Posts Tagged With: worries

A deconstructed world

In the past, we worked hard to put the world in which we live in into some kind of order. We had the role of everyone in society very well established (regardless if that was done in a fair way or not). We all knew what to expect of things, we all knew what was right and what was wrong.

Nowadays, everyone believes – greatly because we are slowly making every single new generation believe – that we can be and do everything we want. Everything. Anything. The choices are endless.

This tends to make people take an established rule, something that served a purpose at some point, and break it apart, sometimes purely just because they feel they can. It’s fun. After all, rules are meant to be broken, right?

Breaking rules that no longer fit community/society life and transforming them into rules that do is absolutely fine in my book. Transforming things for the sake of it and for the detriment of well-established beliefs that make total sense is quite another.

Take prejudice, for example. People around the entire world suffer from it. It’s incredible that in this day and age we are still discussing it. And yet, people feel they have the right to do the atrocious, to break boundaries that are nobody’s to break, to try and feel superior when we are all the same.

We have come from nothing (as my dad liked to explain to me when I was a child, the world began with the explosion of atoms and that’s that.  Whenever I questioned a God, he would just shrug and show no commitment). We built and created so much. And now, by either being careless or perhaps by just being far too innovative and too daring (far more than we actually need), we are damaging, slowly, the good foundations we have always had. Again, I’m not talking about keeping what no longer fits, but about destroying what still fits.

Ok, ok… I know we have come a long way on many aspects of life in society and the way our communities work around the world. However, I can’t stop thinking that sometimes it feels like we are just taking all that we have worked for and smashing it, like you would smash a brick on a wall. And after every time we do it, our foundations, our purpose, our reasons for being are all there, in millions of pieces. The rules are broken. And we all take a tiny piece of that brick to make with it whatever we want. Once broken, all the pieces flying in the air might make for an amazing view, but once they fall on the floor, what exactly are we left with?

Call me crazy, but I would much prefer a simpler world.

simplicity

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Categories: Different eras, Insights, Rules, What are we doing here? | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The next right thing

I was reading a story of this woman that was an addict and then became pregnant (yes, it was in Cosmo, but I’m a sucker for reality so excuse me!). She was saying that she felt like a ‘walking contradiction’ when she was a teenager, always pretending to be someone she wasn’t. She pretended very well and was very popular, but deep inside she knew how much she was lying to the outside world – and to herself. Then, she found herself pregnant and finally decided to take action to destroy her worst habits of drinking, bulimia and drug usage. At this point, I thought to myself:  ‘Crickey, that can’t have been easy’. And, because it got me intrigued, I carried on reading.

The story unfolded well and in the end she managed to break free of all of her bad habits. She says that she now accepts that she will never be totally happy, so she is happy to accept to be happy-ish most of the time (I personally find this a bit hard to understand, but she must have her reasons). But this story of struggle is not the reason I’m writing this today. The reason I’m writing is because she mentioned something that struck a chord with me. She had a technique to get rid of her old habits that made her so unhappy but at the same time were so consuming. And I thought that this technique could be of use to anyone, hence this post. It can certainly be useful to me (and I have already started using it).

next

Now, I’m not saying that everyone needs help or anything like that (and I certainly don’t want people to think this is a self-help kind of blog), but who doesn’t find themselves in times of trouble sometimes? Who sometimes doesn’t quite know what to do next? Exactly. The technique is called ‘the next right thing’. If you find yourself in a position where everything is getting on top of you and you don’t know if you are coming or going, just think small and think to yourself: what is the next right thing that I could do? And then do it. And then, if you do this often, it will become a way of life and you will find it much easier to take action when you need to.

