As I sit here on Hallows Eve, it’s time to have a look back at October.
I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on my blog as well as my business. I’ll be making some changes to The Mindful Gingernut over the coming months, but I’m pleased to say that my monthly reviews will be one of the things going in the ‘stay’ pile.
In an increasingly weird world, I’ve found it quite therapeutic looking back at the end of each month at the things I’ve enjoyed. Not every month has been full of sweet-smelling roses, of course, but these reviews are a good little reminder of the good times as well as the bad.
October has been another month of highs and lows. I started the month at the belated wake of a very much loved family member who sadly passed away earlier this year. And with October drawing to a close, I’m also sitting here writing this blog post in limbo land as I wait for a referral to the hospital to get checked over.
Otherwise, it’s been an enjoyable month.
Here’s a little look back on what October had to offer:
A Trip to the Emirates
I was lucky enough to make two trips to the Emirates Stadium in October! As a lifelong Arsenal fan, I’d never actually been to watch a home game. Most of my Arsenal experiences had been watching them play away from home or on the TV!
At the beginning of the month, I was excited to go and watch the U23’s play in a Friday night home game against Brighton. Not only that, but I was also able to watch the game from the Director’s lounge!
My boyfriend was then lucky enough to be given two tickets to their first team match against Aston Villa later in the month! Whilst there was no luxury of being in the Director’s lounge this time, it was incredible to be back in the ground with so many spectators. The atmosphere was electric! We had great seats, and we were grateful to see Arsenal win 3-1.
The first weekend of the month saw me heading over to Chobham in Surrey to meet with my walking group.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much of a boost this group has given me since I first met them in the Spring. I’ve made some lovely friends, and it’s always lovely to catch up with them whilst doing something we all enjoy.
Chobham was looking particularly autumnal, and it was a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning.
October was also a busy month for networking. When I left my office job at the end of last year, I feared I would struggle to create a new network outside of an industry I had been in for almost 15 years.
I needn’t have feared as the world seems to have a way of stepping in and helping me find the right path. Sometimes it’s all about opening your eyes to opportunities.
At the beginning of the month, I caught up with a former colleague from my office job days, who became a freelancer a short time before I did. It’s nice to have someone to meet up with who’s not only an incredible friend, but she’s also someone who works in the same crazy world, albeit in different industries.
Click here to find out more about her business.
I also met up with my former boss this month. It felt like something I had to do. I needed to properly close that chapter of my life whilst also ensuring the doors remained open for any future possible collaborations. I’m pleased he agreed to the catch-up, and I’m glad I stuck my neck out to arrange it. Despite the stress, anxiety, and burn-out which crept in over the years, I loved my time working in the world of football. It’s nice to know we can both move forward in a positive direction.
At the beginning of the year, my freelance friend, Nat, whom I met up with earlier this month, introduced me to a podcast called Being Freelance. I started listening to the podcast, and I joined the Being Freelance Facebook group. As if by magic, Steve Folland, who runs the group and is also the Being Freelance podcast host, announced that he had created an online course for freelancers. I signed up and completed it over a few months. There is no need for it to take that long to complete, but back then, I was pretty rubbish at managing my time, which is why it took me so long (the course is brilliant, by the way!)!
Anyway, as a result of signing up for the course, Steve invited his course attendees to an evening of ‘Tea & biscuits’ so he could get to meet us, and we could also network with other freelancers. There were limited numbers in each group, and Steve was brilliant at facilitating the event so that there was no weird awkwardness. It was a great way to connect with fellow freelancers and a lovely way to spend a Thursday evening.
My final networking session of the month came in the shape of some brilliant Work Joy. My coach, who I’ve mentioned a few times in previous blog posts, has recently created a new membership programme called Club WorkJoy. One of the incentives to join the club is the monthly guest speakers. Octobers guest speaker was Chet Morjaria, who is the #1 bestselling author of Work Worth Doing. Chet facilitated a session all about working out your values. Although not everybody in Club WorkJoy is a freelancer, it’s great to be part of a network where people are super supportive.
Mid-October saw me adventuring through the Surrey Hills to Friday Street, which felt very much like I was in the Shires in Lord of the Rings! The road to the car park is a magical experience if you’re a passenger, but a little hair-raising if you’re driving! I was meeting up with my walking group for another Surrey-based adventure. The Surrey countryside really has found a special place in my heart. I can, but dream that the Surrey Hills will be where I sit and pen my novel one day!
This walk was one of the most magical walks I’ve been on with the group, and I can’t wait to go back and explore this area some more!
Family & Friends
I couldn’t let October’s review pass by without mentioning some of the lovely people I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with this month.
Early in October, I took a trip home to visit my family, to belatedly celebrate my brothers birthdays, who turned 36 at the beginning of the month. We also celebrated my brother landing himself a fantastic new job after being jobless for a year.
The weekend I went home also coincided with the get together to remember the family member who passed away during the pandemic. I have to say there is something to be said about having a ‘Celebration of Life’ a few months after the funeral. Everyone was in good spirits, and it turned out to be a lovely get together and a chance to catch up with family we hadn’t seen since before the pandemic.
Back in Kingston, I caught up with some local friends I met during lockdown. We met up in a new local wellbeing cafe which was the perfect environment as we had all met through various wellbeing events.
I’ve often struggled to make friends since moving to the London area 6 years ago, but I feel grateful to have these ladies, as well as my walking group, in my life.
October has been unseasonably warm, and with that, I’ve experienced plenty of warmth and growth entering into my little suburban life, and not just from the warm weather.
How has October been for you?
I hope you’re having a fun-filled Halloween too. Why not leave a photo of your pumpkin creations in the comments below!