Tuesday, January 29, 2008

THIS ONE'S GONNA BRUISE

STILL FEELING SORE,...

Both mentally (which is my own choice) and physically because I think I over-did it with weights at the weekend or something.

Yesterday did end up draining me. Again, that was my own choice to fixate. I did have a number of messages from forum members who had experienced the same sorts of emotions (and reaction) as I did toward the DRAMA, but it didn't make me feel that much better. I don't feel the need to be right or justified really. I think I am annoyed at myself that I've been so effected by it - that I didn't follow my Tao principles...the ones I've been learning...Particularly those of practicing "Non-Judgment",...

BEING REALISTIC

Even though I know I can't help anyone who doesn't want to be helped, who refuses to listen to the input from a dozen or so people whose sole reason for replying was not to judge or ridicule but to support...I can't help anyone who chooses to dig their heals in refusing to look at things differently - to maybe take some resposibility for the dramas being acted out in their lives...

Last night I was talking to my dad about the day - and I came up with the phrase - "we are the composers of our own misery symphonies"...on some level either consciously or subconsciously we create all the dramas in our lives.

Another quote I came across last night was also a reminder worth noting:

NEGATIVE PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THEY'RE NEGATIVE

And I think that's true. It's not like you can tell them they are, can you? They won't believe you! They'll deny it. They'll blame you. They'll find a way to make YOU wrong for even suggesting it.

So what is the answer? Leave them? Trust them to find their own way to happiness?

No one likes to be judged or be criticised. It makes most of us defensive - so that much I understand, I really do, but to vehemently shout that someone else (actually everyone else) is wrong and you're right is futile. 97% of the advice on the thread was positive and constructive - but the person in question chose to only see the 3% which was seemingly-judgmental.* (more on this similarity later)

It may hurt, but if a dozen people are going to tell me ANYTHING - I am gonna suck it up and listen...because I don't think we always know how we come across to other people. I might not like it but I'd certainly take a pause and sit with it awhile...

As the BUTTHOLE SURFERS once sang "You never know just how you look through other people's eyes" and that's so true. My DAD never got too mad at me (ever really) but when I was a teenager, I apparently used to scowl a lot. Half the time I didn't even know I was doing it and damn it used to set him off - he wanted to "wipe that scowl" right off my face. Quite right too eh?

I think we all have a proverbial scowl we're not even aware of...

FAULTS AND ALL

I have my faults, we all do, but I don't deliberately judge people or put them down. I have actually been a whole lot more aware of it over the past six months. I've now become one of those annoying friends who cites my friend's judgements of others back to them. I pull people up for putting others down. 'Few of them want to slap me now too, but if I can help them with a slight mental shift - then maybe they'll thank me one day! Hah! Ok, maybe not. They'll probably just stop hanging with me ;)

I was always much better at judging myself and putting myself down...People who are happy within themselves don't judge others or put them down or make them "wrong". They don't have to. So it all comes back to being happy with Thyself.

JANUARY DAYS

But after a whole month of feeling strong, positive, zen-like - yesterday has knocked me on my ass. I have been doing a lot of thinking* and I can probably count on ONE hand the amount of people in nearly EIGHT years who have been so negative and who've left the site in similar circumstances (n a huff)...

That's a tiny proportion out of THOUSANDS who have actually gotten help and left the site a little better, stronger, and happier than when they joined so I guess I really shouldn't be so hard on myself. It'd be more constructive to not sit and focus on the small % who hate me and my site - and focus on the ones who were willing to do the work and who listened, grew and left (or stayed on to support) in a happier healthier place. Yah?

Yah.

"I CAN'T HELP EVERYONE.
I CAN'T HELP EVERYONE.
I CAN'T HELP EVERYONE."


FOR EVERYONE NEGATIVE THERE'S A POSITIVE

Well praise be to a new chap in Missouri who donated some money this morning - so I am about to face the dreary Scottish rain in order to spend some of it on staples like bread and milk.

I am sure I'll be back to normal soon...Thanks for the support (You know who you are...and so do I.)

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Monday, January 28, 2008

ANGER RISING

OOOPS I DID IT AGAIN...

It's not very often I get really and truly ANGRY. It really isn't. But just now, due to interaction with a site member - I felt my blood BOIL. I don't know, maybe it's not anger, maybe it's FRUSTRATION? All I do know is that I was shaking and that seldom happens.

You see, a woman came (returned) to the site this weekend with a story about her (rebound) relationship of six months and how it wasn't going the way SHE wanted it to. Well hey, we've all been there, haven't we? But something in the way she wrote made you think and truth be told there are times you can just see WHY isn't working. In fact, I bet everyone could see why but her.

This is the type of person who blames everyone and everything else for their misery. The sun for shining, the moon for setting, the dog for breathing, the parents, the kids, the partner,...but never once takes into account their role in it. We create all of our own dramas either consciously or unconsciously. So convinced are they they're "right" and everyone else is "wrong"...and I am a victim. No one listens to me. You're all judging me...That type of attitude.

Now I am writing this not to victimise her more but in hopes of helping someone else. I put my hand up, I don't always get it "right" in my efforts to help people (as proven in today's case) but my intentions are just about always honorable.

HOW TO ANNOY PEOPLE AND LOSE SITE MEMBERS

I am reminded of DALE CARNEGIE's "HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE" where he talks about someone, Abe Lincoln I think, who used to write these nasty, scathing letters - which thankfully never got sent because his wife always snuck them out of the pile before posting them...

Well today I decided to vent my own nasty, scathing note. I didn't reply with this...but I did write the following to get get it out of my system - again proving I am HUMAN...I don't always get it "right" as it were:

"Dr. Phil has a saying "you either get it or you don't" and I feel you don't get it! You don't get how your attitude and your perceptions are what's creating ALL of your challenges and dramas in your life. You come across completely rigid and not at all willing to listen to what anyone has to say - so firm are you in your reasoning that you are RIGHT. Well you may be RIGHT but you're never gonna be HAPPY with this route you're taking...because NO ONE will live up to your standards and you're going to spend the rest of your life BOUNCING from relationship to relationship BLAMING other people for the fact it doesn't work out - when in fact you're the common denominator here."

Again, that wasn't my reply to the person who has now deleted the thread and left the site! My reply - which thankfully I retrieved before she deleted the three-page-thread was:

"Honey, I don't often say this but I've resigned myself to the fact I can't help or say anything to you. I guess I simply lack the tools. I am sorry for that. You've had some really good, empathetic, supportive and helpful advice, and you've concentrated continually on feeling defensive and proving how "right" you are and how "wrong" he is. Therein lies the troubles and will most-likely continually cause friction in your relationships if left unchanged or altered in any way.

