Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

Well so much for the wishful thinking regarding getting some work life balance.  The past couple of weeks have been insane.  So much work to do, and also trying to get ready for the holidays.
I was able to get a little baking done though, and made these guys.
I have so many more to make though, as well as trying to determine what I am going to make for Christmas dinner.  I have a few friends coming over on Christmas day, and I plan to serve up quite the feast.

Friday, December 7, 2012

New Job

I got the job that I wanted, I start on January 1st (officially).
I am really excited.  I have been pretty much doing this job for the past couple of years in addition to my regular role.  But, now I get to do that full time, and leave the other role behind.  They are backfilling my previous role with 6 people. 

Which is crazy, if I think that I have essentially been doing the job of 7 people for the past 2 years.  It's no wonder I was working such long hours.

I am looking forward to being able to use a different part of my brain, and do more planning strategy as oppose to the reactive execution I have been doing lately. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Habits v's Goals.

I have been wearing glasses for the past 18 months, and just made the move to contacts.  In 18 months I have formed a habit of pushing my glasses back up my nose.  I am more aware of that right now, as I keep doing it without having any glasses to push up my nose.
Obviously it took less than 18 months to form the habit, but I am curious how long it will take to break it.

Supposedly it takes 21 days to form  a new habit/break a habit.  I wonder if this will follow suit.

With it coming up to the end of the year, New Years round the corner, I have one goal for 2013.  That goal is to make sure I give myself some work/life balance. I have spent the past 3 years working a crazy schedule, and put my personal life pretty much on hold.

Going forward I want to continue to work hard, but ensure that I leave some time for my own mental and physical health.  I have weight to lose and friends to see.   I really do have some amazing friends though.  They have been patient with me over the past few years, and have been flexible with their schedules, so that when I did have some down time we were able to get together.  Now its my turn to make sure I can do the same for them..

Regardless of new years resolutions, what things in your life are you looking to change?

Monday, December 3, 2012

'Tis the Season

Its that time of year again, for parties, eating, drinking, spending time with family and friends. It always comes with mixed feelings, as I am grateful for the friends I have here, but always miss my family, who are so far away.  I have met lots of new people over the past couple of months, and am feeling that my surrogate family is expanding.  I am very fortunate to have so many wonderful people in my life.  Both those that I know in person, and those that I have met through the virtual world.

I lived in the US for almost 8 years now (It will become 8 on Jan 5th).  My first Christmas here was spent alone, in my small apartment in downtown Portland.  I remember being unable to reach my parents by phone, as they were on vacation in South Africa, and sometime in the evening the power went out, so I was all alone in the dark.  It was quite possibly the worst Christmas I've ever had. 

Since then I have invited friends over to my house every Christmas day, and have had anything from 2 people to close to 20 stop by.  It makes Christmas feel like Christmas to me, if I am able to open up my home, cook for people and share the day.

I could of course go back to the UK for Christmas, but now I have made my own tradition here.  It might not be a conventional Christmas spent with family, but my friends out here in the PNW have become my family.  I still get so excited about Christmas day that I wake up around 4am (as you can imagine, my husband is not really impressed by that).  I try and stay queit as I make my way downstairs and start to prepare the turkey and trimmings.

Then around 8am, when I can stand it no more, I go back upstairs to wake up the husband.  He cooks a wonderful breakfast, and we have memosa's, eat then beginning the gifting process.  Presents are pulled from under the tree and placed in the relevant piles (myself, hubby and of course the cats :) ).  We make our way through, topping up the memosa's as we go.  Then its time for me to get back in the kitchen.  By now the Christmas music is blasting.

As our friends start to show up, the party begins, with food and drink to spare, we have a merry time, drinking, talking, dancing, drinking, dancing, drinking sleeping.

Other than Christmas day it's self, my favourite holiday moment, is decorating the house.  I have boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations, and put up several trees.  I love going through the ornament boxes and finding all those memories. Ornaments that my mum and I bought when I was going through a rough patch in life, and my mum was there to support me.  Items from my childhood, decorations off the family tree from 30 years ago.  We were recently able to add to the collection, ornaments from Ryan's childhood, there are homemade ornaments in there, one's that move, and ones from his grandma. 

As bittersweet as Christmas can be, it is certainly a time when you remember loved ones, it's a wonderful occassion to be surrounded by family/friends.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Word of the Day...

A search for "word of the day" today returned: Cathexis
I had never even heard of this word before, let alone did I have any idea what it meant.
According to http://www.merriam-webster.com here's the definition:
: investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea

After trying to find out more about this word, I end up reading about  Sigmund Freud.   Its been a long time since I've spent much time thinking about Freud.  I had to study him, well I suppose really, his theories when I was at University, which was one heck of a long time ago. (This is where I start to realise my age, and quickly dive back to my original train of thought). 

Essentially it seems that Freud believed that  psychic energy is generated by the libido. (of course it is.. where else would it come from).

This psychic energy is released through biological means known drives. A drive has two parts: a biological need and a psychological need. Then of course what I am reading starts to get into the id, the ego and the superego, and all of a sudden, distant bells start ringing, and I actually start to remember some of the things I learnt at Uni oh those many years ago.  Seems it wasn't a waste after all.  My parents will be so happy.