Let me translate this into practical examples: you messed up at work. You made a mistake and don’t know what to do now… don’t think about losing your job, how hard it’ll be to find a new one or how people will judge you. Just think of the next right thing you can do to try and resolve the situation. It doesn’t need to be something big, but it will get you moving, rather than freezing because the prospect of all the negative things you thought in the first place. Another example: you feel that you don’t spend enough time with your children and you fear that they will not remember you in the future in the way you hope they would. Yes, this is a very sad prospect, but don’t think that far ahead. Think about the next right thing you can do to never get to that negative outcome. See? It works when you are already in a sticky situation or when you are trying to prevent one.

When I’m overwhelmed, I freeze… I think things like: ‘oh Gosh, this will take ages’ or ‘ ahhhh, I have so much to do, I don’t know how to get started!’ or ‘I want to stop going to bed so late every night, but can never accomplish it’. You can apply this thinking to everything, really (I have been applying it to work, with it being so busy and crazy at the moment).

Taking-small-steps

For a worrier-type like myself, this is a wonderful solution. Instead of over-reacting and thinking ‘this will never be possible’ or ‘I’ll never get out of this situation’, this approach puts things into a much smaller perspective and makes you act. It’ll be a small act, but because you’ll be asking yourself constantly ‘what is the next right thing to do?’, one small act will follow the next and you will end up just doing things instead of thinking them through too much. You will also do what is possible for you at the time, rather than waiting for ‘when the time is right’. Sometimes thinking too much, I find, hinders action. And without doing, we are hardly achieving anything, aren’t we?

Please don’t think that I’m being patronising here. Everyone is different. I’m just saying that this little sentence has already had an effect in my sometimes lazy approach to things… I think, think, think and sometimes don’t really act, and then start thinking ‘why aren’t things happening how I wanted them to?’ Well, it’s my own fault for doing fxxx all about it! Thinking about the next right thing to do makes you constantly do something. And achieve results that can change your life. One step at a time.

Categories: Happiness, Next right thing, Quirky thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Online happiness

The other day, I had a chat with a friend about mentioning on Facebook when things are not going so well in our lives. It seems as though people are quick to update their status with happy photos, lovely travelling and holiday news, children, friends, funny situations they go through or fun things that they do in their daily lives. We all want the world to know how happy we are.

Why is that? Is it because we don’t want to burden people with our troubles? Is it because Facebook is supposed to be a platform to share happy things and happy things only? Is it because we all just want to show off and tell the whole wide world how happy and perfect and fun our lives are? Or is it because we just don’t like talking about what isn’t going so well?

It’s easy to post a happy picture, to share with others that we are visiting a nice place or to broadcast that we are having the time of our lives. Not so easy to disclose things that make us sad, such as ilnesses, scares, break ups or arguments.

I’m just as guilty as the next person (just hours earlier I posted a happy picture of me and my boyfriend walking in a beautiful park). I only really infect the online world with my happiness (or the occasional little moaning session). But why is that? Why don’t we give the happy and the unhappy equal importance online?

The ones close to us, the really close ones, will know all about our ups and downs. But there is something about sharing sad news with your school friend from 20 years ago, the same one we haven’t spoken to in 20 years, but is still a Facebook friend. It’s almost like we give them the right to witness our happiness, but not the right to share our difficulties. Even if we do post something not to be celebrated as a happy moment as such, there isn’t even an ‘unlike’ button right there for us to commiserate with our so called ‘friends’. In other words, Facebook doesn’t really encourage us to share bad news, only what’s ‘likeable’ matters.

It appears that sad things are far too close to home to be on the internet. We somehow and for some reason have been conditioned to show our brighter side, our fabulous news and our fantastic lives online, but does that glittering profile represent real life? When did we begin to lose touch with our own realities? Possibly when we began to convince ourselves that everything is ok, as long as we’ve posted that photo of us smiling wide.

