My 2020 Vision

Happy New Year.

What do I want for the year?

Try to experience life in the moment: I sometimes worry too much about what could happen, rather than focus on what is actually happening. It is something created by my anxiety, but I want to try and change how I think about stuff. It seems hard, but it’s worth a try.

Get healthier: this is on a lot of people’s resolution list. I don’t care about weight really, I just want to feel better. I am trying Veganuary, in the hope I will feel better. Luckily a lot of people are trying it, so there is so much support. Again, I might not get it perfect, but it has to start from somewhere.

Draw more: I think I used this last year. I have purchased an Apple Pencil to use on my iPad, so that I can draw digitally. I just need to practice more. It’s always hard using a new tool, but it is something a wee bit exciting. If anything decent happens, I’ll share on here.

Write more: this is definitely something I did say last year. But 2019 kicked me in the butt quite hard. My mental health was rubbish, and that lead to me not wanting to do much at all. So, I hope that I post more than I did in 2019, which shouldn’t be too hard.

That’s it.

I like giving myself vague targets, because it makes it slightly easier to aim for. Because sometimes, if you fall too far behind, you just give up. Or I do.

Social Media Care

I remember when I started using social media, many years ago (in fact, 10 years ago), it was a place of excitement. It was new for everyone, it was filled with normal folk, as advertisers hadn’t really jumped on the bandwagon yet. Social media became a place of freedom of expression. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, this isn’t the case anymore. No matter what you express, it feels like there are always people about to try and pick holes in what you say. Like, I try to be kind and advice-like when I write, but people like to jump on what I say to be all ’that isn’t how it is to me, so you are lying’. And these people are usually anonymous profiles who seem to spend all their time hating other people.

It is important to look after yourself in an atmosphere that can be so destructive. So, I thought up I few things that I use, when social media gets to me.

1) Block button. Every social media site has the ability to mute or block certain users. This is good. You might have a friend who is posting annoying rubbish for a TV show you hate, you can mute them for a while. This means, you are still following them, but you don’t see their content for a while. Blocking means that the person is unfollowed, can’t see what you post or anything on your profile. This is a good way to cut out people who may be harassing you.

2)Take time out. Go for a day or so without social media. I usually simply put my phone on airplane mode for a few hours, like when I am studying, so that I can focus without the constant pinging of my phone. If that isn’t enough, and you want a few days away from the distraction of your Facebook timeline, delete the app from your most used device. A lot of the time, we check social media constantly because it always seems to be there. And it not being there, can free up a lot of time.

3)Don’t read bad comments. Sometimes, you could post a picture of an apple on Instagram, and it would attract bad comments. If you see this happening, try not to feel down. These people seem to get some kind of thrill of bringing people down. You can disable comments on many social media services, as well as make it so only your friends can comment. You will find that people are a lot less confrontational if they know you, or have to share their identity.

4) Just laugh. Try not to take social media too seriously. A lot of the content that you will be shown on sites like Facebook and Twitter are there to get a reaction. So they will either be content you agree with, or content you massively disagree with. For example, I would say I am ’left-leaning’ when it comes to politics, so the stuff I get shown is either supporting that stance, or is wildly opposing those views. So, try not to take everything as gospel, and just laugh when people do. It also can defuse a situation building up within yourself, as laughter does make you feel better.

5) Be kind to yourself. If you find anything on social media to be causing any kind of negative reaction to yourself, then step away. You are the only you there is, so it’s important you look after yourself. If there is too much BS happening, then go and read a book, play a computer game or whatever social media is distracting you from.

You can be selective over what you show on social media, and it’s important to remember that. Because everyone else is too. A lot of people show part of themselves, whether it be a nice or a nasty side. So if someone attacks you, then remember it is just what they think they see, it’s not actually you.

Hello 2019.

The start of a new year, already? It’s pretty scary how time just seems to fly by, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. It’s important to make the best of whatever time you have, and that includes relaxing.

This year, I have a few things I want to sort out.

1) Finances- I pretty much live payday to payday, which is pretty sad. It’s no way to live life, as you can feel permanently broke. So I am planning on setting up my bill payment account, and I won’t be able to touch the money that goes into there. It’s going to need a bit of discipline, but I am aiming to spend a lot wiser next year, and hopefully save some money.

2) Be Healthier- I am very unhealthy. I do a lot of walking, but I eat so much crap. This year is about progress, so I want try and move a little forward with my health. It includes eating better, and doing more exercise, as well as looking after my mental health. My mental health was awful last year, and it was like a brick wall that stopped me from doing so much. I want my health to stop being such a burden on my own life. So more ‘body positive’ and self-care in the year ahead.

