Do what you love, love what you do.

Hi all,

Once again it's been a while but I've been stressing over many things and trying to get them sorted - still haven't been successful with most.

I've decided though, when I get the chance to do what I love and love what I do.

Recently I have been walking a lot more (mainly to keep up my Pokemon count) but also because it has helped me to look after myself a bit better - something I really need to do now that I've found out I have very high blood pressure and some issues with my cholesterol. It also encourages me to keep up with one of my all time passions, Photography. I haven't been taking any expensive photography gear out with me, I just simply use a phone and my Olympus film camera to capture anything that catches my eye.

Just a few snaps I took on my stroll the other day.

I've also been trying to do a lot more art work. Art has always been a source of therapy for me and something I am hoping to work with once I have my Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. I haven't really created any masterpieces but I spend the time to throw in some doodles on my coursework, writing up general notes, or as I've started doing recently, on envelopes when I send cards and letters.

I really hope the postal worker enjoys seeing them too.

Yesterday, however, I did something which made me both proud and extremely happy. When I was younger I used to swim A LOT but sadly stopped doing so after school. A few years back I started to swim again and even competed in some outdoor swims with the Open Water Swim Series. At the time I had a lot of emotions, especially anger, which helped to spur me on and get me through them. After my last outdoor swim at Lake Windermere (Which was such an amazing experience), I stopped going. This was due to laziness, a lack of self-confidence, conflicting timetables and the need to save money.

Words cannot express how much I have missed it and the longer time has gone on, the harder it has been for me to find the confidence to get back in the pool.

Yesterday when I woke up. I felt low, I felt achy, and I felt exhausted. I assumed I'd get back in to bed and just sleep the majority of the day. Something happened though. I have no idea what it was, but I'm glad it hit me.

I dug out all of my swimming gear and walked, walked until I got to the swimming complex. Even before I got in to the building I smelt the chlorine (which oddly makes me skin a bit better as long as I remember to moisturise a lot once I've showered) and felt right at home. I paid for entry, a locker key and a sauna pass and sprinted to the changing rooms to get ready. Nothing phased me, I just went for it.

I got to the pool side and smiled the biggest smile. This is what I do and this is what I love. I found my lane and swam, swam, swam, swam. Yes, it hurt - and WOW it really hurts today - but the pain is worth it. After about 40 minutes swimming i went and sat in the steam room, winding down and thinking about how proud I was of myself. I'm not even sure what I was worried about to begin with.

I struggled to get changed as I could feel my arms starting to seize up, but nothing could take the smile off my face. As I was leaving there was a charity cake sale happening by the exit. Yes, it might defeat the whole point of exercise but after that swim I needed all the sugar I could get so I treated myself to a lovely Iced ring donut.

My walk home was delightful. The sun was shining and I felt like I didn't have a care in the world. The only downside through all of this is how much it cost me, especially as I'm trying to watch my funds. However, my Mother informed me that with my high blood pressure, back problems, chronic disease and possible arthritis that I am eligible for a Prescription For Exercise, so this is definitely something I will be looking in to.

It's nice to remember the things that make you happy and find the time to do them. Life can be pretty chaotic and it's easy to get pulled down with stress, depression, anxiety. Try to find time for yourself. Even if it's 10 minutes a day. Take a walk, meditate, listen to some music, even just dance around. There's too much hate and sadness in this world so finding the beautiful things is important, and keeping yourself content is extremely important. Don't let anyone or even yourself make you believe you can't do things. We all have the ability to give anything a go, you just need to believe in yourself first. Remember, do what you love and love what you do and most of all, just keep swimming.