Tag Archives: life

Don’t wish your life away

 

There’s nothing like a funeral to put things in perspective, especially one of a family member, and last week was no exception for me. What resonated most was a reading that was given, and I know I was not alone in walking away feeling like something had to change, I had to change.

...
For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.
...

From 'The Dash' - read the whole poem here.

The ‘dash’ in this poem being the short line between the year of our birth and that of our death. How would someone reading your own eulogy describe what you did in that time, in your life?

It’s something that has been on my mind a lot recently – somewhat of a inter-quarter/mid life crisis. Do I know what am I doing with my life? Is it what I want to do? Am I achieving anything of note? Am I treating people how I would like to be treated myself? Am I acting in the manner that I would like to be best remembered?

I’m pretty sure the answer to all of those questions is ‘no’.

I am almost certainly muddling along from day-to-day. Wasting my life beating myself up, feeling miserable, feeling lonely, waiting to feel ‘well’, being selfish and self-involved, longing for the weekend or the next holiday, sitting at home moaning that I’m doing nothing, wanting it to be Friday when it’s only Monday.

It feels very late in life to be working out who I am but there is still plenty of time to ‘rearrange’ and there’s certainly a whole lot of Monday to Friday, unplanned weekends and moments of feeling vaguely human that I should be making more of.

Time to stop wishing my life away and do something with my ‘dash’.

 

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Who needs enemies when you’ve got yourself

The saying goes ‘it never rains but it pours’ or something like that doesn’t it? Life is never just a one problem at a time scenario, it’s everything all at once from a great height.

I make no secret of having low self confidence and I also make no secret of the fact that the past year and a half hasn’t been easy for a few reasons. I’ve stress eaten and stress hormone-d my way to some extra body weight weight in that time and those lovely hormones (and age) are responsible for my skin looking like I’m on the wrong side of adolescence, I’m on my way to a sex change AND marching towards middle age.

Then there’s the things I do to myself, seemingly willingly. Self-sabotage. When things are going badly, I’ll make them worse and when they’re going well, I’ll look for a way to ruin it all. There has to be some psychological explanation behind it, but I have no idea why I do it.

Weight loss is going ok? Let’s eat a cake and another. Feeling bad about that skin? Let’s pick at it and make it inflamed as well. Generally on a Debbie Downer about myself? Let’s cut all that hair off and dye it a funny colour.

It was starting to feel like, at the turn of the year, things were beginning to straighten themselves out. So there we have it, I went and changed all that. Not only am I still stressed but now I’m overweight, pasty, spotty and have bad hair. Way to escalate a problem.

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Know-it-all

As with people who have babies, and suddenly have all the things to tell you that you have ‘no idea’ about, so it is when you get married. Suddenly I feel I have a little wisdom to impart, that I wish someone had told me years ago.

I was sat with my head craned backwards in the sink at the hairdressers last week when I ended up talking to the girl washing my hair about New Years Eve and single friends, and men.

As it turns out, she finds herself with a string of ‘bad relationships’, which is not unfamiliar to me and this is my take on it.

One day, you’ll be married and feeling like you’re getting old, soft around the middle and crinkly round the eyes. When that day comes, you will suddenly wish that you hadn’t spend all of your young and single time worrying if he was ‘The One’ or if he likes you or if you’d ever meet the person who is ’The One’ and had just spent it having the most amazing time.

Don’t worry about meeting the love of your life or that all your friends are meeting people and you’re not. Don’t spend all of your nights out looking for a guy, scanning the crowd for someone who might just be him. Don’t waste tears and time on men who don’t call or text you back.

Go out, flirt with everyone, talk to new people, do new things, smile, laugh, drink too much and dance all night. Do things that you want to do, for you. Enjoy being by yourself and really learn about who you are as a person, without needing someone else to complete you.

Because one day, you’ll have met ‘The One’, despite thinking that you never would, and you’ll wish you hadn’t wasted all that time worrying and had just had an amazing time been your fabulous self.

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Depression: a little understanding

I’m aware that a lot of people are unsure how to deal with it when I have a ‘turn’ or let’s be honest, when I get depressed, again.

Although it will never be as bad as it was that first time – once you actually KNOW that you’re depressed, the signs, what to look out for and how to cope with it a little better, I think falling quite so deep into that spiral happens less often – it does happen, and it doesn’t take someone dying, or having a fatal disease, or being penniless. That’s what I always thought. I can’t be depressed, can I? I have no reason to be. Well, brains and brain chemistry, genetics, thought and behavioural patterns don’t work like that. Most of the time it just sneaks up on me, often when I have a lot going on in my life at the same time. It all adds up.

Imagine if you will, one of those joke tins where you open the lid and the fake springy snake pops out? It’s like that….. all the thoughts and stresses and worries of life are being stuffed into the tin and at some point or another, one of them is just too many and the lid just pops right off and that’s me done, I can’t manage to stuff it all back in, I have to sit and deal with it all.

It’s not all about being sad and crying and moping around (although I do tend to cry an awful lot, at the drop of a hat at these times, mostly through the pure frustration and helplessness that I feel in that situation) and it most certainly isn’t about ‘cheering up’, ‘thinking positive’ or ‘pulling myself together’ or any other of the nonsense that someone who has never experienced depression will no doubt say.

