How to Make Jealousy Work in Your Favour

Jealousy, what a pain in my butt. Bizarrely, in my marriage, I’m not a jealous person whatsoever. I put this down to the fact that I feel secure, and I know that my husband would never do anything daft that would put our family at risk.  In other areas of life, however, it can be a different story.


It can be really hard not to feel envious of people that are enjoying their success, particularly when things may not be going in the direction that we want them to.


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Where does the jealousy come from? It is more than likely caused by dissatisfaction in your own life, whether you recognise it or not.  It’s human nature, we want more, and we want what ‘they’ have.  Remember, there is no shame.  Not if we use it to make ourselves better, not bitter.

For example, I don’t feel threatened when my husband can’t keep his eyes off the backside of the 20 year old that has just passed by our table in the restaurant. He can look, because I know he won’t touch.  (I realise this makes him sound like a lech, but he really isn’t).

When I see others having personal successes though, I find it harder to be quite so dismissive. That little voice will start, the one that reminds me there are many career goals that I still have not achieved.

So, what to do? How do we turn jealousy into a positive emotion? Well, like anything, it is a choice.

You can choose to let it consume you, and turn you into a bitter person.  Or you can celebrate the success of your peers, and utilise those feelings of envy.  Jealousy can be motivational, if we let it. Look at what exactly that person is doing that you want for yourself, then go out and get it.

Maybe you can get in touch with them and ask how they did it.  Will they be a mentor for you? Have they written blog posts, books, or do they offer teaching? Consume a bit of their brilliance, and use it to fuel your own success.

Make a plan, and write it down (or blog about it).  Choose that friend or family member who is always in your corner, and tell them. Find your own cheerleader, and check in with them. Tell them how you’re getting on, and get them to pester you about it.

Set mini goals within the bigger goal, and celebrate when (not if) you hit them.

Work harder, work smarter, and focus on the end goal. Instead of looking at what they have that you don’t, look at what you can learn from them.


Use their success to work out what you want from life. 




Now go! Get on it, and work towards your goals.

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What Does it Feel Like When You’re an Introvert?

Are you an introvert, or an extrovert?

I try not to label or judge people in my day today life; there’s already enough of that going on daily on social media. However, when it comes to judging myself, I’ll go all out. Especially when it helps me to understand the reason behind my various personality quirks.

It took me 30 years to come to the conclusion that I am an introvert (apparently I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer).  But as soon as I did, it was like a light bulb going on. I saw stars and rainbows and heard unicorns singing. Everything made sense suddenly!

So, what are the main characteristics of introversion, and what is the difference between introverts and extroverts? To put it simply, introverts tend to look inwards, finding stimulation from inside.  Extroverts, on the other hand, find stimulation from their outside environment.  Introverts find other people draining, extroverts ‘feed’ off others.


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Small talk is just plain awkward, and mingling is – quite frankly – terrifying. This isn’t because we don’t like people, it’s just that small talk is hard work, we would much rather get stuck in with a proper conversation. If an introvert goes to a party, they aren’t there to make new friends; they are there to talk to the ones they already have. We would rather skip to the good friends stage, without all the awkward ‘getting to know you’ stuff beforehand.

This can often lead to introverts being labelled as too intense. You’ve just met someone and they are already discussing the complexities of bringing girls up in an image obsessed world, before you’ve even covered what the weather is doing? There’s a good chance your new friend is an introvert.

Do you have a friend that never answers the phone to you, but will happily text you back straight away? Probably an introvert.  We like a little bit of time to mentally prepare ourselves to talk, even to close friends. We don’t like the surprise of an unexpected phone call, although texting/emailing/tweeting is perfectly acceptable.

