Perception

An event happened this week which reminded me of some advice I’d read many years ago. How you label the event depends on how you experience it.

It can be simple stuff like being stuck in traffic.. . You can decide to get impatient or you can sing along to your favourite tune. Or the person your meeting is late. You can be cross or you can enjoy a few rare moments alone with your thoughts. Or when things don’t turn out as you’d want. You can mull over what should have been or you can label it as a new unexpected opportunity.

So…

I got home from work and I was feeling so positive. I’d got a lot done and things seem to be turning a corner from fire fighting to an element of control. I got home and my gorgeous dogs as usual pounce on me and smile at me (yes!!) And LOVE me so much no matter what mood I’m in I’m utterly in love with them too and the first thing I do is get on my boots and we go for a walk.

I’m wearing my new tartan dress this day. I’ve decided winter is setting in so I’ve got my new “thermal’ tights on too!! You know you get those days where you just feel good. I was feeling good.

We went on our walk down past the river. It was a beautiful night and there were a few tourists around. I smiled as I passed them and the dogs barked as they were excited waiting for the ball. I played ball with them and youngest pooch ran back and forth for 20 minutes. A guy at the park with his son looked over and smiled a few times. I could see he must be impressed at my dog with her recall skills. Me too!

I then walked back around the green damp grounds and passed a woman who said hello and smiled. I took a left and sat by the river for a few minutes and enjoyed the sound of the swell. I decided on this occasion to walk back through town which I don’t do often. I pass the guys I’ve got to know at a restaurant. They all said hi and smile and I walked through town . I passed two couples in their 60s all in leather bike gear carrying helmets. I smiled. They smiled too. I stopped at some shop windows and peered in at jewellery that I’d had my eye on and waved at the woman at the till. I passed the deli that sells my favourite artisan bread and crossed over passing the ice cream parlour that hosts the most divine vegan ice cream. The dogs greeted two Dalmatians and I chatted pleasantries with their owners.

As I got back I saw my neighbour and shouted hello. She seemed to avert her eyes a little and wasn’t so enthusiastic but she said hello back.

We got back in. The dogs were tired and I was ready to make dinner. I bent down to open the fridge and somehow my hand caught up in my new tartan dress. But it didn’t just catch, it was stuck. In my dress. In my dress that was also firmly totally tucked in to my thermal rights. At the front. My dress was totally tucked in to my tights.

So as I’d walked happily around and felt warm at the smiles of strangers it dawned very quickly on me that these were less smiles of politeness but more likely smiles of embarrassment. Smiles of cringe. Smiles of poor thing.

For a few seconds I felt a bit sick. I’d made a total fool of myself. I’d walked around my home town with my skirt tucked in my pants!!! Then I looked and I thought. You know what. My legs aren’t bad. My legs are ok. So what

People saw my legs. In tights. When I hadn’t intended. So what. I’m proud of those legs. I laughed at myself and with that I untucked myself. Poured a glass of wine. And got on with dinner.

What’s the saying.. .. life is what you make it!

Happy Sunday xxx

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Speak up! 

I’ve never really been one to be quiet. As a toddler I’d be organising who sat where at an imaginary tea party and as a teenager I’d  march up to anyone who dared to be horrible to my little brother. Teachers included. Mouthy some may have said. Protective and learnt  survival tactics l say.

 
When I took my A levels at 23 and the English literature lecturer asked if anyone would like to read a part… my hand was always first up. The young ones looked at me mostly with amusement and that look of ‘teachers pet’ as I got into the swings and throes of Pride and Prejudice.

This week I’ve noticed that lots of people think but don’t vocalise their thoughts. I was at a  meeting where the majority of the room felt it wasn’t productive (ie a complete waste of time) but everyone got up and said thanks. 

And left. 

Saying nothing. 

I said something. I couldn’t bare to see the waste of resources and time and not say anything. I had several emails and conversations with other attendees who were livid, angry, despondent.

Yet they said nothing.

