Vanessa's, be kind to yourself

Wake Up, week 5 of 25

Like Comment

Vanessa sent us the challenge to ‘be kind to yourself’ by asking us to buy a bunch of flowers for ourselves and then notice our response when we see them over the course of a week.

The challenge came at an interesting time for me because when it arrived I had two days left before I finished my last full shift in my job after twelve years in the pub game and start a new chapter, which was as yet unplanned and leaving me slightly in a sort of limbo. I was also planning to go to Liverpool to attend my nieces wedding and treat my parents and aunty and uncle over from Canada to a few days in Malvern after the wedding. On top of this I was being bombarded with theories that the Earth is flat!

So I decided, in a sort of symbolic way, to buy flowers after my last full working shift and see what I noticed.

Then on the last full shift, Aaron and Sab, who had been working for Sarah and me for the six years we’ve been at our current pub, gave us all manner of great things as parting thank you gifts and one of these things was a flower. Don’t ask me to name it but it’s the picture above (not the best photo I've ever taken). So without having to go out and buy a flower to complete the challenge I stuck with Aaron and Sab’s leaving flower.

The first thing I noticed was, and I think this must be the same for all flowers depending on size and colour, is you need to find the right location in your home that suits their personality. Of course I’m not a flower person but this was what I first noticed. If I’m wrong then this must be the inner hippy in me coming out. Anyway I struggled to find the right location. The window sill seemed a good place but there was always the danger of Bobby’s tail knocking it off when he got excited (he’d done this before with a bonsai tree – what a mess) and it doesn’t take Bobby too much to get excited.

Second thing I noticed was how intricate and colourful it was. There was an added depth to my thinking about flowers because usually I don’t give them a second thought. I was starting to warm to it like it was something that was having a real effect on me and it was becoming part of the family and I needed to care for it.

The third thing I noticed was I wanted to give it a name. I came up with the name Happy because it just looked happy. Whether the naming had anything to do with the memories and relationship I had with Aaron after we worked brilliantly together for thousands of hours of toil laced with a million laughs and truth, I couldn’t say but ‘Happy’ was now its name.

The fourth thing I noticed about Happy was she was definitely a ‘she’. Are all flowers a she?

The fifth thing I noticed was I started to worry about Happy. Totally insane, I know. Maybe this had something to do with the maelstrom with my personal life and the change I was going through. Very strange, why was I worrying about her? Scared she would eventually die and there wasn’t anything I could do about it?

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that flowers are beautiful things to have in your home (as long as you don’t worry about their longevity) and having Happy around reaffirmed my belief that I’m as deep as the ocean, moody, tough and yet fragile with loads still to learn about myself and the world around me.

All in all an interesting challenge that took me too deep parts within myself and left me with lots to digest. I must go now, Happy needs watering (I think).

Oh yeah, for anybody wondering what Bobby made of all this, this is what he thought…

It’s dog’s life

Mark Cuddy

Someone who learned to wake up


Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
almost 5 years ago
good luck with the next adventure buddy!
Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
almost 5 years ago
Cheers Chris. Who knows what the future holds, it's exciting but also a little scary too. Autopilot is defo nowhere to be seen. Maybe he's gone the shops to buy some flowers, you never know with that fellow! All I know is I need to find some focus. Take it easy and thanks for your comments.
Go to the profile of Vanessa
almost 5 years ago
Hi Mark, Happy is an orchid. She doesn't like direct sunlight or too much water. She will eventually flower again after that stalk finishes 😄. Good luck with the new adventure!
Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
almost 5 years ago
Thanks for that. I've now put Happy where I wanted to in the first place (on the bookcase out of the sunlight) but was worried she needed sunlight. Yeah-yeah thanks for the advice.
Go to the profile of Jacqui
almost 5 years ago
Good luck with the next part of your adventure Mark! Enjoy Happy the Orchid!