...from a dream about breaking my arm and having it plastered, to discover my arm bent in an awkward position and the cat rubbing her gums and teeth on the tip of my elbow! No need to decipher that one then. (And on a rather digusting note: my arm smelled like fish flavoured cat food, so at 02:48 I had to get up in the freezing cold and wash it – thanks cat).
Until recently five pound notes were hard to come by due in part to ATM machines not issuing them (shopkeepers & bus drivers used to practically hug you in gratitude if you paid with one, such was there scarcity), but as so many machines are issuing them again they are now being seen far more often. This has been great for my plan of never spending a fiver again but instead keeping them as savings. This month I’ve already saved up nearly £100 – the first time I’ve had any sort of savings in I don’t know how long (if ever).
It is such a small amount but already it means that I don’t have to worry so much if, for example, the cat has to go to the vet unexpectedly or I need to go to the opticians. I can’t wait to have a reasonable sum to keep for emergencies. Suddenly the idea of having one thousand or even a few thousand pounds in savings doesn’t seem like an impossible dream. I really should have learnt about money decades ago but better late than never.
My moods are out of control at the moment – one minute absolutely euphoric & giddy with happiness over some new idea about my future, the next crashingly low and full of frustration because I still can’t figure out how to get where I (possibly) want to go. These extreme-extremes are something I’ve never experienced before, even though I’ve always been a mood-swingy type of girl. The lows are not depression or anger or sadness. I just don’t know how to define them because as low as they feel they are also, strangely, underpinned by a sense of hope and excitement. I really feel like my guts and heart are pulling me towards a wonderful new future but they haven’t told my head where we’re all going yet!
I’ve been trying so hard to make sense of these feelings that I’ve just ended up adding to my sense of confusion and frustration. So I’m just going to step back, relax and let it all wash over me. I’ve made so many changes to my life in recent weeks that I think I need to take some time to catch up with myself and get used to all these new routines. I wonder if this really is the mid-life crisis I’ve been hoping for? Be careful what you wish for!
I’ve been making a conscious effort to make art just for myself everyday as I’ve become so tired of making it for other people for a job. At last I have renewed my interest in making art just for making art’s sake. I’m not quite where I want to be yet – I want to see if I can get back to the love of creating I had when I was a child, when making art did not come with any pressure or expectations, just the joy of the process.
I am just beginning to see my happiness through art returning but it will probably take a while to undo all the jaded years of producing it on demand and within the limits of somebody else’s imagination.
I’ve been so much better with money lately and I find that not only am I making my salary last the whole month but I’m also making little but consistent dents in my debts AND saving little sums of money wherever I can. So the need to earn extra money has gone from “urgent” to “would-be-beneficial”.
I’m going to resurrect this goal at some point but for now I really could do without the stress of trying to find another income and my emotional resources would be better spent maintaining the recent improvements to my habbits.
...at the same time as I do at during the week was just as successful as the first – I got so much done! There is something about early mornings that is so peaceful and so full of hope and watching the sun rise is beautiful.
There was an article in an online newspaper yesterday about how getting up early is a key to happiness as it allows you to have a more relaxed and peaceful start to the day and gives you that wonderful optimism that early mornings bring. They recommended setting your alarm for 5 a.m. and getting up straight away instead of using the snooze button. This really struck a chord with me because I remembered I’m often wide awake at 5 but by the time my alarm goes off at 6 I’m reluctant to rise and press the snooze button for at least half an hour. So last night I set my alarm for 5 a.m. and when it woke me (actually it frightened me awake as my body was so not expecting it!) I got up straight away and I feel great.
Easy to do for just one day though, so the plan is to continue getting up at 5 every day and see what difference it makes to my mood, productivity and wellbeing. Who knows, with all that extra time in the mornings I may even find myself actually being able to face the thought of eating breakfst too.
I think I may be having a mid-life crisis. Someone asked me the other day if I was happy – I hadn’t a clue how to answer. All I managed to say is that I don’t think I’m unhappy (and I definitely have moments of happiness all through my day).
But I’ve come to realise that I am totally dissatisfied.
My career in Graphic Design is coming to an end for sure because my heart is definitely not in it anymore and since I kind of define myself by my work, I am now totally confused as to what I want to do and what I want to be. This is both annoying and exciting. I know I will figure this out eventually but I’m not blessed with patience and want all the answers NOW!
I suppose a lot of soul-searching is about to happen, but I’m going to start on a positive note by acknowledging that I am lucky to still have a good job while I sort out my next move – some people are forced into this situation by redundancy or the breakdown of a relationship (or worse). I’m lucky to have this time to be self-indulgent.
