Resentment means it’s time to forgive myself.

28 Sep

One of my daily challenges is making sure that I don’t build resentment in my life and yet today I find myself sitting here brimming over with it! Resentment is a dangerous thing for me, it usually results in me feeling sorry for myself or doing something which ultimately makes me feel worse and does nothing to let go of what’s caused my feelings in the first place.

A big part of me wants to spend the rest of this post writing about what has made me feel resentful. I want to justify how I feel and make you all believe that I have been ‘hard done by’ and that you should all be ‘on my side’. (Hopefully it’s some small sign of growth that just for today I am managing not to do that.) Instead I am going hold myself accountable for my part in creating this feeling.

Resentment, for me, is caused by being angry at myself. There are a number of reasons this may occur including, not having stood up for myself, agreeing to do something I didn’t really want to do, making stupid decisions or any action which doesn’t genuinely honour who I am. So if I know these are the things which cause me to feel resentful, it should be simple to avoid them right? I wish!

All my life I have disliked conflict and so I generally avoid it at all costs. This has meant that at times I put the needs, wants and whims of others before my own. It is such a programmed response to say ‘yes’ to a request that I generally don’t even take the time to notice my own feelings about it. This becomes a problem as it is only after I have agreed to an idea that I sit back and process my feelings. As an adult I have learned strategies to ‘pause’ my responses and I am better at managing this issue than I used to be however, it still sneaks in from time to time.

When I forget to honour myself and who I want to be, I create resentment. This in turn spirals quickly into negative feelings and self pity. My job at this point is not to try and validate my feelings and vindicate myself, but rather to recognise my role in the situation, learn from it and try and do better next time. For at the end of the day the only person who really needs to love me is me, and I like me better when I’m not bitter and resentful!

I May Be Less Lonely Alone….

7 Sep

Currently, I am sitting at home feeling a bit bored and lonely and instead of just letting these feelings pass, all I want to do is text or message someone so I feel instantly better. What’s the problem with that? Well there wouldn’t be one except I only want to contact people who don’t actually make me feel better about myself. You see when I am in this mood, I only ever feel like contacting a few people and unfortunately these are the people who have already shown me they can’t (or won’t) be there for me.

So tonight I am going to remember to value myself enough to not be in a position where I can be let down by the same people again. Just for today I will love and respect myself enough to not waste time and energy on anyone who does not show me the same love and respect. I guess when you’re feeling a bit down and lonely it’s important to trust, that at times, you are better off on your own.

Coping with the Ex’s ex…

29 Aug

Break ups are always a tricky part of life and  some are definitely easier to handle than others. The latest break up I find myself  negotiating is not even my ownbut rather a break up between my ex and his latest girl friend. Now the obvious question of course is how on earth does my ex’s breakup affect me? (And before you leap to conclusions I would like to make it quite clear it is not because I think there is any possibility of us getting back together.)

The only reason why my ex’s break up affects me is due to our mutual friends.  When my ex and I headed off on out separate paths I remained friends with several people whom I had met through my relationship with him. These people are people who I now consider my own friends which is fantastic and I would not want it any other way.  These people also maintained their friendships with my ex (as they should! ) and naturally this meant they developed their own friendships and relationships with his partner ( who is now the latest ex ).

So now comes the hard part. I am now privy to conversations about topics such as ‘if my ex had really cared for this woman he would have sorted his stuff out for her’. How am I supposed to respond to these moments?

I thought living through my break up was hard but I’m having a horrible feeling this isn’t going to be too much fun for me either…..

Growing Up

12 May

Last weekend my eldest brother came to visit. You might think, so what? In my family siblings coming to visit is not really the norm. Now don’t get me wrong I love my siblings and they are welcome anytime, it’s just that I don’t really know some of them particularly well.

You see I am the youngest in a big family so by the time I came along some of my siblings were all grown up and had left home. Due to an age gap of nine years between me and the next youngest in the family, and more than double that between me and the eldest, it meant that I never really ‘grew up’ with a lot of my siblings.

To be honest, the initial  idea of having my big brother come to stay was both exciting and slightly nerve-wracking. What would I talk to him about? Would he cope with my elementary cooking skills? Could I do my standard rainy-Saturday-night-vege-out in front of an episode of “Gold Rush” (I’m addicted!) or would he judge me forever and disown me as a family member? Should I offer him a beer or is herbal tea a more appropriate drink?

I’m not kidding. These questions, and many more, all went through my head prior to my brother’s arrival. And then the moment arrived and his car pulled up outside…

Phew! What was I worried about? He’s my family!

