Big Up Your Blog!

Ritu explains it better than I could.
Suzie has created a wonderful place, I’ve met some great people.
Why not check it out for yourself :)

But I Smile Anyway...

Want to be part of an absolutely amazing Facebook group of bloggers?

Want to have supportive blog pals at the end of the ether, sharing and commenting on your posts?

Want to grow your social media following genuinely?

Want to showcase your posts to some individuals who actually do care?

Well then, you need to click here to get directed to the Facebook group Big Up Your Blog!

Amazing blogger Suzie, of Suzie Speaks, set up this group at the tail end of last year, and really gave it a huge push this year.

Without it, I wouldn’t have learned of the beauty of Flipboard, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Instagram and Twitter when it comes to sharing your blog posts!

There is a wonderful community of bloggers on there who get together on various days of the week, to share, or comment on your selected posts. There are opportunities to promote your…

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Grabbing a coffee

This is me, tired little me, drinking coffee from the cup that my kind colleague got me for my birthday last week, whilst travelling on the train to face another exciting day at work. 

In real life I am wearing the same kind of loopy, at the end of my tether expression. It’s been a long week, in fact it’s been a long two months but hopefully there is hope on the horizon. 

I’ve been working extra hours and weekends to try and keep up with work since my colleague left in April. If you didn’t notice that I wasn’t around as much don’t worry, just lament the fact that you didn’t enjoy the peace and quiet while you had the chance. 

There’s been few days off apart from the two when we went to Donegal and one that replaced a lost weekend day and it’s starting to tell on both me and my house which hasn’t been getting the love and attention it deserves. 

This weekend is going to be another hectic one sadly, so in fact there most likely won’t be a weekend at all as I have to attend things planned each day that will most likely extend into the night. I’m going to struggle, firstly because I am going to have to people, but secondly because I’m going to get no down time and no time to unwind. 

I would just love one weekend of peace and quiet, just me, where I don’t have to do anything for anyone else and that includes cooking and cleaning! 

Monday my new colleague arrives, so that in itself is going to bring another set of challenges, like training and learning and sorting. She’s a lovely girl and I instantly liked her so that’s a positive, but I need to shield  her from being bombarded until she gets to grips with things. I don’t want her running for the hills on the first day. 

I’m nervous because it’s been so long since I trained anyone for anything. I’m not very good at taking charge, I’m more of a sheep than a shepherd, so it will be a learning curve for us both. 

No one likes change, but it still comes whether we like it or not. I’m trying to think ahead and console meself that there may be stability in my future, and days off. Days off would be lovely.

I just need to make it through the next few weeks. 

How have things been in your world?

Self confidence or arrogance? 

I have no self confidence. 

Some of my work colleagues would probably not believe you if you told them this fact about me. Others who work with me closely are all to aware.

One of my hopes when I attended counselling was that I would be able to have a better understanding of myself and my lack of self confidence. In some ways I did, but I am in no way cured and every day is a battle that sometimes I’m just to tired to fight.

I will continue to try and see myself in a more positive light, but if I do, I want to make sure I am careful of this new responsibility, because I am genuinely curious as to when self confidence becomes arrogance, or even if it does at all.

I’m never going to be one of those people who walks into a party straight to the centre. I’m more of a sneak in and skirt along the sidelines until I find a group of people I feel comfortable with type of person. That kind of confidence I would love, the ability to walk into a room and not feel like every head has turned to scrutinise me.

Now please don’t think I’m being judgemental, because I am honestly not, it’s just that by not having any, I simply don’t understand how the concept of self confidence works and I am genuinely curious.

For example, if I sent you a picture of myself with the caption ‘Look at me, am I not just the most amazing person you have ever seen’, would you class that as self confidence or arrogance?

Just for the record, I’m not ever likely to utter a sentence like that, and if I ever did, I would fully expect you to give me a clip round the ear and ask me who the hell I thought was.

Or if I sent you a picture with the caption ‘I’m gorgeous aren’t I, I bet you wish you could be me.’ Is that self confidence or arrogance?

