Is Something better than Nothing?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself over the last couple of weeks as my relationship with ‘scrabble friend’ has ended. We got to that same place we’d been in before where we realised that the whole time we were together neither of us was likely to meet someone else as we either didn’t look, or we compared everyone else to each other and they didn’t match up.

We talked about making a real effort to look for other people but I just couldn’t manage that. The thought of him telling me he’d found someone he wanted to pursue things with, and so our relationship would have to end, broke my heart; if the relationship had to end better to be now when we both cared for each other deeply than when I felt angry and bitter towards him. I think part of me wanted him to say we should give it a go and be more than friends with benefits, but I also knew that would never happen. I’m not sure if he knows it, but he has some ‘finding’ of himself to do before he gets to a place where he could make that commitment. He is still searching for someone he can settle down with and have children, I can’t offer him this, so unless he had a radical rethink it was obvious to me our relationship would never move beyond what it was. I loved what we had but wanted more. I want someone to share my life with, to come with me to see friends and family, someone who feels like my partner.

We discussed the situation, went round in circles and then realised that the most sensible thing to do was to say goodbye and cease all contact – because without that we would likely slip back to where we were. That was a couple of weeks ago and now I’m trying hard to cope with the aftermath of saying goodbye to someone who has been my best friend for a year, who I love very much and who I don’t regret one minute of the time I spent with him. He gave me a confidence I was lacking and I will always be grateful to him for that. We had a lot of fun together!

I’m in that place now where I feel like I have nothing and I wonder why I gave up what we did have. Should I have just let it continue and see what happened, isn’t something better than nothing? Maybe neither of us would meet someone else and we could have continued enjoying each others love and friendship. I know it’s unlikely and that we did what we did because it was the sensible thing to do, but sometimes being sensible sucks. I miss him loads and he was such a formidable scrabble opponent!

I’m alone again, questioning what my life is all about, whether I will ever get to a place where I feel content. I know being in a relationship isn’t the answer to all that. I see many people in relationships that don’t make them happy but they fear being on their own; I see how insecure those relationships make them and realise the longer they stay the harder it will be for them to leave. My friends tell me I’m strong for having the courage to end something that wasn’t right; I hope that’s true.

I would really like to find someone to share my life with, who is that ‘special person’ to me. I fear this won’t happen, that I’m destined to be on my own forever. I know it’s common to feel like that at the end of a relationship, the challenge is not to let myself sink so low that I go to that dark place of depression where it feels impossible to get out. I must think positively but it is hard as internet dating doesn’t seem to work for me and I don’t really meet anyone any other way. I’m trying to engage myself in activities to meet others but more importantly just to enjoy myself, but I’ve never really found that hobby that gets me excited. The more I question whether I will find anyone the more I wonder if something is better than nothing and if I shouldn’t have left things as they were because I miss my scrabble friend so much.

Tomorrow Never Comes!

I have learned that I am a great procrastinator! I have every intention on acting on my thoughts but always seem to put it off until tomorrow; and of course tomorrow never comes!

Procrastinators mislead themselves. They think things like, “I’ll feel more like doing this tomorrow.” Or “I do my best work under pressure.” But in fact they do not get the urge the next day or work best under pressure.

“Procrastination is like masturbation. At first it feels good, but in the end you’re only screwing yourself. ” -Author Unknown

In order to overcome procrastination it is important to identify why we procrastinate and address this issue.

Pamela Wiegartz, Ph.D. “In the Age of Anxiety Panic, compulsions, phobias, and more has devised a quiz to help with this.

“If you are wondering about the reasons behind your procrastination, take a look at the quiz below and see if anything sounds familiar.

Ask yourself:

1. When faced with a task, do you think of all the ways it could go wrong?
2. Do you picture how important people in your life might react if you failed?
3. Do you believe it’s better to not try at all than to try your best and fail?
4. Are you overwhelmed by the possibility of new responsibilities if you are successful?
5. Do you subscribe to the idea “If I do well, then others will expect more of me”?
6. Do you feel your success will lead to other people finding out the “real you”?
7. Do you believe that if you’re going to do something, you should try to do it perfectly?
8. Do you find it difficult to persist when things aren’t going just right?
9. Would you rather avoid doing something than do it imperfectly?

How you answered may tell you a lot about why you procrastinate. A “yes” response to questions 1 through 3 may mean a fear of failure is behind your procrastination. The thought of putting in effort but still failing makes you anxious, so you choose avoiding and procrastinating instead. In this way, when your project fails you can rationalize that it wasn’t a true test of your abilities anyway-if only you’d had more time.

On the flip side, a “yes” to questions 4 through 6, may mean you fear success, not failure. Procrastination protects you from the higher expectations and greater responsibilities that may come with succeeding. Like those who procrastinate because they fear failure, you keep yourself safe from facing your true limits by avoiding challenges and putting things off.

If you identified with questions 7 through 9, perfectionism may underlie your avoidance. Because you believe that things should be done perfectly, the result is that nothing gets done at all. When faced with a task, you become overwhelmed and frustrated-paralyzed by impossible standards.

While the reasons for procrastination may vary, the results are often the same-a seemingly endless cycle of anxiety, avoidance, and shame. Nothing gets done, and you can’t enjoy anything with that guilt hanging over your head. Maybe you play golf instead of working on your presentation, but the image of your glowering boss nags at you during the entire game anyway. You can never really relax because there is always something else you should be doing. Procrastination doesn’t work because avoidance doesn’t erase anxiety-it just delays it.”

