Thursday, 3 April 2014

Happy in my own skin

Hiya peeps, in complete contrast from last nights offering, I woke up a completely different person today. Every day is a fresh new start for me. Funny innit, how moods can change throughout the day. This morning I feel empowered to do something. Not walking though, it is still murky. After a stroll down the garden and finding everything is damp with the heavy mist forming droplets and falling like rain making everything wet, I'll do something indoors today.

I feel quite empowered, that I have made a decision. I like that word, empowered, gives me a feeling of being in control, I like that, being in control. Not that I want to control anyone else, I can't be held responsible for how other people control or not control their lives. I can't control external issues all around me. Empowerment is a personal issue. One can only be responsible for one's own empowerment, heck that's me talking posh, one this and one that, ha ha.

Carol Sarler has written in The Mail about how she realized she was fat and decided to lose weight by not dieting. Her answer is that weight control is all down to willpower, she set herself the goal of losing one pound a week for 42 weeks. She did it, what she says is a lot of common sense. Often common sense is the answer, people go all round the houses to seek out a solution, and there it is staring you in the face, good old common sense. Here is a quote on hunger pangs. She says will power is all you need to ignore them.
Carol says, 'You are fat because you gave your stomach too much and now you're giving it too little. Of course it's going to growl.' Makes sense to me, ignore the growls.

I feel empowered to maintain my current weight and fitness levels. I don't want to be super fit because that takes hard work, and many hours of training, both of which I am not willing to commit to. Common sense tells me I am pretty much ok as I am, watching my diet, and some exercise, is fine for me.

Time management is empowering to me. Having given so much of my time to various employers through the years, taking orders, doing exactly what they wanted me to do, I now feel liberated to do exactly as I please. Don't get me wrong, I was never a slave to my job, when I stopped enjoying the work I was doing, I moved on to a new employer. Towards the end that wasn't possible as jobs were hard to come by. I dealt with it by making my leisure time more enjoyable and interesting so I had something to look forward to when I wasn't behind the wheel of a big truck. Then of course as I have previously mentioned I decided to claw back more of my life when I went on to part time employment. I deliberately took more control which was hugely empowering.

Having less money coming into the house was not a problem. I didn't feel trapped, or limited in any way, I actually felt liberated. Having less money meant having less to worry about. The challenge of managing my personal finances was another way I could take control. I have a strong willpower and can easily say no when presented with a all kinds of temptations put in front of me.

I can control most things about what I do while I am on this planet, but one thing I cannot control is how I leave it. It is my theory that by becoming more self sufficient, becoming more empowered to take charge of my own decisions, to not rely on others but to manage through my own resources, will better prepare me for the last journey I will make. I have navigated my way through my life mostly alone. Through my own efforts I have worked to earn my own money, paid my way, and bought a house. Walking long distances alone is further preparation for that last journey. No one will be coming with me, no one saying let's go together, no one holding my hand and saying let's get off now. I will be facing that last journey on my own.

So, the word empowerment is important to me. What's the opposite? Not being empowered means giving your life to someone else, handing over responsibility, saying tell me what to do. The supermarket tells me to fill my trolley with crap. I don't. Social networking sites invite me to sign up, join us, keep in touch with the whole chuffin world. I don't. Less is best, my little old blog is enough for me.

Now I feel liberated, having got that off my chesticles, having put down here in my own words exactly how I feel. Empowerment is a wonderful word, one that everyone should learn. No more blaming someone else for what happens to you. Go forth and take charge, and come back tomorrow happy in your own skin, not struggling to fit into someone else's.          
Toodle pip.  


