Winging It: Life, And How Not To Do It

So, I decided to take the weekend off from blogging. In fact, I took the weekend off from most things. I temporarily forgot about my to-do list, and basically just relaxed. To be fair, I think I deserved it.

Since my public meltdown on here the other week and the support I received from some of you amazing people, it feels like all of my worry and anxiety and stress has kind of deflated. It doesn’t feel as important anymore, as if the very act of writing it down has neutralised the negative feelings. Instead, I feel a lot more chilled out, and also a little indifferent. Why should a job I don’t particularly care for have so much influence over my life and my emotions?

Of course, I am merely avoiding the issue and I know it will raise its ugly head again very soon, unless things change. We have a new member of staff starting next week so things may improve. But after 18 months of the same or similar levels of shit, I’m sceptical. I think it’s time to move on, and my current indifference is merely an emotional plaster that will eventually peel off.

If only life was easier and we all had jobs that we loved, and relationships with 100% trust and loyalty, and happy home lives with enough money to pay the bills and holiday every year. If only.

I’m guessing there must be people out there who do have all of this, and if you are one of those lucky people, I am jealous.

I’m at such a crossroads in my life right now that I need to sit myself down and give myself a good talking to. I’m 42 this year – why haven’t I figured out where I am going, what I want to do, who I want to be with? Should I have this figured out by now? Or am I destined to waste my days away in passionless jobs just to pay the rent, coming home to my cats and my books and my wine. Actually, I don’t mind the latter, but do I really want to be alone forever?

Ok, I need to compile a short-term bucket list. What I want to have achieved by the end of 2019.

Yep, 2019. Plenty of time then, so I don’t really have any excuses. Here goes..

  1. Enrol on the life coaching course I’ve had my eye on. I know what I want to do but I don’t have a lot of confidence in my abilities, mainly because it is something I haven’t done before. Ask me to lead and organise a team of people, or process a pile of timesheets and I will amaze you. But life coaching? Zero confidence in myself. So, get qualified, join the ACCPH (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists) and go from there.
  2. Book a holiday. Anywhere really, although preferably somewhere nice and hot with interesting places to visit and a beach. And cocktails.
  3. Get a new job. Yes, I know the #1 thing is going to happen, but I still need to pay the bills before I build up a solid client base. And I can’t keep dragging myself into the hellhole I currently work in.
  4. Open myself up to the possibility of love. Ok, this is probably the one I’m least confident about as I don’t have much faith in people. But it would be nice to have someone in my corner for once.
  5. Have more faith in me. I’m a mess really, aren’t I? If I had more faith in myself, I wouldn’t even be writing this list. I know I have strengths but I get scared when it comes to applying them to something I really want. And then I run away and hide.

Life coaching? I think I need someone to coach me before anything else. After all, I can’t wing it forever.

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5 Tips For Staying Single (The Definitive Guide To Being Weird And Alone)

There are lots and lots of posts out there giving relationship advice, or “how to find love.” Some of us, however, don’t want to find love, date, be in a relationship, or even speak to the opposite sex, or anybody for that matter.

So what are the best ways to put men, or women, off you completely? I have to admit, I am an expert in this. Following on from a few dating disasters, and just everyday life working with idiots, I decided to give up on my love life completely, and have been steadily building sky-high walls ever since that nobody is ever going to consider scaling.

But do I never get lonely? Actually, no. I love my own company and have become strangely addicted to my drama-free life. If I want adult company then I can always initiate it, but why bother when I can spend time alone.

Don’t I miss being with someone? Nah, not really. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I’m quite an odd person who needs a lot of time to herself, and other people don’t always understand this. It has taken me a fair few years of relentlessly pushing people away to achieve this level of contentment and I’m not giving it up for anyone.

Sounds miserable and spinster-ish? Well yeah, I suppose it is to some people, but not to me. I can do what I want, when I want, with who I want – or with nobody, which is even better.

Here are my five pointers to putting people off you completely.

  1. Consistently ignore all attempts at communication via phone, email, WhatsApp, Facebook, whatever. In the end, they will get the message.
  2. If you notice somebody keeps throwing you one too many glances or trying to strike up a conversation, just start acting like they don’t exist. Yep, completely blank them. Unless they are some kind of persistent weirdo, they will give up sooner or later.
  3. Be deliberately foul or argumentative to the opposite sex. And never smile. Surefire way to put people off.
  4. Argue with yourself in public. This is a tad extreme but works wonders. Who wants to associate with the crazy freak who screams at herself in front of other people?
  5. Stop washing. Also extreme, but I assume it would work. I haven’t ever had to resort to this because my resting bitch face is enough to put the bravest of people off, but it’s certainly an option.

