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    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 22nd Nov 16, 11:48 AM
    • 628Posts
    • 1,653Thanks
    The Illuminative Project.
    • #1
    • 22nd Nov 16, 11:48 AM
    The Illuminative Project. 22nd Nov 16 at 11:48 AM

    I have decided to start a diary for a number of reasons. The main reason is to monitor and keep track of the amount of debt I have. Other reasons include a journey I am about to embark on with my inner self and the paths I shall take to get to where I want to be.

    A bit about myself
    - I'm mid twenties and a single parent to a boy whom fills my life with laughter and adventure. I currently work full time however I will be looking to reduce my hours which will be beneficial to my overall health and wellbeing and provide a balance in life that's not currently present. I'm a long time sufferer of mental health issues and this is currently being assessed by a community team which I am grateful for.

    The debt I speak of is in relation to car finance. A personal loan was taken out to cover this as the interest rate was much lower than what the car finance companies were offering. The outstanding balance on this is currently £10230.01. Aside from that I have no other debts. I am able to meet the monthly repayments for this loan and often throw any spare money at it whenever I can in order to pay it quicker. I've already paid off roughly £2000 in a short amount of time.

    Life at the moment is all upside down. I'm currently off work due to mental health reasons. I've always persevered and carried on because I do not know any difference but it's taken its toll. On the outside I look absolutely fine but it's everything else that eats away at me. I'm currently undergoing assessments and it will be a very long windy path I suspect. All I know is I want to get better and enjoy the life I have and find the excitement and passion again that I once held.

    I guess that is why I've named this "The Illuminative Project". It's the start of new beginnings for me and will hopefully lead me to where I'd like to be. Although the debt does not keep me awake at night, the numbers irritate me. It's funny how when I used to have PCP deals I thought nothing of it except as another payment. I'll be glad that once it's all over the money can go elsewhere.

    In regards to outgoings, my essential bills are minimal. I save a chunk each month into a high interest isa (this is long term to save for a house deposit). Then I have my loan repayment each month and a set budget each month in regards to family life/my son (I set this quite high and what is leftover gets thrown at debt at the end of the month. This covers activities and days out which we do alot of and I do not wish to give this up. If I could not afford to it would be a different story).

    In regards to money I've always been rather anxious. I think this comes from experiencing family members whom have racked up vast amounts of debt that has become uncontrollable and nothing to show for it. I'm aware of my money situation and always have a set budget I stick too. I'm not really an impulse buyer and if I want something I think carefully about it. I budget for everything down and if the funds aren't there then I can't spend it. I refuse to put things on credit unless it's for safety purposes e.g. holidays but then the balance is always paid off in full.

    I could throw everything I have at this loan however I think I'd end up more miserable than what I currently am. I'm aware I'm in it for the long run and I'm treating it like I would a car PCP deal, just without the balloon payment at the end. However I also plan to throw any extra at the loan and at times make one off payments when I feel comfortable enough to do so. If I have any impulses regarding money than its more throwing it at the loan than anything else.

    My ultimate goal is to save up for a house deposit and buy my own place. I currently still live at home and do not plan on moving out for a while until my circumstances improve. Everyone is happy with these arrangements and I contribute towards household costs. It would be silly for me to step outside into the world of rental and struggle along when I have the opportunity to stay here and get myself into a better position overall.

    So that is a bit about me to begin with. I have all these wonderful ideas and plans in my head but it's applying them. This shall be my place to discuss, write, vent and express any feelings or thoughts I have.

    Welcome to my journey and I hope you enjoy the ramblings. I look forward to hearing from others and having plenty to talk about along the way!

    Last edited by Chandelier.; 02-01-2017 at 10:33 AM.
Page 13
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 24th Feb 17, 8:57 AM
    • 1,921 Posts
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    Few things;

    - I think posting on here at least daily is a great idea. Even if it's just a few lines on here, it lets you get your thoughts out. I've found once I start writing in my diary, I let my mind continue to wonder and I end up answering my own problem.

    - Well done on being smoke free for so long and being past the craving stage. It's just a habit you need to get past. I know a few people who have went from smoking when stressed to eating, and that's just as bad for your health as smoking, so be aware of what you may be substituting it with.

    - I'm the biggest believer in that a healthy body = a healthy mind. I appreciate it may be the last thing you want to do but even walking through the gym doors is a good feeling, even if you just walked on the treadmill.

    Hope you feel better soon and have a lovely weekend.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 26th Feb 17, 11:48 AM
    • 628 Posts
    • 1,653 Thanks
    Morning (nearly afternoon!),

    This weekend has been a quiet one for me and the boy. He attended his football yesterday and then we went back home and played with his toys and just generally had a chill out day, I managed to finish a book I had started reading. The plan for today is to start yet another book and just chill myself out, its been a long time since I have engrossed myself in reading. Its a lot easier these days to use an app on my phone and read anywhere I like. I have an annual subscription to a site where I can download as many books as I like and its cheap as chips so definitely worth it for me.

