Don’t forget those who work over the Christmas period.

Being a student, I know how difficult it can be to work over Christmas. Working on the eve or boxing day or new years eve, and working long hours can take it’s toll on you if you work a lot. As I work in retail, I was happy to work on Christmas eve and boxing day because money is great to receive but it can be hard when all your family are off and you just want to be with them. It can make it that much harder when you go to work and you’re working all day and you get customers who are angry or rude or disrespectful. I wanted to write this to remind people that we are human too and want respect.

I live by the phrase ‘treat others how you would want to be treated’ as I feel it is so important to give people a good customer experience and make them feel happy and welcome. I like to have a conversation with a customer on the shop floor or at the till and I like to wish a customer a good evening or a good day. I ensure I smile and speak to a customer so that they are acknowledged and happy. I feel that even when a person does this, and a person remains to be rude to you or blunt, it makes it really hard for us as we are just trying to do our job and get through our shift to earn some money so we don’t need any unnecessary atmosphere or energy. I’ve had it before when a customer has had a go at me for the 5p carrier bags and it’s ruined my day. Please don’t be that customer. Treat us right and be kind as it can really affect us.

I wanted to focus on retail as that’s what I work in when I’m back from university, but this type of blog post also goes for the wonderful emergency services that have to spend their Christmas eve, day, boxing day, new years eve in their jobs rather than with their families. One of them is driving an ambulance and one of them is putting out a fire. They are doing their jobs to protect us and are sacrificing a lot for us and I am truly grateful for them. Thank you for working on Christmas day in the hospitals and treating all out patients and thank you for working on new years eve fighting crime for our safety. Thank you for working, when all you want to do is be at home with your children. All I can say is, thank you.

This goes to anyone that has to work around this period and would rather be doing anything else. To those who have to work to make money for their rent, or for Christmas presents. Those who work hard to afford everything or those who just have to work. It can be really tough to work non stop and I really hope it doesn’t ruin your Christmas as it’s such a lovely time of year and is great for family time so please try and work for what you need to, but have that time for your family and try your best to get through your job. It’ll be worth it in the end, just you see.

Thank you to everyone for your hard work and for being amazing, keep it up!

Until next time,

Asha

Reflecting on Christmas.

So as we approach New Years and the coming of January, I think it’s important to think about this year and how quickly, I think, Christmas has come around. Throughout December, I found that the day crept around and came and went before we knew it and now it’s all done. All the Christmas stuff are on sale now and card shops are doing their 70% off. Every year it goes quick, and we are onto a new year.

I think nowadays, the pressure to get presents and make everyone around us happy can get too much sometimes. I certainly found this year that I wanted to get my loved ones the world but my bank balance didn’t quite agree with me! I was stressing around trying to get all my things and write lovely cards to everyone and prepare for this big day but I really don’t think it’s about the presents. The day isn’t about that. It’s not about who’s got the best big present, like a TV or a phone and it’s never a competition. For me, the day is about spending the time with your family and friends and appreciating the lovely people you have in your life. It’s about having a lovely Christmas roast and then playing board games and singing and dancing and watching the classics on the telly. It’s family time that’s most important to me. Try and think of that, instead of just the gifts we receive.

Being a university student, I now know the true value of money. I know how expensive those wipes are or that mascara or that moisturising lotion. When I received things like this year, and more, I was so grateful as I never seemed to realise how much things cost until you have to start buying it all yourself. Those things are great to have on the day as it stocks you up and you don’t need to worry about buying them for a while. It’s so useful. Buying the gifts this year and trying to pay for everything proved to be challenging at times, so if you are like me and found yourself struggling a bit, try and remember that it’s the thought that counts and there are plenty of presents out there that can be made. I’ve made photo frames, photo books and sentimental gifts for people in the past and I find that can be nicer than any other present because it shows your time, effort and patience in making that specific thing. It shows a lot to that person and can be appreciated that little bit more. It’s always the thought that counts!

I volunteered at the homeless shelter yesterday and I found it such an incredible experience. Feeding those that can’t afford something I almost expect to have and talking to them was really eye opening. I found out a lot of their stories and their circumstances and the amount of people who were polite, friendly and so approachable was lovely. I enjoyed keeping them company over the morning and ensuring they didn’t go away hungry. We gave them tea’s and coffee’s and gave them a warm and comfortable environment for as long as we could. There was one woman there who started smiling and cheering and I wondered what it was about. I went over to her and it turns out she had been given a loaf of bread and some muffins to take away, and I’ve never seen someone so happy about food. She was as happy as a child opening a telly or a new iPhone at Christmas. That was quite overwhelming as it really puts things into perspective and makes you realise what we can take for granted. I compared the reactions and couldn’t believe how lucky we all are. It was such a great thing to do and I certainly want to do it next year. If, like me, you are passionate about this and want to help, see what kind of things are around in your area and get involved! All I did was ring them up and then they sent me an email of all the available vacancies and I booked on. It makes you feel so good and truly contributes to those who need our help. Go on, try it.

Christmas day to me, is about your Mum and Dad having the time off to wake up with you and sing Xmas songs and have a cheeky bucks fizz then open a few presents with you where they open that scarf they wanted from New Look and that Pint glass they wanted from Mankind. It’s about all sitting around the table with your turkey and pigs in blankets. It’s about watching the Grinch and playing Guess who. It is appreciating all that we have, and at times take for granted. (Don’t worry, we all do it!) It is treasuring the wonderful people we have in our lives and loving each and every minute. Time is precious and powerful as it goes so quickly. Before you know it, time has been and gone. Try not to waste it. Hug your mum before you go to bed on Christmas Eve and kiss your Dad’s cheek as he falls asleep on Christmas day. Say you love them and thank them for their wonderful presents. Don’ take anything for granted otherwise you’ll only detect that it’s missing when it’s gone.