A recent study said that a person is only truly 100% authentic when no one is observing them. However, nowadays we seem to need to have our actions examined and interpreted so we can believe that what we do (whatever that is) is important. We need validation, we need to be recognised, we need approval. Would it be right to say, then, that the reason why we don’t share bad news or sad aspects of our lives on Facebook is because we don’t like to shout about what we do wrong? It makes sense, doesn’t it? Who likes to tell everyone that they were told off at work, had an argument with their brother, got into debt or were truly mean to a friend? Yeah, thought so. This kind of ‘update’ would perhaps say much more about ourselves than a happy smiley picture. That kind of sharing provoques many more questions about our lives than the usual ‘ah, she is doing well’ reaction that a happy picture does.

If we look back to the time when we were kids, we were also after approval. We wanted to be loved by our families, and a ‘well done’, a smile or even just an approving nod went a long way. That made us carry on. I suppose nothing has changed, then. On Facebook, we want the same, which comes in the form of likes, comments and shares.

I’m not saying that Facebook is bad. I like it myself. I live very far from my home country and I take full advantage of it to keep in touch with the people I love on the other side of the Atlantic. However, we must establish a healthy limit, so we are not living our lives though it and depending on it to feel worthy.

I’ll still keep the sad and the miserable news out of Facebook, though. It works for me and I guess the most important thing is for people to be comfortable with what they share. For me, for example, saying something personal and not very ‘happy’ on Facebook feels like I’m exposing myself. I’m giving too much away. I’m trespassing the main boundary when it comes to sharing information: intimacy.

I guess that the main issue with Facebook, no matter if we share happy or sad news, is that it can cause heartache. For the ones that like to compare themselves with other people (and we all do that to some degree), it can become very tiring and very frustrating to realise that there is always someone happier, always someone with a wider smile, going to a nicer place, fully enjoying the Saturday night that you are spending on the sofa eating ice cream. It’s just as Montesquieu said: “If we only wanted to be happy it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, and that is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are.”

Categories: Facebook, Friendship, Happiness, Personality traits, Relationships | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Happiness, where the blooming hell are ya?

Last night I went to bed earlier than usual, as I have had a busy couple of weeks and have been very tired. Tired ‘to have my eyes closing when I’m on the sofa’ tired. But then I woke up, feeling completely awake and uneasy. I couldn’t find a comfortable position, I couldn’t get back to sleep. Because I went to bed early, I wasn’t tired anymore, as this was about 6 in the morning. So I just stayed there, lying in bed, thinking about how I didn’t want to sleep, but how I didn’t feel like getting up either.

Why are there days like this? Am I the only one? I’m not depressed or sad or anything like that – as far as I know!  – and, still, some days, I just can’t get going. I then picked up my phone and went on the internet. I typed in ‘happiness’ and found some excellend stuff that calmed my spirits. And so I decided to share it with you.

Apparently, there are 4 mistakes we make when we are pursuing happiness. 4, that’s it. And here they are:

1. Let it flow.

When we are thinking about happiness and trying to establish if we are happy, we end up comparing current experiences to past ones. We don’t notice when we do this, exactly, but this alone blocks a happy moment. The minute you start making comparisons, you shift from experiencing mode to evaluating mode. Think of the days when you are enjoying your work so much that when you look again it’s 5pm. Think of the holidays in the sunshine that go so quickly. Think of being immersed in a book that you are really enjoying. Think of savouring  some nice food. Think of having great sex. Think of ice cream, think of a good movie, think of admiring the sunset, think of cold beer when you are really really thirsty.Yes, you’re in the zone. You’re so immersed in the task that you lose track of time and the outside world. This is happiness.

2. Get real.

The second thing that we do that makes us dodge happiness is to overestimate the emotional impact of positive life events. We think that a major promotion, a new partner, a new house or a new car will make us happier, overlooking the fact that we’ll adapt to the new circumstances. Each time something changes for the better in our lives, we get happy… and so we should. However, that something won’t change our lives forever. We will get used to things again and will probably question again if we should be pursuing something or someone else that will bring us happiness. So I guess it’s not about the what, but more about the how.