    Yesterday was a NSD bringing my total to 11/12 NSD. I suspect today shall also be a NSD as I do not plan on leaving the house. The boy has gone to his dads and I have some time spare to reflect on a few things.

    The low mood I have been feeling over the past week/two weeks is still there. I am aware of what has triggered this and will discuss with my own nurse tomorrow if I can get hold of her. I tried to speak to someone from the team on Friday to be told to take the 'just in case meds- in case of crisis'. I am not in crisis but I am beginning to question some of the medications I am taking- mainly the mood stabilizer. Before this was introduced I was having many good days and felt a lot happier- since this new tablet has been introduced I have definitely been having more up and down days. I am just so irritable, more than ever before and I feel I can't be the person I want to be. I feel its having an impact on family relationships- I don't want to do anything, I am not engaging, I am stressing more easily and so on. I am also aware a lot of this could be due to environmental factors/stresses.

    In other news, I have received the switching incentive from FD which has perked me up a bit and hopefully will add to the March budget and alleviate some of the pressures of at tight budget. That's an extra £125, happy days. I am happy with everything banking wise so far.

    Maybe not too MSE... I have booked myself in for a hair appointment this upcoming week. I've decided to opt for a full fringe. Another drastic change . I will need my roots/colour touching up in a couple of weeks after that. I will find the money somewhere for this.

    I have also been pondering over whether to buy myself a new laptop. The current one is at least 6 years old and takes forever to load. I think I shall wait it out and see how I feel after the new tax year. I have my car service coming up in April so I have that to budget for. It would be silly of me to dive head first in and buy myself a laptop just because I want it. There is the sensible person in me.

    I am also going to attempt to see if my mum had any PPI on previous loans/credit etc. Im 99% sure she does! I just need to dig paperwork out.. She definately did with @rgos but I am not sure how to contact them. I can't find anything online.

    Happy Sunday everyone
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 28th Feb 17, 2:59 PM
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    I've managed the full 12/12 NSD this month which has surprised me with everything going on.

    It's been quiet this way for me and nothing much has been going on hence lack of updates.

    I've made another overpayment of £55.00 today towards the debt. Off the top of my head I can't think of the total just now.

    As it's pancake day we shall be having pancakes later on and have all ingredients in stock. I suspect this shall mean a messy kitchen and lots of wonderful concoctions.

    I also think I'm beginning to come out of this dark gloomy period I've had the past couple of weeks.

    Tomorrow I have another work meeting, fingers crossed it's positive and I've resigned to the fact I need to be open to ideas to support my return to work and professional development. Maybe I need to accept the offer of help but I need it all clear in writing.

    Less than a week to Berlin and I'm beginning to feel excited.

    I've still yet to claim the money from TCB, I shall do that afterwards. And I also need to make final payment for my holiday in May.

    Hope everyone is well.
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 28th Feb 17, 3:37 PM
    • 1,800 Posts
    • 6,586 Thanks
    I'm glad that the dark cloud is lifting for you, Chandelier. It must be a horrible feeling, but glad you're coming out the other side of it.

    I hope that tomorrow's meeting goes well and you and your employers can work on a plan that suits everyone regarding your return to work. I think it's a good idea to go in with an open mind and be open to suggestions regarding support. There's no harm in accepting help

    Oh, I didn't know you were going to Berlin! Have you been before? I went six years ago (this time of year) and it was one of the loveliest cities I've visited. Have a great time when it comes.
    CC1: £4481.14/ £5031.14 (12% paid off, £600) | CC2:£3307/ £3807 (14.4% paid off, £550) | Loan: £10,528.20/ £15,792.30((33% paid off, £5,264))

    July debt total: £24,630.44 | New debt total: £18,316.34 | Total debt paid: £6,414.10 (26%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 28th Feb 17, 4:29 PM
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    • 1,653 Thanks
    Jojo I've never been. Any recommendations of places to visit/eat or must sees? I'm going with an old best friend from high school. I'm not even sure how much money to take with me spends wise.
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 28th Feb 17, 9:56 PM
    • 1,800 Posts
    • 6,586 Thanks
    Of course - as I said, it was six years ago since I was there but a few places I'd recommend are Brandenburg Gate (really spectacular), the Reichstag, we also went a walking tour to Sachsenhausen (a 're-education' camp, as opposed to a concentration camp, although it pretty much was the same thing). I also LOVED (<-- wrong word, maybe?) the Holocaust Museum - it was so interesting and devastating in equal measure.

    The train system is great, cheap and really easy to use and the food was great, although I can't remember specific places that we ate.

