Welcome to 2022

When I was younger, the New Year seemed to mean more. Like, it felt there was new possibilities, anything could happen. Then, over the last few years, stuff has been rubbish, for everyone, and now a new year has been welcomed with a sigh and a roll of eyes. It’s feels more like ‘here we go again’, rather than ‘more new adventures’. And it’s all a bit sad.

Having the privilege to greet another year, is something a person should feel thankful for. Something that not everyone is able to do. So it’s nice to stop, and recognise where you are and what you do have. I, for instance, am surrounded by people I love, have a roof over my head, and am getting closer to finding some resolution to the health problems I’ve plagued with for years. I don’t recognise it enough, I always look at the negative, but a person shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling grateful.

I think that is something that I always want to change, with each progressive year. Look at the good things that happened, as my brain does have a tendency to focus on the negative side of life. It’s hard though. I sometimes think the world around us, wants us to focus on the negative things, and it would just be to tell us more stuff. Because that’s how things work.

So, this year. I am trying to recognise the nice things more. Try and train my brain to really enjoy the good stuff. Things like taking myself out to lunch, grabbing a coffee with friends, or relaxing with a good book. Things, that don’t mean a lot, in the grand scheme of things, but things that help make the tediousness of life, a little more bearable. Because right now, the most common way I make myself feel better, is to spend money. It is usually on crap, like things I don’t need. Packets of crisps, cakes, notebook, pens, magazines, fizzy juice, i just throw money out the window.

So, in line with making myself recognise the good things in life, I want to control my finances more. So making myself happy without spending money. I am also looking to improve my credit score, by sorting out some old debts. I don’t know if you were aware, but depression and anxiety leaves me being a little ‘head in the sand’ when it comes to dealing with things like debt. So yesterday, on New Years Day, I got in contact with companies, and set up payment plans. I also started a new savings account. These small steps can hopefully help me in the future, as I can get rid of this shadow which seems to overlap everything.

Anyway. That’s my plans. Nothing too solid, which I think is best in current circumstances, but definite improvements.

I wish all readers a very happy 2022, and I hope you achieve all you set out to achieve.

Taking Time Out

It is important, that in this world that doesn’t seem to stop, that you take time for yourself. Time away from your computer. Time away from work. Time away from the routine that can grate on your nerves. It feels, since lockdown happened last year, that everything feels so much more intense. People are angry, as normality appears to be keeping socially distant from us. Folk are very intolerant to views that are not their own, and as a result, give out underserved abuse.

So, I had 2 weeks booked off work. A holiday which was supposed to be spent in Cyprus, with my family. But, was cancelled, like everything else, due to Coronavirus. I kept the time off booked, because I still needed to use those holidays. So, I didn’t plan anything. I was worried, as when my brain senses no plans, it seems to go into over drive, and my mental health is atrocious.

My main focus was to just relax. Take joy in watching tv, or going for a walk. Not to have a reason for anything. Previously, I would say I wanted to read so many books, create a certain number of artworks, and lose so much weight. This has ended up with my going back to work more stressed, than I was before. Which kind of defies the point of being off work in the first place.

So, I worked hard at doing nothing. I ordered too many take aways, drank too much alcohol, and got up around noon. It was good. Maybe not the healthiest for my body, but for the first time in a long time, my mind was able to recharge. For the first time, in a long time, I feel light. I feel so super relaxed. And ready to go back to work, tomorrow.

Happy Blogmas

Okay… I know a lot of people who film a video every day in the run up to Christmas, in something called ‘Vlogmas’. So, because I have fell off the bandwagon with writing, I decided to join this gimmicky little fad.

I am very good at starting these kind of challenges, but not too great at the delivery. And when I have attempted these kind of things previously, I have completely failed after a couple of days.

I have been busy, studying and working, alas not having a life. But I am in a good place. Which is fairly odd. I don’t really know what to say when things are going well. I feel like I have nothing to add to any conversation. But that’s not true, not really. I have said it before, but it is important to document good moments, as well as bad, so that you can focus on the better things. I have always had a habit on focusing on the bad, so maybe this can be a month of goodness.