Good luck out there! And remember:

Going Solo

So, I have been doing some major thinking over the past few weeks. If you are familiar with my posts, you will know that I have been at crossroads in my career life for a while now. In short, I have absolutely no idea what I want to be when I grow up, and have been merely existing in my current role as a payroll administrator.

Well, I am excited to say, there have been some small developments in that area.

Actually, I’m hoping that these small developments will turn into something big, but let’s take things one step at a time.

I have decided that I would like to be a life coach. Furthermore, I have started a new business blog, Instagram, and Facebook page for my life coaching career, called A Happier Life For You.

Now, for those darlings who follow the links to check out my new online venture, it is still in very early stages. What I mean by that is, my website is virtually unprepared, and I have barely posted over on Facebook and IG.

But I’m getting there, slowly but surely.

By writing about it today in this blog post, I am committingmyself to it, which will definitely encourage me to continue.

I know what I want, but I sometimes lack the motivation, especially when I have other stuff going on in my life.

Of course, I’ve still got my office job as I do need to pay the bills, but this is a great opportunity for me to take control of my working life and work for myself instead of dealing with bad management and office politics.

Exciting times ahead! And if you do visit my IG, FB, or business blog and give me a follow/like, I’m not joking when I said there isn’t yet much to see – but it would be very much appreciated. As would any feedback or suggestions for my website. 😊

January Overview

So, I began the new year with a list of goals that I hoped to achieve during 2018. I must admit, some of them I started in good faith but quickly grew tired of, and although this is disappointing, I do have eleven more months to bring myself up to speed.

In contrast, I made certain changes that have really improved my daily life, so I am willing to overlook the failures for now. All in all, things are going pretty well.

Achievements

  • I have successfully started using my Twitter to promote my blog, and have met some lovely bloggers and followed some amazing blogs along the way.
  • I have reviewed a couple of books received directly from the authors via Twitter, which I see as an exciting development.
  • I hit and surpassed my 200 followers milestone, and am well on my way to 300.
  • I started a new Facebook page share group with my friend, recruited some awesome pages, and it is going brilliantly so far.
  • I have begun to schedule my Facebook posts and shares a day in advance, which has helped free up extra time in my day. I also feel so much more organised.
  • I have been spending 10 minutes a day on the exercise bike, which is a great start to my 2018 exercise regime. It may not seem like much, but it’s better than nothing.
  • I have been listening to a lot more music rather than switching the telly on, and have discovered some fantastic new artists. Well, new for me anyway!
  • I upgraded my phone and went from an iPhone 6 to a 7.
  • I’m a little more settled at work and have been learning new aspects of the job, which I am happy with. I might as well make the most of it while I’m there.
  • I spent an afternoon/evening in Manchester with my friends, eating and drinking cocktails, which was a lot of fun. We visited the Trafford Centre, and ate at TGI Fridays, which was a first for me, and very enjoyable.

[Photo: Mudslide at TGI Fridays]

So, those are the achievements I can bring to mind at the minute. In all honestly, I feel more positive at the beginning of this new year than I have in quite a while. I hope it stays this way.

Goals for February

  1. Make a doctors appointment. Yes, I still need to do that. I have a few minor ailments that have gone on for some time now, and I really need to nip them in the bud.
  2. Drink more water. I’m still struggling with that one. I’m quite a dry person, and I need to change that. After all, I can’t drink wine all of the time!
  3. Write some letters. I’m a little behind on my letter-writing after Christmas and the New Year, so I need to put aside a day to sit down and write them.
  4. Get myself some new glasses. I had an opticians appointment mid-January and they have significantly worsened, so I need to invest in stronger lenses. I have cataracts in both eyes, oddly enough, and next year may be the time to have that operation!
  5. Blog more! I really enjoy it, so why the hell not?!
  6. Complete the online Marketing Diploma course I started last year. I’m about halfway through so it shouldn’t take much longer. It is also something I am considering making a career move into. Or should I say, social media marketing, which is something I am kind of familiar with.

So there are my goals for February. Not too difficult, and quite easily achievable. If I pull my finger out anyway. We will graduate to bigger goals as the year progresses!

Happy Sunday!

Things I Like About Myself

I noticed recently that the majority of the bloggers I have met on social media are in their early twenties. Much younger than me, and that makes me a little sad.

Starting out at 40, I am probably considered a dinosaur in this age of the internet. When I was 20, blogging didn’t exist. Nobody had a mobile phone, and Mark Zuckerburg was a weedy nerd (probably), just starting out at high school. How did we cope, I hear you cry? It was a different time. If we wanted to speak to our friends, we left the house to see them.

Sounds like hell, right?

If blogging had been a thing back then, my life would have probably taken a significantly different route to the path I chose to meander along. And that also makes me a little sad.