This whole experience is a wonderful opportunity for personal growth, healing and to possibly learn new (and more effective) ways of communicating with other people. You'll be amazed how happy life can be when you don't make someone else to be "wrong" for how they think or feel. If you're happy in your life (your work, your friendships and relationships) - then by all means keep on the path you're on - doing all the things you've previously done - but if ever you get to a point where you realise you're not that happy with your life - then consider a mental shift. Perhaps then come back and read this thread. Good luck with it all. I think I speak for everyone who tried to reply to you - we want you to be happy and healthy. I am truly sorry you've not found any of this helpful. My only hope is that someone else reading it might have,...."


Well that was enough to set her off...Deletes the thread and writes to me about how unhappy she is with how she's been treated on SYBD. Honestly I can tell you - 95% of the thread was empathetic and supportive and urging a slight shift in perception. But did this person see that? No, she then, of course, made all of us "wrong" and dug her heals in to defend her case all the more. I think if if 15 or 20 people were telling me something - I'd take a pause and really sit with it to see if it held any validity.

I used to get a whole lot more OFFENDED by other people's comments and opinions but now I simply don't. I CHOOSE not to. I might have a moment of offense - and then I think about what they're saying. I can say, "No I will not get upset - instead I will choose to accept this information in the spirit with which it was intended." And let's face it - we know when people are just judging or being critical, and if they're genuninely concerned by something we're doing or saying.

Sometimes people, the truth can hurt. If it does hurt though, it usually means they're on to something! I've learned that lesson the hard way.

Whenever we feel so strongly triggered by someone else (like I have today), I reckon we need to take a moment and look at it. Perhaps this person reminds me of parts of myself that I don't like? I have spent my moments blaming other people for my misery, of that there is no doubt. I have wished that my relationships were different at times. I've wanted more from my partners than they were prepared to give me. No doubt again. I have felt judged and criticised just as she has done too. And in re-reading all of this, I've felt the need to be heard and be "right". So in some ways, we are the same. So much can be learned by putting ourselves in other people's shoes, eh?

Now, I am more calm, I mostly just feel FRUSTRATED. Frustrated at her for not "getting it". Frustrated with me that I couldn't get through to her. Frustrated with the awareness that I can't help everyone and that another person has left the site feeling even more unhappy than when she joined. That doesn't seem "right" somehow. But I continually have to remind myself - there is no "right" or "wrong", really. There is only our PERCEPTION. And say it with me kids "Perception is a MIRROR not a fact".

It's so funny because lately I've gotten such positive feedback from so many wonderful site members saying that my advice is really resonating with them...and the ones we remember (or focus on) the most are the criticisers. The unhappy customers if you will.

I vow to continue practicing what I preach. I believe I made every effort to be supportive, constructive, and non-judgmental in my replies and it still wasn't enough. She still left. I guess it reminds me we can't CONTROL anyone else - how they think, feel or act, we can only CONTROL how we CHOOSE to interpret/perceive it.

Maybe in some way my blogging about this is looking for someone to tell me (or my EGO anyway) that I am "right", but really I know there is no "right". People who choose to BLAME everyone else or make others WRONG seldom see otherwise. Honestly, I don't believe she was WRONG to want more time with her partner. It's a natural tendency. I guess my "issue" was merely the method she chose to go about it...(e.g. DEMANDING it). Issuing an ultimatum that did end up being a choice between spending time with her, six months into a relationship, or time with his kids. Who's going to lose out on that ultimatum...

My urge was for her to focus on the fact she could see him more than half the week. Instead of focussing on the perceived "lack" - to shift her focus to being grateful for what she did have. A honey to see week nights, and time for her own kids and friends and time alone...But we can't make anyone else SEE anything. Not if they CHOOSE not to. So it's been a valuable REMINDER for me.

I can't help everyone - particularly those who are unwilling to listen to what I am saying without putting on the defensive armour...and who are unwilling to take a cold, hard look at themself - without judgment. To see if in any way what I might be telling them might in fact be valid....

It's also a reminder that I can't take things like this so PERSONALLY if someone does CHOOSE to leave the site not having gleaned anything at all from the information provided...

WE SEE WHAT WE WANT TO SEE...

On that note, I have to get ready to go to the dentist. It'll be a pleasure after the morning I've had. Ha ha. Peace to you all. Even those who vehemently disagree wtih me!

Now as I write and the FRUSTRATION is passing I feel SADDENED. But again resigned to realise I can't HELP everyone. There are always going to be people who get mad at me for what I say or do. All I can really do is my best. And she has been a great teacher, I am sure I will learn even more from this as time goes on. I hope that in the future - she manifests an experience that shows that we were really keeping her best interest at heart and that NO ONE on that thread was judging, blaming or criticising her for Sport. Each person meant well. Our intentions were the best - even if she CHOSE to read them otherwise. Really, for the past few days, what I kept thinking while reading every one of her threads was "do you want to be RIGHT all the time or do you want to be HAPPY" because sometimes it's best to surrender that desire to be "right" for sake of a little happiness?

IF YOU CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINS, THE THINGS YOU LOOK AT CHANGE.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH

FRIDAY...

What a brilliant, albeit low-key, weekend. Friday night G and I went to the pictures to see THE SAVAGES. It was a tough watch (close to home) but a good film none-the-less. Then we went to JACK MCPHEE'S for some Fish & Chips. Pricey but good. We rounded off the evening in Borders. Always good for a late evening browse...

SATURDAY

Kicked off the morning with some tastey waffles. Life doesn't get much better than a pancake (or waffle) breakfast at the weekend. Then, feeling guilty, I walked to the gym for a workout. As I type I am in agony. I think I over did.

Walked home and got ready for a night out in Bearsden. It was my friend Ian's 50TH. Had no idea if I'd know anyone there (apart from the birthday boy) but didn't stop me attending and having a ball. It was a great night out with (mostly good) music and superb cake (the same as at my birthday party!) I finally called it a day when Woolfy (below) played PHIL COLLINS followed by CHER. Ha ha. That spelled leaving time for Miss T.

SUNDAY

Well today has been super. Another jaunt to the gym for a swim and then on to the West End for some food and good chat. The best Sundays are always spent leisurely in Byre's Road...As I didn't finish my lunch, it doubled as my dinner too! Win/win.

Whilst on BYRES, we popped in to the book shop and I scored two books for 49p each. One of which was a book written by LANCE ARMSTRONG'S mom. Started reading it on the tube and was getting teary-eyed. I am such a sap. Not read much but seems OK so far. I just loved the other LANCE books I've read...especially IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BIKE.

WORDS

For weeks now I've been researching quotes for a book I am writing and came across a good one the other day from MAHALIA JACKSON:- "It's easy to be independent when you've got money, but to be independent when you haven't got a thing, that's the Lord's test."

