Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Divest-January 23

Divest is my one word for 2023. My aim is to divest myself of thoughts and behaviours which cause stress, procrastination, over reaction and ownership of excess stuff. The objective is to feel more confident and unencumbered . I will be joining Carolyn and others who also use the one word idea to help them reach their goals. Link here- https://youronewordblog.wordpress.com/2023/01/30/checking-in-1-23/

I had a plan in January, and it was a good plan.I stuck to it and made progress,

Step one- draw up a household maintenance plan. I did, it’s based on one I found on this website –https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners which I used a lot when we sold our last house and moved here. Just having something to refer too gives me confidence.

More importantly this month I actually started to implement planned maintenance and had the gutters cleared of at least two years moss and leaf debris. Responding to unplanned issues a builder has just finished repointing the porch. Hopefully an end to wet surprises. I mentioned earlier this month a DIY book. It made me think about being a Good customer, which led to more research and thinking about how you approach asking for a quote.The need in particular to specify clearly what the job is. And being able to understand what is happening at each stage. Suffice to say I now know more than I expected to ever know about bricklaying and pointing – especially about … well you don’t need to know the ins and outs. The thing is if you understand something it’s not so scary.

Step two- improve mental health and well being– I need to refer back to the book I was reading at the time by Benjamin Bonnetti- How to Stress Less. He is primarily writing about work related stress, but it easily translates into living alone for the first time in your life stress, when you are supposed to know what you are doing. It’s not a Poor you tell me about your dreadful upbringing book. It’s this is Life you can do it book. He talked a lot about flight/fight reaction and what it does to your body. And that after something you need the Three R’s. Rest, Recover and Resolve. To aid that you need to think about food and exercise.

So I have implemented some changes. Breakfast in particular. Gone is my golden syrup laced porridge. In has come yogurt, fruit and seeds. Good news. I am not growing feathers eating “bird food”. At weekends I have toast with honey on Saturday and marmalade on Sundays. Helps me keep track of the days. Can get confusing when you retire.

Step three – was to give up caffeine for a week. It took me three weeks to fully implement it due to lack of decaffeinated alternatives at some of my group activities. I was very grateful for the advice to expect headaches, and to drink water. I did wake up a few mornings with a niggle which was soon dispersed with a glass of water.

Have these two changes made a difference? Well if I think about it there were in the past some days when I felt jittery for no good reason. Since making dietary changes I have not experienced them. So the breakfasts and hardly any caffeine will remain.

Meantime I have tried to move more, and went a lovely walk here by myself.

It was a bit windy!

And just over a week ago I joined a group of ladies on a four mile walk. Stunned to discover I can walk four miles with no after effects the day after. I live in a large town of over 200,000 people, many have moved here for work or like me to be close to family. Many women are like me widows, or single parents, or even stay at home Mums, or moved here for work and know no-one. All needing to make new friends. How? Well a little group got together to start a friendship group using the power of Facebook. Anyone in the group can set up an event to socialise , a walk, coffee and chat, a meal out, a day trip etc. I have been hovering for months and finally joined a walk. And everyone without fail was kind, inclusive and welcoming. I joined in so many conversations and what struck me was how far the topics ranged, from menopause to muslim funeral services!The number of potential friends in the group-2000! Number on the walk 22. That such a group exists in such a big town and that is so inclusive.. brilliant. No joining fees, just the wish to meet people, strikes me as being a Jolly Good Thing.

Step four -divesting myself of stuff. Progress here too. Eight towels gone to a lady who rescues unwanted pet rabbits. A large bag of leftover 4ply baby yarn eagerly snapped up by a member of my craft group ,six recipe books ready to go to a charity shop along with a big stack of books about aeroplanes and railways. My heap of to be reads are no longer in a pile on the landing, they are on a shelf.

Step five-Daily reflections. Mostly in the morning but sometimes at bedtime. How do I feel right now? Well positive, less battered by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and happier.

Picture below-what happens to a light bulb when the glue melts and the electricity fuses firing the bulb onto your bed, Just glad I wasn’t in the bed at the time as it was a big bang with sparks everywhere.I cleared up the debris, checked the bed and dealt with the fuse box , and then rested, recovered and in the morning resolved the the problem. The 3R’s worked for me.


Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” Hans Christian Anderson.

I am treating myself to a weekly bunch of daffodils.

I’ll leave off here, I feel the need to make a February plan. Do check out the link for other one worders, and good wishes if you are one of them.

Thank you for reading,



Comments on: "Divest-January 23" (38)

  1. You are making great strides! Your plan and how you are putting it into action are inspiring!

  2. Brilliant reading! Well done Cathy.

  3. Very positive and lovely to read.

  4. You have really had a great month overall, and it’s only January! Very inspiring post, just when I needed one! It’s been a bit of a tough week here, but reading this made me feel so good for you. It really lifted my spirits!

