Time to let off steam: Things that annoy me!

People who just stop without considering who is walking behind them, it doesn’t take much to make sure you move out the way!

Parents who don’t want to talk to their children about difficult issues for fear of encouraging their children to experiment.  If you don’t talk to them be sure their friends and the internet will, so if you want to influence what they think you must TALK to them!

Colleagues who seem to think that work is like a school, a chore that must be done; don’t they realise they are paid to do a job and can always leave if they don’t want to work!

Internet dating when men exchange emails and seem enthusiastic but then never go to the next step; what is the point of that!

People who have only the speed of slow and stop; some people need to move quickly and will leave you behind if you don’t move more efficiently!

Parents who scream at their kids to stop screaming; do they not know children learn by what they see and hear not what they are told!

People who think their way is the right way; there are many different paths to the same goal, choose the one right for you, not the one someone else says is right, they are not you so don’t know what is right for you, only ourselves know that!

People who don’t seem to be able to leave things as they find them; for those of us who have minor psychological issues that means everything has to be in its place it is very difficult to understand how you can just leave the washing up, or not put the bath mat back correctly, or see the loo roll always has to have to paper facing out!

People who think they are experts when they have no clue at all, or change their opinions according to who they are with; a certain Jeremy on TV whose surname rhymes with vile springs to mind here!

People who think that the youth of today are worse than when they were young; don’t they know this is said by every generation and is sign that you’ve got old and forgotten what it means to be young

People who think that because they don’t like something then it’s wrong or unnecessary; just accept it’s not what you want but don’t criticise others for enjoying it

People who say ‘oh no I don’t have time to do that’ as if you have all the time in the world when they are so incredibly busy.  Why not admit that you don’t want to find time to do it, coz you can be sure you find time to do other things that you do want to do

Cupcakes that look absolutely magnificent but taste like shite; all food that fits into that category quite frankly!

People who question and judge my choices because they are not the choices they would make; they are not me, I wouldn’t expect them to make the same choices as me!

People who talk at me endlessly and don’t even ask how I’m doing; this is surely the way to lose friends and discourage relationships!

People who go on about what annoys them; how annoying is that for others!

For the love of Dog!

It always seems to cliche to talk about the weather, but sometimes it just needs to be done! The weather this weekend has been lovely, the sun has been shinning brightly and it lured me outside for a walk so I could enjoy it. While I was out I met so many dogs and their Owners, playing together in the sunshine and making the most of the outdoor space.

I long to have a dog, they are such great company and make going out for walks so much more fun. Unfortunately my current living situation and lifestyle make having a dog impossible. I sometimes feel resentful about this. I think that as I haven’t had children I should at least be blessed with a dog! It really isn’t possible at the moment. I don’t have enough space in my home, certainly no outdoor space which I think would be important. I also spend a long hours out of my home working and I’m don’t think this would be fair on a dog, they thrive on company and I’m not sure the cats would count as they would most certainly be very put out by the addition to their space!

I have always lived with cats, apart from a couple of years in college digs, and find them great company. I love their independence, the fact they choose to come back and live with me. I currently have two cats and they provide me with a lot of love and laughter. I know that I am in no position to have a dog but that doesn’t stop me from yearning for one.

When I was 14 years old we got a dog, she was a cross between a Labrador and a springer spaniel, she was a lovely good natured dog and I feel lucky to have had her around to comfort me when I was feeling blue. I remember fondly some wonderful walks with her and loved the fact she could accompany me to the shops or the pub; I could take her with me to visit friends, she really was a constant companion.

When I think about some of the children and young people I have worked with, who have experienced a number of different placements over their lives, each one stripping them of stability, I realise how overwhelming this must be. It struck me that if each of them had a pet that could stay with them then I think this would go some way to helping them maintain some stability in their life, which is one of the most important foundations required for a fulfilling life.

I am determined that at some point in my life I will have a dog. I will change my circumstances so that I can accommodate a dog and enjoy all the benefits this will bring. Until that time comes I will have to make do enjoying other people’s and keep on dreaming!

Heart versus Head – that age old dilemma!

I have always been ruled by my head. I used to wonder what people meant by being ruled by their heart, for me that seemed so illogical. People have described me as being a strong, intelligent, grounded, sensible individual (they have also described me as being an awful lot of other things too, some not quite so pleasing, but that’s another blog!). I’ve always thought that I’m viewed this way because I follow my head and don’t let emotions rule. I’m sensitive to people’s feelings but logic and rationale have always led my actions.