I read things sometimes and depending on my mood I either think, wow I wish I was brave enough to make a statement like that, or I think, seriously dude, did you just say that.

I do get there is a wider debate around this topic, because more than looks will make a person awesome. I mean I’m ugly as sin, but I make you chuckle sometimes, right!?!?

I’ve had little experience of online dating, mainly because any time I gave it a try it turned into a disaster, but if the intended object of your affection came out with statements like the above, would you give them a chance or skip on by?

I’m genuinely interested to hear your views, or to have you correct me if I’m barking up the wrong tree.

P.s I am NOT online dating, I’m only using it as an example :) I’ve enough feckin trouble lookin after the Fathership!

P.p.s I have never said what I used as my two examples, but they are messages that have been sent to me!

Weekend Wonderings

I seem to go through little periods of thinking. I shouldn’t think, it’s bad for me.

Every now and then I will question my need for this blog or where I fit into the so called blogsphere. I don’t have a niche as such, I’m more a bits and pieces of everything.

When starting I suppose my intention was to be a humour blog, but then life changed and all the humour kinda got sucked out of it and me. I’d still like to think I am marginally funny, or at least working my way back to that point. But as a wise man once said, self praise is no recommendation.

I think I have changed since I started writing way back in 2013, I’m not sure if it is for the better. Somewhere along the line while looking for someone to adult I realised that it was actually me, I was supposed to be the adult, well that was a steep learning curve I tell ya. Someone needs to write one of those yellow books entitled ‘The Idiots Guide to Adulting’. I could certainly have made use of it.

I did grow up, I dealt with seriously injuring my leg, which led to my first ever surgery, followed by becoming  a carer, followed by perhaps a little depression and a whole host of anxiety from these past events. Through counselling I realised I was an introvert and that I more than likely have mild social anxiety issues. People keep telling me I need to push through and force myself to do more, but for me that’s like standing at the edge of a boiling cauldron with everyone urging me to jump. Why can it not be enough for people that I am trying!

What does that mean for this blog, does it mean that I have outgrown it and is it time to give up and move on, or does it mean that I just let it evolve with me and see where the journey takes us both.

I want people to read what I write because they are genuinely interested in what I have to say. But I also want them to understand that I am geeky and awkward and not always sure of how to reply to the awesome comments that are left.  I want to write whatever my wonky little brain desires without people worrying I am going to fall off the edge of the earth.

I’ve been enjoying doing some of the fiction challenges, they make me think, but in a good way. They challenge me to hone my writing skills and they give me something else to focus on other than the inside of this rut I seem to find myself in.

When do you realise that enough is enough? When do you realise that it is time to move on, or when do you stop building barriers for yourself and just get on with the job at hand. I tell myself that likes and follows don’t matter and I mean that, but the interaction does. I love this community and I would miss it.

So I stay, but I don’t really evolve. I wonder if six months down the line people would even remember who I was. Perhaps they would say, you must remember her, you know, the weird girl from Ireland with the ginger hair. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t find that offensive, I quite like being weird :)

Perhaps one day I will eventually figure out who I am. Then I can figure out what here is. And we can all live happily ever after.

Until then I guess I just continue to be happy, be weird and be an eejit!

Dear Mum, it’s May

Image by Michael Gaida

Dear Mum,

I’m sure you already know as I imagine you are keeping an eye on me from up above, but I’m tidying the house again. There is still so much to be done and not enough hours in the weekend, which is my only time to get things done.

I’m battling another headache, same as last week. Is it something about weekends or I just am heading towards the menopause a little faster than I hoped and migraines are collateral damage. It might be stress too, there have been a lot more changes in work. Perhaps it’s time time to read the handout my counsellor gave me.

