New Year: Make GOALS Not RESOLUTIONS!

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Hey Hey Guys!

It’s that time of hear again; everyone is coming out with the “NEW YEAR, NEW ME” bullshit that even they know isn’t true.

By making “resolutions“, we are automatically setting ourselves up for a download (1)fall. “Research“, (though how reliable research into young people failing to give up drinking, go to the gym and save enough to buy are Ferrari, are) suggests that the connotations of the word alone are enough to make our brain pre-emptively expect failure. Essentially, it’s too much pressure.

So DON’T DO IT! Chill out, adopt a better strategy instead.

SET GOALS instead!

Simple. By setting yourself a goal you are creating a context where something is a good idea, but won’t make you feel like you are breaking a promise if you don’t achieve it.

Expectation vs. Reality!

Expectation vs. Reality!

Sounds like common sense, but do your self a favour, make them small goals. Not necessarily unimportant, just, don’t make some bold statement that you’re going to own a flying pony named Beranabus! by the end of the year then act heartbroken when you’re left with nothing but a dead hamster and a broken dream.

More likely pet acquisition...

More likely pet acquisition…

Say you will do something a little more general if you are having trouble, like, take up a sport. That gives you room and time to explore and find something you really want to do, so you are more likely to stick to it. Don’t put yourself under too much pressure f you can’t make a decision right away and don’t make it something like sky-diving. Unless that’s easily accessible to you. In which case totally go for it!

Basically the trick is to keep it simple. Even something as simple as be nice can have a huge impact on your mentality and make you feel better, meaning you will have more motivation to achieve the bigger things that would otherwise have been insurmountable.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew (literally or figuratively!) Start with the little changes. They will add up and you can achieve so much by taking your time. Don’t bother with an obscenely long, ridiculous list.

In my next post I will make some suggestions as to goals you can attempt as well as some of my own 🙂 (HINT: I’m not going to be trying to become a millionaire or be fit enough to run a marathon. Though both of those would be nice. Enough money to buy my own flat. Or run for a bus maybe… 😉 )

Here's an easy one to start you off :)

Here’s an easy one to start you off 🙂

unnamedFollow me on twitter: @gemc200

SSDD

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We Can’t Handle the Truth?

So, people can’t handle the truth? Really? Let’s investigate that, shall we??

Wise words, my good man, wise indeed...

Wise words, my good man, wise indeed…

People can handle the truth. People are designed to be able to handle anything life cares to throw at them. The question is, are they ready at the time to handle what’s being thrown at them.

There comes trying times in everyone’s lives and it is how we deal with challenges that form, not only our futures, but how we see ourselves as competent individuals, and how others judge us according to their own standards. Fair? Probably not, but that’s the way it is. People judge themselves more harshly than anyone else ever could. We are all our own harshest critic.

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And who’s to say that just feeling good about your decisions is enough to convince the world? The world doesn’t know your motivation. Doing something you deem admirable might make you feel good, but can you be assured that Joe Bloggs passing by will know the strength it took to achieve a thing they might see as trivial? That’s the hidden challenge of the equation – you are not only faced with your own moral dilemma, you are faced with having to accept the assessment of others, regarding how you handled it. And resist the urge to wrap you hands around their throats if they disagree with you.

Yet, the biggest struggle can be when your head is so full of other stuff that you cannot see that all important truth. It is now that someone else must be employed to help you see what your occluded mind won’t let you.

you have the truth in the palm of your hand, the question is, can you find it??

you have the truth in the palm of your hand, the question is, can you find it??

We’ve all had the feeling; that almost deja vu like sense that something is missing, something is just not right. That feeling stops us seeing what’s really there. Hallucination is maybe too strong a term, but certainly, there is a cloud there. A veil, preventing the truth from being revealed to our desperately seeking minds eye. Does that mean we’re not “ready” to understand? Not necessarily. And that should be the decision of the individual. It shouldn’t be left to another to decide whether gently patronised is a better temperament than fully informed. Perhaps that individual who cannot see is not looking for pity, or sympathy, or compliments, or naive reassurance. Perhaps they are asking, pleading for help. Wanting another to act as their eyes in a time when sight evades them.

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Key to finding that all important truth in our lives is simple. To get into our own heads, we must first get out of them.

“…a simple trip to the beach can be all it takes to clear out heads and open out hearts, and write a new ending to an old story…”

We first have to want to get help.

