Category Archives: Easy Living

Faking It

Have you ever sat in a room where there is lots of laughter and hilarity and people are obviously having a great time, and yet, even though you are smiling and chatting, you wish with all your heart you were anywhere but there? It’s like the room is closing in around you and all you can hear is joined up noise; no individual words, just one ear-splitting clamour.

You want to gather yourself up and make for the exit, find your car and get home as fast as you can. But you can’t. This is a big night out, so you might have a drink and so you didn’t bring your car. You can call a taxi, but it’s Friday night and you will have to wait for ages. So you sit it out and wait for your lift, which is now an hour away. And you fake it. And for all you know, the person sitting next to you could be faking it too.

That’s a big dose of faking, but we do huge amounts of it on a small-scale every day. If any of you are “Charlie Brown” fans you will remember the noise his teacher made and this keeps popping into my head at various times. Times where you could replace the words being spoken in a conversation with “Blah, blah, blah” and neither party would either notice or care. We just seem to disconnect, leave the room mentally if not physically, wanting to be somewhere else.

Okay, so everything doesn’t have to be deep and meaningful. You don’t have to gaze into the eyes of the shop assistant as you pay for your groceries, paying dutiful attention to every word spoken. But at a time where we are being bombarded with instructions on how to be “mindful” in our everyday lives, are we so busy listening to our own self-talk that we can’t really be assed listening to others?

Cold Comfort

As I approach the counter a mixture of dread and excitement are doing battle within me. The old favourites, chocolate covered and sugar-coated, are there. I place my coffee order and hear a voice saying, “No thank you.”

It takes a second for me to realise the voice was my own. Brilliant, another small victory. Like anyone trying to break damaging habits I am learning to take it a day, and as with now, a confrontation, at a time. As I am confronted with my old problem areas I prepare for those old feelings with my newer and stronger desire to improve on where I am now.

Not exactly mantras, just healthier mental processes, run through my mind, coupled with a realisation that these calorie-laden, body and soul damaging confections are not a “warm pair of arms to comfort me”, as I have often quoted as explanation in the past. They are cold comfort, temporary solace and a ball and chain around my ankle, never letting me fly, to become all I want to be.

I am not trying to say that losing weight is going to cure all ills in my life, but just dealing with an old issue such as this has already given me courage, and repaired my somewhat shaky confidence enough, to enable me to look at other things that need work.

Stuff, whatever your stuff is, is never an answer, but it is usually easy; at least easier than dealing with all that ails us, until it becomes the most pressing issue of all.

The inanimate lump of sugar, fat and flour lies on the shelf and, for this trip at least, I win.

Just Go With It

I heard myself lamenting the other day about how the lousy summer was going to make for a long winter. Well, I’m sorry. This is the kind of stuff I berate others for, and now, here I am buying into it. Well, no more.

I went for a lovely drive today and noticed the start of the wonderful, warm gold and red hues of the leaves on the trees and other indicators of the shift in the season, from late summer to early autumn. It was quite simply stunning. We have four seasons, not two, and if you bear this in mind, then even the worst aspects of each is transient.

When you feel stuck, like nothing can change, then look to nature. Just take time to notice the shortening of the days, the changing colours, temperatures and insect and wildlife activity. And when you think you have gotten used to the new look, guess what , it will be time for it to change again. Nothing in nature actually stays the same, including us. So just go with it.

Stop resisting change. Embrace it and make it work for you.

I am happily thinking of my warm, soft winter woolies that hide a multitude of sins, my comfy boots that sooth my sandal-ravaged feet, the log fires to warm me and mulled wine to comfort. I will worry about the frosty morning starts, slippery footpaths and weather-induced travel delays when they happen. That’s soon enough.

Stressing about things we cannot affect, cannot change, diverts our attention from the potential happiness right in front of us.

Where Is Our Positivity Button?

Seriously.

Yeehaa, I am dieting again. Big shock I know. But…..big shock, it is working. I mean really working.

My “positivity button” is switched to on and things are going well. I feel great.

Then, as is my way, I got to thinking. Where the hell is this bloody button? I mean, why now? What stars are in alignment that makes this work for me right now. I suppose it’s a bit like kicking a hornets’ nest, but what happened at that very moment, that very second, when I just knew, accepted and actioned something that has tortured me for so long?

Wouldn’t we all love to know why the simplest, healthiest (physically and mentally) and often the most beneficial choices, cause us so much trouble.

I understand the strength of positive mental attitude, but I would love to find and understand its spark. The why and the how.

Or is this all part of being human; the human condition?

A friend told me I have a habit of over-thinking things so, with that in mind, I am just going to enjoy this current frame of mind and get my one size smaller clothes out of storage.

Bring it on!

Time Saving….

For what?..

I was cleaning my dishwasher earlier, remembering all the expert tips I have read on how to have the “Perfect” home and, funnily enough, bitching away as I was doing it. I reckon it took me as long to clean this bloody machine as it would have taken to wash the rotten dishes for the last week.

Anyway, it got me thinking. There are so many tips and tricks everywhere on how to save time that I got to wondering as to what we all do with this time.

Can you actually “save time”?  Doesn’t it just pass anyway? You can’t put it in a box and take it out later when you want it back again. It’s like my Weight Watchers Pro-Points; you can’t carry them over to the next day!

So make the most of it.

