New friendships

Life is meant to continually challenge and awaken us, and as it does for us so it does for our close friends and family too.

becca-tapert-357541-unsplash (2).jpg

During my holidays this Summer one thing I have been pondering is my friendship landscape (so-to-speak), who the people currently featuring in my life are and where they fit in the tapestry, and it has occurred to me that we have never really considered new friendships in this space.

We have talked a lot about how important it is to spend quality time with your favourite people, and to spend a bit of time identifying for yourself who they are, but now I would like to clarify that these do not need to be limited to your old friends.

Old friends are like rare gems, but for some people they are not always the best friends. 

Just because someone has grown up with you does not qualify them as a personal advisor, or necessarily elevate their status above those for which a friendship may still be in the early ‘seedling’ stage.

As we grow older we encounter many varying and changing environments through which we meet and cross paths with other people.  New places of education, workplaces, hobbies and such-like – alongside our changing geographical locations, expose us to the opportunity to create and cultivate new friendships which can sometimes surpass the more mature ones.

I am not particularly writing this from personal experience per se, but more the notion that just as we shouldn’t judge our own friendships in this way, it is equally important that we do not judge those of our friends either. 

One close friend I studied with – who I maybe see once a year if I am lucky – for a very precious time worked just along the road from me.  For several months in-between each other’s last and first pregnancies we would have lunch together in St James’ Park at least once a week.  Catching up and just being back to where we were when we were studying at Deloitte.  It was lovely, and the happy circumstances were over almost too soon.  Her mum said that this is how life is – that it pulls us together and pushes us apart from our friends in cycles over a period of time, and we spent some time reflecting on this. Now we are busy parenting small children and working on opposite sides of London (which for those of you unfamiliar with London may as well be at opposite ends of a large country!), but I have little doubt that eventually we will see more of each other again when our circumstances change.

Another reason I find myself writing this is because we tend to be so quick to label our own and each other’s friends.  Like an episode of The Inbetweeners we coo “oooh… your NCT fwends”!!! Although this is said in jest, it also indicates an inner fear of being displaced – no matter how much my husband says he is simply teasing!

Or there is the example of a close friend who has been calling her good pal her ‘mummy friend’ for about 6 years… which surely surpasses the need for this qualification?

From my personal experience, a close friend has moved to Singapore recently, and I would like nothing more than for her to find a local wonderful set of friends that will nourish her own soul and effectively ‘replace’ the ones she has left behind in the UK (including myself!).  Not because I see our friendship as diluted in any way – I just recognise the importance of physical contact with your cheerleading tribe.

I am not in any way suggesting we ditch our old friends in favour of sparkly new ones.  The two friends who absolutely know my core, my narrative, the very foundation bricks that started this person I am trying so hard to build simply because they were formed at a time when there wasn’t a single nuance of our being that was not shared with each other on an hourly basis at school and in the early evenings before we were forced off of the `phone (and this was before smartphones – so help the current youthful generation who must simply exhaust each other with their realtime engagement) I can see and be with without speaking.  Just breathe and be.  I know we frustrate each other by not recognising our own selves as much as we think the other one should – which at times makes for equally difficult relationships not disparate from those we can have with family members (love you two!).  We have been quietly respectful as we have watched each other grow new and independent friendships simply because of our natural traits but I think this is a very good example of how pure and healthy friendships should be.

I think one thing we all have to take a step back to recognise is that we are all on our own independent spiritual journey.  In essence: we are continually evolving and changing.  We have to be able to accept this happily and without fear.  How many of us can honestly hold our hands up and say we are the same person we were five, ten, twenty years ago, for example?  Life is meant to continually challenge and awaken us, and as it does for us so it does for our close friends and family too.

If friends are the family that you choose, choose them wisely and remain true to your core beliefs.   Be kind to those who have helped you become who you are today, but do not close the doors on new ones who are challenging you on your way. By the same token, allow your friends and family the grace to expand their own friendships without judgement and without fear.


Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash


Trust in your power to select what is right for you and believe you have earned the right to travel your own path, guilt-free.

I have made significant progress so far this year with my own well-being. This hasn’t been entirely on my own, I have had lots of help along the way and I am so pleased that I sought advice from a (professional) stranger. This was an organic development in my life: as I am taking a step back and trying to create a happier, more meaningful connection both with myself and those who are closest to me I have learnt that we have to take time to consider paths that are set before us, and trust in our instincts to follow the right one, grateful for the journey we experience rather than focussing on the end-game. Continue reading

Change your frequency


You need to have a happy memory, or a happy song, that brings about such jubilance in your soul that you are able to snap out of the negative and right back to the positive where you belong

Hi – how have you been getting on? Are you any closer to achieving the goals you laid out at the beginning of this journey?  Have you got your diary culling down to a fine art, and things to look forward to that involve both people and activities that you love?  Are you getting out of bed every day thinking how wonderful you are and how you are going to positively impact on those around you today?

