This challenge was kindly provided by P.A.Moedfind more details here
This week, we are challenging you to capture “A Quiet Moment.” Maybe it’s a walk early in the morning or the time you sit down with a book and a cup of coffee. Include shots captured at home or in your neighbourhood, or from a trip to a faraway place months or years ago. It’s totally up to you.
Watching the glorious Hungarian sunsets are magical. For this shot I was sat high up the side of the hill looking across the valley, watching the ball of fire gently descending behind our village church until it was totally out of view. A very relaxing peaceful moment.
Kisszékely Church, Hungary
On a crisp autumn day, the walk around the village fishing lake is so peaceful. The only sounds are the birds foraging for food and the crunchy leaves underfoot. The bench is a welcome sight on a long walk. Just the occasional ‘plop’ from a fish rippling the water or a duck quacking to his friends.
Kisszékely Fishing Lake, Hungary
I like the sound of water, especially the gentle wooshing it makes in these fountains it is inexplicably soothing. So pleasant just sitting and relaxing in the hot summer sun, time stands still….but not the fountains!
Siófok Fountains, Hungary
My last ‘Quiet Moment’ photo is entitled “Reflections”. The trees make fabulous reflections in the lake all year long and is the perfect place to come for some indulgent reading or photography.
Kisszékely Fishing Lake
Please do join in with this challenge. I hope to see you there.
I suspect most people have been in a situation where they NEED to be focused on the job in hand, but a hundred and one other things get in the way. It happens to best of us, me included! I am easily distracted. Just looking at my PC now, this minute, I have 12 tabs open….now that’s not really focusing. First task is to close all but this one down! Then I can focus on this blog post. 😊
I have three very different projects on the go, all focusing on different things:
Physical and Design
Spring is here in Hungary and with it comes a mountain of gardening. I am fortunate, I love gardening, even the mundane tasks like digging and weeding. It’s back-breaking and blister-giving but very rewarding when it’s complete. The design part is when I eventually sit down, take a breather and grab my notebook. Planning the design is as fun as actually creating it.
Mental and Creative
I write everyday as I guess most of you reading this will do too. When I think about it, I write a hell of a lot… in varying forms. I blog daily, I write a journal, I read books and write reviews, I write my memoir, I write shopping lists, I write to-do lists….and so it goes on! I set aside time each day, (usually early morning) to write, this is when I am most alert and creatively minded.
Self-Help and Emotional
I used to be alcohol dependent, but not any more. When we moved to Hungary I became sober. With it I made many improvements in my life, strengthened my marriage and can now enjoy a better future alcohol free. This took a massive commitment by me and means I have an ongoing strong focus to stay alcohol free. I am nearly at my one year anniversary without alcohol and of course, will be blogging about my sobriety journey.
My tips that help me stay focused
I make a plan and stick to it. It could be yearly, monthly, weekly or daily. Although I have found if I have too many goals they become overwhelming, so I just stick to two or three maximum per time slot.
I use my journal to outline my plan, prioritise my goals and keep it in an accessible place, usually next to my computer.
I try to utilise my time effectively but also have to be realistic about my daytime schedule. I have an understanding family so I can usually work round these commitments.
I don’t beat myself up if I don’t manage to achieve my short-term goals. Sometimes life takes unpredictable turns and other things take priority. If this happens then I move my goal to the next day or week but always manage to complete it.
Celebrating little victories are important to me. Achieving something, however small gives me an enormous amount of pleasure and self-satisfaction.
Other things that help me stay focused
To stay focused I have to be motivated to achieve my goals with my current projects. Watching Youtube videos, reading other peoples blogs and checking out Pinterest for relevant ideas gives me loads of inspiration to continue and remain focused.
I create vision boards with useful suggestions for my chosen project. I do this in my journal or on a large piece of paper, adding notes and sections as I think of them. This is most helpful for my garden designing. I have also created a private Pinterest board, a good way to add ideas and I have access to it at my fingertips. This is very useful for my writing projects.
Finally I focus on the finish line, whatever my goals are, however I achieve them, I remind myself of the outcome and the benefits when my task is completed. Regarding being alcohol free, that does not have a completion date, I shall be alcohol free for the rest of my life.
What tips do you have for staying focused? I would love to hear them.
5 changes in my life that resulted in a better, healthier, more fulfilled new me.
This is an interesting challenge for me as so much has changed in a short period of time. Ultimately all these changes have been for the better, although at the time I maybe did not think so.
ENGLAND the old
I was born and raised in England, known for its dreary unpredictable weather. Life was dull by the time my husband and I had reached middle-age, we wanted to move somewhere new.
HUNGARY the new
Hungary in Central Europe gave us all the opportunities we were looking for. Cheaper cost of living, a peaceful rural setting, wonderful seasonal weather and the opportunity to own our first dog.
ALCOHOL AND ME
This is a tough one for me to talk about as I am ashamed that I let myself become alcohol dependent, drinking all day and behaving like a functional alcoholic. I particularly liked vodka, loved the feelings it gave me and used it as a social tool to have fun. Little did I know what damage it was doing to me. I ignored the signs and just carried on. Everything massively changed when we made the move to Hungary.
We both smoked hundreds of cigarettes in England, it was our way of relaxing and socialising with others. I was a much heavier smoker than my husband, easily 20 a day, sometimes chain smoking when I was stressed. Our home smelt of stale cigarettes all the time, there were tab ends everywhere and I didn’t realise what a disgusting waste of money habit it was until we totted up how much money we had inhaled and burnt! We also had a good discussion about the obvious health implications. Time to think about quitting.