Can always hope. But we are officially in Christmas month, and I like this time of year. Everyone seems to be a little happier, and that is nice. It’s a time to celebrate, so maybe that’s a good time to learn to recognise the good stuff life gives out.

Something New

Everyone has moments in life, where they go from the top of a hypothetical ladder, only to then end up at the very bottom of another. The most common example of this, happens during childhood. When you are one of the oldest kids in Primary School, to start as the youngest again, when you go to High School. There is nothing bad about that, it is just something that sometimes happens. It can through everything up in the air, and make you reconsider quite a lot in your life.

I happens in adulthood as well. For example, I worked in a department at my work for over 3 years, I was settled, it was a really nice atmosphere and work was fun. But last week, I was moved to another department. There was no major changes, even my shift patterns stayed the same, the only thing that changed was the process I now had to do. And as easy going I tried to be about the whole situation, I couldn’t help feeling a little hard done by. Like, the whole ‘why me’ feeling, with thoughts of ‘what did I do wrong’. Being most experienced in one area, just to be moved back down to the least experience, is not a particularly nice feeling. And it is a feeling that is quite hard to get out of.

But, like a lot in life, these situations become easier if we have a better mindset. So rather that focusing on what I am missing out on, I am trying to shift focus onto what I am gaining. For example, the work situation, yes it is a pain, but it is also a new experience. Which in a workplace which is as ever-changing as mine, it’s only a good thing to be as experienced as possible. So, maybe that is a good thing. Another good thing is, that despite how anti-social I can be sometimes, I do like meeting new people. I like to be on good terms with people, used to be quite obsessed with it, actually. So, I try to be nice, and helpful, so that folk thing nicely of me. I have already met so many nice people at my work, and have created friendships that will last for years to come. Which is a good thing.

The hard thing is, that as well as staying focused on the good stuff, I also have to ignore the negativity. Some of the people who moved departments with me, really hate it. Like, all they do is complain. And when you are already struggling to be positive, someone being overly negative isn’t really that great. I remember my first job, being told during training that the mood of people you encounter, is contagious. It was all based on how if you smiled at a customer, they’d smile back, and carry that small positive action to someone else, and make the world a wee bit nicer. But the same happens with negativity, if the first voice you hear in the morning is ‘I can’t be bothered, this place is shit’, then that thought infiltrates your perception on what happens that day.

I guess, the main thing is to keep going with a smile if you can. It is hard, but it makes so many things easier. Well, maybe not everything, but even if it makes one hour of a day slightly easier, it is worth it.

The Best Time

It’s been one of those weeks. A slow week, where time just seems to progress so slowly, that time seems to go backwards occasionally.

The only thing about getting through a slow week, is the relief when that working week is over. As soon as you walk out the doors of your work, it can be good knowing that moment is the longest possible time before you have to go back.

It’s not that I hate my work, I actually do enjoy it. Great people, the job can be varied and it is a way to pay the bills. However, having a period of free time ahead of you is better than working. Yes, everyone knows it. Unless you are one of the lucky few, who works their ‘dream job’. But i don’t. I work in a warehouse. It’s surprising that I find it good. No grumpy customers, no sales incentives, it is nice.

But the weekend is here. And that is time to visit friends. Go to the gym. Spend time with family. Just do the things that make me happy. And that is a requirement.

That’s That Then

So Christmas is done for another year. Usually there is a ‘come down’ after Christmas, as that big day that we have been building towards is over. And it feels strange that I don’t feel that usual ‘come down’. 

My focus this year was on having time to chill out and spend the time with family. And it has been an unreserved success. Christmas this year, has been about spreading joy, making people laugh and generally being happy. Making others happy gives such an adrenaline rush. I feel I have not made the best of the festive season before, as I have got too worked up about the material things. Losing sleep if someone would actually like the gift I had bought them. But that doesn’t really matter. This year it was more about the giving rather than the actual gift. And that helped me relax this year. 

I spent days in work singing Christmas songs and helping to give a Christmas treat to workers (see below). And it made everything so much more enjoyable. All because it made other people smile or laugh. 

