Category Archives: positive thinking

Oscar, The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful.

Congratulations to Eddie Redmayne on his recent success at the Oscars, even more so when you look at the competition he was up against.

The amazing potential an award like this can bring to highlighting the plight of people suffering with not only Motor Neuron Disease, but other physically and emotionally crippling ailments, is huge. I wonder how many people had never even considered the life Prof. Stephen Hawking had before this illness wreaked its havoc on him. Do they look at him differently now?

Will they stop and think on the next time they talk over someone in a wheelchair like they are not there, or  s p e a k  v e r y  s l o w l y  in the company of an elderly person. Don’t think so.

One film cannot turn the tide all on its own, but it can shine a light on how much we all need to look beyond the outer packaging of our souls, at what actually counts in a person, and the movie industry shows us the flip side of that right now. In ” 50 Shades,” we have women, all over the world, ready to surrender all common sense and dignity, and why? Because Christian Grey is “gorgeous”, of course!

And this is all celebrated on an evening where every aspect of the actors/actresses appearance is scrutinised to the tiniest detail; where not a smidgen of fat or less-than-perfect skin is on show. Regardless of their acting abilities,if any of these lads or lasses couldn’t cut it on the red carpet they might be waiting a while on the next script dropping through the letter box.

I don’t believe Hollywood is about to change its beauty obsessed culture any time soon, but the rest of us need to wise up about it all. Real folk don’t come with air-brushing!

Another Hat-Trick in Own Goals Ladies

So Esther Mc.Vey was being pushed on whether or not she had ambitions to be Prime Minister some day. Eventually she admitted she would, adding.

“It’s about women, the motivation is women.”

No Esther, please! If you want to be Prime Minister it should be about doing your best for every man, woman and child in Britain. For goodness sake, take your bloody gender OUT of it!

Declaring her ambition may not have been the wisest political move, but, having taken the leap, don’t then justify it with the “It’s for the women,” card.

Money, Money, Money

I suppose this naturally follows on from last nights blog, but I have to wonder how, when I am happily de-cluttering and shedding a lot of the “brilliant buys” of my yester-years, I am still able to spend even more money on adjusting to the more minimal, no-fuss, modern look??

Now, for those of you that know me, you probably don’t wonder about that at all. You already know how easily I spend my own money, and have on occasion spent quite a bit of yours as well.(all in a good cause though)

But seriously, it is amazing just how expensive it is to have a house that looks as if it is almost empty! Your old country pine furniture just won’t do apparently ( according to all the best magazines) and you have to change to the super-sleek, high-gloss, no-visible-way-to-open-the-bloody-doors/drawers type of furniture. And the funny thing is, the more plastic-looking, basic, block type it is the higher the price. I think it’s another case of the Emporer’s new clothes and we are all afraid to call it for the racket it is.

Well, I am going to feel that fear!

Forget the “New Look” for my house; the “New Colours”, “New Fabrics”, “New” this, that and loads of the other. It’s my home, not a fashion accessory. Along with all the useless, unloved clutter, I am going to ditch a lot of the hype about how my home should look, and instead enjoy the feeling of warmth, safety and sanctuary.

And now, as more and more clutter disappears I can fall in love again with my country pine and wait for it to be the “New Look” again. I’ll be way ahead of you. Cutting edge; that’s me!

Lighten The Load

Friends of mine are getting ready to sell their house and I have watched, week after week, as they get rid of “stuff” in preparation for the move. Mmm, I thought. So, I came home and looked around, looked at what I would have to pack up if I was to move house.

I have only moved once since getting married and having three children, and when I think about the amount of rubbish I carefully wrapped and packed and then paid (dearly) for a removal company to haul for me, well, it takes my breath away. To avoid making a decision about an item I just brought it with me and, only recently, we found three still unopened boxes of goods in our garage that have been there for eleven years. Boy, they were really important weren’t they!

