Monthly Archives: April 2012

The map of life

Yesterday we watched the movie “The Adjustment Bureau”. Please stop reading now if you haven’t watched it as I’m about to spoil it for you if that’s the case. The movie is about a “higher power”, the fate commanders. They basically decide people’s fates and make sure that everyone is following the path they are supposed to be on. If something doesn’t go according to plan, they then intervene by making little things happen (such as spilling coffee on someone’s shirt), so timings are adjusted and things can get back on track. If the little things don’t work, mainly because some things do happen by chance and by chance only, then they move on to making bigger things happen, all in the view of keeping to the plan, keeping to the map of life which is supposedly written by someone “up there”.

I didn’t think the movie had enough depth to it, if I’m honest, and if I compare it to Inception (which has a similar storyline), well… there’s no comparison, really. But this post is not about the movie itself. The movie made me think about bigger things… about destiny, about fate, about how much we are actually in control of what happens to us. Sentences like the good and old: “If it didn’t happen, it’s because it wasn’t meant to be”, “Everything happens for a reason” and “Things happen when they have to happen” are said too often, but do we really mean that or do we just say them because they make us feel better for not achieving what we originally wanted? Is there really a destiny controller, like in the movie? If so, what is the use in us planning carefully where we want to be in 5 years’ time? What is the use in us planning what to eat tomorrow?

I know this sounds quite stupid and, of course, we are in control up to a degree, but I wish I knew if all the careful planning of my own life is not just a big waste of my time. Should I just swear by the most used sentence of all, when it comes to destiny? The old “Let’s just wait and see”? I don’t want to just wait and see, I want to plan and see, I want to dream and see…

I can’t tell if there is a God of destiny… I do know, though, that some spooky things do happen sometimes and I do, like many other people, find myself thinking: “if this didn’t happen, then the other wouldn’t have happened”, and so on… Maybe there is someone magically swapping the pieces of the jigsaws that are our lives. Maybe there isn’t. I do know, though, that people do overcome their own capabilities all the time… think of athletes, think of ill people that are given months to live and end up living years and years, think of lovers that were not meant to be, like in this movie, and find a way to be together despite all the contradictions destiny puts in their way . There’s proof out there that, somehow, things do happen just as people make them happen.

My belief is that yes, there is a destiny written for each one of us, but I do believe that we can change it. It might not be the wisest thing to do all of the time, but we can do it. It’s a risk, like most things in life. It may pay off, it may not. But one thing I know: “getting there” and knowing that you mapped out your own path means one thing: achievement. And knowning that you made it happen with the careful manipulation of what was available in your life is as rewarding as living the dream itself.

Categories: Dreams | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

In a minute

This week, when going out fo some errands (just like a 70-year old, hehe), I was on my way to the post office when I saw  – and heard – a dog barking incontrollably. He was just there, standing next to a man, obviously his owner, barking at no one or nothing in particular. He came across to me as a very nervous dog indeed. As I went past the duo, I heard the man just saying patiently to the dog, repeatedly “in a minute, in a minute, in a minute”.

It was obvious that nothing was going to happen in a minute but, regardless, the man kept on saying it and I could still hear him saying it to the dog long after I had passed them. I then started thinking what was the use of saying that? And then I thought that that man was very clever. He was just calming the dog with a little false promise, because he knew that if the dog heard that, he might just calm down to wait for what would happen “in a minute”. It didn’t work as such (as he kept on barking), but having said that, maybe without those words the dog might have gone running towards the cars on the road or something. Maybe those 3 little words made a difference somehow and that wise man knew exactly what he was doing.

I then started thinking about what words make me calm down. What do I say to myself when I feel a bit out of control? It took me a while to remember, really, as this is exactly the kind of thing that you do automatically and without giving it too much thought, but I reckon that what I say the most is: “So what?”

If nothing is going towards the plan, I say “So what?”. If something happens and I don’t know what I can do about it, I ask “So what?”. If people are awkward and I don’t understand their way of thinking, I ponder “So what?”. This little question seems to carry me through different situations and it seems to calm me down somehow, just like the dog calmed down (slightly) when hearing his owner say “in a minute”.

“So what?”, to me, represents a question as well as a statement. It’s a question on situations where I have to do something, when a decision is required of me or when I have to form an opinion about this or the other. My little question is used in this context when some action is required to move forward or to stop moving, if this is the right decision (although, who on earth can say when a decision is right or wrong!).

Equally, my little question works as a statement when nothing else needs to be said, when something outrageous happened or when I am gobsmacked about something and simply cannot get my head around it. “So what?” works as a little cynical way of detaching myself of that situation, usually to protect myself by not getting involved.

I reckon every person has a little sentence that they say either aloud or to themselves when they feel a bit lost. Be it “in a minute”, “so what” or whatever you say yourself, these little gems help us. They give us time to gather our thoughts, recognise our needs and move on, either by actually doing something or doing nothing at all. Some words are so powerful that they manage to shift our way of thinking, the way we act and our perceptions. If we have to ask ourselves questions before actually reacting, so be it. And if we take a little bit longer to actually do something when that is required, well… so what?

