Have you ever stopped to consider why you attract negative people into your life?
I have to admit, it’s something I have often made a habit of.
Not on purpose of course.
But time and time again, I would find myself attracting friends and partners who were negative and needy.
No matter how hard I tried to be positive when I was around them, I was fighting a losing battle.
Over the last 6-7 months, as I have started to change my own mindset, throwing myself into improving my own wellbeing and self care, I have noticed my energy levels change. My sparkle is brighter.
And as a consequence, I’m attracting other people who have a positive energy about them.
Spending time instead with people who, despite the troubled world we live in, who see the good in people, who make the most out of bad situations, and thrive on throwing themselves at life.
Even on days like yesterday, where I felt far from 100%, and woke up with a little bit of attitude, within an hour of being surrounded by positivity, I found myself grinning as wide as a Cheshire Cat, relaxing and, quite simply, enjoying the day.
The more positive we are about ourselves, our lives, and the environments we share, the more positive people will be drawn into our lives, leading us to a much happier existence.
The last couple of weeks have made me realise just how important it is to have a self care bank.
If I hadn’t been able to cash in on some of my self care reserves, I definitely wouldn’t have got through it as well as I have.
Most of the drama that has unfolded, has been out of my hands.
Sadly we’re living in a city where knife crime is a reality. It’s almost becoming the norm. Yet twice, in the space of just a few days, knife crime got closer to home.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s my country bumpkin background that makes me more shockable when these things happen.
The guys I know who have lived in and around London for most of their lives, tend to just shrug it off and tell me ‘that’s life’. I guess this isn’t the first time they have dealt with knife and gang crime. It’s not like it’s a new problem, but with the news and social media platforms we use these days, perhaps it just seems worse because it’s talked about more.
Whatever’s going on, when it impacts people you know, as well as the work you do, it starts to feel like it’s getting a bit too close for comfort.
I’ve also still been having problems with my ex. I’m not going to air my dirty laundry on here, but it’s something I could do without.
I’m also trying to spend some time forging new, exciting friendships/relationships with people. It was one of the things I wanted to accomplish this year. It’s early days, but it’s kinda fun wondering whether these people are here for a reason, here for a season, or here for a lifetime.
I haven’t even had time to head home lately. Weekends have been filled with hen parties, friends and family visiting, and work. And there’s still more busy weekends to come.
I’m certainly not complaining, but my body and mind are starting to tell me I need some R&R.
Today, I listened to my body and did bugger all. After working all day on Saturday, I needed some time to just vegetate today. I only left the house to grab some food for dinner, and barely left the sofa. I used to hate days doing nothing. But I’ve learnt that when my body says rest, I need to listen to it, otherwise I run the risk of burning out.
Heading into a new week, I need to make sure I focus on getting back outside for some exercise, as well as creating some time to bank some more self care points, in order to replace those I have used over the last couple of weeks.
I’d be lying if I said I was looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.
But, I’m not sitting around dreading it either.
I’ve never had a dream job. Even as a kid, I had no idea what I wanted to do. Whilst I was at school, trying to decide whether to go to university or not, I didn’t know what course I wanted to do, because I had no idea what I might want to do in the future. By the time I left university, I still had no idea.
It’s taken 35 years for me to start figuring out what i’d really like to do.
Although, looking back, there were times when I toyed with the idea, I just didn’t know how to get there.
I guess part of me has always thought that a dream job, was just that. A dream. Not achievable for those of us who are just ‘ordinary’ people.
But why should it stay as a dream? Why not chase after it?
Whilst I was walking along one of the Algarve’s many beaches last week, it struck me that I finally know what I would like to do.
It may not happen over night. It may even come under a slightly different guise.
But what I do know, is that it feels right to chase after it. To throw (almost) everything into trying to achieve it.
It’s not going to be easy, as I still need to earn a wage while I’m chasing my dream. There will be some multi tasking, hard work and lot’s of juggling involved. But I need to make sure I dedicate some time to focus on my plan for the future.
However hard it might be to chase my dreams, everything seems to be pointing me in this direction. And the difference this time, is that I really do feel ready to work hard for it. I want to do something that gives my life more meaning. To wake up each morning looking forward to going to work. To look forward to going back to work after a week off.
So you may be asking yourself why I’m not dreading work tomorrow? And the answer? I have a plan. Which is ironic. Because I’m rubbish at planning anything outside of my occasional social life. I am slowly but surely, creating a plan, and starting to work towards achieving my dream.