Hmmm. How to admit this? I have hardly eaten a healthy thing this working week! It’s been snowing and is absolutely freezing outside and inside, and I’ve been in hibernation/face-stuffing mode. I also made the mistake of going shopping while hungry and coming back home with a bag full of absolute nonsense.
The only thing I’ve done right this week is cut back my coffee intake to one cup a day and reintroduce green tea. I hate tea of any description but green tea has so many health benefits that I’m just going to have to drink it. I’ve stopped trying to “acquire” a taste for it and started to think of it as purely medicinal. For some insane reason that is really helping :)
Today’s shopping bag is brimming with all the fresh ingredients to make myself vats of lentil & vegetable soup. Hopefully that will set me on the right track again. I don’t think that it can be coincidence that my mood has plummeted as my diet has worsened.
I’ve been less and less enthusiastic about it over the last few years but now I really don’t want to be there. I’m not quite at the point of dreading going there…yet...but I’m sure that day is coming. And soon.
What to do about it? As soon as I get home tonight I’m going to start with a list. Things I enjoy about the job & things I don’t. I hope this will help me begin to form a clearer idea of what it is that I do want to do. I can feel a big change of direction on the horizon and I’m really, really looking forward to it.
but that was probably because I was so anxious at the thought of having more nightmares I hardly slept! This morning I had a quick look at some websites about dreams and they seem to agree that death dreams are linked to new beginnings and letting go of old ways. This makes total sense as I’m definitely in the process of altering the direction of my life.
When I did actually sleep long enough to dream last night I dreamt I was on top of a mountain (one of my favourite places to be) and I was simply staring into the abyss below. No idea.
the kind of nightmares that are so upsetting that you feel unsettled right into the day. They have a recurring theme – a member of my family has died or is dying. Last night my dreams even invented a lovely new brother for me and then gave him a terminal illness – nice. Thanks a lot subconscious!
Sometimes my dreams are just a mishmash of events that have happened in my life, sometimes they are lovely dreams of random fanciable actors (hello Joaquin Phoenix please feel free to visit any time!) and other times they are a warped message repeated over and over until I finally get what my subconscious is trying to tell me.
Last time I had repeatedly bad dreams I actually became nervous of falling asleep because I really didn’t want to see what horrors my dreams were going to conjure for me. I dreamed repeatedly of being attacked and killed by all kinds of lions and tigers and big cats. I was perplexed because I’ve always loved wild cats and since I’m never likely to meet one roaming around England, I’ve never had to see them as something to fear. A friend looked it up in a book about the meaning of dreams (which I have to admit I thought was going to be complete bullshit) and she said it meant that I was repressing some emotion that really needed to come out. What she and no-one else knew was that I’d split from my long term boyfriend a few months earlier and rather than processing the pain, I’d simply refused to shed a single tear over him and I’d told no-one. As soon as I took the pain out of the little box I’d confined it in and processed it properly (“poor me”, “you bastard” etc etc!) the nightmares magically ceased.
So now I’d really like to get rid of the latest set of nasty dreams but I haven’t a clue what they’re really about. Could it be because I realised I am not satisfied with the life I’ve made for myself and feel a desperate need to start over?
It would be really bloody helpful if you didn’t make the messages so bloody convoluted (and scary) – just tell me what the hell it is you want me to do.
Yours sincerely, Me.
...that your body likes routine and one of the most important routines is sleep pattern. According to the article our body benefits from waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day. So for the rest of February I want to try this and see if it works well enough to make it a permanent change. I’m pretty good at this already during the week but as soon as we get to Friday night I stay up really late and lie-in on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
I started this last weekend and found to my surprise that not only was I ready to get up with my alarm on Saturday and Sunday but I also got far more accomplished. Anything that will help me get more done is alright by me.
Last week I made the effort to do something artistic every night (even if it was just a quick sketch) & finally I actually finished my first home art project.
I’ve got so many blank walls to fill at home and no money to spend on anyone else’s art, so I’m having to make my own. You’d thing as a professional designer that would be easy, but having sapped my creative energies at work it’s really hard to find the motivation to do something for myself. I feel like I’ve really broken through a barrier finishing a little project all for myself – it’s not high art, it’s just a little stitched wall hanging. It’s not a brilliant piece of art BUT it is a finished piece of art and that is something of a first for me.