3. It’s everywhere.

Happiness is an individual state, so we tend to look for it in ourselves. However, in a recent study, the greater the value people placed on happiness, the more lonely they felt every day for the next two weeks. I think the clue here is to get involved with other people, to let them be in our lives and let us be in theirs too. I’m guilty of this myself. Lately, I have found that I like my own company and I like being at home, so I don’t do much socialising. I’m lazy for it, that’s the honest truth. In fact, I’m just like my dad. He is not a person to do much small talk and I’m the same. If it won’t be meaningful, I’d rather read a book, thanks. I don’t do it on purpose, though, I guess I have just learned how to say no when I want to. However, it doesn’t look like this is the right approach. We need contact to be happy. We need to interact. Hermits like me can only get depressed, so I’ll have to sart being really careful and getting my bum off the sofa and out the door. Soon.

4. Mild is fine, thanks very much.

The fourth and last mistake we make is to look for intense happiness. When we want to be happy, we look for strong positive emotions like joy, elation, enthusiasm, and excitement. Research shows, however, that this isn’t the best path to happiness. Apparently, happiness is driven by the frequency, not the intensity, of positive emotions. When we aim for intense positive emotions, we evaluate our experiences against a higher standard, which makes it easier to be disappointed, since an intense positive experience can only lead us to frame ordinary experiences as less positive. So, this one is a given, right? Again, it’s the little things. Receiving a smile from a stranger on the street, finding parking space on a busy road, being driven somewhere by your mum whilst having a nice chat, achieving something before the microwave pings (ha! I knew you’d identify with this one!), lying on the grass on a sunny day. That’s it. No mater how small, happiness is in everything. And if we think about it, there are many more small opportunities that can bring us happiness than massive ones. So mild happiness can become ‘big time’ happiness. If you give it a chance.

So, overall, I think that if we change our actions, and not our circumstances, we have a much better chance to let happiness be in our lives. And then, we probably won’t even notice it, as it will be part of our day, every day, every minute of it.

By the way, I did get up. I also went to work, went to a shop and returned an item that I no longer wanted, came back home, made my dinner and I’m now about to watch a movie with my partner Lee, so I guess the day went fairly well after all. Sometimes all you need is to just get up and get out, without thinking too much.

By the way (2), the source for this post is here.

 

Categories: Happiness | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Life’s little surprises

Sometimes life’s a bitch! Or so we think.

I’m usually the type of person that likes to have a plan B (as mentioned in my previous post). If I don’t have one, I get nervous. However, sometimes there is no time to conjecture a plan B, especially when Plan A turns out to be going terribly wrong (or so it seems). Sometimes, things happen beyond our control and the only choice, the only ‘plan’ is to deal with it. There is no Plan B. Or, rather, Plan B is to fix Plan A.

Life’s little surprises can take many forms. A death, the end of a relationship, a redundancy, a betrayal – to name but a  few. In many of these situations, there is little that can be done apart from just keeping it together and moving forward.

For someone like me, that likes to be in control of things, it’s hard to imagine what I’d do in some of those situations. I’d probably panic first and think second – like, 2 days later. But this is exactly where your friends have to act.

Friends will be able to see the bigger picture. You will be there, trapped in all the ins and outs of the situation, all the detail, but they will remind you of what really matters: that you spent quality time with the person that died, that your ex wasn’t all that anyway, that exciting new jobs are waiting for you in the big wide world, that the person that betrayed you never deserved your friendship. They will remind you of what a great person you are, how capable you are and how much they believe in you.

I’m a great believer of the old cliche sentence ‘things happen for a reason’. I stand by that as it proved right far too many times for me to just ignore its truth. Much more often that not, a brand new horizon awaits around the corner and life gets even better! I remember when I ended a long relationship and all my friends and family told me the same thing: ‘one day, all this will be well in the past and you won’t even remember this terrible feeling’. At the time, this was very hard to believe, almost impossible. And now… well, now I have a different partner and, shall I say, a completely different take on life as part of a couple.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the only way to really get out of an unplanned situation is to hold your head high and deal with it. Tackle it like you have no fear. You will feel better for it.You will feel in control of your life again and will start thinking that you are the one dealing the cards. You will make new choices, you will plan ahead, you will decide.