  1. Oh yes, going your own way. Life is much better if you step out of the rat race. I don't give a fig about what I look like (I only have 2 sets of each item of clothing - one on and one clean in the cupboard). I don't have summer or winter clothing. If I am cold I put a vest on under my jumper and it is the same jumper in the summer (sans vest). I have no cooker or boiling rings - a microwave and slow cooker does for me. It is only in the last couple of years that I have got a small fridge. I remember living in a house when I was a child that had mesh over the larder window to allow fresh air in. I have no heating (except for gas bottles) and so my foodstuffs stay very fresh. Don't waste your money on creams and potions - its all advertising hype - the cheapest aqueous cream will do well. If I do go out, I can't wait to get back to my little cat. Having no thoughts about the next sofa or the new in-colour scheme frees your mind and lets me have more time to enjoy the things that I like to do. Also, I have bipolar disorder and I get overwhelmed very easily. Best to have a calm, peaceful life. Natalie

  2. Goodness me, you have gone all serious on us!

  3. It's empowering to be a woman(favourite word:),isn't it?


  4. I'm going to be just like you,when I grow up!
    Jane x

  5. Great article Ilona. I agree with all except the dying alone part. You don't have to be alone if you know Jesus! Many blessings!

  6. Having talked about the last journey, and making your own decisions. I must wonder have you read the bible? It's full of the words of life. If not I challenge you to give it a try. I think you'll find it fascinating, I know I did. I'm loving reading your blog. Barbara

    1. Hi barbara. No I haven't read the bible.

  7. Hi Ilona,

    I think it's sad that you're prepared to die alone, that you don't have anyone close to you. I hope that when my time comes there will be someone to hold my hand and tell me how much I've been loved. To be loved is empowering, until you've been truly loved you can't know how much that is so.

    Whilst you might think that you'll be able to face that last journey alone when it does come you may find it extremely frightening to be alone.

    Something to ponder on perhaps? You might not feel the need for close friends or family right now but in times of serious illness those closest to you are the ones who help you through it.

    I wouldn't like to think I was totally alone, I enjoy giving and receiving a hug, a real heartfelt hug.

    1. Hi Linda, Thank you for your comment. Maybe I didn't explain myself well enough.

      No one will be coming with me, no one saying let's go together, no one holding my hand and saying let's get off now.

      If I become ill, or old and frail there will be people around to help me, but they won't be coming with me. What I meant was, at the point of death I will be on my own. I might have a lot of people around my bedside, but when the time comes, the last journey I make will be on my own.

    2. I totally get what you are saying, the last journey as you call it is on one's own. I have been thinking about this a lot lately as I have recently been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis (which I have come to terms with) but do wonder what the end will be like as nobody as yet has everr come back to tell us all what it is like!!
      If I could take this opportunity to hijack the lovely Mean Queen's blog a sec to give you blog reader's a word of advice, take good heed of Ilona's dietary and exercise advice your health is in the best hands in the world YOUR OWN!
      Should you ever need to keep going to the doctor with the same ailments, please please speak up and pester to be sent to a consultant. In my humble opnion doctors are only sign posters to other avenues of treatment. They are very loathe to send you to see a specialist as the money for this now comes directly out of their budgets. I went back and forth for over three years before the doctor grudgingly suggested that he would refer me to a consultant, with the words "don't think that you will get a definitve answer". Ha, ha he had me diagnosed within 5 minutes with no x rays, CT scans, blood test etc.
      Sorry if I have rabbited on - I hope that this might help somebody.
      Kathy x

    3. Thank you Kathy for that useful advice.

  8. Very succinctly put and I agree with virtually all you've said here and that last journey, is an inevitable path that we all make alone, despite anyone being sat alongside us at the time lol
    When my husband left I concentrated on bringing up the two kids, immersed myself in guilt because he left me, but that the children would miss out on so much because of that.
    They did but have turned out okay never the less, and their Dad died anyway shortly after, aged only 40, so we'd have lost him twice over, even if he'd stayed.
    Ive come late to the realisation that although I may not have been blameless, it was him that found someone else and not me! lol
    Ive had a pretty great life, travelled worldwide back in the day as Aircrew in the RAF, but I made a conscious choice to never allow myself to trust a guy again and avoid ever being hurt so much!
    Im not sure that's the wisest way to spend your life but at least it means Ive not hurt anyone else either the way Id been hurt.
    Im about to drop to 3 days working but actually would like to stop altogether, although my income would then be very very small so I too am going to have to cut right back and live frugally and sensibly soon.
    I don't find that scary, it will be a challenge I'm sure and I completely understand what you mean when you say its empowering.
    Perhaps its knowing that the decisions we make for own selves now, is all that's left for us that is truly ours and that is empowering - at last! Weve achieved a feminist freedom of choice finally! lol
    I already buy reduced labels lol on principal : )

  9. Wow perfect Louise

  10. Mary in Perth Australia4 April 2014 at 03:58

    I have been very much aware this week of things I have no power over............but then what I DO have power over is how I react. I can't do anything about the cost of electricity, but I can control how much I use. No control over other road users, but I can control how I react. The list goes on. It reminds me a bit of the Serenity Prayer.

