Thank you, thank you, thank you to Vanessa from The Wellbeing Blogger for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Vanessa, a ‘Wellbeing Activist’ with a background in psychology, writes thought-provoking, lyrical articles which I always find inspiring. She has also created a line in wellbeing products which includes a free ‘wellbeing kit’ as well as beautiful aromatherapy ear rings.
How does the Sunshine Blogging Award work?
The Sunshine Blogging Award works like this:
First, I answer 11 questions. Then, I ask 11 of my own questions to 11 bloggers who I go on to nominate.
1. What job did you want to have when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a vet but… I was too squeamish.
I wanted to rescue animals but… it would be too upsetting.
I wanted to be a social worker but… it would be too difficult.
I wanted to be a psychologist but… I chose languages instead.
I wanted to be an air hostess but… I wasn’t brave enough to apply.
I wanted to be a writer but… you can’t make a living from writing. Right?
Not the boldest of children, then!
2. List 5 things that bring you happiness.
Hand-written messages and pictures from my incredible children. Watching them learn and play, sharing in their discoveries and wonder. Knowing when I’ve succeeded in guiding them towards healthy growth and happiness.
Connection: Catching up with friends… there’s nothing quite like it.
Music, festivals and gigs – the last three I went to were Sparks, Gary Numan and The Specials (showing my age!). They were all in a brilliant smallish venue (L’Atelier in Luxemboug) which is often used as a warm-up gig for a European or world tour.
Skiing: My all-time favourite sport. The landscapes are so beautiful and there’s that natural high when you swoop down the slopes, almost, but hopefully not quite, out of control.
Writing and finishing a piece that I think is readable and maybe even interesting. And then feedback such as, ‘I related, and your writing helped!’
3. What is your favourite topic to blog about?
Sometimes I’m not quite sure what my posts are even about. Lessons I’ve learned through ditching self-improvement for self-awareness, how I have coped (or not) with certain situations in life. Healing emotional health… Hopefully there are some little nuggets of wisdom in there that my younger self might have found helpful.
When I give more of myself away, I get the most back (like most things in life!). In a post where I showed my vulnerabilities really openly (about how mental illness messed with my head), I received some really touching, personal responses.
4. What’s your favourite food?
I’m most comfortable with plant-based choices and I’m holding my breath for vegan cheese that tastes half as good as Shropshire Blue. Then I would sit and work my way through a massive lump of it sliced and smeared on to oatcakes.
Followed by raspberries and chocolate cake.
5. When did you start blogging?
In January 2019.
When we lived in Bulgaria for a couple of years around 2006 a friend suggested I start a blog – I was writing for a little magazine at the time. If I’d listened to her, my blogging ‘career’ would be at a totally different stage by now! But better now than tomorrow, right?
6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
That’s a tough one. I find envisaging my future really difficult. Not least because it affects my entire family. I can see myself writing. That’s one thing for sure.
7. If you could have a mythical creature as a companion, what would it be?
A winged unicorn, obvs! Although one of my cats, Suki, looks quite mythical. She’s got long white and grey, silky hair and her body and tail are too long for her small head. She’s out of proportion and looks ethereal with the most incredibly delicate and beautiful face that only a feline could have.
8. What’s your blogging ritual like?
Non-existant! Grab as much time as I can here and there and feel all antsy until I’ve posted an article for the week (my goal – one a week). Then I relax for a day or two and ‘get stuff done’ until I start wondering what the next post will be. And there’s still a little guilt when I’m blogging (or writing anything really) and that voice telling me I should be doing something else instead!
9. What was your childhood’s nickname?
I was often the side-kick, like ‘Penfold’ (just because I hung around with ‘Danger Mouse’) as I was really quiet and shy.
My childhood bestie still calls me ‘My little Alien friend’ because my name is pronounced ‘Aylee’ (and I’m from another planet).
10. What’s your most important value?
To be true to yourself and authentic. It may sound simple and it gets bandied around a lot these days, but so many people go through life following the dreams of other people rather than tuning into themselves to find out what drives them. We are all unique with our own particular talents and abilities.
11. If you could go on a mission around the world, what would it be about?
Maybe about not having to conform to the 9 to 5 (although even that’s a dream these days, with longer and longer working hours). If we think we’re obliged to work according to somebody else’s rules doing a job we find pointless it is soul-destroying. It’s sad that so many of us feel there is no choice but to count the days until retirement. Thing is, I don’t have all the answers so my mission would likely be a major flop!
I might be better at fighting the cause for animal welfare.
I really enjoy the blogs below. The questions to my nominees are, of course, optional, and it’s personal choice whether to enter into this particular game, but if they do, I look forward to reading…
Ieva – Wholistically me
Faye – Getyourfoodonblog
Ashley – Stress relief for working mums
Jill – Foodfeelingsfreedom
Dan – Firedandfree
Kirsty – Createownsunshine
- Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites.
- Answer the questions.
- Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
- Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
- List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or on your post.
- Are you a cat or dog (or goldfish) person?
- Would you tell the hairdresser if you didn’t like your new haircut or would you smile and give them a tip while you’re dying inside?
- What’s your secret singing-into-a-hairbrush-as-a-microphone song?
- ‘Speaking strictly for me we both could have died then and there’ is a line from a Joan Baez song (Diamonds and Rust). When was your ‘moment’?
- What’s your favourite line from a (favourite) song?
- Can you describe your most spiritual experience?
- Do you have a ‘chill out’ toolkit: go-to rituals for yourself which help when you’re stressed?
- What three things would you rescue from your burning home?
- What’s your favourite smell and are there memories associated with it?
- What word would you tattoo on your wrist?
- What are your greatest worries when you post a blog?