De-Cluttering My Mind

I read something interesting the other day which spoke about minimalism and addressed the misconception that minimalism is about not having much “stuff” in your life. The author, (a fellow blogger but I didn’t save the post) stated that minimalism is more about removing the junk from your life, the things that don’t add value.

I’m forever looking at my life and finding things and situations which don’t add value and I spend a good deal of time trying to work out how I can easily de-clutter. The other day it suddenly came to me.

Unsubscribe from all of the emails I get.

You might wonder how much of an impact that will really have on my life but I think you’ll be surprised and this might apply to you too. Every day I delete a stack of marketing emails from retailers which land in my inbox. These are from subscriptions I’ve built up over years and years and many of these emails simply hold no value for me.

Not only that but I then find myself opening some of these emails, wasting time browsing websites for things I don’t need and then spending money on things I don’t really want, just so that I have the thing I was told I needed. Except I never use it. It takes up space in my bedroom and makes me feel guilty for wasting my money on such frivolous purchases when I can’t afford repairs to my car.

Why do I do it?

That I cannot answer. But I can remove the clutter and temptation from my inbox by unsubscribing to the emails, so I have. I’ll still shop but now I’ll shop on my terms, when there’s actually something I want to buy. I won’t feel compelled to spend my money on things that really bring no value to my life and I’ll have that money to spend on experiences which will give me memories to cherish for much longer than I’d ever cherish a handbag or pair of shoes.

I admit that I sound like a weak person but that’s fine, I’ve accepted that and I’ve found my solution. It’s taken me so long to come to this conclusion though so I thought I’d share it with you in case it helps :-)

Happy, controlled shopping x

Review: Hoof Foot Polish

Hoof Foot Polish, Spearmint Eucalyptus, £2.99

Hoof Foot Polish, Spearmint Eucalyptus, £2.99

As always with me, I can’t resist an impulse buy and my latest one was a miniature tube of Hoof Foot Polish, £2.99 at Boots.

This little tube promises to remove dry skin from your feet with no more effort required than you rubbing it in. What more could a girl want than to take some of that on a city break involving lots of walking!?!

So here I am in Istanbul and what’s my verdict? It’s ok. That really is my summary of this product! It does remove dry skin but it takes rather vigorous rubbing to do so and if you have and real problem areas, they’ll still be there afterwards. Personally I’d rather put that much effort into using a file or Ped Egg and actually get the job done properly.

If you go for regular pedis and just get the odd bit of dry skin in between, this might be quite a novel way of dealing with it. If however you are looking for something to fix hard working feet, I’d suggest a long soak, a file, some cream and socks to bed. Sadly this isn’t the miracle cure it promises to be.

Happy shopping, everybody! x

A State of Balance

This one’s for you, mum and it’s to mark the date that for me represents half my life lived with you and half lived without you.

It’s a bit of a tricky post to start, really; you’ve missed 14 years of my life and a heck of a lot’s happened in that time. In fact, it goes beyond that because you’ve missed 14 years of baby sister’s life as well so you’ve missed absolutely heaps.

Part of me wants to write this sympathetically and fill you in on what you’re missing so you don’t feel so far away but another part of me hates you for the fact that you aren’t here to know it all already, so I can only apologise for what is most definitely not my best writing. Another problem I’m having writing this is that I still can’t think about you without crying and I mean really crying, big, sploshy tears landing on the keyboard. It’s not just that I miss you, it’s that I feel so guilty for being happy when I never succeeded in making you happy and that hurts. A lot.

Anyway, let’s get started on filling you in…

School – as long ago as it seems, sis and I were both in school when you buggered on off so I should probably start there. We both did ok. Well, I did ok because I did sod all work and sis did incredibly well because she worked her little bottom off. I bet you’d never have put money on sis being the one to get the better grades but she did and we’re all really proud of her.

Uni – we both went and we both ended up at Southampton. Again, sis worked hard and got a 1st; I didn’t and got a 2:1. I did leave with more confidence though and I was in a couple of plays. Hopefully that makes you smile after you spent so long trying to make me quit Kendrick and go to drama school instead!

Work – Sis is an Audiologist; she’s properly driven by her own hearing and ear-based problems and she’s incredibly good at what she does. She set out to achieve this and she’s done it. She was asked to go back to uni and complete a PhD but she hasn’t taken that path yet (though I keep trying to persuade her).

Me, I work for a small software company. I’ve had lots of different jobs and I’ve never really wanted any of them. Finally, this one is one that I actively chose rather than landed in and I’ve been there for nearly a year with no intention of leaving. It’s a record! I knew it would happen one day but I did start to lose a bit of faith along the way!

