Okayness and Friends

There is nothing Hippy-ish about life. It’s a hustle. It is hard work and it is just one big long wiggle. But I see the people in my life and I love them and I appreciate their kindness and kind honesty.

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We received news that news will be forthcoming in two one week blocks.  That’s perfectly fine and dandy.  The night before we received news that news would be forthcoming I had to lullaby myself to sleep which is daft as heck because I know no matter how the chips fall, I’ll be completely fine. Continue reading “Okayness and Friends”

My Name Is Pollyanna And I Am A Disposaholic

My mantra became “Am I willing to carry this to the next moving truck?”

Hi, my name is Pollyanna and I am a disposaholic.

Since I was in my 20’s I’ve moved house roughly every 18-24 months and I reached a state of mind where if I was considering buying a new item I would stop and think “Am I Willing To Carry This To The Next Moving Truck Again?” and “Have I Got Spare Money To Buy This?”.  If the answer was yes, I bought the item but most frequently the answer was no, this is not something that I feel passionately needs to be in my life, it is identified prior to purchase as clutter or a financial burden and has no place in the Whyte House.

I prefer to have very few possessions.  The fewer the better.  It’s a little bit trauma based but I pretend it is a lifestyle choice!  I prefer to have exactly what I need and be able to lay my hands upon it.  I am not a minimalist and like a home to be cozy but everything needs to be useful.

I like to know that everything I own is paid for, that there are no repayments due this month or for 60 months at a reasonable APR.  We don’t have fancy things, my car is 7 years old but new to me and I have a £60 per month payment interest free which is doing my head in because it is the only non-bill bill our house is carrying.

At present I have two sock drawers and that is distracting me from peace of mind, two is too many.  Sock drawers are having an effect on my peace of mind!  That is ridiculous.

I prefer to have very little artwork on the wall because it clutters my thoughts but I really love seeing what other people do to beautify their home.

This weekend I gathered all my gumption and tackled something over which I have a little phobia – paperwork.

I gathered all the post and paperwork from around the house, and was able to dispose of a bin bag of empty envelopes and circulars.  It’s only been 2-3 months since the last time I undertook the same activity.

It had felt like no matter where I turned my head there was Post and paperwork which needed my attention, there was no brain-break from bills because they had been in every line of sight.  But no more.  At least not for a few weeks anyway.

I have some rebates to claim and I have managed to prove that I cancelled a rolling contract in May but the charge was still coming out of my account in October for a portable Wi-Fi hub from EE, how cheeky!  But the service provider was great about it and a refund will be in my account within a week.

I found cheques!  I didn’t realise they had been sent to me for previous overpayments – they were sitting in unopened envelopes which had looked like more bills.

I gathered together pieces of correspondence I need to keep but don’t want to see again. I put them in a series of A4 envelopes without windows so that I don’t have to see those letter headed pages from solicitors again but they are to hand should the need arise at a later date.

There were so many other bits that are now in their rightful place that I can’t even begin to adequately convey the peace of mind and lightening of responsibilities this activity has blessed me with.

We all have coping strategies, mine is to blitz clutter and paperwork and to keep an appointment diary, on paper, in my handbag.

K.I.S.S.

Keep It Simple, Sweetheart!

The less stuff I have, the less I have to move, tidy, or maintain.  It’s a recipe for success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zen During Turmoil

Occasionally there comes a time in personal turmoil that you reach a state of Zen.  You reach a point of “oh well” and start to calm into the trouble rather than fighting it and getting nowhere.

In the Urban Dictionary (a highly reputable source!!!) Zen is defined as thus:

“One way to think of Zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind.  Zen is a way of being.  It is also a state of mind.  Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts”.

Now, I am no Japanese Master of Eastern Philosophies yet there comes a point in seeking Continue reading “Zen During Turmoil”

I Hate Sausages

I hate sausages.  There, I said it.  The food item is what I am talking about.  I buy a sausage roll to eat the pastry and discard the meat, I buy a sausage in a roll (a different thing to sausage roll) just so that I can have a warm bun and ketchup and throw the sausages away.  To be fair, the cheaper the sausage the better it taste but the less you want to think about the contents.  I eat sausages at home because it is cheap food and we are still of the pile it high sell it cheap variety right now at this phase of our lives.  I could never enjoy living in Germany or Poland, purely because of the culinary choices.  But I surely hate sausages.

Idolatry, Money, Military

The pendulum has swung too far back after the vitriol military experience post-Vietnam.

The levels of hero worship and idolatry from what we are seeing out of the extremely posturing nations is rampant right now.  If you are religious you’ll have heard that one of the Ten Commandments is to have no other Gods before (Him).  It is right up there in the top 5.  It is pretty important.  If you are secular you will have seen in generations past when things became mighty tense when one person or an idea caught hold and a fever infected the nation – often leading to civil or international wars.  People profess to be reasonable and level headed but their narrative and actions betray them, even among my friendship groups.

I am fiscally a conservative (little C), and socially a liberal (little L).  My stance is that drugs harm society and ruin lives, gun owners or users kill people, that if people are of legal age and appropriate age gap they should be able to date and marry.  My stance is also that Business (big B) is good, industry is necessary, someone needs to keep the lights on and the infrastructure needs to be paid for and maintained, that investment is needed in the Arts and in the Sciences, that innovation is crucial to preserve and improve the lifestyle of the inhabitants of this nation.  It is my stance that manners are essential to grease the wheels of civility.

