Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Will Survive

I was somewhat shocked, not to mention horrified, to learn this evening that my favourite Danish Pastry did not know the words to Gloria Gaynor's anthem for all of those with broken hearts: I Will Survive. Therefore, to ensure this sad state of affairs is sorted out, here they are.

Now sing!

At first I was afraid, I was petrified


Kept thinking I could never live, without you by my side

But I spent so many nights, thinking how you did me wrong

I grew strong, I learned how to carry on

and so you're back

from outer space

I just walked in to find you here

with that sad look upon your face

I should have changed my stupid lock

I should have made you leave your key

If I had known for just one second

you'd be back to bother me



Go on now go walk out the door

just turn around now

'cause you're not welcome anymore

weren't you the one who tried to break me with goodbye

you think I'd crumble

you think I'd lay down and die

Oh no, not I

I will survive

as long as I know how to love

I know I will stay alive

I've got all my life to live

I've got all my love to give

and I'll survive

I will survive



It took all the strength I had, not to fall apart

kept trying hard to mend, the pieces of my broken heart

and I spent oh so many nights, just feeling sorry for myself

I used to cry, now I hold my head up high

and you see me

somebody new

I'm not that chained up little person

still in love with you

and so you felt like dropping in

and just expect me to be free

now I'm saving all my loving

for someone who's loving me

And just in case, here's the original:
 

 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wear Sunscreen

I am the Class of '99. I thought at the time this was a fairly groovy tune. I've printed this out and stuck it around me, to remind myself of the important things. So, in my usual fashion, I thought I'd share.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Class of ’99: wear sunscreen.



If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now:


Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh never mind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.


Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindsides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.


Do one thing every day that scares you.


Sing


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Floss


Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind, the race is long. And in the end, it’s only with yourself.


Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.


Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements.


Stretch


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.


Get plenty of calcium


Be kind to your knees; you’ll miss them when they’re gone.


Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.


Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.


Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.


Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.


Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.


Get to know your parents; you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.


Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Travel


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.


Respect your elders


Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.


Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.


Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.


But trust me on the sunscreen.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pedantry

I've been thinking about something Intuitive Eggplant said in the comments section of my last post. It resonates with me partly because on my Creative Writing degree, where in poetry exercises, it has been known for me to take 12 hours to chose a word to go in a line I was writing and partly due to the NLP, whereby words gain a literal power.

Consider the differences between:
  • quit
  • give up
  • stop
Now, I don't know about you, but I hate quitting anything. Be it the most appalling relationship, friendship, or situation. I like to think of myself as a person who sees things through to the absolute, most bitter end. This has been particularly true of me in appalling relationships. In the past, I have found it nigh on impossible to walk away until the Fat Lady had sung, done an encore, had her after-show party, done two kilos of drugs with the two young men she met at the party, collapsed after the orgy, paramedics rescusitated her, she's recovered in hospital and she's in rehab. (You think I'm joking don't you. If in doubt, ask Gee).

So, no. Quitting isn't particularly an option for me.

I hate giving anything up. Have a look around my house and you will see I have books on my shelves circa 1974. I still have the books given to me as gifts by my Godfather. I hang on to things. In fact, the only way I ever manage to downsize is to move house. Last move, I moved 6 boxes of stuff that were packed 2 moves before (and not opened). There's that whole...I know I should...but I really don't want to. Because I'll miss it and want it and keep wanting it. And should the thing I need to give up be bad for me, but be fun...well. We really are on a hiding to nothing.

So, I'm really not good at giving things up.

STOP!

You hear that shouted at you, you do it. It's been trained into us. We see it on the road. No briefly pausing at the junction; we're talking about the application of brakes and the changing into first gear. If you're a slightly shouty parent as I have been known to be, I have shouted across a crowded supermarket at Boy 'stop that' and he has. I have the tone of voice, the hand gestures and the brook-no-shite look. He might be 17, but I bet I can still get him to stand still in one place with that word.

I suppose my point is this: quitting smoking is an uphill battle. And as for giving up smoking, jeez, you might as well forget about - it ain't gonna happen. Put it out of your head now.

But when you're ready to, you've thought about it, you realise you don't want to do it any more, then stop.

The hardest thing I found was gathering the will power together to stop. Nicotine is an evil drug, it is exactly like an abusive relationship. The drug tells you: you can't live without it, you're nothing without it, you'll never ever have a good time again, you'll never feel good, you'll never cope, you'll become fat and unattractive (again), no one will ever want to be with you because you'll be so cranky everyone will hate you, you won't ever be free, you'll always live with the craving, you're nothing without it.

