This week I have to talk about last week, which was pretty amazing in many ways.
It was a week of extremes, fresh back from holiday, we had a lot on straight away; the kids back to school, I went to see Take That on Tuesday night, the daughter then went on her school French Trip on Thursday night and we had a wedding to go to this weekend……and in the middle of all that was our first WOW Wednesday… but more on that later, so let’s go back.
Last Monday I was straight into writing my Blog post and fighting with piles of washing, walking the dog – all the usual stuff but despite feeling worn out already, I didn’t sleep that well that night and woke feeling groggy and a bit odd on Tuesday. I went to writing group that morning and soon got stuck into the tasks and catching up with everyone.
The warm up task was interesting, based on the TV programme 63 UP, we had to write about what our lives were like at age 7,14,21,28,35 etc. I realised a lot of these particular years were really pivotal times for me and it was a little bit scary opening up about these to people who I still hadn’t known for a very long time, but it was also nice to write about just the little things too like getting my first flat and painting it all kinds of colours or having berry fights with the boys on my street (I was a total tomboy when I was little).
Then another task was to watch a dance on TV that won the competition. However, I didn’t like this task! This has happened to me before upon listening to a particular piece of music, but basically the dance was very extreme and dark, a boy tied by bands trying to escape, in executed, very jerky choreography. The music accompanying was equally dark as was the staging, costume and lighting. I found myself looking out of the window trying to avoid it, it was such a strange feeling but kind of reaffirms that I definitely think I’m a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) which doesn’t mean that you break down at the slightest thing, it’s more to do with the environment around you and how you react to it, click here for the test and more on this….it’s really interesting.
Image taken from – the documentary Sensitive – The Untold Story
Anyway, I digress, but I’m just trying to give you a picture of my week and how crazily up and down it was. Next on the agenda was Take That at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield…in the absolutely pouring rain. But I went with my angel friends (my closest and one of my oldest friendship groups) and nothing would dampen our spirits seeing the boys! As usual it was a fantastic show, really nostalgic for all of us as we grew up with Take That (I’ve seen them 4 times) and we danced, sang and generally just loved it.
TT Fans forever!:-)
In the group, I’m the events organiser, I find these things and then get everyone to come, we’re all so busy these days, but It’s so important to me, making these amazing memories with my buddies for us to look back on when we’re old and grey in a nursing home! (our ideal scenario being all together!).
Looking around at these girls I’ve known for at least 20 years, I’m so proud of us all, we’ve done so much together and with our families and they mean the world to me.
So, next up was our first WOW Wednesday event, fairly tired from the night before and a little stressed as my son missed the school bus so I was running around, I quickly made a few notes in the car and headed on in to Miriam’s, the café where I do my writing workshops too, expecting 2 maybe 3 people to be there. In reality, 9 people showed up and I was blown away!
I very quickly had to get my brain in gear! We settled around the table with coffee and fuelled with enthusiasm talked passionately about our small businesses, what some of our challenges were and what we hoped to get from this group whilst I scribbled down each person’s background. What was really brilliant was that everyone was so different!
We had the following businesses sat at the table, fibre glass products, sea glass jewellery, pet rehabilitation, therapy and training, An Ap product and business consultant, counselling, a designer, essential oils products, a computer business, and a lady who worked for Utility Warehouse (saving people money on their utility bills) – see what I mean? I don’t think they could have been more different!
I found listening to their stories about how they’d come to be running their own businesses fascinating and completely inspiring and what was really interesting was that despite how different they all were, we all had similar issues and challenges and things we wanted to stretch ourselves to achieve. I can 100 % say that I know we are going to be able to help each other with our wide range of skills and supportive outlook!
One lady put it really well;
I couldn’t agree more and I know personally I’m going to get so much benefit out of this group, not least us all motivating each other long to complete our first actions. We set 3 work goals and 1 life goal to aim to try and complete by the next time we meet in 2 weeks time – I’ll let you know how we get on!
