liveslifewell

Making the most of every minute…

Archive for the tag “lifestyle”

Somebody stop me!!!

I am seriously considering throwing my collection of self-improvement and/or motivational books in a bath full of water, because what I actually want to do is burn them but that’s too final and I have to do SOMETHING to them, because those same books say you shouldn’t procrastinate when something needs doing.

 If I hadn’t spent time reading all those bloody books, I probably would have burnt them, but I guess I now have evidence that reading the books is worthwhile, for I *dramatic pause* have changed!

I’ve realised that I learn by osmosis because I just dealt with a situation very differently than I would have done a few months ago and I can’t attribute it to a particular book or writer – rather a general shift in my thought processes probably caused by reading a series of books on the same subject from an assortment of authors.

However, now I am dealing with the emotions associated with experiencing a sort of out-of-body experience and the books don’t tell you how to deal with being surprised at yourself when you do something out of character do they?  No – they just assume everythings going to be wonderful and you’ll just be happily singing in your own permanent ray of sunshine and making daisy chains to crown yourself with at your self-congratulation ceremony when you’ve achieved whatever you wanted when you bought the book in the first place.

(By way of qualifying the out-of-body experience part, I just want to say I have mentioned my dramatic tendencies in an earlier post, but because of the said books I am starting to be less dramatic in real life and write dramatically about things instead.)

You see, I’ve just mentioned a new project to my dear husband which he wasn’t happy about, and instead of telling him immediately and firmly that I thought he was being an arse and backing it up with chapter and verse on why I thought that, I found myself thinking (without trying and without reference to any particular book) “hmm, this is obviously difficult for him, I’ll have to find another way to deal with this”.  This is absolutely not normal for me.  Then I just said “Okay” and calmly carried on with what I was doing.  It’s taken me about an hour to realise that it was totally out of character  and now I’m thinking “WHAT?!  What did I just do?”  

It’s funny, but I can only assume he didn’t know how to cope with the new me – especially as he is normally the calm sensible one – because even though I was practically angelic in the face of adversity, he stopped speaking to me

That’s why those bloody books need to get dunked.  They tell you how to change, why change is necessary, what will be better when you change and some of them even warn you that people around you might find it difficult to deal with the changes but they don’t tell you how to deal with that part, do they?  

So for now, I guess I’ll have to try another self-help tactic and practice gratitude.  I’m grateful that he’s gone out (don’t panic, it was planned before our discussion!) and of course I’m extremely grateful that there’s a bottle of chilled wine in the fridge…..

It’s life Jim, but not as we know it…..

Life in Techworld is very strange.  Everything is equally hard but nothing is the same from site to site.  It has been brought home to me today that computer software designers must be even more insular than we stereotypically give them credit for, because otherwise they might actually collaborate and standardise some stuff.

Today, I have spent more time than is appropriate for an air-breather holed up with my computer.  I am attempting to bring cohesion to my online presence.  There is a possibility that I may discover the point of even having an online presence, beyond stressing myself out for no apparent reason, although I am prepared to concede this possibility is some way off yet.

I have achieved several things including managing to upload the same picture to the background of this blog and my Twitter account.  However, in both cases only the upper left corner of said picture is visible which is rather upsetting and also something of a puzzle since the instructions for uploading were different on the two sites.  Apparently, I need to resize the picture, but since neither of the Teens can do this for me this is obviously a genuinely very hard task.  I felt quite proud, because not only did they not look at me in the usual pitying fashion, but they actually looked quite impressed that I a) wanted to do this and b) could show them the picture’s current statistics.  (I didn’t tell them that I had no idea what these statistics meant).  I’ve also linked myself to two blogging sites and added a follow button to the blog (see right) and my Twitter feed (although this has not kept up with today’s Tweets, but I’ll worry about that tomorrow).

My most favourite achievement has been getting my phone to Tweet like a bird when a “mention” happens on Twitter.  If you have never suffered the confusion caused by your phone making a text notification noise for a mysterious something other than an incoming text, you won’t appreciate the enormity of that last one.  Until fairly recently, I barely ever bothered to charge my phone and I couldn’t understand the point of texting at all.  By way of explanation, a friend told me it was great for talking to your friends when you didn’t have time to chat.  At the time, that made no sense at all but now I’m a blogger!  How times change!

Anyway, In the process of navigating the blog sites, I came across a reminder of one of my favourite factoids:  Every day is worth 84,600 seconds!  This means that I have spent at least 36,000 seconds working on my little project today.  Working on the basis that every second is worth £1, you don’t get any refunds once it’s spent and the balance is cleared at the end of the day, I had to ask myself if this was time well spent and overall, can you believe it? Amazingly, the answer is a resounding YES!

An expert could have done this job for me in a matter of minutes, I’m sure, but then I would have missed the interaction with the people on the blogging sites, I would not be enjoying the feeling of FINALLY getting to grips with technology, and I would not now be enjoying a general sense of ownership over my pages.  I know I still have a thousand miles to go, but hey, every journey starts with a single step and I’ve taken several today!

I’m still new to blogging, so if you’ve read and enjoyed this, please feel free to like, share and even leave a comment!