Well that's a whole bunch of horseshit to take from a human being. And if we as sensible, rational and cool people aren't going to take that from another person, why the hell would we take it from a measely-old-chemical? It's bullshit pure and simple.

Yes, it's taken me awhile to kick it. I'm sure you'd much rather not be preached to. But I will say this, if you have got tired of quitting, bored with giving up and would like a cheerleader to stop, give me a shout. Given 'no' isn't part of my everyday vocabularly and I've got the willpower of Amy Winehouse and I've stopped; if I can do it then you can do it do. So, if you need me, you know where I am.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Life, The Universe, Everything...

Hey people. Did you realise we're half way through 2011? Did you realise we're half way through the half-way through point?

So how goes it with those resolutions? Remember them? We made them at the start of this year. January 2011? Got really drunk? Wrote loads of shit? Ring any bells? No? Well, I remembered mine. Stop thinking about it - do it!

As a quick re-cap...this is what I stopped thinking about:

I stopped thinking about quitting smoking. I quit. I realised today, it's been two months. How about that people? I did it. Took a couple of goes. Every time I stopped, I hated going back to it a little bit more. I don't like being addicted. It doesn't suit my little rebellious self. I don't like being told what to do, even by drugs. Do I miss it? Actually, the only thing I really miss, is the 5 min breaks every now and then. I miss standing out in my garden several times a day. I feel silly doing it without something to do.

I stopped thinking about the fact that I ought to do something about earning more money. I'm incredibly lucky in that my work was able to make the space for me to do more days. I've so enjoyed working 4 days a week in one place, I've been able to get a sense of my own space there, my own responsibilities. It's been awesome.

I stopped thinking I should really get off my butt and exercise. I'm not going to lie, I'm struggling with this. I'm swimming regularly again and that's been great. In fact, I can't get away from the very unpleasant truth: I feel so much better when I exercise. Going swimming regularly really has brought this home. So, I shall keep doing it and find more physical things to do. Any ideas? (the person who mentions Zumba, will have to die).

I stopped thinking about the fact that I want to learn NLP. Yep, I can tick that off my list. I've now got my NLP Practitioner's Certificate. I just need some volunteers to work my magic on. Come on, line up people! As with all things, my certificate is merely the beginning of my journey. I have much, much more to learn and experience.

The single, biggest change that's happened to me in 2011, is the change in my internal landscape. I have taken the very excruciating lessons of the last couple of years and I have learnt from them. Not only that, I apply these lessons to my Life, every day.

Every day I wake up now, grateful for the Life I lead. I am so blessed, so lucky, sometimes it's almost a painful sensation. I have friends who love me, in real life and on-line. I have people around me who genuinely give a fuck and give me their most precious possession - their time.

I've learnt, the very hard way, that Life can irrevocably change in between one breath and the next. Therefore, these moments where I find joy, I revel in them. I take every opportunity to laugh, to hug, to be supportive, to love.

When I think of the time I've spent being negative, being depressed, resentful and disappointed. Wasted time. Time I will never get back again. It's lost. Gone. Forever. I can't do anything about it, but I can do something about this moment.

It's funny, but the change in my attitude has made my life so much more vibrant, more intense. Boy says I seem moody occasionally and he's probably right. The things I feel are more intense because they aren't filtered or buffered by protective layers of shite. I'm learning to risk being myself in the World, really being myself. The Editor in my Head took a road trip and hasn't been seen since.

I'm going to leave you with something I learnt from NLP which sums things up nicely: it's not failure if you're keeping on keeping on. So I'm keeping on with the exercise. I'm keeping on with learning new things at work and in my personal life. I'm keeping on being happy.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Playlist

Normally, my Sundays progress along the Commodores' song. But no, not today. Today my Sunday kicked off with this track and it's all gone downhill from there.

This is my subtle Sunday playlist:
Jump Around- House of Pain
Lovestoned - Justin Timberlake
Born Slippy - Underworld
Gravel Pit - Wu Tang Clan
Mundian to bach ke - Panjabi MC
Gonna Make you Sweat (everybody dance now) - C & C Music Factory

Ah yes, music to make me shake ma booteh!

However, loud and outrageous you might think that list might be for a Sunday morning. My Boy and his GF are currently at Download, the awesome rock festival. They've been camping there since Wednesday and the brief text exchanges suggest they are having the most awesome time 'EVER'. Camping, being dirty, watching the hungover stumble around, campsite banter and their most favouritist bands playing in the Whole Wide World. I think it's safe to say, they're having a good time.