Satisfaction – My Friday Feeling

It’s all about the Covid-19 these days, isn’t it? Oh…and the US elections, but I’m saying nothing about that.

I decided at the beginning of the pandemic that I didn’t want to blog about it, because it was everywhere. All over social media, on television, newspapers, so there was no point in me adding to the assemblage.

I contracted the virus in April, and I didn’t write about that either. I hadn’t the energy or the motivation to write very much at all. It took me months to get back into a proper writing routine. My summer was quiet, like everyone else’s. My mood was low and my energy levels were up and down like a yoyo.

Tired woman wearing a mask
Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

However, I wasn’t the worst off, thank God. It’s been very difficult for a lot of people everywhere. People’s mental health is suffering now more than ever, for so many reasons. Financial worry and uncertainty for the future is a huge factor. Domestic abuse is another. And loneliness. It really is a terrible time for so many. How long will it take to fix the carnage? All we can do for now is our best. Make the best of what we have. 

Lessons are being learned too. People have become more appreciative of their time and their families. During the first lockdown I realised the true value of school. My child missed the social aspect of the school environment, and I missed the routine and the discipline that school teaches them when it comes to doing their work. Home schooling began as a novelty, but I got frustrated with the maths. Was never my strong point! And I have to admit, I missed not having those few hours all to myself because it’s the best part of the day for me when it comes to writing. I need quiet and zero distractions. 

I was glad when the schools re-opened in September. Although Little Miss Nine didn’t settle back in as easily as I expected her to, she’s okay now. My novel is once again the prime focus of my day. That’s my joy you see. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and often the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night. It gives me meaning and pleasure. I’m hopelessly in love with the art of creative writing. 

What do you do every day that brings you joy? Even amidst all the upset and stress, you need to find something that will bring you joy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be walking, cycling, painting, reading, listening and dancing to music…the list is endless!

Words Did You Smile Today?
Image by Kranich17 from Pixabay

Someone once said to me. ‘Find your joy and joy will find you.’ I had a good week with my joy. Last week was a frustrating one because I spent all of it on research – just for one scene. It was worth it though. I’m satisfied that I got this one scene finished and the plot is where I need it to be. I’m satisfied that I gave enough of my time to my family – face to face or by phone – who are of course all a joy to me too. And I’m sure you’ll say the same thing. But don’t be afraid to find a different kind of joy. That one thing that’s for you and no one else. Something that your mental health and well-being will benefit from at all times. And even if your joy might bring you frustration now and then, that’s okay. Your joy may be some sort of a challenge, and we know how challenges can frustrate us sometimes. And look at how good you feel when you complete a challenge.

Part of my writing routine involves a simple challenge that Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch Blog sets every Thursday. She gives a prompt that we have to use it in a 99 word story. You can find out more about that HERE. 

I usually post my flash fiction over on my other blog. Tasheenga Writes Here (Yes, she’s Indian and she’s my alter ego)

So today my Friday feeling is…Satisfaction.

What’s yours? 

Reducing Your Stress Levels This Christmas!

Stress has a negative effect on the body including the immune system and Christmas is the most stressful time of year for some people. Although some stressful situations are unavoidable, others you can completely avoid. Save yourself as much stress as possible so that you can enjoy a healthy happy Christmas.

Money Money Money

Money makes the world go round and it also causes annoyance and stress for so many people. Why people need to borrow tons of money and get themselves into unnecessary debt is beyond me. I have never borrowed money for Chrismas in all my life. That’s not because I never had to worry about money. I’ll be 50 years old young at the end of December so that’s 49 Christmases I’ve survived. Yes….survived!

As a child, I didn’t need to worry about money for Christmas – my parents did that! But I don’t believe they worried themselves sick about it because it was different back then. Christmas lasted a few days not a whole month.

When I was a young working adult, all I needed was money to buy presents for my parents, one or two friends and enough to buy some nice clothes and a few nights out. I always had enough.

