I am really excited to bring you these answers because they are from one of the most creative and talented people I have questioned so far. Angela is an artist, and a damn good one at that. She has recently launched her own Etsy storefront (there’s a link at the bottom of the post if you want to browse) and she has been created paintings, pottery, prints for many years. We are really fortunate to have three of her pieces around our home and hope to fill it with more in the future. They’re genuinely fantastic.
Angela is also a proud mum to three grown sons, and of course, a wonderful mother-in-law too. My wonderful mother-in-law, to be precise. She has raised three men who now live across the world in different countries, and all of them couldn’t think or speak better of her if they tried. Her ease of parenting and support and involvement in their lives even when they are miles and miles away is incredible to see. On top of this, her marriage of 30+ years is something wonderful because of the work and value they both place on it, and the true fun they have together. Her and Kevin’s strong relationship is something I hope to have after thirty years’ of being married too.
She has lived in four countries, the UK, Germany, Cyprus and Belgium, and is soon to be setting off on a belated ‘gap-year’ to New Zealand to experience even more of the world and travel as much as she can. I love this attitude Angela has when it comes to seeing new places, experiencing new things and diving into new cultures. You can read more about it below, but the way she embraces change and goes into everything with a true can-do attitude is inspiring and infectious.
Angela currently works for an Advocacy Charity, and I think that this is the perfect role for someone of her personality. It’s caring, it’s giving, and it requires dedication and support. She’s always one looking for ways to help and give back, such as when she volunteered in Belgium to support new mums, or at a Nursery in Scotland. But it also requires determination and drive. Something which I saw first hand as I watched her in Belgium care for her family, work long hours, have fun with us all and complete her degree at the same time.
In the decade I have known her, I have come to witness that Angela is genuine, caring, fun, creative and has lived a life many people wouldn’t have dared to. Honestly take a lot from the below, because we could all learn from being a little more Angela.
So here are her answers to my twelve questions:
What makes you happy?
What makes me happy is free-wheeling down a hill on a bike after drinking wine (We had just experienced exactly this in Switzerland at the time of my questions!)
What book had the biggest impact on your life?
It’s really hard question, as it depends on many things.
If I had to pick one, it’s a non-fiction book. This is going to sound really dodgy but it’s called Three In A Bed, but I got given it when I was pregnant with Kyran, and it really changed the way I dealt with being a mum. It helped me put things into perspective and I just relaxed.
It encouraged me to chill as a mum and just do what I felt was right rather than what everyone said I should do.
It focused on co-sleeping safely with your baby. Across the world in non-westernised society it’s the norm for a mother to always sleep with her child. However in the West it can be dangerous because of excess quilts, duvets and cushions. It showed me a way to co-sleep and it made such a difference and helped me trust more in my instincts as a mum.
What quote, or saying, do you live by?
‘Work to live, don’t live to work’
Life is really about making the most out of every day. I suppose the one thing I am not afraid of is change. I love change. Embrace the change.
I think that with change, it constantly challenges you, and it also keeps life fresh. To me there is nothing worse than routine and humdrum. Only thing I couldn’t change is my husband.
How do you remain, or regain, your focus?
To me it is living in the here and now.
Sometimes it is easy to be thinking about the future, such as for us about leaving for our travels in September, but I don’t do that and instead try and focus on what I am enjoying at this moment.
If I need to do something I don’t ignore it, I get it done whilst I need to and have the time to do it. If I don’t want to do it, I ask myself, do I have the time to get it done now.
I have learnt to do that by experience. When I have been left in a stressful situation with suddenly a birthday present, card, petrol and everything else to buy with no time. Makes life easier and less stressful.
What inspires you?
My children, you, their partners, my family.
There are so many different things which inspire me.
Social media sometimes does, as I see a photograph or read a blog which makes me really want to visit somewhere or do something.
Like I said before, I do think definitely my kids more than anything. They have gone off and made changes and adventures, and doing so much without a blink of an eye or worry, and I have just followed them and been inspired by it.
What are your top three priorities?
- Always family. Number one. Has to be family.
- Health, might sound boring, but if I have done things in moderation, at least I will get to an age and know I did my best and know I was healthy.
- My happiness. I am responsible from my own happiness. You can’t make anyone else responsible and it’s your responsibility to change it. It’s up to you. You can’t blame other people or what is going on in the world. Life is too short.
What’s the biggest misconception about you?
I would say that people think that I am naturally confident, but I don’t think that I am.
I think it’s more that I always had that attitude because I have always dealt with change due to our lifestyle. What is the worst that can happen? I might be absolutely terrified when I do things but I won’t let that stop me.
Do something that scares you every day.
What two purchases have you made this year that you really value / had most impact?
- Ticket to New Zealand. Because it’s a commitment to a massive thing that we are doing. We are going against the norm, not just trying to stick with a big house, jobs and all others, and saying no we are going to go out and do this. Not conforming we are going to do this. Always wanted to.
- A combination of experiences because we just haven’t been buying things to save for our big trip, so it’s things we have spent on experiences and travel rather than anything.
Top tips for someone who wants to do what you do?
You’ve got to be responsible for your own happiness. You don’t have to conform to the norm so don’t be afraid of saying well actually, I am not going to live the biggest house, and have the designer handbags and amazing car. If the job is making you miserable, look what you can do to walk away.
I know it’s not easy for everyone due to family responsibilities etc. but just don’t be afraid to go for it or for change, change can be a really good thing.
An unusual habit of yours?
I touch wood, and I do it even if I have something like a negative thought in my head.
What do you do every single day?
Normally I always draw. Every single day. If I don’t draw or do some art then I find I am craving it.
Angela has lived such an incredible life, with even more exciting travel and adventures just around the corner. So I would really take these snippets below and see what you can learn from them. I think she can teach us all a lot.
Her Key Advice:
- You’ve got to be responsible for your own happiness.
- Do something that scares you every day.
- If you need to do something don’t ignore it, get it done whilst you need to and have the time to do it rather than stressing when you don’t.
- Life is really about making the most out of every day. I suppose the one thing I am not afraid of is change. I love change. Embrace the change.
- Relax as a mum, trust your instincts.
If you want to follow more from Angela, you can see her incredible art over on her Etsy StoreFront here – https://www.etsy.com/shop/AWeirArt
Or you can follow her drawings, creations and more over on Instagram at @aweir_art