    I don't think it was particularly cheap, probably just about the same as here, but then we made it cheap by staying in a lovely hostel (private room) and eating during the day was mostly Bratwurst/ Currywurst from street stalls The beer, of course, was exceptional!
    CC1: £4481.14/ £5031.14 (12% paid off, £600) | CC2:£3307/ £3807 (14.4% paid off, £550) | Loan: £10,528.20/ £15,792.30((33% paid off, £5,264))

    July debt total: £24,630.44 | New debt total: £18,316.34 | Total debt paid: £6,414.10 (26%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 1st Mar 17, 12:21 PM
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    Brilliant! Thanks JoJo, I'll check them all out later.

    We'll I've had my meeting this morning. In some ways it's both positive and negative.

    - Aiming for return to work/potential date set.
    - I've been told I will be well supported.
    - I've worked this area before, have little idea/knowledge of it.
    - Hopefully finances can return back to some degree of normality.
    - Can work towards professional development.
    - They are willing to be flexible with phased return and work with me regarding shift patterns etc.
    - Finally get some routine back.
    - Meet new people/make new friends.

    - It's not the area I previously worked in. I'm being placed in new area for support in successful return to work.
    - New environment- wonder how this will impact. I'm trying to remain positive.
    - I'm not 100% sure it's right for me. I'm willing to give it a go.
    - I twiddle and fidget with my fingers alot and hands. This is a coping mechanism. They stated they were concerned this was sign I was distracted or not concentrated. I reiterated it was actually the other way round. This was backed up by my CPN. She gave them fuller picture of things in relation to me.
    - My old job had lots of driving- another issue they embark upon. Concerned re drowsiness. I don't have drowsiness during day it's at night after taking meds. They kept reiterating this so I just back down.

    So basically I was left with one option. I've decided to embark upon this or else I fear I could further halt my career. It's been 18 months since I came into it and due to ill health (three operations and this but of sickness) I've been unable to complete somethings. I'm determined to come out the other side and prove them all wrong.

    I just don't think they understand me but as I said, I'll do what it takes to prove all wrong and get myself back to where I want to be.

    I'm now awaiting a meeting with manager of work place where I'll be placed. It's just another stepping stone. One step back in order to take two steps forward.

    In other news yesterday was a NSD.
    So total for February was 13/12 NSD.

    However I fear today will not be. My favourite coat seems to have a broken zipper which can not be fixed. The pockets are also ripped which I was hoping to at some point to sew back together. It's been a good coat and has definitely been worth its money. It literally is like a sleeping bag ha ha.

    So after I've picked the boy up from school I'll nip to retail park near us and see what is available. If all else fails I'll nip into town tomorrow.

    I'm off to my group CBT shortly. I just need to make myself some lunch.

    Nothing much else to report.
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 7th Mar 17, 10:01 AM
    • 1,921 Posts
    • 15,450 Thanks
    Hey Chandelier, how's things?

    Good news on having a date set to return to work. As you say, the normality of a regular income again should hopefully help with everything else. Well done you for going for it!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 11th Mar 17, 5:10 PM
    • 628 Posts
    • 1,653 Thanks
    Hey Speky, things have been going okay ish. I just haven't been on here much with everything going on, I've mainly been lurking.

    I'm now back from Berlin (came back Thursday) and had an amazing time and did lots of sightseeing. I took !!!8364;180 with me and came back with !!!8364;60 euro so overall not too bad. We mostly spent on food and travel. The travel expenses there are pretty cheap compared to here as you can use all sorts of travel from trains to trams to buses all included on the same ticket- about !!!8364;7 for the day.

    I also had a work meeting with new work place where I will be finishing off the rest of my contract. Where I was told I could do core hours like in previous setting (9-5pm), this place is shift work. By the time my phased return is complete I'll only have four weeks left then I shall be going away again for two weeks then my contract ends a couple of days later. I have the backup option of doing bank shifts. In regards to career development and what I need to achieve in this time, that will be discussed on Monday. There are a few things I'm not happy with and I was told it would be fine in this new setting. However I'm looking forward to the new setting as it's a new challenge and many new faces. It's like a fresh start in many ways even though it's for a short time. There isn't much point in dropping my hours to 30 hours at this point. I mays well just see the rest of it out. They seem to be supportive and I've always been open and honest.

    Money wise things are very tight. I've not the energy to worry about this though at present time, I have back up funds. I've too much else on my mind and need to sort myself out.

    The main thing is getting back into routine. Due to the shift work I'll be undertaking I need to adjust the time I take my medications and start to wake earlier in the morning. The shift patterns starts at 7.30am. It's a 15 minute drive from mine to there and then I'd have to find parking.