Too right Miss Jackson...another one I love from SARAH BAN BREATHNACH:- "What you give to the world will be returned to you - maybe not all at once or in the way you expect it, but if you give your best, the very best will come back to you."

Tomorrow - it's another trip to the dentist. I am not amused...but using my father as a cautionary tale, I'll deal with another day of potential pain for a tooth that will last another 20 years...Wish me luck!

On that note, I'll close and go back to watching THE WEDDING CRASHERS. Not sure why I didn't like it all that much the first time 'round...but it's about the level of intensity I long for on a tired Sunday night.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A JANUARY NIGHT

Well I really was mulling over yesterday's blog extensively last night and also today. I was pleased to see some private messages (only Google people can comment on my blog) and it made it a little clearer to me...

FOR INSTANCE MY FRIEND TOM WROTE:

"There are strains of fundamentalist / evangelical Christianity that regard any sort of belief system that isn't entirely rooted in Christianity to be a pseudo-religion that draws people away from "true" religion. I'm sure the logic involves something along the lines of positive thinking is trying to "save yourself" from the problems of this world, but the only "true" salvation is in the love of Christ, so positive thinking has to be a false belief system because you can't save yourself from your own problems, only God/Christ can do that."


Oh wow...I found that interesting. Still not sure how it becomes "offensive"...but I am starting to understand a little better.

Goldie seems to share a similar viewpoint to mine (not "right" or "wrong" of course). I don't believe the gentleman yesterday was at all "wrong" - how could I believe that to be the case? I just found it, um, interesting.

GOLDIE RECKONS:


"So far as christianity goes, I see it as I see all religions should be. A belief in whatever 'god' but ultimately a sense of goodwill to all men if you like. So far as positive thinking goes - bring it on. I got through 2007 purely on teaching myself to think positively."

EVA SAID:

"Thea, I read your blog this evening and thought..isn't prayer a form of positive thinking? You give thanks to God for all you have been given and ask that God continue to bless you."


Anyway I can draw a line under this...I just found it interesting is all.

JUNO WOT I MEAN?

We saw and advance screening of JUNO tonight at a cinema I'd never been to. It was cool. The movie was so quirky I can see why it's getting all kinds of nominations...and even today the OSCAR NOD! Wow. Great acting, super quirky and a wonderful soundtrack to boot. Best I've seen in some time! My kinda flick!

TIME TO GET ORGANISED

Also - whilst near there popped into IKEA. Picked up loads of candles (many currently lit around me) and a little storage unit for a corner here in this room. A huge, brown (eyesore) cardboard box is currently filled with cords, cables, hard drives and other necessary junk (ha)...It's a real mess. Hoping to remedy that soon. Anyone able to help me with the flatpack?

RAINY RADIO NIGHTS

Though I don't listen to the radio a ton, tonight somehow seemed special driving around Glasgow, in the rain, with RADIO ONE on and them talking about TALK TALK. Wow it's put me in the mood to hear some classic TALK TALK. I used to love them. They were one of my favourite bands back in '82 or '83. Way before they became "big" in America with things like "It's My Life" I can tell you! So yeah tonight's bathtub music will no doubt be them!

ON THE MEND

Well my buddy talked me out of going to the gym yesterday (due to the recent virus) so I went today. I didn't over do - at all but did manage about ninety minutes cardio, a swim, a steam and a sauna. Yeah I am truly feeling good again. Phew, thank goodness. Sucks to be single and sick, don't it?

HOTTIE HEATH - GONE

So when I got back -I log on and Nicola tells me HEATH LEDGER died. There is something so wrong about young studs like that dying. At 28, he seemed to have it all, as these "stars" often do but all the money, fame, success, even a family - doesn't seem to fill the void in some. Guess it goes to show that all those trappings aren't necessarily a "key to happiness". Let's hope he's in "Some Fantastic Place" now...

Goodnight.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

TESTING, TESTING...


Well, I find that each day we are all tested in so many ways...Our patience, our stamina, our beliefs, our trust, our love, and our perspective and so forth...

A BROKEN RECORD

I keep saying that "PERSPECTIVE IS A MIRROR NOT A FACT". It's the most simple of statements, but has resonated so deeply within me it's unreal! I can't really believe I never realised it before...Duh,...As Susanne K. Langer points out - “Most new discoveries are suddenly-seen things that were always there”...Too true.

CONFLICT OR NOT?

Just now I had an email from a guy who runs a group in Glasgow who is experiencing pain as the result of a relationship. I get that on a daily basis - so that in turn is nothing new - so I do what I do and reply in my own way (which not everyone appreciates and that's their perrogative)...In doing so, I send along two of my favourite quotes - one which is my all time favorite quote:

"Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit” - NAPOLEON HILL AND another "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." WINSTON CHURHILL.

While he did thank me for my response, his reply was a little surprising..."as a devout Christian I also denounced the false teaching of the 'power of positive thinking'. Something I personally believe in very strongly."

I wonder what this means. I admit I don't know much about Christianity (as I am not a church-goer or a "believer" in organised religion full stop), but I do believe in the golden rule and I actually lead what many would classify as a fairly "Christian" life...(Though admittedly my leanings are veering Eastern of late...)

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't Christianity based on concepts of "good" and "positivity"?

Again I put my hand up, I don't know, and I readily admit that. I am open to other people's input on this one but I do ask you this though, "what's the alternative?" A belief in "negative thinking"?

I honestly don't understand how anyone can write off the entire presmise of "Positive Thinking" lock stock and barrel. Well, at the end of the day it's of course this gentleman's perrogative to believe whatever he wants to believe - just as it is for each and every one of us...

What I don't understand is how anyone can denounce "positive thinking" basing his reasoning on being a devout Christian?

Many of the greatest, most-positive thinkers and teachers - like NORMAN VINCENT PEALE - use quotes straight from the Bible in their teachings...and though I personally find his "GOD TALK" sometimes off-putting - I am certainly able to see past it to the principle he's trying to convey. I find their worth (said principles) in the message despite the words Peale uses - most specifically "God".

But even he, (the gentleman of the afternoon), with such a polar opinion to mine, gives me pause for thought, fodder for today's blog, and a test for better understanding - not to mention an opportunity to apply my principles and teachings I am learning so as to provide ME with more self-awareness.

So yeah, I am pleased, but I still don't understand it.

WE ALL DO WHAT WORKS FOR US

The fact is we all do what works for us...sometimes consciously and sometimes subconsciously...If he believes the Bible or God is "the way" - then that's exactly right - FOR HIM.

