Doing well (not)

So, my plans to be productive have fallen by the wayside already. And we are only in the first week of February. Which, has me feeling pretty depressed about things. Not that it takes much.

But setting a plan should involve understanding that things aren’t concrete. Which is something that I am trying to learn. It is disappointing when you fail to achieve something, and sometimes it feels like complete failure. And sometimes, it feels like all you get in life is failure, after failure. Like, I try to do things, but just end up going round in circles.

It is something that is very frustrating. A big thing that is a problem, is that my attention lapses too soon. So I lay out tasks to do, and do them successfully for a few days, and then get bored. I have no further motivation to do the tasks I had planned on. And, I can’t seem to stop this from happening. Which is super frustrating.

So, I am trying to change how I think about plans and goals. I need to stop thinking of them as something that can’t be change. Any goals that I have should work with me, I shouldn’t have to constantly feel like I am drowning because my aims are too out of reach. I just maybe need to learn how to plan to my needs better.

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.

Ran Out Of Qs

In the UK, there has always been an abundance of magazine publications, all suited around whatever hobby or interest you could have. Model trains, cross stitching, running, photography, almost anything had a magazine. My big interest was always music. And, in the days before you had music recommendations at a click of a button on Spotify, you had music magazines, and the odd radio show.

From, when I started earning my own money, I always bought music magazines. It started off with Smash Hits, moved on to Kerrang, Rocksound, NME and Q. There then became more niche magazines, Big Cheese covered punkier stuff, then Metal Hammer got heavy metal. Magazines would often give away free tapes, then CDs, so you got a taste for the bands you were reading about. I always liked different music, so I would buy different magazines, to try and absorb as much information as possible. If you wanted to find out about music out with the Top 40, you had to work for it. Which is why magazines were so important to me when I was younger.

Unfortunately, more and more of the publications that I used to buy, are closing. With Q Magazine being the latest victim. After 34 years of publication, the magazine has published it’s final issue. And it is hard to imagine, in these days, where music seems instant, that a major way I discovered music seems to be dying away. There was a time, when pondering a career path when I was at school, that I thought about journalism, in particular, music journalism. I had never been the most accomplished writer, but I loved the idea about showing appreciation for something I loved. To shed light on bands and albums I loved. It sounded pretty magical.

These days, if you like a certain genre, or listen to certain bands, the music streaming service you listen to, will recommend new music. It’s seamless, and almost effortless to find something new. I liked reading about a band’s exploits, about their history, and understanding about the band members. I also loved reading reviews on gigs, especially if I was discovering a new band. It’s not the same anymore. Even pop music, there is no music on TV anymore. When I was younger there was Top Of The Pops, CD:UK, even Popworld. Shows that created a buzz, and added a bit of personality to the most generic bands.

I know things move on, but it makes me sad.

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.

Something Different

When it comes to trying to get things done, I seem to get so far, and then stop. Not on purpose. My attention starts to wain, and I end up just leaving whatever project alone, in a drawer and do everything I can to avoid looking at it.

I read a news paper article a while ago, where it spoke about focusing on actions that work for you. It sounds a little silly, but because everyone is different, it’s not too hard to assume that not every path works for everybody. I am going to use studying as an example. Some people learn by reading, some by listening, some take notes, and some draw diagrams. There are so many different ways to learn, and although the ‘taking notes’ option is the recommended by educators, it may not work for you. It doesn’t work for me. I do better if i read stuff out loud, and try and doodle wee diagrams about what I read. And, when I read back it always seems easy to understand.

As mentioned in my last post, I have joined weight watchers to try and lose weight. Previously, I have always used other people and their comments about me, to push me to change. But, someone mentioned in the weight watchers community, that a person should want to get healthy for themselves, and because they love their body. It sounds odd, but it is a concept so foreign to me, it might work.

Change Of Plans

To try and get through life, I always look to make some kind of ‘action plan’ for the week. This gives me some kind of calm, as sometimes when I don’t know what is happening in the future, I can get very anxious. And if I am in a certain frame of mind, I can have a panic attack, which is a completely awful experience.

I always have a struggle when plans are changed. For example, maybe I regularly meet a friend for coffee. Something that is a nice part of a routine, is something that comforts me. It sounds silly, but it is hard to explain. Anxiety is something that occurs to me, when I can feel things slipping outwith my control. When I have really struggled with anxiety, I have normally felt lost, and that ‘lack of direction’, can really leave me feeling alienated from everything around me. And, if you have never experience that before, it is not a very nice feeling. And it is a feeling that can exacerbate other conditions, like depression.

