Tuesday, 28 February 2012

How to have a productive day

Ever get to the end of a day and think "What did I do with myself?!" We have so much pressure on ourselves to always be doing something, accomplishing something, ticking something off that never ending to do list. We often forget to look after ourselves in the meantime. I find this especially true if we live alone, and have the potential to spend all day inside, doing nothing, and not communicating with a sole. So here is my guide for making you feel productive in both mind and spirit.

1. Go outside. Especially if it is a sunny day - nothing makes a day feel more wasted than seeing blue skies out your window and it getting dark and you realised you didn't bask in it. But even if it's crappy weather - go outside. Breath in the real air (I would say fresh but I'm a city gal...) look up at the sky, ideally walk around something that's green. Even just sitting on the back step at night and looking at the stars for 5 minutes will help you reconnect with the "real world"

2. Talk to someone. Anyone. The local shop owner, the old couple you walk past in the park, the person next to you on the bus. Just a simple "How are you today?" and a smile will make you feel great - and them feel even greater. One of my best moments that made me smile not to long ago was the following random interaction.

Me: (Walking down the street at night, tired, cold and deshevilled)
Random man: Cheer up love!
Me: Its cold!
RM: You're cold - look at me (points at bald head)
Me: Get a hat then! *Cheeky grin*
RM: *Giggles*

Still makes me smile!

3. Communicate with a friend. Ideally this would be a face to face talk as above but even a phone call, text exchange or skype chat will remind you there are people in the world that care about you and love you.

4. Tick something off that list. Doesn't have to be huge, doesn't have to be major but just mentally score a line through one thing. Hang that picture, do a load of laundry, take those books to the charity shop. Whatever it is - do one thing.

5. Take some time to do "nothing" without feeling guilty. I say "nothing" in inverted commas, because all too often when we take time to read a book, watch a movie or catch up on our TV shows this feels like "wasted time" - time that could have been better spent....doing laundry or something. BS. Take time to enjoy the things  you like, and allow your brain some down time.

A few simple tips, but if you do all of those in one "lazy do nothing" day - you'll find you've actually done quite a bit.

Now...how to incorporate that into my job....

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Winds of change

There's a smell in the air. A smell of nostalgia....and sadness.

I don't know what it is or what's causing it, but I've noticed it on the last few evenings of my walk home.

At dusk, just after the sun has set and the workday has ended, I'm met with a smell laced with a hint of memories.

I can't quite place what memories - my orafactory sense isnt quite engaged.

But there is wistfulness and sadness in there. Of lost loves and friendships gone and happy go luckychildhood memories.

It's probably causes by the weather, the wind and the changing seasons. That combined with this time of year which in my mind has always been the beginning. Just as the days are noticeably longer, and spring is just around the corner yet it's still dark and cold enough to justify a sense of melancholy.

Who knows....maybe the dementors are about? Seeing as all i can think about is getting home to a massive mug of steaming hot chocolate it's more than likely.

But whatever it is - it's very strange. And only really seems to hit me when I'm outside at this time of day.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

A song can sing 10,000 words

Todays blog post, brought to you by the words of others - song lyrics that fit my current state of mind.

Of all the things I believe in
I just want to get it over with
Tears form behind my eyes
But I do not cry
Counting the days that past me by

I've been searching deep down in my soul
Words that I'm hearing are starting to get old
Looks like I'm starting all over again
The last three years were just pretend and I say

Goodbye to you

Goodbye to everything I thought I knew
You were the one I love
The one thing that I tried to hold on to

It doesn't matter what I want
It doesn't matter what I need
It doesn't matter if I cry
Don't matter if I bleed
You've been on a road
Don't know where it goes or where it leads

It doesn't matter what I want
It doesn't matter what I need
If you've made up your mind to go
I won't beg you to stay
You've been in a cage
Throw you to the wind you fly away

It doesn't matter what I want
It doesn't matter what I need
It doesn't matter if I cry
Doesn't matter if I bleed
Feel the sting of tears
Falling on this face you've loved for years

I'm so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave
I wish that you would just leave
Your presence still lingers here
And it won't leave me alone

These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have
All of me

...And just so you all know I'm not about to go slit my wrists or anything ;)

You weren't there,
You never were,
You want it all,
But that's not fair,
I gave you life,
I gave my all,
You weren't there,
You let me fall.

No, no, no, no
I don't want you tonight,
You weren't there,
I'm gonna show you tonight,
I'm alright,
And you're a tool,
And your a tool,
So, so what,
I am a rock star,
I got my rock moves,
And I don't want you tonight!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Life is in an ever changing state of flux - that's just the way of it. Whether we like change or not, things can never stay the same way forever.

