Some Thoughts On The New Year.

jan-1

The general consensus of opinion seems to be that 2016 was a crap year. It seemed that every day the media announced the death of another icon of film, music or the arts. The UK voted to leave the EU and America put a lunatic in the Whitehouse. So we rushed towards 2017 like it would be some sort of cure for everything bad that had happened last year.

For a long time I’ve found myself looking forward to New Years eve with much more enthusiasm than Christmas, neither Matt nor I have a big family and a lot of the people who matter to us are scattered across the world so we don’t get the chance to see them as often as we would want. We made the choice not to have children so Christmas has tended to be a quiet day enjoying time with friends and family where we can and unwinding after what is always a stressful month at work for me.  Once the festivities are over then come the inevitable end of year lists and media round ups and the promise of better times as soon as we’ve got rid of the old year and drunk in the new.

Wherever I am and no matter how the New Year is seen in 12.01 still ends up looking a lot like 11.59. It’s great to feel the excitement of a new start and the chance to move forward and leave bad experiences and harder times behind if you can but things don’t magically change at the stroke of midnight. It’s important to remember that it’s ok to sit in the messiness of process and continue to let life be a work in progress. If we’re lucky we spend our lives changing and evolving and that in itself is a magnificent thing even if our plans don’t always work out how we want them to.

I’m looking forward to the months ahead and moving some of the plans that I’ve been working on forward and embracing whatever happens in our lives over the next year.

Happy New Year

Cathy

Advertisements

Something For The Weekend #7.

Born from the original ‘5 Things On A Friday‘ started by James Whatley and still going strong here’s my version – Something For The Weekend.

There’s nothing clever about the title – I’ll never get into the habit of a regular Friday post and I can’t always find 5 things that I want to write about so it’s a weekly round up. I’ll post it sometime before Monday morning.  It’s a mix of the things that I’ve liked, noticed, bought, read, found interesting or just feel like mentioning this week. It’s also a good opportunity for me to learn more about using WordPress so I can do more on my self hosted site for my Wedding Photography business. It needs a complete redesign which is beyond my current WordPress skills so it’s a good job the love of my life is a (very patient) web developer

I started doing this back in 2014 which is why this is #7 (#1) but haven’t posted regularly for a while – it’s easy to let life get in the way of the things that you enjoy if you let it. I’m planning on working smarter, not harder this year and taking more time to enjoy life and the time I spend with the people I care about.

Can you say I do?

Even though we’re still cleaning pine needles out of the carpet the Valentine cards and associated tat is already in the shops reminding everyone that romance can be expensive.

Personally I don’t buy into the whole Valentines day card/present thing. We don’t bother with cards, I don’t need a card to know how he feels and it’s just a chance for someone else to profit. Don’t get me wrong I like a bit of romance, wining and dining always goes down well but we do that anyway, any day – there’s no need to allocate a special day for it (especially when eating out doubles in cost – what’s the Valentine equivalent to being a humbug?)

What if you don’t want a man/woman? What if you’re happy with life just the way it is, what if you and your Dog/Cat are all you need to make you happy?

Good news – now you can Marry your pet.

You’ve found your partner for life, only thing is – he’s an animal.
So what if he has an overabundance of legs, and facial hair is cool, right?
Go on, if you really love him and you’re in this for life, isn’t it time you married your pet?

Marry-Your-Pet

Just pop over to marryyourpet.com and find all the answers you could ever need. Announce your engagement to the world, ask the resident agony aunt (Adrian) if he (or she? Surely it’s not just women who are this disillusioned with the idea of a human spouse?) is the one for you. You can get an Astrology based compatibility report and look at the gallery of happy couples.

It may be worth considering a pre nup, especially if you’re planning on married bliss with a cat – they are prone to wandering but, unlike a man, having them neutered is not frowned upon.

This Is A Thing, And It’s Wrong!

Wasabi Kit Kat anyone?

Wasabi-Kit-Kat

Or Geen tea maybe?

Green-Tea-Kit-Kat

Or how about Baked Sweet Potato?

Baked-Sweet-Potato-Kit-Kat

It should be Chocolate – Chocolate! Sweet, sugary Chocolate – any sort of savoury is not a KitKat, these are wrong. (Although I am tempted to buy one of them to see if they taste as bad as I imagine they do)

Hail Satan!

I know it’s not Christmas anymore (and I’m very happy about that) but we’re still ok for Snowmen right? If you’re having a bad day watch this – I dare you not to smile.

Hail-Satan

Pastafarian’ wins right to wear colander in driving licence photo

Pastafarian

 

A man in Russia who identifies himself as a ‘pastafarian’ has won the right to wear a colander on his head in his driving licence photograph.

Andrei Filin is a follower of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – a light-hearted United States-based faith which satirises organised religion.

Mr Filin said that the kitchenware was part of his religion. (source – BBC News)

 

(Non) Food For Thought

As the end of the year approaches most of us can’t help but get a little bit reflective. It’s nice to take stock of life and look at what we’ve achieved, where we are and what we have, both materially and spiritually. The new year is a time for optimism, new starts, making plans and for a lot of people (soon to be broken) new years resolutions.

Personally I never make resolutions, if change is needed it needs to be because you want to change not because tradition dictates the need to make a commitment to do something, and in my experience most new years resolutions are made half heartedly at best just because you feel you you should have made some.

I also think January 1st is the worst day to start anything. For a start half the world will wake up with a hangover and I struggle to remember how to put one foot in front of the other if I’ve got a hangover let alone focus on the steps needed for any long term plans and then when you fail before you’ve reached the end of the first day it’s all too easy to shrug things off as a broken resolution and do nothing.

However, that said, January is a good time to evaluate life and look forward to where you want to be in the next twelve months and start to look at ways to get there.

One of my (many) goals for the coming year is to get more organised. Although my job is a Sales role it’s also very admin heavy and the last few months have really highlighted how important it is for me to get effective systems in place to avoid drowning under a sea of admin. With this in mind I’ve been looking at a lot of websites that offer advice on time management and the best ways to utilise technology to work smarter and more efficiently. I’ve also stumbled across a lot of sites that I suppose would come under the self help banner, advice on how to be happy (no I didn’t think I needed that either) with posts that are more thought provoking than practical advice.

I’ve always avoided self help books before, thinking of them as a sign of weakness and the domain of the needy and to some extent I still think that but one of the websites that I came across – Marc and Angel Hack Life has got me thinking. It does have posts that give advice but a lot of them are just lists of questions and I’ve found that by answering some of the questions it’s helped me to get a few things a little clearer in my own mind and in turn set myself more realistic, measurable objectives for the coming year that are more focused and longer term than the usual list – lose weight, drink less, win the lottery etc.

I often find that I end up taking a headless chicken approach to a challenge, I take on too many things at once and rush into all of them at full speed with no real direction and unrealistic expectations of what I will achieve and how long it’s going to take me to do it. Admitting that as a failure is the first step to resolving it and I’ll read, take note and act upon any advice and help I can get to help me overcome that. One of the articles I read recently was called 30 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself. Most of us will read it and deny we do any of the things on the list but if you’re honest with yourself I’m sure, like me, you’re guilty of more than one.

I’m looking forward to the next year. For the first time in a very long time it feels like I’m where I need to be. I’m in a great relationship, I have some amazing friends and I love my job and I’m ready to start to enjoy life. 2012 has some big challenges ahead and I’m sure I’ll stumble as much as I’ll stand and I’m sure that I’ll wake up with a hangover on New Years day but then some things will never change.

Happy New Year.