Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Create your own life

Hello. It was a stroke of luck that Carol came to our Open Garden, and even luckier that she spotted this lampshade for sale on Janet's cat stall. I saw her pick it up for a closer look, and thought, yes it has potential. It has been kicking around here for a few months, I thought I might do something with it, but had not had that flash of inspiration, so I decided to let it go. 
Carol saw something in it, and this is the new life she has given it. Turned upside down onto a suitable flat object, it is perfect as a tee light holder. I'm glad it has found a new home. Thank you for the photo's Carol, it looks fabulous, and such a good idea. 

So. Carol has a creative mind, so what I'm asking today is how creative or inventive are you? I'm not just talking about turning objects into something else, I want to know how you have created the life you live today? How much thought did you put into where you want to be, in your teens, twenties, and beyond. Did you just stumble into it, or did you create your life?

I have always questioned things, when I've made mistakes I think, why did I do that? Didn't always learn from it, sometimes I was just as daft a second time. I always wanted to earn my own living, to work and pay for myself, which I did. I knew I never wanted children, I wasn't in the right mindset to accept responsibility for another person. It was an instinct that I was born with, so I went with it.

When I found myself in a place I didn't want to be, I changed it. I changed jobs many times always looking for new opportunities. I don't like routine. Every time I learnt how to do a job it became routine and boring. I am not a robot, I need mental stimulation. For almost four years I had a summer job and a winter job, just as I was getting bored it was time to leave. Indoor office job in the winter, outdoor selling hot dogs and donuts  in the summer.

Changed boyfriends, stayed with those I loved for a long time, dumped those I didn't like very much. The long term relationships I had with men were over long distances, it suited me to have my own space in between the times we met up. Tried living as a couple, it didn't work. Moved around a bit, left home at 18, lived in bedsits, flats, a caravan, and houses, in Blackpool, Birmingham, Majorca, back home, now Lincolnshire.

All in all I have found the changes quite easy. I like to think my creativeness has played a large part in how my life has panned out. Also my ability to question things, not take things at face value. Always always question. What am I doing here? Do I want to be here? Could I change direction and do something else? How can I make my life better?

Yes, shit happens for sure, when it does the questions become more intensive, then at last the way seems clear and the changes become more apparent.

After a busy weekend I am mulling things over, as I often do. The same question always pops into my head, what next? Something will, because life can't go on for me in a mundane fashion, there's got to be more. Now I am creating memories, one day I won't be so mobile, I may not be the full shilling in my head, but while I am still functioning normally, I don't want to get off this roller coaster.

This morning I had no idea what to write in this post, then the email appeared from Carol, that was the inspiration I needed, and this is what I created from it. Thank you Carol, you have saved the day.

Thanks for popping in, now go and create your own life, and don't tell me you are not creative, because I don't believe you,  you are. We'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

38 comments:

  1. Great post Ilona, as usual. If you have the time to read this I have linked the post I wrote on my blog about the move we made to Wales and reasons behind it to create the life we wanted and live and the life we are living now. It is exciting to look back at this post as so many things have worked out the way we wanted and there are more to come.
    https://welshdreamsnowreality.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/why-we-did-it.html

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    1. Thank you for the link. You have been very creative in making the life you wanted for yourself and family.

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  2. At school I was always classed as academic (true!) and was not encouraged to be creative, but my Mum had gone to art college and always did creative stuff with me. Now, in my mid 50's, I will have a go at making anything and am frequently surprised by how professional the finished projects are and even the ones that aren't are perfectly acceptable to me. I often wonder if any of the people who were deemed creative at needlework, cooking, woodwork etc actually do any of that stuff now. People also scoffed when I gave up a good career to be at home with my kids, but I have always figured that it is my life and I am happy with the way it has panned out! Tracy

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    1. Doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, Tracy, your life is for you to live it the way you want.

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  3. I'm a gemini. We are supposed to be creative, I guess, and whether my astrological sign had anything to do with it or not, I am creative. Maybe not original but I can copy most crafty things that I see, if I have the desire.
    I read your blog for the inspiration I need and the good advice about living within my means.