This can result in an introvert feeling alone, even in a crowd.   Have you ever felt like the party is just going on around you, and you’re the only one that doesn’t fit in? Everyone else is having fun and bonding, and you’re over here thinking of funny and engaging topics of conversation, but feeling too overwhelmed to join in. Sometimes the isolation will be self-imposed.  An introvert will typically choose very carefully where they sit in public places. We don’t like to feel trapped, so will choose end seats, and those that don’t leave us surrounded by people.  And anything with audience participation? That’s the stuff of actual nightmares.


Introverts can often come across as very wise and thoughtful. As a general rule, we think before we speak, and are not as outspoken as our extroverted friends. There is an internal monologue going on in there that just won’t take a break, making us seem more serious than our extroverted peers. As an introvert, this can be frustrating.  I’ve lost count of the amount of times I have been so caught up in arguing with myself inside my head, that I have been unable to contribute to a conversation going on around me. Then, in the car going home I will suddenly come up with the perfect, hilarious-yet-thought-provoking response that would have (I’m certain) made everyone roll around on the floor laughing.

The world can sometimes seem too much to an introvert. With the stresses that come with socialising, and generally being ‘up’ comes a big crash.  Being around others, and even being out for the day in a busy environment, is exhausting.  This means that for an introvert, down time is essential. Personally, the only way I can recharge my batteries is with time alone. Sitting, preferably doing very little. This isn’t lazy time, it is self-preservation time.

Career-wise, introverts will probably gravitate towards some sort of solitary profession, such as a writer (what a coincidence).  Whereas an extrovert may find it unbearable to be on their own all day, and would go quietly mad with nobody around to talk to. One of the downsides of being an introvert is the ease with which we are distracted.  Because we find the outside world so overly-stimulating, it can be hard to focus on the task in hand.

There are a couple of positives to being introverted too, I promise.

Introverts are great listeners, and make excellent friends.  Assuming you can get them to answer the phone to you that is.

Often we would rather be an expert on one topic than a general know-all.  We can focus well (when there aren’t too many distractions), and make great learners (I suspect my secondary school teachers would dispute this, but in my defence school was boring).  We also notice details that others don’t, because of the whole taking a step back and observing thing.

If you are an introvert, you will identify with how it feels, and if you’re an extrovert, I hope this helps you to understand the complex workings of that special introvert in your life.  I’m off to get my husband (the extrovert) to read this now; it may help him to feel less offended next time I leave the room mid conversation.  After spending my days with chatty two and four year olds, sometimes I just need to be able to disconnect from all the talking.  Just. So. Much. Talking.


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Choosing to Leave the Pity Party

Life is a series of choices.  From little ones – what to have on your toast in the morning. To giant ones – whether to go to university, and what to study.  When things go wrong, it’s too easy to get sucked into feeling sorry for yourself.  I know from experience that this can be dangerous.


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I chose to climb out of the water; not to let myself drown.  It’s not always the easiest choice to make. It takes less effort to drown, but it is painful and unpleasant.  Having someone that you trust to pull you out helps, but if that isn’t an option then don’t despair.

You are stronger than you think.


Why not choose to keep your head above the water?


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Lessons From a Four Year Old – No Fear

In an attempt to get my s*it together recently, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about life, the universe and everything.


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I have spent a small fortune on self-help books, and have googled topics such as, ‘how to be happy’; ‘who am I?’; ‘how to find your calling in life’, and ‘who did Negan kill?’ (my money’s on Michonne FYI).

While all of this has been super helpful, the most valuable lesson came from my four year old daughter.

It came about one ordinary day as I was getting my youngest daughter changed in her bedroom. The four year old started coming up to join us, and – rather than climbing the stairs in the usual manner – decided to impersonate a crab. She was doing this strange tilting, sideways walk, that was making me increasingly nervous. Just to let you know, I try not to be an anxious parent, but in my eleven years as a mother I have witnessed more than my fair share of children falling down stairs. Mostly it’s been my eldest tumbling head over heels, and landing with a thud at the bottom. For some reason he just can’t  seem to get the hang of the order that his feet need to move in. So, anyway, back to child number three. She safely made it to the top, even with me hovering anxiously at the top distracting her from her crabby mission.