That is until now. Now for the first time in a long time I am having a head/heart dilemma and don’t know what the right thing to do is. Last July I met scrabble friend. He emailed me through a dating site suggesting that from our profiles he thought we would get on. I thought he was too young, lived too far away and pretty much represented everything I didn’t like in people. I emailed him a cut and paste email giving him the brush off. He responded immediately saying that he would have appreciated a personal response rather than a standard email. I found his cheek appealing, it seemed we were both online at the same time, so I sent him another email and before long they were flying back and forth as we started to get to know each other. To my surprise I enjoyed his conversation, had similar views to him and when he showed me his pic I found him to be cute, if not a little young looking!

We discovered a shared love of scrabble and it wasn’t long before we were meeting up on cam and playing scrabble on a regular basis. We had a real connection of minds, I felt I knew him from the moment we started talking together and although I have struggled all my life with trusting others, I trusted him. I have no idea why I felt this way but I just knew I was safe with him.

I decided that it might be fun to spend time with someone younger, that I might not find them intimidating and so would feel more open to exploring my sexuality. I have never been body confident and this has hindered my exploration of my sexuality as I didn’t feel I deserved to enjoy this side of myself. With this in mind I met up with scrabble friend and we started to enjoy having fun together and he truly helped me develop confidence in myself with regards to my body and sex.

We both agreed that we weren’t suitable long-term companions. He wants to meet someone he can marry and have children with, this is not my future. There was a time when I hoped it would be but I have long passed that phase and now I want to find someone who can bring out my adventurous side, help me to take risks, someone who passionately adores me and who I adore back. Someone I can travel the world with, whose mind I like, who knows me and loves me anyway!

There was a blip in our relationship when scrabble friend was unexpectedly, and if you ask me totally inappropriately, asked out by a nurse while visiting the dentist. She was bright and cute and he couldn’t resist her. Not to be hard done by I found myself a fireman and for a few weeks we were otherwise occupied, but checked in with each other regularly over scrabble. When both our relationships came to an end, we started spending more time chatting on cam and playing scrabble. Inevitably we decided to meet up and of course one thing led to another and we started having a sexual relationship again. Only this time round we agreed that we should both be free to date other people and look for our long-term partner, but that we would enjoy each others company until such time as one or other of us met someone else. We are both logical rational thinkers and this seemed like the sensible approach to take.

This has been working well. We have enjoyed each others company lots; when we’ve had a bad day we get on cam and talk about it, when we’re feeling in need of some company we meet up but if that’s not possible we get on cam and spend the evenings together playing scrabble and talking. It’s not unusual to start chatting at 5pm and have to make ourselves say goodnight at 1 or 2am. I have no idea what we talk about, other than knowing we’ve talked about anything and everything and there is nothing we can’t talk about. We communicate well and are very open and honest with each other. I truly love his company and find myself choosing this over other things in life, particularly dating. I think of all the awful people I’ve been on dates with and none of them are a patch on scrabble friend. The thought of spending even a few minutes with them when I could spend that time with scrabble friend is horrifying.

It seems neither of us have done anything about dating other people and quite frankly I don’t know where would we find the time given we spend all our free time with each other! Our we in a destructive relationship? This is a question we have begun to ask ourselves. Whilst we continue with how things are the chances of either of us meeting someone else is limited. I’m also mindful that the longer we spend with each other, the more attached I will become to him and the harder it will be when he meets someone else. My head tells me that I should end this relationship because it isn’t healthy for either of us. We are becoming emotionally attached to each other.

We talked about how I was feeling and scrabble friend acknowledged similar thoughts but said he was trying to put them aside. I’m not sure what happened, I’m usually someone who has quite a good control of my emotions and rarely let them cloud my judgement. However, the moment I came to the realisation that I had to let him go I felt intolerable pain, it was unbearable and I knew that there was no way I could let him leave my life. When he too thought about what ending the relationship meant he cried and told me he wasn’t ready for that happen. We spoke about how much we adored each other, how much we loved each others company and just wanted to spend time in it. I told him I was worried that the more time he spent with me and got to know me the more he would learn about my ‘madness’! He told me that he loved who I was and nothing could change that and he wanted to know all of me. We spent hours soul searching, trying to decide the best thing to do. We even discussed losing the sexual element of the relationship so we could just be friends as the thought of having nothing was just too hard to manage. We went round in circles, our heads telling us to end and our hearts not letting us do it. Neither of us had the strength to finish it, we both enjoy it too much and have both benefited so much from having each other in our lives.

I have spent years protecting myself from pain, keeping myself safe from the possibility of abuse and have struggled to take risks. Years of therapy has helped me understand why I have done this but it has also shown me that if I continue to do it I am going to miss out on opportunities to experience all the highs and lows of life that make it rich and help us develop. I have to learn not to over-think and trust that even though I might experience difficult emotions that feel overwhelming, I will manage them and get over them, I’m stronger and more together than I give myself credit for and I need to get on and live my life. For the first time in a long time I am experiencing fluctuating emotions and feel more in touch with my emotional side.