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  4. Another Gemini here, and yes, very creative but always looking for inspiration. It is difficult to plan life out sometimes, to be your own true self takes confidence, not something I am lacking in fortunately. If you cannot live the life you want when you are over 60 then you need to change something drastically. I am soooooo glad I am single in older age, I see some revolting older men around.

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    1. Ha ha, that made me laugh. I might consider a young one thank you.

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    2. A lot of older men do seem to become very controlling and demanding! I just couldn't be bothered now, I don't want to have to pander to someone else.

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  5. My life has not gone to plan. I wanted to be a nurse but at 16 met the man I was to marry. I got married on my 20th birthday and had 2children and moved into our house by the time I was 24' very happy for the next 24 years my children were HEALTHLY and independent and both my husband and I were working when suddenly at the age of 52 my husband had a fatal heart attack so my life completely turned around. I eventually went back to work for a few months (the company I worked for had merged with another and I was going to take redundancy but instead my former boss found work for me at the company and I stayed for 6 months until I could decide what I was going to do.) I left and had lots of different part time jobs which I enjoyed but in this time I took up my stitching again and applied to be a craft judge with the WI something I would never had done if my DH had still been here, I judged at lots of shows after I had gained my badge and certificate. I travelled a lot on my own also I took my grandson on lots of holidays. This was over 30 years ago and I shall be 80 next year and planning the biggest change of all by going to move from my little home which I have lived in for nearly 55 years to be nearer to my daughter. I can not wait to start afresh in a new area and have a new garden to work on. I have always tried to look on the bright side of life and help others when I can. I have had 3 lives, single, married and now single again. I still miss my DH and hope he would have been proud of the way I have lived my life. Thanks for telling us your story Ilona and do hope you go on enjoying life for a long while to come for I plan to.
    Hazel c uk

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    1. Hazel, I am sorry that you lost your husband at such a young age, but your resilience has been commendable, how you pulled your life together again. I am thrilled that you are moving to a new place, you sound so full of hope. May you have many more years to share with your daughter. Yes, your DH would indeed be very proud.

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  6. To some people I may seem a little different.I am not interested much in appearances,or spending my time cleaning etc.I much prefer to ponder or wander,spiritually or physically.Only yesterday when I was shopping in a town centre(charity shop for a comfy pair of walking boots and paint from pound land)I enjoyed chatting to a big issue magazine chap,he was so interesting.I used to try to fit in ,but I'm not bothered now ,I like doing and thinking as I please.I like feeling free to look at nature and not rush around and that makes me happy ,especially when with the dogs.I think I may be a dreamer living in a semi-detached house x

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    1. I'm with you Flis, time is precious to me to do what I want to do, as long as the bills are paid I please myself; I find it very easy to strike up a conversation with people in shops, when walking etc and swapping ideas and news. I agree about 'fitting in', I can't be bothered with 'trends' and 'must-haves', not interested. Let me just say, 'the best laid plans...', sometimes they work and sometimes they don't so the important thing is to adapt the situation to your circumstances. Amanda

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    2. Completely agree flis. Designing one's life just comes naturally if you allow it to come to you. I enjoy a little planning but am happy if I need or want to take a different turn. Have a happy time doing just what you want to do!

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  7. "The same question always pops into my head, what next?"

    I'm getting the impression there might be a vacancy at No 10 soon :)

    Eilidh xx

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    1. Not a job for me, Eilidh. I think Mrs May will be there for a while longer.

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    2. I just think that your outlook is so sensible and so perceptive, that you might be just what the country needs. I think you have a very clever and interesting way of seeing things, Ilona. You have certainly made me think a bit differently about some things, esp. growing older and maybe what life is really about, in the short time I have been reading your blog.
      Kind regards, Eilidh x

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  8. You make it sound like it all depends on our will. Well, it's a bit more complicated than that.I would say a lot depends on the character we're born with.The rest depends on luck, circumstances, place, education. There's a saying "Man plans and God laughs" which is not very far from the truth.

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    1. I was a very shy child, I would always hide at the back rather than push myself forward. I was bullied at school which damaged my confidence and was the start of many years of BDD. My teenage years were hell, but I managed to build a new life in another town when I left home. That wasn't luck, that was my will, my first steps to independence. Characters can be changed.

