Saturday, 23 April 2011

Lost Property

I was rummaging about in the Lost Property Box of Life, when suddenly, tucked away in a dark corner, I found something I thought I'd lost: my blogging mojo. 

My wonderful son Jamie is 8 months old today. Wow! In terms of day to day life, that has rushed by in a terrifyingly fast blur, making me want to scream "slow down" from the rooftops. In terms of blogging, that has slowly dragged on leaving a nagging thought in the back of my mind and giving me that hollow feeling that something is missing. 

You see, I really love blogging. The pure, cathartic, selfishly content feeling that writing gives me, allowing me the space and time to offload and reflect. It's a pleasure, but with too much pressure can become a chore. 

For some silly reason, I was still trying to fit my blog neatly into a little tick box, that of a beauty blog by genre. My life has significantly changed now, and whilst I'll never give up on 'beauty' and all that it entails, I've realise that I don't have to try and fit my blog neatly into that little tick box: it's mine, I can do what I want with it!

So, changes are afoot. Hopefully, and I mean this sincerely, those of you who have gathered here by way of following will stick along for the rest of this ride, and if not, thank you for your time. Who knows what you'll find here from now on. I like to think of it as a little adventure. There will no doubt be plenty of this and plenty of that.

Oh, and if anyone else happens to have a rummage in the Lost Property Box of Life, please let me know if you find my brain, I'm beginning to think my baby ate it ;)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind

I'm somewhat of a philosophical person, always thinking, and always asking myself questions. When compiling my list of 101 things for 1001 days recently, I stumbled across the 50 questions below, designed to free your mind by getting you really thinking about the answers. When I started writing this, all I'd done was read through the questions, so I'm hoping by the end of this, my mind will be free...I don't expect anyone to read it, this is more for me.

These questions have no right or wrong answers.
Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer.

1) How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
Age, in my opinion, is just a number. I actually believe those sayings like 'you're only as old as you feel', which I think it telling in my answer to this question. I am actually 25 this July, but if I didn't know that, I think I would probably say I'm about 27/28. My answer for this is based on my interpretation of the world around me, my peers and my life circumstances - I've always felt older (and hopefully wiser) than my numerical age, and the ages of my peers have never bothered me in the slightest. Colin is 7 years older than me, and I have friends in their late thirties/early forties, and friends still in their teens - I'm concerned with the people not their age!

2) Which is worse, failing or never trying?
Never trying, by far. If you try and fail, at least you tried. If you didn't even try, you'll never know what the outcome might have been, and chances are, you'd have surprised yourself.

3) If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
Because we do! I think this is probably one of the innate characteristics of people as a whole, also I think quite often we have little choice about the things we don't like. For example working in a job that you don't like - this is often a necessity in order to provide for your family, to pay your bills and keep a roof over your head, but it doesn't always mean you like it, you just do it. Similarly, we often like things from afar without doing them, either because we lack the financial ability or perhaps the skills or confidence to do them. Hopefully, by having a more optimistic outlook on life, the number of things we DO like and DO do outweigh the things we DON'T like but DO do.

4) When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
Most likely. Taking this question at a very basic level, I am more of a talker than a do-er, so I'm bound to have said more than I've done. I'd like to think that I'll have done the things I've said I'll do though, or at least tried.

5) What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
I would stop people fighting - individuals, nations, religions. Violence, hatred and the upset caused and created by fighting terrifies me. I think poverty is a fact of life, the rich will always be rich, and the poor will always be poor, all the money in the world can't change the facts for some people, and sad as that is, it's life, there isn't anything that can cure it completely. 

6) If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
If I could help prevent unnecessary deaths, especially in children and babies, I would do it in a heartbeat. Happiness would be the best payment for that - the greatest gift you can give is life.

7) Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
At the moment, I am (in work terms, which I am interpreting this question to mean) a stay at home Mummy to my gorgeous baby son, so I am most definitely doing something I believe in. Unless I am fortunate enough to get the career of my dreams, then sadly I'd have to say I would just be settling for whatever I was doing (once I have to start working again). As a general principle for life, I obviously endeavour to only do what I believe in, but I do think in work terms, as I said above, you do what is necessary to survive and get by.

8) If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
I wouldn't ever want to grow up - I'd want to have babies, and nurture my children, but chances are I'd have to start having them at age 5 if I would only live until 40... - I think I'd go to live in never-never-land with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, and I certainly wouldn't want to waste those precious 40 years on stress or upset. If only hey?!

9) To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
Probably to a much lesser degree than I'd like to think. Refer to my answer to question fifty for my reasoning on this one. 

10) Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? 
Doing the right things I think. Being the natural born worrier that I am, I think about things too much, and I worry that what I'm doing isn't the right thing. I don't think I can change that.

11) You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do?
Butt in and tell them, in probably a not very polite way, that they are bang out of order and I'm not going to sit around and listen. That might not be the most diplomatic of reactions, but if I respect and admire those three people that much, I wouldn't want to watch them tarnish that.
 
12) If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don't be in a hurry to grow up. Innocence is something that should be protected, and childhood is something to be treasured. 

13) Would you break the law to save a loved one?
Yes. There isn't much I wouldn't do to save a loved one frankly.
14) Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? 
Most definitely. Most 'geniuses' are considered insane in some way...

15) What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
Life my life, because if there is one thing I know for sure, it is that no one could possibly be or do the exact same as me. Fact.