And that makes going back to work tomorrow, all the more bearable.
Thursday was my last full day in Portugal. I had intended on having a rest day, but I also wanted to get back out to see what else was around, close to where I was staying.
I had been staying at the beautiful Alfagar II Aparthotel, which has private access to Praia Santa Eulália. Although I had taken a walk down to the beach on the day I arrived, I really didn’t explore that much. So, I decided to pack up my rucksack and head down to the beach armed with my book and my beach towel ready to explore Praia Santa Eulália.
Once I arrived at the beach, I noticed the tide was out, so I decided to keep walking and followed the beach around towards the next cove. The beaches around this part of The Algarve are stunning. They are rugged and wild, but magical and serene at the same time. The cliffs were something else, and their colours are just beautiful.
As I continued my walk around to the next beaches (Praia da Oura Leste and Praia da Oura), I turned back to look at the view. It was such a stunning spot. So it was there that I sat and read my book until lunchtime approached.
After a spot of lunch by beachside restaurant Vivaldo’s it was time to head back to the hotel to enjoy my last afternoon poolside.
As the evening set in, it was time to reflect back on a fantastic trip.
I booked the entire holiday (flights, hotel and transfers) through easyJet, and I couldn’t fault any of it.
The hotel was absolutely stunning and spotlessly clean, the staff were really friendly and helpful, the food at the Buganvilla Snack-Bar where I ate my evening meals was fantastic. The portions were huge, with a wide selection of starters, and main meals. The apple pie was to die for, and the chocolate mousse was simply divine! The evening entertainment was on the cheesy side, but I guess you expect that in resorts, and in actual fact, holidaying in February, I was probably lucky that evening entertainment was on the menu! The little supermarket in Alfagar Village was well stocked with everything you could wish for, including fresh bread, a butchers, and plenty of wine.
I didn’t use all the facilities on site (there is a car rental office on site – not sure I trust myself to drive on the ‘wrong side’ of the road yet!), but those I did use were superb. The gym, the spa, the pools, as with the rest of the hotel were spotlessly clean and well looked after.
On my first day, I had a slight problem with my lights not switching on in the apartment, however, I called down to reception, and within 15 minutes the maintenance guy was at my door, ready to fix it for me. 2 minutes later, I had light and had no further problems throughout my stay.
I had also booked my transfers through easyJet. Finding the meeting point at Faro airport was really straightforward, and only took 30 minutes to get from the airport to the hotel. On the return journey, thankfully I was early, and already in reception, because the transfer was a good 10 minutes early picking me up. We got to the airport early which at least meant I had a bit more time to look around duty free!
And despite landing in windy conditions, both flights were excellent.
This time I decided to head east of the resort, and headed to the beach at Olhos de Agua. Again, I chose to walk, as good old Google maps told me it was only a short walk away.
20 minutes later, I arrived at the beach. Olhos is small fishing town where the local fishermen still pull their boats onto the sand when they arrive back to the shoreline with their fresh catches. It’s a much quieter town than Albufeira, but lovely if you have a young family and aren’t looking for somewhere overly commercial.
As there wasn’t an awful lot to do or see there, I decided to head down onto the beach to see if I could walk round to the next Praia (beach), Praia da Falesia.
If you are lucky enough to get down to the Praia‘s on the Algrave’s south coast when the tide is out, it is really easy to walk from many of the beaches to the next without too many problems, albeit over a few small rocks. However, once the tide comes back in, these parts are pretty much impossible to reach by foot.
Luckily, the tide was out when I arrived in Olhos de Água, leaving a clear path right i round to Praia da Falesia.
As soon as I walked around the corner of the cove onto Praia de Falesia, the view took my breath away. Seeing the vivid orange colours of the cliffs and the distinguishable layers of rock, made my inner geographer do a little back flip of joy!
I must’ve walked down almost the entire stretch of the praia with a massive grin on my face. Every new section of cliff face I came to had something different to offer.
As I continued to walk along the beach, I realised how light and carefree I felt. I felt more relaxed and content than I have done in a long time.
As I walked along, I did a lot of thinking. I started to make a lot of sense out of things on that walk, putting some things into perspective, letting other things go, and thinking about some of the changes I need to make in order to create more happiness and feelings of being carefree, on a more regular basis.
I will share some of my thoughts with you over the coming days, but for now, it’s time to pack and wave goodbye to Portugal as I have a flight back to London to catch tomorrow.