    I think I'm going to rethink some of my goals from earlier on in the year. As expected not everything worked out as planned. However I'm keen to get back to it.
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 11th Mar 17, 10:09 PM
    • 10,472 Posts
    • 69,775 Thanks
    Good to hear from you.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 12th Mar 17, 7:02 PM
    • 628 Posts
    • 1,653 Thanks

    I have decided to review my goals and aims for 2017 that I posted earlier on in the year. As we all know things never go exactly to plan and it can take something small to turn things upside down or go sideways. I feel in many ways I am better equipped both mentally, emotionally and physically to deal with whatever has been thrown at me then maybe previously. This is most likely due to a range of things but I think the biggest reason is I am now able to recognise and understand my reactions and try to not react before thinking things through.

    Also having a diagnosis of Bipolar disorder and ADHD has helped immensely, I no longer think there is something horrifically wrong with me and that I am a bad person. Through medication and attending a CBT group specific to Bipolar diagnosis I honestly believe I am a different person- I still have my up and down moments probably more than I want but I know it won't last forever and if I carry on cooperating and accepting the help, I know I will get better .

    So here we go..

    March Update 2017


    - Lose at least 14lb by 7th May 2017.Lose 28b before the 7th May 2017. Previous goal has not been reached due to one reason or another so new goal set and will work towards in time for holiday.
    - Engage with healthcare professionals to ensure optimized wound healing and no further setbacks with health/further operations. By the end of January, wound had healed and discharged from surgical care. However wound reopened end of February and I am closely monitoring before I go back to the doctors and hope it heals itself. I fell and banged the scar tissue and have had intermittent pain since. I want to try and stay aware from another referral. Three operations in 2016 for same issue had totally overwhelmed me.
    - Look after my Mental Health. Continue as per previous goal and continue to take medication, keep a mood diary, liaise with mental health team if any changes in moods and seek help where necessary and ascertain potential triggers.
    - Exercise. I joined a gym back in January. I have had about two/three weeks off due to personal circumstances and going away, however I am back on it as of this week.
    - Practice mindfulness and look up CBT techniques in hope to self teach. I am yet to focus on this 100% and still need to research resources online and find ones to suit me. I have learnt two from CBT group which are helpful short term in stressful scenarios.
    - Become tougher and stronger mentally. This is ongoing and is all about learning to say no, being assertive and having confidence and stop the self doubt'overthinking of things- mainly small things that don't matter.
    - Drink more water, aim for at least 6 glasses a day. I need to do better with this still!
    - Cut down on caffeine. Same as above- I may look at switching to decaff coffee/tea for the later in the day drinks.
    - Establish a better sleeping routine. This is still ongoing. I would ideally like at least 7-8 hours each per night and wake up earlier to be more productive. This is hard when medication I am on can make me drowsy. It's all about routine and I need to g et back into it.


    - Continue to save in Help to Buy Isa; Have over £5 in there by the end of the year. Currently on track for this, regular payments made each month.
    - Pay at least £3000 off total debt. Pay at least £4000 off the loan.Make regular overpayments. Interest is 3.3%. The loan was transferred over to 0% credit cards which saved a good amount of interest. I have lowered the goal of what to pay off debt wise, if I pay more then it's a bonus but I don't want to put too much pressure on myself.
    - Make minimum monthly payments to 0% credit cards. The past month or so all minimum payments have been met plus small over-payment on some. Once I am back at work and earning a decent income then over-payments shall increase.
    - Save up for Car Service (April), Car Tax (July) and Car Insurance (September). Money is set aside for car service next month. The next few months will focus on building funds for the remaining two expenses which I pay annually.
    - Set aside money for career registration fees (September). Same as above, will set aside money for this in upcoming months.
    - Pay off holiday with credit card (for security reasons) then use money already saved to pay straight off. Holiday paid for on credit card and will pay off 75% in next few days, remaining balance is 0% for the next 9 months but due to unforeseen circumstances I have decided to hold off paying in full to allow for funds to be allocated elsewhere. I have the funds in a separate bank account for this.
    - Renew the Boy’s passport. By beginning of March. Will do this this upcoming week, awaiting the boys dads passport details and he is yet to reply even though I have been asking for a good number of days.
    - Keep a spending diary. Have yet to do this due to the past few months being all over the place, spends have been minimum. Once my wage returns to normal, I shall look at starting one properly.
    - Switch banks- the 123 account is not worth it for me no more. Plus there are other incentives. Bank account switched to FD and £125 joining fee incentive recieved.
    - Optimise cash back websites where possible. Currently ongoing and awaiting for cashback to be payable, currently have around £75, half of which still remains confirmed.
    - Allocate each penny in the month’s budget. Monthly direct debits go out on the 1st of each month Another ongoing goal for the year, and even though budget and income is reduced massively, I remain in the black in bank accounts.
    - Review direct debits and see if there is anything non-essential to cut out. Direct debits reviewed and are cut back to a minimum. Only one more direct debit added which is the gym but at £12.99 a month, its doable without breaking the budget.
    - Save for new glasses. This one is not so important and can wait. My glasses are fine as they are just for now.
    - Plan for a total of]100 NSD across the year starting from now.Plan for at least 3 NSD a week (total of 156 NSD over the year. Due to circumstances yet again I have not religiously tracked my NSD apart from February. So instead I have decided to lower the bar and start from scratch from now and aim for 100 NSD until the end of the year, if I achieve more then its a bonus.
    - Activate credit cards and set up standing orders/direct debits to each of these. (I did some money transfers to 0% cards). All credit cards activated and balances up to date including direct debits above the minimum set up.
    - Cancel old credit cards which are no longer of use to me. (No balance on these) All credit cards currently in use are due to money transfer offers which saved me interest from the loan repayments. Once these debts are paid off I shall close each card one by one until I am left with one or two "just in case cards" or to add monthly expenses which would be paid off in full each month.