      I felt I would have had more luck if I had been born with a pretty face, but I wasn't so I had to make my own luck. Circumstances can be changed, we have the freedom to move about, education is there for those who want it.

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  9. I am a planner and an analyst by nature but approaching fifty I also look back. Thirt years ago my brother bought a house while I bought an education; Now we still do not want the other persons life. Everybody's different. When I grow up I want to be Hazel c uk above, planning excitedly for the future at 80. Very inspiring!!

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  10. We're trying to carve out a life for ourselves which seems strange to our contemporaries.

    We're 26 and surrounded by friends who think that £9 is a reasonable amount to spend on a glass of wine, or that it's normal to earn £70,000 and not have anything left at the end of the month (I'm not kidding - that's a real friend of ours!)

    Instead of designer labels, meals out and a house stuffed full of things we don't need, we spend only what is necessary. Our home is furnished with free or cheap furniture (the most expensive piece in my living room is a £10 rocking chair I bought from the dump...our sofa was free), we buy 60% of our clothes second hand (the rest, I make!) and everything is carefully budgeted. Right now we're on track to retire at the age of forty.

    Saving money requires creativity; we renovate furniture, mend our clothes and have to think of creative ways to have fun without spending a penny. In a more subtle way I think most of us frugalistas are creative just for thinking outside of the box. I can't think of anything more unimaginative than working every month, to pay for things you don't need, buying the things the media tells you to and then - as a consequence - not being able to retire until you're in your seventies (not unlikely for my generation...)!

    It doesn't matter how strange we seem to others, I can't think of anything more delicious that being completely free to do what I want, every day, for the rest of my life. So we will keep chipping away at our mortgage, and investing in our future, until we get there. In fact, I've just written a blog post which talks about our daily sacrifices (www.littlemissmiser.com)

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    1. Good for you Mina. It's refreshing to see a twenty something with a plan. You seem pretty determined that it will happen, good luck.

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    2. This is what I keep trying to impress on my four kids. Two are with it the other two not so much. Freedom to live as we want is the best way to live.

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  11. I knew I wanted out of England because growing up on a council estate in Birmingham will do that for you. And I HATED the weather. So I knew I wanted to get an education and get out. I studied languages (to be a translator) and got a job offer in Switzerland at 21 and never looked back. I've lived in Switzerland, Australia, the US and have been living in France for the last 28 years and I love it. That first move was really a question of putting my money where my mouth is but after that it became easier. I reckon I need to work another 3 years and then retirement beckons and I can't wait. Not that I hate my job, I'm just sick of the commute. Then I hope to really challenge myself and not get stuck in the same old rut. Who knows. I did it once so here's hoping I can do it again.

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  12. Interesting post certainly made me think. You are an inspiration ��

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  13. I only work 15 hours a week now as I'm almost 65. I enjoy my two working days but find it tedious to hear others in the office incessantly going on about new kitchens, bathrooms, manicures, holidays etc. I'm happy with a very small home with. 60s kitchen and a bathroom without a shower.

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    1. That chitchat would bore me as well. My shower packed up several years ago, I'm happy with a bath.