I must have told her to be careful about 2,987 times, and when she got to the top I breathed a sigh of relief.

‘You need to be careful’, I told her.  ‘You could have fallen down the stairs’.

My worldly wise four year old looked at me with her enormous brown eyes, and innocently smiled. ‘But I didn’t, mummy’.

And there it was. A valuable life lesson.  Apparently, my third-born child knows more about these things than her scaredy-cat mother.  Of course, fear is a good thing, it keeps us sensible and stops the human race dying out.  But what about when we let fear take over, turning us into underachieving bores?  I know I am definitely guilty of letting fear get in the way.


I have so many goals, so many things I want to achieve before I die.  Not crazy, ridiculous goals, but fully achievable goals. If I put my mind to it, I can totally do everything I have on my Big List of Dreams.  So, what’s stopping you, moron?! I hear you cry.

Other than a lack of time (poor excuse), there’s only one thing standing in the way of me and heart-bursting fulfilment. Fear.

‘What if I fail?’

‘What if I’m not good enough?’

‘What if people laugh at me?’

Well, so what? What if I succeed? What if I’m brilliant? What if people are impressed?

                  Isn’t it worth the risk?

Are you letting fear stand in your way too? Maybe there’s something that you have longed to do, whether that be in your career, or in your personal life.  Maybe you too hear that voice in your head warning you off?

I’m here to tell you to go for it.

Clearly, I’m not recommending that you do anything that would put your life at risk, or leave you bankrupt, or ruin your relationship.  Think back to being a child, if it helps. Back to the days when anything seemed possible.  As children, before the world gets its claws into us, we see no reason not to announce that we want to be a unicorn.  My daughter wants to be a fairy (when she’s not being a crab that is).  She’s not scared that she won’t be any good at it, or that she won’t have the shiniest wings out of all her fairy friends. She sees her future as a fairy, and who am I to tell her otherwise? She has no fear whatsoever.

So, what’s stopping you? Take that first step. Work towards becoming the person you thought you would grow up to be. You owe it to your four year old self.

Just remember this: It might not end in embarrassment or failure.  It might end up being the best decision you ever made.


And if you’re reading this secure in the knowledge that you haven’t let fear stop you, and are properly grabbing life by the balls, then I salute you. Look out for me on the other side.


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Getting Back on Track

Good morning…

So, things have been a little quiet in the world of Joyful Things these days. If you stumbled across my little blog over the last month you may have wondered whether I had given up, or simply dropped off the face of the earth.  Or perhaps you didn’t notice.  Either is fine.

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For me, my moods and emotions can be tracked by how much I blog.  For some, blogging is therapy, or release, for me it seems to be the first thing that suffers when life gets too much. Not because I don’t enjoy it.  Not at all; I would say that starting this blog was one of the best things I ever did. It has quite honestly changed my life.  This little break was purely because it seemed frivolous to be writing about my favourite makeup when in the midst of an apparent early midlife crisis. I actually think that is the first time I have been early for anything.

Things still haven’t resolved themselves really. I made an impulsive decision about my future, and it will take a miracle for that to go away. So if anyone has a direct line to God maybe you could put a word in for me, because it seems He doesn’t want to deal with my whining voice at the moment.



This post is likely to be a bit of a muddle, because my brain is in a bit of a muddle. It’s also not very helpful, and quite possibly not very interesting (this blog post, not my brain…)

I’m working on the mess, though. Sorting through the scattered papers on desks, floors, table tops and chairs inside the many rooms of my mind. I could employ a cleaner, but I have always been one to do things myself; not asking for help even when juggling more than I can comfortably handle. I’ll keep going until I finish, or drop from the weight of it all.

Whichever comes first.

I plan for normal service to resume soon.  Next week I finish with a project that has taken up way too much of my time over the last two months.  I’ll be able to take a break until the next phase, and I will be making the most of that time, to get my blogging mojo back.