    - Spend more time playing games with the boy and doing arts and crafts. There is room for improvement, everything was going well until things took a bit of a dip and I have not been as interactive as possible so will work on this.
    - Buy annual passes and have plenty of days out with the boy over the next year. Annual passes purchased. We have already used one type of pass so far and have yet to pick other up, however this one runs from the time you pick it up for 12 months. It should give us plenty of days out over the upcoming months.
    - Play a board game/educational game at least twice a week. Play a board game/educational game each night with the boy. Again in some ways I think I may have been a bit ambitious with this previously, sometimes we do not have the time due to some days being so busy after school. I will try much harder- more game time/less TV time. Its easy sometimes just to sit and watch television when you feel exhausted.
    - Have a film night once a week. Ongoing, most weeks we tend to watch at least one film, My current favourite is Up. I absolutely love the colour of the balloons and the storyline.
    - Bake at least once or twice a month with the boy- try new recipes! We have baked a couple of times but must try harder here and find different recipes to try.
    - Visit family more often and make time for this. Also stay in contact through any forms of communication. This is ongoing, I try my hardest to keep in contact with family and friends as much as possible and try to squeeze in visits where I can. Once I am back in a routine this will get better.
    - Get out for more country walks and explore the areas surrounding us. The weather is getting better so more time to do these things in upcoming months.


    - Organise and plan for a return to work. Aiming for end of Jan This did not happen due to delays from work side. I am happy to say I am returning to work this upcoming week!
    - Set some personal development goals in regards to work. All personal development roles thought out carefully and wrote in diary. I may write them briefly on this diary in the future just to remind me. This is one of the main places I write stuff and like to look back on.
    - Pick up sick notes- photocopy and hand them in. All sick notes up to date and handed in. Finally no more sick notes due to return to work.
    - Ask to use annual leave pay to boost my income whilst on SSP. I did this in the end but it did not benefit me and I actually lost money through this due to something to do with SSP. Lesson learnt.
    - Aim for no further sickness/absence. Ongoing goal, nothing much more to comment on.
    - Find a better work-life balance. Unable to cut down hours at this moment in time however only have approximately 8/9 weeks left of fixed term contract before it finishes so will just continue. Four weeks of this is phased return. I do not have the choice to do my core hours of 9-5pm as previous setting and will be returning to shift work- will evaluate how I cope with this once back properly.
    - Engage more with team members and get to know them more, allow them to get to know me. This can only happen once I return to work place, even though new area. I will try my best to engage and maybe try get myself out of the introvert cycle I have got myself into. I once used to class myself as an extrovert.
    - Develop my professional knowledge further and acquire more skills, beneficial to career development. Ongoing goal, further discussions to be held tomorrow regarding this and to look at the best way forward.
    - Update work portfolio. This is ongoing goal and will be updated as I complete each specific training competency.
    - Look at other job opportunities after fixed term contract ends. Fixed term contract ends beginning of June; Look for permanent job role around end of April/beginning of May. I have back up provisions in place and will be able to undertake work once contract has ended on a zero hour basis and can do as many hours or as little as I would like. In the mean time I will keep my eye open for other job opportunities but I am not going to pressure myself in the time being whilst I am still getting to grips with everything that has happened. In other words I am not setting myself a timescale and rush straight into another job.