But I can’t really blame that on the lack of the internet. If I had pulled my finger out and followed my dreams when I was young, maybe I wouldn’t be so disillusioned and bored with my career now.

So there are the things I don’t like about me. Well, a fraction of them, because there are a lot of other things I could have definitely done better. But hey, this blog post isn’t a list of my worst points.

It’s a list of my best points.

This is going to be tricky. You know when you go for a job interview, and they ask you what skills you can bring to the role, and you laugh awkwardly and waffle on about being hyper-organised and a hard-worker? Or when you have a yearly review and are asked to list your strengths and weaknesses, and the latter is the meatier list?

Not you? Okay, well that’s me. I have always had self-esteem issues, and find it incredibly difficult to look past my intense modesty and ‘big myself up’, as they say. And if I do, it’s the superficial things like being hyper-organised and a hard-worker. I don’t like to talk about myself.

This blog post is about me.

So…. what do I like about me?

Now I am quite self-aware, and I know my flaws. I know I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I can be cold, and difficult to get close to. I deliberately push people away and isolate myself. But then I have learnt the hard way that I can only really rely on myself.

While all of the above is true, I am a better person when I am able to spend enough time on my own. I need to recharge my batteries, and this time alone helps me to be a reasonable person when in company.

So it’s actually for your own good!

But, as I said, this isn’t a blog post about my flaws. This is a blog post about my attributes. Here goes..

1. Despite being a big-time loner and steering clear of high maintenance relationships, I find it difficult to hide my compassionate streak, which is a mile wide. If I see somebody in need, I am there like a shot. I am a fantastically loyal friend, and hate to see anybody I care about suffering. I have spent inordinate amounts of time counselling friends and family through turmoil in their lives, dishing out advice and being a constant shoulder to cry on. I champion the underdog, and take the broken under my protective wing, where I am dedicated to nursing them back to health.

2. I have a crazy sense of humour, and I like to make people laugh. My humour is quite wry and self-deprecating, and can err on the inappropriate at times. I like to lighten tense situations with a stupid comment. Unsurprisingly, when I recently took part in a quiz on Facebook to find out which Friends character I was most like, the answer was Chandler.

3. I am extremely open-minded, and try not to judge people too harshly. In fact, the closer I am to someone, the less likely I am to judge them. If you are my friend, I will accept you wholeheartedly.

4. I’m honest. Sometimes, brutally so. Not to be cruel, but ultimately to be kind. Does that dress make you look fat? I’ll tell you. Is your boyfriend a dick? You can rely on me to point it out. I don’t like to deliberately hurt people though, so I’ll only tell you if you ask.

5. I’ve always got wine in. Always. So, if you fancy getting drunk and silly and putting the world to rights, I’m your girl.

So, there are my best bits. 😊

Favourite TV Programmes of 2017

As a New Years resolution, I decided that it was time I got off my backside and experienced the great outdoors more rather than hiding away at home. Problem is, there are so many fantastic things I can do at home, including watching a decent TV series, of which there have been many during 2017.

So I thought I’d list my Top 10 favourite TV programmes I have watched this year. I’m hoping 2018 can match it!

In no particular order…

  • Big Little Lies. I watched this as a boxset last week, and oh my god! It is amazingly good! Starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård, this is set in beautiful Monterey on the Californian coast. After a murder occurs at a public school, the story keeps us guessing by not revealing the victim or the assailant. Instead, it backtracks to the first day of term and follows the friendship that develops between Madeline (Witherspoon), Celeste (Kidman), and Jane (Shailene Woodley), as well as the turbulence in each of the women’s home life. It is an intriguing and enthralling story, and is helped along by a fantastic soundtrack, as well as the beauty of the location. Loved it!
  • The Exorcist. Loosely based on the famous film of the same name, this has just completed its second season, and I love it! I love anything supernatural, let’s face it, but this was amazingly scary in parts, and Father Tomas is extremely easy on the eye. Focusing on possession and exorcists (obviously!), it is definitely one to keep you on the edge of your seat. First rate horror TV!
  • Bates Motel. Having recently subscribed to Netflix, at least 10 years after everybody else, I devoured all four seasons of this in quick succession and am eagerly awaiting season 5. This is a prequel to the classic horror movie Psycho, and basically tells the story of Norman, his intensely close relationship with his mother Norma, and his downward spiral into madness.
  • Riviera. Set on the opulent French Riviera, this stars Julia Stiles (10 Things I Hate About You) as newlywed Georgina whose billionaire husband Constantine is killed in an explosion on a yacht. Racked with grief, she digs deeper into Constantine’s life and discovers a darker side to the life she has married into.
  • Mindhunter. This is another series I found on Netflix. Set in 1977, it follows FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench who, along with psychologist Wendy Carr, interview serial killers in an attempt to understand how they think in the hope of applying their knowledge to future cases.
  • Lucifer. This is an amazingly amusing series that follows Tom Ellis as fallen angel Lucifer who, bored in the underworld, decides to leave Hell and retire to LA. Once there, he embraces a life of indulgence until there is a murder outside his nightclub. Intrigued, he reinvents himself as a consultant to the police, and partners with homicide detective Chloe, who wakens feelings in him that he hasn’t experienced before. Devilishly good!
  • The Handmaid’s Tale. Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, this is set in a dystopian society within the borders of the former United States of America. Offred, a handmaid, forced into a life of sexual servitude in an effort to repopulate a devastated world, dreams of happier times with her husband and daughter, and struggles within the confines of her new life. Excellent!
  • Lethal Weapon. Based on the film franchise of the same name starring Mel Gibson, the TV series doesn’t star Mel Gibson, and is absolutely brilliant. A fantastic mix of action and comedy, and two excellent lead characters. Eagerly awaiting season 2!
  • Blue Planet II. Stunning nature programme narrated by Sir David Attenborough, exploring the wonders of the deep blue sea. The lives of the many creatures living in and beside the oceans of the world are positively captivating, and the soundtrack is a perfect accompaniment to this beautiful series. Eye-opening.
  • Liar. A date between newly-single teacher Laura and recently widowed surgeon Andrew goes terribly wrong, and the subsequent fall-out rapidly spirals out of control. Who is telling the truth? A gripping psychological thriller.