3) Read More- this sounds a pretty weak one, but it’s important. I have always read, but last year I really struggled. Reading is something I need to have focus for, and I haven’t had the focus. So I am going to try and put time aside to relax and read to unwind.

It’s not a lot. But they are things I would like to achieve. The start of a new year always feels like a fresh start, but it’s not really. It does feel like a good opportunity to push myself to be better, but every day should be like that. But, it psychologically feels to close off a year, especially if it feels like a bad one.

Let’s see what 2019 has in store.

Ramblings and Resolutions.

2018 has got off to a bumpy start. Nothing I am really prepared to go on about in a public manner, but enough that I wish there was a ‘reboot’ button, much like what used to be on my old Sega, so that I could restart this 2018 level again.But, life isn’t like that.

After some thinking, the best way to even out a crappy start, is to plan for succeeding the rest of the year. So, I made the very unusual (for me) plan of creating a list of resolutions I would like to do for 2018. I have a small notebook, that I am using like a ‘creative journal’, which is more like a scrapbook, and it allows me to focus on what I want, and set up easy goals. This is not really the way I have worked towards things before, so I hope it works.

My Resolutions

  1. Lose Weight- I want to get healthier, and over the last few years I have struggled, mostly because I had been struggling with mental health as well. So, now I feel like I like myself more, so I want to make the effort, to get healthy. I have joined weight watchers, and am excited to start this journey.
  2. Read 50 books- I had this aim last year, but only read 8 books, which is okay, but nowhere near what I had hoped. I love reading, but I sometimes struggle to concentrate. So I have normal books, my kindle and audiobooks, and hope they will all help.
  3. Write more- 2017 was a pretty disasterous year for me, writing wise. Like above, with the books, I struggled to focus on things, and just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to say. I’d like to plan better, and hopefully find more things to write about.
  4. Make more videos- I made 1 video last year, which is really bad. I have spent the best part of the last 5 years as an observer on YouTube, with the odd upload now and then. I enjoy watching videos of general vlogs, where people talk about what is important to them, so that’s what I want to do more of. Just document things a bit more.
  5. Have more baths- I love a bath, especially after a long day at work. There is nothing better than sitting in a hot bubble bath, with a book or Netflix playing on a tablet. It’s like for a small while, you can shut the world out.
  6. Discover New Music- This one is more general. I love music, but over the last few years, I have found myself listening to the same music all the time. And I miss the buzz of listening to a new band.
  7. Get a new car- I did get a car last year, but I was in an accident and it was scrapped. Having a car is so convienient, and I really miss it. It is such a pain getting the bus, when I did get used to driving myself about. I’d like a small car. I was going to get a newer car on finance, but I really don’t want any more debt right now.
  8. Sort out finances- I am really bad at burying my head under the sand. I push bills back and back, and then I get stuck, and it becomes so hard. I want to get a plan, and then work through the plan in small steps. And hopefully, my credit score will be better by the end of the year.
  9. Tidy up (keep tidy)- I am very lazy. And that combined with long shifts, makes a mess very easily. The most annoying part is, that I love when things are tidy and organised, I just have a problem with being tidy and organised.
  10. De-clutter life- I am a bit of a hoarder, and don’t like throwing things away. Books, shoes, bags, DVDs, CDs… I have too much. So, again, doing things gradually might help. Going to take things to the charity shop, as even if it gets sold cheap, its better than it sitting unused in my closet.
  11. Have more fun- I do worry too much. So I want to try and ‘let go’ a little bit more. I spend a lot of time alone, and often, that means that I have to go places on my own. And my anxiety can cause issues with that. Obviously, I am not expecting miracles, but hopefully I can relax a little bit and enjoy life.

 

Happy 2018

The annual ‘first post of the year’ is here. Already. I like to reflect on things and plan ahead, the start of a new calendar year seems like the perfect time to do that.

2017, wasn’t as bad a year as some other recent years have been. It’s the first year, where I feel like I started taking my mental and physical health more seriously. I spent time in the gym, which helped a lot. And I also learnt to step back when things become hard, not to force myself into goals which are stressing me out more than they should. This is something that happens A LOT, thanks to the fact I overthink things. And I think that has helped me so much. It means that despite crashing my first car, not progressing anywhere (eg career or otherwise) and losing contact with old friends, I still ended 2017 optimistically. Which is a nice change.