I was folding some of your clothes today for the charity shop and I was thinking how happy you would be that someone was going to be able to make use of your summer skirts and tops now that we have been blessed with some sunshine. I was sad too when I lifted your cardigan and I could smell your perfume. It reminded me of the nights you used to go out, I loved walking up the stairs after you had left and smelling your perfume, a reminder that you had been there. I did worry that once I have finished this mammoth task of putting the house in order that apart from your photographs there would be very few reminders, but the reality is you are everywhere, especially in my heart.

I miss you. At one time I wasn’t sure I would, the last couple of years had been so intense that I thought perhaps I would feel nothing but relief, and I did, but I also felt the loss.

You’re always in my thoughts, but at night I smile and think about you when I brush my teeth, because you used to stick your tongue out at me when I tried to brush yours.

I’m writing because when I looked out at the garden I realised how happy you would have been to see it today. Dad mowed the lawn which is actually a decent shade of green for a change. You wouldn’t care much for the lawn though would you, you’d be more excited about the little cluster of primroses and you’d be walking after him telling he better not mow them down. Don’t worry, he was obviously thinking of you too, because he carefully manoeuvred around them.  Then you’d admire the carpet of Bluebells that through your haphazard planting now cover about 60 percent of the top half of the garden. Today I have to agree as I look out into the sunshine, they do look rather awesome.

Don’t worry about me, I’m good and still taking comfort in the fact that you’re in a better place and no longer suffering. I just wanted to let you know about the Bluebells because I wish you could see them too.

Love

Me :) x

 


A couple of weeks ago another blogger Holly shared a post and in it she talked about a song from Ed Sheeran called Supermarket Flowers. I can’t now listen to it without thinking about my Mum, such a poignant tune. Thank you Holly for sharing it in the first place.

That’s sound advice that is!

All through your life people will offer you advice. Some will be asked for and some unwanted. Some will be good and some will be unbelievably terrible and often times catastrophic if followed. But at the end of the day, we choose the paths we take throughout our lifetime. I’ve cocked up many times and have no one to blame but myself. However not all the advice I refused to listen to had life changing effects. Here are some of my more memorable / funny ones.

  • Will you slow down, this is not a race car and you’re only learning.” This was said by my Dad approximately 5 minutes before I crashed his Massey Ferguson tractor into a concrete post which was the only thing stopping it falling down a steepish embankment. We had a long slow walk back to the house to get the digger to rescue it with. There were a lot of apologies on my part and a lot of silence on my Dad’s which meant he was less than pleased.
  • You’re going to end up getting hurt” – Again said by my Dad. When we were younger my sister and I used to share a room which had two single beds. One night when there was a strong possibility I was pretending to be Dracula or some other mythical creature with fangs, I can’t quite remember, I placed two straws in my mouth and decided to hop back and forth between the two beds. I was going great guns and having the time of my life until I fell against the bed and jammed the top of the straws into the roof of my mouth. I ended up with my head hanging over the side of the bath spitting blood and my Dad probably saying “I told you so.”
  • “Don’t play with that, you’ll break it.” I’m not 100% sure if this is what my Sister said or not, but it was probably something along those lines, and it was in reference to the Sindy horse she received from Santa. I of course did not listen and proceeded to gallop said Sindy horse all over the house by holding onto it’s tail. Tail and horse seperated and I hid behind the freezer hoping no one would find out…or me for that matter me. There is another vicious rumour I fed her pippa dolls to the dog, but hey innocent until proven guilty!
  • “Pull the brakes slowly, they are not working to well” – Said  my friends father as I whizzed down the hill past his house on her bike. Of course I panicked, jammed on the brakes and flew Superwoman style over the handlebars putting my two front teeth through my bottom lip.
  • Never fall in love with a Scottish Dude” – It took me 3 failed attempts to realise the wisdom behind my friends words. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the accent!
  • “You really do need to study for your exams. Stop looking at me like that, I’m serious, you really do, I wish I had listened to the person who told me” – Oh the arrogance of youth. I didn’t study very hard despite hearing this sentence repeatedly from various sources. I failed most of my exams and had to go back the following year and do them all again. See I wasn’t lying when I said I was not the brightest pixie in the forest :) Many times I have passed on the knowledge in this sentence to others who are sitting exams only to receive the same look that I probably gave. Emphatic pleas and hand gestures follow, usually to no avail.