PERSPECTIVE though is a MIRROR not a fact. And what I believe or feel may not be what he (or you) does. At the end of the day does that matter?

Isn't life so intersting? We are all connected regardless of our beliefs, our colors, our age, our gender our nationality,...and yet we're all unique too - in those beliefs and thinking habits and so forth.

I bet if we actually tried - we might be able to find evidence and statistics to back each of our claims.

BELIEVE OR DON'T BELIEVE - THE CHOICE, MY FRIEND, IS YOURS

At the end of the day, it's whatever works for you. These days my more Eastern-slanted thinking is working for me. I've always resonated so much more with the "positive thinking" tomes than I did with religion and the Bible.

A little know fact is that I was brought up, (in the early days) Mormon...Can you believe it? But as soon as I had any say in the matter, I stopped that. (In primary school as I recall).

What always bothered me about religion was the whole idea of its way being the "right way" - when I don't think I've ever believed there was a "right way"...(dare I say it? "Perspective is a mirror not a fact") But if Mass is where it's at for you - or Sunday Service or Temple (or whatever) - then that is awesome.

SENSE MAKING EXERCISES

I do believe we are all just looking for a way of making sense of our existence and our purpose - and how we find it varies for each of us...Some try to find it a church, others in a bottle, others still in self-help books, still others in music...

Different methods, yes, but I believe the same sense-making urge drives us all.

If this gentleman CHOOSES TO REFUTE all "positive thinking" as anti-Christian "mumbo jumbo" - then he's absolutely right for him.

It seems a bit short-sighted to me, but then that's merely my perspective. Perhaps if he changed the way he looked at things, the things he looks at would change, and just maybe he might find there are actually beneficial quotes which would offer much merit and dare I say solace if he chose not to write off everything by being so very blinkered.

ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE

I personally believe the mind is a powerful thing. I've seen it in my own life. I've looked at the people on my site (for eight years) and those with a more "POSITIVE OUTLOOK" were always the ones who healed with less hurdles, setbacks and agony. That is not to say that they didn't feel the pain. Only that their attitude made all the difference in their recovery and follow-on happiness.

STOP BEING OFFENDED

I love this quote by Wayne Dyer - “Stop being offended! The behaviour of others isn’t a reason to become immobilised. If you’re looking for occasions to be offended you’ll find them at every turn.”

Anyway said gentleman was concerned I took "offense" but first I remembered that "positive quote" and though I admit I was indignant (for a moment or two and rushed to reply) I bit my tongue and paused. Then, I put myself in his shoes and reminded myself about that phrase about perspective and told him "no offense was taken."

How can I take offense by another person's belief when I realise it's only a mirror?

He's on his Path. I am very much on mine. It's not like I ever wish to force my beliefs or coerce someone into thinking something they don't want to. Nor I believe does he.

All I can do is let people know what is working for me. I can't say it will work for everyone. But honestly, I said it before, the responses I am getting from within the forums on SYBD - shows that at least some people are finding it "thought-provoking" and "helpful" to them, and frankly that's all that matters to me. Not because I am after the praise (though don't we all like a compliment?), but because I genuinely want to help people change the way they look at things - their life, their setbacks, their relationships, their break-ups and yes their ways of thinking. I have finally realised that is my purpose and I am merely doing it to the best of my abilities.

I am HUMAN like everyone else. I have up days, down days, I make mistakes, I say the wrong thing, I do the wrong thing, I hurt people I care about (unintentionally), I embarass myself by saying or doing stuff I shouldn't, I have insecurities and I am constantly being tested...I admit I don't have all the answers but no one does.

On that note, I close with:

“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.” - - Vernon Sanders Law

AN UPDATE ONE HOUR LATER...

5pm: And the messages keep on coming....

"Again my apologies if i did cause any offence even momentarily, i certainly never intended to cause any disrespect. I merely wanted to point out that positive thinking is regarded as a highly offence practice to many."

Can that really be so? I've never ever heard of anyone saying they found it "offensive" let alone "highly offensive" (which is, I believe what he was trying to say). Perhaps English is not this gentleman's first language? I can actually see some people writing it off as "pointless" or even "mumbo jumbo" - (I've heard that to be the case by non-believers), but I've never actually heard it being called "offensive".

This to me has been such an interesting day!!

PS: Oh and I finally figured out how to turn on COMMENTS so I welcome them...well sane, non-attacking ones anyway! All will be moderated, mind you. :)

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

UNDER THE WEATHER

SICK OF IT ALL

Is it just me or viruses getting more malicious? On Thursday, before I went to meet TONY CURRIE at the BBC for lunch, I didn't feel quite right. 'Wasn't sure what it was - just a general feeling of being below par.

Got through lunch in the lovely BBC canteen and went across the river for a drink...The weather was miserable as I watched the rain slide down the glass of the Crowne Hotel...Eventually the most awful illness came over me, and I had to face the rain and get home FAST!

Stomach pains, fever, sore head, achey-all-over, and other stuff I'll spare you from. This seemed mildly improved on Friday only to land ever worse yesterday. It's so hard to know at which point you should ring a doctor isn't it? Is it just a virus for which they could do nothing or could it be early symptoms of something more serious? I will admit - having lost a friend to Stomach Cancer last month - my mind did start to worry...excessively.

HIBERNATION


Switched off the phone, and the computers, grabbed a hot water bottle and vegged on the sofa and watched BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, then later ANNA KARENINA (I never did manage to get through the book...so the ending came as quite a shock!! LOL) and I rounded off the night with the quirky-surreal, Dennis Quaid film FREQUENCY. I always liked that film. What a concept eh? I wouldn't mind chatting to my mom on a CB radio across 30 years time/space. What a trip.

EVERYTHING'S ZEN

Though I was physically very unwell, my mental spirits were kept fairly high through out the agony of the past few days...I just had to remind myself that no storm is permanent. I knew it would pass eventually. Though I am not quite up to eating yet (I think it's been since Friday now...) I am starting to feel as though I could risk it.

BETTER OFF ALONE?

Most of the time I am fairly happy in my solitude, but sometimes I reckon it would be nice if there was someone here to make the cups of tea or re-heat the water bottle when I am feeling poorly...though, to be fair, this was so gruesome and I felt so awful I was glad there was no one here to witness it...Not pretty!

So today it's about getting back on track - lots of laundry. bleaching the place and so forth. I was up at half-six and down to the BP garage for fluids (for me and the car). It's a serene time of day. Dark but serene.

Aw that's nice - as I type this, Grant just phoned to see how I was feeling (at least someone cares enough to check...) He's off to see NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (which of course I walked out of last weekend) so I have to wish him well on that one.

