Category Archives: Badass Mind

Finding My Inner Garden Witch and Greenthumb

I have been inspired!

A month ago one of my closest friends gave me two seedlings. Now, I have a bad history with plants, I’ve failed to keep cacti alive. With the exception of two houseplants that have somehow survived long periods of drought and over watering, I seem to kill all houseplants.

But I have discovered my inner garden witch!

My friend, the Badass Boss of Alternative Process Therapies gave me an Aloe and a Spider Plant and not only are they still alive but they are THRIVING!! I feel like Mother Nature.

With age comes wisdom and at 36 years old I think I’ve finally learned a little temperance. I’ve learned to leave my plants alone and not over water them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote “The simple perception of natural forms is a delight”. He was talking about beauty but I also think it applies to nature itself.

I get so much joy from watering my plants and if that wasn’t enough, I had some shoots pop up so I learned a little about propagation (the breeding of specimens of a plant). It’s been really interesting learning how best to take new shoots and repot them. I also love learning about what kind of plants I have. There are so many different kinds of succulents and exotic houseplants, the stranger they look, the more I like them.

Succulents and cacti are always popular plants but they’ve experienced a real boost in popularity lately, so chances are you already have one..but do you know how to care for it?
There’s some excellent advice about succulents on the Royal Horticultural Society website and I’ve made a new Pinterest board called How Does Your Garden Grow? It’s full of tips and advice for houseplants – go take a look!

These tiny cacti were £1 each from Wilko – bargain!

I had cacti years ago but they died, so this time around I decided to actually learn about how to care for them properly. I learned that a lot of plants benefit from being watered from the bottom. And this is a particularly good way to water succulents, which includes catci. Simply place the potted cactus in a saucer filled with a few inches of water and leave it in the saucer for about 20-30 minutes. This method of watering ensures that all of the soil, not just the edges are fully moistened. (It’s best to let the soil to dry out between waterings.)

I’ve been so inspired and it was so unexpected. I find watering the plants really relaxing and, in a weird way, it feels like giving back to nature. Taking cuttings from the spider plants and getting my hands in the soil gives me a little connection to nature.

I’ve been using caring for my houseplants as part of my self care routine. It’s calming, it focuses my mind and for whatever reason it just makes me happy. Just like watching the birds eat the seeds I put out for them. It brings me joy. A simple but totally fulfilling joy.

Taking a cutting, watching its roots grow daily and then potting it and watching it floruish is something of a soul nourishing experience. As I nurture my plants, I’m nurturing a part of me that clearly needed attention. I just didn’t know it until I was given a gift, and that gift just keeps giving. I am so grateful for that gift.
Funnily enough my bird feeders were a gift from my other closest friend.

What’s inspired you lately? Are you obsessed with houseplants? Do you have a black thumb history of killing plants?

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Moxie McMurder
The Badass Manifesto

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One Thing I’ve Totally Failed At

I wrote this blog post about saying sorry, promising that it was a habit I was going to get out of in 2017.  I have utterly failed. 

That’s OK of course, failure is just a stepping stone, not a destination. I’m aware that I’ve failed so I’m going to try harder.

It’s such an irritating trait, I hate that my default is ‘sorry’. That little voice that says you’re in the way or in the wrong and that it’s you who should apologise to the stranger that bumped into you – it’s got to stop! It’s so automatic I don’t think twice about saying it.

By saying sorry you’re accepting blame that isn’t there. You’re also sending a strong message that can justify people treating you like a doormat. Over-apologizing creates a needless sense of guilt and lowers your self esteem. It makes you submissive. There are already so many external influences that can lower our self esteem why should we be doing to ourselves too?

So, I’m going to try harder. I’m going to be more aware of the situation I’m in and train my brain to say something else or to -shock horror – say nothing at all.

Moxie McMurder 

The Badass Manifesto 

What’s in a Name? 

Names are a funny thing. Ever introduced yourself to someone who immediately shortens your name? This happens to me regularly and it’s so annoying. Why do people do that? 

My name is Moxie McMurder, it was my roller derby name and I’ve stuck with it. 

It’s unique and it catches people’s eye, I can’t tell you how many opportunities have come my way purely from people being interested in the woman behind the name! I’m proud of my name and what I’ve accomplished with that name. 

Me wearing skates to work for Sport Relief back in 2012

Everything I write goes under this name and recently someone I was considering working with on a project with, questioned my name. He asked if I would consider using a different pseudonym or being published anonymously. 

I’ll be honest, his reaction spun me out. Was this the Fraud Police knocking on my door? Did this mean no one would ever take me seriously with a name like mine?

I explained that I use the name Moxie McMurder for everything I publish but he kept on, heavily implying that my name was not something he wanted to be associated with. Perhaps he felt it was childish or unprofessional, I’m not sure but all I kept thinking was, ITS MY NAME!

I ended up pulling out of the project because I felt so uncomfortable. My anxiety spiked, I was annoyed and suddenly I was having an identity crisis. It was all so unexpected. 