Ultimately, what I realised is that I didn't think I'd ever heard this word before, but that really isn't possible, been as I spent a substantial amount of time studying the id, ego and superego.  Apparently I just suppressed the memory of Cathexis.  Only for it to rear it's head x number of years later.

What I most certainly do remember is having a biological need for a drink, and then somehow ending up at the pub.  My id, ego and superego apparently had that figured out.  When my id conjured up an image of a drink, my ego saw that as a beer, and then sent me off to the student union, to quench the biological need for a beverage.  Apparently in these situations, my ego did not feel the need to respond with anticathexis, as it did not deem going to the pub for a nice cold beer as an unacceptable action.

Now I am delving further into Freud's theories (again), partly to see how much I remember, partly because I still find it intriguing. (by no means does this mean that I necessarily agree with all of this theories).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Who's that girl?

There once was a girl from Shotley
Who typed up some words quite promptly
With thoughts in her mind
And a heart that was kind
She lived to be old and happy.


Does forgiveness have a larger affect if it is given by someone to another, or if a person is able to forgive themselves for their own mistakes or misgivings?
Does it mean more to offer forgiveness than to receive it?

I know that I personally find it much easier to forgive others than I do to forgive myself.

It's possible for me to find more examples of this as work. It's as I hold myself to a different set of expectations than I do those around me. I seem to be able to accept that other people are human, and therefore mistakes are inevitable. Yet when I get something wrong myself, I will beat myself up about it for days, weeks, sometimes even longer, even if other people forgive me or reassure me

There are a couple of people in my life who find it exceedingly difficult to forgive themselves for anything. Causing themselves grief for years. Long after the people involved in the incident have moved on from it, and in many cases even forgotten about it.

I can still remember things from my childhood that I did. Such as when I yelled out that I hated my parents. I was probably no more than 4, and really upset at the time. I have no recollection if what had happened leading up to the outburst, but I remember with a sickening feeling the words I shouted out. I don't think I'll ever let it go. There are many other things, that I will not go into here, as I still feel ashamed of them. Some at the time were reckless and fun, but people got hurt. I don't let these things consume me, but if and when I do, for some of those things I still feel guilt. Others are just a memory.

I have a belief that mistakes, bad decisions and moments of impulsiveness will occur, and that it is better in the long term to forgive oneself and learn from the mistake than to carry the guilt. Forgive but maybe not always forget.

I bring up the not always forgetting, for two reasons.  1. Because repetition of the same mistakes is really not a good course of action.  2. I was in an unhealthy relationship for a period of time, and had I forgiven and forgotten everything that person did to me, I'd most likely still be in that horrendous situation.  There came a point, that although I could still forgive, I knew I had to get out, otherwise I would only be able to hold myself accountable for what would of/could of happened to me.

"Forgiveness isn't something we do for others. We do it so we can get well and move on." 
(source unknown)


There is something to be said for what sleep can do, and the feeling a person gets when they wake up at the beginning of the morning.

There is always that moment of possibility. Of course sometimes it can last longer than others.
Last night it took me a long time to fall asleep, I had a lot of thoughts in my head. Finally I drifted off, then woke up this morning feeling calm and relaxed. The fact that I've only had 3 hours of sleep hasn't yet sunk in, and I am hoping I make it through the day before the inevitable wave of tiredness hits me.

My work schedule over the past couple of years has been insane. I worked an average work week of 70 hours, pretty much worked 7 days a week, put in a few 20+ hour days in the office, but no matter how stressed or tired I was, there was always, that moment, sometimes fleeting where I would wake up and feel calm. I have come to treasure those moments, and try my best to make them linger as long as possible.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I have met some new people lately, and had some recent conversations which have sent my mind traveling back to my past, and got me thinking about my perspective now v's back then.
There have been a couple of major events in my life which sent me on a certain course. There's also been some smaller things which I experienced which may have either tweaked my course, or perhaps altered my perceptions.

I admit now that I have no idea where this is going, but I was laying here, feeling somewhat awkward and felt the need to write. I am sure to most this wont make much sense. It doesn't help matters that I am writing this on my iPhone and we all know by now how apple likes to autocorrect. Doing my best to catch those as I go, by certain I will miss some.
Anyway, I had a recent conversation with someone regarding the way I was feeling a long time ago. About the struggles I was having in my early 20's trying to determine what the point of life was. Not just my life but life in general. The human race as a whole to be honest. I couldn't figure it out, the thought consumed me. At some point I realized that there was only so much I could do regarding a larger purpose. And rather than beat myself up, I realized that I could make a difference to those around me. If I could walk down the street on the way to work and smile at someone, it may make a difference to their day. If at work I could make a small improvement it could make a difference to someone. If I could appreciate the small things in life, it would make a difference to me.

I still now, almost 10 years later believe the same thing. Is it because I convinced myself that this was right, or did I just accept that it was OK?

I find myself revisiting it. Wondering and speculating.

For some their purpose in life is their kids, or earning enough money to pay the bills, or by the car they want. I've never set my goals that way. I've always felt that we, as part of the earth have a responsibility to ourselves, each other and the environment around us. As such, I get pained when I see or hear of people/events that damage those around them. It makes no sense to me.

I was going to write surely we all have the same goal which is to be happy and live life fully, but then I realized that's not the case. That's just my goal. Certainly I share it with some. Several people in my life have the same goal. Others not so much. And although I had in my mind that fulfillment of those goals would lead to happiness I realized that also is not the case.