Monday, 31 October 2011

Business Mums Unite Conference 2011

Sometimes we never know who may pop up in our lives again or when we meet someone how our paths may cross somewhere down the line. 

Way back in early February (in what feels like a different lifetime) I was invited to be keynote speaker at the Business Mums Unite conference in Nottingham on 19th October. Sometimes as a speaker it can take several years for someone to have an opportunity for you. The organiser, Charlotte Pearson, had met me not long after I first started the speaking circuit when I was also juggling a sales job as a Virgin Vie cosmetic and jewellery consultant. I had met her then husband at a networking event and I had taken my wares to their home. I used to make the somewhat pathetic pun that 'I was a Virgin due to postnatal depression' and explained that my book was the reason I had left teaching but was also working up to being a full-time speaker and writer. Hence it gave me the opportunity at the parties I did to introduce the 'other side' of me. I did enjoy my time with Virgin Vie and it has ultimately lead to where I am now!

So getting Charlotte's request was brilliant - thank you so much! Her version of events is here.

Of course when I agreed to be at this event Clive was still alive. I remember the day I got the email and we'd chatted about it. So my original story has grown since then! I am very conscious that postnatal depression and bereavement are not exactly sexy or normally inspiring topics! Yet the feedback I received on the day said I was. For example, read Georgina's account here.

Charlotte and I
You can see more of Emma's photos of the event here.

I was delighted to meet Karen and her husband from Rhythm of your Choice.  who provide some greats acts for events.

There were some stunning pictures from Jacques Designs - I could have spent a fortune!

I could have booked some great holidays from Beside the Sea and was thrilled to win some jewellery from The Light Direction. 

It was good to speak to Craig and his colleagues from Affari magazine - an on-line version for Nottingham Business Women.

Sara Meredith, whose daughter Livvy sadly died in 2008, has set up a charity to bring smiles to other disabled youngsters. We chatted for a while and she told me about Livvy's Smile and her blog Walking with Angels. She has blogged about the conference - Sara is an incredible lady who inspires others.

I'd like to especially dedicate this to her ..

I also had the opportunity to speak to others who were presenting and several of the delegates who shared some of their stories with me. I find this to be one of the best aspects of what I do.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and was delighted that Charlotte invited me. I do hope she puts the day on again next year - keep us posted!

Whilst I was in Nottingham I had the pleasure to dine at two restaurants I'd recommend - The Riverbank - fabulous food and service; and Peachy Keens, world buffet - great when you can't decide what to have!

Just a reminder - my next talk is on Monday 7th November at The Midland Hotel in Bradford - open to all.
See the details here

So who have you not been in touch with for years? Is there something you could ask them to be involved with you now?

Go on - make their day, just as Charlotte did mine!

Elaine x

Saturday, 29 October 2011

What makes you happy?

I have often written and spoken about the fact that it is the little things that can make a big different in life. Today Mum pointed out an article in the Daily Mail about a poll from Three Barrels Brandy which shows how it IS the small things that make us happy! See the full article here

These were the best ...

I smiled so much reading these.

I saw myself in so many of them and have written about them in this blog.
Remember me saying of Clive in the car with roof down, shades on singing in the car?
My stories and times with the 'babies' in my life - Sophie, Ruby, Emily?
Girlie night with my college friends?

Looking at old photos

Tonight I have enjoyed simple pleasure of Saturday night television with people I love; tasty food; a few glasses of wine.

I may have lost Clive but I retain many special memories of an incredible few years sharing his life.

I have begun to appreciate the smallest pleasures again. As Clive said, he didn't run 26 miles in a marathon - he ran a mile 26 times. I feel that is how I have approach bereavement - little steps with support around me that I have chosen to accept.
  • What are the small things that make you happy? 
  • Do you notice them?
  • How can you make more of them for yourself and others?