I'm finding (and perhaps this is just me) that as I get older, things change so much the faster though. In the last 5 years for example things have changed so constantly, so quickly and so many times over that it makes my head spin just thinking about it.
And what has got me onto this train of thought? Hearing news of old friends and then being prompted to look back at old photos. Photos of friendships that at the time were the biggest reliable constant I have ever had outside of my family. And I find myself getting very nostalgic and sad looking at them. I think at a time of so much change in my life...at a time where I am coming out of a total....sandstorm of change and landing somewhere very different from where I thought I would be right now, I cast my mind back to when times were "simple". And for that I almost have to chastise myself a little. Remind myself about this post that I wrote in a moment of inspiration. I guess it doesn't help knowing that that's where I should've been right now too.

But the thing is it WAS simple then. Maybe what makes me sad right now is that my current perception of that group of people is that their lives are still...very much the same. Moved on sure, little bit older, little bit wider, but nonetheless all very similar (to an "outsiders eyes" at least) to 4 or 5 years ago.

I keep telling myself that life goes on, things change, and often even when its scary change leads to new and exciting things. But I tell you, I am a creature of habit. Right now there are too many things that are "new and exciting" (read as "difficult and scary") and what I wouldn't give for some familiarity and a flash back to being a carefree teenager where my biggest problems were "does he like me/does he not?"

No wait....got that thrown in too right now for good measure. To be honest, that's all part of the "new/difficult/exciting/scary aforementioned issues....scrap that for an idea then. Perhaps back to a time when that was at least my ONLY if not biggest problem. Despite what my angsty teenage mind would often concoct!

Please don't get me wrong. This is not an equally angsty "woe is me" pity party post. Instead just a reflection on a slight sadness that there is so much changing, so much going on and all I want is for a few carefree days just hanging out on Wanstead Flats gossiping and kicking a football around.

It doesn't help that some of my closest friends are so many thousands of miles away, and also have so much to contend with at the moment. I think we would all kill for a few days in the sunshine acting like 15year olds. Hell screw that, a few days away from all adult responsibilities eating ice-cream but also drinking cocktails because we're adults now and can do that!

I suppose I really do sound like an ungrateful brat because I have SO many wonderful friends right here, friends that I see and talk to often and love beyond belief. Friends that in the "grand scheme" are pretty new but are valued so much the more for it. Anyone ever notice how its really hard to make new friends as an adult? Its just with all this "grown up crap" that we all have to contend with there is a very limited time for carefree hours spent doing absolutely nothing, and talking about nothing of importance.

I'd like to end on an especially poignnt or thoughtful note....but I got nothing. So instead I shall leave you with this...

What's better than a cat purring contentedly on your lap? Two of them :)

Friday, 3 February 2012

"You have no power over me"

People think the hardest bit after a break up is immediately after. The pain and suffering, and everyone clamors round then. Then over time they think: “she's ok”. But it's not the hardest bit.  The hardest bit is coming to terms with just how much you've lost, which takes weeks or months. And worse than that even is watching the person you adored more than anything change; becoming somebody that you used to know. 

To see their behavior change so drastically....or maybe it's not their behavior that changes, just our perceptions. Because they are no longer someone we love and cherish-maybe we now see so many behaviors’ that weren’t there before.   Right now I'm not sure if I choose to believe that. I know what I saw in the man I loved. And now what pains me so is how different he is now.   And I hate him for that. I hate that he has proven right every stereotype about people who drink. I hate that he continually said how selfish he was capable of being, and I refused to believe it - showed him in so many ways how he wasn't...only to be proven wrong time and time again. I hate to admit that maybe MY judgment was off? That I was so so wrong.  And I hate to tell you this...but you did become just like my father. Not in the drinking. But in the selfish, reckless, self destructive behavior. The crying of "woe is me" only to reject anyone that shows love or affection.   I wanted to help you. Maybe in a deluded martyred way, I wanted to "save you". I can’t do that. Only you can. If you choose to.  And if you don't that's your loss. Because I trust my judgment. And I saw the spark of a soul that has the ability to love, and be tender, be creative and giving. I saw someone who could've set the world alight if he chose to.   And what do I get in return for my positive judgment and for seeing what could be there?  Loneliness, self hatred and a feeling that it was me that was never good enough or gave enough or loved enough. Because through my pain I was still able to offer you the glimmer of hope you needed to pull you back from the edge. A small gesture of things done that are remembered, loved and appreciated. And in your self-destructive pity you can't even comprehend the idea that maybe I needed something like that too, or that I needed a friend. Nope. You just continue worrying about number 1 and just how "fine" you'll be. You're good at that. And let's face it.  Nobody else is going to be worrying about you.
I just hope this time that when I say “I’m done” and that  – I’m able to stick to that and truly mean it. Because I need to be able to do that, for my own sanity.