Why is it so hard for so many to put their hand up, to ask a question, to give their opinion. Why do we sit quietly even if we  know the answer? Why don’t we risk asking a question even when it’s really important to us?

I think a lot of people are scared, lack confidence or are too self critical to speak up.

Frightened to get the answer wrong.

Silent.

Isn’t that worse than not saying anything at all?

Happy Sunday everyone xx

Dancing in diversity

I’ve figured out the answer to world peace!!

On Friday night I was invited out to an all women’s ‘disco’. It’s actually called the ‘shit lesbian disco’… which comes apparently from the fact a lot of the those types of events historically have ….. well… been a bit shit!

This one certainly wasn’t.

800 women filled this alternative music bar and it was magical. From the second the friendly organiser ticked our name off her list and we were offered a free shot from a woman with the happiest smile that was impossible not to respond to enthusiastically.

Making my way to the cloak room the line of women did not sit silently. We chatted easily and the woman who took my jacket sat on the floor cross legged as she labelled it for my collection later.

The staff running the bar were oozing energy. There was no frustrations at queuing just an opportunity to dance gently whilst waiting to be served.

And so to the music. Three women. Two laptops.  One music deck  (no idea if that’s the correct description!). Two of the women alternately chose a track and every time just got it so right as the crowd responded whooping as they danced. Later the tracks stopped and made way to the most amazing wordsmith who’s narrative was mesmerising and it was impossible not to listen to every letter within every word. The band then took their place debuting their new EP filling the room with rap, drums and guitars that compelled the crowd to stay and move their bodies in appreciation. The music then returned and everyone just continued. To dance.

This room was brimming with culture, diversity and more importantly love and acceptance. From the sari wearing DJ to the traditional dress of the wordsmith, to the women in heels and those in trainers. Women with make up and those without. Women in dresses and women in jeans. Black women. Muslim women. White women. Chinese women. Women with red hair and those with pink. Women holding hands and women just there for the music.

And that’s world peace in one room.

Music. Love. Acceptance. Dance.

Simple.

Happy Sunday everyone x

Assumptions 

I should have known better!

I saw her walking towards me.  We don’t know each other that well but we say hello and sometimes exchange a few words about the weather.  That morning the wind made my cheeks burn a little but the sun also made a strong appearance meaning I could leave my hat at home for a change.

As she approached she made no eye contact. Like I wasn’t there. We passed each other and she barely saw me. She was gone again.  Weird, I thought.  Rude, I thought. Then of course I wondered what I could have possibly done to her. Because it had to be that.  Despite hardly knowing her.  I must’ve done something. 

It was two days later when I found out her mum is really poorly. 

We’re always learning things aren’t we and that was a reminder to me that sometimes I need to remember to simply ask, are you OK? Not walk on and chat to myself about how this is obviously my fault. Not helpful to anyone!

We make assumptions all the time. Sometimes we need to dig a little deeper and the next time a colleague is in a mood or that child next door is being ‘naughty’ or a friend is being distant.  We need to be brave and think what’s going on for them and if the chance comes up, ask. Are you OK?

Hope you’re all OK this morning and if you’re not that’s OK too xx

Dwys x

Backwards and forwards.  

During a very nice, relaxing Spa day with a beautiful friend on Friday I did a couple of things I haven’t done in ages. I READ at least half a magazine and I had a back massage!! Bliss! I love Psychologies magazine. Expensive but every page is worthy of your time and I get inspired to get on and do at least one thing after I’ve read it.


One article this week made me think about how we are often focussed on what we haven’t done and on what we should be doing next.  We don’t stop sometimes and think about all of our accomplishments big or small. I often berate myself for the bigger things like not yet having written *that* book to the smaller things like why I haven’t I replanted that hyacinth yet!  Or I’ll be giving myself a hard time for not running even though I’ve walked 4 miles that day.