ANOTHER CONTRACT


Tomorrow my contract should be sent up from London. Certainly hope this agent is better than the last one. Maybe it was merely a case of timing. I like how four years ago publishers were talking about how people wouldn't buy books about being dumped (and what have you) - and in that time probably 20 have been published. So yeah, I'll have to make mine quite a bit different to what's out there. And I suspect none of these authors have spent eight years DAILY observing the universal heartbreak at all stages...so I am bound to offer a slightly different slant on it.

Well here's hoping. Keep ya posted.

This isn't the most poignant of blogs - but I guess it's simply an accurate depiction of what's been happening and why the radio silence.

Time to pop on VITALOGY (which I've not heard for years) and try to eat this yogurt.

Wish me luck :)

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

FEELING BRAND NEW

BY GEORGE, I GET IT...

I can't really begin to tell you how good I feel this weather. I feel so good I wish I could bottle it! For more than twenty years, I've constantly read all the "Godfathers" of self-improvement (Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, Wayne Dyer and the like) and it wasn't until recently it all started to sink in. Along with the birth of a New Year it feels as though I've been born again too. I don't mean in a "Christian" sense. But rather, I feel like the "old me" went out with last year, and the "New Me" has risen like a phoenix from the ashes...Or perhaps a better analogy would be like a caterpillar to a butterfly. I feel so much freer - but I seem to lack the terminology to describe what I mean to other people when I try.

I've said it quite a lot lately on here and on the forum on SYBD - but I feel like I wasted as much as A WHOLE YEAR of my life (over the last 20+ years) WORRYING or OBSESSING over other people's actions, thoughts, comments, feelings (the lot) - about me. What a waste. It's not like it ever made the situation better. It's not like it made me feel better...quite the opposite.

If someone ignored a text, an email, flaked on me or did anything that I didn't deem as "right" - well God help them. They felt my wrath! I can be honest with you, I think, I've lost more friends then a (so-called) "self-aware woman" should have (and if you were one of those friends, I am truly sorry...but Old Thea is gone and I'd like to present New Thea...)

These days if someone cancels on me or doesn't reply to a text or email (in an "acceptable time") then so be it. I've literally thrown out the concept of "right and wrong" or "good and bad" and "should and shouldn't". Really there is no "right" or "wrong" - there just IS. How we view things is what determines what's "right or wrong" and these days - I don't pass judgment on anyone - myself included.

Gosh 20 odd years ago my mother was banging on about "surrendering it" and I never got it, but I get it now, mom. You'd be so proud...I am going with the flow. The ebb and flow that is life. People come in - people go out. Some of my friends may have 'issues' with New Thea and they will go - but I fully anticipate - new more like-minded people will come in.

At the end of the day I can't CONTROL how anyone acts, reacts, or feels about/or toward me. I can't coerce someone to stay in my life if they want to go. Those who are meant to be here, are.

Bottom line is that I can only ever be responsible for how I choose to interpret these sorts of experiences.

Let's face it - no one likes to feel "disappointed" when people let us down, but has it ever occurred to you that you can CHOOSE to not feel disappointed? Really, I mean it. You can. I know cos I am doing it!

Honestly, I choose to react differently these days - to everything. I choose to interpret other people's behavior different - namely with more love, empathy and compassion. I choose to take responsibility for my own life - my own thoughts, my own reactions and my own actions.

I now know that I can either be "bummed" by other people not living up to my (sometimes) UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS or I can take a more fluid stance and simply not have them.

For years I've been the one spouting to people "we teach people how to treat us" like Dr. Phil (or whoever) - and on some level I still agree...but 'you know what? On the other hand I realise we can't ever really CONTROL the other people. Not really. We can't make anyone treat us better, love us, want to be friends with us - without their consent. So can we really "teach" people how to treat us? I am starting to wonder...

What we can choose to do is walk away and wish them well on their path. Or we can continue to work through the stumbling blocks that appear in all of our relationships at times...These are choices we have control over.

Do you know what? Since I've made this inner shift, I've found people are responding differently toward me. Conflict has been non-existent. The happier I've been the more I've been able to help and counsel others. It's a ripple effect. A joyous one at that.


ALL BOOKED UP


I was at HILLHEAD Library today. I took the notion last night to go and I think I'll continue to do it because working from home can be such a distraction for me.

Anyhow I was there to do some reading/writing (as you might expect given the location) and I ended up reading books on ANGER. Now I find this funny because I may very well be the most serene and happy I've ever been in my entire life and yet there I was being drawn to and reading three different books about ANGER...(pictured).

What really sparked my interest is I have so many people each day show up on SYBD and they're spewing with anger at their ex (and in many cases at themselves).

I remember the anger when the so-called-love-of-my-life left me (for another woman to boot). Angry wasn't a strong enough word to describe my emotion at times...but I also was aware enough from the moment he left me to know that I needed to work through the anger and right past it to FORGIVENESS...(they go hand in hand).

Because anger, if left, ends up turning in on US...We get ulcers, high blood pressure and other such lovely ailments...Nope, I knew better. Within a week of his splitting I was writing in my journal how I wanted to make the PAIN pay. I knew that anger would only hurt me...NOT HIM. Why would I want to punish myself any more? I felt bad enough!

But so many people I hear say, "I can never forgive him/her for doing _______". (Insert some real or perceived misdemeanor there). While I can appreciate it can be hurtful, gut-wrenching, frustrating and so forth to feel abandoned by someone you loved and trusted, the forgiving is what we do for us - to heal and to move on...

Unfortunately, instead of letting it all go - these angry people choose to wear their anger like it's ARMOUR somehow PROTECTING them from the pain (when quite the opposite is happening - they're prolonging it). Angry people tend to feel that "forgiving" someone is somehow letting them "off the hook". Honestly, I don't view it that way at all. Again, forgiving is what we do for us - not for them, per se.

Though I don't see myself as an 'angry' person as I have said - I did notice one area where I have 'room for improvement'. In the "ANGRY ALL THE TIME" book - there was what was described as an anger ladder. The first rung of the latter was "sneaky anger" - most of us feel that at some time or another. The next one up though was the one that struck me "The cold shoulder". Oops. Guilty. If someone in the past hurt me in some way - they got mine alright...

Even as recently as Christmas my friend D "flaked" on me in a not very nice way. As I said earlier, it's common to feel some "disappointment" when you have plans with someone and they "flake". Well sure, feel the disappointment and get over it...not me. "Old Thea" decided to ignore all his calls and texts for a week (or so). Real mature. And when I did speak to him - he took no personal responsibility for his actions and I didn't articulate what had upset me. Again - not the most healthiest of responses. But as I've said many-a-time What's done is history and can't be changed and "I will vow to do better next time a similar situation arises"...

