Older, Wiser, Better Me

because it's never too late to follow your dream


Clarity.  Something often missing from my life.  I generally have lots of things buzzing around my head.  Ideas mostly.   But these last 10 days I’ve been taking part in Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge and this is day 10.  The last one (sob) and I’m thinking about what I’ve gained from the experience.

Looking back over my blog posts and thinking about what I did, or felt, or learnt from each one I realise that Day 2 – all about finding your ‘why’ was the best bit for me.  In fact I think the best thing I have written through this whole process was my why statement and the sentence that followed it.  Here it is again:

To live a less time restricted life and to inspire others to do the same in order to bring more happiness into the world.

Time allows us to do the things that are important to us in our hearts. To love, help and take care of ourselves and others.  These are things that make us truly happy.

Even reading it now makes me smile.

I have learnt so much these last 10 days but today  I had a moment of perfect clarity.  It was as if all the exercises I’ve done this week suddenly came together and I had the absolute conviction that I know exactly what my business should be.  In fact it isn’t the ‘idea’ that has been buzzing around in my head all week.  It’s  a project I started once before and got up and running before the days of Facebook and social media and to be honest it wasn’t so much a business as a hobby involved with something I love.  I now realise that this is the key to my freedom lifestyle.  And now I have learnt some of the steps, habits and processes to make it happen.

So thank you Natalie for the last 10 days.  For sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm and for pushing me to think of things that have fired me up to go after the lifestyle I want.  But more importantly thank you for my moment of clarity.  And thanks to everyone else on this challenge for sharing your blogs with me.  For being, funny, clever, inspiring and motivating.  Good luck to each and every one of you.


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This feels good.

Well, little did I know this morning where I’d end up tonight!  I’m taking part in Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7 and today I had to go do something out my usual run of things, something that was fun.

It wasn’t difficult to decide what to do.  I love being near the sea, so I got in my car and made a 3 hour trip to beautiful Pembrokeshire in West Wales.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue,  the traffic was dreadful(!) but I knew it would be worth it.  Two reasons for this, firstly it was a beautiful day to be in Pembrokeshire, and secondly tomorrow  is Ironman Wales.

I was lucky enough to witness this event by chance a few years ago and had one of the best, most inspiring days ever.  Obviously it helps that it’s held in such a beautiful place but the sheer grit and determination of the competitors is something to be seen.  Most of these competitors will have trained for the whole year.  On top of their day jobs because they want it badly enough.  And if they can go out in all weathers to run and cycle and seaswim then I’m damn sure I get my act together enough to make time to get a successful on-line business off the ground.

The bad news is I don’t have any pictures of the Ironman Event.  I’m getting up at 5.15 in the morning for that but I did take a lovely picture of what looked like a viking invasion on our shores this afternoon!!


You see these are the things I want in my life.  Blue skies, blue seas, different vistas, people enjoying themselves.  I really can’t wait to get to a position where days like this can be my norm.


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Just do ‘something’.

I’m doing ‘something’ right now.  I’m typing.  And thinking.  Multi tasking, lol.  However this post is more about the things you don’t get done.  You know, the ones on your list that you’re going to get round to… when the time is right, when you’ve worked out exactly how you want them to look, when you can afford to, when this, when that.

I have some of these.  I’m taking part in Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6 and today is all about procrastination.  Natalie gets right to the nitty gritty.  It’s no good saying you want more freedom in your life but not actually doing the things that will get you there.  That’s just shirking!  Stop making excuses.

So.  I have an N day.  That’s Notice Day.  The day I’m planning on handing my notice in for my 9 – 5.  It’s a few months away.  I have committed to it by writing it LARGE on my calendar, in my phone, on my fridge!  So what am I doing in the meantime to progress an on-line income as this is what I’m going to need?  Well, I haven’t quite whittled down my list of possible projects to just one, but even when I’ve done that I’m not so naive as to think I will suddenly have the perfect income from it.  I will need to do other things too whilst it’s gaining momentum.  I have a list of these other things.  Work I could do online that would create some income for me.

The problem is that so far I haven’t actually done any of them.  I’ve just looked at them and thought yes, that could work for me, I could earn money doing that.  I’ve been procrastinating.  Waiting till ‘nearer the time’ or ‘when I’ve decided what my main project will be’.  So,  I’m taking Natalie’s challenge to heart (and loving it).  Today I will register, sign up, create a profile, or advertise for work on one of the sites on my list.  And tomorrow I will do another one, and the next day the next one on my list.  And when I’ve registered for all of them each day I will go look if there’s anything relevant to me and apply for it.  And keep applying until I get some work.  I will make time to do any work that comes my way as I have to think of it as my future income stream, one that will help get me to my perfect life.