    - Organise regular hair appointments. Ongoing goal. I have been stretching hair appointments to around 12 weeks in between cuts and have had a total hairstyle change. At this moment in time I am sporting a full fringe and it totally changed the dynamics of how I look, next time I shall get a cut and colour.
    - Journal my thoughts/feelings in the journal I acquired. I need to do this more often.
    - Start a jar where I put notes in of things I am grateful for/memories made over the next year. I can then look back on it in the future. I still intend to start this.
    - Read 100 books over the next year. I have already read around five books or so, I am not 100% sure but I usually go through phases of reading books and read three or four in a short amount of time.
    - Expand my cooking skills; find new recipes and dishes to play around with. Also to try new foods and vary my diet. This is ongoing. I was doing well at trying new recipes and then I lost my motivation. I am keen to get back to it. I am also proud to say that I recently tried rice for the first time in forever, previously I had a phobia (texture and visual) but I overcome this when in Berlin and we went for an Indian! Another staple food to add to my diet.
    - Limit social media and slowly come off it. I was doing well with this but somehow reinstalled some apps. I usually skim through when i can't sleep or I am bored. I still believe it is time consuming and pointless and want to get rid as it brings me little joy. I like instagram and pinterest as I can search for quotes and pictures that brighten up my day.
    - Sort out my car, give it a deep clean and maintain regular cleaning schedule. Car had deep interior clean in January however its definately due another. I need to get back on top of this and get it washed so this is still an ongoing goal.
    - Find a hobby I enjoy. Anyone have any ideas? I am open to suggestions. I know the gym can be classed as a hobby but I would quite like to explore new ones.
    - Widen my social circle and make new friends.This shall be an ongoing goal/ Hopefully once I am back at work and in a routine I can maybe get out a bit more and meet new people.
    - Increase my confidence and self esteem. This goal is ongoing and will take time and patience.
    - Find a pen pal. I have still yet to find a penpal, the sites you can use to find them are often filled with people who aren't looking for penpals but other stuff, weird huh? I have a few stories. I no longer use these sites LOL but I would still somehow like to find a penpal. I miss writing and the old receiving a handwritten letter in the post.
    - Improve my social life, catch up with old friends and participate/accept activities when invited. This is an ongoing goal which I am getting better at. An example of this is our recent trip to Berlin and days out with friends. It is just sometimes hard trying to coordinate your schedule with other peoples schedules.
    - Keep and maintain a diary with all upcoming appointments and important dates. I am getting there and I am much better at this!
    - Learn how to do makeup using internet tutorials and guides. I occasionally do this when I have time and it makes me feel better about myself.
    - Sort all clutter in my bedroom/have a deep clean and sort out. My room has recently been cleared out and reorganized. i will probably do another clear out in three months time of things not used since this one.
    - Decorate my bedroom and make it my own personal space where I can chill out and relax. Not expecting to do this anytime soon.
    - Organise all important paperwork. This still needs sorting, everything is in one pile.
    - Develop my own cleaning routine/schedule that isn’t too overwhelming. I have my own ways of doing things and still finding a system that works for me
    - Learn to iron (woops). Yeah I am still rubbish at this, lots of room for improvement.
    - Wear makeup more and do things with my hair. I have been doing this more often but I am pretty much comfortable without makeup too. It is finding that balance.
    - Wear more dresses. Weather has been too cold to wear dresses, roll on Spring and Summer!!

    So that is pretty much everything reviewed and up to date and I can see where I am with things since the beginning of the year. Later on I hope to give an update the financial side of things.

    It has definitely been a weird couple of months and so much has/hasn't happened. I hope my next update in a few months time is a lot more positive.
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 12th Mar 17, 7:58 PM
    • 10,472 Posts
    • 69,775 Thanks
    I was just thinking how positive this update was. Yes you haven't done it all, but you sound like you are being kind to yourself and that's so good.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 13th Mar 17, 9:59 AM
    • 628 Posts
    • 1,653 Thanks
    Thankyou Bob. It does seem a lot more positive then recent weeks.

    So last night I went to the gym with my mum and met my cousin there. It felt like it was a right family outing lol. My cousin and I have said we'll do some classes together so we've booked onto the leg, bums and tums for Wednesday night. I don't think he realises most of the class is ladies but I'm actually quite excited for it. Today I've decided to get back on the bandwagon of watching what I eat and monitoring times when I crave junk food. I'm hoping to distract myself from this.

    This morning I've been to the doctors and picked up a prescription. I have also arranged a meeting for today to meet with someone regarding my personal development this morning. We were thankfully able to fit one another in so it's time to discuss my options and work out the next steps forward.

    I also may be attending a catch up CBT class this afternoon. I'm awaiting confirmation of the times and if I can fit it in then it's a bonus.

    I've quite a few things I need to do today so here is my list.

    - Attend meeting with work place regarding personal development goals and set out dates to attend. Figure out the more important ones and do these first.
    - Use up potatoes and make up some mashed potato for tea and freeze what's left.
    - Fill in the boys passport details. His dad finally sent his over.
    - Update banking and work out remainder of my budget.
    - Attend CBT session if able to.
    - Refill my medication pot for the week ahead.
    - Phone the boys school and enquire about breakfast club for the end of the week.
    - Tidy kitchen.

    So I have quite a few things to do really, some are more important than others. We'll see how I get on but I like lists, they make me feel as if I've accomplished something even if only small things.