It’s about nothing. You feel empty right where there should be joy or rage or in fact any emotion. You feel bereft of anything, rather pointless really. You’re not all that sure why you are put on God’s green Earth because you’re not worth the shit on someone’s shoe.

Getting up is a struggle, being awake seems like the most difficult thing in the world. Being around other people is exhausting because it’s taking everything you have to pretend that you’re there, to nod and smile and make the right noises in the places where you think you should. It’s pretty much taking all that you have not to get up and walk away as quick as you can, back home to where it’s just you, where you feel safe.

The most I will feel during this time is a knot, right at the centre of my chest, a physical sensation that everything is completely tangled up and I have no idea where the start or the end is.

So I back off from everything and everyone for a while. I go to work because I have to but apart from that, I do little else. I say no when I’m invited out, I stay home and mostly in bed. I don’t even go to the shops because I can’t stand people looking at me. Sometimes, I’ll get ready to go out just to get a little way down the road and not want to do it any more. I will get so upset that I will turn around and go home. At my worst, I would force myself out, only to get there, think that everyone was looking at me and thinking how absolutely disgusting I was, have a panic attack and have to leave and go home, feeling even worse about myself. Thankfully, after medication, a fair bit of therapy and successful hypnosis for some awful confidence issues, it’s not this bad.

But this is where the problems lie with relationships, you have to work at them. When I’m having a bad time, I back off, and go quiet and non communicative. People then quite rightly back off in return, they don’t hear from me, or I always say no to invitations, so there’s no contact…and the less contact there is, the less I want and the harder I find it to make contact again.

I know that when you haven’t had any experience of something, it’s very hard to understand. When you’re a positive, outgoing, confident, optimistic person, you don’t see how the smallest thing (a bus driver shouting at you that no, he doesn’t go to Goodge Street) can play on your mind and send you spiraling into an internal monologue of self-doubt but please, try to be emphatic. Try and see. Because honestly, the very worst thing that you can do is turn the other way and ignore it. To tell someone that nothing is wrong, that they shouldn’t feel the way they do. Believe me, they wish with everything that they didn’t feel like this, that they could stop the whirling negativity that constantly spins around their head telling them that they aren’t good enough or how stupid they were to just say that or do whatever it is they just did.

If you really can’t get your head around it, just have a little compassion, drop them a text, tell them you’re there and be there for them when they occasionally pop out of the black cloud. Depression can be terrifying, don’t let someone be terrified and alone.

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Budget Beauty

For a girl who will happily spend £200 plus on a haircut and has five or six £30-40 foundations sitting in a makeup drawer, I’m oddly stingy when it comes to skincare.

Don’t get me wrong, looking after my skin is important, but I think you can get great products at a fraction of the price if you get some great recommendations or you’re willing to give things a try.

I’ve also found out the hard way, that sometimes with make up, expensive doesn’t always equal better. So, I’ve done a quick round-up of my favourites for you. (I’ve not been paid, asked, or given free gifts for this post.)

Skincare

  1. Boots No.7 hot cloth cleanser. I was recommended this by Mizz Ban and have since told everyone I know about it. Feels indulgent, leaves skin soft and clean and helps with breakouts. A steal at £9.95 but even cheaper when they have their No.7 voucher deals.
  2. Yes To….. I read about this in a magazine and swiped the Yes To Tomatoes moisturiser and cleanser when I was suffering oil slicks and break outs. The moisturiser is sufficient that I don’t get dry spots, but neither do I get oily throughout the day. Lovely and light and apparently, good for my skin! They have other products for different skin types too. Ranges from £5-£15.
  3. Body Shop seaweed day cream. Another one to control the oil but great for combination skin. Light, quickly absorbed, no shine all day. Recommended to Soupy who also loves it. Nice size tub for £4.
  4. Superdrug Vitamin E skin oil. Don’t let the fact that this is an oil put you off, it won’t make you feel oily or greasy. This little tiny bottle is a lovely treat for your face. I keep mine in my wash bag for post swim when my skin is so tight I feel like Joan Rivers. At £2.99 what’s not to like?!
  5. Boots Botanics eye makeup remover. Gets off even waterproof mascara and liquid eyeliner without rubbing. I think that’s all I need to say. £3.99 but often in their deals.

Makeup

  1. Revlon Just Bitten (BIG crayon things). I tried these, £7.99. I tried the Clinique Chubby Stick, £17. Guess which is better by a country mile? Soft lips, wash of colour. Bingo.
  2. 17 tattoo me liquid eyeliner. If you can get your hands on this (it’s sold out in most places), then do. Helen told me about it after we’ve been hunting for eyeliner that stays put all day. I can’t use the wibbly little brush that comes with it, so I use my own eyeliner brush. £4.99 bargain.
  3. Max Factor mascara. I’d recommend any of them but I usually go for 2000 calories (a classic) and more recently, I did a review of the eye brightening one – I don’t see a difference in the brightness of my eyes but my lashes look great! Depending on where you get it £8-£12 ish but considering I’ve spend a lot on big brand mascaras and always been let down, it’s worth trying a few out!

There we have it, my picks…and just for an out of left field idea… This week, I found myself with a horrible, very red and sore crater on my forehead from where I had squeezed and squeezed a spot. A hole, really and honestly where the spot had been. So before I went to bed, I chucked some Manuka honey on it (only the 6+ cheapest one) and the next morning…. GONE. No red, no spot, no hole, no sign of it at all.

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