I’m pleased with it but I know I can do better. So that is my next challenge: to make another piece of art, improving on the first but not falling into my usual trap of desperately wanting it to be brilliant and over-complicating it to the point where I just abandon it.
What is wrong with me? I feel proper happiness again today & for no particular reason. Please let this be the result of my new extra healthy diet, my new exercise regime and going to bed stupidly early for an adult. Please let it be because of those things, because if it is I can be happy most of the time instead of my moods being all over the place as usual.
Some of the little things making me smile today:
The cheeky Jackdaws tapping on my office window (in reality I think they are just attacking their own reflections, but I like to think they are saying “Hi” to me).
It’s Friday, the very best day of the week with all the promise of the impending weekend (even though I never have any weekend plans – I like it that way).
Still being able to wear stiletto boots even though it’s been snowing (high heels always make the world look better).
Having a sneaky piece of chocolate, even though I’m not supposed to be eating it at the moment (but if it contributes to your happiness it’s practically medicinal!)
...saved from furniture deliveries and I’ve been wanting to recycle it into something useful. So I’ve decided to make my cat a cardboard indoor playhouse. I’ve noticed that she loves anything that remotely resembles a tunnel and can’t wait to sit in/under it: a kink in the bedclothes; a discarded cardboard box; a voluminous skirt; an umbrella left open to dry – she even sits under my bent knees while I’m reclining on the sofa. So its high time I used up some of my cardboard and made her a semi-permanent house.
I’m going to have to plan the design as this is going to live in my sitting room and I want it to look nice. I’ve got plenty of cat blankets I can use to make a comfortable, removeable, washable lining for it and lots of cat toys to tie to it, so all I need now is to get on with it!
...the cat’s playing with me more often! Most mornings since I started making more of an effort to play with her, she wakes me up patting my face or leaping on my hair when I turn over in bed. She dives on my feet under the covers, she plays with the ties on my dressing gown as I put it on, she playfully stabs my toes as I slide them in to my open-toed slippers, we race/chase eachother downstairs and we take a moment to play with the tassles I’ve tied to all the accessible cupboard door handles for her!
I think I can consider this goal done from a 43T point of view, but I’m going to continue adding more games for her wherever and whenever I can. I have one re-energized happy cat in my house and I couldn’t be happier :)
I don’t know what has lifted my spirits, but today i feel happy. I didn’t feel unhappy before – I was just ticking along nicely, but today I really feel that surge of happiness inside. I like it.
I wish I knew what had caused it and then I’d do it more often! Could it be because my healthy eating and exercise plans are making me feel so restored?
Could it be because there were the first signs of Spring in the garden even though we had a light dusting of snow today?
OR could it be because that large, disgusting pile of dog poo that I accidently trod in while I was walking along texting was (luckily) frozen solid and did not adhere to my boots?!!!
When I first started working here quite a few years ago my job involved a lot of running up and down stairs and brisk-walking between departments, so I got exercise without even noticing it. Gradually the manufacturing side of the business has moved abroad and my job can now mostly be done from the comfort of my office chair. This has not been good for the shape/size of my bottom!
Things I can do to help:
Get off my bottom & stretch my legs multiple times a day.
Spend some of my lunch break doing some proper exercises.
(Give my eyes a break instead of staring at the computer screen for nearly 8 hours a day).
Try not to send any internal emails anymore, but get up and go to my colleagues in person.
Use the downstairs toilet instead of the one down the corridor.
I have just bought myself a good quality all-weather jacket and have repaired my sturdy walking boots and tonight I am going walking whatever the weather. There is nowhere to hike near me (and I currently don’t have a car) so I’m just going to brisk-walk around the safe and well-lit areas of my town and get my legs used to the exercise and my lungs used to the cold fresh air. Take that lazy-legs!
After some excellent advice from fellow 43Ters and reading some tips about debt management on various blogs, I’ve decided to budget for a small weekly allowance. This is money I can do whatever I like with and I’ve decided I can afford to give myself £10 per week. This means that if I want to splash out on a real coffee on my way to work or I’m too lazy to make a packed lunch and have to buy it, then these things have to come out of my £10 allowance (currently they come out of my grocery budget). I love this idea as it helps with so many of my current goals – it will encourage me to make that healthy packed lunch, it will encourage me to drink less coffee and best of all it will encourage me to save.
There is not much you can do with £10 these days so the obvious thing to do would be to save it for several weeks until I have enough money to either do something fun, by a little something or (if I’m really sensible) plough it back into debt payments. It is like going right back to basics and learning about money-management from the tiny amounts up. This HAS to be a good thing.