Tag Archives: happy

Family puts the “F” in Festivity

I miss my family.

They’re all in the US right now, having a bit of a trip over the Christmas and New Year break. I should have joined them, I realise now.

I thought I would be fine, going just as I am, spending Christmas with my partner’s family, catching up with friends I hadn’t met in a while and just taking a break from work in general.

Such conflicting feelings of not being ‘preoccupied’ (work) and wanting to enjoy quality time with family on the other side of the world at the moment.

Somehow I feel all alone in the world and seeing my partner’s family makes me miss them all the more. That holidays mean so much less.

Miss you all lots.

xoxo

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Glass half full

I was reading a book the other day, “Brain Rules”, you might have heard of it. It’s a great read by John Medina and while I highly recommend it, it’s not what I want to write about today.

There was a short introduction on the concept of “learned helplessness”, where the subject is conditioned to stay in an inescapable situation and have no hope or control over the situation. The subject then resigns itself to its “fate” in a sense, and even though an escape is made available, does not go in search of it. Reading it made me quite upset and made me think of various things – depression, religion, hope, faith, fate, destiny and life in general.

I realized this could relate to many situations in our lives when we feel a lack of control, an inability to change things and a depressing realization that things will never change. I know of people close to me who stay in their jobs even though they hated it because they feel they have no other alternative; of people who consistently found it hard to do well at school and believe that they are less well-endowed intellectually while the issue may just be the methods they have been employing to study or the teaching methods used in the current system.

In those situations, I’m less confident in the effectiveness of an external encouragement compared to the power of internal motivation and awareness. In those situations, the person has to come to their own realization to snap out of that learned helplessness yet it is somewhat a chicken and egg relationship. Yet, like most addictions, I believe it can be overcome.

  1. Awareness is the first step we can take to bring ourselves out of that low
  2. Making a choice – do we want to stay in it or get out of it? Sometimes not making a decision is a decision in itself, which doesn’t make things better. If we want to stay in it, make the most of it and ensure we’re not being miserable staying in it.
  3. Knowing which are the areas we have control over – the world, no; my room, yes; other people’s opinions, no; my own thoughts and behavior, yes
  4. Taking small steps to make changes in those areas we have control over
  5. Optimism and a glass half full psyche – this is where I think faith and hope crosses paths just because while some people garner hope from things around them, others look towards religion and faith and somehow perhaps realizing that someone out there, whoever it is, is looking over us, adds a little booster to the hope meter.
  6. Recognizing the changes and its impact, however small – this is where external encouragement starts to make a difference.

So, hopefully if I ever find myself in a state of “learned helplessness”, I am able to recognize it and take action. Otherwise, maybe a little nudge from the Universe to perhaps allow me to stumble upon my own post or a similar post would point me in the right direction.

Thanks Universe, in advance.

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Multitasking Madness

I’ve got 29 tabs open in my browser and every 2 minutes something else pops into mind and my mouse heads towards the “+” icon to ‘Open a New Tab’!! What is wrong with me?!

  • I want to blog about some story ideas I had
  • I have some job applications to submit
  • Need to do some research on companies for a kick-ass job application
  • Thinking about (and googling) recipe ideas for the leftover kiwi in my pantry
  • Feeling a little frustrated and want to blog about the fuzz that’s growing in my mind and a growing hunger in my belly as it draws closer to dinner time…

Stop!

I took a breath and opened WordPress, but got distracted by reading the posts from some of my favorite bloggers.
Wait, what was I trying to do?
Closed WordPress.
As I berate myself mentally, I realize the pantry is just a few steps away.
Mmm a cookie would taste so good right now.

I should grab one.
But it’s too close to dinner. Or is it?
Images of the Tim Tams I bought tempted me further into the sweet, sweet embrace of my pantry and all its treasures.
A mental battle ensues.
One that logic wins.
Defeated, I grab the thing nearest to me.
My cup – and took a sip of water.
It tasted nothing like the sweet sensation of chocolate.

Searching for a distraction, I looked back at my screen and clicked on a random tab.
It was a job opening I was interested in.
Re-read it.
It was a website I had never seen before, asking for my resume and contact details.
I wondered if they were legit.
Opened a new tab to research on the jobbing website.

It was taking some time to load.

Re-opened WordPress.
Clicked on “New Post”.
Maybe I could try to get a post in while it was loading.
I had some ideas on what to blog, hmmm….
My stomach growls.