Instead of saying "Damn him, we've planned this for a month. I was really looking forward to seeing him" - I'll say "Well OK, I'll go to the gym and have a swim" or whatever. I can CHOOSE to not feel disappointed. That's so liberating!

DETACH FROM THE OUTCOME - is my new motto pertaining to everything in my life - men, books, films, friends, all of it...Am just trusting it's all transpiring in Divine order.

I received an opportunity - recently when another gentleman canceled meeting up (at the last minute no less) - and this time I simply didn't get upset, mad, or disappointed - I just did what I'd planned to do without him! And it felt great. So progress indeed.

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Ross dragged me to see "No Country" at the weekend did I say? I lasted about fifteen minutes before I walked out. Ross knows better, the cheek. He knows I vow to avoid violent films and when I asked him what it was about - he was vague. Within the first few minutes I'd seen about 20 dead bodies and I just thought - my life is too short for this - so I left and I went to Borders on my way to the tube...and I walked out with the DALAI LAMA's Little Book of Wisdom...

Section five deals a lot with the 'Inner Enemies' (Anger being one of them).

Pg 75 - "Anger, attachment, jealousy, hatred,...these are the real enemy."

PG 80 - "Hatred cannot be overcome by hatred...Hatred will only generate more problems."

Anyway - I am running out of time. I am sure there were more things I was wanting to share but they'll keep until the next time.

Tonight it's off to the wonderful BEANSCENE to see the wonderful KEVIN MCDERMOTT perform new songs! Been a fan of his for twenty odd years now (almost) so it's always a pleasure and never a chore. According to Beanscene founder GORDON - Kevin has done six Beanscenes today. He'll be knackered! Bless.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

DOING SOMETHING WE DON'T WANT TO DO

Isn't it a bummer when we have to do something we don't want to do? One of those things you'd rather hide under the duvet....Well, I have to go to the DENTIST this afternoon. Dentists are about as much fun as break-ups -- especially when it's not just a 'check-up'.

Nope, today is the day. It's something I've been putting off for literally years - because it's a pricey one. 'Not as bad as my 1700 pound (3400 USD) implant, but a much-needed crown which will set me back a good few hundred (actually nearly 300 when you add on the hygenist too.) :(

Joy of joys - it's really something I'd rather do without, in January no less, but in a vain sort of way I am looking forward to it...You see, each time I smile big, indoors, for a snapshot - the flash ricochets off the current filling and it drives me mad...So for that reason, I am over-the-moon to get it sorted.

But yeah, I have to say, as much as I love my dentist, I am rather dreading this afternoon. I normally drive to Bearsden for my appointments, but today I feel like taking public transport, so it will be a tube and a train which will allow me to play some music and read my calming books right up until I am in the dreaded hot seat! Wish me luck! It won't be complete until the end of the month.

IN OTHER NEWS...

Dentist appointments aside, I am doing grand. Fighting fit. "Spreading the love vibrations, uh huh" to one and all. Are you feeling it? Hope so!

Kicked off the morning with the arrival of JOHN MAYER's CONTINUUM CD which I've been waiting on. He writes some fantastic break-up anthems..."Dreaming With a Broken Heart" and "In Repair" - among them. "I'm not together but I'm getting there..." - 'In Repair') Check it out.

'Was at the gym this morning meeting my (what do I call her? She's not a paid personal trainer but she's my rep) anyways Nicola, a Scottish Britney Spears lookalike (though she tells me I am the only one who's said that to her...I meant it as a compliment cos Brit Brit was cute)...I digress Nicola has assigned me some new exercises for my program. Many are for the ball - which I can do at home...which is good - as it's kinda cool to sit and watch a film and work out while doing so - you don't realise it quite so much.

But yeah, I am glad I got off my ass in October and joined a gym. It's made all the difference in the world to me. God bless those endolphins (joke).

NEARLY MIDNIGHT - AN UPDATE

Well, wouldn't ya know that the one time I decide to be 'good' and take public transport and it ends up being the journey from hell! Because of the terrible wind last night - many trains were canceled and west-bound trains weren't stopping at PARTICK - which meant taking a east-bound train to CHARING X and then getting another train to HYNDLAND and then another to BEARSDEN...blah blah blah,...

The upshot was all the stress about the journey meant I didn't have much time to stress about my actual appointment which was hellish as well....(Nearly 8 hours later and still in pain! INSERT SYMPATHY HERE!!) Oh well better to have a day of pain and a tooth for 20 or so years then to be like my dad and avoid dentists for 50 years and end up having no teeth at all. :)

So all's well that ends well. Time for sleep, peeps!

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

LOVE ONLINE?

I've just received my latest newsletter from MONEYMAGPIE - founded by my friend JASMINE BIRTLES.

It features an article about ONLINE DATING which quotes me (and in some cases misquotes me) about the topic of finding love on the Web...

To be honest, it's been years since I've met anyone on the Net (through a dating site), but for a while there I did give it a go - with varying levels of success.

Eventually I decided to put the idea of finding romance all on the back burner, and to just see how it goes through life.

I've once been accused of "giving up too easily" where dating is concerned, and I think that it comes down to apathy more than anything else. Well that and stubborness.

Men simply are not my priority at the moment and to be frank, I am not that bothered how it looks that I don't have one nor that I've stopped looking. Heck, I've been married, I've done the long-term thing, and frankly, though they taught me much, I didn't find the grass was actually greener. Right now I am trying a different path, that's all. Currently I'm more concerned with the relationship to myself than to anyone else, and it's a whole lot less stress and less disappointing! Ha.

For now I am just being...Not re-living the past or worrying about the future and I am firmly placed in the present. And on that note...

A COURSE IN MIRACLES

Many years ago, my New Age Mom studied A COURSE IN MIRACLES. Since then, I've always been intrigued by it, and today due, to some random inspiration, I was researching where it came from and pondering its merits. You see, a few years ago, I even went as far as checking it out of the library on Byres Road,...but between you and me, I must be thick...(as thick as that tome was) because I just didn't get it. I found it so hard to grasp and read. Massive book, tiny print, heady subject. I just want the "Idiots Guide to" it, I think. Clearly my mom was right on its maiden bandwagon voyage - because I am sure it was the 70s when she was reading it...and without meaning any disrespect to my mother, she wasn't the most-intelligent or educated woman ever, so God love her for trying to get through the density of that book.

In case you've never heard of it, it's a book written by a woman HELEN SCHUCMAN - who says she channelled the words of Jesus. Aye, really. There are naturally many sceptics out there about the book, her claim (how it was written), and its merits. I am not bothered by all that - because I personally think what matters most is the message not its so-called "source".