In fact, I’ve found it pretty tough making decisions since you left. I’d never really realised but I used to just aim for what I thought you wanted me to aim for. When you weren’t there, I was pretty lost. The trouble was, it took me 10 years to realise I was lost. 10 years of up and down depression, 10 years of eating any old junk food just because you’d never know and 10 years of following the crowd. I had some rubbish relationships in those 10 years too! In the last year or 2, I’ve finally got some kind of a hold over my life and luckily received a very generous inheritance to wipe away a lot of my mistakes. I’m definitely on the up now :-)

Umm…ooh, how about boys??? I know you’d want to know! I know you used to listen to my phone conversations with boys so you must want to know! We’ve got mobiles now by the way – dad finally relented after you left. He’s been awesome by the way, like really super amazingly cool. I never really thought he had it in him before but now I’ve got to know him, I couldn’t be happier or more proud that he’s my daddy!

Anyway, back to the boys…

Sis had a few short-term things with a interesting mix of guys, ranging from articulate and intelligent to stereotypically grunty and spotty! Then she met the guy she’s with now. He’s lovely! Very quiet but also confident enough not to take too much shit from her. They live together and it all seems to be going very well. The rest of us are guessing about when they’ll get married!!!

I’ve also finally found a boy that I really like. I didn’t think I had it in me to be a cuddly, caring type and I’m sure you’ll remember that I never really did ask for cuddles as a kid either. Well, turns out I am like that but only with him. We had a bumpy year on our way to where we are now but he’s awesome and he’s the only person who makes me feel as safe as you did when he cuddles me. I absolutely promise you that you would have loved him. He’s a Libra too, so you’ve already got something in common!

There’s so much other stuff you’ve missed: driving tests, holidays with friends, holidays with family, moving out of home, some of our cousins getting married, friends changing, family changing. You weren’t there when I moved in with a previous bf, or when he moved out; you haven’t seen Sis’ flashy new car or the lovely flat I’m living in. You wouldn’t even know who my flatmate is even though she’s been a friend for years now.

I couldn’t possibly fill you in on everything.

I will just highlight the family changing bit though. Dad re-married so Sis and I inherited a step-mum and an older brother. In fact, we are both aunties because he’s even started building the next generation of our family. Luckily, dad made a good choice so we’re all very happy and family occasions are both fun and funny!

So I guess that’s it really, I’m not sure what else to say. As angry as I am at you, I’m much more angry at myself and you should know that I don’t really blame you. I still love you, I always will but I don’t understand it and that causes me a few problems. I know I haven’t visited since 2006 but that stone in the ground just isn’t you. What I want from you is a cuddle and an explanation but I know I’ll never get them so I’ve learned to accept that some things are just unknown. I like to think you’re still doing your best to look after me and that’s enough to keep me sane but it doesn’t make me miss you any less. Really and truly, I hope you are happier now because when I am reunited with you, I’d like you to be smiling!

Lots of love,

Me xxx

 

 

A Midlife Crisis at 28

Future Car???

Future Car???

Stuff’s been bugging me lately and I mean a lot of STUFF. The more I think about it, the crazier I get and further away I appear to be from an answer. All I can do is assume that this is an early midlife crisis.

Let me set the scene:

I’m 28, I have a good job, I live in a lovely flat, I go on a reasonable number of holidays, have some lovely friends, an amazing bf, a brilliant family and I even have a car thrown into the mix too. For a 28 year old who just a year ago lived in a house that was lonely, had no real job, no bf and a mountain of debt, I’d say that things are changing pretty rapidly and they’re changing for the better. So why am I so discontent?

I can only put it down to a form of midlife crisis. What I actually think it is, is an “I’m approaching 30, FML, this is terrible” crisis but that’s not especially catchy. You might now expect me to panic about the fact that while my life is moving in an upward direction, I’m not yet married and I don’t have children and the clock’s ticking, etc, etc.

NO!

What I’m panicking about is that I’m getting close to a point where I might be expected to “settle down”; people are going to expect me to get married and have babies, just like everyone around me is doing and I don’t want to. Not only that, but this panic that’s setting in is giving me a major case of the old itchy feet. Suddenly I’m craving travel like never before, I’m struggling to see how I’ll get through the next year without taking at least 3 months solid out to go exploring. I’m looking at sports cars; what can I afford and which cars only come with 2 seats to be sure that there’s no space for buggies or babies???

Don’t get me wrong, it took me ages to find a job I like and the bf is truly 1 in 6 billion or however many people there are in the world; there’s no way I’m going to just dump and run. That doesn’t stop the feeling of panic though, it just makes me want to pack him in my suitcase and work from China or Australia or New York…anywhere far flung! 

The biggest problem I have right now is how to resolve this. I don’t want to put up and shut up and wake up in 5 years tied down to a marriage, mortgage and motherhood but I’m not bold enough to risk it all in case I lose everything I’ve worked for so far. Where’s the middle ground? Should I just buy the sports car and be done with it? Deny my age? Paint my bedroom to look like a jungle? (My bedroom is sorta like a jungle anyway in that you do have to watch where you put your feet but it’s far less leafy.)