16) How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
Different strokes for different folks, as 'they' say! Life would be pretty boring if the exact same things made everybody tick.

17) What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back? 
I haven't lived the rest of my life yet, and that is one thing that I really, really want to do. The only thing holding me back...nothing.

18) Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? 
Yes, but no one ever said letting go would be easy.

19) If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
Grenada. Just because - who wouldn't want to live in paradise?!

20) Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
Yes, I do, don't you?! It doesn't matter if I really believe it will come quicker, I just do it to make myself feel better. Impatience might not be a very attractive trait, but when you have an agitated baby in the buggy, that lift will never come fast enough!

21) Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? 
I can't imagine my life without worry, I have gradually come to think I thrive somewhat on worrying, perhaps it's part of my genetic make-up or something. However, if I could physically chose, then I'd be joyful, no question.

22) Why are you, you?
Because I'm me, and no one else ever will or could be.
23) Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
Without a doubt, yes. I pride myself on being a good friend, so much so that recently when a friend asked me to list 5 good/positive things about myself, they were all about my 'skills' in being a good friend... I should take my own advice and be more of a friend to myself!
24) Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
I genuinely can't chose, both are equally awful. I think it is a lot 'easier' to lose touch with someone who moves away, the proximity difficulties are obviously much harder to overcome, and I think it is ever so sad if you lose touch with someone living near, when such little effort would be required to rekindle what you had. 

25) What are you most grateful for?
My son. Without a moments hesitation he is the best thing in my life, my gratitude for being blessed with him is not something words could possibly portray. 

26) Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
I think, however horrific this question is, I would rather not be able to make any new memories than lose all of my old ones. Literally replacing memories, even if they are 'better' couldn't ever be pleasing.

27) Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
No.

28) Has your greatest fear ever come true?
My greatest fear, no. I don't even want to begin to think about it.

29) Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now?
Actually, yes. I'm not going to divulge the details, and it probably isn't precisely 5 years (maybe more, maybe less), but it was hugely significant and I don't cry (I'm talking about real raw emotion crying and upset, not crying at the TV) that easily, and I certainly don't forget it either.  

30) What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special? 
I am extremely fortunate to have had a wonderful childhood, and a very happy upbringing. ALL of my childhood memories are special, because of the safe and loving environment that my family selflessly created for my sister and I, and I only hope I can do the same for my precious son and any future children.

31) At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
When I was in labour with my son. I defy anyone to compare anything in life to giving birth. 

32) If not now, then when?
Tomorrow.
33) If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
Nothing, so give 'it' your all, and remember, if you try and fail, at least you are safe in the knowledge you tried.
34) Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
Not yet, no.
35) Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
In truth, I don't wish to publicly post my response to this question, I don't wish to offend anyone - all I will surmise is this, I am not even 0.1% religious.
36) Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? 
No. I can't think how to word my answer to this question in an eloquent enough way, so take this example instead: I have a phobia of cheesecake, it's pure evil (yes, seriously). On the other end of the (desert) scale, chocolate cake is good, very good. There are undoubtedly many, many things/situations that the majority of people would agree are evil, but I don't believe it is possible to know. After all, I bet you didn't think someone could think cheesecake was evil, right?!

37) If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? 
Quitting being a Mummy - er, not even possible in my world! If I take the typical job I've done in the past, and pretend that were still my job - in a word, yes! Although...a million won't get you far these days...

38) Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? 
The latter, I think - although, perhaps I'll wait until that happens, then I'll answer this again!

39) Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? 
Not this day, but some days, yes. It's very easy for life to feel like 'Groundhog Day', but I try and do a little something different everyday to keep from monotony. 

40) When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? 
I think this happens everyday! 

41) If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? 
It will sound heartless, but I 'know' a lot of people, but I don't love all of those people, so I would visit the ones I love the most. Then I'd probably kill myself the day after they all died, life wouldn't be worth living...

42) Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? 
No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I'm nowhere near that shallow or fickle. Being famous is pretty close to my idea of hell.
 
43) What is the difference between being alive and truly living? 
The difference is huge. I hope everyone is experiencing that for themselves. There is so much more to our existence than merely existing.

44) When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
It is always the right time. 
45) If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? 
I don't like to make mistakes, but sometimes, when the circumstances are right, I'm not afraid to make them. It is most definitely true that we learn from our mistakes.

46) What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
I'm pretty sure I couldn't write an exhaustive list, so I'm not even going to try. Let's just say, probably, a lot!
 
47) When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? 
Every night, at least. I concentrate on my breathing, it helps me not only to relax but to feel more grounded, more in control. I think it is very important to take the time to do this for yourself.

48) What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? 

I love my family. I love them very, very dearly, so much it could hurt, and I hope that my actions will always express this.

49) In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that?
Honestly, probably not. I'm not bothered by that. I think you'd have to have a pretty incredible memory to remember every single day of your life. If I can remember the most special and sacred moments of my life, then I will be happy. However, this question makes you realise that those really silly and trivial things you have spent wasted time thinking about, really didn't matter... Having said that, it probably won't prevent it from happening again and again and again.

50) Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
Three words: the butterfly effect.

Questions sourced from this website, post inspired by this website, sponsored by neither. The content, especially that linked to in this post, of this website has actually had a pretty profound effect on me. Like I said, I'm a philosophical person.