Me, I was English speaking and nothing else, my husband on the other hand speaks 9, yes 9 languages fluently!! He is from Lebanon and already he had a head start as they learn and speak 3 different languages from birth. I was in awe of him sometimes and wished that I could be proficient in just one other language! I suppose he must have an excellent memory. I have tried to learn Spanish in the past but failed miserably and lost interest as I was not very motivated. Things changed dramatically when we made the move to Hungary.
NO TIME to write
I have always loved to write, but seemed to have no time to sit and write anything constructive. Over the years I have only managed to write journals and diaries. I had no ‘me’ time, or should I say I did not create any ‘me’ time because I was too busy drinking alcohol and socialising! One of my journals details a very happy period in my life, when I first met my husband and had always dreamt of writing it into a memoir. They stayed unrealistic dreams in England until we moved and became expats in Hungary.
On the 1st May 2019 I gave up drinking alcohol, but by the 23rd May I became very ill and was rushed to hospital suffering with Pancreatitis and blood poisoning. I had withdrawn very badly and nearly died! Thankfully the Hungarian health care was superb and I am here today to tell you that my NEW life without alcohol (nearly 1 year) is amazing! I shall be celebrating on 1st May 2020 my first year of sobriety.
A change of environment, a new country and new house rules. I choose to use an E-cigarette to help me quit, my husband said he could do it on his own but sadly was unsuccessful. Our new home in Hungary was completely renovated with brand new nicotine free furniture and appliances, my new rule was if you want to smoke, do it outside (which he does). I LOVE the new smoke free me, no smelly breath, smelly clothes or stinking hair, no nicotine stained teeth or fingers. Now my goal is to quit the e-cig… but all in good time.
What do you do when you move to a new country with one of the hardest languages to learn and understand? Well, you get stuck in and LEARN it like I did. We had moved to a small rural village with no English speakers and had to learn Hungarian to get by, basic stuff at first, like supermarket shopping, paying bills, asking directions, numbers etc. It helped tremendously talking with the locals although they talked very fast sometimes. We use Google Translate and I am learning through apps on my phone, I am slowly getting better.
TIME to write
I am truly happy to say that one of my goals I set out for myself is coming true. I now have an up and running blog (you are reading it now) and I am halfway through my memoir I dreamt about penning. I have joined online courses about writing, conferences about blogging and really got my brain working again. I set aside time everyday to write whatever I feel like writing. It has become an addiction that is not health threatening and it makes me feel good about myself which I have not done for many years.
So there you have it 5 changes I made that have proved to be rewarding, healthy and very fulfilling. To add to this we have saved a good deal of money, drinking alcohol was expensive, we can now spend the money saved on our new home and garden or whatever takes our fancy.
Thank you for reading, you are very welcome to make comments, I really do appreciate them. Have you made any new changes during your life and how have they helped you?
Thanks to Ben Huberman for creating this challenge 👍
I liked this simple definition of slow in the dictionary…
Moving, happening, or doing something without much speed
My first thoughts conjured up images of our current lifestyle here in rural Hungary. When I say rural I mean VERY rural, most of the traffic in our little village consists of horses and tractors…slow ones…ambling along taking up the whole road!
Don’t get me wrong, I love living in the countryside, the sounds are so different from the city where I used to live, the air is so incredibly clean, the wildlife is amazing but the tractors are SLOW! It took me a full year to become accustomed to this slow pace of life, no-one is in a hurry, life follows no set clock like in the clock-watching city.
Our village has horses, I can hear them neighing when the wind is in the right direction. They lead a good life here, grazing in the beautiful meadows. They often walk through the village pulling carts. Clip clop, slow and sure, 2 or 3 at a time, stopping now and then to nibble the grass verges.
In the summer months families visit our little village and take a ride around in a horse and cart, enjoying the slow ride checking out the lovely scenery. We have 2 beautiful lakes and several nature trails making life here peacefully tranquil.
You would think that horses were just confined to the villages of Hungary but they do appear on the main roads too. Going about their business, transporting a variety of different things….all very slowly!
The last thing I must mention are the staggering sunsets I enjoy here, the sun going down slowly behinds the hills is an amazing sight. As the village sits in a valley, we go up to the ridges for the best views.
Our lives slowed down when we became expats, living abroad has been good for our family, and we have all learnt to appreciate the “other side” city life v country life… the slow country life wins hands down.
Thanks to Ben Huberman for creating this challenge.
The daily prompt for today is exploring the world of scent, the good and the bad, obviously this is very subjective, peculiar to each individual person. I have chosen 3 “wonderful scents” and 3 “not so wonderful”. Do you agree with me?
How wonderful is the smell of fresh strawberries, you cut them open and the sweet smell lingers in the air. They shout at you “EAT ME”!!
You love it or hate it….Marmite. My mouth is watering just looking at this photo, the thick black spread with English Cheddar in between with lashings of butter. It is a very strong smell and I lOVE it!
The smell of home baked bread is deliciously comforting. If I open the oven to check the bread, the smell fills the whole house almost like a pleasure trigger. I do love it straight from the oven with lashings of butter.
This is the first on my list, for me, “not so wonderful”… garlic. My husband LOVES garlic with a passion and although I do cook with it regularly I would prefer not too. I can’t bare the smell on my fingers either.
To some this is heaven, juicy fat prawns, frying in the pan, but for me they are a resounding no! The cooking smell in my kitchen lingers long after the prawns have been eaten. I don’t like to eat them, touch them or smell them! Sorry!
I can’t think of anything worse than the smell of eggs, strongly pungent and the smell gets deep inside my nose and lingers for hours. Hard boiled eggs seem to be the worst. The men in this house eat dozens of eggs and thoroughly enjoy them, not for me though.
So that’s my “scents” prompt done, what scents do you love and hate, I would love to know?