Energy is Currency in Depression or Obesity – how to make it work for you.

Energy levels are like money, you can save or invest. In crisis you’ll think you have to save, but the trick to happiness is to spend like it is going out of fashion.


Currency is important, right?  It allows us to purchase things or services.  It gives us a sense of security that we have enough of it.  Different places use different currency and it is important to know the distinctions.

I’ve been thinking about Energy being Currency and how that interacts with depression or obesity.

I’ve noticed that when depressed or tubby, it becomes essential to be to conserve energy, the physical internal resource, lest it become depleted and I die or some such.  There is a perception that depleted energy reserves will be catastrophic and calamitous to the detriment of the soul standing there.   Continue reading “Energy is Currency in Depression or Obesity – how to make it work for you.”


I Want Nice Things, Gosh Darn It!

At what point does a person say “I know there are folks who live on very little daily but that isn’t me, it’s ok to buy the thing”?

I’ve never really been very materialistic.  I find it easy to do without.  I find comfort in owning few possessions but am not a minimalist.  I prefer to think of myself as a “comfy not much-er”.

We have everything we need, we’re not deprived in any way.  I found that there isn’t actually that much that a person needs in life.  My most cluttery items are books and DIY Tools but it’s not clutter if you use it all, and I do.  The more you own the more you have to tidy and maintain and that is just an annoyance and commitment I can do without.

I get some kind of “consumer guilt” over purchases, feeling awkward because of two reasons, firstly I don’t NEED it, I just want it, and secondly so many people live on less than $5 a day that paying £100 or more for a handbag seems so totally outrageous that it cannot be justified.

I also get stuck in a spiral of comparative purchase value.  For example, a fancy but non-designer handbag is equivalent to a weeks groceries, a fancy car is equivalent to three years mortgage payments or a years University tuition, a fancy haircut (or any haircut!) is equivalent to two months sports membership.

My daughter recently quoted Jay-Z (popular media professional) saying “if you can’t pay for it twice, you can’t afford it” which, considering the source was a remarkable insight in my view.

Now, I want a new sofa and chairs, I want a new dining table and chairs, I have a nice handbag so that’s fine but I want nice shoes and a nice hair cut and colour and a nice new set of clothes in the wardrobe, and new devices because ours are a couple of generations old but sill work perfectly.  I want, I want, I want!

I keep window shopping for new sofa sets.  Nothing really meets the requirements yet.  I’m getting betrayal guilt for the eclectic furnishings we have right now because technically there’s nothing wrong with them, they just don’t match and we’re an inclusive household, we don’t throw people or things away because they’re not quite the same as other things!

The armchair we currently use works perfectly fine, it reclines, it is the same armchair I cradled my new baby in when she wouldn’t sleep in the middle of the night, it is the same armchair that one of us sits in so that we can be opposite each other and chat about everything and nothing.

The red chair from Ikea.  I bought it during all our house moves, it was my first pretty thing in ages and it is really great for sitting and reading.

I have shoes, I don’t actually like buying shoes in reality because they’re uncomfy beasts, I’d prefer to go through life barefoot!  Wouldn’t go down too well in Vendor meetings at the office though, and it is illegal to drive barefoot or in flip flops.

At what point does a person say “I know there are folks who live on very little daily but that isn’t me, it’s ok to buy the thing”?  What triggers that internal dialogue?  Is there buyers remorse when a bill comes in later on?

I think my current position on consumer purchases isn’t necessarily healthy, part of it might stem from selling everything we owned 5 years ago to pay the bills and for down payments on rental homes.  It was a little bit of an extreme circumstance but has pretty much been resolved.  We’re not rolling in spare dosh but we live comfortably enough.

Never wanting to move over to the dark side of consumer gluttony I think I might like to dabble in having a couple more nice things, pretty things, simple things, a nice TV cabinet, nice photo frames, nice flooring in the bathroom, nice outfits to choose from for work and play.  Recently I bought two very nice mirrors, I waited until the sales and went back to the store 3 times before saying finally yes but now they hang in our house as they should and I am happy that I own them.

Life has changed significantly in the last year and I know my thought processes have lagged somewhat.  How much is enough and how much is too much?  When is it ok to purchase and not be thinking too much afterwards about the investment in that transaction?  How can a person just let it go and enjoy the things they own?



9 Days Holiday To Take – Whooohoooo

While all my “if wishes were kisses I’d sure be a floozy’s” dreams of what could be done are delightful to contemplate, I still need to be realistic somewhat.


Our company holidays run from April to March.  Being in the UK, we have an organised system for holiday days from work.  Mine currently run at 25 days per year plus Bank Holidays.