I’m taking a risk, I am going against my head and following my heart. Scrabble friend and me, I know it isn’t forever but it is for now and I want to enjoy that while it lasts.

All sprung clean!

This week I’ve had a good spring clear out and my home feels like it can breathe a sigh of relief again. I find it incredibly cathartic to put my home in order, getting rid of things that are just cluttering up the place, keeping things neat, tidy and ordered!

It started after scrabble friend confronted me about my lax attitude towards money and gave me the sharp truth about how I would end up in financial difficulties if I carried on the way I was going and the importance of taking control of it now. I was impressed with his perception about something I hadn’t particularly discussed with him and his ability to have the conversation with me in such a way I heard and accepted what he said without feeling judged or criticised. He was right, I knew he was right and it was something I had been burying my head in the sand about. The truth is, I have never been fully in control of my finances, never paid much attention to keeping to a budget and have always been in debt. My financial situation is something that shames me, I feel it is something I should be in control of and after all the time I’ve invested in trying to get my life in order it is kind of shocking the lack of attention I’ve paid to this area of my life.

When scrabble friend came into my life I knew we were meant to be in each others lives, we had a purpose for each other. I am so grateful to him for so many reasons, he has been such a lovely addition to my life and what’s more it appears the feeling is mutual 🙂 We’re not going to be partners for life, but we are involved in each others lives at the moment and it’s a good thing.

Getting in control meant confronting the paperwork that has been mounting up and carefully stuffed into bags and shoved under the bed. In doing this I discovered the box of tapes that I had stored there 15 years ago and it was as if a switch went off in my head and the need for a clear out began. I have always been quite an ordered person, as a child I thrived on keeping my stuff neat and ordered, controlling my environment in the only way I could. I have never attached too much sentiment to objects, they are transitory items that can be broken and lost. I’m also not a hoarder and know that what looks like chaos to me would look pretty ordered to other people! It is all relative, there is no point judging against others as it’s is all about what works for me.

The tapes under the bed were at last thrown out, the video’s that can no longer be played because the player has long gone went into the bin and I culled some of the objects that I have acquired and loved over the years but no longer need to gather dust on the shelf. It was a great feeling having that ruthless head on that just enabled me to de-clutter. My home still feels full but it feels ordered and with space to breathe.

I feel as if at long last I am getting in control of my life, I’m learning to let go of that I can’t control and take charge of that I can. Where I always felt that I had to be self sufficient and not lean on others, I’m learning that a helping hand can make all the difference. I have had a therapist help me get my head in order, a GP and weight loss surgeon help me get my health in order and now scrabble friend is helping me get my finances in order. I am so grateful for this help, I know it is what’s enabled me to live my life and strive to make the most of it.

The message they have all given me and encourage me to follow is ‘just do it’. Stop thinking about it, analysing it, becoming frightened by it, protecting myself from what distress it might or might not bring and just get on and do it!

We have only one chance at life, it doesn’t matter what’s been the only thing that matters is embracing the challenge of living, making the most of the opportunities that come our way and dare I say it, listening to the wisdom of those influential people in my life and just get on and do it!

The Art of Giving

I have a friend who gets upset if I forget to send a card for her birthday or other significant event. I’ve explained that the fact I make the effort to come out and visit her on her birthday, celebrate the day with her, should tell her that I love her, not a card. Why is it that so much significance is put onto something designed to make the fat cats fatter?

"Oh, those foolish humans!"

I really struggle with day’s identified to celebrate certain events or concepts. It seems so fake to do things just because the day dictates we do. I much prefer to offer expressions of love to the people I care about in ways that are meaningful and come from the heart. I have always struggled buying presents because I’m expected to, rather than because I’ve seen something that I know someone will love and so I get it for them. Receiving a spontaneous gift is the most wonderfully rewarding experience both for the giver and the receiver.

So, today is Valentine’s Day, in case it had escaped anyone’s notice! As a young person the pressure to receive a card or some gesture from someone known or unknown was immense. It is a hidden pressure, a feeling that everyone else is loved, that because you haven’t received anything you are in fact unlovable. The beauty of aging is the understanding that nothing is quite as it seems and most people are riddled with the same insecurities as yourself! It is the knowledge we acquire with age that makes life easier to bear as we judge ourselves less against others and start trying to enjoy the life we have; because it could all be over tomorrow.

I know valentines is just the commercial exploitation of the sentiment of love. I don’t ever want to subscribe to it, enter into the spirit of it or waste my time and energy on it! That said, when scrabble friend sent a text saying Happy Valentines, my inner child was smiling broadly for a good few minutes!

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.