    In my next post I'll update what I'd like to achieve each week in regards to my goals. I'll also add an extra post to update my debt totals.
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 14th Mar 17, 8:16 AM
    • 628 Posts
    • 1,653 Thanks

    So yesterday ended up being a successful day in regards to getting things done.

    My original to do list as follows from yesterday:-

    -Attend meeting with work place regarding personal development goals and set out dates to attend. Figure out the more important ones and do these first. So I met up with the person who is in charge of training. I was very nervous as last time I saw this person they made me cry and feel awful about myself (Just before I went off). In hindsight I don't think this was the intention, I was just more sensitive and vulnerable back then. Anyhow we had a catch up and have agreed what my training needs are and which to undertake. She was happy for me to take lead and choose which ones I thought would be beneficial and all that's left to do is recieve confirmation I am booked onto these.

    - Use up potatoes and make up some mashed potato for tea and freeze what's left. I used up half the potatoes and made the mash for tea. The rest has been frozen. I'll use the remaining potatoes to make a potato and leek soup today.

    - Fill in the boys passport details. His dad finally sent his over. I've completed this and have sent it with my mum to be countersigned by someone who has known us since forever. I'll pick it up later on and get it sent off through check and send at the post office.

    - Update banking and work out remainder of my budget. I will do that this morning. Yesterday was hectic and none stop. It will only take me five minutes.

    - Attend CBT session if able to.
    I attended this session and caught up with what I missed whilst away last week. The session was very helpful regarding stress triggers and how to deal with stress. I'm also not there as I'm on a course next week so I've arranged a catch up session for following week.

    - Refill my medication pot for the week ahead. All medication dispensed into pots including additional new medication for next six weeks. This organisation brings me satisfaction.

    - Phone the boys school and enquire about breakfast club for the end of the week. The boy is booked in for this Thursday and next Thursday/Friday as I've early starts. This means my mum can take him on her way to work. The boy loves breakfast club.

    - Tidy kitchen. Kitchen tidied and cleaned. I will look at doing a big deep clean at some point in upcoming weeks including sorting cupboards etc..

    In the afternoon I had a nap as for some reason I was really exhausted. When I woke I had my tea and went to the gym with my cousin and my mum which was fun. I much prefer going with other people. I am comfortable going myself but sometimes it's nice to catch up with others or help and encourage one another.

    If I'm on my own I usually just listen to music. I like sp0tify however I refuse to pay £9.99 a month for it whilst times are tight. After some googling I found an offer for £1.99 for two months which I've kindly took advantage off using a extra email address I have lol! So if you look at it from the point of view of me paying two months at full price compared to this offer, I've saved £17.99 .

    I've also decided to change my medication routine and see if taking it earlier in the evening makes it easier to wake in morning. Especially for the 7:30am starts I will be undertaking. It's not going to be a quick fix but hopefully I can get back into a routine soon. If I'd of known these shift patterns were to occur weeks ago I'd have already prepared myself.

    I've not much happening today, just a few small things. So here we go:-

    Tuesday's to do list.

    - Finalise course bookings and enter into diary.
    - Phone manager at work and update on work situation and where I'm at. We keep missing one another when phoning.
    - Attend course today which is for an hour in total. (I've already done this but fancy a refresher).
    - Pick up the boys passport after being countersigned and get it sent off.
    - Update banking and budget for rest of month.
    - Cancel boys extra curricular for Thursday/Friday as it clashes with work schedule and other planned things. (This will save me £)
    - Walk to school to pick boy up. He has late finish today. I might even take his scooter and use it myself on the way. Big kid and all that
    - Message roofers who did some work for us and query something and get guarantee paperwork they promised.

    So this has ended up a longer post then I envisioned. I've still yet to post my weekly goals and updated debt totals but it's not the end of the world.

    Things seem a lot brighter and I hope they stay this way
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 14th Mar 17, 8:39 AM
    • 1,921 Posts
    • 15,450 Thanks
    Go you! Very productive and today looks to be much the same.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 14th Mar 17, 11:08 AM
    • 799 Posts
    • 2,014 Thanks
    Hi Chandelier do you not think thats a hell of a lot to change just looking at your list on the 12th of march. Brilliant you have a plan etc etc but thats a lot i can only comment from my own point of view ie you know my medical history but that would stress me out a tiny bit and break it down to 2-3 things every month.
    Cashback Earnings YTD £46.04 Survey Earnings YTD £182.66
    "Always always train, be the best version of you that you can physically be"
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 15th Mar 17, 7:36 AM
    • 628 Posts
    • 1,653 Thanks
    Hey Scott! I agree it does look alot but it's one I posted at the beginning of the year and somethings will hopefully form into place and become habits. I don't look at this religiously and think I need to do XYZ and then tick it off. I know which areas put the most pressure on.. Work related pressure is the biggy for me so it's finding that fine balance. Money wise, as long as things tick over nicely and debt reduction takes place, I've decided no longer to become obsessed with watching the numbers reduce each time they reach a new below level if that makes sense.