“…there are those who got burned by the heat. they just want to forget and start over… while there are others who want this moment to last forever…”

But in the end, isn’t fact, better than fiction? No matter how bad life gets, it is never the best option to live in a fantasy, especially not one of ones own creation. As comfortable as you dream world may be, as easy and safe as you self-imposed bubble may appear, remember; your head knows all the pitfalls. There is no hiding in a land born solely from our imagination. Sure, it may seem to be a haven bathed in golden light and peace and only simple, easy explanations for everything, but – if the sun can shine in such a place, then that sun can cast shadows. And, given enough time, they will find you.

“…tans fade, highlights go dark and we all get sick of sand in our shoes… so we find ourselves looking to the future…”

It takes bravery to admit any truth. Let’s not forget that.

brave-b5b2d44cc2393aa2c9b1a7ede7dba601_h

 

SSDD

Daily Prompts: From the Gut: Belly-Laughing with a Boy

Daily Prompts: From the Gut: Belly-Laughing with a Boy

The last time I belly laughed was today. And it was about fear. In a way.

gem and keef

The time before that was… so long ago I can’t actually remember when it was.

If you had asked me before today I would say I belly laughed with my friends, several  times, all recently, all with genuine gusto and enthusiasm. But.

This was a different kind of laugh. There is laughing, elation, embarrassed and nervous laughter. Then gut-grinding, ab-aching, cramp your tummy til you can’t breath and you feel like your head is no longer attached to your body it’s been so long since you breathed, but that’s ok because everything is hilarious – that kind of laughing. That’s what I had today.

It’s rare you find someone who can do that to you; make you laugh so hard your forgot you could, or ever did. The best part was, it was over something SO ironic it made me laugh even harder just thinking about how ironic it is! 6 months ago the topic at hand would have made me cry or scream or rage like cat in a corner, probably, but this time, I was causing so much noise in the tiny cafe that I was getting disturbed looks from… well the only other couple in the cafe, but still!

Keef and I

Keef and I

Then again, the topic we were laughing about might have seemed funny as hell to us, but to them… well, I’m surprised the Wacky Wagon wasn’t rolling out as we asked for the cheque.

Laughing, they say, is the best medicine, but I’m calling shennanigans on that one. I think laughing at something you once couldn’t is more therapeutic.

I don’t want to say exactly what it was we were mocking; that part is a little too RATED R for polite blogging; but put it this way – parts of the convo involved explicitly large German sausages, Scottish competitors for said sausages, and drunken visits equipped with chocolate sauce and… miniature rolling pins 😉 oh yeah, and Christmas. Dirty stuff 😛

What has this to do with fear, you ask? Well, if you could see inside my head…

We all need to laugh at something, for the sake of your  sanity you’ve got to. And apparently the moment for me to heal a bit, is over some dirty jokes, a dose of sarcastic irony and a diet Irn-Bru. 🙂

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(For those you you who don’t know about Irn-Bru, it’s a Scottish thing, Google it – the National non-alcoholic beverage, actually.)

SSDD

Doing The Things That Scares You

Doing The Things That Scare You…

Not always the simplest of tasks, is it. By their very existence, a thing that scares you isn’t something you’re going to be readily willing to do. The question is; why?

The answer may be, evolution.

By challenging the things out bodies repel we are forcing them into situations they would otherwise avoid entirely. From this, we are growing, adapting, learning. Whether we survive or not is in the hands of our own inherent abilities, or lack there of, and our willingness to defeat the obstacle in front of us.

Defeating an obstacle might not be as simple as whipping out your Samurai sword and slicing and dicing some monster, or calling upon your Knight in Shinning Armour (yes, capitals, why give him a real name if he is robed in shiney things??) to slay a beast in your honour and rescue you and offer you a lifetime of unconditional love in return. Not all things in life can be Disneyfied.

young-samurai-young-samurai-29962820-1024-768

Are you a Samurai, or are you waiting to be saved? …

There are things that scare us that can’t be seen. There are also things that others can see that we can’t, and that can be scary.

Epilepsy-ScotlandFor example, in a couple of days, my friend is going to bungee jump for Epilepsy Scotland . You can’t see epilepsy, but for a lot of people, the threat of a fit is something they carry with them on a daily basis. She is 19 and doing a bungee jump (!!) so help someone else feel less scared. As excited as I know the lucky bitch is (I would LOVE to do a bungee jump and she’s a bit crazy so i know she would too!!) I’m pretty sure she is going to be shitting bricks before it. I am not fooled by your calm and ginger demeanor Lambie, no I am not – I saw the twitch when you told me you were doing it!

