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  • kingsandcubs

Thirty-two years ago, I started high school. A new girl in a strange school who knew nobody, other than a single classmate and an older cousin. Today my son started his own high school journey. I have been building up to this milestone for a while. One of my visions when I became self-employed, was to be home every night when he returns from school. The fact that I will be gives me immense satisfaction.

In the blink of an eye, the next five years will pass, and I will have two boys in high school and another hurtling towards the same milestone.

Yesterday I was faffing with pencil cases, skinny fit trousers, and labelling PE socks (no idea whether that is necessary or overkill) and wondering what Olly’s life will be like 32 years from now and how he will feel on the day his eldest child puts on a blazer and walks off with his friends without turning back.

The back to school routine will bring me and my business some much needed stability. An opportunity to set up a new structure to my working week, Zoom calls where I don’t need to issue noise warnings in advance and the opportunity to go for walks and bike rides without the whirring sound of scooter wheels around me. Peace at last.

It is a scary step thought as it is the second bite of the cherry for my business which was only just getting going when lockdown began. I am taking it in chunks and am already looking forward to half term and an escape to the country, a chance to reflect on the progress I’ve made and an opportunity for the boys to climb trees, ride bikes, look for squirrels and hopefully get back into a swimming pool at long last.

I am not renowned for writing down plans, but I do have some simple goals to aim for which include:

· Completing my accreditation to deliver financial education sessions – knowledge and skills that people are crying out for

· Learning to ride my bike safely on roads so I can make it to the Mersey and cycle along the routes we regularly walk along

· Supporting the boys with their studies and new routines to ease their transition from home to school

· Continuing to make connections and participate in activities every week that will enrich my soul, enhance my knowledge, skills, and business outcomes

Taking time to pause and tune back into my needs, instead of always thinking and putting others first, will be vital to achieving these things and to rebalance the effects of the past six months or so.

Starting next week, I am going to put my new girl hat on and restart the journey that began many months ago. Wish me luck.

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  • kingsandcubs

When I launched this blog, I was determined not to be that blogger who proclaimed to have a perfect life with no bumps in the road.

So, after a uber positive start to my blog, here is a more candid view on how I have been feeling so far this week.

Monday came, the kids went to their sports activities for the day and I was feeling positive and focussed about the week ahead.

I then swallowed the proverbial frog and decided to face my accounts which have been sitting in a digital and real file for months. Spreadsheets and I are not best friends anyway. Then I lost a bank statement. And receipts were flying around. Ugh.

The rest of the day was productive, but the sort of day where people either do not come back to you or ask to change plans that your entire schedule hinges on.

My sleep was hideous, broken up with weird dreams, feeling hot and cold and not being able to settle.

I knew today was not going to go to plan as soon as I got up. I missed my fab networking slot because of a wild goose chase involving a school blazer and missing sports sock. I then returned to a flurry of emails that were tricky to deal with.

My choices at this point – eat chocolate, admit defeat and head to the pub, go for a walk, hit the shops, or have a long soak in the bath with aromatherapy oils and sprays to rebalance me.

Apart from the pub option, I pretty much ticked all the other boxes in one go. I set off to the retail park with a mouth full of fruit and nut chocolate. I ambled around the shops, which is about as close to a walk as I could muster today in today’s stormy weather.

I bought a lamp for the living room and a cheeky little number for my office which is where I am typing this from. As soon as I switched both lights on and saw the gentle glow that the bulbs let off, the fog started to lift. I have sprayed my office with some calming spray, am about to write a new list and pack away for the day (mid-afternoon). Tonight’s agenda is the bath, face mask and an early night. Tomorrow is another day and I always come back fighting.

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  • kingsandcubs

I love it when people say that only their mum calls them the name that appears on their birth certificate. It gets me thinking about the ludicrous number of nicknames and pet names I have acquired over the years, all with a special significance.

I think I have more than most, so here goes with just a few of them, and the associations that lie behind them.

Carrie and Cags were always reserved for close family members and Caz in school. When the ‘wrong’ person calls me Carrie, it still takes me aback.

CK, Carolina and Linie (pronounced Leenie) were acquired during my corporate working years. CK I liked for simplicity. Carolina always made me feel quite regal and I could imagine myself popping a crown on my head if I chose to use that name for more than a few hours. Linie I still get from a very close friend and I love it.

When I met my partner, he asked me what most people call me. I explained Caroline is the professional me and then if you get into the inner sanctum, Carrie is an option. Apparently, these did not quite hit the spot, despite serving me well for over 40 years. So, within a week of meeting him, I was officially christened Caro. Since then I have also acquired Cazarushaleven (pronounced Cazza-rush-a-lev-en) and occasionally Cic-Cic.

When I was writing this blog, I looked up the meaning of my actual name, Caroline. I found the loveliest description:


“She gives more than she receives

Her face is radiant when she is happy

She is good humoured and full of life

Her family love her warmth and special charm

Caroline is bright and knowledgeable

She is admired for her patient approach (sometimes!)

She enjoys sharing treasured memories

Organised, likes everything in its place”

I love my large collection of nicknames and how they mean something different to the people who gave them to me and signal the bond I have with them. But with a description like the one above, maybe it’s time to stick with good old Caroline?

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