    • Sorry to read that Kathy, you take care. Maybe you need the rest and restore.

      • I think we are over the hump this morning. It seems that DH was fighting a virus on top of the closed airways. Got that under control (I think) last night and he finally slept last night. This am, it was apparent the steroids are working their magic. I think it is the mental strain that gets me. I count on that shot working in 24-48 hours, and when the difference is marginal, it really throws me. Amazing what a little sleep can do!

  5. I love those daffodils, and the photo behind them is just so adorable πŸ™‚

  6. […] Cathy, you asked what Rumi’s Big Question was for January? This is it. The question that rose to the top is What’s blocking you from being able to be the rest of yourself? […]

  7. You are doing a wonderful job of taking control of your life, Cathy! I’m impressed and will borrow a few of your suggestions that I have not yet put in place. I have no maintenance on my place since I rent, but I’m spending this week, clearing out and rearranging my sewing room so it actually works for me, not against me. I let the kids bring to much stuff into this place and now that I see how much stress it’s causing, I’m going to get it out of here. Resting and restoring are essential when things happen to give you a recharge for the next. I’m walking the halls 5 days a week after I unlock the outside doors but no one else is up and about that early. I do 6 or 7 laps each of those 5 days. A walking partner would be just lovely. So far, no luck. Keep up the good work. You are inspiring me.

    • Sounds like you are making great adjustments to life. I am beginning to realise that sometimes waiting for life to evolve isn’t enough, the grabbing of the bull by the horns and definitive action is needed.

  8. Several years ago I stopped all the coffee I drank, just because. I now have one cup in the morning and one cup in the afternoon when Steve gets home (a sort of fika moment for us!) and the impact that had was dramatic! This year my push has been to drink more water… and so far I am off to a good start. Now if I can stick with it!

    I love how you tackled home maintenance! That process is one we all could use to some extent! You are off to such a great start! XO

    • Bless you thanks. Coffee drinking was a ritual really I had with Eric, a time when we met up during the day. Hot chocolate, decaff and tea for me now.

  9. Wow Cathy, what a great start to the year.
    I am hoping to improve my diet and the amount of exercise I do in 2023 and have invested in an exercise bike (secondhand from Facebook marketplace).
    I did try crocheting whilst cycling! it was like patting head and rubbing tummy – gave up on that one!

  10. You are off to a fantastic start in January! Change is hard, but you are doing great, one step at a time. So proud of you! Keep going into February!

  11. That sounds like a very productive month. And the power of Facebook can be a very good thing sometimes. X

    • Like everything in this life Facebook can be Good and bad, it’s up to the individual to be sensible.

      • So true! I have only had positive experiences through Facebook, and it is GREAT for setting up Groups or finding others with the same interests. I love the sound of your walking group.

  12. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    Oh what positive changes you have made. I wish I could do half what you did. Love the idea of the ladies group. And fabulous Hans Christian Anderson quote.

  13. Wow you are such an inspiration! That is a beautiful treat you got yourself, so well deserved you strong and brave woman! I love the Hans Christian Anderson quote! The household maintenance plan is brilliant πŸ™‚

  14. I think my favorite thing about this post is the group of women you’ve found to walk with. I’m sure the walk and the socialization did you a world of good!

  15. This post gives such a BOOST, Cathy! I’m thrilled to hear about the wonderful group you found on Fb. What a treasure–and just the kind of ‘easy’ it should be to find fellowship with women. Enjoy those daffs (you shared one of my favorite quotes, there!) Oh–and the brick pointing. I think I’ll be trying my hand at some DIY work in our basement. At least it’s in a rather concealed place (given I’m prone to slightly sloppy starts.) Excellent to hear the 3R’s worked for you. Sounds like that book is a fine resource!

    • The book was just what I needed to kick start me this year. I like the plain talking and good ideas that don’t involve huge outlays of money. Every town should have a Ladies Friendship Group, and of course all the other gender friendship groups!

  16. I sounds like you have made a solid connection with your word in January. I like the household notebook. I have been waking too early with thoughts about all the things that need to be done around here and last week I pulled out a notebook and began making notes. I have cut back on caffeine and have found some lovely teas that do not have caffeine but I also think I want to focus more on some dietary boosts next month. It may be the weather or just the dullness of January but I would love to have more energy.

    • Oh yes. Wouldn’t it be great to go to the shop and just buy oneself more energy!. I am beginning to feel the power of total rest as a way to more energy.

    • I’ve been putting a Celestial Seasonings ‘Tension Tamer’ tea bag in my water bottle, just to rub up against a few more B vitamins and energizing herbs. (I don’t know if the tea bag helps or simply the fact drinking more water helps–but I have noticed a bit more perk. And I’ll take that any way I can get it!)

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