But it’s not all about changing location. There is a beauty and a clarity to ridding your home, your environment, of items that serve no purpose and drain you of energy by clogging up your cupboards, your wardrobes and, most importantly, your mind. So throw it out.

I have bought all the “storage solutions” on the market, from vacuum bags to pretty wicker baskets and I may as well have thrown my money down the drain. As soon as I store the damned things I instantly forget about them, so, if I do need whatever it is again I end up buying another one!  So throw it out.

Another friend, who is a counsellor and a very good one, reckons we spend the first half of our lives accumulating “stuff”, believing this equates to success and happiness. Then, if we are lucky, we gain a certain wisdom/insight, and spend the second half of our lives trying to get rid of that very same “stuff”, having realised that goods, property, possessions, call it what you will, are usually impediments to true happiness and contentment.  So throw it out.

So I have started slowly. It’s a hoot. I have found things I didn’t even know I had, never mind lost. I threw them out.(donated them). I opened bags of clothes and bags given to me “just in case I could use them”, so I threw them out ( donated them).

Forget your Victoran clutter. You can have my share of it. This is so liberating. Clear spaces equal a clear mind. I even have a place for my car keys now!!

Here’s To Fresh Starts

Sunday is the start of a new week. We miss that a bit nowadays with shops open as it seems like just another day. But it’s not; it’s a chance to let go of last weeks frustrations and start a new one with a new and different outlook.

Someone very close to me has just broken up with her boyfriend and he is moving out to-day. It had been bad for a long time but that doesn’t take all the pain out of the finality of this move. But I asked her to think of it as a new and fresh start to not only her week, but her life. All credit to her, she has tried hard and is happy to say she has some hope and a little excitement about the opportunities now open to her.

I have neglected my health and well-being for a long time now and looks like that neglect has lead to an ulcer, causing a lot of pain, nausea and fatigue. I had been feeling really low about it all. But I’m looking out the window now at a crisp and bright Sunday morning and this is a fresh start for me too. It’s time to practice what I preach and value my health and body more than I have to date.

It’s all about perspective, about what you can do, not what you can’t have.

Love Letters Straight From The..?

I was listening to the radio and, just in case some of you have been on the moon for the last week or so, guess what; they were talking about love letters, Valentine’s Day etc blah, blah.

The guy then started discussing how Johnny Cash’s love letter to his wife has just been voted the most romantic love letter of all time. Now I dislike these kind of “Top 10” things a lot. It is all so subjective and with this topic, even more so. Having read the letter I think it certainly is beautiful, but also very easy for a lot of people to relate to. However I would question it coming out above Keats for example; but that’s just my opinion.

What DID make me laugh and stare at the radio however was the DJ’s next line. Here goes, almost verbatim,

“Well his( Johnny Cash) letter obviously came from the heart, but if we are sending a person a love letter should we write what is in our hearts?”

I stared for a moment, then thought “Que?”

Was he trying to provoke? Was this more profound than my poor brain cells could cope with?

I listened on. No. He was actually just blowing it out his ass!

Most of us can barely manage a text nowadays. We send e-cards rather than write and post the old card varieties. So, if you sit down with pen and paper to commit your feelings for someone you love to “hard copy”, are you going to expend that energy on some half-hearted, meaningless and trite collection of words? I doubt it.

The words should be a personal reflection of what that someone special means to you and there is only one place that stuff comes from, the heart.

Friends.

I have written many times about my wonderful friends, or my extended family as I consider them. So, it is with a very heavy heart that I now write about a friendship that has waned after many years and many hurdles to overcome.

Funny, but the times of hurdles and shared stressors were a breeze compared with, what should be, a more peaceful time; a time to share a few of the things we had hoped for through all the years. But, maybe that’s the point; perhaps that was all we ever had in common.

There has been no falling out, no arguments; just a distance and a sense of being in the company of a stranger. I embrace that our personalities keep on changing, evolving and, perhaps, by the time we kick the bucket we have become more of the person we hoped to be, but, inevitably I suppose, some of our friendships will not last the course. There is no right or wrong, just different.