So it really can trigger me when plans that I have, change unexpectedly. I always try to have a list of things that I can do at any one time, so that if plans change, I can try and move on to something else. It helps me feel like I am still in control, despite the fact that changes have happened outwith my control. It is something that I have been working on for years, but sometimes there are moments where I do still panic when stuff gets cancelled without much notice. For example, I was due to meet a friend for coffee the other week, and they cancelled. Their kid was sick, so they had to become housebound. Nothing I could do, but I got stupidly paranoid. I got this idea in my head that I had done something wrong, and that it was my fault that my friend cancelled. And no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t get past that thought. I couldn’t focus on anything, and had a few emotional breakdowns as a result. It sounds completely stupid now, but it didn’t feel like that at the time.

But have a constant list of alternative activities usually helps. It stops the doubt breaking into my mind, and it can help me stay angst-free. Mostly. Now, although it doesn’t work all the time, I know a lot of people who suffer from anxiety. And it really is something that can seriously effect your life. So I would recommend to anyone who suffers from anxiety to write up a list. My list includes things as read a chapter of a book, go for a walk and watch something on netflix. These are temporary things, but they keep my mind occupied and stop me from panicking. So I hope the idea might work for others too.

Happy New Year

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So another new year is upon us, an annual point for people to reflect on their lives and think of ways to make this next 12 months better than the last. A year is a significant period of time, and it is a unit of time, where a person can evaluate how they have done. And anything they didn’t do, they may want to create ‘resolutions’, to help them achieve what they want over the course of the next 12 months.

Of course, everyone should live their lives making today better than yesterday. Change can happen at any day, not just at New Year. Most people make resolutions fail, so a lot see it as a waste of time. I feel like people could fail if they don’t really ‘believe’ in what they are doing. When I was at school there was a bit of a pressure to invent a goal, to try and achieve something in the year. But if you didn’t really want to do what you said, there was no real push to do it. And I believe that this thing of ‘making resolutions’ that you don’t really want to, means people do fail. Some people see this year after year, and then call out resolutions as a waste of time. Which I guess could be true for some people.

Personally, other than writing a resolution when I was at Primary School, I have never been a fan of the whole ‘new year, new me’ stuff. It just seemed like a waste of time. But this year I am thinking slightly differently. 2014 was a bad mental health year for me. I struggled really badly with anxiety, and I reacted by shutting myself away from people. I refused to go on nights out because I didn’t want to be that person who drags a whole night down. So I didn’t bother going out. And then I hated myself for being so weak. It doesn’t sound like much, but I spent the best part of the year not liking myself. So, I am very relieved to shut the door on 2014, and look to make 2015 a bit better. And I have made some aims that I’d like to try for the year.

I’d like to work out a writing/vlogging/drawing routine and stick to them. I need to work on letting my frustrations out, so that they don’t wear me down, and i do that best by creating something. Food. I need a better relationship with food, and I need to stick to vegetarianism better. I don’t like the idea of something dying for me to eat it, but I like the taste. So I hope to find new tastes, that maybe fit my morals, and still taste good. I also would like to be more organised. I am very much a ‘throw everything on the floor’ kind of girl, and that means I lose everything. I can’t live with a messy kitchen, but my room can easily look like a bombs gone off. Learn how to love ‘me’. I am my own worst enemy and it needs to stop.

But that’s it. Just a few things that I feel would help me function better as the person I want to be. I have always had this idea of what I should be like, and I end up being down on myself on not being this hypothetical person. Which no one should be like towards themselves. But hey, enough with the negativity. Let’s lock that away with last year, and look ahead to a happier 2015.

I hope all my readers have an amazing 2015. And I wish you all the luck in the world for anything that you want to achieve.

Gamer Fail

As you hopefully see, I posted a review for the movie Remembering Sunday earlier this week. This review thing was something I planned to do a while ago. Do game, movie and music reviews. Which sounds awesome, something a little different on this here blog. So far gaming is the biggest fail on the list. Why? Because for the amount of hours I spend playing games, I suck at them all. I never complete games, I usually get stuck at a stupidly early level and give up.