I remember putting my phone down, having a total wig out, talking it through with a couple of close friends, then going to bed. I lay there going over and over the conversation. Thankfully a couple of other people in the conversation complimented my name and because they work in the same field as this guy it helped validate me. Sad but true. 

Whenever I feel insecure about my chosen pseudonym I tell myself that if Diablo Cody can win an Oscar. I can be a writer called Moxie McMurder.

Looking back do I regret backing out of the project? No. Did I overreact? Maybe. My sense of self shouldn’t be knocked so badly by one guy’s comments. But I’m glad I didn’t allow myself to be talked into something I wasn’t comfortable with. 

That’s something worth celebrating. 

Moxie McMurder 

The Badass Manifesto

The Last 5 Books I Read

I’m a voracious reader, always have been, but since my latest bout of insomnia I’ve been reading a lot more – what else do I have to do at 3am and cant sleep?

I’m terrible for diving straight into the next book when I’ve read something good. I’ve had such a good time in the world of the book that I don’t want it to end and I jump straight into the next book hoping I’ll get that same feeling.

This sometimes means books blend into one but luckily these last 5 books have managed to stand on their own and not merge into one big book. This is just a quick blog so I’m not going to go on and on about these books, I’m not reviewing them.

I’d urge you all to find your local independent bookshop to get hold of these books. As a past employee of an independent bookshop I know first hand how important it is to hold onto these places. Sure, you won’t get the bargains you can online but trust me, the knowledge the staff have in indepedent bookshops is worth far more than getting a few quid off a book. Seriously, they know their shit and can help you with recommendations, getting hold of unusual books and so much more.

That said, I appreciate that the couple of quid off can make the difference between reading a book and not, and also for those of with restricted mobility I’ve added a link to these books on Amazon.

Here is a list of the last 5 books I read.

The Girls by Emma Cline

The Girls

I was drawn to this book due to the setting of California in the 60’s and a story concerning a young girl being drawn into a cult. I loved the way this story tapped into the realtionships between girls. It reminded me a little of Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood. I’d definitely recommend it!

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
While I found The Girl on the Train to be a somewhat predictable read, I enjoyed the ride so thought I’d give this new book by Paula Hawkins a go. It’s still a dark mystery and one I really enjoyed.  The lives of various women, connected to a pool of water, it’s a real page turned. I couldn’t put it down. Again, it’s one I’d recommend.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Bit of a cheat this one, because I’d started reading it years ago but for some reason never made it to the end.

With the book coming to television I decided to give it another go and I’m so glad I did. It’s such a compelling and epic read without being overwhelming.

Nod by Adrian Barnes

I spotted this book having heard nothing about it and bought it on a whim. Again cults play a part in this story and in a really cool way. In the book millions of people are suddenly unable to sleep and no one knows why. This leads to chaos and the breakdown of society but it’s a purely personal story, one I found myself sucked into.

I enjoyed reading the book at the time but after some time passed I felt that actually it was a little lacking but I can’t quite put my finger on what was missing.

Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris

I hadn’t heard anything about this book before I read it, it’s a real dark psychological thriller but it falls short in a few areas. At first some of the circumstances and motivations seemed ridiculous but once I got over that I started to enjoy it. It was a quick read and when it was right is was spot on and it certainly kept my attention throughout.

What are you reading? Let me know in the comments!

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Moxie McMurder
The Badass Manifesto

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Insomnia Is Kicking My Ass

I’m a long time sufferer of insomnia, some of my earliest memories are of struggling to sleep, you think I’d be used to it and mostly I am. It tends to come and go and usually it’s just a struggle to fall asleep, once I am asleep, I’m good. But lately that’s changed.

Over the last 2 months I’ve either fallen asleep for a few hours and then I wake up and can’t get back to sleep or I’m just awake all night. Luckily because I work from home, I can make up the sleep but at the moment I’m staying awake all night then all day hoping it’ll tire me out – it doesn’t always work. 

Insomnia is so frustrating, it’s reduced me to tears many times. I know what triggered it but I don’t know why it’s continued for so long. Also, I’m annoyed that the thing that triggered it bothered me at all. (More on this in another post coming soon.)

Pain plays a part in this too. My back problems (2 protruding discs, one of which is trapping a nerve and degenerative disc disease) have been getting worse. I’m due for another MRI but who knows how long that will take.

Not being able to sleep because of pain is probably worse than my insomnia because with normal insomnia I can read or watch a film until I’m tired. When I’m in pain, it’s hard to take my mind off it, I try to read but I can’t get comfortable. I try to watch something but I can’t concentrate on anything. 

All this uneven sleep is playing havoc with my mental health. I’m feeling down more often and more unsure of myself. I really hope this passes and I go back to having a somewhat nocturnal but normal sleeping pattern soon.

Sweet Screams, 

Moxie McMurder

The Badass Manifesto