Categories: Personality traits | 2 Comments

33 it is, then!

Well, well, well… and here it is again, my bloody birthday, once again! Now sorry if I can’t sound more positive, I just can’t at the minute and I blame nothing other than the astral hell everyone goes through in the 30 days or so before their actual birthday. At the moment, I cannot wait for the universe to start a big shift and let me off the hook for a bit… and the worst is that I can’t even tell what is wrong exactly… perhaps the car in front of me that was going too slow, the traffic lights that went red just as I was approaching them, or maybe the slow people I have to swerve past in the very full supermarket? Yes, you can see that they are not even good enough reasons to be annoyed, but for a person with little patience like me, anything can set me off, really. And then I start analysing it all and it’s all wrong, wrong, wrong, when I know perfectly well that it’s not, really.  It’s been like this for many years now… the period just before my birthday is a crazy hell with ghosts and clouds everywhere.

But now that my birthday is well and truly over (well, in about 3 and a half hours, anyway), I can confirm that the black clouds should be making a move to reveal a very blue sky, or so I hope. I am now 33 years old and oh dear me… how I wish I was 5 years younger! Just 5 would do! My mum keeps telling me how young I still am but it doesn’t matter… From now on, it’s official: until the idea that the thirties are the new twenties sinks in, I no longer like my birthday. I no longer wish to think about how old I am so I can just about put up with the presents as reminders of the date (haha), just as long as no one asks me how old I’m getting. It shall be a secret from now one and it should be ok since everyone seems to have such short memories nowadays.

Amongst all this negativity – and please forgive me for this, if you managed to bear with me until here – I have to thank one article that miraculously made its way to me this week. Someone out there must have a mission to cheer me up and hey, haven’t they done just that? So, here is the news… Apparently, the age when people feel at their happiest, according to a recent study by Friends Reunited, is – guess what? – yes, 33! So I should be well on my way to true, uncontested happiness. Done.

With 6% claiming that they were at their happiest during their college years and only 16% saying that their happiest period was during their childhood, the following result is still the most shocking of all to me: over 36% admitted that their happy levels soared once they settled down and had children. Yes, CHILDREN! My biggest fear, my biggest doubt,  the reason I ask myself every day why can’t I be 5 years younger!? Maybe I’m missing something here…

But what makes 33 the magic number?

Apparently, this study found that over half of us believe life is more fun at 33, with 42% admitting to feeling more optimistic about the future and 38% revealing they stress less at this age than they did when they were younger. The study also discovered that many of us seek happiness through our professional achievements, with 21% admitting they felt happy when they excelled at work.

Talking about the study’s findings, psychologist Donna Dawson said: “By 33,  innocence has been lost, but our sense of reality is mixed with a strong sense of hope, a “can do” spirit, and a healthy belief in our own talents and abilities. We have yet to develop the cynicism and world-weariness that comes with later years.” Mmmmm… I already find myself being really cynic sometimes and I should not be doing that as yet. Must change.

Anyway, here I am… 33 years old and already a grumpy, impatient and bitter old lady. Ha ha ha. No, not really. I am actually quite a cheerful person, usually, especially when people are not being slow near me (ouch!). I reckon there is still a great lot to learn and this is what I should base my brand new year on. At the moment, though, I hope this grey cloud goes away asap an take with it all the astral hell of this particular time of the year for me, as all I want at the moment is to get a bit of sunshine onto/into my newly older self. Bring on the so claimed happiness of the 33! I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

Categories: Astral hell, Babies, Birthday, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Time to renew

It’s Easter time, the most chocolatey time of the year, yay! I absolutely loved it as a child, as it’s also so close to my birthday. I love that these two celebrations are so close as they both mean the same thing to me: renew! Easter, as everyone knows, means the resurrection of Jesus, after the 40 days he spent alone fighting devil’s tempations. For me, on a more humble approach, it means that I can look at my life, do a good balance of what is working, what isn’t, and work on it during the year ahead. It’s a new beginning, a new opportunity to put right what isn’t and celebrate what is.

In Brazil, Easter is very much a family holiday, where people meet and eat together. Food is everywhere! Children hunt for their Easter eggs and everyone is happy. Here in the UK the traditions are pretty much the same, apart from the fact that I don’t have the family around (and I also don’t hunt for my Easter eggs anymore!).

So, tomorrow, Lee and I are going to make a scrumptious lunch for two and enjoy the day by relaxing and watching movies. It’s bliss, really, thinking about it. And after all the food, wine (yes, of course I’m having wine) and indulgences, it’s back to the diet because one thing is for sure: Easter means that summer is definitely around the corner! Yippeeeee!!!!

Categories: Living away from home | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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