Much has happened this year around work.  There was a company restructure which took a few months for word to reach us individually on how we were impacted, if at all.  During that period I looked for new roles, was successful in an internal role and an external role.  I enjoy working here so opted for the role within the organisation.  Then the training was scheduled and that will take a while because the job is in a completely new discipline and bears little to no relation to what I was doing before.  If all goes well and if everything is signed off on to a permanent contract at the end of March, happy days!

During all this period, I’ve been banking days holiday because transitions and training take up one’s calendar.

Now I have 9 days to take before the end of March.  It is currently nearly the end of January.  That’s a huge quantity of days to take.  Almost unprecedented among my peers.

What to do, what to do?

I could see if we have a few shekels left for a get away in the sun.  I could schedule days out in the UK.  I could schedule absolutely nothing and just sit in a chair in the conservatory and read books.  I could visit friends.  I could do house repairs and maintenance as the shed needs a new roof and the stairwell could do with a lick of paint.

9 days is 7 days too many to waste.  I can mooch around for 2 days happily but after that I start to feel the guilt of a slothful life.

While all my “if wishes were kisses I’d sure be a floozy’s” dreams of what could be done are delightful to contemplate, I still need to be realistic a little and accept that this year I’ve cleared down £25,000 in legal and other expenses, bought a house, bought a car, put my kiddo through an expensive state school and seen her pass all her 16 year old exams, nearly lost my job, secured another job and I learned how to fix a wall which was missing bricks, renovated a home to go from vandalised to liveable, sourced some food storage and put up a curtain rail.  That’s quite a heavy load for one year and not one that I’d wish on another person.  Had fun though.  How often can a person say they cleared £25K liability, bought a house and car, raised a kiddo and saw friends often – most frequently down the pub?  Not many, I’d bet.  Sometimes my wants outstrip my ables.  At some point I have to accept that I shall remain dissatisfied, or shall have to learn some grace in dealing with this malarkey we call life.

So, 9 days.  I have 9 days.  9 days to call my own.  Now, deciding how to spend them, that’s the next challenge.  What to do, what to do…..


The surprise benefit of being free of bad debt

To not be shackled to yesterdays worries so that we can fully face todays challenges is a beautiful gift.


I am pragmatic.  I decide to talk about positive things.  I believe we either talk and act ourselves in to or out of a happy life.  However I don’t care whether the glass is half full or half empty.  I know how much water is in the glass, I know what I am working with on any given topic.

So the benefit, or even blessing, of being unshackled by debt during a period of potential financial constraint is a superb comfort and reassurance.

Like everyone, I have income and expenditure.  Thankfully I was blessed with the moxy and ability to get out from under a serious financial burden in the tens of thousands of pounds range and reset the financial accounts to “we don’t have a lot but we’ve paid our taxes for the benefit of the country and what we do have is our own” as we paid down every debt we’d been left with.

When guaranteed income is in jeopardy we start to look closer at the expenditure side of the spreadsheet.  It has been one of the few delights recently that unlike previous times either house or income is at risk, this time I am not carrying a negative financial legacy like an albatross around my neck.

I have to find a way to generate revenue to cover our modest living expenses but I don’t have the worry of paying for things on instalments, I don’t have the worry of credit card debt, I don’t have the worry of consumer spending spread conveniently on an unreasonable monthly payment at an exorbitant APR.  I just have to make sure that enough comes in for Mortgage, utilities and groceries.  That’s it.  That is far less of an ask than carrying the worry of paying for something I bought and used up two years ago.

Being in this fortunate situation brings a degree of peace, a calmer disposition than I would otherwise have had.

It also frees me up to be flexible with regard to the future opportunities I can pursue.  I don’t have to find a position to cover Bills and Debts, I just have to find something to cover Bills and anything else is a bonus.  That is a freedom for which it would be hard to quantify the optimism and relief felt at the moment.

I am the head of my household and the responsibility sits on my shoulders.  Until you’ve been the head of the household you have no idea what so ever how heavily that mantle sits on the shoulders.  It is completely and utterly different to being the 2nd earner.  Head of the household is like being an Adult Plus.  Nobody is going to bail you out, you are it.  The buck stops at your feet.  The responsibility for keeping everyone in your abode alive, sheltered and fed sits with you.  Once you get the hang of it, it starts to sit easier a little but the knowledge in the back of your mind never actually quite goes away.

If I could wish for you one thing, it would be the freedom of being bad debt free.  It is worth the blood, sweat and tears, the overtime, the going without for a while, the humble birthday and holiday presents, the dinners in rather than takeaway or restaurants, the forsaking holidays in the sun or snow to reach the goal of being without that burden.

Bad times come for such are a part of earth life and mortality.  To not be shackled to yesterdays worries so that we can fully face todays challenges is a beautiful gift.



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.


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”


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.