But it is sad, and I miss my old friend, terribly.

However, this is where loving someone comes in. Whether or not we see much of each other, or agree with each other, or share the same problems any more; if she needed me, any time, any place, I would be there.

True friends may move in and out of your life, but they will stay in your heart forever.

Just Smile and Tiny Tweaks….

I am the first to say I don’t go for this type of thing, but honestly, this is so worth watching. Actually it gets off to a shaky start and Amy seems to be suffering from dry mouth( stress perhaps), which I found odd as the message was about confidence and how we communicate that to others. But stay with it.

Amy goes on to share a very personal experience, something I found very moving and I judged her to be completely sincere in everything she said. The audience believed her too and responded very positively to her generosity of spirit.

I have heard parts of this discussion before and agree that the act of smiling is one of the most simple and effective things we can do to relieve stress and lift our mood. And completely free! That’s the kind of therapy I like.

Be careful when you practice this though. I was in a real stinker of a mood one morning on my  way into work, getting worse by the minute as I sat, stuck in traffic. I remembered about the ” Just Smile” idea and wanted to shift my mood before affecting anyone else so, with a great deal of effort, I put on my favourite “happy” music and pulled my mouth up from my boots, into my biggest, bestest smile….. And scared seven shades of daylight out of the guy in the car beside me! I think he reckoned I had lost the plot and was about to carry out some kind of mayhem. Oh well, you can’t win them all.

Anyway, like I say, I really think this is worth your time and I would love to know if you agree.

Risky Business.

It’s love of course! Perhaps it should carry a health warning.

In my youth I had no selection process at all, I just loved without question and suffered the consequences, the hurt, when it came along. As I get older I have become aware of keeping the “essence” of me, my soul, safe in my relationships with others. But how can I love with the “safety” on?

Am I now going through life carrying out risk assessments before I decide to invest in loving someone or not? And for those I already love, am I taking a part of me back; holding it in safe-keeping?

Well, I still do love, very much, but with different levels of expectation. I love now in a simultaneously selfish and selfless way; selfish in that I give what I can of me, and selfless in that I give it without demand for anything in return.

The all or nothing approach to love is too exhausting and yet too limiting to be sustainable, and laden with disappointment.

I am thankfully long past the naive love of my teenage years, where I imagined all kinds of perfection in those I handed my heart to, and thank God. What a recipe for disaster. Now, I take people for what they( we) are, flawed human beings; and if those flaws are ones I can cope with, and the positive in them offsets any negative aspects, then great.

I haven’t dropped my standards. I just love those I do in a “perfectly” accepting and embracing way.

Snow is Falling…….La, La,La, La

Oh, sorry, I think I’ve missed the boat a bit. It’s just with all the talk of the snow we are due to get  I think I’ve regressed a month.

Folk in America have been warned to stay indoors, avoid unnecessary travel, stock up on basic provisions etc, etc. So it’s time to pull up the drawbridge for the next week or so for them.

The UK is due to get more than usual snow, nowhere near as much as America, but still, enough to cause some disruption. And so the moaning and complaining is rife.

If this was all happening in the run up to Christmas would we deal with it differently? Wouldn’t we reckon it came with the territory and just add it to the list of things to cope with.

But, come January, the tinsel is long gone, the credit card bills are in and we watch for the stretch in the days with bated breath. We are done with winter and just long for the suns warmth on our skin again. Our patience with nature is wearing thin.

Sadly we spend our time living for the highlights, the holidays, birthdays, Christmas, whatever; so much so that, to an extent, we become irritated with the in between bits. But that’s where the majority of all our lives happens.

I’m watching the snow fall now and loving the fact it makes my tatty, untidy garden look so pretty. If it slows down my travel tomorrow it will give me more time to notice the journey.

And when the snow is long gone I hope that effect stays. Enjoy your journey.