I prefer to take the same attitude to my time as I do with my money……spend it; spend it laughing with friends and family, reading great books, listening to heart-lifting music, watching the little birds and their antics in my back garden.

Time spent happily is time spent well.

Words

Where would we be without them?

Would we have developed another way of communicating, a better way possibly?

I often wonder because of the number of times when words, quite literally, fail me. It’s ironic how, with the vast increase in the amount of them flying through the atmosphere, whether by e-mail, mobile phones, Twitter, Facebook and all the squillions of other platforms, we all seem to understand less and less.

People could be speaking a different language going by how often I find myself completely lost as to what others want, need or expect from me.

“Oh, but I meant…..”, “Well, I hoped you would know………” , “But you should have guessed…….”

So, have words lost their meaning? Or are we just weary of them?

“A bad workman blames his tools,” they say and perhaps this is never more true than in this case. Words need more than a mouth to speak them; they need ears to hear them and a brain to process them, but, most importantly, a heart to understand them.

Ego, anger and resentment stifle them; twisting their meaning and distorting their sound. And yet in that joyous space, where love, kindness and warmth flow, they lift us out of the blackest of depths and transport us to our own kind of heaven.

Words can move nations to war then bring them back from the brink; they can break hearts, then make them whole again.

Seeing Is Believing….

And enjoying, and laughing and crying and hugging and touching.

A friend has just posted a video on Facebook highlighting something I have discussed before, but feel it needs saying again and again.

100’s+ “friends” on Facebook does not an embrace or belly-laugh or memory bank deposit make!

It should be a supplement to our friendships, not the soul source or mainstay of them.

I had a brilliant non-shopping, shopping day( yes that was deliberate) with a friend of mine yesterday and we laughed again at the days out we have had in the past with her sister; experiences I will recall with warmth and pleasure to the day I die. I want many, many more days like this; many more good memories to fall back on when things get tough.

Okay, we all have busy lives, but busy doing what?

Get your priorities right!

Get off your ass and get out to SEE your friends, your family, feel the air around you and pause long enough to let it sink in, re-charging your spirit with the joy it can be to be alive.

Teeny Weeny Talk

I was just reading an article on small talk and the article’s author “David Roberts. vox.com” describes how he really hates it. Perhaps it’s a male/female thing, but I can usually manage the hairdresser/nail technician/beauty parlour stuff; “Any holidays planned?” “Going out anywhere at the weekend?” kind of thing. I feel quite sorry for them having to listen to some of the crap to be honest.

What I don’t get, and completely boils my brain, is the minutiae, that stuff that is so small and insignificant most folk don’t even notice they do it, the teeny, tiny stuff, being broadcast to the world at such a relentless pace and seemingly without end!!

And before you go there , don’t blame it all on the kids of to-day. I have seen men and women, young, middle-aged and old enough to know better, battering away on their keyboards, telling the world and it’s mother how they have just cleaned their teeth, brushed their hair, emptied the bin, put the dinner on……blah, blah, blah.

Okay, okay, I’m a bitch!! What harm are they doing? Leave the poor souls alone, I hear you say.

Well, you see, my point is this; if they put the keyboard down and looked outside of themselves and their immediate vicinity for just a moment or three, they may well find something of genuine interest to them, something rewarding, something that may help fill that void in their lives that drives them to record the dross and miss out the big stuff, their lives, passing them by.

Remember that well-known saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”?

Well, don’t record it either!

And Finally…….

Just reading an article that explains how the rising temperatures in Australia are causing genetically male bearded dragon lizards to be born female.

Oooh, poor things and yes, I do understand this has serious implications, although the article goes on to say that these sex-reversed lizards can go on to reproduce, and even have more offspring than their genetically female counterparts.

Thing is, the previous news report tells us how Scotland could be in for a ground frost tomorrow morning and even some wet snow or sleet in some areas.

So get the thermals out again guys or the bearded dragons might not be the only species changing from male to female.

Aaah, the great British summer.

Mmmm, I Wonder…

I wonder if anyone actually enjoys spending time around those who wear their negativity loud and proud, who feel the rest of us owe it to them to bolster their self-esteem and “make them happy.”( as if ). How delusional do you have to be not to notice people recoil, break off conversation when you approach or wait until you are not quite out of earshot before uttering,

“What is it with her?”

Yes, it takes all sorts and around Christmas time I wrote a blog called “You get more with sugar than with salt,” where I talked about a man I had worked for in the not so distant past. He believed (and still does) that you get far more from folk by treating them fairly and with respect, a viewpoint I completely agree with and which contributed to such a positive working environment that going to work became a real pleasure. He gave off positive energy (most of the time) and usually got positive back.

Now, I would never pretend to be a modern-day Pollyanna, permanently cheerful and constantly “glad” about life, as you will see from my earlier blog in fact. But I have to wonder, as I said, about some of the joyless, life-sucking and toxic individuals I have encountered lately and what drives their mind-set.

I would love to think you could hold up a mirror to these folk, a mirror with the power to reflect back upon them all that they normally cast outwards, that they could then see and learn and understand.

Is it ever too late? Is it a learned behaviour or are some just born this way?

It may be loneliness, unhappiness, bitterness or disappointment. Who knows. Sadly it usually ends up, “Who cares”. I suppose our response depends heavily on our connection to them.

At what point, when I would find myself alone, without a friend or family, would I wonder,

“Was it something I said?”