Thanks Natalie for the push 🙂


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Seeking high and low. Friend or Foe?

Today I’m thinking about moving forward, enough thinking and wondering, I want to get on with things!!  I want to change my life.  Again.

Now I have plenty of friends, 4 or 5 really close ones and a wide circle of other friends but none of them are really like me.  Or rather they don’t crave the life that I do.  They’re mostly happy with their lot.  Sure, they moan sometimes but they wouldn’t for one minute rock the boat to change anything.  I’m in my fifties.  This is what happens. People give up thinking ‘what shall I do next?’ and start to ‘settle’.. Oh my God, how I hate that word!  I am NEVER going to settle.  I know this.

They tolerate me though…. when at 47 I packed in my steady self employment role, rented out my house and took myself off to a country I’d never been to before, whose language I didn’t know and where I knew NO-ONE and had zero chance of finding paid work they just looked at me incredulously and said ‘You’re going to do what??!!!’  (I had a great 4 months.)  Then after a very brief 2 weeks back home when I decided to go WWOOFing (volunteering on organic farms) abroad just because I was enjoying being out of the country they thought I’d lost the plot.  ‘It’ll be all kids’, ‘ Your back will kill you’,’ You’ll have to share accommodation (horror!)’ ‘You don’t speak the language’.  I could go on but you get the idea.

Let me tell you – it was the best year of my life.

So now when I tell them I have to find a way to spend part of my year in this country (elderly parents, kids, grandchildren – you get the picture) but also part living abroad they nod and just say ‘Yes, but it’s not that easy’.

I love them, I truly do, but I need people who think like me.  Who understand that it doesn’t have to be easy it just has to be possible.  That where there’s a will there’s a way.  I need people who will cheer me on, brainstorm with me, think of solutions not problems, keep me focused, hold me responsible for my actions.

So …. I need to find them.  Today as part of Natalie’s 10 day blog challenge – day 6 I’m meant to write about people who inspire me or who I’d like to mentor me.  There are plenty of people who inspire me, Natalie for one, Rob Greenfield, Nicola Cairncross in her brilliant Money Gym days, writers of interesting blogs like Moral Fibres  but what I’d really like is a mentor. Basically someone who has done what I want to do.  Given up the 9 to 5 and created the life that she wants despite the obstacles and the nay sayers.  I’ve tried searching on-line but how do you word that search?  There are loads of coaches, internet gurus, location independent experts. How do I find the one that fits me best?  Any suggestions?  I’d love to hear them.


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My Daily Success Plan

I’m loving the challenge set today as part of  Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Blog Challenge Day 5.   I have to create a daily success plan – how I’m going to plan out what I’m going to do to help me achieve my perfect life.

Today I have 2 hours set aside for working on my new venture.  Following Natalie’s advice I’m going to break it down into 4 chunks that look something like this :

  • Write today’s blog post (on it!!)  25 mins
  • Break – go outside and have a look at the garden – maybe deadhead some of the flowers.  5 mins only – don’t get distracted.
  • Do a wordpress tutorial – Only started using this a few days ago and I have loads to learn. There are plenty of free tutorials so I’m going to pick one of the basic ones and run through that.  25 mins
  • Break for a cuppa
  • Work on my ‘elevator speech’.  A short concise version of what I’m aiming to do.  I always think this sounds simple but in reality is quite difficult to get right.  I’ve already had a few attempts which have ended up in the bin so would really like to nail this one.
  • Break – another one! Get away from the laptop – 5 mins of yoga stretches.
  • Start making notes about who my perfect client would be.  This is sort of in my head but I think I need to get clearer on it.

That feels good!  I’m very much a ‘list’ person, love being organised and particularly love the feeling of achievement you get at the end of completing your list.

I’m off to the garden now ……

#10DBC #freedomplan


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Work = Happiness

What a lovely equation.  Work equals happiness.  Unfortunately for most people this just isn’t true.  But wouldn’t it be lovely if we could change our lives so that it was.  My challenge today on Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog – Day 4 is to find my SUPERPOWERS.  These are the things that I’m good at which also make me really feel good.  This should help me in my quest to make the work = happiness equation true for me.