When you come out the other end, you will look at it all in a much different light. Life has a funny way of changing our paths. Sometimes we don’t see it, but the right things happen anyway, even when we feel they weren’t right at the time. Opportunities come up, people appear in your life, lessons are learned. And all this sometimes happens because of a little unplanned detour along the way.

Hard times are not good, of course not. It’s hard to say goodbye, it’s hard to lose your job, it’s hard to be turned down. However, accept it. Embrace it. Make it work for you. If there is one good thing about going through hard times is that the good times are much more appreciated. And better times will come, just believe. And you can be sure that your true friends will be there to celebrate your new victories with you.

 

Categories: Destiny, Energy, Friendship | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The end

This weekend I watched a couple of movies that, as usual, made me put my thinking cap on. One of them was a French movie called Le Temps qui reste and the other one was called Seeking a friend for the end of the World. If you haven’t watched any of them, please be aware that I may spoil them for you if you carry on reading.

Both movies are about the end of something and about loss in some way or another and it was a total conincidence that I watched two movies with the same theme in the same weekend. Watching them made me think about our time on earth, about losing people and about our reactions to extreme circumstances.

Le Temps qui reste is about a trendy photographer in his thirties and with his whole life ahead of him when he discovers that, because of a terminal cancer, he has only 3 months to live. Yes, some dark stuff there. Not really knowing how to react to the tragic news, he starts behaving in a terrible way, mistreating the people he loves the most. He hides his illness from his family, apart from his grandmother, and goes through a couple of months of darkness until he finally dies, apparently in a peaceful place.

Seeking a friend for the end of the World is, as the title says, about the end of the world. With an asteroid nearing Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbour who sort of changes the course of events. Unlike the photographer in the French movie, in Seeking a friend for the end of the World everyone is in the same boat, everyone is going to die. And the certainty of death makes people react in many different ways. Some people are calm about it and decide to just carry on as normal, whilst others decide that living life to the full and go crazy is their best bet.

As dark as it may seem, the two movies made me think about being in a situation like that. It’s practically impossible to know how you’d react to such news, but it made me wonder what I’d do if I only had 3 months to live or if an asteroid was coming to end our lives as Earth inhabitants. I think most people would want to be near their loved ones, so it will probably come as no surprise that my first reaction would be to fly back to Brazil to be with my family (Lee – my partner –  in tow, for sure).

I’d probably also want to see a few places again, like the beach I loved so much as a teenager, Harmonia. If I was ill, there is one thing I’d do for sure: I’d write a letter to each of the people I love, to say why and how much I love them and what a great impact they had in my life. And if we were all going to die, I think I’d craft a plan with my family to make sure we were all together when that happened. Scary, of course, but the thought of being together somehow makes ‘the end’ a little bit easier.

Things like this are so far from our usual reality that when you think about it you only go for obvious answers, but when you are in the situation it’s possible that we just end up reacting in very unusual ways. I think that movies like this, as well as situations like this, make us put life into perspective. They make us think if we are focusing on the important stuff or if we are getting distracted by all the noise day-to-day life brings, giving importance to a bunch of stuff that really doesn’t matter. Time does go fast in life and sometimes we just have to try and watch our priority list as if we were seeing life from above. It’s a good exercise to think about life and about what we are doing with it from time to time. In that sense, I’d reccommend both movies.

And now the killer question (haha, interesting choice of words there)… if you were about to go to the other side, what would you do?