But that isn’t all. I refuse to spend absurd amounts of money on computer games, as they are awful expensive. And on top of that, it takes me so long to make any progress in games, I refuse to spend stupid money on one. Sometimes. I am guilty of trading in my old 3DS for a 3DS XL, because the XL felt better in my hands. Not so flimsy, if that makes sense. So that I feel was a valid reason for upgrading, particularly because I drop stuff A LOT, and the normal 3DS seemed very breakable. There is a joke being made by a friend, that if I am so nervous about a console with hinges, I should buy a 2DS.

I mostly play games on my iphone, 3DS and Xbox 360. So, the original plan was to download a game weekly, and review it on here. Except I have a habit of purchasing old games, and some new ones. For instance South Park: Stick of Truth(2014) is in my Xbox, Super Mario: Sticker Star (2012) is in my 3DS. I get stuck so easy, so it would maybe end up ‘this level was okay, till I couldn’t get such and such to open the next level’. Which is how it happens regularly. But the ‘bad gamer’ might become a thing, as it doesn’t promise anything, other than being bad at games. Bad at outdated games.

Maybe I’ll just go play old 90s Sonic and review that. I actually completed that game. 🙂

It’s hard to believe that’s another year behind us. I feel like the last few years have gone too fast, and I barely have had the chance to catch my breath. Saying that, I am glad 2013 is over with, because it was a bad year. Well, not awful, but I really struggled through the year, and actually experienced some of my lowest periods than I have for a long time.

But, I got through it, and managed through the year, as hard as it appeared sometimes. And the cliched thing to do at this time of the year is to close that chapter of one’s life, and plan for the year ahead. I am not normally the type of person to do that, but it feels very theraputic for me not to focus on what happened in 2013. Because, if I’m honest, I know that I will focus on the bad stuff that happened. So, looking ahead to all the changes I could make, and how it can positively change my life. So, I have made a few aims, to change things for my life.

1) Eat healthier. I am not talking about diets, and quick fixes. I want to change my attitude on food, not just lose weight. I need to cut down on the sugary drinks and fatty snacks. I have read for years that bad fats and too much sugar can make you lethargic. In my job, I need as much energy as possible, because I am on my feet all day, and I simply can’t eat when I feel like it. So, I need to make sure I am eating the right foods, so that I am not bloated either. My plan initially is to cut down on the sugary drinks, and see what happens. One step at a time.

2)Be a better friend. I feel that I have been stuck in my own head for most of last year. And as a result, I haven’t been very good at returning messages or meeting up with friends. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my friends, so I feel like I owe them a lot. As such, I feel super guilty that I haven’t been there for people as much as I should have been. I have always had this guilt that was created because I felt guilty about ‘forcing’ myself on people, particularly because folk have their own issues. I want to push my own conclusions out of my head. All I can do is check in with folk and try to meet up with people. If people don’t get back, or decline an invitation, it’s their choice, it has not indication on what kind of person I am.

3)Get out and enjoy more live music. 2013 was a rather uninspiring year for gigs. I have been to see bands locally, but that’s about it. I have made the excuse of having no money, and never ventured out of the house. Live music is one of the great passions of my life, and I am guilty of not seeing as much as I want. This year, I am going to go out and see bands, weekly hopefully. Even if it means I am drinking water, so that I can pay a few quid for entry to see a few bands play in Edinburgh. The joy of seeing live music is worth it. If I plan gigs and events to go to, it makes it easier to deal with the bad days, because I’ll have something to look forward to.

So that is it. They are just three wee things, made up of regrets from the last year. I think that if you want to change, you should focus on the things that you are most disappointed with yourself about. Mostly, because negativity can be used to drive you so far. Regardless how it ends up, I aim to make the best out of what ever happens this year. And I hope that all my readers have a fantastic 2014.

Plans for the summer

*Finish learning Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car on the guitar

*Get my website planned and built

*Get some more tshirts designed and up in the shop

*Try and learn some basic German

*Work some overtime

*Get myself highered as a designer

*Really get into scrapbooking again. I am doing things, it’s just a bit slow right now.

*Blog and Vlog my summer.

*Dye and re-cut my hair.

*Have some time off work, and relax a bit.

*Try and see friends whilst there is some free time.

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On a good note, I am working on my sketchbook whilst I am at work, because drawing and doodling away, helps keep me more focused (sounds strange I know). Going to try and draw one thing each night. Maybe. Probably not, but I am going to TRY and do one thing a night in my sketch book. So lets see how that goes.