My content may evolve and change a little, as I evolve and change a little. I hope that’s ok.


Anyway, thanks for taking a few moments to read my ramblings. I hope you will return when my blog becomes a little more Joyful Things, and a little less Moaning Things.

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Current Mood: Low

We are going to get a little bit real today, I’m afraid.

I’ve been having some feelings.  Not happy feelings, and I need an outlet.  No, it’s not about beauty, it’s not motivational, and it probably won’t help anyone. But I need to get some things out of my head before it cracks wide open. Stuff and things.




I have been neglecting my blog over the last couple of months, this is for a combination of reasons. I’m feeling a little unhappy; heavy, and weighed down by life.  I do have some wonderful little people in my life (four little ones actually) and they keep me going most of the time.  I am also very fortunate to have a supportive family around me.

So, I can’t really complain.  Yet, I still feel like something is missing.  I feel a heaviness in my heart, I feel like I’m underground, trying to find my way out, as blind as a mole. Trying this path, and that path – none of them right.  I can’t see the daylight.

There are things I want for my career that may or may not happen.  I’m currently training for a change in career path, and I don’t want to do it. It’s something that will benefit our family financially.  But in reality, it’s probably the last thing I want to be doing. In fact there’s no guarantee that I will get any work from it. The only benefit will be financial (no small thing, I know).

And, it’s leaving me even less time for hobbies;  to pursue other avenues.  Career options that I actually want to pursue.

So, is that it?

I’m not getting any younger.  Am I going to lie on my deathbed and think, what was all that for? Does it really matter? Should I just be happy with my lot, and make the most of it? Not everyone gets to do a job they love.  Some of us just have to pay the bills.

Why though? Why can’t I do something that I love, as well as pays the bills?

I’m sorry for the ramble, this probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I hope I don’t sound like a spoilt brat. That’s not really me, I just have some things to work through.


Until next time….


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Defeating the Biggest Enemy of Them All

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She’s always there; chatting away.  Giving ideas, letting me get excited, then taking them away in the next breath. The only compliments are sarcastic.  A quick ‘well done clumsy’, when I drop something; knock a glass over; break a treasured possession.

She senses when I feel proud of myself; when I have achieved something. Up she pops, to bring me back to earth with a crash.  She’ll remind me that it was probably a fluke, it must be – I am a fraud after all. ‘No you don’t’, she says ‘don’t you go getting all high and mighty now. We can’t have you believing in yourself now, can we?

‘You are distinctly AVERAGE’


She reminds me of my flaws, should I ever forget. Tells me I’m not attractive, clever, or interesting enough to be a success. She points out the goals that I haven’t achieved, laughs in the face of my dreams and ambitions.


She’s there now as I type.  Pouring doubt over me like acid rain.


She won’t be quiet.


My inner voice.


Things are going to change.

I’ve got news for you, Inner Voice.  You’re fired.

I’m not taking your advice anymore.

I’m going to replace you.

I can do it.

I will do it.

I will succeed.

I will be someone.

I will be remembered.

I will achieve my goals.


I will do it day by day. I will make a plan, and stick to it.

I will look into my children’s eyes and remember – I created human beings. I am responsible for others now.

I will be their inner voice.



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How Yoga has Changed My Life

Why Yoga?

I have done yoga on and off for years.  It started as a method of relaxation, and a way to stretch out tired muscles.  I also have a tendency to suffer from headaches. All the time.  Mainly tension headaches (originating in my neck, back and shoulders), but sometimes dehydration headaches, and – until I recently renewed my glasses prescription – eye strain headaches.

**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This is simply my experience of using yoga to help with headaches, as well as for exercise.  I do suffer from headaches, they are a nuisance, but they are not chronic and are not migraines**


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Because I am so prone to them, it would not be an exaggeration to say I live in fear of that familiar tightening at the base of my skull. I know that there is a fairly good chance that I will suffer from a headache if I spend a day out and about (because I’m an introvert, but that’s a whole other blog post). If I spend too long staring at a screen (iPad, PC etc) I will end up with some degree of aching in the noggin.  I am constantly drinking water, not just because I like the way it helps keep my skin clear, but because I am terrified of becoming too dehydrated.  Am I sounding like I have issues yet?