Looking forward, i think I may stick to the same tactic as before. Where I didn’t keep actual resolutions, just general broad goals. I would like to do better at losing weight, keep on track with uni work, do overtime, get a new car, get a place of my own… the list can go on a bit. So I am prioritising things, and the main ones are focusing on my health and doing the work I need to do for uni. Everything else, I would like to happen, but I won’t feel to down if it doesn’t. Things happen in baby steps after all.

My 2017 was better than 2016, so all I want is for 2018 to be better again. And that’s all I wish for anybody out there. Happy new year.

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.

An Afterthought

What happens after you achieve something that you have been working towards for a long time?

It sounds like a silly question, but it is something I have been thinking about. I have been a person who likes lists to work through. I very rarely finish all the tasks listed, but it is a handy way figure out what you need to do. But sometimes, the same task can sit on my to-do list for weeks at a time. It usually is because the task has a lot of work to do as part of it, and sometimes, I am simply too lazy. Actually, that is most of the time. I’d rather watch anime or read a book, especially when it comes to things such as housework.

But, once in a blue moon, I actually focus and do the task I have been needing to do for ages. And, when I get started, I am stubborn enough to get finished. But, when it is done, there is like a strange feeling. Because this thing that has been on my mind for so long, is suddenly gone. It doesn’t need to be dealt with anymore. It is quite a calming feeling to be honest, which is good. As a naturally anxious person, anything that can keep me calm is a good thing.

But… I never learn. I feel the good feeling of achieving something, but I still have the habit of procrastinating when other things need to be done. I annoy myself sometimes.

Tempting

I am bad at saving things for later. Be it food, money, or in today’s case, holiday hours from work. If I get an idea in my head to use something, then I’ll use it. I don’t seem to be able to keep anything till later. At all.

So today, I was to be in work, and I had a total headache. So rather that force myself in to work, I took an ’emergency holiday’. The hours used for that holiday are set aside so that if you need to use them, the holiday is automatically approved. It’s a good idea. But you only get 10 hours every 3 months. Ideally, you hold on to those hours, and use them for a proper emergency, where you might need to leave work early or something. But, I used it within the first week of getting it.

I had always decided that I was going to bail shift early, for the Dunfermline and Raith Rovers game, it was a derby game. I don’t get to go to many games, as I usually work on a Saturday.

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But Dunfermline won, which makes me happy, and makes it worth the time off. Life should include doing what makes you happy, right?

The Saving Problem

I read a thing somewhere last week, where by the age of 30, a person should have at least 3 months of their pay in a savings account. Safe to say, that at 32, I have nowhere near that much saved. I probably have made wrong choices, but I am trying to change my ways.

I have always had a problem with money. Live more ‘in the moment’ rather than ‘save for a rainy day’. Which in hindsight is not the best way to live. When I started having problems with my mental health, I would get satisfaction buying useless things. Like it gave a sense of control, which sounds silly really. But it’s true, especially when an illness like depression can take away all control from you.

The problem with depression, that it is something that never really goes. It leaves behind scars and bad habits. And those bad habits can take a long time to beat. So, baby steps are needed. I am plan better, plan outgoings and incomings. It’s new. But, part of dealing with mental problems is actually properly working to get control of things. Or try, anyway.

Retreading Old Roads

I always feel that people get annoyed with my posts popping up on their feeds. Especially, as I have committed myself to posting every day. Something that I am enjoying, even though I have struggled sometimes, posting an entry or two close to midnight. It is a challenge that I am having fun with, although it may not seem like it.

A lot of the things I talk about, relate to my mental health, especially anxiety. This is something that I am actively working on, to try and deal with things better. And, when I write something, sometimes similar thoughts run round my head, so that is what gets written about. There are times, when every point I think about my anxiety, I can think of different ideas as new ways to make it easier to deal with. Which, if I am honest, is something that I feel is essential to self-improvement. Always looking for a solution.

So, whilst I figure out what I am doing, I will go over things a few times. I might have a different angle for whatever happened, but that is what happens sometimes. Once things settle down a little bit, I am going to try and plan things better. I have a notebook, which already has some ideas written down. So, I would like to post a bit more varying content. Maybe write entries as drafts, and then post them in an order which mixes things up a bit. Writing every day is something that is still quite new to me, so it will take time for things to get in a better rhythm.

But for the moment, I am happy on here. This blog is celebrating it’s 8th birthday this year, and has become a place which is documented a large section of my life. And because of that, I find strangely attached to it. I like reading my old posts from years ago, to read about problems, which seem so insignificant now. My hope is, that one day, the anxiety I am writing about so frequently right now, will be as insignificant as my college are now, 8 years later.

Can always hope.