I’m hungry, it’s dinner time.
Or close to it.
Everything else will have to wait.

Just for a little while.

My Tim Tam Stash

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It’s Winter!

It has been cold and wintry the last few weeks, in the Southern Hemisphere, but little did I realize the official start of Winter crept up on us just 2 days ago!

It truly hit me when the lady over the counter said, “Winter’s just started!” in response to friendly chatter about the weather.

It is as if the Seasons were God’s way of saying, time waits for no one.
(As if we don’t know that well enough!)

That realization infused me with a sudden surge of appreciation for life, not the future or the past, but really to embrace the present. So I whipped out my camera, stepped out into the refreshingly cold wintry breeze and took a picture of the low clouds covering Telstra tower.

Nothing sexy, I didn’t edit it via any app or software.
Yet, it brings me back to my fantasies as a child of living in the clouds; heck, even just touching them.

Happy Winter All!

Telstra Tower in Winter

Telstra Tower, 2nd June

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This State of Mind

This weekend started out busy.
I had friends over for dinner on Friday and Sunday and was excited, yet a little worried that my amateur cooking would be less than edible.

It’s Monday now, and I spent most of the weekend, and today, sorting through my email.
Well, to clarify, trying to delete my Hotmail accounts.

I’m not sure how many of you use Hotmail, but here’s a low-down:

  • It gives the impression I’m using a 56k modem when it loads
  • I constantly get a frozen page and have to smack the “F5” key in anger, several times
  • Sometimes I can’t even get to the login page
  • Their help files are of no help

It wasn’t always like that, which explains why I have a lot of legacy emails I did not want to lose in that account. Saving you the dramatic, time-wasting blah blah blah, let’s just say I finally managed to use my Yahoo account to sort it out.

It then became necessary to look through my emails that dated back to 2004 (I like my email accounts organised and clean). After an hour of quick skimming and occasional tearing, I realized I had an actual record of my past.

Not in a diary, not a forced record or one based on fallible memories, but a spontaneous one, of the most important interactions I had with my immediate and extended family over email, which was a little more in depth than what social media, like Facebook, facilitates.

It took me back to the time when we were organizing the extended family trip and had to charter a school bus to the airport, to the time when I had an argument with my Aunt, to the period when my grandma was sick.

It made me realize how much our relationships and interactions have changed.
It made me realize I used to be so close to some people and how we have changed, how some people who play such a big part in my life now weren’t even there 8 years ago.
It made me realize how I used to write and our particular state of minds.

It’s amazing how much is truly exchanged.

p/s: I tried to find a picture of my extended family trip but couldn’t find it! I’m devastated!!!

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Mind the Gap

I really like waiting for trains.
I just realized this as I was typing it.

Yeah it’s pretty fun just standing there, or sitting if I’m tired, with my headphones in, listening to my favorite tunes on my 32MB mp3 player. My argument: Quality is more important than Quantity. I still stand by that today.

Maybe it’s the people waiting with me.
Every wait gives the possibility of new interactions with people I’ve never met before! At the same time my eyes scan the crowd for familiar faces of possible train buddies. 🙂

Maybe it’s the ability to be completely anti-social and get away with not being called “anti-social”. Because when you get to the office, they might just think you’re being moody or arrogant or something.

Or maybe it’s just the mind-numbing routine.
I don’t know, there’s something ethereal about it when you know this is a mind-numbing routing so you’re both there and not there at the same time. It’s also a good time to read, and re-read the signs and notices on the floor and walls, and fully enjoy being IN this situation of waiting.

Because once you get to your destination, you’re expected to do something more than wait.

Sometimes I stare at the tracks and imagine a crazy adventure of falling down and trying to climb onto the platform before the train arrives. Which makes me think I lack the basic instinct for self-preservation in all living things, like in the movie “The Happening“.

Oh and once I’m on the train, it’s a whole different adventure.

p/s: An interesting side effect of the 32MB player was that my subconscious mind knew what song was next and it felt like I had the power to see the future! In a very minute, insignificant way…

(I was going to post my little story up, about crocodiles and family, but it’s late afternoon and if you could hear my brain, you would hear a monotonous buzzzing. So somehow, this came out.)

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All That is True

Honestly.