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Then a few years ago I discovered the wonder that is yoga.  It works like magic.  Within minutes, I can feel the tension draining from my overly tight muscles.  At the beginning of this year I started running in the morning, and as my cool down I will do between 20 and 40 minutes of yoga. I never thought I would be someone who would enjoy working out, but I actually look forward to my hour or so of activity each day.


Yoga in The Home

For the yoga, I use a couple of different sources.  I have a few apps on my iPad (my favourite is Yoga Studio) that allow me to choose the length and difficulty of a session.  Of course, YouTube was also a revelation to me. It would be fair to say that YouTube is one of my guilty pleasures.  I even wrote about my Favourite Beauty YouTube Channels.  However, it was only recently that I discovered what a fantastic resource YouTube is for yoga.   My top two are Yoga By Candace, and Yoga With Adriene.

For straight to the point yoga, Candace is amazing.  She is strong, but real.  I love that she wobbles a bit, but makes it look easy at the same time.  When I want a proper sweaty workout (rather than a stretching relaxing one) I will choose Candace.  She does a mix of voiceovers and talk-throughs, and there is no filling or fluff.  Her yoga is varied, and I usually choose her Power Yoga videos.

Adriene, on the other hand, is relaxed and chatty.  She makes you work without even realising it’s happening, because she makes you feel like you’re working out with a friend.  What I love about Adriene is that she encourages you, (there’s a lot of ‘keep going my friend’s) and lets you know how many breaths are left in the more challenging poses.  Her style won’t be for everyone, and I do sometimes find myself urging her, in my mind, to stop talking and change poses. But only because it’s hurting.  And I am a wimp.


Yoga for Weight loss

But what about progress? Well, I am not looking like a yoga expert yet, and in fact I don’t see a difference at all.  However, there definitely IS a difference.  Three months ago I couldn’t do more than 10 seconds of plank without shaking like a leaf, and now I can not only hold it, but also move smoothly to the next pose.  I can even do side plank, which I honestly thought would never be possible.

Personally, I haven’t lost any weight since starting my yoga journey (ooh, get me) and that was never really the aim.  I started it as a way to get strong, and I am making steady progress in that respect.  I know there are a lot of people who swear by yoga for losing weight, and that’s great.  However, the main positive for me (other than the fabulous loosening of my aging muscles – four pregnancies took their toll) is that yoga has made me want to be healthy.  I finish a session, and I want to reach for a healthy snack more often than not (of course biscuits will always have a special place in my heart).


And the best thing? You really don’t need anything specific.  A mat is a good idea, but even that is not essential to begin with. Yoga is best done with comfortable clothing, and bare feet.

Yoga has helped massively with my tension headaches, and starts my day off in the best possible way.  It’s making me stronger, and more flexible.  In fact the only challenge is trying to hold downward dog while my toddler uses me as a bridge.




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Midweek Motivation

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.- Martin Luther King


Ok, so this is not strictly speaking motivation to get us through a bad week.  But sometimes these things just need saying don’t they? Occasionally, I think we get a little bit caught up in hating.  Some people seem to actively seek out things, and people, to hate.

Why though? Does it make us feel better to criticise others? Does it satisfy us to hate, lash out and correct people? To make them feel small? To put them down? Maybe for a moment, but not long term.  It’s human nature, I get that.  Life would be exceptionally boring if we all had the same thoughts and opinions.  If nobody disagreed, and we were all going in the same direction.  Can we live and let live? Accept the differences of others? Ignore the bad, and encourage the good?

Let’s all be kind today.  The End.

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Midweek Motivation

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Have a great week!

Need more motivation? Check these posts out.


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