Or, more importantly, are you trying to find that all elusive 5 minutes for you each day?  I have to say, that since I started this mission, I have felt so much lighter on my feet, and the things that I am doing for me have been quite varied but all good fun.  I have had an amazing week, my nails and lashes look good, I am off to have a full body massage on Saturday (followed by two back to back children’s parties, just to put things in perspective!) and last night I had a wonderful date night at a lovely boutique restaurant that doubles up as a gin room. Continue reading

Love Yourself


You may have noticed in my last few entries that I am occasionally referring to the concept of self love.  How does that make you feel?  A bit uncomfortable? Unworthy? Or more like:

“hell yeah baby – I’ll have some of that!!”

Hopefully the above, but there are so many people out there struggling with the idea that they need to love themselves.  Bieber aside, I am not talking about narcissism, I am talking about a calm and happy acceptance of yourself, including all the imperfections, blotches and bad hair days.  You need to be your main idol, your prime cheerleader, your number 1. Continue reading


felix-russell-saw-236041-unsplashThis is such a wonderful time of year, but it can also bring a lot of stress, worry and very little time for yourself.  Hopefully you now find yourself in the lull between the festivities and the end of the year, with time to catch your breath and have a bit of a self-review.

We’ve had quite a few weeks now to consider a lot about our time, how we prioritise it, how we enrich it, how we make simple changes to take back control and make more ‘minutes for me’. Continue reading



Have you given much more thought to determining your hopes for 2018? Are your goals specific enough?

Have targets to define your goals

You can’t just write ‘get fit’ or ‘get healthy’, you have got to have a specific target, imagine that you are writing to a long-distance friend or relative about what a great year you have had.  You wouldn’t bother writing ‘I really improved my fitness’, but you could write ‘I ran my first 5k/10k/half marathon…’ or ‘I competed in my first time trials in X’.  Instead of saying you got healthy – how are you going to measure your health?  I actually don’t know the answer to this one (weight is too oversimplified)!  Maybe you can switch eventually to 50% organic or trial different diets (vegetarian/pescatarian/vegan) and write about that.  In short, have targets to define your goals. Continue reading

Take back control


How is your diary looking for the forthcoming months? I’m assuming very busy – at least for the month of December.  If you were conducting an objective review of said diary, how many appointments or events involve your favourite people or the things that you love?

How much time is scheduled to help you achieve one of those goals/dreams you’ve considered. I’m guessing if you are like me, you’ll have plenty of ‘because I really ought to’s and not so much of the things that really matter to you.  Continue reading

Enrich Part 2


Make time for the people that enrich

How have you been doing this week? Have you had a chance to think about any of our activities so far?  As they seem to be building up I have added a tab at the top of the webpage so that you can access them individually and easily.

I just want to take a moment to say how much I am enjoying writing this blog.  I had always put very high expectations on myself and constantly strove for perfection – as if I was trying to convince myself that I had control.  Starting this blog however was a complete jump into the unknown.  I am not a writer or a photographer, and whilst being prone to bursts of creativity it is not a trait that defines my everyday. Moreover, I have never been particularly active on social media platforms.  Continue reading



Make time for the things that enrich

If you have set your aspirations for 2018 (see ‘The Beginning’) or just for this month (‘Reflection’), you may have noticed that there is a lot of white noise in-between these things that you would like to do and the things that you simply must do – be it work, grocery shopping, eating, washing and so on.  How can you quieten that noise a bit to find some more ‘me time’?

Put simply, a good start would be to:

  • review exactly the things that you enjoy doing;
  • consider the people who you really benefit from spending time with; and
  • consult your diary/calendar and clear out as many things as you can that do not fall into either category.  An old work friend of mine used to call this ‘self-preservation’!

However, the reality is that this exercise requires a lot more thought to ensure that you get it right before you needlessly cull your diary.  This week let’s take a step or two back and start by considering these key questions:

What are genuinely your favourite things?

What inspires you and makes your heart sing? Continue reading


Have you managed to spend at least five minutes every day doing something for yourself, which makes you feel happier and more consciously engaged with your wants and needs?

Hopefully you would have had time to read my introductory blog post ‘The Beginning’.  If you are time-rich, you would have also had time to watch the TED talk, and started a conversation with yourself about time, how you can prioritise it, and how you can carve out more of it for the things that you love.

A different way to work @minutesforme 31 October 2017

Can you list the things that you have deliberately done for yourself over the past week/fortnight?  On reflection, does that make you feel empowered or that you need to take more control? Continue reading