Then I started having children and we all know how that goes! But here’s the thing – all that concerned me was making sure the children had a happy Christmas. Sometimes I could afford nice clothes and nights out, but I also experienced the times when I barely had enough for a fancy dinner.

As the kids got older, the lists got longer and more expensive. That didn’t mean they got everything on the wish list. They got what their parents could afford and did they love us any less for it? No, of course they didn’t. Were they psychologically damaged because of it? No!

The meaning of receiving and giving presents has changed for so many. Down through the years, I’ve witnessed people turning their noses up at presents they’ve received. Wishlists have turned into ‘needs’ lists. I understand that children ask parents or Santa for particular things but that seems to be the norm now with everybody.

Part of the fun is guessing what someone might like – or it used to be anyway! It is no fun shopping for a present for someone that is so damned fussy and unappreciative. Oh….I forgot to mention the people who compare the prices.

One Christmas I witnessed a grown woman throwing a mini tantrum because she received a gift voucher! What?? Yes, Christmas has changed over the years.

This may make me sound like a bit of a ‘Bah Humbug’ but it’s quite the opposite. Because I no longer allow this present buying competitiveness to cause me unnecessary stress. Instead, I concentrate on looking after my health and making sure the people I care about are happy and well looked after. That doesn’t cost the earth.

Your Budget

Plan within your budget. Do not borrow money unless you are 100% certain that paying it back will cause you minimum stress. If you couldn’t afford to save a little each week during the run-up to Christmas then how will you manage to pay back a loan? Ask yourself; do I really need to borrow money or can I manage with what I have.

Okay, the amount of food that people buy into their homes at Christmas is beyond ridiculous. So much of it gets thrown out and most of it is absolute junk. If you’re still eating Christmas food in January it means you bought way too much. If you’re sick looking at turkey 3 days after Christmas, don’t buy such a big one this time.

Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses – or even the Kardashians! If your neighbours have hundreds or thousands to splash out at Christmas, let them. It’s their business and if you’re afraid that you will be judged on how much you spend, then STOP!! Just please stop and ask yourself; what will happen if I don’t have as much as my neighbours? I’ll tell you what will happen. Nothing! You’ll probably sleep better and anyway, you don’t really know how well off your neighbours are. They might in so much debt that they are more stressed than you are.

Don’t be afraid to admit to people that some things are not within your budget. So what if they judge you. If someone in your life buys you and your children expensive presents, it is okay to explain that you are not in a position to do the same. You can ask them to buy less expensive presents. On the other hand, some people just enjoy spending their money on friends and family members and they don’t expect a lot in return. It’s okay to allow generous people to do that. It’s when they expect luxurious gifts in return, it can cause problems for the people who are just not as well off financially as they are. Remember, there are other ways of being generous.

Positivity

Are you negative towards Christmas or bouncing around the place with joyful positivity? The way you think and feel about things plays a huge part in your experiences. The more positive thoughts you have about any event or situation, the more enjoyable it will be – and less stressful! Those who enjoy the festive season are the ones who are more positive about it. And don’t say under breath, ‘Well it’s alright for them they have.….’ What they have and don’t have has very little to do with it. They choose to like Christmas.

So, unless you are one of the unfortunate people that has a valid reason for not getting into the festive spirit, do try to create for yourself a more positive attitude towards it.

Not Always Joyful

I totally understand some people’s reasons for hating Christmas. It’s not a happy joyful season for everybody. Deaths occur around this time just like any other time of the year. This can leave years of unhappy memories for people and understandably dampens their spirit. With the right support from good friends and family, they can learn to enjoy Christmas again.

Terminally ill people don’t recover just because it’s Christmas. It can actually make it a very sad and lonely time for them and their families. Spare a thought for people in this situation and appreciate your good health and well-being.