Any time I see other people quoting excerpts - the sentiments resonate with me. I half wonder if it's my mother that's guiding me toward these teachings now. As I said I tried to read it before but I didn't "get it" but maybe now, a little older, a little wiser, perhaps I might? But OK, I still wish there was a dummies guide to it...

WAKE UP!

I am traveling everywhere with a book called WAKE UP CALLS in my handbag. As I think I mentioned recently, I've had it for years - just sitting on the shelf, but when going through my bookshelves to donate charity last week, I came across it and picked it up and have been reading it daily since. It's a light read of quotes and what could be deemed meditations...or perhaps simply "thoughts". Much of it is about LOVE and FORGIVENESS and simply practicing NON-JUDGMENT. Again all things that I am marinating with just now.

Some good examples from the WAKE UP CALLS book / and A COURSE IN MIRACLES...

* There are only two emotions - LOVE and FEAR.

* Perception is a mirror not a fact.

* I am never upset for the reason I think.


FORGIVE AND FORGET

The topic of FORGIVENESS comes up on a DAILY BASIS on my site. There are some people whose relationship ended YEARS ago and they are still walking around feeling HURT, ANGRY, BITTER, VINDICTIVE - and who's that hurting? Their ex? Heck, the EX in most cases is long gone.

"We cannot be at peace until our relationships are healed. Not even one person can be excluded for us to experience complete inner peace. We need to remember that 90% of forgiveness doesn’t work – it has to be 100%” (Wake Up Calls)

So if that's you...holding grudges, or holding on to past hurt and perceived crimes against you - this could be your ex, your folks, your kids, your friends - whoever - please heed my warning and LET IT GO. Honestly there is no value in holding on to such grievances. They're not benefitting you - quite the opposite.

But so many people hold onto this thought they're JUSTIFIED in their anger, hurt, resentment etc. "So what?" I ask you? How's that working out for you? That anger will never bring about peace of mind so LET IT GO.

If you can't "forgive and forget" - then just "forgive and remember"...and you don't think you can forgive at all - then aim for ambivalance. Don't see forgiveness as letting someone off the hook for their "bad" behavior. See it as a necessary stage of recovery for you to be happy and whole again. Do it for you. Not for them.

I am going to be writing more on this important subject because as I said, it keeps coming up and it's something a lot of people can find themselves "stuck on".

Right now I am forgiving myself for not going to the gym today...and instead I am chomping on SweetTarts (a theater sized box no less).

MOVIES OF THE YEAR - SO FAR...

Well, I've seen two films this week already (and it's only Tuesday). Today was the new Tom Hanks film CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR...and yesterday DAN IN REAL LIFE...both excellent choices for a cinema trip.

It was great to see Steve Carell in a less-goofy role. In DAN IN REA LIFE, he plays a widowed, syndicated columnist and father of three girls, who is finally opening up to love again after four years. I loved the opening scene of him in his bed and on the other half of his bed - it's books and notepads. I actually laughed out loud at that (much to the chagrin of the journalists around me, no doubt). But what can I say? I can relate. It was a cute film. Really my only gripe with it was his family - who are a little bizarre to say the least. I've never seen a family like his. Maybe they're all in Rhode Island (I drove right throught the state on my road trip) so perhaps I missed them...but they exercise together, play charades, put on talent shows in the house...Get real. This is supposed to be DAN IN REAL LIFE...(actually that's just the name of his newspaper column). But family aside it's a sweet little film.

As for CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR - it was well acted, had some funny lines and was based on a true story about Wilson a wild and crazy Texas congressman who effectively makes it his mission to bring down the Sovien Union...with a little help from fellow Texan, Joanne Herring (played by Julia Roberts) and a CIA chap called Gust (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman). Hoffman actually got some of the best lines. I admit I know little about the Middle East and nor am I set to change that, but I did enjoy the film.

And to end this update - still on the topic of films - I received my first DVD from LOVEFILM today...It's a French comedy. So I know what I'll be doing when I get back from meeting the girls later...

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Friday, January 04, 2008

THIS JUST IN....

BACK IN BUSINESS

Well I was going to give myself the rest of this week off, but instead have been hard at work - updating the site, doing some writing (of the SYBD book) and just generally reading all the old stuff that I've written (over the years) to see how close we are to finishing it...and on that note....

I HAVE A NEW MAN IN MY LIFE!

Yes indeed it's true. He's tall, dark and handsome (just the way I like 'em)...and best yet he will make us both a chunk-a-change. So whilst I don't want to jinx it, by talking too much about it, I think I feel confident and secure enough to announce that ("subject to contract") I have a wonderful, new, London Literary Agent. Though as I say, I've yet to "sign on the dotted line" (it's time for Hannah, above, to organize details for me), it will hopefully be done in the next week or two and then, "bob's yer uncle" - as they say in the UK.

It's an exciting time for Thea Pia and after a Yuletide lull, I can happily report that my proactivity and optimism have returned. Yippee!

As ever, watch this space. All being well I'll unveil my new man soon...;)

HOLIDAY DUMPS

Knowing it's my busiest time of year, (Nov-Feb), I decided to look at my stats on ALEXA. Wow! Would you believe my little site is currently ranked at 418,403 on the list of most-visited sites in the world? (Why am I not a millionaire yet?)

But seriously folks, I think that's not bad going (*pats herself on the back*). I like how it appears that in the UK, it's in the top 20,000 sites (even better sounding stats!)

Time to make up a press release, me thinks...Incorporating that and the poll results of my HOW WERE YOU DUMPED? poll.

Face-to-face: 29%
Over the phone: 32%
By email, text, instant message: 19%
My ex just vanished: 12%
Some other way: 5%

As it's 2008 - it's time for a new poll...this time on the rather controversial subject of SNOOPING or SPYING...

I rather suspect a few of my "past partners" (for lack of a better term) take the odd gander of my blog here, so if that's you, I want you to march over to the right hand side of your screen and answer honestly, right now! Ha. Gotcha!

THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

Well, good news, I managed to donate several boxes/bags of books to OXFAM's book store on Byre's Road this afternoon. With each bag that goes out of my abode, I feel a little lighter. I would like to give more, and from now on, vow to do a monthly purge of books/music/clothes - so I don't have to spend a whole week at the end of the year doing it this year! Seems my thread on SYBD inspired many other givers out there and I am most-pleased. Speaking of boxes...

BOXING CLEVER?

Well I've really enjoyed my workouts lately. While in America for Thanksgiving, I picked up a pair of PINK (!) boxing gloves, and I finally had the nerve to slip them on and start punching. Oh did I punch up a storm...picturing every guy who ever pissed me off as each fist made contact with the bag! Wow is that a cathartic way to get rid of unwanted negative energy or what? I've never been a boxing kinda girl until now! Think I'll need to invest in a bag for home - so I can use it out of hours! I am no MILLION DOLLAR BABY but I had fun, so who cares how stupid I look?