It is my observation that there is a role for emergency services and the Military.  It is my observation that the whole “Thank you for your service” is cringe worthy and dangerous.  It is my observation that people are being placed on a pedestal as great servants of a nation when they are actually in paid employ and chose to do this.  Hero worship is rampant, emergency services and military personnel are deified and just because they wear a uniform are held in highest esteem.  We don’t know who they are, they are, by definition, Uniform.  Unless there is a stand out act of service or courage, they’re just employees.  Many are nice, a few are nasty, but they are paid to do what they do.  That’s not a hero.

The pursuit of someone to worship is filling a void and is acting as a sticking plaster to cover an emotionally grazed knee of a nation.  Accept that the world is a harsh place and both the East, Middle and West are having a hard time with each other and we send our delegates to resolve our conflicts for us.  Military folks don’t deserve special treatment.  They’re pretty regular people who have been taught how to do their job.  Idolising them diminishes them as a person.  The reception for Vietnam Veterans upon repatriation was brutally harsh, it is my stance that perhaps after feeling guilty in hindsight people have let the pendulum swing too far the other way and there it hangs in the air, precarious and fragile.

Don’t get me started on the pursuit of money and how Darwinian the current strain of Capitalism lays.  A nation who is blinded by their rights and unwillingness to stand up to Medical Insurance companies who are actually gouging them and keeping premiums high in pursuit of profit is a sorrowful thing to witness.

In the mean time, someone needs to work, pay a fair level of tax, have access to housing, water, medicine, food and the rule of law.

 

We wait for news

When we are overreacting to something happening now, we are really responding again to something that happened back then… a perfect example.

A most frustrating thing for me is open ended waiting.  Waiting for information or news.  I do not wait well.  Outwardly things appear fine, inwardly I get in a temper.  Waiting.  I can wait for Christmas or Birthdays, I can wait joyfully for the arrival of a new baby or wait patiently and excitedly for a holiday.  These things are finite durations and have little negative impact associated.  But waiting for life changing news.  That’s just pulse elevatingly trying.

I find myself in a mind-set of “fine, if you don’t care, neither do I”.  It takes a great deal of concerted effort to shake the negative feelings away.  Waiting.

Have you got a minute?  Let me tell you a story.

A long time ago, possibly 38 years ago, two relatives were not speaking.

It had been nearly two years and I wanted my Nan back, who was one of the parties involved.  So I, knowing what was best and having the clarity of youth, aged 10 or less, remembered my nan’s phone number.  I secretly used the big and corded house phone to call Nan and say hi, and that the other person missed her and loved her.  My nan was delighted and asked “really?”, “Yes, absolutely”. To which she responded “Have them call me and I’d love to have you over for a visit”.  She was only in the next town across but it might as well have been the moon for all the contact we’d been having of late.  Later that day, with butterflies in my tummy I told the other person that Nan had called and that she missed us and wanted us to visit ….. which was technically 66% true, she did miss us and she had been on the telephone but hadn’t initiated.  The person I was speaking with was delighted and called straight away.  It was a strained conversation but I could tell my side was pleased.  The first hint of my deception was revealed as a “you called me first” conversation arose and the person on my end of the phone turned to stare at me but let it slide in the moment.  A visit was arranged.  We went round on the Saturday.  We arrived in my families old Jaguar car in our Sunday finest.  We went in to the ground floor, unheated 2 bedroom apartment with a kitchen the size of a small closet.  We all started chatting and I was hoping I would not be fully found out or revealed.  My furtive gaze darted around the room on this sunny day.  I held my breath.  Then it happened, the deception was uncovered as the two parties talked, the one expressing delight the other had called, the other expressing confusion as it was clearly the other way round.  Then all faces turned to me.. “What did you do?” came the question from the elder woman.  I tried explaining that I knew they would speak if someone would start it off but their voices dropped an octave and I was told “Get to the car, I’ll deal with you later”.  I begged forgiveness but I was told again to go to the car on the driveway, so I did, helped along by the scruff of my collar.  I cried my 10 year old eyes out.  I cried louder hoping they’d hear me and feel sorry, I hid down hoping they’d think I’d wandered off and come out to see where I was but no.  I was in the car.  Nobody was coming out.  After half an hour or so I ventured back in and said sorry, I was told to go to the car, so I did.  After another half an hour or so according to the clock on the walnut dashboard, I tried again and went in, begging please please, I’m sorry.  I was told to go back out.  When I was in the car I could hear them chatting and laughing together.  I knew I’d been right, that if someone started, the whole thing would resolve and here it was, the evidence, they were resolving their issues and talking, I was vindicated.  After another period of time I ventured in again this time begging “Please, sort me out now, please”, which everyone knew meant “please, hit me now, get it over with” but they said get outside, in the car, and a third adult said “I’ll sort you out later”.  I ventured one more attempt before the end of the two hour visit and was told “I’ll sort you out later” again by the third person.  I cried quietly this time, trembling in the car as I waited, feeling queasy.  There were no distractions, no colouring books, no toys, this was old school car travel and I was alone with my thoughts.  They did eventually emerge from the home, they were cheerful, kisses and hugs goodbye.  I was miserable and afraid.  They did get me home and I did get a wallop or few.  When the spanking came, I was relieved, apart from being in peoples bad books, it was over and done with.  I just had to tolerate their moodiness until they got over my deception.  38 years later I stand by my assessment that if they’d start talking they’d resolve that particular issue.  I was right.  There were plenty of other times that issues arose but even knowing how to resolve them, I stayed well clear in future.  I know I shouldn’t have deceived the adults.  If I had been courageous I would have said that I called the other person and they were pleased to hear from me but I was not filled with courage at that point, the stakes were too high. Continue reading “We wait for news”