Domestic abuse rises during this time of year. Money can become an issue, alcohol is plentiful and the slightest little imperfection can be an excuse for a full-blown row. I can’t offer advice to people in this situation. All I can say is please do get help and remove yourself if at all possible (and I think it is possible) from an abusive relationship. There is a lot of help available and don’t be embarrassed about getting it. I’m not just talking about women here – men also suffer from domestic abuse!

Family

Let’s face it, we can choose our friends but we can’t choose our family. Christmas sometimes forces us to spend time with a family member who we wouldn’t normally spend time with. It’s all well and good saying that it’s a time for being close to our loved ones and a time for joy, happiness and forgiveness, but in reality that’s easier said than done in some cases.

It takes two people to make an effort and make things work. When there’s a member of the family who causes upset and uneasiness in the room, it’s enough to spoil the whole day for everyone. You’ve spent the last few weeks trying your best to prepare for a happy stress-free Christmas and then you have to spend the day walking on eggshells.

Is there a solution to this? Can this person spend Christmas in their own home or with someone else? If someone doesn’t respect you and your home, tell them to make other arrangements. And yes, it is that simple. Don’t be a martyr!

Worried about getting everything done? Like what? Buy the presents and the food. Spring is the season after winter so you can spring clean then. You don’t need to start painting and redecorating the whole house for Christmas. You can get away with just doing your usual housework routine. Mothers who work full-time outside the home do not need the added stress of spring cleaning in December.

Make a List

Not a list of presents you’d like to receive, but a list of all the things you are grateful for this Christmas. What have you got that puts a smile on your face every day? Make a list of all the things that you DON’T need and can do without.

I am grateful

I read a lovely blog post recently by Angela Noel. She has a long list of things she’d like for Christmas. Go have a little read. I promise you’ll like it!

Wishing you a very happy stress-free Christmas!

 

“Angelic Thinking” by Andrew Marmion – Book Review.

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‘Angelic Thinking’ is a fantastic little book written by Angel Healer, Andrew Marmion. Andrew shares with his readers some very personal information about his life. He tells how he spent years living every day in mental agony because he was destructively attached to his emotional past.
By practicing the Mental Cleansing and Refurbishment Exercise, which is the main content of this book, and because of his friendship and guidance from the angels, he changed from being a victim to being a healthy self-loving positive person.

Continue reading ““Angelic Thinking” by Andrew Marmion – Book Review.”

Moon Mná Journal for Women. Did You Get Yours Yet?

One of my favourite Christmas presents this year is this inspiring diary-journal that I received from my daughter who knew as soon as she seen it, that I’d love it. It’s similar to keeping a gratitude journal, but what I love most about this one, is its emphasis on the connection between the Irish ancient women and the moon.

Continue reading “Moon Mná Journal for Women. Did You Get Yours Yet?”

“Get Your Sh!t Together” – Book Review.

My Book Reviews

Self-Help and Motivation.

‘Get Your Shit Together’ by Ruth Field, is a no-nonsense approach to sorting out all that stuff in your life that always has to get done in the end anyway. The crappy things that wreck your head and holds you back from doing all the things you WANT to do – the things you enjoy.

I was attracted to this book by the title and because it promised to show me how to get more things done in less time. I was having one of those muddled up weeks and nothing was getting done. The prescription for a simpler life is learning how to release your ‘inner bitch’ (apparently, we all have one) and become a fearless superwoman.

It urges you to take a good hard look at how you deal with life’s challenges and unexpected events. And just as importantly, the simple stuff that some of us turn into problems by not dealing with them early on. By her tough talking attitude, Ruth Field will have you shaking in your boots! If you have even a hint of laziness in your bones, she’ll shame you into getting off your butt and just doing whatever it is you whinge about never being able to do. She doesn’t listen to excuses folks, and it’s hard not to agree with a lot of what she writes! There are various little exercises throughout the book that can help you organise your time and get motivated. Don’t skip the very valuable exercise on page 148!

Continue reading ““Get Your Sh!t Together” – Book Review.”