So thank you to the magazine I’ve been able to concentrate on some things that I’ve accomplished rather than concentrate on everything I haven’t done. I’m not going to list them all because it feels a bit self indulgent but what I do feel proud of is still being able to smile and laugh and love. I drove to work so happy this week and met a colleague where I instantly of course start telling her how guilty I feel for being happy.  Slap yourself around the head right now was her helpful advice!! Then she hugged me.  One of my biggest accomplishments is finding and living a happy life after losing Tes despite the forever pain. And going forward I look forward to getting some of those things I haven’t done yet but I will really try stop berating myself for sometimes watching two episodes of Game of Thrones  rather than painting the front of my house!

It’s great to have ambition and goals but we also need to remember what we’ve done to get where we are now.

Happy Sunday x Dwys x 

I’m ‘fine’.

I read an article this week that made me question myself. Can we be too positive? I like to think I’m a glass full kind of person and I’m not sure where I’d be right now if I didn’t believe in positivity, in people, in love, in good overriding bad. If I didn’t have faith that it will be ok in the end. The last few years would’ve been dramatically and I fear miserably difficult had I not clinged to a positive outcome.

But I understand what the writer meant. Sometimes you can’t simply ‘chin up’ or ‘pull yourself together’. Doesn’t matter how many mindfulness colouring books you’ve got on the go, some days are crap. It’s ok to say it. It’s ok to feel it. It’s probably healthier to share it. And that’s where we struggle. It a bit like when you bump into someone you know at the doctors. How are you, they ask. Fine, you reply. Lying.

I know many reasons why people don’t share the bad stuff. Some feel they should be grateful. Others don’t want to be viewed as being negative. Many don’t want to appear weak and vulnerable. Sometimes, speaking personally, I just don’t want to put my pain on someone else. 

There’s nothing wrong with being positive in my view but honesty is just as important. Next time someone says hi, how are you? Maybe find a more honest answer than fine. You might be feeling fabulous or fragile. If you’re the one doing the asking and that person with something going on in their eyes replies they’re ok maybe ask again. Are you really ok?

I love reading an article that questions my existing thinking pattern. It’s a very positive experience!
Happy Sunday
Dwys xx 

What’s the rush?

On Friday I got up at 6am and yet still somehow only scraped myself with seconds to spare for my 8.45am meeting. A few things happened – I lost my Bourjois blusher, a real disaster. I saw the line up for Festival No. 6 on Instagram and noticed KATE TEMPEST is going to be there which distracted me. I then couldn’t find the nail clippers. Plus there was my hair. This week I had decided to go au natural. I imagine it’ll dry into light glossy bouncy curls.  Despite spending an imaginary lottery win of money on non frizzy miraculous promising products, I still wake up as if I have been through a spin dryer.

Then there are my two favourite four legged friends Lolly and Lula. Neither like the car and today they were coming to work.  Lolly decided to make herself the weight of a boulder and refused to get off the bed as I made my exit and Lula ran 3/4 mile up the road. I ended up shouting at them and they then gave me those puppy dog eyes then I nearly cried because I felt mean…. and it was only 7.15am!!!!!

So, my point is we’re all in a rush most of the time for various reasons.  As I drive through the next village at 20mph I notice in the mirror a large vehicle almost on top of my poor Fiat 500. I can’t see the number plate. The driver is clearly frustrated with me for sticking to the speed limit. There are various reasons why I stick to the speed limit – firstly when you live basically an hour from a major supermarket and H&M you really don’t want to be losing your licence, secondly there are always kids around this particular road, thirdly it’s busy because of a large factory near by, fourthly my cousin was knocked over in this village many years ago and that sticks with me.

So the man in the big four wheel drive continues to try to edge me along, to go faster.  As we leave the 20mph area and it increases to a whopping 30mph he overtakes me. Of course at the next set of traffic lights I catch him up.

I’m no angel in the car and have been known and probably will still get cross at times and forget my speed occasionally. After I lost Tes though I became a much calmer driver, I guess big events make you see the smaller things in life like getting to the next set of lights a few seconds before isn’t that important.

I keep trying to learn from what I see and as I saw this agitated angry man desperate for me to go faster it reinforced my want to rush less and experience more.

Happy *unrushed* Sunday!!

Dwys X