Incidentally - a wee sample of yesterday's workout...

- 25 minutes (hard) on the treadmill - 9%-12% grade up hill!! Effort level 8 and 9.

- 15 minutes minutes on the bike

- 59 minutes...in the pool - which I've been playing about with calculations...In that time, I estimated I did 74 laps -- which equates to 2.29 miles...(*another pat on the back*)

Well if I don't blow my own trumpet, who will? :)

ED NOTE: If my calculations are wrong, please don't correct me (unless of course I swam FURTHER than I estimated)!

CLASSIC, TOTALLY CLASSIC

...And well, on the subject of boxing (again), earlier tonight I was watching a number of films on TCM THE CHAMP (what a performance from RICKY SCHRODER even back then in his 1979 debut) - and so fun to see him along JACK BAUER in '24' now...but he'll always be "Ricky" to me.

Last night on TCM was a different "Richard" - RICHARD DREYFUS in WHOSE LIFE IS IT ANYWAY? I'd not even heard of this film let alone seen it.

And after the CHAMP, I saw my buddy LUKE in DIE ANOTHER DAY. Shhhhh, but blink and you will miss him (in fact, when I saw it at the cinema I did miss him), but I saw him tonight and he was on for longer than I thought (so now I am wondering how I did miss him when I saw it on the big screen?)...Go luke.

And speaking of Luke's (Don't you love how my blog goes together so fluidly? Joke!) COOL HAND LUKE is on. I think I'll forgo that for some SEX & THE CITY - particularly when the city is Paris. I think I need to get back there this year.

A big head's up to all my Bay Area possee - hope you're staying dry / safe / warm in these crazy California storms. FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES: "A fierce Pacific storm howled into Northern California on Friday, bringing a treacherous mix of flooding, hurricane-force winds, and blizzard conditions for millions of residents."

Hugs...Be safe!

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

PEAKS AND VALLEYS

Well as I look back on the landscape that is 2007 - I have to say it wasn't a hugely standout year, for me, really.

Well to be fair it did have some highs and it had some lows - like most years.

I lost friends (and lovers) and gained friends (and lovers). Some friends left of their own accord, some were pushed and some have passed away.

But if I sit down and list the comings and goings - it's balanced. The universe is always balanced. Have you noticed that?

I am never good at letting go - be it friends, lovers, family members - due to death or circumstance. It's particularly hard when the endings are bad. I have a handful of 'good friends' where things ended badly in my life time, (one this year) and I truly regret that.

Each time it happens though, I vow to do better next time. A few times this year I've nearly made the same errors in judgment and I've remembered the friends who've gone before, and it's made me re-evaluate my tactic - so at least something was learned from my painful lessons! Hooray.

So here's to my friends, past, present and future!

HIT THE ROAD, JACK

2007 didn't contain a two-month road trip - so it would have a tough time competing with 2006. But I do have plans afoot to traverse the globe a fair bit in 2008 (God willing) so that's an auspicious start. At the moment - I'll stick to the US and UK and if finances permit - I will look at Brazil and of course the southern hemisphere.

Speaking of "Jack" - I've been watching a marathon of '24' (season 6) as it's my dad's favorite show. I think he'll be happy he can talk about this with me!

BRITDOC - THE PEAK

Well on a positive slant looking back over last year, the highlight of the entire year was the BRITDOC festival in July. It was one of the best, most scary and challenging, weeks of my life. I learned a lot. I met some wonderful people (many I still keep in touch with) and had some fantastic meetings with some of the TOP film makers in the UK. I feel so honored to have been able to do my pitch there.

CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME (OR SOMETHING)

Well, good news, the car is about half-full of bags and boxes to donate to a Cancer charity and Oxfam. I will drop the books at the Oxfam book store in the west end and the clothes to Imperial Cancer store - at the end of the week.

It feels really good on so many levels to give. That sounds kind of lame, I realise, or at the very least trite....but I don't need this stuff (I have far too much). Someone else might and if they buy it - proceeds go to a cause that has taken many friends and family members (Cancer).

Yesterday, I was speaking to my friend Oz (who coincidentally is in OZ at the moment though lives in Turkey these days) and he's back home because his father just died. So many of us have lost friends and family members this year and in fact this month, alone.

Not only that Oz, but on New Year's Day I spoke to my friend Dave (who is "mum's" son) and he told me about his friend's mother who died on Boxing Day. She was tired after some festivities - went up for a nap and never woke up. I am not sure which is worse - losing a parent (or friend or partner) on the holidays or on your birthday - which is when my mother left - many years ago now.

Either way it sucks.

To add to this month's sadness we don't need to look further than here in Scotland to PHIL O'DONNELL's sudden death last week. I am not a football person, I'd never even heard of him, but I can still feel such empathy for the loss his family (wife and four kids!) must be feeling at the moment. 35 years old and fit as feck - and he still goes in the blink of an eye.

My point is not to depress anyone by saying this but only to serve as a reminder of how precious and uncertain our time on this planet is. Wasting time in jobs we don't like, buying tons of stuff we don't actually need, worrying about what other people think about us (and if they like us), constantly getting wasted is all a waste of a perfectly good life. So to throw out that old chestnut - Carpe Diem. As a New Year is upon us - forget making resolutions you won't keep - and simply vow to make more of your life than you have been doing - in whatever capacity that means to you.

2008 - GONNA BE GREAT

There are numerous threads about the New Year on the site. Some about goals for the upcoming year. I've got a number of them in my head and a few I feel happy enough to share. They won't surprise anyone who knows me - to finish the SYBD BOOK after many years of researching it and film the SYBD FILM.

I have other aims for the year - socialise more, make new friends (and more), to laugh more and buy less stuff. I'll continue to write and photograph creatively. Really I am just gonna vow to help as many of the world's lovelorn as possible.

ASTROLOGY IS RIGHT


I just found this on one of my site members' FB profiles:

CANCER - The Beauty

"MOST AMAZING KISSER." (Good start! Wayhey) "Very high appeal. A Cancer's love is one of a kind. Very romantic. Most caring person you will ever meet in your life. Entirely creative person, most are artists and insane (respectfully speaking). They perfected sex and do it often. Extremely random. An Ultimate Freak. Extremely funny and is usually the life of the party. Most cancers will take you under their wing and into their hearts where you will remain forever. Cancers make love with a passion beyond compare. Spontaneous. Not a Fighter, but will kick your ass good if it comes down to it. Someone you should hold on to!"

How right is that? Ha ha ha. Well it made me smile anyway. I only ever believe astrology when it's right! :)

Happy New Year my lovelies.

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