HO HO Home ZZzzweet Home and considering resolutions

It is the fourth day since we arrived home and I am amusing myself by watching the Teens cope with jet lag.  I am relatively unaffected, since I used to work shifts when I did my nursing training, and shift work is good preparation for time-zone hopping.  So when I got up in the night for a glass of water to help my kidneys deal with the festive cheer, I was not entirely surprised to see the Teens wide awake and roaming the house searching for their old Guitar Hero guitar, which they haven’t played with for about 5 years.  There was a little bit of an altercation since I wouldn’t let them check the loft as this would have disturbed their dad, who has managed to bring himself within two hours of a normal sleep pattern.  This meant that I was then fully awake and as a result I sat up until 5am and now I too am very tired today. 

It isn’t all bad however, as the effort I have expended in trying to resist going to bed has cleared my mind of the normal day-to-day minutiae and enabled me to consider my new year’s resolutions.   It might seem a bit late but actually most of mine were formulated in November, after I had a near death experience which was much more unexpected than 21st December and which threw me into a tailspin of self-pity so bad I couldn’t even be bothered with the dramatic potential for a few weeks.  Luckily, I am an eternal optimist who always bounces back and on top of that, our holiday has lifted my spirits so much that even the rain-sodden return to grey UK climes could not lower them again. 

So what I was considering was not what my resolutions should be, but how I am going to implement them.  So I have the usual list – fitter, slimmer, tidier, more organised and more focussed – so far so normal.  But for me, with my dramatic tendencies, latent perfectionism and chronic fear of failure, what should be normal becomes unachievable because I try too hard and expect too much in too short of a time frame, thus discouraging myself.  

This year however, is going to be different!  Have you noticed that the list says fitter, slimmer, tidier etc. NOT fit, slim, tidy….?  This is how I am going to stick to my resolutions for the entire year, because what I am striving for is a little improvement every day – not a massive, sudden and unachievable change within a fortnight.  I also have the benefit of several mentors and role models whom I met or got to know better during the last year and who inspire me daily both in my working life and my social life which are occasionally interchangeable. 

All of this is underlined by Sunday Times Astrologer, Shelley Von Strunckel, who as I’m born on the cusp of Leo and Virgo I am delighted with for this year’s guidance.  To the Leo in me, she says “for you, much of 2012 has been about discovering and exploring a new freedom.  True, sometimes that process has been spurred by unanticipated or unwelcome events, yet with the expansive Jupiter supervising this journey of discovery, you’ll benefit from what you did and encountered and who you met for years to come.”  And to my Virgo side she promises  that “by the Autumn, when the courageous Mars enters Virgo, you’ll be making changes that, only months before, you wouldn’t have considered possible.”    Yep, she absolutely said what I just said above, except she added planets and removed specifics.  When it comes to me, I could totally do her job!

So the World didn’t end and now I can talk Christmas!

Since I am occasionally (not always unfairly) called a drama queen by those who know me well, it seemed appropriate to write my first blog the day after the world was going to end, but didn’t.

I’m still here, and hadn’t made plans so I finally have time!  As time goes on, you might see, despite my current resolution not to do it anymore that I am prone to procrastination.  I first set the wheels in motion for writing a blog at the beginning of October.  I took professional and very good advice on the practicalities of content, schedule, format, platform and other stuff that I still don’t understand.  It was my intention that blog-writing and posting would help with my chronic time-management issues with regard to social media – giving me a handy tool on which to base my social media interactions.  Instead I ventured into the blogosphere for inspiration and immediately started spending time reading a tiny selection of the many and varied excellent blogs out there.  This meant that, in addition to having even less free time because of my “research” I added even more self-doubt to the volatile cocktail that is my personality.  Luckily, because the world was going to end, but didn’t – I see an opportunity to venture forth with a new, braver me!

Actually, I am currently on holiday in sunny Florida.  With the end of the world approaching, I thought it might be nice to end my days on holiday, five hours behind the UK, in case it was a time-zone specific ending.  In the end, as I watched the clock turn past midnight, I started to think I might have been better off in Australia where I would have been amongst the first to know everything was OK – but then I realised that the Mayans were in South America and would have written the calendar according to their own daylight hours, so I was in the best place as far as time zones go after all.

During the build-up to this holiday, I started to question whether we were doing the right thing, because we have never been away from home for Christmas since The Teens were born.  It felt really weird to be packing summer clothes at a time when I would normally be cleaning taps with a toothbrush in preparation for a week-long Christmas visit by my parents.  However, now we are here I question why we’ve never done it before.   Suddenly, the perfect Christmas Dinner that I have always taken such pride in preparing doesn’t seem important at all and after a genuinely dramatic six months, in which I’ve been hospitalised twice for different reasons, started a business, and dealt with some major lifestyle changes (of which more in a separate post) – the opportunity to get out in the sun, have fun with my nearest and dearest, and take stock of life, the universe and everything is a blessing far greater than a perfectly cooked sprout.

This Christmas, for me then, is proving quite different from the norm and I am loving it even more than I thought I would when we booked it, not least because having seen 12.21.12 come and go, I am now quite sure it will actually happen!   In the corner of my temporary living room is a cute little 3ft artificial tree bought from Wal-Mart, which I am ridiculously pleased with, but just in case I feel short-changed I can always pop out and find a 30ft tall tree lavishly bedecked with about a million lights.  Better still, The Teens are happy!  No really – I know that last sentence is potentially an oxymoron but they really are happy.  They have talked to me in full sentences on several occasions and have even participated in conversations that included laughing and smiling.  I’ve gained some “cred” by going on an assortment of rides, some of which involved being turned upside down but have, so far, resisted being launched on the behemoth known as “The Incredible Hulk”.

Have a wonderful Christmas, whether you are creating traditions or breaking with them, and I look forward to speaking to you again in the New Year!

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