Until next time,

Asha

Spending the time with your family.

Especially around this time of year, I find that life gets so busy. You’re buying presents, wrapping, working in retail and it can get so hectic. I find that it’s important to stop and make the time to see people, like your family and friends.

Over the last few days, I saw my friends and went out clubbing with them, which meant it was lovely to socialise and catch up with everyone and then tonight I had a family party for my Grandad’s 80th birthday. It was great to see the people you don’t get to see altogether and have a good time. I danced to YMCA, Superman and Grease Lightning and sung to Bohemian Rhapsody and Music man. It was lovely to just stop with the stress of life and have fun! I did all the routines and laughed and cheered on my Nan trying to keep up with the dancing. I think this time is the best kind of moments to treasure because they are when you can spend quality time with your family and make lovely memories.

When I saw my friends in the week to go out, I had the chance to catch up with everyone who were all in the same room and got updated with everything. I love these kind of times because I feel on track with my friends and their lives and it helps to know they are all okay, and if they’re not, the awareness of it and how I could help them. I think seeing friends can allow you to have your hair down and just enjoy the time with them. Friends are amazing, and are so important to keep close by. I find that as you get older, and go to university, or start working, when you meet up with people, it can be like no time has passed and you just pick up where you leave off. True friends are the people that you can see after not seeing them for months, and it’s exactly the same.

I also spends a lovely few days in Plymouth with my partner and his family. If you have a partner, it’s lush to spend time with them and just take a break from the pressures of life as you need that break from time to time! Have a cuddle, go for a coffee or a nice walk! See them and trust me, it really helps! They can help a lot.

When life gets busy, and you feel you have no time to stop, try and find a moment to just stand still, take a breath and ensure you make the time to see friends and family so that you can make special memories, treasure the time with those who mean the most to you and have fun! Life can be really hard as you are getting older and it can get on top of you. It’s really hard to keep up with everything and so having these arrangements can really do you the world of good. Make that time.

Until next time,

 

Asha

Our parent’s partners…

It can be really tough when our parents split up. It completely changes everything and makes you feel confused and takes a lot of time to adjust. Once time passes, it can get much easier and help you to come to terms with it. You live with one parent and see the other regularly. It looks like things are getting normal again. As time goes on, they start dating and you find out they’re with someone else. It can be horrid at first as you think they can’t replace your other parent but I think we should look at our parent’s happiness and how they have a right to move on with their life.

It took me a long time to adjust to my parents partners and I personally found it very difficult. Firstly I saw them as a threat and didn’t want to accept them as I just thought of my other parent. I couldn’t seem to move on and understand what was happening. I didn’t want to. As time passes, and they make an effort with you and are kind, generous and caring, you begin to realise that they aren’t a monster and they just want to get on with you and be your friend. You don’t need to see them a threat, they love your parent and make you happy so try and remember this when you meet them.

If I could go back in time and do things differently, I would. I wouldn’t be so bitter and mean to the people who are not to blame whatsoever. They have just met someone, fallen in love and don’t need grief off of the children. I totally understand why people do it, I did it myself so I get it. It can be really hard to meet and accept someone who is dating your parent, but try and think about it through their perspective.

Looking at it now, I am so thankful to my Mum’s partner and my Dad’s partner. I think they are such lovely people and I couldn’t be without them. They are both kind, caring and selfless and they would do anything for me. The things they have done for me have been great and I am so appreciative of them. They will become good friends of yours and you’ll learn to love them. Give them a chance, they don’t bite!

Until next time,

Asha

Finding the time to see friends.

So tonight I arranged to meet up with my friends I met through my ambassador role and we went for dinner, had a few drinks and then watched I’m a celeb together. It was honestly so lovely. Whilst I was with these beautiful people, I just thought of how lucky I am to have met them and how I want to see them more. We talked about meeting up for a night out after Christmas and making the time more for each other. I had realised that I really missed them and wanna get closer to them.

By seeing them, It made me think. I want to make the time to see people like this, and my housemates so that we can have fun, make memories and then I can look back on it from my university experience and think- God wasn’t that fun.

We all know that life can get pretty hectic and time can be limited. We got to go to university, work, do washing, make dinner etc etc. It can all get so busy that sometimes we can struggle to find the time to see other people. Having nights like tonight has made me want to find the time to do this more and more and ensure I have a healthy balance. I know that I can do it if I manage my time well and ensure everything gets done. I want to remember my university days where I met lots of lovely people, went out and did things and took away loads of lush memories. I want to know I didn’t waste my days and took the opportunity to meet as many people as possible.

I think it’s good that you see the friends at university and because I’m such a social butterfly, I see all the people I want to see. Course friends, House friends, boyfriend, Ambassador friends. Some of the many people I will think of from university and hopefully take on my journey to the big bad world. Socialising means a lot to me and my friends are a very important element of my life so to ensure I see my friends more and make the time to do what I want to, it will make me very happy.

I think we can all find the time to see our friends and make the memories. Time can be limited and life can be so rushed sometimes, but if we really want something I think we can get it. If I really wanna see my friends, I will make the time for them and ensure it’s good.

Until next time,

 

Asha