Even though I may not have spent massive amounts of quality time with some of my siblings, that does not mean that we are strangers. Whether I remember it or not, our lives still share many fundamentals, for example having the same parents!

My brother, like myself, is an intelligent,friendly, interesting and quite humorous individual. Of course we had things to talk about, we hadn’t seen each other in about three years so….!  I enjoyed talking with him, especially learning that he used to tramp in the valleys and saddles not far from where I currently live.

I even managed to answer to some of those questions I had been anxious about. Beer or tea? Both. Yes, I did make him watch “Gold Rush” with me. And okay,  my cooking could have been better, but it was edible!

Carrie Bradshaw meets a Disney Movie….

3 May

Okay so I am going to start this with the following disclaimer, I am in no way trying to emulate Carrie Bradshaw as I write today. That said, the topic of today’s post does feel like it belongs as a voiceover in a ‘Sex and the City’ episode, or at the very least as a letter in a ‘Dear Abby’ column.

Yip, you guessed it, dating and relationships. Well to be honest, dating without relationships. You see recently I was lucky enough to meet someone with whom I had an immediate connection. We went on a few dates, had fun, stayed in touch every few days and everything was humming along which all sounds great right? Well kind of. Apart from the fact that said person has just come out of an extremely long term relationship and as things between us developed he brought up ‘the talk’ – you know, the one where he was quite open about the fact that he is not looking for anything long-term or ‘serious’. Since that discussion we have limped along, still contacting each other every few days, making small talk and attempting to act like things are still the way they were previously but they’re not.

You see for me part of dating is still having romantic hope for a ‘happily ever after’.The idea of meeting someone who amazes you and respects you and interests you is a very cool one! Possibility at its best. And no, I’m not entirely deluded and think that after dating someone a few times, that they’re going to fall madly in love with me but I do need to have hope!

As soon as this guy told me, in no uncertain terms, that there was no option for any romantic future how was I supposed to carry on dating and being around him? (And to be honest why would I bother??). I had not (to the best of my knowledge!) asked, or even suggested, any kind of exclusivity or long-term commitment to this person as I had still been looking around myself, but I was quite happy dating him and getting to know him. Now that the magic of possibility has gone so has a lot of the attraction and fun.

Apparently, even after all my life experiences, my idea of dating is still a romantic and  fairytale-inspired one, but do you know what? Bugger it! I like fairytales (even though they are often actually sexist and awful stories), I DO want the dream and I’ll be damned if I’m giving up on it just because one guy chooses not to be my ‘Prince Charming’.

In the true tradition of fairy tales, I have kissed a LOT of toads, but today I am going to do something kind for myself. Today I will back myself and stop dating someone who doesn’t. Instead I choose to be brave and trust that my fairy godmother is working in the background ready to unveil my ‘happily ever after’ when I least expect it!

So to all those who are out there in dating land, good luck! Know what your dream is and don’t let anyone else talk you out of having it!

🙂

So much to learn!

30 Apr

What is the last thing that you learned? 2015 has been a year of learning for me. (I suppose in reality all years are learning years, however this year feels more ‘learny’ than most.) While I do love the fact that I am learning, I have to admit that sometimes it would be nice to just know some stuff!

You see, knowing is easy because if you already ‘know’ there is less chance of making mistakes. Learning, on the other hand, involves time, effort, energy and risk-taking. Having said that, without new learning life would be pretty boring so here are some of the exciting things that I have learned this year:

  • Ask for help. A lot!
  • Don’t create piles of anything clothes/dishes/paperwork/things to read. (They breed.)
  • Biscuits are not a meal.
  • Make yourself go outside, often. And yes – even when it’s raining.
  • Sometimes ‘wait and see’ is the right answer.

And my favourite insight for the year to date – most people out there actually want the best for you!

Hmmm I notice a theme…

19 Apr

When I sat down to write this post the first thing that came to mind was the title. “Patience is not my strong suit,” were the words I imagined across the top of today’s tome. Prior to typing, a gut feeling told me to check my previous posts and there it was, an entry entitled, “No Patience”. So it would appear then ‘patience’ really REALLY is not my strong suit which leads me to today’s thoughts….

I was thinking about the areas of my life where I struggle with patience (some of which I will spare you the details!), and it lead my mind to my job. You see this year I got brave, made a change, and took on a new role professionally. This has come with a steep learning curve and all sorts of new challenges. I have been in this role for less than four months and yet I find myself frustrated that I am not proficient at it.

Would I expect anyone else on the planet to master a complex new role in this sort of time-frame? Of course not – and yet my initial instinct is to be impatient with myself. The stupid thing is the more impatient I am, the more I rush decisions. Rushed decisions, in turn, mean I don’t always make the best choices, which then lowers  my confidence and makes me feel less proficient!  (Downward spiral anyone?).

