note to oneself, a quote that I've said before - do something each week that scares you.
Back to Dubai
My day job often brings me to Dubai but I haven't been for a few months so it's been nice to come back, and who isn't going to enjoy a bit of sun when it's wet and cold at home? Although packing and planning for a week and then ending up staying for 2 is a tad more than I'd like. I've made myself go and do some sightseeing so that I can actually start to enjoy this city that is becoming my second home and even managed to get my hands on a ticket to see Take That... I'm not expecting sympathy, I get it, there are much worse things in the world than travelling for work.
And other stuff
Amongst all of that, spending time with my gorgeous, gorgeous niece. Come on, I'm not actually even being biased, she is beautiful don't you think?! The re-branding of my company in the day job which has been fun but incredibly time consuming and draining, I'm just glad that it's nearly over and I can get back to all the other things on that never ending things to do list. Seeing grandparents who are overly happy to see you even if it is just for a cup of tea! Visiting one of my besties and her beautiful new baby. Afternoon teas and Cocktails with colleagues who over the years have become friends - I love it when that happens. Lots of trips to the gym - I keep persisting but until I stop my love affair with gin, it's never going to have a great impact!
So, October, was a good month. And yes, if you'd asked me on certain days when I'd spent 5 hours in the car because of traffic, or had been working till 2am or hadn't seen the Hubby for 4 days because of clashing schedules, I'm sure it would have been a very different response but it has been good and for that I will never stop being thankful.