My whole experience of Christmas has been a new one this year, and it has felt like more than just one day. It has been a happy few weeks, and I have massively enjoyed it. 

I went through a phase for quite a few years where I felt Christmas was a waste of time. Just there to make more money for shops. By changing my thinking slightly, that Christmas is about the people around you, I have ended up enjoying everything more. You can buy something from Poundland, and if has the right intent behind it, the gift can be as appreciated as something costing a lot of money. And it has taken me too long to realise that. 

I hope anyone reading this had a great Christmas weekend, and enjoyed a bit of downtime with those who mean most to you. 

Little Bits of Happiness

*A morning walk
*iPod on shuffle
*Packed lunches
*Soaks in the bath
*Coffee and catch-ups with friends
*Smelling freshly cut grass
*Laughing at bad jokes
*Getting into a new book
*Getting into a new TV show
*Being caught up with emails
*Having a lie in
*Drawing a picture
*Taking photos

You Get What You Pay For

Whether it is reading Facebook updates or talking to people face to face, there seems to be a lot of people complaining about the situation that they find themselves in. As if pointing the finger to something else, makes it easier to deal with where they are now, and that they don’t find it satisfactory. Is pitting on the blame on someone else, really making a difference?

I’d say no. It is like avoiding the thing altogether. Pushing the blame of your current life may make you feel better about the situation, but it makes no difference to the actual place you find yourself. To change things, you can’t hedge your bets that someone will pluck you from your mundane workplace and make your dreams a reality. Because, be honest, that will never happen. Only one person can make your dreams come true, and it’s you.

So I’d advise on taking accountability on where you are, and start dealing with things. If you are not happy about your job, for example, find out why your not happy and change it. Don’t expect everyone around you to know you are unhappy, if you are not willing to voice it. People are not always as intuitive as we would like, so give them a hand.

If it is your workplace itself that is the problem, then search for something else. Or even find something that makes you happy, outside work. Sometimes we can be over stressed at work and it purely is because our only focus is on work. Whilst that is needed sometimes, when your life revolves around work, and work isn’t satisfying, it can be pretty damn depressing. So give yourself something to smile about, whether it’s getting a new hobby, or giving yourself ‘me’ time, it will help you feel better about yourself.

If you don’t make an effort to make your life better, it won’t be. You could end up stuck, and pointing blame elsewhere isn’t going to fix it. Be your own hero. Live for today, and make it your best.

Lone-Time Tasks

What do you do when you are alone?

I usually spend time online, mostly catching up on videos and blogs, and sometimes creating my own content. I like the idea of communicating with people who are from different places in the world. It is something that feels even better when someone comments or passes on what you create. Whether they say something direct to you or not, it is a great feeling knowing that you may have made some kind of connection with someone else. And that great feeling spurns me on to both show pass on the joy with others (by commenting on blogs/videos) and it also inspires me to create more content.

The issue is, especially with the internet, you can find that your time will be eaten up rather quickly by doing things. I have easily lost hours at a time just faffing around online, and I am pretty sure that I am not the only one who does it. I guess I can feel guilty that I log on to the web to check a few things out, and I end up staying on for hours after one site leads to another, or I get in a conversation with someone.

But whilst it has become the most common way for me to spent alone time, there are other things I do. I guess the way I and most others chose things like reading, TV or the internet to escape is because we feel that we need something to focus on that can help reduce stress. Normally, I guess that ‘logging off’ into something that we have an interest has become normal. It makes everything seem a little brighter, if you can fill sections of your life with things that your really enjoy. I think that it a fairly new-age concept, that people even need to log off. But then, I suppose the self-reflection maybe used to happen when people would make their own things or tend their garden. Any project which is solitary, I guess, can be a time of reflection and thought.

This is what makes doing something on your own so freeing and good. The focus on something other than what is causing you stress, is good. Everyone needs a release, and it can be anything. As long as it is something that you enjoy, you will find that even spending a small period of time on it, will change your mood for the better.  And that is something that I encourage.