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

Just a matter of time

I find myself with no time. And when I say no time, I mean no spare time. Of course, I have time to go to work (since I have no choice in the matter), I have time to brush my teeth and time to clean the kitchen floor. But I don’t have time to BE. I have no time to just sit and watch the world go by, to just look out to the sea and day-dream. I have no time to do the things that inspire me because everything else takes over.

It’s quite sad when you realise that your life is passing by and you are not being able to take control of it, to take the bull by the horns and say: “Hey, I have a say here! I want to spend my time differently!”. I want some time for creative idleness. That time that you use to do nothing or do a lot. That time that you use to do whatever floats your boat, to make you happy, to inspire you and make you productive.

Some people like to drink, others like watching TV, some people eat to pass the time and others go running. I like to just BE. I don’t have a specific activity that I like doing to be in my creative idleness zone. I go with the flow. Sometimes even cleaning gets me in the mood to create something and that’s fine, as long as I feel like I’ve achieved something from time to time.

I know that we all suffer the pressures of not having enough time in the day – and I’m not even considering the ones who have children (honestly, can’t figure out how they manage!).  We all have things that if we don’t do, we feel guilty about. I feel guilty when I don’t give myself the time to exercise, for example. I know that my body benefits immensely from it and I know I like it after I start it but, most of the time, I simply can’t be bothered and then I feel really bad for not making the effort afterwards. I also feel a little guilty if I don’t keep the house clean enough or if I don’t give enough time to my friends. We need more hours in the day!

I always give 110% at work and although I consider this a good thing, I get home with my brain cells smashed. Some nights, I get home with no more energy than the necessary to make something to eat, shower and go to bed. Yes, it is demanding because it’s always so busy, but it does drain me and affects my life outside work. And life should NOT be just about work, there is so so so much more to it!

I wish my time was spent more wisely. I wish I didn’t care if there are clothes to be washed or a sink to be cleaned. I wish I was more of a ‘happy go lucky’ kind of girl. But I’m not. No matter how much I try, the dirty sink will get on my nerves if I leave it, so I’d rather go and spend 5 minutes doing it than worrying about it for the rest of the day. It’s just the way I am, I guess.

I’m not sure what I can do to make this better, rather than writing about it, which always helps in my case. I don’t know if there are things I can leave out of my ‘to do list’. I simply don’t feel able to cross anything off at the moment. I just wish I could get ‘in the zone’ a bit quicker. By being in ‘the zone’ I mean getting to that place where your mind is clear, ready, inspired. That moment when I feel I can create something out of nothing, something I can call MINE, something special, even if only to me.

This quote kind of explains how I feel about time:

“The soul requires duration of time – rich, thick, deep, velvety time – and it thrives on rhythm. Soul can’t be hurried or harried… We may go through many events in the day and experience nothing because the soul has not had the opportunity to feel them from many different points of view.” Roberto Sardello

The choices we have to make every single day on how we divide the hours in the day into what deserves our attention can be overwhelming. And I know when I’m not making the right ones because I basically feel crap if I don’t do the things I like to do. It’s simple maths really:

Time + things I like to do = Happy Marilia

Time + things that I have to do but don’t necessarily like to = Unhappy Marilia

My commitment to myself from now on must be, I guess, to try and declutter. I must try and erase from my life the things that don’t deserve that much of my attention. Like cleaning, for instance. Maybe I can clean less, so I can read more. Maybe I can worry less, so I can day-dream more. Maybe I can just apply this newly found maths to everything that requires time in my life. This way, I’ll know straight away if spending time on something I don’t really want to do is taking away time that I’d be using to do the things I love, so I’ll feel more empowered to saying no to a few things here and there. If we think about it, even the person who has absolutely nothing, has time. Time is universal, everyone has it, even if only a little left. This makes us pretty powerful. We ARE in charge.

Right, enough talk, I’m gonna go make a nice coffee and read my book for an hour. Sod the washing-up.