Today I promise myself this, tomorrow I’m going to stop procrastinating and start doing!

"I'll finish this tomorrow!"

Another year over, a new one just begun….

Happy New Year to you all, may 2012 see our dreams realised and be a happy year for us all.

I always have mixed feelings at the beginning of the year. Part of me is excited at the prospect of a new year beginning. Moving into spring everything seems brighter and it is a time for setting goals, thinking about what we want to achieve and how we are going to go about doing that, it is a time for going forward.

The other part of me feels slightly depressed as I think about what I didn’t manage to achieve in the last year. We are still in the depths of Winter with a couple of months to go before it really seems as if we are coming out the other side. January and February are always tough months, the anti-climax now the festivities have finished, the lack of money following such extravagance and everyone seems to be on a detox, or fitness regime that puts me to shame!

I don’t make New Year Resolutions, if I do I inevitably break them and it just becomes another whip to flog myself with when I’m feeling low and I have enough of those already! I endlessly strive to be a better person – kinder to others, kinder to myself, fitter in mind & body and to undertake activities that are healthy and make me feel good! However, I’m very good at being a lazy, self depreciating couch potato so I’m not always as successful as I’d like to be!

The older I get the more I realise that a balanced life is a rewarding life. Without the downs I wouldn’t have the ups, if I did the things I loved most all the time they would become tedious & mundane and so an element of self depreciation is fine as long as I ensure I balance it with self appreciation too.

There are many beginnings throughout the year – the start of the new financial year, my birthday represents the start of a new year for me, the anniversary of starting my job; everyone will have events and landmarks throughout the year that can signify a new start. Each new beginning is a time to reflect and think about the future.

As 2012 begins I have things to look forward to this year that helps me to stay positive and hopeful. Many of my friends catch me up and will be hosting events to celebrate turning 40. We have the Queen’s diamond jubilee, and whilst I’m no royalist it will mean a day off from work and a coming together of the country which always feels good. We also have the Olympics and I have been lucky enough to get tickets for two events. Some of my family who live far away will be coming to visit which should mean a good fun reunion in the Summer. I have tickets to see Coldplay and the Stone Roses plus an exciting weekend reliving the 80’s with good friends. I am also sure there will be whole host of other events I’ve yet to plan but that will no doubt happen.

I am also hoping that this might be the year I meet someone who tickles my fancy enough to sustain a relationship with, but I also struggle to stay positive about this desire as it seems such a distant dream! That said, if New Years are about anything they are about dreams so I’m raising my glass to all and hoping that we realise our dreams this year, cheers and Happy New Year to all.

The Power of Positive Thinking!

I love to read; escaping into a good book is a wonderful way to spend time. I often find myself talking to people about what they are reading and try to read books recommended to me by others. I was at a party when a friend of a friend started telling me about a book she’d read that had inspired her to change her outlook on life. She urged me to read it, which is how I found myself reading “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch.

I am interested in religion but am not a religious person myself. I have over the years toyed with the idea of a God but have yet to be convinced. The book was not one I would usually be drawn to reading but I pursued it, interested to learn what had had such a profound affect on the woman I met.

On the whole there was much about the book that irritated me but I did take something from it. My understanding of what was being said was that we are all connected to God, the universe, each other, all part of one big entity. We have the power to make things happen by willing it to be that way, we have power to influence what happens to us in our lives through the power of thought. Hence, if you think that your life is shit, the universe will think this is what you want and so it will happen. Therefore, if you think about what you want in life and how you want to be, the same principle will apply and the universe will make it so. It is the power of positive thinking.

About a year later I had a Venezuelan student staying with me. She was very interested in a book called ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, again stating that it had impacted on how she was leading her life and she wanted to share this with everyone. I spent some time looking at the book and found that it was relaying a very similar message. The universe is governed by a natural law called the law of attraction. It works on the principle of positive thinking – you can think your way to a better life. According to Wikipedia the law of attractions works by attracting into a person’s life the experiences, situations, events and people that ‘match the frequency’ of the person’s thoughts and feelings. Therefore, positive thinking and feeling positive are claimed to create life-changing results such as increased wealth, health, and happiness.

My favourite quote comes from a calendar the student gave me and is now permanently stuck to my fridge. It says “You most likely know of someone who is think and eats like a horse, and they proudly declare, ‘I can eat whatever I want and I am always the perfect weight’. And so the Genie of the Universe says, ‘Your wish is my command!'”

The problem with this way of thinking is that if you are prone to depression and negative thinking, you immediately feel responsible for all the terrible things that have happened in your life, thinking that if only we had thought differently we may have been able to change what occurred! It is also another reason to feel badly about ourselves when we are in a negative place, understanding that we brought ourselves here with our thinking and we have the power to change that but feel unable to which feeds into all the destructive thinking that goes with depression.

In essence however, I do believe that the principle is right. Positive thinking does have an impact on how we feel and live our lives. I like how Diesel from Zazenlife.com says it in his two recent blogs “What are you really thankful for” and “Materialism: Attaching Emotions to Physical Objects” and would recommend checking them out.

As for me, I’ve decided that the reason for life is for living and as long as you are not hurting others then you should live your life the best you can in whatever way you choose. I find balance is the key to being happy, everything in moderation!