HELP ME! I’m getting old(er) and I’m scared. I’ve got a liney face and cellulite in the bum/thigh region and things are changing and my life isn’t like the books I read and films I watch. I’m living in reality and I don’t know what to do with it!!! x

What’s Stopping Me Writing?

Every now and then a question pops into my head which is “What’s stopping me writing?”. I can’t place the exact day, time or place that blogging took a back seat in my life but it certainly seems to be the case right now.

There was a time a couple of years ago when all I wanted to do was write, blog, write and blog some more and I had absolutely loads to say. I had post ideas popping out of my head and I just could not keep up with the ideas as well as my daily life; all I knew was that life was getting in the way of my writing.

Fast-forward to now and I’m struggling even more to fit blogging into my life. I still read blogs, I still love the freedom of having this outlet at my fingertips but for some reason I’m just not using it. Not only am I not using it but I’m not missing it very much either. Every now and then, like today, I have a sudden urge to throw my ramblings at any poor, passing reader who will listen but most of the time, I’m pretty content not doing this.

So I come back to the question of “why?” and my only explanation is quite simply that I’m now happier with the life I’m living offline so I feel less of a desire to supplement it with a strong online life. A couple of years ago, I wanted to be everything, I needed to feel like I was achieving things because I couldn’t find anything that made me happy. Now, I’m largely content so while I have big blogging ideas, I end up shelving them in favour of  spending more time enjoying the moment, rather than capturing it in text.

Has anyone else had a similar thing happen to them?

Review: Primark Beauty Stick-on Nails

Hello, hello!

I have a whole host of the “inner workings of my mind” posts lined up that I’ve been writing as late. Today though, I’m writing a good old beauty review just because I can :-)

Earlier on I had a bored moment and peeled off my Shellac and then bit my weak nails off as well. DISGUSTING! I tried my hardest to get a nail appointment for some extensions to be applied without an electric file and failed. As my last ditch attempt venue happened to be across from Primark, I popped in to check out their ever-expanding beauty range.

Well, I found loads of cool stick-on nail designs and for £1 a pack, they’re dirt cheap compared to all other nail alternatives so I figured it was my duty to give them a go. Other than the fact that my nails are now unusable because they’ll pop off if I so much as open a pack of sweets, I love them! Check these bad boys out, (excuse my dry skin):

The Nails!

The Nails!

image image image

I’ve yet to shower or dress/undress so I’m not sure how they’ll last but I’ll definitely be buying these again for a night out. Far cheaper, quicker and easier than going to a salon, especially if you’re only after 1 night of nail glamour!

Anyone tried any of the rest of the Primark beauty range? X

Insomnia; Friend or Foe

Hello!!!

Apologies for the lack of recent blog activity, I seem to have been busy living that thing we call life. I say living, I mean I’ve been working my bottom off and spending my spare time sleeping / vegging out!

Right now though, I am on holiday and I swore to myself I would post while on holiday.  What I had envisioned was a lovely, photograph-heavy post, written in the sunshine. What’s actually happened is my insomnia is back with me and I’ve decided to post at 4.30am while the world around me is dark and asleep.

Not surprisingly then, my post is actually going to be about insomnia. It’s a strange thing, this not being able to sleep despite being super tired. I’ve always been a light sleeper and never been an 8 hours a night type of person but the insomnia has only reared its head in the last 5 or so years and I’m really not a fan.

Well, I say I’m not a fan but sometimes, like now, the middle of the night can be really productive. I get books read, writing done, planning done, etc. But then I’m exhausted, my wrinkles are deeper and my eyes more tired the following day. I can easily function for weeks when I suffer this curse but the enjoyment disappears from things because I’m constantly having to battle the scratchy eyes and pounding headache.

People who don’t get this, just don’t understand. They ask questions like, “Did you try closing your eyes? You can’t not sleep with your eyes closed”. Yes I tried closing my eyes, I’m not stupid! Then I tried a sleep mask too because once again, I’m not stupid!  It doesn’t seem to be socially acceptable to suggest that perhaps I am a superior and more complex being than they are, despite them suggesting that I am the utmost simpleton.

Insomnia seems to be divisive, there are those that do and those that don’t, with no bridge of understanding in the middle. I’m honestly not sure whether it’s just a pain in my backside or whether it adds an extra dimension to my world. It’s not necessarily a dimension I ever felt was lacking, but nonetheless, it’s another differentiator between me and Joe Bloggs.

I’m keen to hear from fellow non-sleepers…how you do tackle this beast and what do you think of it? 

Right now, I can hear one of my Schnauzer brothers awake in the next room. If there wasn’t a human in there with him, I’d have a playmate to see me through. Maybe he’ll read this post and “sleep” in my room next time!