That mad nutter on the left is Gillian, the other is me :)

That mad nutter on the left is Gillian, the other is me 🙂

Now for a flattering one... ;)

Now for a flattering one… 😉

Then again, Doing The Thing That Scares you can be so much more. It can be a challenge you have to face every single day. Yet it is a good thing to challenge our fears. Sometimes the mere act of questioning a fear can save your life. To acknowledge that something terrifies you is the first step to defeating it. Otherwise, it’s just a part of your life, a feature that refuses to move, like a stain, ingrained from years of neglect, left to fester til it is indelible and indistinguishable from the rest of you. And who really wants that? Who wants a dirty great mark, marring the colourful, bizarre and wonderful path that is your life?

Living in fear is not way to live. Sure, grey is a colour. But what kind of journey would life be if that was all you saw? There are things that have to be black and white, like your morals, the law and so on, all to avoid chaos and anarchy (not meaning that I don’t support free will or that I’m a communist or a dictator or anything, but I do believe we should live to some degree, under a set of rule – just so long as those rules don’t begin to control you entirely).

control

control

To live in the shadows of something is unnecessary, when the means to defeat the darkness is already available to you. You are the key. Face up to the challenge, face up to the fear. Combat the terror. Hold a spider, look down from the top of the tower, eat that slice of triple chocolate fudge cake.

taken from Sally's Baking Addiction

taken from Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

Take baby steps. “Once bitten…” isn’t a phrase for no good reason; if the spider bit you the first time, maybe don’t start with the Black Widow. If you once fell from a 20 storey building then (aside from being a medical marvel and quite frankly, a magician) maybe begin with something lower. If you quake at the sight of food, start small, a biscuit here, a sandwich there. Baby steps.

see things from a different perspective...

see things from a different perspective…

Or you could go all Herculean and raise the bar well above your head and not falter. Go from hospital bed, poisoned and ill to Arachnid Master, Spiderman! Not only look down, but leap off the tallest floor (though this time, might I advise a rope, harness, or very large crash mat). It’s medically inadvisable to go from eating nothing to everything at once so that might be silly, but make the change – fat free to full fat (or as I’ve heard it described, “extra moist, rich, decadent, with an honest chocolate taste and a smooth velvety crumb…” “…Death by Chocolate…”) 

My point is – do not let fear rule – or ruin! – your life. People deserve better than that.

 

SSDD

Christmas!? C’mon People, It’s Only September!

 

I was walking through the centre of a very busy shopping mall yesterday and had to do a double-take – was the heat from all the people getting to me or was I trippin’!?

Santa??

No, I though, it’s not that crowded and actually I’m quite cold.

But Santa?!

No, I told myself, there is no way on earth I could be trippin’, not unless the cigarette being puffed by that busker I passed outside was one of those “suspicious” cigs…

… but but but but but- BUT SANTA!!

It was then that I had to finally accept. Proudly declaring his presence from one of those stalls in the middle of a mall walkway was a giant sack, shaped like that bearded devil Father Christmas.

My stomach lurched. You see it once, and then the signs start popping up everywhere, A few boxes of cards here, the odd plastic tree there, baubles of various colours on shelves previously occupied by sunglasses.

Not to come across as all Scrooge-like on you just yet, but I’m no great fan of Christmas and I’ve never made any secret of that. But you see, Christmas and I have an understanding. And that understanding is that I suffer through its overwhelming presence over the end of the year; then it buggers off for 10 months (I let it have November as well as December so people can, y’know, bask in the Christmas spirit and whatnot, I’m not a total meanie).

But you see, this year, Christmas seems to be under new management, and clearly that management has not been informed of its place – primarily, not in my line of sight for another three months at least!

And it is only just the beginning of September, who is to say that stall hasn’t been there for weeks! I wouldn’t know, I’ve not been there for a while! The traitor!

So I’m putting it to you here and now; do you, or do you not feel that even the most hardened cracker-pulling, turkey munching, snow-loving, reindeer petting, Santa worshipping disciple of the Christmas spirit, should be having a difficult time stomaching this level of devotion to a single, solitary day, that won’t be happening for another 4 months?

Not only that, there are other events to revel in that require sufficient shop decorating space to be called a “holiday” before (dreaded) December 25th. Halloween and bonfire night for a start. What are they going to do with the dear old Santa socks and unnecessary greetings cards when they come around, put them back in storage?

Well I say yes they should because that’s where they belong for now!