I’m sure there were many more pearls of wisdom and nuggets of knowledge passed along to me, but being old and not having a very good memory, I cannot recall them at present.

If only I’d seen this 20 or so years ago:

Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try.
— Ernest Hemingway

Regarding Life

departure-platform-371218_640
Image by Unspash

I love people watching, is that weird?

It’s amazing how many different people we can pass in just one day. Some we will remember and others we won’t. I tend to remember those who smile.

There are many missed opportunities in a day to converse with people, it’s weird I should write this considering I am an introvert and shy away from people I am not familiar with. Today I helped a lady and her little wheeled shopper off the train, she thanked me, but she held tightly onto the shopper that I lifted down for her. It made me sad, because this is the world we live in now, one where people are unsure and perhaps mistrust those around them. I can’t blame her because I often experience the same feelings myself.

As I stood on the train watching the world whizz past outside I took stock of my surroundings. So many people on their way to somewhere. I noted that I was standing, simply because I was reluctant to encroach on someone else’s space, happier instead to wait until a whole two seater became available.

Don’t get me wrong, I will speak when spoken to, but I rarely initiate a conversation. I am not however like others, who are so against having someone sit beside them that they fill the seat beside with bags, coats and any other barrier they can find.

Sometimes I miss the old days, when there was no WiFi and I used to actually converse with my friends. These days I look around and see the reflections of various websites flicker across faces as everyone becomes lost in the wonder that is modern technology.

I am more often than not immersed in it myself.

 

Think Before You Speak, Before a Beautician

Image by World Skills Team Uk

So I need to tell you a story, I’m just not exactly sure how I am going to manage it, because I know it’s going to sound way better when told than written, but bear with me and I will do the best I can.

I’ve never been a girly girl, in fact when I was younger I was a downright tomboy. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn a dress (childhood excluded, I had no choice!!) and when I was forced into my new job as a personal secretary I was distraught at the thought I might have to wear a skirt everyday. Thankfully I have very understanding bosses who were content with me continuing to wear jeans as long as the top half looked semi presentable.

I rarely wear make up, but I can assure you I do shower everyday just in case any of you are thinking I am a total lost cause. Anyway, there is a point to all this, I promise. Sometimes where beauty is concerned a tomboy like myself will require external help, or if things are really bad perhaps divine intervention. Take for example my eyebrows, when they start to affect my vision then I know that it is time for a visit to the beautician. So I asked my friend could I tag along next time she was going and because she loves me, or is an eejit, she said I could.

Now you have to understand I know the beautician, albeit that I had not seen her for a very long time. She’s the daughter of the lady who cuts my hair and who also came to cut Mum’s every week before she passed away. So on arrival there are the usual pleasantries, haven’t seen you in ages and that kind of thing and we wait until it is our time to be seen.

Our time arrives and my friend and I go into the little room and at this point I’m feeling particularly brave, so I go first. First up is the dying of the eyelashes, piece of cake, next comes the waxing of the eyebrows, holy feck I think I’m going to die. This girl is good at her job, I mean really good, and I thought I had a good tolerance for pain, but clearly it doesn’t extend to above my neck. You’d need a face made of leather to not feel that shit! The pain is worth it though when she holds the mirror up and through your tears you catch sight of the perfectly poised brows that have replaced the caterpillars that used to reside there.

Next it’s my friends turn and clearly she has a face made of leather cos it does not fizz on her at all.

So while all this is going on I am sitting in the corner secretly distraught at the fact that I’ve made an arse of myself , being such a wimp where the old waxing was concerned. Anyway the front door opens and shuts and this girl walks up the corridor and I am convinced it’s one of my cousins, of which there are four sisters. So I said to the beautician is that Caroline (the name of one of my cousins) and she says no, that’s Christine (which is also a name of one of the four cousins) and I said, oh Christine Smith and she said yes. So thinking I’m being really funny I shout at the top of my voice ‘Oi Christine’ and there is silence, so I shout it again, only louder this time and from the other room comes this wee voice saying ‘Who me? and I shouts ‘Yes you, get your arse in here, NOW!’ extremely gruffly.