The next few days were spent capturing all that I’d learned and getting it out to people, I don’t want this group to be extra lots of work but I felt it was important for us all to have that background knowledge of each other so we can independently contact one another if we want to and also to detail our first tasks.
I’m so pleased that I put into action this little nugget of an idea, not having a clue if it would work or not, and it just goes to prove that sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet without knowing what the result will be or whether it will be a success or not.
And you can’t dispute the fact that helping others and creating connections with other people in a similar boat gives you a huge boost and just makes you feel good that you could be helping to make a little difference – that’s really what it’s all about for me.
The only downside to this busy week has been that by Thursday, after packing my daughter off on her French school trip (she tried to pack Alexa for goodness sake, thinking she could get Capital Radio in France in their room!), I needed a lay down, my head was banging with a migraine and the delights of tinnitus were full volume (which is really starting to annoy me!).
So, Friday I took it easier, less screens, pilates and a coffee catching up with a friend in the afternoon. Then it was back to busy, a wedding reception do in North Yorkshire and we stayed over at the beautiful West Layton Manor, recently renovated by its new owners and it was just gorgeously decorated! Flowers and free sherry in our room, an honesty bar and cheese just brought out to accompany our pre-getting ready gin, what’s not to love?! The owner Mark, really put excellent service at the top of the list!
The wedding itself was even better than we imagined, we are friends of the bride’s parents so didn’t know a huge amount of people but when we walked in, a friend from my old work was there, cue screaming and hugs then the drinks and dancing went up a notch! It was great to see her and just like old times, the one thing I miss about my old work is the people, they were a good bunch!
So, what’s my point in all of this, I hear you ask?! What’s wowed me most this week? People, it’s as simple as that; a whole mixture this week of people I have great connections with, my old bunch of friends who know me inside and out and I have a lifetime of memories with, newish friends (writing group) who I’m getting to know more and inspire my writing in different directions, a friend who I miss from work, always have a laugh with and we’ll always stay in touch and finally the new group of people I met at our 1st WOW Wednesday. One was a friend already, some I knew of via Insta, one I knew from school but mainly just a group of people joined by a mission to support each other and get stuff done! And even hearing simple stories, seeing dreams come to fruition – like the owner of West Layton Manor, who’s only been there 4 months and already turned it into the most beautiful place to stay.
Connections are everything, we learn so much from other people, go on adventures together, create fun memories and ultimately realise we all have the same challenges, we are a communal species after all. Plus, it’s so important to still see people when you work from home or on your own, otherwise you can go a bit stir crazy.
Sharing ideas, skills and knowledge or asking for people’s opinions is such an important factor in helping you to move forward, or reaffirm that you’re on the right track and give you more confidence. A fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference and give you a real boost and who knows you might just make some new friends too.
Remember, one striving for the sky is beautiful, but a whole bunch together, even better!
What’s wowed you this week? I’d love to know and if this has inspired you at all, why not bite the bullet and set up a community accountability group in your local area? At the very least you’ll meet new people, have a good chat and it’s a good excuse for sneaky cake or breakfast! If you do decide to give it a go, please do let me know!
Until next time…
Juliet, The Curious Creative x
For anyone wanting to join our little WOW Wednesday group, the next one will be on Weds 19th June, 9.30am at Miriam’s Kitchen Table in Kirkburton, Huddersfield, it’s free and fun, come along!
Also, I’m really trying to grow my Insta pages, @soothedbynature – sharing a little bit of nature (like the daisies pics above) from my dog walks and also of course @thecuriouscreativeclub , where you’ll get regular snippets from me and from others too on all things creative and inspiring…..I hope to see you there, thank you x
And finally, if anyone fancies joining Gale Barker’s Creative Writing Group – We meet weekly at Gale’s house (I go on a Tuesday (10am – 12pm) but other sessions are available – Weds – 7-9pm and Thursday 10am-12.
Gale is a retired creative writing teacher from Kirklees college and now delivers her expertise through tasks and prompts to get you thinking creatively – and her husband Andrew delivers the tea and biscuits! – £8 per session. Great for sparking new ideas in a small comfortable group.