After some thought I came up with a list of things I really enjoy doing, then I added the things that I think I’m good at and then I surprised some of my close friends by challenging them to text me back 3 words or phrases which they felt summed up some of my best qualities.  At first I just got ‘wine drinking’ and ‘making me laugh’ but eventually they got it.  I made a word cloud with the results which I think looks pretty cool.



Now to decide which are the SUPERPOWERS that I can use to create my perfect work…


The words that resonate most for me are Inspiring, Sunshine, Change, Walking, Brave and Happiness.

So, all I have to do is to work all of that into a business….  I have my thinking cap on.


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My Perfect Day

Another day, another challenge.  This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge – day 3. And I’m loving it!

My perfect life involves living part of the year here in Wales and the rest of the time living abroad.  So for my perfect day scenario, as it’s grey and rainy here,  I’ve decided to cheer myself up by thinking about my perfect day in one of my favourite cities, Barcelona, Spain.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed thinking about it and writing it.

I wake up, not to an alarm clock, but to the light streaming through the window and the sounds from the street below rising up to my window.   I get out of bed and push open the french doors that lead out to my little terrace, 4 floors above the street in an old and beautiful part of the city.  The sky is blue with no cloud, the warmth is already in the day despite the early hour.  I go back to the kitchen and pour myself some orange juice and cut up  fresh fruit to eat with my yoghurt and take it all back out to the terrace.  Below me the sound of Spanish greetings, of delivery men and dog walkers chatting.  I love it here.  I enjoy my breakfast taking in the sights and sounds of my street and then wash and put on my trainers and workout gear.  I then walk the 10 minutes to the seafront for some excercise.  Sometimes a jog, sometimes a walk, sometimes some yoga or a swim. It’s the best way to start my day.  On my return I shower and dress and am ready to start work by 9.

Work – only it doesn’t really feel like work anymore because I just enjoy it so much.

I set up my laptop on the terrace and become absorbed in the tasks at hand.  Writing content for my website, answering e mails, taking skype calls, listening to podcasts that have value for me.  Helping others to find time and happiness in their lives.  It’s amazing how quickly the 4 hours I put aside for this go by.  At lunchtime I go out into the street and meet with a friend for a coffee and some lunch.  I’ve made a real effort to learn Spanish and as most of my friends here are learning English we speak in a bit of both languages  – it must sound strange to people listening in.

My afternoons vary but today I’m firstly giving an hour’s English lesson by Skype and them I’m going to a Spanish language class which I love.  Later I will ring family back home and then maybe walk down to the beach or visit a museum or gallery.  There’s no end of options.

Well I’m way over my word limit for this challenge so I’m going to stop  now.  I’m going to stop writing but I’m not going to stop thinking… I’m sure my perfect evening is going to be every bit as good.

#10DBC #freedomplan






‘Why?’ Little word, big message.

So here I am back again.  This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 2 in which I’ve been asked to explain why I do what I do.  Or in my case why I want to do what I want to do.  Sounds simple right?  Wrong.

It’s really hard to put into words why we do something.  It’s not as simple as ‘to earn money’ or ‘because I know how to do this’. Why goes deeper.  In order to answer it you have to think really hard about the gut feelings that lead you to do things.  And then you have to try and make a coherent sentence out of them.

In order to help me make sense of my own why I watched  a Ted talk by Simon Sinek who explains brilliantly the whole concept of why WHY is important.  It’s definitely worth a listen.

So right now here’s my why.

To live a less time restricted life and to inspire others to do the same in order to bring more happiness into the world.

Time allows us to do the things that are important to us in our hearts. To love, help and take care of ourselves and others.  These are things that make us truly happy.

#10DBC #freedomplan





Oh! I do love a challenge.

This post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 1 and this is my first ever blog!

I know how my perfect life looks.  I have done for quite a while but even so, as with everything worth having, it comes with difficulties. Here are the 2 issues bothering me  most right now..

  • How do I start an on-line business without my employer knowing about it?  The only social media I currently use is facebook and a lot of my friends are connected with work – this includes my boss.  I really can’t afford for them to know I’m planning on leaving before I have my venture underway.
  •  What do I do first?  I have a whole page of ideas but don’t want to appear flaky by swapping around from one to another.  How do I work out which one is most likely to give me the life I want in the shortest time?

I’m hoping the next 10 days will help me to address these problems …watch this space.

#10DBC         #Freedomplan



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