Monthly Archives: February 2013

Me, myself and… erm… myself

This post will surely bore the hell out of you all, but I’ll post it anyway. Yes, it’s all about me, but the reason for posting it is because, if anything, it can only be a good thing to encourage each of you to do this as well.

This year (and it’s only February!), I have been told by three different people in three separate occasions that I am a very self-aware person. No one ever told me that before. Mmmm… that got me thinking… I wasn’t aware that I was a self-aware person (no pun intended!) and therefore tried to figure out what this meant for me and in my life in general.

It’s no secret that we know more and more about ourselves as the years go by. It’s only logical, really, as the more we ‘live’ with ourselves, the more we will know about our likes and dislikes. And the beauty of it is that the more we know, the more we respond to life’s requests in accordance to our tastes and beliefs. This is if you are brave, though, and not a pushover.

This whole thing got me thinking about myself, what I’m like, what makes me tick, what I want from life, what makes me happy… and after a couple of weeks of making notes, here are my results. Some things are really silly and some reflect my personality on a deeper level, but either way I believe that both make me the person I am. It’s on a list and it’s not in much of an order as they were scattered thoughts that I put down on paper at first. I’m sure this list is not conclusive by any means either but, for now, I think I got a pretty good idea of who I am.

My little list, then:

1. I like eating something sweet before savoury food. Not sure why but I frequently do it.

2. I wash my hair every other day.

3. I always, ALWAYS have to have a Plan B or I get really nervous.

4. I absolutely love butterflies, they are my favourite animal. However, recently I have taken a liking to penguins.

5. I frequently ‘shut off” and don’t listen to people when they are talking to me for several seconds, even though I’ll be looking intently at them. I think they call this ‘selective hearing’.

6. I like to be a recluse sometimes.

7. I like night time a little more than day time.

8. I love the silence of the mornings.

9. I love looking at an empty street (do this all the time from my balcony). I like the silence.

10. I love making jokes and coming up with funny comments. I love making people laugh. I guess this is ‘my thing’ (I hope! ha!).

11. I have a strange passion for whistling. I’m always doing it.

12. I love judging TV adverts (did they pass on a straight forward message, did they convince me to action on something, was it pleasant on the eye, was it clever, etc, etc, etc).

13. I love Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. In my opinion, they are the best.

14. I love the sea.

15. I hate peas with a passion. Weird little green balls!

16. I am terrified of motorways.

17. I have always been in love with the sunset. It’s always been my favourite part of the day.

18. I love the moon too.

19. I love trees and I like to hug them from time to time. There is an incredible energy that comes from them.

20. I am very easily distracted.

21. I get bored easily. (this can be a problem sometimes!)

22. At work (and even at home), I tend to jump from one task to another without finishing the first. I’ll then end up with 100 things started and none completed. I do tend to complete them, but it’s a funny way of doing things!

23. I love riding bikes.

24. I always like people at first. And then sometimes I just get disappointed. Even so, I’d rather it be this way.

25. I usually change my mind about things.

26. I am a very blunt person. And I can’t really control it. Things just ‘come out’. (area for improvement, me thinks!)

27. I love movies with no happy ending, or with no ending at all. I like that they can just represent a passage in someone’s life.

28. Family is the most important thing in my life.

29. Followed by friends. I don’t have millions, but the ones I have are ultra special. I know them well, they know me well. Quality beats quantity.

30. I like reading and writing and I feel lost if I don’t do both for a while.

Ok, enough about me. Yes, I agree it can be boring reading about someone else’s characteristics. If you reached the end of this post, however, it’s because you have some interest in how people operate. This means that you may be interested in finding out things about yourself. You probably know it all already, but I found it so helpful to put it all on paper. It kind of helped me figure out areas for improvement and also made me happy to realise that I do and I am a few things that I’m proud of.

If anything, I found this a good exercise. And if people think I’m ‘self aware’, good! I had to write it all down, but yes, I suppose I can agree with that. The more we know ourselves, the more corageous we are with our life decisions. The clearer is our path and what we have to do next. It’s almost like looking at yourself with a magnifying glass. Just be ready to find out all sorts.

Categories: Personality traits, Quirky thoughts | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

No regrets

My home country suffered a tragedy a week ago. A fire in a nightclub killed over 230 young people and injured over 100. The reasons for the fire were lack of common sense and the infamous Brazilian way of doing things (by that I mean expired fire assessment certificates, no fire extinguishers in the premises, etc). Total chaos and very ‘Brazil’, I have to admit. Very, very sad.

This post, however, is not about the reasons why this has happened, although this would certainly deserve a post of its own. This post is about the young people that died. They all died almost instantly by the inhalation of carbon monoxide. Doctors said that they didn’t feel any pain, they just sort of fell asleep.

I can’t help but imagine them waking up, though. Waking up in the spiritual sense, I mean, after they had gone to ‘the other side’, after they were already dead. Some people claim that, after you die, your spirit comes out of your body and you can watch what is happening around you. You can see your body there, motionless, lifeless.

This image in my head made me think of what those young spirits would be thinking, how hard it must have been for them to understand what had happened and what they were doing there, lying on the floor of a nightclub full of black smoke, full of other dead people, full of their friends. I wonder if in this situation you think you can go back to your body and make yourself wake up from this bad dream. I wonder if they thought of the things that they still wanted to do in life. And I wonder if there was anything that they felt they should have done before dying. Anything that they regretted.

This week, I had the oportunity of watching a video about a nurse that recorded the top 5 regrets of dying people.

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog and, subsequently, she compiled her observations into a book called ‘The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying’.

The nurse writes about the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently,” she says, “common themes surfaced again and again.”

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

At the end of their lives, many people realise that they had not honoured half of their own dreams, either because of choices that they made or because of choices that they didn’t make.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

Time with family and friends was sacrified because of work and many of the dying mentioned working too much as one of their main regrets.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

With many of the dying having developed illnesses related to supressing their feelings, it’s no wonder that not making people aware of what’s inside can result in ill health and an unfulfilled life.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Who can’t think of good friends that we lost touch with? Those friendships from our school years that, if cultivated, could have become large parts of our lives? It’s so important to keep in touch with friends and yet so many people leave it ’till later’, when it can be too late.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

Those deaths in Brazil, if anything, have made me think about how fragile life is and how responsible we are for our own happiness. If anything good can come out of it, be it our evaluation of what we are doing with our own lives. We still have time to change things, we still have time to take charge of our own future. We still have time to have no regrets.

Categories: Death, Time | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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