So here I am in the corner sniggering away and this girl puts her heard through the door and I look at her kinda stupid looking and she looks at me kinda WTF looking and then she looks at the beautician and then she looks at my friend and no one says a word. Eventually my friend breaks the silence, because what feels like 3 hours has passed and no one has said anything and directing her question at me my friend asks ‘Do you know this girl?’

It was one of those moments where I wished the ground would open up and swallow me because I had to say, now rather sheepishly might I add, ‘Actually, I don’t’. At that point everyone, including the girl who although she had the same name, was clearly not my cousin started to laugh. The problem was, they were not laughing with me, they were laughing at me and now my whole face matched the belisha beacon red of my previously tortured eyebrows.

Thankfully everyone saw the funny side of the whole incident and I was fine too, once the anxiety attack passed.

I get the distinct impression though that my friend will never let me tag along again!

~

Please note, for the purpose of this post the names of my cousins were changed to protect their identity. I have a feeling that they wouldn’t want to be associated with me either.
In my defence though, through my half opened, tear stained eyes, the doppelgänger as well as having the same name did look quite similar to my cousin.

 

I am Four!

It was pretty amazing for me when I made it to the end of one year of blogging, even more amazing that I managed to survive another couple of years despite what was going on in my life. Now, I am four, who would have thought, certainly not me!

While I might not have written my very first post until the 31st March 2013, I had registered the name, which at that time was ‘The Geeky G4mer’. Even in that very first post, I made excuses which paved the way for me more than likely giving up on this new fad, but I didn’t, I am still here.

The last four years have been pretty rough, some of it will be documented on this blog and some of it on others, where I shared my experiences of being a carer for someone with Dementia. Writing from the heart wasn’t always pretty, hence my decision to keep those posts away from here. It didn’t really matter where I wrote, as long as I did, because on many days that was my saving grace, the thing that kept me going.

Had life not intervened the way it did I may have been a blogging superstar by now, these days there are people in the same position as me who have been blogging for only six months, or perhaps even less. I’m quite content to not be a superstar, it’s hard enough being me sometimes. That fame malarky is definitely not the road for an introvert to travel.

I am not, nor will I ever be a magnificent writer, I simply want to entertain and write about life, which can be hard sometimes, because it’s far from perfect despite what some people would have us believe. The difference is the way that people deal with the cards that they have been dealt and every day here, I see examples of people who despite what they hide still manage to put a smile on their faces and carry on regardless with the intention of putting a smile on ours.

Stepping into both blogging and the WordPress community can be daunting at first, but for those of you who are new, my advice would be never give up. Hold on to what you believe in and most importantly never lose sight of why you started your blog. Write for yourself and no one else, the rest will come with time. Open yourself up to this amazing community, there is nowhere else that you will find such a diverse bunch of people who probably shouldn’t work but do. There is always someone to help, comfort, teach and guide, you just have to interact and ask, never be afraid, we have all been where you are now.

In the last four years I have written 500 posts, quite fitting that this should be number 501. I have 1,220 followers, my page has seen 21, 069 visitors with 43, 941 views. There have been 9, 312 comments, with some still pending. That’s amazing, and I am extremely grateful for every follow, like and person who has stopped by whether they commented or not. But for me, what is more important are the people I have met, the friends I have made and the posts I have read that have made me smile, laugh, cry and remember that I am not alone in this world. More importantly it has reminded me I am loved and despite the fact that I am not a magnificent writer, I have things to say that people want to read.

I am four, but only because you all helped me. Thank you, words can never express how grateful I am to have had you all at my side.

Here’s to another 365 days of blogging! Happy blog anniversary to us.