    In regards to what I managed to get done yesterday it was a pretty successful day.

    Yesterday's to do list :-

    - Finalise course bookings and enter into diary. All courses booked and finalised for upcoming months.
    - Phone manager at work and update on work situation and where I'm at. We keep missing one another when phoning. Manager updated on progress made and seems to be happy
    She's just going to query a couple things in regards to what's classed as my return to work date. I think this is making a mountain out of a molehill, but whatever I'll just go with it. It's my first shift back tomorrow.

    - Attend course today which is for an hour in total. Course done, just need to do reflection based on this. Very informative session and a nice refresher.
    - Pick up the boys passport after being countersigned and get it sent off. Passport signed, checked by PO and sent off. Hopefully it will not take too long.
    - Update banking and budget for rest of month. All updated and clear for rest of month.
    - Cancel boys extra curricular for Thursday/Friday as it clashes with work and other planned things. (This will save me £) Will do this today
    - Walk to school to pick boy up. He has late finish today. I might even take his scooter and use it myself on the way. Big kid and all that I ended up driving as I was out and about at the time running errands and was on the way.
    - Message roofers who did some work for us and query something and get guarantee paperwork they promised.
    Will do this today.

    So overall a pretty successful day yesterday, it kept me busy at least. I also made potato and leek soup to freeze and a big batch of spaghetti bolognese.

    Wednesday To Do List

    - Message roofers.
    - Message to cancel extra curricular for Thursday/Friday
    - Send email regarding a show the boy wants to participate in.
    - Attend CBT group.
    -Go the gym with my cousin, we have a class booked.
    - Sort out washing and peg on line to dry.
    - Look in my portfolio and see what needs doing first.
    - Contact CPN and update where I'm up to.

    Hope everyone has a nice day.
    Last edited by Chandelier.; 15-03-2017 at 7:54 AM.
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 20th Mar 17, 11:56 AM
    • 628 Posts
    • 1,653 Thanks
    So it's been quite a few days since I last updated and I guess quite a few things have happened since then.

    I managed to complete the to do list that I posted last Wednesday. I'm still awaiting to hear back from roofers, I had an initial reply but nothing since. I'll message again later.

    I returned to work last Thursday and did two short shifts Thursday and Friday. If I'm honest it completely wiped me as I've been off for so long. Once I'm back into a routine I expect I shall find it more easier. I have a training day this Wednesday and two 7.5 hour shifts Thursday and Friday again. This week is rather busy for many reasons.

    The boy has an upcoming show at the beginning of April. He's only doing one routine but there is lots of practice in the run up to it.

    Tonight I'm off to watch him do his swimming lesson. I've not seen him swim for a while as his dad usually takes him on the days he has him. I've then a class booked at the gym later on.

    It's my friends birthday today so I shall drop off her card and present later. Its a big birthday for her so I bought her, her favourite tipple. I can't go wrong there. I was thinking about a bunch of flowers too but I know previous years she's recieved lots and struggles for space to put them.

    Tomorrow I've not much planned aside from an appointment at doctors later in the day. I will make an effort to go to the gym.

    Wednesday I have training as mentioned above. Then the boy has his extra curricular activity. I'll probably get home around 7ish.

    Thursday I'm in work until half three. The boy is going to his friends for tea and then has yet another show rehearsal to attend. And Friday remains to be the same.

    In regards to his costume for the show I've managed to piece something together and ordered the extra bits yesterday which should hopefully come towards the end of the week then we can try it all on.

    I've paid a lump sum towards our holiday, only eight weeks to go now. I put the remaining balance onto a 0% credit card I'd not used for a while which has the offer remaining for the next nine months. Although I had money set aside to pay the full balance, I've decided to keep some funds back for upcoming expenses in the next month or so including my car servicing. That's another thing I need to look at and may head over to the motoring board for advice.

    This weekend was pretty chilled. On Saturday we made some chocolate rice crispy cakes and then the boy helped cook tea- homemade KFC style chicken which was lovely and enjoyed by both of us.

    I still need to get back on the band wagon of healthy eating. I managed 4/7 days last week then just went off track. I need to get back into the right mentality for it.

    So not much else happening aside from this. I've not been spending much aside from necessities. I need to phone up payroll and ask that they have the correct details for my pay this week. I don't want another wage messed up.

    Other then that not much else to say.
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Mar 17, 2:25 PM
    • 10,472 Posts
    • 69,775 Thanks
    I hope your son's show will be really lovely!
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 21st Mar 17, 8:50 AM
    • 1,921 Posts
    • 15,450 Thanks
    Good to hear your back to work. As you say, it'll take a bit of time to get back into the routine.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
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