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  14. I was always a creative type, much better at art and making things as opposed to academic skills. I drifted through my earlier years, wasted a lot of time doing office work and other jobs I hated, basically because I needed to pay the bills and didn't have the confidence to pursue any other path. Following the break up of a relationship and the death of my mother in an accident, I began to see that life is very short, none of knows what lies ahead, and we have to try and make the very most of each day that is given to us. I went back to art college as a mature student and to cut a long story short, I ended up as a window dresser in a large department store for 16 years. I absolutely loved this job, which was perfect for me, loved the store and made many friends there. However following the recession it all changed, shareholders took over what had been a family business. All the creativity went from the job, the hours got difficult, the management became aggressive and some health issues meant I couldn't cope with it physically any more. I took the risk of early retirement and have never regretted it. I absolutely love having time to draw, paint, take photographs, do DIY around my home and so on. I worry about money a lot, but basically I am managing and my freedom means everything to me. I have been holidaying on my own in London every year now for 15 years, I go walking and exploring on my own, last week I walked all over Hampstead Heath. I don't worry about being single these days, I like it. I nursed my father through cancer and I know it sounds horribly selfish but I don't want to have to look after an elderly husband. So many of my married friends are completely bogged down with responsibilities and worries and I don't envy them at all. I think I was meant to be quite a solitary person - I love friends and socialising but also need time to myself. I am never bored, I worry I will die before I have seen and done all I want to do. I don't think I've been particularly pro active, it's more that I acted when I was forced into it, sink or swim etc. My mother's death had a huge effect on me, I still live with the fear that terrible things can happen to us at any moment and I don't want to waste my days. I have a lot of regrets, I feel there is so much more I could have done when I was young, had a better career and so on, but I just had no confidence in myself - I think a lot of young women now are much more confident than my generation were. I just want to keep going now, I am terrified of cancer and other diseases, and old age in general. I hope I'm still out and about walking in my later years but who knows. Really interesting post Ilona.

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    1. Sounds to me that you have a good life Kate.When I was young I would have loved to have been a window dresser but for some reason I never did anything about it.My parents passed on when they were 56 years,which is younger than I am now.I remember my mum always said to me-I don't mind what you do as long as you're happy-so that's how I try to be.I worry sometimes about aging,as I'm almost 58,but I'm sure everything will be just fine.I've never been to Hampstead Heath,I expect you have taken some lovely photos x

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    2. We sound very much alike, Kate. I often think so much to do and not enough time left. I want it to go on forever.

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    3. I only want to live forever if I can use my hands and talk sensible. There is so many interesting things to do. Of to my craft group this morning, taking my garden quilt to show them.
      Have a good day everyone,
      Hazel c uk

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    4. I think you are more intrepid than me, Ilona, I am in awe of the long distances you cover! I do recommend Hampstead Heath for walking, it is a beautiful place and the views across London are breathtaking. Yes, I always find I've got ideas for things to do or make, or bits of DIY to tackle at home. I really want to keep fit and active for as long as I possibly can. I think some of it is just down to luck and DNA at the end of the day, though trying to keep physically active is very important I think.

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  15. Such an interesting question Ilona. I think I fell into my life rather than planned it. I wouldn't describe myself as artistic but I think I am creative in my own way.
    Life is in transition again as I enter retirement (forced rather than planned) but hoping to get a fresh start with part-time work soon. I have to be practical when it comes to finances but I have learned to let go of a lot of things (both physical things and otherwise) and I don't worry now what others think the way that I used to.
    I am creative in my small apt. - moving furniture around, finding new uses for what I already own and learning new skills along the way.
    I'm learning to be more creative when it comes to my time - I'm exploring my own city, finding low and no cost things to do - trying out new activities (yoga) and appreciating small treats rather than always spending money. Thanks for this topic.

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  16. Brilliant Post Ilona. Very interesting. My husband and I are planning some big changes at the moment but unlike you I find big changes scary as well as exciting. But I agree, if you're not happy with your situation, change it! Life's too short not to :)

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  17. Love the repurposed lampshade. Those shadows are so cool!! xx

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  18. As others have already said , an inspiring post that got me thinking about creativity. I am in awe of anyone who can draw, paint and have a creative bent in that area , as I don't ! My creativity comes in a musical form, playing Irish wooden flute ( self taught when I was 30 ish) . I find that it recharges my batteries and makes me feel like a child again , as well as giving me a great sense of achievement when I finally master a difficult tune ! Likewise in the garden my creativity comes to the fore , doesn't matter if it doesn't all work out ,I just give it a go and enjoy the experience......I think this relaxed attitude has come with age, one of the many benefits of maturity.

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  19. I believe the that everyone can be creative in their own way. This is not something I always thought. I believed that there were creative people and the rest were....... .
    I thought that I fell into that second category until later in life when people, friends and collegues called me creative. I have come to understand that creativity has a wider breath than I once thought: a meal made from leftover, a small vignette created in my home, a display in my classroom, some knitted dishcloths, an arrangement picked from my garden or an afternoon tea hosted by me. The things that give use joy, things that delight that's creativity.

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