Luckily, I’ve ridden a few downward spirals over the years and they have taught me some valuable lessons. First and foremost, when spiralling downwards – stop.

Breathe, pause, re-connect, slow down and re-focus. It’s much easier to start feeling more positive about things when you stop digging.

Secondly, put things in perspective. In this case focus on the positive, listen to the mentors and the wise voices who are saying you are okay,remember that you are in this for the long game.

Finally, relax and enjoy the ride. Impatience, for me, is wanting to skip forward in time to reach a pre-determined ending. (And preferably a happy one!) Therefore, an aspect of my impatience is me wanting to have some certainty about how things end. Will I be successsful? Will I be okay? I get so caught up in wondering about how things end, that I focus only on the outcome and miss the magic of the moments along the way.

If I let it, my impatience robs me of a lot of positive energy. By constantly wondering how things end, and in particular wondering if they end well, I neglect to focus on the good things that happen.

So, once again I am here acknowledging that I need to be more patient. Who knows, if I just slow down and relax, I may even get to enjoy some of the magic along the way.

Focus on the Good.

14 Apr

On Friday I was telling someone about my blog (nothing like a bit of shameless self-promotion!!!) when he asked me what I write about. I started telling him how I usually write when I’m upset or angry, and then justified doing so as it was ‘my way of processing my feelings’. At this point I was unexpectedly challenged, in the kindest and most out-of-the-blue way ever, when this someone responded with (and I paraphrase), “Oh so you only write about the bad stuff.”

Now, this question was not asked in accusatory way and because of this I managed to ‘hear’ and not ‘react to’ it. This question was such a fantastic reminder to me that, as well as ‘processing’ the bad and/or confusing through my writing, I need to celebrate the good!

On the whole, I live an incredibly blessed life. I have health, family, friends, support, an amazing job, a wonderful home, the ability to think for myself,  live in a beautiful place, the rights and access to share my thoughts and ideas with whoever will listen and in return I am free to learn from others. These are all amazing gifts and I want to simply take at least one moment and express my gratitude.

I am also incredibly grateful for being reminded to focus on the good from time to time, thank you!

Hmmm, maybe I was just angry at me?

7 Apr

I’ve just be re-reading my last post where I asked that my couple friends to be a little less quick to judge people using dating apps like Tinder. As I read my own words I suddenly realised that I am in fact a total hypocrite! I am the first person to make jokes about Tinder or dating sites. When I use Tinder myself, I always try to do it surreptitiously so that I don’t have to deal with questions or comments from others.Even worse, I know that I often use Tinder in the same way that others play games such as ‘Candy Crush’ or ‘Angry Birds’, as in I scroll through it when I’m waiting around or bored.

Therefore it has become clear that  my problem with feeling judged about Tinder has nothing to do with other people, and instead everything to do with me! On some level I clearly feel shame and embarrassment about meeting people this way and on an even deeper level I don’t actually trust that the people I could meet this way are real or genuine!

Today I am going to try a more trusting approach to the world. I’m going to stop projecting my judgementalness (if that is even a word!) onto other people and recognise my embarrassment and awkwardness as my own! Who knows, once I stop worrying about what everyone else thinks about me, I may even start to recognise what I think about myself! 🙂

You’re Damned if You Do and Alone if You Don’t…

6 Apr

I’ve just had a wonderful Easter break hanging out with friends. Lots of friends. Lots of couples of friends.

Being the single one among a group of happy couples doesn’t tend to bother me (thank goodness!) and let’s face it, it’s a situation that I’ve gotten used to over the years. Having said that, at times it does start to feel a little embarrassing always being the one without a partner.

So what does one do? If I use apps like Tinder, it feels like it’s all very contrived and reeks of desperation. If I start considering people I already know for possibilities, I immediately come to the realisation that if I was meant to be with any of these people I would be (and those I’ve been with before, well let’s face it there was at least one reason that it didn’t work the first time!).

I feel like I face an interesting dilemma that must be common to many older single people in this day and age. I’m past the point of wanting to go out just to meet someone but also don’t want to get labelled as one of those who ‘thrash’ dating sites.

At the end of the day, I do believe that if things are meant to happen they’ll happen, but in the meantime is it not ok to do some window shopping on the dating apps?

And as for you all you happy couples out there, I’m stoked for you, truly. Just one request though, please? Next time you
spot one of us trawling Tinder, can you please remember to cut us some slack? Contrary to your opinion, we may actually just be trying to catch a break similar to the one life gave you when you went from a single person to a couple and surely there’s no harm in that?