Challenge:Clare is a lifestyle blog aimed at women aged 28-45. In particular, women, who are seeking solutions to help them manage the life challenges they face in a positive way.
Challenge:Clare is all about seeing challenge in a positive way. As a force for change, development and achievement. So that women can; be challenged, be happy and live the charmed life they deserve.
The blog features inspiration, guidance and advice relating to a broad range of topics that generally speaking, can pose a challenge! Family, work, finances, health and wellbeing, creating a home, personal style and even working out how to make the most of funtimes, can all take their toll!
I am the first to admit I live a very charmed life, (as my lovely sister describes it)!
I live in rural Gloucestershire with my partner, sons and our cocker spaniel Trigger. My day job is Lead Teacher of Humanities at a Pupil Referral Unit a demanding but very rewarding job! We own our own home, have a very comfortable lifestyle and in my spare time I get to socialise, write, travel, try new things and generally chill out… My worries are few…
Often, I pinch myself, because it hasn’t always been this way, it’s been a bumpy ride.
Starting with leaving home aged 16 I have faced a number of significant challenges over the years; becoming a teen mum, parenting children with significant additional needs, separation, university, surviving on a low income, building a career, step-parenting, redundancy, relocation, debt, bereavement…
The past 20 years of my life have been at times a massive roller coaster, one challenging situation after another. Seriously, Eastenders, has nothing on me!
It’s been tough.
There were times when it genuinely didn’t faze me. Yes. sometimes I hit lows, who doesn’t? I would think seriously?! Really?! Again?!!
Overall, I was and still am pretty good at handling whatever crap life throws at me and trying to turn it to my advantage. I have always tried to have a positive attitude towards challenging situations. My mantra was always ‘I’m good at challenge!’
A friend of mine once said ‘I don’t know how you do it… You keep on falling into the shit but you manage to come out of it smelling of roses!!’ and to be fair it’s a pretty accurate description of my late teens and twenties! Mostly, these were challenges forced on me. But, somehow, I managed and benefited from them!
I often wonder just how exactly I have managed to achieve this ‘charmed life’ that I have… I’m really blessed with pretty well-adjusted, happy kids, a successful relationship, good career, I’m a homeowner and I have a pretty great lifestyle… All achieved in the face of some pretty difficult circumstances.
Was there something in my ability to manage difficult experiences and circumstances? Has it come at a cost?
It’s a difficult question to answer
Personally, I believe that ‘Challenge’ is the reason for my charmed life. But it has come at a cost, and at times my physical and mental health has suffered.
As a result of my experiences, I am passionate about the idea that actually ‘Challenge’ can and will make you happy. But only if you ‘own it’ and are challenged on your own terms and through your own choices.
So, I started to think about how I could use my experiences and my ability to handle a challenge, in a more structured and focused way, to achieve even more in my own life.
As the idea evolved I thought that perhaps I could document the challenges I currently face and my previous experiences in a blog. Sharing these experiences and strategies with others, to help them manage their own personal challenges more effectively, so that they can get to live the life they want to.
And so, Challenge:Clare began! You can read some more about my thoughts on ‘challenge, here
Thanks so much for stopping by, I really hope that what you find here is useful to you. Feel free to make contact, I’d really love to hear your thoughts!