Ok, rant over, with the potential for more closer to the appropriate time for them. Ya hear that Elves, that’s what you should be giving the little girls and boys, a calendar, and while you’re at it, ask the Boss Man for one for yourselves so that no-one gets confused.

 

SSDD – oh no I’m sorry, apparently it should be “Merry Christmas” already!

The Curse of the 19 Year Old: Panic Freedom

Ok, so I think I have a problem.

The other day was my 19th birthday.

NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT MEANS I’M PROPERLY OLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY CRUEL WORLD, WHYYYYYYYYYY!?!?!?!?!?!?

Kidding, I don’t really care about getting old. 😀 It’s more the fear that a chapter of my life has now closed, that era which could still conceivably still be called childhood is no longer. It doesn’t mean that I have to suddenly shrug off my Invisibility Cloak (that tatty rag I used for Halloween when I was eight) and pull on that Robe of responsibility (a bra), but it is something to consider.

Age is not a garment, it cannot be measured in appearance. I think that, for the important things at least, age is a state of mind.

And my state of mind now; confused. Here’s why.

I always considered 19 year olds to have something over their peers. I don’t know what it is but a 19 year old in my eyes seemed to have a freedom and a rebellion that came from being that age; too old for the newly-legally-novelty to still really influence your actions, but not old enough yet that you feel any actual responsibility for your life or your future. Like there is still a sheen of total abandonment coating everything and a flavour of good ol’ “I’m too young to die” in every puff of suspiciously scented cig.

(if you get the reference hidden in there, props to my fellow AR fans… keeping the youth alive… and the movie sequel dream… :P)

In fact, I thought quite the opposite: I felt that a 19 year old was stuck in a place almost of panic, right before you turn into an actual, glorified adult, no longer able to claim it was teenage hormones that made that bad decision, that it was all down to a learning curve, that living excessively was all part of being young. I think it is that fear that makes a 19 year old seem to me one of the most hectic and volatile creatures in existence.

Imagine; one day it is all partying, no consideration, the next – you’re 20, the same laws that once ruled you are literally irrelevant, getting away with a child ticket is no longer merely “a push” but laughable. Using “only when I’m drunk” as an excuse won’t work – who has the time when you have to be up so early for work?!

Maybe life doesn’t stop at 20, even if it does start at 50. But from the shenanigans I’ve seen from some of those 19 year olds in the past, I’m not willing to take that chance.

So, I’m guessing that this year might have some surprises in store. Nothing that I can predict at the moment, but neither could anyone else, and most of them seem to have done alright for themselves.

If life were predictable, it wouldn’t be nearly so interesting. There would be no such thing as surprises. It wouldn’t be worth waiting around for. Zombies would be the norm, rather than that threat we nerds have spent decades preparing for the arrival of.

So bring on the impulse panic decisions. Bring on the freedom. Or, if it swings the other way, bring on the fight against oppression.

Because I may not be ready for it, but what 19 year old is?

 

SSDD

Perhaps look closer?…

There are a lot of awesome people in the world. Some you have to search for, others are right under your nose. But quite often, the ones who really change you are not the ones you would immediately expect.

In any given day a person might be able to predict roughly the number of people they will meet. They might even be able to predict exactly who those people will be. But would you ever expect one of those people to have a lasting impact on your life? The truth is, no one ever knows when the most profound moments of their life will occur, or who will be instrumental in creating them.

It might be someone you know, it might not. You could see a person every day for a year, or even 10 years, and never know their name or anything about them, other than the fact that they will be in the same place, at the same time, every time you expect them to be there. In the same way, this is all they know of you. And yet, in knowing this, you have created a relationship. There is a dependability in this person. The fact that they will still be as stoically fixed in routine as you are, a constant in a world which might otherwise be full of change.

But when that person fails to be there, what will you think? Will it be a profound moment of earth shattering revelation that nothing in life is certain, or will you simply forget, and let the spectral detail fade into a blur of cosmopolitan coloured memory?

The truth is, that we will never know. Everyone influences their environment and people are a part of that environment. Someone could encounter a thousand people a day with all of them merely brushing the fabric of their life, adding to the colour of it but never really changing it. All it takes is that one person out of a thousand to completely alter the course of your life. It doesn’t even have to be a full on collision, just  rub past with enough friction to leave their mark.

So, in a decade or two or three, if you, who are reading this, think back and try to trace the route taken to get to wherever you might be, just think; whatever happened to that person I used to see every day? …

(If you liked this idea, give this a try: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Five-People-Meet-Heaven/dp/0751536822