So there you go. My 10 favourite TV series of 2017. I highly recommend them all!

Happy October! #WeekendCoffeeShare

My #WeekendCoffeeShare this week is actually going to be a #WeekendTeaShare, in my case anyway, although I can offer coffee if you prefer, or lemon tea, or even hot chocolate; I have a plethora of hot drink options to offer. The choice is yours. I myself will sip at this lovely cup of good ole Yorkshire Tea as I summarise the past five days.

I opened the week suffering from a bad cold, which rather surprised me as I am rarely ill. I started with a sore throat and runny nose on the Friday and snuffled my way through the day at work. Saturday was the same, which I anticipated, but I stocked up on cold and flu capsules and assumed I would be better by Sunday. Generally, I am only sick for around two days, which has been quite annoying in the past when I have considered milking an illness. You can’t really milk something that no longer exists! Well, some people can, but my inbuilt honesty won’t let me do that. This time, however, I woke on the Sunday morning feeling like death warmed up, and looking like it too! This continued well into the week, and even now I can still feel the remnants of the cold in my stuffy nose and slightly sore throat. I must be getting old. Either that or I’m just not looking after myself properly. I have been aware for a while that I need to exercise more. Since taking an office job last year, I basically sit on my backside for the majority of my life, which can’t be great for my health. That’s one for my to-do list; get off my arse and do something!

I’ll think about it, anyway.

Today is the first day of October, which I am excited about. I love October. I’m not really sure what exactly I love about it. The vibrant reds and golds in the trees. The fallen leaves. Being able to wear snuggly jumpers and put the central heating on without looking odd. Halloween. A reason for the weather to be crappy. Hot chocolate and stews. My son’s birthday. Spending 15 minutes defrosting the car before work each morning.

Okay, not the last one.

For the past two years, I have enjoyed a holiday in October; Cyprus in 2015 and Crete last year. This year, I unfortunately couldn’t afford it. Previously, my son was in primary school, and his head teacher was fairly lenient around holidays in term time, as long as your child’s attendance was good. However, now he is at high school, all of this has changed, and holidays during term time are unquestionably NOT ALLOWED. So we will have to wait until I win the lottery or something.

Apart from holidays, I am also a big fan of Halloween. I love the whole idea of it more than I actually love the actual day, because it inevitably rains. I love buying pumpkins and attempting to carve (destroy) them. I love decorating the house with fake spiders webs and Keep Out signs. I love seeing the kids out trick-or-treating, even though, as I mentioned above, it’s usually in the rain. Sometimes, I even love to dress up and go out with my best friend Michelle. Not this year, unfortunately, but I’m still looking forward to Halloween. I dream of hosting a fancy dress party, but my natural aversion to people has so far prevented me from getting any further than searching up Halloween on Pinterest.

Anyway, I digress. My week has mainly involved me being ill, and work being the same old, same old. As of tomorrow, we will be out in the main office with the recruiters instead of hidden away in our own little Team Accounts room. Apparently we don’t mix enough with everybody else, hence us being uprooted. I find it extremely unfair, but that’s mainly because I like hiding away from the crowds. This coming week is going to be an eye-opener! 

I’ll keep you posted. 💜