Categories: Creativity, Dreams, Personality traits, Quirky thoughts, Time, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being brave

This week, I found myself wondering about what being a grown up really means…

I had a bit of an episode, when I got really nervous about something and I think this is what triggered my thinking. You see, I get really nervous around motorways or whenever I’m driving and get lost somehow. I won’t dwell on it on this post (I’ll probably write about this another time), but I just wanted to say that the simple fact of a road diversion can get me all jittery.

This week wasn’t a very stressful one overall, but little things managed to get to me and throw me slightly off balance. When that happens, I usually think “what would the grown ups of my family do?”. These can be my mother, my grandmother, my dad, my stepmother or my stepfather. I have these 5 people on a bit of a pedestal, as they usually have all the answers for me.

I am 33 years old and I still see myself as a teenager most of the time. And then when I do something really grown up, like braving myself through a different route to work, I don’t even remember that no, I don’t really need praise for it. This is what I should be doing all the time at this stage in my life.

The bottom line is that I don’t consider myself a very brave person. You know, like those people that just don’t hesitate to take a risk and just go for things. I need to always have a bit of a plan in place, and when that plan is in place, I always organise a plan B too, just in case. I fear that my very specific approach on taking risks in life means that I’m probably not enjoying it as much as I could. After all, we only live once, don’t we?

When I feel really useless and like a little girl afraid of everything, I try to go through my life and remember some occasions where I did show some sort of bravery. Like, for example, when I moved to a country on the other side of the  ocean, miles and miles away from home, all on my own. I should take the credit for that, shouldn’t I? I know that millions and millions of people have done this before, but for a relatively scared person like me, this should count as a bit of a life achievement.

I was also brave when I decided to stay in this country and start a life here for myself. I have had jobs (and now have one I love after one more little act of bravery!), I have new friends, I have a new doctor, I even have a new mechanic for my car. And I found the way to get all of these all on my own. However, there are still areas where I go into panic mode. When I’m driving, for example. Or when I have to make a big decision.

I hate making a decision. I always analyze far to much and then end up confusing myself with all the pros and cons, ifs and maybes… it’s stressful, but I tend to make it even more stressful than it should be, really. My partner Lee, on the other hand, is a very straightforward person. He is quite quick to grasp if something is a good or a bad idea and things are usually quite clear and simple for him. On my side, I sleep on it, I dwell on it, I stress over it and I always end up making a decision that I’m never entirely sure is the best one. I lack on confidence.

To be a grown up, though, you need to be confident, don’t you? You need to be able to deal with so many things at the same time and also try and keep that peace of mind that is so important. For me, getting paranoid over things means that my energy gets drained and I feel powerless. I have to change that.

Although change is necessary, I’m still not quite sure about how to do this. Do I just start being braver in my decisions and going for it, not thinking too much? But then if I do that and things don’t go well, won’t I regret it all and then blame myself for not having taken a more cautious route? It’s hard to change yourself. You know what people say… start as you mean to go on? Well, I believe in that. I’m a great believer that we do things for the sake of it, because we have done it the same way for years and it has become a habit so intrinsict that it becomes almost impossible to change. But I also believe that we have to recognise when something needs changing. We need to recognise when the way we go about things is holding us back instead of taking us forward.

It is a big challenge to make a big change, especially when some of the things we do and the way we do them is connected so closely with our personality. I want to be braver. I want to have the courage to see an opportunity and believe that I can do something about it. I want my belief in myself to drive me forward and I want to stop wasting time making plans and trying to schedule life so much that opportunities just pass me by, waving at me whilst I sit there with my cofffee and my ‘to do’ list .

To make big changes, we have to start somewhere and I know that most people usually get overwhelmed by how big a task it is to change some of our habits. Perhaps if we take it slowly we can achieve more. We have to keep going, slowly but surely. Things won’t change overnight, but we have to start. I have always loved a sentence from that movie “Vanilla Sky” and I think that I’ll use that as my startying point for my change of being braver in life. If we think about change as putting one foot after the other, maybe the whole process will look less scary. The sentence from the movie is: “every passing minute is a another chance to turn it all around”. Let’s grab all those minutes and make them count just as we want them to.

