It’s Been A While…….

Writing

There are people posting videos of themselves climbing their stairwells enough times they’re making Everest appear like little more than a speed ramp in comparison. And here I am struggling to get up in the morning and ‘head to work’ five footsteps from my bed. 

But really, I must admit, and like many others (which is reassuring) and maybe even you, I have failed miserably at meeting any of my ambitions I had set out on an A4 page minutes before the world went into lockdown.

Here are just a few feeble facades  which fondly faded away into the abyss of my foggy mind:

  1. ‘Learn a new language’ – before lockdown I could say ‘hola’, half a year into lockdown and I’m still just saying…….’hola’. 
  1. ‘Get fit’ – why do we torture ourselves? Can we just give this gig up. Most of us are simply not fitness freaks fanatics, so let’s stop kidding ourselves, put down the dumbbells and pick up the popcorn. 
  1. ‘Skill up’ – yes taking on a new course is exciting for about 1 minute. Until the pre-filmed lecturer with his monotone drole puts you to sleep faster than your local anaesthetist. 
  1. ‘Self care’ – well atleast I now give my hair 100 strokes of a fine-toothed comb everyday. That’s something, right? But try to force me to wear anything other than my miss-matching tracksuit bottoms and farmer’s fleece and we’re having a fight. 

You get my drift, some people may look back at lockdown and see the silver lining in the mushroom cloud, several online certifications under their belt, a new haircut, a new zest for life. Meanwhile I’m the runt stuck in yet an even bigger rut. If there was ever a time to learn how to f*cking crochet, it has come and gone! And guess what, I still haven’t taken out those knitting needles, (do you even use needles)! 

So what exactly do I spend my time doing these days when I’m not wallowing in self-pity or stuffing my face with fried foods, you ask?

I’m still trying to figure that one out to be quite frank.  

Can You Be Too Ambitious?

Writing

Can you be too ambitious in life? By being so are you just setting yourself up for overwhelming levels of stress and bottomless pitfalls? Or  by setting higher goals are you growing your skillset further and achieving more than you ever could even if you shoot and miss the target?

 

I ask this question because I feel like this alot, I feel like I’m maybe trying to do too much at one time, I struggle with organisation and procrastination eventhough I have a list of ‘ambitions’ as long as my arm that I ‘want’ to ‘/start’ doing. Spending alot of time thinking and planning and little time doing is my biggest issue. It really is a game of psychology, perhaps because I’m giving myself so many goals all at once I’m subconsciously feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tasks at hand and so turn my head to making a stab at any one ambition in particular.

 

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having multiple ambitions, and I don’t like the phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ but maybe when applied to the concept of time it is infact best to master one skill/ambition and then start incorporating another rather than tackling several simultaneously.

 

Another reason why maybe some of us find it difficult to keep on track with our goals is because we lead by the stick and not the carrot, by this I’m referring to the metaphor for the use of reward and punishment to bring about a desired behaviour. It’s a depiction of a donkey either being hit with the stick or chasing a carrot dangles infront of him in order to get him to move forward. For the most part we lead by the threat of something happening e.g. if we don’t do X then something bad will happen, and as a result we put ourselves under huge amounts of stress which may lead us to quit our efforts at reaching our goals. For example – if I don’t nail this presentation my boss will demote me, I need to earn above 50k per year or my wife will leave me, as opposed to if I nail this presentation my boss could promote me, my wife loves me for me not my money, I’m going to aim to earn above 50k to treat her more not to keep her!

 

I don’t think we reward ourselves enough when we do make progress towards our goals or even when we achieve them, maybe we think reaching the goal is the reward but it seems that no sooner have we reached one goal than are we back on the journey of trying to reach another. Perhaps we should give ourselves a pat on the back more often for even the small steps in the right direction. This would definitely help keep the motivation to reach a goal.

 

Bottom line is, I think it’s great to have ambitions, and even better if we start working towards them!

 

I wish you all the best with yours!

Raves: Are They More About The Visuals Than The Music?

Writing

Step over the threshold of any sketchy dilapidated warehouse these days and you find yourself either having the time of your life, or fighting for it. If it’s not the epilepsy inducing strobe lighting making your childhood disco look like a piece of trash then it’s the pounding synths from the Deadmau5 wannabee on the decks giving you tinnitus before your 30th birthday. Welcome to the rave.

 

Do you believe raves are more about the visuals, the audio or an equal combination of both? If you’re answer is C please leave now for noone likes a fence-sitter. I believe it’s A and here’s why:

 

When’s the last time you’ve been to a club and not had to do the matrix under a passing fluorescent green lazer beam? Point proven. Adding further to this, do you think raves would be half as popular if they didn’t sport the latest lava lamps. fresnel lanterns or giant mechanic spiders (think Arcadia Spectaular)?