    It's given me the wonderful empowering feeling that you talk about. I hadn't given any thought really to 'the final journey', but you are right.......what we do now is a preparation. What I would like to do before I shuffle off this mortal coil, is to try to leave the world a slightly better place for my being here.........Just little ways that are unique to all of us, but I like to think that it will make a small difference. One less plastic bag in landfill, one more animal saved, less pollution, a hand up to someone.

    We can all make that difference and empower ourselves at the same time. The power of one

    Thanks for such a thoughtful post

  11. When we were up to our eyes in debt, I thought we would be missing out on so much while we cut right back to the basics in order to clear our money problems. 3 years on and debt free, I feel happier than I've ever been. Life seems much simpler and clearer and walking our own path has made everyone in the family much stronger. I'm much more able to say 'No' to people and things and if it makes me unpopular with others, that's their problem, not mine. We have a lot more time as we're not shopping, eating out etc so we spend more time together as a family. And of course, we aren't nearly as stressed out.

  12. Thanks for the newspaper link. Its what I've been thinking about this past week.
    Brenda in the Boro

    1. Hello Brenda, nice to hear from you. Glad you are still around.

  13. Thinking about weight loss....Was out with friends when one of them mentioned 'Lighter life' ( a dieting program where they send you your food/shakes through the post). She says it costs about £100 a week. As someone who has lost weight in the past and still losing some (nearly there) it baffled me. I now spend much less on food and use a lot less petrol. Self determination costs nothing. Having daily achievements empowers me, there is nothing like going to bed on an evening knowing I have ticked everything off my list, it makes me think if I have achieve so much today *what will I achieve tomorrow? What will I have achieved in a years time*. I also totally agree with you about being responsible for your own happiness. It is a lesson I have only recently learned through a difficult experience with a needy person. I am happily married and he supports me and cheers me on, but he is not responsible for my happiness, only I am capable of doing that, nor am I responsible for his or anyone else's happiness. Too many people with a sense of entitlement. Loved your post. Debbie

    1. Utterly bonkers to spend that much on shakes. What a rip off.

  14. Wonderful post

  15. I think a lot about empowerment. As a widow of two years, I have had to make many decisions based on one paycheck rather than two. I have also needed to think about what a future alone means. We had plans for growing old together but at 58, all those ended. I have lived a small life and paid all the bills, including helping my sons. I have five more years on my mortgage, a bill I could reduce if I sold my home but I live in a neighborhood of people who have helped me get through each and every day. I have learned to concentrate on those blessings in my life every day, the small things to be grateful for - my cats, my chickens, my job, my gardens, my neighbors and friends. Maybe they are not so small!

  16. I started reading that article and was nodding in agreement till she said that you cannot enjoy food when you are losing weight and you would always expect to feel hungry - tosh! I have lost nearly 20lb since the start of this year and thoroughly enjoy my meals. Eating healthy food, plenty of salad and veg and some fruit, normal food that all the family eat just less fattening stuff. No pain there. And a regular treat of a tot or 2 of brandy with lots of ice and diet ginger with a low fat bag of crisps - yum :0)
    No counting calories, sins, points etc. or obsessing about what you cannot eat....

  17. I heard about a book that a nurse has wrote about peoples regrets when they are on their 'last legs'.
    The top 5 are :- they wished they'd been true to themselves
    Wished they hadn't worked so hard
    wished they'd expressed their feelings,
    kept in touch with friends
    and let themselves be happier.
    Trouble is, life gets in the way and you end up chasing the money to make ends meet at the expense of having a life.


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