Category Archives: Life Stressors

You Never Know

You don’t, ever.

Things and people you thought of as “forever” can disappear in the blink of an eye, often leaving a wake of hurt and devastation, whilst some quiet, unassuming folk can offer a strong, tender pair of arms to help and shelter you just when you need it most.

The older I get the more I seem to hear myself say, “But I don’t understand,” feeling both foolish and childish simultaneously.

Life is just too short, too precious, to spread so much hurt and annoyance.

I don’t understand.

So what do you do? What can I do?

I carry on. I hurt, feel sad, can’t be assed to do stuff, but I keep carrying on. The alternative is grim.

I start, very slowly, with something or someone in my life who warms my heart, and remember why it is good to be alive, even in the crappy times.

I Hate Grapes.

After months of putting-off, and one re-booking, I was really looking forward to my appointment with the kinesiologist (Alex) that came so highly recommended. As usual, I was going to be far too early so I stopped at a local convenience store to buy a magazine.

I didn’t have a fixed idea about what this lady was going to be able to do for me, except that I wanted to try something new, something that may help unlock certain problem areas in my life and allow me to move forward.

Well, move I did, but not forward.

I finished paying for my thick, glossy copy of Vogue and headed out of the shop…..and then it got me!  As I lay on the floor, reeling from both shock and pain, with kind people gathering round, offering many helping hands, a man stood up with something in his hand.

“There you are love. You slipped on this,” as he proffered the remains of a grape.

I hate grapes. I always have. Good for your health? I don’t bloody think so.

With voices asking for the manager to call an ambulance, I sat there wondering at the irony of it all. Here I am, attempting to shed feelings of angst, stress, fear and anger, to allow my life to progress in a positive direction and I wind up sprawled on a floor, my knee and hip throbbing, hoping I can manage to drive my car home. If there was a meter capable of measuring my stress level at that moment I think it would have exploded.

Could I possibly have sub-consciously tried to prevent myself getting to the appointment? Self-sabotage? Me?

I couldn’t accept that so, with the help of two very kind men, I hobbled out to my car and drove to see Alex.

It was everything I had hoped for. She was wonderful; kind and caring and I happily arranged for my next appointment.

But the thing is, I want this change, more than anything and not even a grape is going to stand in my way.

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?

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!

When Will I Grow Up?

Well, permanently I mean. There are times I feel it, feel like I have some of the answers, but usually when I am talking to someone half my age, or find myself part of the older generation at a funeral and thinking, “Uh oh.”  And is that not just feeling old?

Is this an actual stage or phase anyway? Or do we just learn to suppress our childish impulses from public view?

When I was a teenager( yes a million years ago now) I thought that being 30 meant I was grown up. It was as though when you got to this age you were taken to a room and shown the secrets of life, given all the answers to all the questions and delivered of sense and sensibility ( no, not the book). Then I got to 30, looked around me, examined my life and thought, “Oh shit, I think I know less now than when I was 18 and I understand absolutely nothing.”

I am 52 now and guess what, I still don’t know anything, but with one difference, I don’t care!  I think, feel, love, worry, hope, cry and laugh lots……..but I know nothing.

Does this make me a grown up?

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.

It’s Been A Funny Old Year…….So Far

I was lying in bed, thinking back over the first eight months of this year……and wow, how things have changed. The problems I had this time last year are as nothing now beside the events that came after; the dark and dismal summer seeming like a reflection of things going on around me.

It has been life-changing, but, as with most “big things”, good can come out of the ashes. CAN.

Because, as with most things, it’s about choice isn’t it?

I was talking to one of my wonderful friends last night and she told me about a “mantra” she has started using that has helped her enormously, in fact “freeing” her to enjoy where she is here and now.

” I am here, NOT because I need to be, but because I want to be.”

I watched her face as she told me about it and she is right. She looks happier, more empowered and certainly more in charge of her own destiny than I have seen her, possibly ever.

Life does change and some of those changes stink.

So what do you do?  You choose.

Make sure it’s what you want.

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.

Our Children

I hadn’t intended to do another blog tonight, but I have just watched one of those short films on FaceBook that made me think about the subject matter of my earlier blogs.

In the film a child is complaining( some might say whining) at her mum. The mother attempts to still the child and this resonated with me.

Is this when we start teaching our children about negativity? Is this when we start to instill the “glass half empty” mentality?

“Don’t go out in the rain, you’ll get wet.”

“Don’t speak out, people may be listening.”

Don’t, don’t, don’t!

Well then, they won’t, won’t, won’t.

They won’t try in case they fail, they won’t laugh in case they offend, they won’t ask for help for fear of anger.

Children are sponges for everything around them; their environment, their family and their friends are key in influencing their outlook on life.

Why not break the chain of negative reactions in a child’s life somewhere?

Show the children you know the good in life, the positive in life and invest in the healthy mental attitudes of tomorrows adults.