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

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

Tic tac… toc toc toc

And it happens again… Every Sunday night is the same. I watch the clock going… tic tac, tic tac, tic tac, whilst I try to programme my brain to just stop and go to sleep. I know that my habit of sleeping until midday on Sundays doesn’t help my trying to go to bed at a decent time to start the week refreshed and invigorated. Instead, I’m usually dragging myself from bed to work and back home on Mondays, without the energy to do much else.

The problem is, when I’m there, tossing and turning, my brain is working overtime creating all these little situations completely out of the blue, making me end up spending valuable sleep time trying to find solutions for problems that do not even exist in my life. Yes, ok, I have been known for being a bit of a control freak, so I guess I’m just being my usual self. However, when I have meetings on a Monday morning and really could do with a sharp mind, being a control freak doesn’t help me at all!

The rolling in bed whilst trying to shift thoughts out of my head means that I end up thinking about all these horrible scenarios…  I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but I’m there lying in my bed, happy and thinking that things are actually going quite ok in my life when, all of a sudden, boom! What if this happens? And how about that? Oh, no, and what if this also happens? And what do I do if all of it happens at the same time? And then I have to go and knock on the wood three times every time I think something bad. If anyone  is listening, they might think that there is a proper set of drums in my bedroom and I’m practising at 1am!

I like to always be prepared for everything, and I am so used to thinking ahead and planning (this has probably got a lot to do with my job) that I forget that most of what I’m planning for will not even have the decency to happen. So there is me, spending all this time solving some (non-existing) problems not only of my little life but of the whole entire world too! Bloody hell! How am I suppose to ever go to sleep!?

This never happens on any other night apart from Sunday, though, which makes me think that the relaxation of the weekend is what brings it on. When I’m relaxed, happy and carefree, some part of my brain goes: “Oh no, she is in the PRESENT and not looking ahead or planning actions to solve future ‘never-going-to-happen’ problems. Come on! Overwork, overwork, overwork… get her worried about something, you lazy brain!” It’s almost like my own mind is against me, which makes it all very hard to control (haha, the control again, you see?).

I can’t be the only one to suffer from brain overwork on Sunday nights, can I? What do other people do? I try to count sheep, I try to imagine myself calmly walking through a lovely and peaceful meadow, I try to hear the sound of music in my own head and even so, there is always a moment when some stupid nonsense thought comes in and breaks my relaxation in pieces… and then I start worrying again about the most absurd things… as if I had to be prepared for the collapsing of the world the following morning. To top if all off, when one bad thought enters the mind, it is generally followed by a trillion more, like a chain of bad thoughts… one after the other…  and then once I’ve solved one problem, my brain kind of acts like the cashier of the bank and shouts: NEXT!

I do feel sorry for myself. And this is only because of the irony of it all. Being the control freak that I am, I feel incapable of controlling my own thoughts… I feel powerless on Sunday nights and I feel my confidence vanishing and my heart pounding because of the frustration that this brings. Ok, you are going to say that I have to relax more. Relaxing has been a work in progress since I was born I think, and I don’t think I’ve ever achieved good marks at it. I keep trying though and I do think that during the week I’m quite good. It’s just the Sundays that throw my efforts out of the window.

It’s a bit sad that I feel the need to worry so much and can’t just shut my brain down and just get on with the snoring. It’s a bit annoying that when I manage to control so much in my life already, I am just incapable of controlling my own little paranoia. I try my best to suss life out every Sunday night, which leads me nowhere, really, because life will do as it pleases anyway. No matter how much I toss and turn, the element of surprise will always be there, and I really really do have to start appreciating the beauty of it.

 

Categories: Insomnia | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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