 

Would you really start throwing shapes down on a dancefloor lit with just your common old tungsten bulb? Ofcourse not! It’s the equivalent of sitting in your edgy friend’s bedroom as the two of you become entranced with their efforts to scratch the complete sh*t out of the mixer discs. Fun to watch but not exactly a ‘big night out’, right? Now, add a few disco balls and the odd fibre optic light and you’ve got yourself one hell of a club night no doubt.

 

Let me be clear, I’m not trying to take the credit away from the DJ in creating a great rave, pressing play on the laptop isn’t an easy feat to master (kidding :p). I’m just putting the question out there, would you feel like you had the same night out if clubs/ festivals didn’t put on quite as a magnificent  lighting display?

 

 

Truth is I’m just jealous I can’t be a DJ or lighting technician. Full props to both of these talented types of people. Clubs need both of you just as much, you are eachother’s  yin and yang and the reason why clubs/festivals are so popular as you both provide great entertainment!

art dancing female flame learning aerial silks circus arts

My Goal To learn Aerial Silks

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Most people pick up a hobby like going swimming or painting at weekends, I’ve decided to pack all that in and run away to the circus.  Not literally but……physically. In the form of ‘aerial silks’. For anyone who is none the wiser as to what this mysterious terms refers to, let me enlighten you.

It’s basically the most elegant way to slip a spinal disc, fall to your death, or, do both, with such finesse. Yes, indeed, signing away my soul was as easy as a £250 transaction  and turning up to the first of 10 weekly lessons.

Things must be going somewhat ok because I’m on lesson 5 this week and well…..as you can tell I’m still here, or else it’s my ghost writing this post. Which is very plausible.

But really why have I decided to embark on this elegant challenge? It is because of just that – it’s a challenge. Don’t get me wrong, being ‘comfortable’ is great, sitting at home watching Netflix really does sound ideal 9/10 times for me. But for about a year now there’s been this little nagging voice in my head encouraging me to try something new, to do something different. And this difference was in the form of actually getting myself off the sofa and into the realms of uncertainly in the form of a big silky green curtain with too much give and not enough grip.

The aim of this challenge is with any to learn and progress. I do feel like I’m getting better if only slowly. In the first week I couldn’t even climb off of the ground, by week 5 I can climb a decent height and tumble purposefully and no longer accidentally.

My goal is to perform a choreographed piece without any flops which actually looks half decent. So watch this space, I’m planning to post it on here when I’m successful!

Being comfortable is boring, what challenge will you try to develop yourself for the better?

5 Short Courses That Could Save You Money.

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Money can be tight sometimes, but before you get the hammer out to smash open Mr. piggy bank, let’s take a look at some courses which may cost you a bob or two today but may save you a fortune down the line:

1) Embroidery courses – so maybe you don’t fancy yourself holding a pair of knitting needles anytime soon, but do you think that button missing mid-way down your shirt is going to sew itself? Learning to mend clothing and other materials (a tear in the tablecloth, the stitching in your child’s teddy bear) may save you on forking up on another shirt for the sake of a few buttons or teddy to pacify the fidgeting toddler. Example 1, Example 2.

2) Bike Repair – Is the fear of encountering a tyre puncture or a broken gear while en route putting you off  cycling to and from work? If so, then fear no more, think of the amount of money you could save on the commute, why not throw yourself into a repair workshop where I’m sure you’ll pick up a range of tricks and tips for fixing bicycles issues. Or maybe even use the hints to fix your children’s as you teach them how to ride a bike for the first time. The bike will definitely need some TLC as you accidentally push you kid so hard that they crash into a tree. Yes, my dad did that to me! Example 1.

3) Cooking Classes – Perhaps you never paid attention to grandma’s recipes growing up and now you’re paying the price, quite literally,  as you often buy lunch out from fear of poisoning yourself from your lack of culinary know-how. If you want to learn how to make a decent pack lunch for yourself, how to balance meals, how to budget plan for meals or how to maybe even COOK meals then a cookery class may not be completely out of the question? Example 1, Example 2, Example 3.

4) D.I.Y. Workshops – Not much of a handyman? Not to worry, soon you’ll be sprucing up the kitchen with a lick of paint and re-aligning that dodgy picture your uncle gave you as a Christmas present in the front hall. Think of the amount of money you could save in all seriousness just by picking up a few small hints. Example 1, Example 2.

5)  Finance Classes – Not as intimidating as it sounds, perhaps the root of all of our financial problems isn’t that we don’t have substantial funds but maybe because we just aren’t handling our money correctly? Budgeting tips, what future planning and saving schemes are out there? Checking if you’re eligible for certain bursaries or whether you’re even registered in the correct brackets for certain financial circumstances may be incredibly useful in the long-run. Example 1, Example 2.

 

I hope these 5 were helpful, yes, it could be argued that all of the above can be resolved by a bit of YouTubing but where’s the fun in that? You don’t get to meet people while learning a cross stitch and you certainly don’t get the reward factor of helping someone peel a carrot or vice versa!. So give it a go!