Monday, 19 December 2016

What Kept Me Smiling #7

Another slightly late post due to being busy yesterday. Last week flew by, didn't it? And can you believe that Christmas is at the end of this week?! Where is the time going?! Anyway, I had a pretty good week this week - here's what kept me smiling.

My Christmas Tree

Coming Off Anti-Depressants

Yes! My anxiety is at such a level now that I haven't had a panic attack in months, since finishing CBT, and I've only had a couple of moments where I felt mildly anxious, and they were easily ignored. So I spoke to my doctor, and I've come off my pills. I am so happy! Obviously, this doesn't mean I'm "cured", that I no longer have anxiety, and I may well have a relapse at some point, but right now? My mental health is in a pretty awesome place, and I can't tell you how pleased I am!

A Night of Carols

Christmas Tree at St. Joseph's Hospice's Christmas Festival Concert

On Wednesday evening, my mum and I went to the church just around the corner for St. Joseph's Hospice's Christmas Festival Concert. St. Joseph's Hospice is our loal hospice, and we're pretty big supporters of them. I've donated things for their jumble sale, I took part in a sponsored walk to raise money for the hospice, and my nan used to make a donation every year and would would have a light on their Christmas tree dedicated to her mum in remembrance, as part of their Light Up a Life event. My mum has now continued doing this, but was unable to attend the Light Up a Life event, and so decided to go to the Christmas Festival Concert instead, and I went along with her.

It was amazing! The East London Community Band, Hackney Empire Choir and St John of Jerusalem School's choir were in attendance, and we were given a programme for certain carols we would all join in to sing. Highlights for me were the Hackney Empire Choir singing O Holy Night, the St. John of Jerusalem School's choir singing Pure Imagination (they even had young children singing solos, and it was the cutest thing!) and the East London Community Band performing Prokofiev's Troika, and when we all joined in to sing We Wish You a Merry Christmas. It was such a great night, and I loved it! They also had little hearts you could dedicate to someone who had died and hang on their Christmas tree, so I dedicated one to my nan.

While I'm here talking about St. Joseph's Hospice, there's something else I want to mention. St Joseph's Hospice is one of 18 London hospices who have come together to record Say It In the Living Years with Paul Carrack. 300 patients, family members, staff and volunteers make up The London Hospices Choir, and the song is just brilliant - especially when you consider that some of the people singing are terminally ill. They're aiming to reach Christmas Number 1, so would you mind giving the beautiful and moving video watch (below - the lady you see at 3.20 is Lilian John, a 94-year-old great-great-grandmother who is a respite ward of St. Joseph's), and maybe downloading the single? You can do so at iTunes, Amazon (for a physical copy), Amazon (for a digital version), HMV, and Spotify.

Putting Up the Christmas Tree

It's finally up! In my family, the Christmas tree doesn't go up until a week before Christmas, but as was busy over the weekend and my mum was away, we decided to do it mid-week; built it on Wednesday, decorated on Thursday. I got some wrapping done yesterday, so there are a few presents under the tree, and it looks awesome (see top image)!

Serving a Hogwart's Student

When I was at work on Friday, a certain loony witch came and bought some books. As you can imagine, we're really quite busy in the lead up to Christmas, and with the queues, we have to be quite quick in serving our customers. So although, I'd smiled at and greeted the actress who plays the radish-earing wearing witch, I didn't realise it was her at first as I was trying to scan and bag her items quickly. When it came to paying, I was able to look up at her, and that's when I realised who she was, and I became so excited! I've mentioned before how we sometimes get famous people in our shop, but this was the first time I'd served anyone from the Harry Potter movies, and she had such a prominent role as one of my favourite characters, I couldn't help lose it a little bit inside - although I kept my cool externally, of course. I can be professional most of the time. But it was so exciting!

Giving Surprise Presents

I was sent a text on Friday from my awesome friend Caoimhe, who I had sent some Christmas presents. She didn't know I was getting her anything, and was so surprised and happy! And then told me she had actually posted me something earlier that day, and how funny it was that we thought to buy each other gifts without mentioning it (neither of us let the other know in case we made the other feel like they had to buy something in return). It's so awesome making someone happy with a surprise gift!

So that was my week! How was yours?
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