Browsing social media makes me depressed. Thankfully, just as the internet taketh, it also giveth; and a browse through Freshly Pressed lifts my troubles just a little. There are so many inspirational bloggers out there – aspiring writers, photographers, artists, cooks, or just those who want to document certain aspects of their lives. You don’t need to be popular or boast about your prowess in a certain area, it is mostly just honest, sometimes witty, commentary.

I love it.

It’s real. Not contrived, or psyched up. It’s a personal expression which doesn’t require verification. Although, “likes” and comments can be a huge motivational pill, it’s more like the world wide web’s appreciation of something that took time and effort to create. (Who needs money?!) More importantly, it forms a virtual community of like-minded people.

Real relationships.

Call me crazy but I feel that it exists between fellow bloggers. It’s as if we all know and understand what each of us has to go through and we identify with each other. When they share part of their lives and experiences with me, I start following those I like. Forming, in a way, a more “real” relationship than the one I have with my Facebook “friends” for example.

Facebook friends are not real friends.

Call me conservative, an introvert or socially awkward but it’s definitely true for me. Having random people you just met updating their status to reflect their bowel practices or whinge about wanting more attention might be taking the “friendship” too far, too fast. Then hearing a colleague complain about the boss while proactively staying up to date and commenting on her Facebook activities just makes me question who they really are.

It’s complicated!

Slowly, I start to fear that I am a truly bad judge of character and have the entire thing figured out back to front!

Why can’t I just use social media to stay in touch with those I love; and if I do happen to whinge or discuss my bowel movements, I know they actually do care, hopefully enough not to be grossed out by the latter. I just want to keep my life simple, free from social complications and manipulations…

Just me, my family and Teddy.

Teddy

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Ending the Bad Day “Curse”

I’m working on a little story right now but it’s taking a little longer than expected to finish. So in the meantime, something came to mind.

I’m sure you’ve felt, at least once, like the whole world hates you, including the birds and the cute little dog next door; and it must have happened enough for there to be so many sayings about it! E.g.:

  1. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed
  2. Murphy’s Law – if something can go wrong, it will
  3. Someone saying “at least it couldn’t get any worse”, and it does
  4. Someone saying “don’t worry I’m sure things will get better soon”, and it doesn’t
  5. When it rains, it pours
  6. Things will get worse before they get better
  7. Mind over matter – you can beat the “bad day”, and you get more frustrated trying

Which makes me wonder, why do bad things always happen all at once? Sometimes it really feels like there’s a higher power at play to have all these horrible things happen all in one day. Then sometimes I think, why would the higher power even bother with something like that, or someone like me?

Why God Why Kitten

Life's a stage

Although what would the alternative be? Spreading all the bad things across a whole year and by that imagine a bad day but lasting for 365 times as long? Nooo… that would be bad. Actually, that might make you immune to bad things. Which would be good…? Bruce sure didn’t like it. Who’s Bruce? (Note: Opens in a new window)

Well some people say it’s all in your head, but I live with my head and sometimes I can’t control where my mind takes me! So that doesn’t really help. Plus my mind always has a really kick-ass comeback for that. For a more scientific breakdown, see this lifehacker article: The Science Behind “Having a Bad Day” (and How to Solve It), if not, read on!

Uber Bad Day

Maybe this is all in my head

My recipe for dealing with bad days if you’re an optimist or even a semi-optimist or just someone who wants to make it better is:

  1. You can choose to sulk  (if you’re around people close to you, then make sure they know you’re sulking) or suck it up (especially if you’re in the bus, nobody wants to sit next to a crazy person).
  2. When you’ve sulked or sucked it up enough, consider venting to someone who will listen, provide a comforting pat and not rebut or laugh at your misfortunes.
  3. Spend some alone time figuring out your thoughts or calming yourself down from the “adrenaline rush” of depression. Trust me it helps, whether or not you like spending time with yourself.
  4. Distract yourself with something mindless. Try not to do anything too challenging as that may add to the frustration. E.g. read a children’s book or play a mindless game that has no room for failure.
  5. If possible, do what you enjoy, be it hanging out with friends virtually or physically, reading, writing etc, but try to avoid any impetuous acts of booking a trip overseas or buying a house or anything of that sort you may regret later.
  6. Otherwise, let time do the healing and when you feel it’s safe for you – mentally, emotionally and physically, slowly “head out into the world” again – ie resume what you were doing and the “Curse of the Bad Day” is lifted!
  7. If the above doesn’t work sometimes consciously trying to make it a better day actually does work.

Now if only I could get myself to remember that…if anyone succeeds, let me know!

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